Columns Dec 10, 2009 at 4:00 am

Cold Feet


"blah-de-nine-iron-blah" Ha-de-18-holes-Ha. Totally agree with #46.
Not everybody is wired to cheat. I'm not. I love my husband and have no real sexual interest in anyone else.
Poo-eating dog-fuckers?

Do you people read Shortpacked?
Foot fetishism is frequently not just about the feet. Maybe she's uncomfortable with the power dynamic aspect of it? I've always tried to be GGG, though I do have limits. I figure if someone needs something I can't give, we can part ways and find a better match. In relationships where the kinks involved power stuff, though, like foot fetishism or bondage, I found there were other problems. In one instance, he couldn't keep the power stuff in the bedroom and it turned into an unhealthy (abusive?) relationship. In the other, as the relationship waned, he grew sexually selfish and uninterested in sex that didn't fulfill his fetishes and desires. This is not because of the fetishes, and I recognize that, but she might not. Maybe she's tried it and it didn't work out, like others have said, or maybe she knows someone or read about someone who tried it and it went badly, and she said, "That'll never happen to me--I'll make sure of it." Who knows? Ultimately, Dan is right. Communication is key, but if it's something you need, and something she can't give, it's time to move on.

I am also inclined towards monogamy. I've never once been tempted to cheat. Ever. I've been dating for only nine years, so maybe that will change some day, but I figure if I was going to be tempted, I'd have been tempted by now. This is not due to lack of sex drive, or because other people aren't attractive. I simply have no desire to have sex with anyone else. At all. I don't expect that from my partners, but I do expect honesty and monogamy. I know that's hard to find, but I'll keep looking until I do.
I, for one, do not cheat. It makes me feel like a piece of shit to lie to my wife, either of my girlfriends, or any of the occasional hook-ups that come my way. Plus, I just don't have time for it. Some amazing things can happen if people are open to being caring, honest, and loving. Difficult? Yes. Worth it? Yes!

Also I believe that "natural" in the sense of the cheating/multiple partners discussion could also be "pervasive" or "nearly universal". Semantics do not change facts (unless you are in the Grand Old Party, then they dictate reality).
And...Holy Shit! Thanks to Dan for bringing the Christian Side Hug to my attention. I just watched the video. I am guessing somehow that this is not a joke...It looks just delusional enough to be Xtian rap. Did Jesus CSH, yo?
Power stuff in having my toes licked, sucked and gently bitten until I orgasm ? I don't get it.

How can there be a power dynamic in asking to have those acts happen on my clean feet, when it's vanilla if it happens on my pussy ? I'm not tying my partner or anything. He's not a foot fetishist, I suppose I am, right ?
If the girlfriend who did not like the foot fetish worked it right, she might start to like it.

"Sure, you can massage my feet, after a full body massage!"

"Sure, you can massage my feet, just do the dishes first!"

"Sure, you can play with my feet, right after you put those new pumps you bought me on them!"

I get no sexual pleasure from having my feet played with, but damn if it doesn't just feel good and relaxing. I would love to find a partner into a foot fetish.
Agree with 96. If truly consenting adults want to do it, it doesn't involve non-adults, or deceit, coercion, yada yada yada, who are we to pronounce on what's natural? Like anyone really knows what that is. And spare me the Wild Kingdom logic, while you're at it. I don't give a rat's ass what rats do with their asses. Why anyone thinks that seriously comes to bear, pardon the expression, on what human beings choose to do is another reason to sincerely believe in the dumbing-down of America.

Breaking free of fascist thinking about sexuality doesn't count for much if you then turn around and become fascist about what you've decided is "normal." This is includes monogamous behavior and, as 96 points out, the fact that a lot of people's lives don't revolve around sex. Low libidos are normal, too, and they don't imply anything about the person any more than other manifestations of sexuality.
I would ask the chick with the foot fetish BF just what it is she finds so horrible.

When I was younger and uneducated about such things, I thought it would be disgusting to indulge a fetish because I assumed it would only be about the fetish itself and no longer be about me or us.

I have learned it doesn't have to be that way. It can just mean that there is an extra erogenous zone to play in.
Rule #1 of ultimatums: you have to mean it. You'd have to seriously rather not be with your gf than go without the fetish. Its also quite likely that while she might have done it in order to make her wonderful mate happy, she wouldn't do it for someone who holds the relationship hostage. Someone like that isn't as worth making compromises for, in a lot of people's views. But I would bet after 4 years he's tried the "can't you just do it for me" approach and it hasn't worked, so its probably time.

I also wish Dan would stop using science that doesn't exist to prop up his views. "Monogamy isn't natural" is so much bogosity I lose a lot of respect for anything Dan says. I have no respect anti-gayers who say 'x isn't natural because they say so', for the same reason, they're talking completely out of their ass just to try and justify something.
#96: "I'm no prude." Maybe you're an exception, but every person who has ever felt the need to say this throughout human history has, in fact, been a prude.

"On another note... I think the twin conceits of 'natural' and 'unnatural' are not particularly applicable to beings that have transcended, EVOLVED, as far as humans have beyond the basic life model of stay-alive-and-reproduce." Any species that "evolved" beyond staying alive and reproducing would swiftly die out. Also, every other species on earth today has had exactly as long to reproduce as we have.

