Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 611–626 | Cite as

Homosexual foot fetishism

  • Martin S. Weinberg
  • Colin J. Williams
  • Cassandra Calhan


262 respondents from an organization for homosexual foot fetishists provide information from a broader sample than clinical cases and allow examination of the effects of sexual preference on fetishism. Data show a wide range of feet/footwear objects to be arousing. Such interests were often associated with particular types of men, yet interests were subject to change over time. Fetishistic arousal rested on both sensual and symbolic aspects of the fetish. Symbolically, it was the theme of “masculinity” that made male feet/footwear arousing, showing parallels to “femininity” evoked by female feet/footwear for male heterosexual fetishists. For many of the respondents, fetishism did not seem to be a substitute for living persons. Respondents had intimate relationships and were able to incorporate their fetish interests into stable relationships and less intimate ones. Considerable involvement in sadomasochistic practices was also found as was involvement in the gay world. Finally, nothing about a fetishistic interest seemed to preclude the development of subcultural forms around the practice.

Key words

fetishism homosexuality sexual relationships sadomasochism subcultures 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin S. Weinberg
    • 1
  • Colin J. Williams
    • 2
  • Cassandra Calhan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyIndiana University-Purdue University at IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA

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