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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Foot Rubbing: Why Can't a Man Have Sexy Feet?

Have you ever considered the significance of the human foot?

As we often do, the other evening, my wife and I were lying on opposite ends of the couch engaged in rubbing each others bare feet. Oh, I know, many of you are going to now say "gross" and "how weird," but we have found that this little shared pleasure costs nothing and is an excellent way to relieve stress while enjoying the added benefits of simple human touch.

Yeah, my wife and I are confessed foot rubbers. We just can't get enough. And, we even encourage other couples to rub, scratch, and massage each others feet. Neither of us knows a thing about reflexology (alternative medicine involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears). Call it kinky, but we just understand the practice feels good.

Now, I don't think enjoying foot rubbing sessions necessarily means I have a foot fetish. I know I don't worship the human foot or get aroused by merely observing a woman's feet. However, I do think feet are a part of the body that can increase desire for tactual and sexual gratification. After all of "dem bones" do have connections. Remember the lyrics of the old spiritual?

"The toe bone connected
to the foot bone,
and the foot bone connected
to the ankle bone,
and the ankle bone connected
to the leg bone.
and the leg bone connected...."

I think you see my point about the lengths of natural progression without further illustration.

Therefore, let me get back to our foot rubbing session on the evening to which I earlier made reference. The session that night made me consider something I have never given much thought. Why do so many men consider a woman's foot and even her footwear, such as high heels, to be so attractive while few women (And, I am making an assumption with the "few" reference.) feel a similar attraction to a man's foot and his choice of footwear?

Oh boy, I guess most of you have quit reading by now. You have assured yourself that this writer is not only a weirdo but also a freak who goes about his days thinking about rubbing body parts and inducing sex. I really don't let sexy feet occupy my mind that often, but I do enjoy rubbing my wife's feet.

Yet, I can see how you foot-rubbing virgins, especially you girls, could deny having any pleasant feelings towards rubbing a person's feet – their lowly, ugly, possibly stinky feet. But, it does feel so good to engage in this pleasure. And, I venture to say more of you than would publicly admit do rub your lover's feet. So, please, don't knock it unless you have tried it, as the old saying goes. I suggest you wash up and have at it – and, guys, you can even do this while watching the ballgame.

What Is It About Feet And Comfort?

The feet bear the weight of your entire body when you are up. You walk, run and stand on them without giving them much thought unless they hurt. But when your tootsies do ache, you are so miserable. A little human touch can do wonders for your feet and even for your overall health. Touch can definitely relieve the pain and stress of a hard day.

Health professionals familiar with Eastern medicine and reflexology believe there are links between feet and other body parts. These doctors believe applying pressure to these points on the feet can change the health throughout your entire body. In addition to connections to other parts of the body, there is the fact that when your feet hurt, you feel the motivation to do less. Common sense dictates inactivity can affect your health in very negative ways.

Here is a source from Chinese history that confirms the great value of reflexology. Su Dongpo (1037-1101) of the Song Dynasty was not only a great scholar but also a researcher on ways to keep fit. He told his contemporaries that one measure for keeping fit was rubbing the arches of the feet.

Su Dongpo said:

"I have paid great attention to methods of keeping fit. I choose easy ones to practice and do them regularly. Since I am now idle, I use the time to do research, and have realized that attaining longevity is not unfounded. In the beginning I could not see the result. After three months of practice, however, I found its effect was a hundred times better than taking medicine. Its miraculous effect I cannot describe in languages.”

The “Sexy” Foot

The human foot is pretty remarkable if you think about it. According to anthropologists, its unique features – namely the heel, the inside arch, and the big toe – have made upright posture possible. Standing on two feet allowed hands to develop and some authorities consider this was the reason why the human brain became more complex.

The expansion and elaboration of the brain certainly followed the development of the foot by several million years. Bipedal stance has influenced the anatomical development of buttocks and bosoms; legs and thighs; as well as tummies and hips So, the foot has played a major role in the evolution and development of important erogenous features of the human body.

What about reflexology and the erogenous feet? You can even buy “sexy love sox” by Michelle Ebbin on Amazon for a mere $14.95 that claim “to show you exactly where to press on the foot to stimulate the body’s erogenous zones, boost sex drive, and improve sexual performance.”

(Click for bigger image.)

And, what about sensual feet and brain research? Every neuroscience undergraduate learns about the Penfield map, a correspondence between locations on the stripe across the middle of the top of the brain (somatosensory cortex) to a sequence of locations on the body.

Wilder Penfield, twentieth century neurosurgeon, identified the parts of the brain responsible for orgasmic activity, lay in close juxtaposition to the section responsible for feet, thereby establishing a strong relationship to support claims of erotic association. That's right, the feet may be considered “sexy” by brain association and proximity.