Worth mentioning, because the (meaningless and un-biological) idea that humans are "more evolved" than any other species is often behind the notion that monogamy should come easy to us.
I dated a guy with a foot fetish for a year and a half, and we broke up for reasons completely unrelated to sex. I was not into feet at all, but as long as he tried not to tickle them we were fine. Having my toes sucked did nothing, just felt wet and kinda gross, and then they got cold once the saliva started drying. Having a dick smashed between my insteps didn't hit my hot spots but then, I didn't do it for me. I had no problem with the foot thing and I'm still convinced that the reason our sex life, at least the parts that did hit my hot spots, was the best of my life was because he was getting what he needed too. I did all sorts of things in that relationship that I would never bring up first, and I assume he did too. Nothing objectionable, just nothing that turns me on. Being GGG is not hard unless they want something you feel actively uncomfortable with. If my husband revealed to me that he had an unlubricated anal sex fetish, I might have to argue against that one. But foot rubs, instep fucking, and toe sucking? Mild stuff. Plus it helped me with the guilt I tend to have during oral sex. I always feel like I take too long and am wasting the other person's time. But with a foot fetish partner, your toes can rub on his cock while he goes down on you, so it's reciprocating and not as "selfish". But then, that only helps with my hang up.
I agree that the foot fetish GF should probably at least be willing to try, but I wonder what else there is to the story that's missing. I know if I was dating a girl that was interested into that, I wouldn't want it. For one, it doesn't really do anything for me (though I'm willing to indulge in things that doesn't do much for me), and two, I'd probably end up kicking her in the face because my feet are very fucking ticklish. Safety first. To say she's selfish off the bat without knowing anymore is jumping the gun a bit.
@98, there's a difference between monogamy and a species mating for life. If the human species mated for life in the same sense that some species do, we'd never feel attracted to anyone but the one we lost our virginity to. Species that mate for life really do mate for life. No step parents or break ups. One partner ever, species wide. The fact that we can consciously choose to immitate that behavior does not classify us as a species that mates for life. My great grandmother remarried after my great grandfather died. She mated for their lives, but not for here. Get it?
SFF, 23 is young to be settling down with and settling for a person who doesn't share your tastes. You would always wonder how it could and should have been different.
For those questioning the possibity of a power dynamic being the problem, you've got it reversed. It's not "I want to worship your feet because I'm in charge" -- it's her being placed on top, and she may not want to be there.
Helgaleena has happy feet now that she has quit neglecting them in order to have 'kissable toes'... just saying. try our flavor
Two quick points - anal sex isn't a "fetish". Look up the word.

And the other - it's kind of condescending to call someone's foot fetish "tame", "boring", "no big deal", etc. I dated a guy with a foot fetish and we were together for a *long* time before he "came out" about it. Each relationship he enters is at risk with this revelation of kink, just like any other kink.
#35, love the name! I agree 100% with you comments, why the double standard? Makes my blood boil!

As far as monogamy is concerned, every individual is oh, I don't know individual!

Dan, thanks for the thought provoking columns, my life broadened considerably when I found you!
#35, love the name! I agree 100% with you comments, why the double standard? Makes my blood boil!

As far as monogamy is concerned, every individual is oh, I don't know individual!

Dan, thanks for the thought provoking column, my life broadened considerably when I found you!
@35 - Thank you! You are right on the money.
I think the world is completely insane and brainwashed sometimes. I see this Tiger Woods thing on the news for the first time at work and I say, "wait--she beat the crap out of him with a golf club?" and the hens around the table are saying he "deserved it." I make the point that beating someone so that he will want to be faithful to you is batshit insane, and the hens tell me "yeah, so he won't do it again."

Uh--yeah. This is the mentality I work with. And apparently, this is the bats;hit sociopathy of some of the people who read the Stranger.

Are you all out there beating the shit out of each other in order to fix your relationships (fetishes aside) and telling yourselves that this is your karmic reward for millenia of sexism? Because I feel totally sorry for you, if this is what your life is like.

Rationality goes along with honesty, and, believe it or not, it works with love MUCH better than some bullshit idea of romance. Having a happy life is the point, sociopaths. Not "winning."
As much as I love Dan, I'm a little sick of this "everyone must accept non-monogamy" line I keep hearing. Just because one partner wants sex more often (or 'a little variety') than the other does not mean every partner should willingly accept that.

There are a lot of issues with non-monogamy that I would not want in a relationship. One, time- the time a man spent looking for new sex partners is time he wouldn't be spending with me, his friends, his job, or his hobbies. There's a limited number of hours in the day. Two, disease- condoms simply do not cover all diseases (plus they break, so if there's a man and woman involved, there is a risk of pregnancy), and multiple sex partners mean multiple tests and the possibility of disease. Third, the actual breakup of the relationship caused by new sex partners. It's not just about "The One" or "endless love".

I know people who make non-monogamy work. And that's great for them. But it's not for me, and people should not be pressured into accepting it because their partner is somehow entitled to fuck other people. Like Dan said, a foot fetish is just a small private thing, so why not just indulge your partner if you love them- but I feel non-monogamy is a much bigger deal than a foot fetish.
I have not seen a post on monogamy that deals with the emotional issue. We don't know if animals have the same emotions as us so it's not a very relevant comparison. My husband after 15 years wants to be with other woman, have "variety". Knowing him as well as I do, I know that he would never be able to have sex without the risk of being emotionally involved. That's the problem, you risk connecting with another person and you have a wife and kids at home counting on you to be there. Even if everyone agrees, how do you garantee you won't fall in love?
SFF should find a person that appreciates his fetish. That would have been me 20 years ago. If she isn't into it now, trust me it only gets worse. I can't even get the hubby to rub my feet let alone do anything kinky with them. Run and find your "soul" mate.
Why is everyone more interested in Mr. Woods' apparently excessive dance card than in Mrs. Woods having apparently committed assault with a deadly weapon?

