Shoe fetishism, also known as retifism (after Nicolas-Edme Rétif), involves being fixated on shoes or other footwear to the extent it may interfere with sexual expression. Although shoes carry sexual connotations in mainstream culture (for example, women's shoes are commonly sold as being "sexy") this is not generally considered to be shoe fetishism, although it may qualify as a form of partialism.
Shoe fetishists often fixate on extreme shoes which are designed as fetishwear, although fixation on typical high-street shoes, or other types of shoes, is also common. High-heeled shoes are often triggers for foot fetishists. High-heeled shoes or boots help to elongate the calf, protruding the buttocks and creating a longer-legged appearance which is generally considered to be more sexually attractive. They also reveal the sole of the shoe, which becomes an eroticised "second skin" taking on the erotic role of the sole of the foot. Shoe fetishists often fixate on stiletto heeled shoes and boots, where the stiletto heel is eroticised in itself. Other specialist fetish footwear includes ballet boots and pony boots.
This can be seen in a super-stimulus form within the adult entertainment industry, and particularly pornography, where women wear very high heeled shoes. It is not uncommon for actresses in modern pornographic movies to wear stiletto-heeled platform shoes with a platform of 3-4 inches and a heel height of 6-9 inches. Similar sized heels are often worn by exotic dancers and strippers. These exaggerated heels are not practical and are worn for the sexual gratification of the viewer.
The most common image of a dominatrix is of a woman in thigh-length high-heeled leather boots or riding boots. Thigh-length high-heeled leather boots are generally only worn as fetish wear; though they have experienced some popularity amongst fashionable young women for clubbing over the past two years, particularly in the UK and were also briefly popular there in the late 1960's.
There are also entire sexual subcultures revolving around other types of shoe fetishism—sandals, sand suede Clarks Wallabees (for the delicious, supple suede), combat/work boots, kinky boots, skate shoes and sneakers are particularly common fetish-objects. The sneaker fetish is most common among gay men. The boot fetish can be seen among all genders and orientations. Some shoe fetishists fixate on the smell of shoes, either the smell of leather or rubber or the smell of worn shoes, which combine these smells with foot odor. Where the foot odor is very strong, this can be regarded as a form of Mysophilia.
One theory of shoe fetishism, as well as of foot fetishism, is that an infant's experience of their mother in many cultures may involve crawling around their feet. If sexual behavioral imprinting occurs during this time, it may lead to the feet or shoes becoming the primary object of arousal.
A particular interest of many shoe fetishists is shoe dangling, the act where a woman slips her heel from her shoe and lets the shoe dangle from her toes. Often she will swing her foot so that the shoe also swings. Gay men into this fetish also enjoy when other gay men dangle or loosely wear their sneakers and/or skate shoes. Many male foot fetishists find the sight of this to be erotic and sexually arousing, and this activity is mentioned on many pornographic websites both homosexual and heterosexual.
Many male shoe fetishists experience great sexual satisfaction from masturbating while holding the shoes of a woman or a man. The act of secretly opening a woman's or man's closet and (unknown to him/her) taking down her shoes from their resting place and then masturbating with them can be extremely arousing to some men. Added excitement comes from the risk of being discovered.
Since the term shoe fetishism can be used to denote a fetishist interest in any kind of footwear of both sexes, some authorities suggest that a fetishist interest in high heels alone (which accounts for perhaps the largest sub-division of shoe fetishists) should be more correctly termed Altocalciphilia.
Trampling fetishism, which consists of paraphiliac fantasies or practices of being trampled underfoot by another person or persons, usually of the opposite sex, is common enough to support a sub-genre of trampling pornography.
Because trampling can be used to produce pain, the trampling fetish for some adherents is closely linked to sadomasochistic fetishism.
Some trampling fetishists often imagine themselves as being tiny under another's feet, or being normal size, but being trampled by a giant or giantess. This is known as "giant/giantess fetishism".
The trampling fetish is not to be confused with crushing fetishism, which involves the crushing of objects other than people beneath the feet. While they both sexual expression linked to pressing with the feet, they are not the same fetish.
Some shoes designed for fetish wear can be locked on, so the wearer cannot remove them without a key. This is usually done with padlocks on the ankle straps. These are often shoes with high heels and difficult to walk in. They thus induce a sense of helplessness in the wearer. Such shoes are particularly popular among male transvestites, as they are a way of trapping the man in female clothes.
- The High Heel Shoe Museum - Everything to do with high heel shoes.
- SquishySquishy.co.nz | Male Foot & Sneaker Fetish Community.
- FemDom Shoe Fetishism
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