A Beginner’s Guide to Foot Fetishes

Advice for foot fetish beginners wondering about footjobs, the best angles for showing feet, and the mysterious allure of toe jewelry.
Woman on Bed Removing Shoes
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Advice on the finer points of having great sex.

Have you ever thought of your feet as hot? If you’re like most people, you likely don’t even “think of your feet,” period... unless you’re seeing someone who thinks about feet a lot, and especially in terms of their hotness. If foot fetishes are new for you, your (hot?) feet might suddenly be on your mind more—and you might also be wondering what, exactly, your partner would like you to do with them.


Whether the foot fetishist in your life is a longtime partner or first-time hookup, there are lots of different things you can do with your feet to excite them. Here’s a guide to thrilling someone who worships feet—specifically, yours.

What is a foot fetish?

You should learn a little bit about common foot fetishes to reduce your chances of looking surprised or shocked when your partner lets you know what they’re into. Foot worship comprises a broad spectrum of activities and aesthetic preferences. According to Mistress Justine Cross, a professional BDSM consultant and lifestyle dominatrix, the type of foot fetish play someone enjoys usually comes down to hygiene. “Foot fetishes can generally be broken down into two common categories: clean feet and dirty feet,” said Cross. This might overlap with preferences for big feet, small feet, high arches, or certain toe shapes—whether they’re long and thin, rounded and petite, or anything in between or beyond. 

“This fetish is so varied that there's no one-size-fits-all answer” about what gets foot fetishists off, said fetish content creator and producer Bella Vendetta. Some people incorporate feet into their sex life, while others might find feet sexy, but not necessarily want to directly use them for sexual stimulation. Your partner might be happy with just rubbing your bare feet with lotion or oil, admiring your feet in pantyhose, or watching you wiggle your toes while you’re both fully clothed. 


Some of the most common things that might turn your partner on include smelling your feet, sucking the toes, or softly stroking and caressing them. Many foot fetishists enjoy feeling their partner’s feet on their face, whether it’s a gentle foot-on-face massage or “trampling,” a form of foot domination known in which one partner lies on the ground and while the other uses their feet to exert a more intense pressure on their face. Trampling can be one aspect of, as Cross explained, how foot fetishes may also intersect with a partner’s preferences around humiliation, physical domination, or other forms of BDSM.

Where do foot fetishes come from?

There’s no one explanation for why and how people develop a foot fetish. If you ask good ol’ Sigmund Freud, the foot or toes can be thought of as a penis substitute. Some people – like VICE writer Grant Stoddard – attribute it to specific adolescent experiences that left searing imprints on their developing psyche and sexuality. One neuroscientist even proposed that it’s down to human biology, as the region in our brain that registers sensory input from the feet is nestled right up against the bit that processes genital stimulation. (If you’ve ever had a pedicure that felt, uh, maybe a little too good, you’ll understand what that means.) Personally speaking, though, it’s a lot more fun to experiment with foot worship than drive yourself round the bend trying to figure out why people are into feet.

Things to try

Talk about involving your feet in sex like you’re excited to know more about your partner and try new things with them—because you are!


Your partner may have already told you about their foot fetish, or maybe you’ve noticed that they’re particularly interested in your feet during sex. In any case, “Let them know you’re open to that and that you don't think it's weird, and ask a lot of questions about what specifically turns them on,” Vendetta said. 

Even after you let your partner know you’re interested in experimenting, they might still be a little shy about discussing foot worship, especially if you’re in a new relationship or just getting to know each other. People are often hesitant to share sexual preferences that might be seen as unusual or deviant, but foot fetishes, in particular, are often uniquely misunderstood: Your partner may worry that you’ll be turned off or grossed out, that you’ll think there’s something wrong with them, or that you’ll reject them.

“Growing up, many of us are told, ‘Feet are dirty, they’re gross, don’t put your feet in my face,’ so that's the automatic feeling many people get just because we’ve been taught that,” said foot fetish model Sweet Arches. “The best thing is just to drop all judgment and be completely open-minded,” she said, when someone’s telling you what they like about feet, even if it strikes you as unusual (or, yes, even a little grody). 


Ask your partner what they like

Ask your partner to tell you what they like specifically. If your partner tells you they fantasize about sucking your toes or smelling your feet during sex—or whatever else they like—try a response like, “I’m really glad to know more about what you’re into, and I’m interested to hear about what that might look like for us—how would it work, do you think?” Then, you can talk through what you’d both be comfortable with and excited by before anything actually happens.