Ok- He cheated and that sucks, that hurts- leave him, forgive him,stay and make him pay for his errors for the rest of his days, whatever but NOTHING justifies assaulting your partner.
@16 FTW!
I love that Dan is working in a reference to the "Christian side hug", and I appreciate that he's including it in a list of scary kinks like choking and shit. I still laugh when thinking about that vid put up here on Slog a week (or two?) ago.
Dan, you have run "foot fetish not being indulged" complaints more than once, and it's always a guy with the fetish complaining. You always come down like the proverbial ton on the partner. You might want to ask a question, though. Is the man treating his partner like a pair of feet that happen to have a girl attached? If she does indulge him, does he immediately obsess and demand more? I was once in this situation and I figured, well, what the hell, it's harmless and SHAZAM, there went the sex life into nothing but feet. YAWN. When someone tells you their partner's being completely, incomprehensibly unreasonable, please remember it takes two to tango, and there's a good chance the unself-aware letter writer is dancing hard as well. I doubt it was "no, not feet, not ever" straight out of the box, it probably became "no more feet, no way, you haven't gone down on me in six months!"

HNM, not getting to completely indulge your sex drive is the price you pay for a solid relationship, OK? It's not some major existential conflict that your soul can't abide; it's something most people in committed relationships live with every day. You'll survive, trust me. A solid relationship is a hell of a lot harder to find than sex. If you can't, please end your relationship with what sounds like a jewel of a girl so some decent guy who understands reality and commitment can treat her right.
I gotta put this out there - feet gross me the fuck OUT! anybody's feet. I am morally opposed to sandals - I don't wanna see everybody's skanky toes! and pedicures?? GAH! the thought of some stranger missing with my feet in a bowl of hot water that have had other nasty feet in it - not to mention attacking my toes with used instruments - makes me want to HURL. And I am fiendishly ticklish to boot, so it wouldn't work. I'd consider myself GGG, but feet are a no-go for me. (and toe sucking/licking? I would NEVER EVER kiss that person again!)

*shudders indelicately*

I think I'd say find some female friend of ours, give her a pedi monthly, and then come home and do ME all night. :)
Oh the poor abused and persecuted monogamous. poor people, you're such a fucking abused minority. Shut the fuck up and read Dear Amy if Dan pisses you off so much, but the empirical evidence and logic are really on Dan's side on this one. Get over it already you fucking whiners.
Has SFF talked to his girlfriend about why she won't indulge his fetish? She may be a selfish bitch, or she may have a good reason. I'm pretty open to a range of sexual activities, but one thing I cannot stand to have fingers stuck in my vagina. Anywhere else, fine, but not there. I had some bad experiences in the gynecologist's office when trying to get pelvic pain treated, and since then, the thought of fingers in my vagina freaks me out. I'm anxious just thinking about it while writing this. SFF needs to make sure his girlfriend doesn't have a good reason for refusing to indulge his fetish- maybe she's had bad experiences in the past. As Dan has pointed out, if you can't talk to someone about sex, you shouldn't be having it.
Shout out @68 Lucas!@!@!@!

Thank you @105. BTW @108, Zukomi said "Foot fetishism is frequently not just about the feet," not "is NEVER just about the feet." It sounded like Zukomi's experience. If your experience was different, @108, and it worked for you, then sweet. Thanks @118; this has more often been my experience.

@128: COMPLETELY. America is F@$K'D UP. Glorify violence, yet obsess about repressed sexual fantasies...We can do better.
BTW yes Happy Hannukah, folks. And best of luck avoiding America's Consumerist Holiday. Go have yourselves some nice, juicy full-frontal (hugs).
Savage means that "cheating is natural to HIM",is what he means;and that it's difficult for HIM not to cheat.People are always talking about themselves,personally,not anyone else.
The most sensitive part of a woman's body is her feet.Foot massages by the opposite sex are extremely sexually arousing.-or they can be.And very pleasurable,relaxing.Just a thought;maybe his girlfriend is afraid to "let go",relax,or feel that much sensation.Or,prudish.("No,I don't believe in that!")
This column is supposed to be "Savage Love"but it usually ends up being about"Savage Sex".Nothing wrong with people liking sex,but,to listen to S.,sometimes,there is nothing else BUT SEX in a relationship,and the big goal is to satisfy that,even if it hurts your loving partner.The problem with cheating,is,once you start,you might fall in love with the new person,and the partner gets kicked to the curb,along with the partnership.Have we learned anything from watching politicians cheat on their wives,in front of the whole country?Most wives would like to NOT KNOW,if the old man cheats once,on the side,cause they need to save face.
The foot fetish thing: the girlfriend clearly finds it a turn off, and quite possibly will lose respect/sexual feelings towards the boyfriend if he insists on indulging it. I know I would be totally, permanently turned off a guy who revealed he was into adult diapers for example. Unfair? Maybe. But undeniable. Feet I haven't considered. But honestly, yes, I think I'd lose respect for someone who needed to fetishise something like a foot. Or a shoe. Or anything else that isn't more specifically a sexual organ. Breasts/legs/genitals/curves - fine. But not feet.

