One of the most common fetishes is a foot fetish. That was one of my very first experiences with BDSM before I even became a domme. I knew a writer who would discuss his kinks with me over tea when I was just 20, and he mentioned for as long as he knew, he’d loved feet.
Retrospectively, he linked it to his mom’s friend’s feet. She used to visit and wear heels in the house. He was so little then, so her heels were at his eye level. He learned to associate femininity and eroticism with her feet.
That’s particular to him and everyone has different reasons for liking different things, not to mention, different moments in which it dawned on them why they have a particular fetish. But what I can tell you empirically is that I’ve gotten the most requests for foot worship out of any other fetish. I remember being at the dungeon too and how common it was with other women, especially women who had feet that were “different” in some way, say, extremely small. There was a girl at the dungeon whose feet were size 5 and men would often buy her shoes so they could worship them.
Historically, I’ve hated whenever my feet are worshipped. If you know me, you know that I often run around barefoot and my feet often have bug bites or scars. My toenails are often fucked up because I don’t like getting pedicures. I just don’t like my feet touched that much. When I used to be booked for these sessions (note, I don’t do classic BDSM sessions at all nor cater to fetishes) I’d zone out and let it happen. It never felt great, quite awkward actually, and overall there was something uncomfortable about the experience that was psychological, one I didn’t fully understand until today.
For the past few weeks I’ve had pain in my feet, left foot always. It popped up after I had a deep healing that revolved around ancestry and family. A spontaneous sprained ankle made it so I could hardly walk for a few days, and I pinpointed it to an injury I sustained when i was 5-6 in ballet class. It felt faintly related to my mom as well, I couldn’t fully recall. Sometimes after healing, old injuries pop back up to release the emotional energy and trauma.
Over the course of the next few days I kept noticing how one of the numbest places on my body are my feet. I barely pay attention to them and often wear shoes that hurt. Sometimes my feet bleed and I don’t even notice, I just keep walking. I rarely wear socks (I forget) even in the brutal NY winter, and for as long as I can remember my mom always made an issue out of not wearing socks, because she associated a birth trauma to her having cold feet. Apparently in Chinese medicine, having cold feet really does hurt the body in some way that affects childbirth. I can’t remember exactly, but for my mom it was a deep pain so that’s why she monitored me so closely with regards to keeping my feet warm.
Anyway, I didn’t think that was the FULL reason for why I dissociate from my feet so much. Yes I have a tendency to avoid all the things my mom nagged me about, but it felt far deeper. A few days ago I twisted my ankle when I wasn’t paying attention going down the stairs. Again, I sprained my left foot and ankle. With the rush of pain, I also felt a deep emotional pain too that was released. There’s stuck energy in my foot- where was it coming from?
Relating to the body in metaphysics and healing, it is said that our bodies encode signals in various areas. It’s informational to tap into where something hurts, on what side it hurts, to glean the bigger message. Feet of course, relate closely to the root chakra, relate to grounding, relate to your connectedness with the physical world. WIthout your feet you can’t walk, you don’t have ground to stand on. This is therefore connected to family, to ancestry. The left side is the feminine, so sometimes maternal energies can be buried on this side, and it is also reflective of the past.
What dawned on me was: my grandma had her feet bound. She used to show me her deformed, worn feet and talk about how they were bandaged. I remember how lopsided she looked, with her body so big, tapering at such small feet that could barely hold her weight, how her gait was affected and she limped. I knew that my great grandmothers had their feet bound in ways that were much more tragic, often having their feet and toes ritualistically broken and manipulated from the time they were toddlers. Walking in pain was necessary, and not only necessary, but an indication of worth. The smaller your feet were, the more “valuable” they were. I remembered the extensive history of bound feet in China. Women’s mobility was completely hindered to be more attractive. They literally couldn’t walk by themselves sometimes, and lived in awful amounts of pain. It became part of life. Part of survival (if you had pretty bound feet it gave you a better chance to be married off to a better family- that’s really one of the only things that ensured a better future for women, so it was often a desperate element) and part of my culture’s collective female wound. As we come to find in healing, much of what we heal ourselves from are subconscious, genealogical, cellular. There was somewhere subconscious in which I too, thought that walking around with pain was normal and it had not yet entered my consciousness as to why. The oppression I felt in uncomfortable shoes felt tolerable, almost expected.
Not to mention, these feet were fetishized. Husbands would use bound feet to masturbate. They became an object, a tool, for male pleasure. It became a symbol of female oppression and objectification. The message was, the female body suffers pain for male pleasure (which is too, a larger conditioning I struggled with and didn’t understand why I had it at all, when I was young). Again, I’m sure that’s subconsciously a core part of my discomfort with my feet being fetishized or worshipped. It oddly felt disempowering, and a regression.
Today I realize I don’t have to have my feet “bound” in any way, literal or figurative. I can stand on my own two feet and walk my own walk. I choose to be aware of all these components that have restricted any of my ancestors and recognize that it stops with me.