Give your feet some love and attention by grooming them

It’s OK to feel a little self-conscious about the appearance of your feet if you’re not used to thinking about them as sexual assets. You might not know what even makes for a sexy-looking foot—and the thing is, it varies! “There’s truly a foot for everybody,” said Sweet Arches. Some people feel turned on by feet that are well-manicured and polished (or not), while others enjoy the look of dirty feet. They might also prefer certain types of shoes, a particular style of socks or panty hose, high arches, or wrinkled soles. 

Richard Lennox, a fetish video performer and producer, said his fans often admire his larger foot size, high arch, and long toes that form a peak, while he enjoys a different type of look. “I prefer supple or muscular feet, with shorter toes formed more straight across,” Lennox said. “Everyone has different likes and dislikes.”


Whatever you’re working with can be put to hot use, even if your partner usually has slightly different taste. Especially when, as Arches mentioned, it’s mostly about clean/dirty for a given foot enthusiast. “As someone who actually has a foot fetish, I personally love clean feet, and I love pretty toenails and toe pads,” Arches said. Others, she said, might prefer feet that are sweaty and strong-smelling, though it’s best to keep things clean unless you’re absolutely certain your partner likes them stinky. 

Regardless of what your feet naturally look like, keeping them moisturized and otherwise groomed before you do anything with them is generally a good strategy. “Feet cannot be overlooked when it comes to proper care,” said foot fetish model Miss Arcana. “I have a rigorous maintenance routine involving lotions, creams, and pumice stones to keep my feet as soft and callus-free as possible.” You don’t have to spend hours scouring your soles, though—a simple pedicure, either at home or in a salon, and a consistent moisturizing routine will keep your feet looking devastating.

In terms of how to dress up, your partner may let you know that the feet of their dreams are wearing certain kinds of shoes or accessories (like stockings, toe rings, or anklets). If they’re styles that you don’t already own, ask your partner to pick some out for you. If you really want to treat them and can afford it, you can of course pay for them yourself, but otherwise they should consider picking up the tab for anything they’re specifically requesting you wear.


Show off your feet as a form of flirtation

A straightforward and easy way to pique your partner’s interest (and possibly initiate something more) is to just kick off your shoes. “I get requests all the time from fans who want videos of me just hanging out, sitting in normal clothes with my feet in the camera,” said Mistress D, an OnlyFans model and foot fetish content creator. 

Seems easy enough—because it is! Strip off your socks and go barefoot when the two of you are hanging out at home, or try resting your feet near your partner while you’re watching TV. You’ll both feel relaxed, comfortable, and maybe a little turned on. 

Flaunting your feet can also be a nice way to subtly flirt with your partner if they’re still feeling shy about talking directly about their foot fetish. “If someone has an idea that their partner has a foot fetish—maybe they've caught them looking at their feet, or they’ve shown just any type of interest in their feet—just kick your feet up,” said Arches, though she said it’s usually just really nice to do that as a first move even if you’re more direct with each other: To ease into things, according to Arches, “The first thing you can do is get your foot in their lap.”

When you’re out in public together (or maybe flirting with a foot-friendly hottie from afar,) show off a fresh pedicure in some cute flip flops or sandals, or accessorize with ankle and toe jewelry. “I'm in Florida, where it's appropriate to wear flip flops and sandals nearly everywhere,” said Lennox. “My eyes often wander if I'm in a restaurant or wherever, and I think, Oh, nice!” Perhaps you, too, might embrace a more Floridian approach to style?


Invite your partner to give you a foot massage

If you both want to get more physical, have your partner give you a foot massage. “A foot massage helps break the mental barrier many people have that feet are ‘dirty,’” said Lennox—plus it also feels really good for you! While your partner rubs your feet, maintain eye contact and let them know you’re enjoying having your feet touched. You might compliment their technique, tell them how good it feels, or just sit back, relax, and watch them do their thing. 

Asking for a foot rub—or offering one—can provide a natural way to continue the conversation about specific preferences you or your partner might have. “This can be really helpful in a new relationship where maybe all the kinks aren't fully explored and fleshed out yet,” said Miss Arcana. As your partner rubs your feet, ask your partner how your feet smell, or even how they taste, and whether they’re turned on by that. “If you approach this conversation [in the moment] with more subtlety than just asking, ‘So, what do you like about feet’ [more generally], you might get a better response!” said Mistress D. As she pointed out, “Not many people want to come right out and say they like the smell of your feet!” A foot massage is a great time to check in about what you’re both comfortable doing next, even if that means staying right where you are. 