At any rate, clearly this couple is not really compatible long term. Not because he has a fetish, but because of this: "I'm at a stage in my sexual growth where I need to experience my fetish."

What a whingey, indulgent, self-help piece of crap. Who here went through a "process" of "sexual growth"? Most of us lost our virginity, went through a few partners, maybe learned a few tricks along the way. That's it. It just happens. "I'm a at stage..." etc sounds like frankly he's looking for ways to become more hardcore in his fetishes.

And Charlie: no one could have put it better than you. Monogamy is a valid choice. It's also to some extent a sacrifice of thrills, adventure, and sexual variety. Not a big sacrifice though, assuming you and your partner are sexually imaginative and generous. But what you gain, in terms of commitment and intimacy with a long-term partner, is worth that sacrifice.

The Tiger thing? There were two issues here. Either a guy genuinely falls in love with another woman, can't bear to leave his wife, and has a long-term affair/"second wife" or mistress French-style. Or a guy has a big libido and ego and feeds it with a long string of lapdancers and strippers and party girls. What goes on tour stays on tour. But it didn't with Tiger, did it? He enjoyed lengthy relationships and relationship intimacy with at least a dozen different women. It was far more than just sex and a high libido. No wonder his wife is devastated.
I believe Dan's advice was accurate about SFF and his foot fetish. If his fantasies aren't fulfilled, he will become a cpos. It would only be his fault is he didn't do something about it before it made him become a cpos. I have a PhD in human psychology and I agree with his response. I enjoy how blunt this guy is! I really enjoy your column Dan Savage.
I have a question for those of you who successfully manage non-monogamy: assume you have the "one relationship partner, many sex partners" model going on. What happens if your relationship partner gets emotionally hurt by one of his or her lovers on the side? I know that relationship isn't supposed to have the emotional connection yours does, but getting your feelings hurt - maybe just a little - can be a hazard of even the most casual sexual relationships. So, do you end up having to comfort your partner when he or she gets dumped on? Or at least having to put up with a sulky mood until your partner gets over it? Or do you expect him or her to hide the feelings?

This is an honest question, no kind of judgement. I don't know how this works for people and I'm just curious.
Tiger Woods's wife didn't actually go after him with a nine iron. She was trying to help him get out of the car. "Wife beats husband with golf club" makes a funnier SNL sketch and late-night topten than "Wife pauses in middle of spouse fight to help spouse exit ruined vehicle," but in this case it's had the side effect of completely misinforming the public if even writers like Mr. Savage think the story is real.

Yes, it is messed-up for the media to condone spousal abuse, regardless of the gender of the abusing spouse, but what we should be wondering about is why we're reacting to something that DIDN'T HAPPEN.
I've always thought saying monogamy wasn't natural was just an excuse by people trying to get out of trouble. It really is simple if you want to have more than one partner at a time don't get married.
Every open relationship I've ever known involved one person who was happy to have it all ( dedicated mate/the chance to date) and another person or two who were going along with it but really not the least bit happy with it. (And the former was invariably a pretty selfish a-hole). Ergo I can't help thinking about it as something that sounds great in theory but most of the time, in actual practice, you probably can't really have the best of both worlds. The vigorously nonmonogamous still want the kind of deep relationship that comes with exclusivity; the deeply attached monogamous still want variety. But hell, isn't that the way most things in life are? Most people can't manage to have millions of dollars and lots of leisure time, too. If the bucks are that important you, you're going to make sacrifices to get them. If never having to do anything you don't wanna do is that paramount, you're going to have to give up some material comfort. Yeah, you can tweak it somewhat, but most of the time life means making trade-offs and dealing with it.
polyamory/monogamy; foot fetishists; "the smell of anal" ?!?!

@144 - Mike1222, tell yourself what to do. Please don't assume you know what's best for me. My marriage to my husband is none of your business. We are non-monogamous and married and it works for us. Our marriage, our rules.

@142 -Magpie, I can't speak for anyone's relationship but my own. I have had an emotional connection to my other partner(s). Like any relationship, there are emotional risks. Yes, I comforted my sweetie when another person "dumped on" them. Even when I was RELIEVED that the offending person had left the scene. (One person was mean to one of my guys, one person tried to convince one of my guys to leave me - bzzzt, wrong answer!)

@94 - XoXo, ME, TOO! I adore having my feet attended to. Maybe I'll have to audition for that position! :-)

@ 85 - Portland Scribe, oh, I hope you are kidding about "the smell of anal"! If the anus being penetrated smells funky, it's because it's not clean enough. Find yourself Tristan Taormino's book about anal sex for women. (Or contact me to purchase a copy.) There's a LOT to know about anal, it can be way fun!
@27, I agree with you. I'm monogamous, and I prefer things this way simply because there's probably 80% less drama in my life this way. I also have been cheated on in the past, and I don't like the feelings that came with it. I am hardwired to not accept that my mate has chosen to go to someone else for something that I could provide. If I haven't been providing, what are the circumstances? There are always ways around relationship issues if you just talk, and not assume.

