ASK THE THERAPIST
by William A. Henkin, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1997 by William A. Henkin
<Q> I am a submissive heterosexual male slave with a fetish for women's legs, feet, and shoes. I enjoy my interests, but I wonder why I'm turned on by them, if I'm normal, and whether if I persist in my fetishes I'll be able to have a normal family with a wife and kids. I also wonder if my sexual interests will disappear over time, or if they are my lifetime destiny.
<A> At some time just about everyone wants to know if his or her sexuality is normal, but no one really knows what "normal" sexuality is. If I believe I know what turns most people on, that is probably what I think is normal. But the best social science has been able to do is to find out what the majority of people in certain studies say they have done, or what they say has interested them, which is a way to generate statistical norms, which are not to be confused with emotional or psychological norms, or with mental health. Every large study of human sexuality has shown that nothing sexual is foreign to human beings: at different times, in different places, and in different circumstances virtually everything we have tried has gotten some of us off. Without knowing more about you as a person I wouldn't presume to assess the reasons you have a fetish for women's legs, feet, and shoes any more than I'd presume to know why you feel submissive and heterosexual. But if your pleasures don't harm anyone, if they please you and any partners you may have, and if they don't interfere with your ability to live a satisfying personal, professional, and social life, they probably fall within the realm of appropriate human sexual expression.
Whether you'll be able to have a "normal" family again depends on what you mean by "normal." Normal men in modern America are frequently portrayed dominating women; if you think dominating women is normal behavior for a man, yet you still want to be submissive to a woman, the family life you build will not fit your concept of "normal." But most people who ask me this sort of question really want to know if they can have a committed, intimate relationship with a loving partner, raise healthy children in a supportive household, and find pleasure and family satisfaction in the life they want to lead. If this is what you mean by "normal," nothing in your question indicates that you cannot lead such a life.
I can't say with certainty whether your interests will disappear in time, but if you have felt yourself to be heterosexual and submissive for a long time, and have had a fetish for women's legs, feet, and shoes for a long time, your interests probably will not disappear. People do learn to become interested in more areas of sexuality than interest them at first, but it is unusual for someone's important sexual interests to go away.
Because you ask if your fetish interests will be your "destiny" for the rest of your life I wonder if you are as happy with them as you suggest, or if you, like many other people, feel guilty about your specific desires or even about feeling sexual at all. If I've read your question accurately you may find it worthwhile to examine those feelings, since the guilt that underlies an interest in consensual sexuality can dampen its delight and inhibit your personal growth as a human being.
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