Scott Hardie | January 21, 2004
Some Middle Eastern cultures view the foot as the most unclean part of the body. To touch someone with the sole of your foot or shoe is a grave insult. So what of shoe fetishists, foot fetishists, toe suckers, etc? Would there be fewer of them in the Middle East, or more of them because of the taboo element? (And of course, how many get to act on their fetishes is a much smaller number than how many have them.) This is not exactly the kind of thing that turns up in poll responses, so this is speculation only.

Kris Weberg | January 21, 2004
I'd imagine somewhat greater -- a large number of fetishes actually depend on a kind of debasement or sense of violating taboos, after all. Heck, a lot of pop psych types argue that foot fetishim in European-American culture is a sublimated debasement fetish.

Steve Dunn | January 22, 2004
I think Kris is probably right. I don't know of any data on this, but my hunch is that the stronger a society's prohibition of any particular thing, the more likely there are to be people who get off on doing just that thing.

Dave Stoppenhagen | January 22, 2004
When I was in Kuwait and Dubai we were warned not to show the soles of our feet, even to show someone the sole is considered a grave insult. I think Kris and Steve are on the right track, I know the more I was told not to do something made it that more appealing.

Jackie Mason | January 22, 2004
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | January 22, 2004
That and shapely ankles. Don't show your ankles, ladies!

Anna Gregoline | January 22, 2004
And don't the Japanese find the nape of the neck the most erotic part of the body?

Kris Weberg | January 22, 2004
Yep, they do. And to the ancient Greeks, it was the indentation just below the nose that was the hottest spot.

Anna Gregoline | January 23, 2004
Heh, I like picturing men and women staring at that spot and lusting.... =)

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