Tiger Woods. The only thing that baffles me about that whole situation is why he even bothered to get married in the first place. If you didn't want a monogamous relationship, why did you marry her? Did she pressure you? Make threats? That's no better than cheating, so it seems to me that they could very well both be in the wrong here.

Either way, this whole thing could have been headed off at the pass if they had both been honest with each other, no matter how much it hurts.
SFF's girlfriend is missing an important opportunity. He could be giving her pedicures and foot massages every night. That would make them both feel good. What's wrong with that? It's not like he wants to poo into her mouth or something.
I happen to think some humans are "wired" for monogamy..I was in a 23 yr relationship and never cheated or wanted to (and am as sure as it is humanly possible to be that he never did either). Now that I am "single" for the first time since age 19, (due to his death a few yrs ago) I find I am just not cut out for the whole one-night-stand/casual sex thing...I've had plenty of offers and chances, but it just doesn't do it for me. I realize I HAVE to have some deeper connection to a partner AND while I am totally fine with the idea of an honest, safe, open relationship, I could never go is just against my nature. Guess I am a goose (one of the many species who mate for life...we had a gander when I was a kid whose mate was killed and we tried several times to replace her to no avail..he just ignored or attacked them and lived the rest of his days a mean, bitter old beast!...I hope my fate is more promising, lol)
P.S. the key is in people knowing and being honest about THEIR "wiring"...yes, some of us ARE wired to cheat, and if so, we need to accept that and structure our lives around the fact so as not to leave a swath or destruction in our wake.
@147 but there is something you can't provide a cheating lover - someone else. Every hole might feel the same in the dark, but you aren't a redhead and a brunette and a blonde, you aren't asian and white and black and hispanic and arabic, you aren't tall and short and thin and fat. We don't expect anyone to only have one friend ever - we see those people as weird, in fact. We don't expect people to only eat one type of dinner ever - macaroni for every meal would be boring. Yet society often expects a person to be 100% fulfilled by their spouse/lover/partner/whatever, for as far as 80+ years? Macaroni can be your most favoritestestest meal, but you're probably going to be eyeballing some chicken salad after a few years of just macaroni. It can be the same with people, too, you know.

And for the record, I'm a guy who is utterly grossed out by feet. Toes in particular. I would rather eat shit or fuck a dog than suck on some toes. So all you people talking about how it's not really that bad? For some people, it can be. Ultimatums are BS, but if I were given one I'd have to say goodbye. I can be GGG in almost any area except that, and for all we know, so is this woman. Maybe she'd be willing to spank him, change his diaper, peg him, pick up strange so he can beat it furiously later for him, but this one thing is just over the limit. Everyone's got different limits.
Somehow missed this early, so...

@132, will you marry me? We can happily wear socks together forever. ;)
#17/regina1975: "While I am more than happy to indulge my partner if I can, I am completely, utterly, and 100% repulsed by toe-sucking, toes in private places, heel-licking, you name it. My memories of a previous boyfriend's attempts at this behavior still sicken me (not that I think there is anything wrong with it, on the contrary, I think it's absolutely harmless, but it's just not my thing). While I am perfectly comfortable with clean, well manicured, non-stinky feet in an ordinary context (I even give great foot-rubs), feet completely gross me out in a sexual context."

This attitude -- obviously shared by SFF's girlfriend -- seems to be pretty typical of women. I can guarantee that a MUCH higher percentage of men than women are into feet in a sexual context (and perhaps also in just admiring them aesthetically.) Why what is, I'm not sure, especially since, in most cases, guys probably just want to suck their woman's toes, or lick their woman's feet. They're likely not expecting or demanding reciprocation.

If I was with a woman who had nasty, gnarly toes, I'd probably be turned-off at the idea of sucking them, but why on earth would I be repulsed if she really got off on wanting to suck mine?

I've been intimate with about 30 women. Of those, I wanted to suck the toes of only about half and most of them didn't want me to do it. One of them loved the feeling and really got off on it. Not a single one of those women wanted to suck my toes (and my feet aren't gnarly.)

I think this ties in with what Dan said in a column about ten years ago: "It's a sad fact that men are more likely to be kinky than women." I'd be curious if there's one kink (besides, perhaps, fantasy vampirism) that women are more into than men.

Personally, I think that men have a lower "gross threshold" than women do, and that it's probably due to nature more than nuture. I think that women tend to view things like toe sucking, armpit licking, butt licking, peeing -- and, at the more extreme end, shitting (something that I find disgusting) -- as more gross than men do. Just look at all the videos out there of women peeing, that lots of men are looking at. Are there lots of videos of men peeing that women are looking at? I doubt it.

#132/Snappher: "I gotta put this out there - feet gross me the fuck OUT! anybody's feet."

And I can't help it, that attitude makes me laugh (and 100-to-1 says you're a woman.) I can see being grossed out by the feet of some people, perhaps even most people...but ALL feet? A woman's feet that are nicely-shaped and pedicured are beautiful and sexy. They're just as much of a work of art as a lovely pair of hands. And I'm sure there are gay men that feel the same way about the feet of some men.
#147/Amyranth: "Tiger Woods. The only thing that baffles me about that whole situation is why he even bothered to get married in the first place. If you didn't want a monogamous relationship, why did you marry her?"