Penfield found this odd aspect of the map is its placement of the human genitals right next to the feet. This is believed to account for the bizarre phenomenon that people with amputated feet feel orgasms in their phantom foot. It may also lie behind foot fetishes.

("Evolution Of Footwear,"

In addition, anatomically, the foot is one of the most innervated parts of the body and as tactile as the hands. Is it no surprise, therefore, that so many people enjoy the sensual aspects of the feet in both pain and pleasure? Body shape itself has been largely determined by bi-pedalism.

Some evolutionary psychologists like Jeremy Atkinson and Michelle Rowe at the University at Albany, New York, have done studies that show men were three-and-a-half times as likely to pick unusually short-footed morph images of women as more attractive than unusually large-footed morph images of women, and almost 10 times as likely to say the smaller feet were more feminine.
Atkinson thinks men find these features attractive because they serve as markers of a healthy childhood. Biologists know that stress and poor nutrition during foetal development and puberty can affect sex hormone levels and cause earlier puberty.
Things like toe rings, ankle bracelets, and bare minimum shoes bring a woman's foot closer to the eye of men for more scrutiny. Many men think these accessories help make women's feet sexier.

The "Sexy" High Heel

Then, there is this entire debate about shoes and why men feel attracted to women wearing sexy footwear. Shoes in general have typically served as markers of gender, class, race, and ethnicity – both the foot and the shoe have been imbued with powerful phallic and fertility symbols as evidenced in the contemporary practice of tying shoes to a newlywed couple’s car.

Over the course of history, women's shoes have become associated with sex appeal and eroticism. Both women and men in modern times often consider the shoes of females to be a very sensual accessory. This view has not always been a positive one though.

Much of the male “Ooh! la la!” for women's shoes heightened over the development of high heels. No other shoe has gestured toward leisure, sexuality, and sophistication as much as the high-heeled shoe. Seemingly full of contradiction, heels paradoxically inhibit movement in order to increase it, at least in appearance.

Yet, throughout history, heels have served many functions and symbolized many different things. For example, in ancient Egypt, both upper-class males and females wore heels, probably for ceremonial purposes. Egyptian butchers also wore heels, to help them walk above the blood of dead beasts -- very practical, at least.

In ancient Greece and Rome, platform sandals called kothorni, and later known as buskins in the Renaissance, were shoes with high wood or cork soles that were popular particularly among actors who would wear shoes of different heights while onstage to indicate varying social status or importance of characters.

You don't see much sexual reference about heels thus far? Well, upon closer inspection, I found that female prostitutes in ancient Rome, where the sex trade was legal, were also readily identified by their high heels. Why? Procurers kept girls whom they bought as slaves for this profitable business. Roman historian Senaca is quoted as saying this about a prostitute's dress while engaged in the trade: "You stood with the harlots, you stood decked out to please the public, wearing the costume the pimp had furnished you.” (Seneca, Controv. I, 2.) Possibly high heels merely served as a highly visible warning or as a signpost to consumers that a woman was a prostitute.

Over time, platform shoes or high heels became an accepted, popular status symbol for all women. In the 15th century, chopines (platforms) were created in Turkey and became popular throughout Europe until the mid-17th century. The Chopines, designed with cork or wood stacked as the heel, could be 7 to 30 inches high. Women wearing these 30 inch heels had to use canes or rely upon the help of servants to walk.

Venetian ladies often wore these outrageously high chopines, and one theory is that the shoes were invented by husbands who hoped the cumbersome movement that entailed would make illicit liaisons difficult. These shoes, consequently, became associated with issues of domination and submission much like the practice of foot binding and the lotus shoes of ancient Chinese dynasties.

And, indeed, Chinese concubines and Turkish odalisques (female slaves or concubines in a harem) wore high shoes, prompting scholars to speculate that heels were used not only for aesthetic reasons but also to prevent women from escaping the harem.

The high heel has been an object in the central battleground of the politics of the modern American woman ever since the emergence of the women's liberation movement of the 1970s. Many feminists rejected them as a symbol of constricting standards of female beauty created for subordination and objectifying of women. High heels have also been blamed for reducing the woman to a sex object by sacrificing practical comfort in favor of an alleged increase in sex appeal.
Is the Foot or the Shoe a Woman's Secret “Sexy” Weapon?
All of this has led to a popular belief about women's feet and their choice of shoes. "The foot is an erotic organ and the shoe is its sexual covering," wrote William A. Rossi, a podiatrist, in The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe. He states, "The shoe is the erotic foot's pimp and procurer." In other words, women know the attractive appeal that shoes have on men, and ladies use them to sell their irresistible feet.

And, of course, with all those digits, toe cleavage, and heaving arches, women's feet are worthy of the affection of adoring men. Yet, not all historians believe the foot is what causes men's heartbeats to quicken and other parts of their body to come to attention.