 Use your feet during foreplay


 If things start to become more overtly sexual, you can keep the mood going by focusing on your feet as you start to hook up. Your partner may fantasize about worshipping your feet—kissing, licking, stroking, caressing, sucking your toes, or putting their mouth on your feet. They may also want to feel your feet on their face or different parts of their body. “I like to give a partner detailed instructions for how to lick, kiss and suck my toes, and compare it to how someone might perform oral sex on me,” said Vendetta. She also recommended using your feet like you might use your hands: “You can just explore each other’s body parts!” 

Give your partner a footjob

 While foot worship or other kinds of foot play don’t have to lead to anything more, your partner might love feeling your feet on their genitals. If you’re both down, you can stroke their genitals with lubed feet—also known as a footjob. To do this, turn your feet inward, as if you’re imitating hands in a prayer position. Keep your soles pressed together while you grip, and slide along the length of your partner’s genitals.

Water-based lube generally works best, and you’ll want to keep a towel handy for easy cleanup and safety. “You don't want anyone to traipse into the bathroom with lubed-up feet,” said Lennox. “Either you'll have hard-to-remove wet footprints in your carpet and fuzzy feet, or a slip and fall incident on wood or tile floors.”


Your partner might also be interested in having you insert a toe into one of their orifices. Start slow—maybe exploring with your fingers first—and use plenty of lube, which will feel great for your partner while helping prevent potential cuts or scrapes. Clean feet and toes are especially crucial if there’s a chance they might be going inside someone’s body. “Make sure the nails are closely trimmed and hygienic, no fungus at all,” said Lennox. “A scrape can turn into an infection. Probably easy enough to treat, but do you really want to tell that story to your doctor?”

Take nudes or lewds including your feet—and master ‘the pose’

Whether you live with your foot-loving partner or you’re just getting to know a new fox, sending a sexy photo or video of your feet lets your partner know that you really want to turn them on in this particular way. Top-down photos of your toes work, though your partner might also appreciate an angle that includes your face and some bright, warm lighting. (“Natural light or even a ring light will make a huge difference,” said Miss Arcana.) 

 “I personally love to include my face and have my toes just right up front on camera,” said Arches. “That way, they get a feel that you're into it and your cute little feet are in front, too. They get the full picture.”

From there, “There are so many possible positions you could try,” said Mistress D. She listed an array of options, including crossing your feet, putting one on top of the other, or posing them side by side. A few variations on these, like flexing the toes, curling them together tightly to create wrinkles in the soles, or pointing the big toe upward in a “thumbs up” can also add some variety. If your partner enjoys seeing your feet in high heels, you might also try slipping on a pair that shows off the small space between your toes, or “toe cleavage.” a bit of toe cleavage, or the space between your toes. 

Your partner might enjoy a view from behind, with your butt resting on the soles of your feet. If a video is more their speed, see if they want to watch you spread your toes as wide as possible, or scrunching them in toward the soles. Practice a few different angles and positions and see which your partner is enthusiastic about. 

If you still feel like you’re not sure your approach is working, Miss Arcana recommended “the pose,” which she described as a surefire smash hit among most foot fetishists. “It’s the best go-to pose that any beginner can do,” she said. “Lay on your stomach, bend at the knees, and bring your feet up in the air behind you. Now, you have the perfect position to show your face with your feet mischievously teasing in the background!”

 Whatever you do, though, your partner is going to be excited that you’re trying to begin with! “You don’t have to stress about the actual ‘pose’ too much,” said Miss Arcana. Remember that photos and videos, like actual foot-based action, are about pleasure, not perfection! 

Keep in mind

As in all aspects of newly involving yourself in someone else’s fetish, there’s no need to expect that you’ll immediately know each and every one of its particulars the moment you get started. Your partner will likely be incredibly stoked (and turned on!) that you’re interested in making their fetish a part of your sex life just in that fact alone, and you’ll figure the rest out together as you go. As Miss Arcana put it: “Just put your best foot forward with every attempt, and have fun.”

Follow Sofia Barrett-Ibarria on Twitter.

This article was updated for clarity. It was originally published in May 2021.