My guess is that guys like Tiger want both: they want to be married (for the sake of having kids, for stability, or for some other reasons) but also want to continue to fuck other women. And if a man is honest with a woman and says, "Sweetheart, I really want to marry you but I can't promise to be monogamous" then, in probably 99% of the cases, she'll say "Adios", so of course he's going to promise to be faithful.

I could be (and would willingly be) proven wrong but I think that a study would show that men and women who are very desirable (handsome high-status men and hot sexy women) and are married cheat more than married men and women who are not that desirable. Why? Because I believe that cheating is largely a function of opportunity. Sure, personal ethics plays a role -- I'm sure there are very desirable husbands and wives who get a lot of offers but never give in to temptation, just as there are fat & homely husbands and wives who cheat -- but I think, in general, the more desirable you are and the more temptation you get, the morely likely you are to cave.
#151/falconswan: "And for the record, I'm a guy who is utterly grossed out by feet. Toes in particular. I would rather eat shit or fuck a dog than suck on some toes. So all you people talking about how it's not really that bad? For some people, it can be."

While it's typically women who feel this way about feet, you're evidence that it's not limited to them. You'd really rather eat shit than suck on toes? I highly doubt that, given that choice in reality, you'd choose to eat shit but, assuming you really would, it's fascinating to me that someone can find feet and toes THAT horribly repulsive. Did your grandmother constantly rub her smelly feet in your face when you were young or something? Did a pair of feet steal all your toys? Or kill your pet dog?
#22: No animal is virtually monogomous? Heh ... I always thought the Handed Gibbon Hylobates Lal and Siamang Hylobtes Syndactilus were examples of primates that are monogamous.…

Then you also have animals that are "obligate monogamous", such as beavers. Beavers are monogamous; however, the only reason why they are, is because the cooperation between both parents is necessary for the survival of the offspring. Beavers need a division of labour between mama and papa, in order for their offspring to live (what the hell is a baby beaver called?) Marking their territory, maintaining their dam, raising their young, defending themselves from threats ... it's too much for one beaver to handle, so they mate for life.

I do not know how to end this comment, so I will just point out how pretty gibbons are:…
Sure there are plenty of people who are monogamous and happy to remain so. 90% of them are in a relationship with someone who isn't.
#142, not all of us have the "one romantic partner, many sex partners" thing going on. I have two romantic partners and some other FWBs. We all comfort each other through breakups or other stress. That's what friends (and boyfriends) are for!
Yeah, here's someone else saying let's all respect one another's preferences and not hurl judgmental epithets like 'natural' and 'unnatural' at one another - columnist included.
Not being judgmental, merely some observations.

Civilization also isn't natural or easy, but it is one of things that sets us apart from the animals (human and otherwise). It requires sacrifices and delayed gratification. I'm just trying to put things into perspective. There should be things more important than sex in a person's life. There are angels and demons in everyone, our ability to control the latter is what makes us human beings, not merely homo sapiens.
Okay. So there are a ton of comments, but I wanted to say one thing about the foot fetishist... What if his girlfriend has terribly ticklish feet? I don't know about anyone else, but if someone sucked on my toes, I think I might break their nose with a knee-jerk tickled reaction. If my partner were into it, I'd want to try somehow, but I would still worry about accidentally kicking them in the teeth.

Just a note. I don't know the whole story or anything. But it doesn't seem fair to assume that she's being selfish.
It may be because I've never been in love, but there is no way I would ever let anyone lick/ suck on my feet. I feel like I would vomit right on them. But I can't even look at people wearing sandals, that is how much of an aversion to feet I have.
As a man with a foot fetish (and someone who was unhappily married for years), I have to agree with Dan on this issue. It is as hard wired into what turns me on as my sexual preference. I don't go so far as to need to suck on toes, but my woman having well groomed toes and allowing me to give her foot massages regularly are part of the bill. If a woman didn't think that was acceptable, she just isn't for me. I dated a woman for a short period of time who picked at her toenails. She also had an aversion to hosiery. I realized this was how she was and I couldn't or wouldn't change it, so I dumped her. She just wasn't "the one". Sorry but that's how it is.
Hey Faggot,
Did you mean all humans are wired to cheat or not? Assuming you meant all when you said 'people' followed by 'we':
Monogamy isn't natural... for everyone??? People are wired to cheat? Cite (a study, not People magazine and not yerself) or it doesn't exist.
I agree a vast majority of humanity is constantly looking for a better / newer / hotter mate and that many can claim certain instincts and darwinistic theories propel their libidos to change the sex channel every now & then: HOWEVER, I fully believe that just like some creatures in the animal kingdom mate for life, so do some select portions of humanity.

I have a couple of friends, and they've been models-of-monogamy together for more than 2 decades, now. They set an example for those around them about how love/relationships aren't to be phoned in or taken for granted, but improved upon, worked on, weekly. Yet, they are effortless about it. More than a few of us are fucking envious. They grow constantly and learn incessantly and seem to those of us in awe that they actually fall more in love as the years pass. Fucking saps. Yet, I would wish no two people to have more happiness and great years than them, and I sincerely hope they decide to raise a brood someday of equally well-adjusted, and truthfully loving progressives. SOME people are wired that way, too.
Just like how US Presidents don't HAVE to be dickhead old white men from Mayflower bloodlines, I'm grateful more than just one whitewashed, bitter, bitchy version of 'relationship truth' exists. It gives hope.

