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Foot Fetish WikiRefence: Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_fetishism (full article and notes)
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This article is about a paraphilia. For the music album, see Foot Fetish.
The Countess with the whip. Illustration by Martin van maele.Foot fetishism, foot partialism, foot worship, or podophilia is a pronounced sexual interest in feet. It is the most common form of sexual preference for otherwise non-sexual objects or body parts. Depending on the circumstances in which it is performed, it can also be considered a moderate form of erotic humiliation.
2.1 Relative frequency
2.2 Relationships to health and disease
3 See also
Foot fetish has been defined as a pronounced sexual interest in the lower limb or anything that covers portions of them. Freud considered foot binding as a form of fetishism. For a foot fetishist, points of attraction include the shape and size of the foot and toes, treatments eg: french pedicure, state of dress (i.e., barefoot or clad in socks or nylons), odor, and any form of sensory interaction.
Aretifism is a sexual attraction to people who are without footwear, rather than feet.
 Relative frequency
In order to estimate the relative frequency of fetishes in a large sample of individuals (estimated sample size of 5000), researchers at the University of Bologna examined 381 discussion groups on the Internet. The prevalences shown for different fetishes were estimated based on (a) the number of groups devoted to the category, (b) the number of individuals participating in the groups and (c) the number of messages exchanged. The results from the survey concluded that the sexual preferences for body parts or features, and for objects usually associated with the body were most common (33% and 30% respectively). The "most common target of preferences" for the body parts were feet and toes at 47%. For objects usually associated with the body; shoes, boots and other footwear were recorded at 64% of the subsequent 30%.
In August 2006, the ISP AOL released a database of the search terms submitted by their subscribers. In ranking only those phrases that included the word "fetish", it was found that the most common search was for feet.
 Relationships to health and disease
Researchers have hypothesized that foot fetishism increases as a response to epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases. In one study, the increased interest in feet as sexual objects was observed during the syphilis epidemics of the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe. In another study, the frequency of foot-fetish depictions in pornographic literature was measured over a 30 year interval. An exponential increase was noted during the period of the current AIDS epidemic[dubious – discuss]. 
See also: Sexual fetishism#Psychological origins and development
Neurologist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran proposed that foot fetishism is caused by the feet and the genitals occupying adjacent areas of the somatosensory cortex, possibly entailing some neural crosstalk between the two.