Love, Self

What To Know About Foot Fetishes

Feet peek out from under bed covers

It was revealed recently in a Deadspin article that New York Jets' Coach Rex Ryan and his wife may produce foot fetish videos and, taking it a step further (ahem), post them online for all to see.

A petite blonde woman who looks eerily similar to Michelle Ryan has posted multiple foot fetish videos on YouTube under the name "ihaveprettyfeet." These videos became quite popular, and it was only a matter of time before someone pointed out the resemblance between Michelle and this online foot fetish star. As turns out, they share a lot of traits in common.

These two ladies have nearly identical heights. In a profile for "ihaveprettyfeet" found on a couples' swingers site, the listed birthdays of the pair match up with Rex and Michelle. The location of that couple is Ellicott City, Maryland, which is the place Rex and Michelle lived with their children while he was an assistant coach for the Ravens. And in one of the videos, a male voice is heard that sounds very much like Rex.

Could Michelle (and/or Rex) have a foot fetish? It looks possible, so maybe or maybe not. But if they do, they're not the only two people on the planet to have a kinky affinity for feet.

YourTango Expert and sex therapist Dr. Erica Goodstone says that feet are among the most common of fetishes. She mentions a study in 2006 where AOL tracked search terms with the word "fetish" involved. They found that the most common "fetish" searched for was feet.

Dr. Goodstone also notes a study conducted in 2007 at the University of Bologna that examined 381 Internet discussions about fetishes. The greatest number of discussions focused on body parts, and the body part that showed up the most was feet.

Maybe Rex and Michelle like feet. It wouldn't be unheard of. But we figured we would ask for clarification; what is a foot fetish exactly? Our expert breaks it down.

"Men or women with a true foot fetish usually cannot become aroused without totally focusing on the partner's feet," says Dr. Goodstone. "Men, or women, with a partialism toward feet may enjoy their partner wearing high heels, having toes that appear perfectly lined up, or some other aspect that they prefer, but they can also become aroused by the touch and other aspects of a partner's appearance or presence." 

So foot fetishism is when someone is sexually aroused by feet alone. Foot partialism is when a person simply finds feet attractive. How common is an actual foot fetish, though? Dr. Goodstone says that, in her experience, it isn't all that prevalent.

"To put things into perspective, as a practicing sex therapist and marriage counselor for more than 25 years, I have worked with only two men who had real foot fetishes," says Dr. Goodstone. "There has to be a distinction made between 'partialism,'  a focus on one body part that is found to be most arousing versus 'fetishism,' a focus on one body part that is often the only means of sexual arousal. There do not appear to be valid statistics on the prevalence of foot fetishes, but in my working experience the prevalence is quite low.  Of course, this could mean that some people with extreme foot fetishes have not sought therapy because their fetish does not appear to harm anyone and they do not feel a need or desire to change."

So what about Rex and Michelle? No one knows for sure if they have foot fetishes, and it probably doesn't matter. Who are we to judge? But if you must speculate, now you know the basics and we'll let you decide for yourself.