People cheat because monogamy isn't natural and we are wired to cheat. That doesn't make cheating right, of course; people should honor their commitments, and blah-de-nine-iron-blah. But we shouldn't encourage people to make commitments we all know they're unlikely to keep. The end.

Oh, and....

Can't SFF get himself a cyberskin foot and everybody's (moderately) happy?? Or take a hotfoam casting of HER foot?

Tiger who?
@63: twat flavored asshats of plegm! Monogamy can be something other than 'refraining' from dropping trou at the slightest flirt or wink: some people are actually distracted by their one true love enough that 'restraint' isn't needed! It's not 'refraining' at all, it's perhaps ignoring. Nor do they "do it for the kids", they simply live a monogamous life. Dare I say, NATURALLY.
Also, your anti- co-dependency subtext of 'worrying about your partner's feelings' isn't always part of monogamy either: some worry about their own... (whaddya call 'em...?) ethics. Pride. Personal choices. Honor. Promises.
Open your mind enough to see that some people in humanity aren't ruled by libido, fear or whim, but by conscious intelligent thought and reason, or gawd forbid, honesty & emotion. Your (and Dan's) "sticking to your choice" line sounds just like the claim many churches make about homosexuality supposedly being a phase/choice, rather than a way some people are wired.
Oh and...
@22, @81, et al: Some facts for you: over 90% of avian species are socially monogamous and 10% are also sexually monogamous. 3% of mammals are sexually monogamous and 15% of primates are socially monogamous. Based on observation as well as genetic testing of offspring. So, while still a minority, monogamy exists quite frequently in the animal world. Add also: British Spiny Seahorse, Fairy-Wren, Corvus corax, and the gay penguins at the Central Park Zoo.
The foot guy should JO to foot porn, and withold sex from the GF and see how she likes being denied satisfaction=D
@126 Oh, I guarantee that I WILL fall in love with other people. Exclusivity of any kind isn't necessarily a facet of romantic love for everyone. I know couples/moresomes who've made polyamory work for decades! Monogamy is a form of commitment, but so is polyamory. I agree that people who attempt to guarantee their partner that they won't fall in love with anyone else they're fucking/dating are probably delusional.

@142 I comfort my partners when they are upset for any reason. It could have to do with work, family, health, or yes, other partners. It's called being supportive and I'm happy to do it!
@140: 'The foot fetish thing: the girlfriend clearly finds it a turn off, and quite possibly will lose respect/sexual feelings towards the boyfriend if he insists on indulging it.' That's a good point. Even a GGG lover who indulges in their partner's fetish may just lose their attraction to them based on it, whether they want to or not (just as the partner can't help but be turned on by it). Which is probably why this dude should find someone into it if it truly makes him happy. Because chances are, as with most hetero relationships, it's easier for hi to get off than for her – hampering that dynamic even further isn't a great idea.
'The foot fetish thing: the girlfriend clearly finds it a turn off, and quite possibly will lose respect/sexual feelings towards the boyfriend if he insists on indulging it.'

Whatever! I'm a guy and I used to find cunnilingus a turn-off and disgusting. I adopted a similar aversion tactic with my girlfriend: I knew she wanted it, but I didn't do it, and she was too polite to push the issue.

Thankfully, I saw the error of my ways and got over it. Otherwise, I'd be going against one of Dan's cardinal rules ("Oral comes standard.")

I think it's less to ask of someone to put their feet in someone's mouth or on someone's genitalia than it is to demand that they put their mouth on someone's junk:

You put your tongue on a guy's dick, the guy puts his tongue on your pussy, what's so bad about putting your foot on his dick? Jeez...

If she has a problem with it, then that deserves to be respected. If she's TOTALLY AND 100% NOT INTO IT, then they should break up. But honestly, I think that this aversion is something that could be worked through if taken slowly.
@143, Tiger Wood's wife didn't chase him with a 9 iron, causing him to wreck his car. What happened was that he crashed in his driveway without any precipitant. All four doors, on both sides, were irretrievably damaged and he was temporarily paralyzed by the low speed crash, so obviously, she had to smash in a window so she could drag the large man out of his vehicle herself, as yanking an incapacitated person out of a vehicle onto the ground is the safest course of action for them. Then, his paralysis resolved, and they went inside. Got it?
My lover has serious stiletto heels & foot fetishes. Doesn't do a thing for me. But he loves it so much that I couldn't possibly say no and it turns him on so much that I reap the rewards.

Having said that, there are a couple of sexual things I absolutely could not do or watch. These are deal-breakers for me and if a lover absolutely has to have these, it can't be with me.
@155......just curious, do you think that being "good looking" gives you the right to be unfaithful because you have more opportunity?
I HATE IT when people reverse gender/race/whatever roles like you can just do that without changing anything important about the situation. (Remember when everyone was saying, "If Sonia Sotamayor had been a white man . . ."? Yeah, that was really stupid.) We don't react in the same way to the wife with the golf club because MEN BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF WOMEN far, far more than the reverse. It is not the same thing when you reverse gender roles in situations related to domestic violence. At all. Was Tiger's life or person ever really in danger? I doubt it. The same is not true for a hypothetical woman in the reverse situation.
I am also a male with a foot fetish and Dan's advice was partially correct: she should go ahead and let him indulge even though it doesn't do anything for her but I also agree with other posters in that if she finds his foot fetish completely disgusting, then they should part ways.