"Wrong," counters Harold Koda, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. "The shoe isn't the pimp for the foot. It's the other way around. The foot is the pimp for the shoe. It's the shoe that is the erotic object." Cinderella's glass slipper, not her foot, ignited the Prince's ardor. Of course, heels make a woman appear taller and thinner – normal traits of attraction.

Koda cites a super surge in shoe sensuality by relating another chapter in the history of the high heel. The needle-sharp heel called the stiletto, from the Italian word for "dagger," appeared in the postwar years of the early 1950s. After the war and years of Rosie the Riveter masculine dress, fashion turned feminine, and the focus turned to baby making. Technology contributed a steel core allowing for a thin heel that lifted the shoe up like a skyscraper (previous heels, made of wood, could break). The beautiful, dangerous stiletto stepped out. Men everywhere fell immediately in love with the fashion.

Yet, why would women wear such seemingly uncomfortable shoes? Perhaps fashionable women suffer any pains of heels to attract the eyes of men while increasing their libido and presenting the illusion of being coy prey. Standing in heels, a woman presents herself already half-walking while at the same time reducing the length of her step, fostering the illusion of speed while suggesting the promise of an imminent fall. The higher and more unstable the heel, the more clearly these contradictions are expressed.
(David Kunzle, Fashion and Fetishism: Corsets, Tight-Lacing, and Other Forms of Body-Sculpting, 2004)
Physicist/Philosoper Dr. Sascha Vongehr believes he has traced men's obsession over women's feet. He believes human sex always naturally implies submission and domination. A woman in heels is already half conquered, slowed down by her gait in those shoes and all tied down by her “strappy heels.
Vongehr states:
“Obviously, male primates can spread their sperm more effectively by inseminating many easy targets instead of chasing around hard to get alpha females just to be rejected. Especially for males, sex is aggression. Testosterone makes men aggressive. High heels make women walk in a way that stresses or 'pronounces' their hips, but recent results indicate that this is not quite effective as long as the males do not directly see their shoes.
"High heels impair and it simply looks easier to chase a woman wearing heels down -- the male brain understands this. The shoes render the female more vulnerable, an easy and safe target to mate.”
(Sascha Vongehr, “Sexy Blondes Contra Foot Fetish: Spot the Pervert,” Alpha Meme, October 15 2010)
Some health practitioners claim wearing high heels lengthens and tones the legs and the gluteus maximus. And would you believe high heels may improve a woman's sex life? A new study by Dr. Maria Angela Cerruto, a urologist at the University of Verona, Italy, found that the tippy-toe posture of heels can tone a woman's abdomen and pelvic floor.

(Ann Wise, “How High Heels Might Boost Your Sex Life,” ABC News, February 12 2008)
Cerruto found that if they stood with their feet at a 15-degree angle to the ground (the equivalent of a 3-inch heel) the electrical activity in their pelvic muscles was less — indicating the muscles were more relaxed with higher heels, thus improving their strength and ability to contract.
My Take
I could find no good reason why more women do not have sensual reactions to men's feet and sexy thoughts about this part of a man's body. I mean, I assume the foot of a man has the same required erogenous zones and the same physical makeup to stimulate women. Even though all guys understand that men and women do not think alike, their somatosensory cortex is in the same relative position. And, reflexology maps the same foot zones for both sexes.
I can find support for women loving fit men with the following physical traits:
Saucy eyes
Sharply shaped shoulders
Chiseled chest
Bulging biceps
Luscious lips
Tantalizing tongue
Hygienic hands
Honed hips
Awesome abs and powerful pecs
Primped penis (I didn't make this up – “properly groomed groin area” and a “good size”)
Buff butt
Yet, there has really never been a need of acknowledgment of sexy feet for men but from a strict, evolutionary point of view, so some women are said to like men's feet that are broad, strong and pulsed. But, I suspect most ladies view men's feet as dirty, sweaty, smelly extremities with little or no sensual attraction. I think men are getting a bad rap about their tootsies.
Just remember the beginning of this post. Foot rubbing can be good, clean, pleasurable fun. It doesn't cost anything and it takes very little time away from other important activities. We men enjoy foot rubbing as much as you women, and the really great thing about it is that both partners can engage in this activity at the same time. I see nothing degrading or submissive about mutual foot rubbing.
The human foot and ankle contain 26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet.); 33 joints; more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments; and an entire network of blood vessels, nerves, skin, and soft tissue. With all of those parts, the feet of women and men deserve a little attention and pampering, so if you never have enjoyed the benefits of a mutual foot rub, I don't know what you are waiting for. Maybe some women will even grow to appreciate a man's nasty old gunboats.
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