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Thursday, April 5, 2007

The World’s Top Fetish

posted by on April 5 at 6:38 AM


The votes have been counted and the results are in: we love feet.

Results from the largest global study of sexual kinks ever undertaken show that feet and shoes are by far the biggest turn-ons.

Researchers from the University of Bologna found that, among sexual preferences for body parts, feet and toes were the most popular, with 47 per cent of those sampled preferring them. They also found that, when it came to objects associated with the body, shoes, boots and other footwear scored 64 per cent.

“Feet and objects associated with feet were the most common target of preferences,” say researchers.

The survey, based on the views of men and women, also revealed some of the more obscure objects of affection. These included 150 people with a penchant for hearing aids, and two whose hearts go into overdrive thinking about pacemakers.

When you write a sex-advice column you get some questions over and over again—and “where do fetishes come from?” tops the list. Often the question is posed by someone that is dating a fetishist and wants to understand; less often the question is posed by an unhappy fetishist who goes on to ask “why me?”

There are no satisfactory answers to those questions, sadly. Back to Bologna:

How and why people develop sexual kinks is not known, and the researchers said that despite many theories having been put forward none is convincing.

For every adult into spanking who points to having been spanked as a child as the underlying cause of his adult fetish there’s another adult into spanking that points to not having been spanked as the underlying cause.

Human beings are just freaks—there’s something about our big brains and our highly developed social structures, to say nothing of the network of social and sexual taboos that constrain us, that inspire sexual fetishism in some, not all, of us. But tying to pinpoint where your fetish or your partner’s fetish came from, what inspired or informed it, is a fool’s errand. The biggest fools seem to think that discovering the root cause, recalling the experience or distinct set of circumstances that lead to the development of the fetish, will somehow “cure” the fetishist. It won’t. So if you have a fetish don’t waste your time wondering why.

So long as your fetish can be indulged with other consenting adults—feet, hearing aides (!), safe, sane, consensual BDSM—go for it. You really don’t have a choice, you perv. Seek out pervs that share your kink or find yourself an understanding, indulgent partner and knock yourself out.

RSS icon Comments


Amen, Dan. It all smacks too much of Freud for me.

Posted by Gloria | April 5, 2007 6:57 AM
Some 12 per cent were turned on by underwear, 9 per cent by coats, body fluids and body size, 7 per cent by hair, 5 per cent by muscles, and 4 per cent by genitals and body modifications such as tattooing.

Three per cent cent went for navels, ethnicity and breasts, and 2 per cent for legs, buttocks, mouths, lips and teeth.

9% were turned on by coats and 3% were turned on by breasts? 2% like butts?

What is going on here

Posted by jamier | April 5, 2007 8:51 AM

I'm assuming that the three percent is people who chose "breasts" even after they were told not to pick a sexual characteristic.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2007 9:03 AM

I spend time thinking about why I'm turned on by what I'm turned on by, partly because I'm an introvert and introspection is what I do, but also partly in case it leads me to think of other things I'll enjoy.

I don't consider it a waste.

Posted by mmarch | April 5, 2007 10:36 AM

I don't like feet and I don't like puppies but I like that picture.

Posted by rtw | April 5, 2007 10:51 AM

Mmarch: I think the point is that lots of people consider reasons and causes because they don't enjoy their fetishes and think it'll lead to a cure. Positive reflection is pretty fun though.

Posted by Gloria | April 5, 2007 11:26 AM

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my first girlfriend, who was older and, needless to say, more experienced than me. She asked if I had any kinks and when I divulged what I thought were my deep, dark desires she said they were so normal they didn't even rate as a fetish. I was relieved and disappointed.

Posted by E. Steven | April 5, 2007 11:52 AM

Very cute litte boxer (is it?). Nice pedicure.

Posted by Bauhaus | April 5, 2007 12:48 PM

You'd think stockings would earn a mentioned here. A quick survey of internet porn suggests tons of demand. And Veronica Monet (former escort turned author) claims that only a handful of her thousands of clients didn't like them.

There's something funky about this survey...

Posted by Sean | April 5, 2007 4:53 PM

I've never thought of myself as gay, but I really have a thing for muscular guys in spandex tights or shorts and white socks and sneakers. Is this a fetish, or an actual sexual preference?

Posted by BT | April 5, 2007 5:53 PM

Okay, would you trust a sex study from the University of Bologna?

Sorry, immature, I know. But I cracked up.

Posted by Kay | April 5, 2007 6:02 PM

Wait Wait don't tell me covered this weeks ago! and covered all jokes pertaining to it.

Posted by NPR listener | April 5, 2007 7:40 PM

Fetishism is when it's a replacement primary site for sexual stimulation, right? And kink is just when you like something besides the contents of "couples porn" too? By now I think we young people invent kinks - or at least dig deep in our psyches and grasp at straws there - because we're bored of our sexual liberation.

Posted by Lys | April 7, 2007 7:17 PM

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