I've known I had this fetish since puberty, which allows me to screen potential mates based on their affinity for letting me indulge. That guy should have known, after one week let alone four years, that she's not into it. He should have moved on then. I've learned this about women and my foot fetish: there are probably 10 women who love getting foot massages, toes sucked, and giving footjobs to every 1 who detest it. When I meet someone and things go serious, I "test the waters" if she lets me go down on her feet and toes. If she recoiles, then it's usually "nice to know ya". You'll always know as soon as you move your hands down to give her a massage. Watch her reaction. Body language speaks the most here. I don't care if she's Brangelina and can suck a grapefruit through a garden hose. No toes, no thanks.

If you're a woman with a man with a foot fetish, but you don't find it disgusting (and at the same time it doesn't get you off) then let him go at it. You can read a magazine or watch TV while you get the best foot massage you've ever had. And let him suck on your toes - I've converted several women from the "I don't care for it" to "must have my toes sucked". My advice: during missionary, as soon as you are about to climax, stick your toes in his mouth and ride the monster wave.
Dear Foot Fetish Guy:

Your girlfriend probably doesn't want you licking her feet because she thinks it's gross. She doesn't feel her feet are attractive, and she doesn't feel that they are clean.

Here's my advice. Buy her a really nice pedicure. Then- run her a nice bubble bath.

Make love right afterward. Tell her her feet look amazing with the polish and that they are so clean and pretty- and you really want to make love to them right now.

Show her how much you love her by kissing her toes. Progress to licking or sucking on them, or whatever you want to do.

Take it slow, so that you don't alarm her. You are basically just getting her to feel comfortable with it.

Take this advice from me, because I am a girl- and I don't find my feet particularly attractive.

Oh- and don't forget the rest of her as well. You should make it a whole-body experience!
On the Tiger Woods/spousal abuse thing...

I see a substantive (and not gender-based) difference between assaulting someone in the context of an ongoing relationship, and assaulting someone in the context of a nasty breakup (even if it is followed by reconciliation).

The former is... perverting the presumed love and trust of a relationship by introducing violence. The second is merely overreacting to whatever stimulus instigated the breakup (usually the abuse-ee being a PoS in some way).

It's a bit like the difference between punching your friend in the stomach, or punching the guy who stole your lunch money in the stomach...
So as usual I had to go look up a term mentioned in one of your columns. "The christian side hug" is quit possibly the most interesting term to date. I had high expiations of something to do with penis to ear penetration. But oh to my surprise what lengths the Conservative Christians will go to, complete with “Rough Rider” rappers and gun shots. I’m just wondering if anyone out there has developed a fetish for it. It would be fitting for such an over-bearing-conservative - Christian "movement" to spark a true kink for such intentional non-touching or hugging as it were. What’s next my conservative Christian Rough Rider rapper friends? My I suggest taking away all forms of physical interaction and insisting on "air interactions" circ Demolition Man staring Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock. Oh wait, those types of interactions don’t work; just like only teaching/preaching abstinence!

Thank God for Dan Savage!

Brandy, stright from the bible belt
Honestly, why do we care about Tiger Woods cheating on his wife? Unless you are his wife, child, relative, close friend, or one of the 13 women who he cheated with, then this doesn't affect your life whatsoever! If he was just another regular Joe that cheated with so many women then the story might've still happened to make the news, but people would have stopped talking about it a long time ago.

Now I'm a man that doesn't think that being monogamous is impossible and we are all capable of being so, but monogomy can eventually become monotonous if we are not willing to try new things(sexual & non). However, if one knows within oneself that he/she can't resist the temptation of cheating on someone they supposedly love then it's best to break things off first.

I'm 23 now, and I was also in a 4 year relationshp that lasted until I was 22. My ex and I had an amazing sex life and we were open with eachother to try different things. However, I often fantasized of doing other things with other women while having sex with her. Although this started to happen more and more, I never cheated on her. Not only do I think it's wrong, but karma's a bitch and I'd be hurt if someone I loved did that to me.

I also happen to like women's feet as long as they're clean, pretty, well manicured, soft and smooth, and don't have a bad odor. I actually grew up thinking I was wierd for having this fetish and afraid to try it, because I had never really heard of many people who were into feet like that. That was until I looked it up online and found tons of FF sites. I tried it out on my girl and she really liked it, especially when I sucked on her toes while bangin' her back out. That would drive her insane!

So with all that said, it just depends on how open we are with eachother and how important certain things are in our relationships. If there are certain things that two people may not agree on to the point where it takes a toll on their relationship, they may just not be compatable for eachother. Hopefully they can figure this out before they spend several years together.

As I stated earlier, I have never cheated on any woman. I have been single for over a year and have had a number of flings, but I'm completely honest with them and they know that it's just a fling. When I find someone who I feel a deeper connection with, then I will exculsively be with that person.

Peace Yall!
Devin, TX.

I'm a little late to this conversation. Although I have a strong foot fetish, I have to agree with #5, above. About 95% of women feel the same way about that as she does and all I ask is for them to dump the guy they're dating as soon as he confesses his fetish. You're not going to change him and it's not nice for women to string them along for a string of expensive dates hinting you might give in one day when you have no intention of it. In this modern age of interwebtubes, he can easily hook up with one of those rare women who will indulge him.

    Please wait...

    Comments are closed.

    Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

    Add a comment

    By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.