No, this isn’t a post on foot fetish. However, it is a post that relates to why people may be drawn to feet as an erogenous zone in a purely biological arena.
We low libido gals benefit from knowing how our neural wiring can influence sexual feelings. Since pedicures are in my top 5 most favorite things to do (in public), I got to thinking about a possible arousal correlation. And just in case you’re wondering, I don’t get aroused at the nail salon!
Our God is a God of wonders and delights! I’m always astonished at the intricacies of his creation.A spinal nerve plexus is where nerves combine at the spine to form one large grouped nerve. It is interesting to note that the sacral nerve plexus serves the pelvis, buttocks, genitals, thighs, calves, and feet.
Stick with me here:Neurosurgeon, Dr. Wilder Penfield, in 1951, published a ‘touch map’ of our brain’s primary somatosensory cortex called the homunculus.
“Before operating, he stimulated the brain with electrical probes while the patients were conscious on the operating table (under only local anesthesia), and observed their responses. In this way he could more accurately target the areas of the brain responsible, reducing the side-effects of the surgery.”
Dr. Wilder was able to pinpoint which area of the brain connected to what area of the body. It is very interesting to note that within his map, the genitals and toes are sitting side by side.
The image above is known as a homunculus (“little man”). It is a depiction of not only where the body part registers, but also the proportion of the cortical sensitivity. Areas that are more dense with nerves, take up more brain real estate. Since the lips and tongue are very sensitive and dense with nerves, they are depicted as proportionally larger than an area that is not so sensitive.
Feet fall mid range on this sensitivity scale.
Because Dr. Wilder’s studies only included men, in 2011, a group of physicians led by Dr. Barry Komisaruk of Rutgers University, published findings of female brain/genital mapping in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The 2011 study found that female genitals activated the same part of the brain where male genitals were mapped. However, the clitoris, vagina and cervix had their own specific spots within the genital boundary.
One unusual finding of the 2011 female study is that when nipples were stimulated, the chest region and genital region of the brain lit up.
But, I digress from feet….
According to the Reflexology Association of America, each foot has 7200 nerve endings. The American Podiatry Medical Association says that each foot contains more sweat glands and nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body.
Um, not to refute them, but according to Dr. Elizabeth Harvey the clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings and I think the square footage is a lot smaller….but anyway, you get the point. The foot is packed with nerves to fire up the brain in a nice way.
Feet have two kinds of receptors that aid nerves in detecting type of touch; the Meissner’s Corpuscle and the Pacinian Corpuscle.
Meissner’s corpuscles are closer to the outer layer of skin and respond to changes in pressure. They have the highest sensitivity to light touch. They are thought to be responsible for the tickle response. See Meissner’s Corpuscle
The Pacinian Corpuscle are deeper within the dermis. This is where we can detect rapid changes in pressure and vibration. You know what other sensitive area has Pacinian Corpuscles? The nipples.
Let’s backtrack one final time.
Remember that toes and genitals sit side by side in your brain? According to Dr. Wilder and a recent study, body parts that sit side by side have a little overlap.
There is further anecdotal evidence of this. Dr. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, Prof. of Psychology and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, has been researching ‘Phantom Limb’ phenomenom. He has had amputees describe how they are now having orgasms in their feet during sexual intimacy (see page 1617 of this paper.)
Remember neural plasticity, the ability of the brain to re-wire? This is another example of neural plasticity and it spills over into our subject today regarding feet as a means of sexual arousal.
Now that you are armed with all this information, I want to present something from the opposite camp.
“Reports of Intimate Touch,” published April, 2014, in the journal, Cortex, interviewed 793 Britains and South Africans with an average age of 24 (so, yes, a little on the young side). They were asked to rate 41 body parts on ‘the ability to facilitate sexual arousal’ from 0 – 10.
Feet as erogenous zones scored surprisingly low in this study, right alongside kneecaps.
What I am arguing here is not the ability of your foot to produce exquisite pleasure in and of themselves. I am trying to show that feet have an ample and passionate supply of nerves that could fire the adjacent neural wiring of your brain and thereby be a pre-cursor to sexual desire. Maybe a foot rub could even enhance sexual desire once the fire is lit? Remember, the more neurons that pulse the greater the chance of orgasm.
Personally, I think feet are a little more erogenous than kneecaps. Why else would the nail salon industry (pedicures) rake in 6 billion dollars a year?
Get him to massage your tired tootsies and see if any sparks develop.