Well, as a self-proclaimed life-long foot fetishist, I can certainly see situations both situations occur. Let’s consider the first case, where a foot fetish indeed contributes to low self-esteem. That scenario is simple to understand. You know, a guy with a foot fetish expresses his desires to women, who then scorn, embarrass, and humiliate him. They repeatedly reject him. Then they tell their friends about his “weird” desires, warning them to stay away from him. The friends then look at him when next they see him, as though he was some strange and dangerous alien; a fluke of nature, that is extremely unworthy of them taking their shoes off for him. Then, they reject him too, they hurt his feelings, he comes to fear them, and on and on it goes.
After enough of said treatment, the fellow learns that pursuing his desire of worshipping pretty women’s feet creates far more pain than pleasure. Further, he sees that, because others regard him as too unusual and mentally malformed due to his foot fetish, that he in fact, must be malformed; an aberration unworthy of fulfillment.
So the thought of further subjecting himself to the humiliating rejections of exposing his foot fetish to the women he desires, eventually abhors him. Subsequently then, his fear of expressing his longings to kiss pretty women’s feet, actually prevents him from doing so, and in so doing, significantly lowers his self-esteem. Hampered by this resultant fear, the fellow often foregoes expending further effort to fulfill his foot-worship desires, and thus, does without, actually beginning to believe that he is indeed NOT worthy of fulfillment. He becomes shy and scared to make any further attempts to fulfill his below-the-knee desires.
The reversal of cause and effect scenario is also easy to understand; that where a low self-esteem can itself cause a foot fetish. Perhaps as a toddler, a little boy’s mother pushes him away more often when he wants to rub his cheek against hers, than when he hangs around at her feet, touching them. To him, though he’d initially prefer rubbing his face against hers, he soon comes to understand that the tops of her feet, especially close to the toes, are smooth and warm also, like her face; qualities in another human that he desires in an almost instinctive way. Indeed on many women, the soles of the feet can be just as pleasant to rub against as the cheeks on their faces. Also, he finds that he’s rejected less when he hangs at her feet than when he tries to get at her face.
And here, we have, the prime conditions for some foot fetishes to form. Assuming that the ultimate goal of a young child is acceptance (pleasure), and to avoid rejection (pain), and assuming that he finds less rejection (pain) by staying close to his mother’s feet than by attempting to get close to her face, he can quickly develop an attraction to her feet as they represent more pleasure than the pain of her face.
I see both of these scenarios as possible, and in fact, plausible in applicable situations. That is: A foot fetish can indeed contribute to low self-esteem, and, yes, low self-esteem can trigger some foot fetishes.
My foot fetish came over me at an early stage in life; when I was two or three years old. At that time, I was a happy little boy, as I hadn’t yet been judged harshly by anyone that I can clearly recall. In fact, my sisters would probably say that I was quite spoiled at that age; never being told no to ice cream cones, candy, days at the amusement park, and so on. My self-esteem was quite high thus, insofar as I could understand what my self-esteem was at that time. My parents and grandparents always loved me and provided me with plenty of “facial affection.”
But, I still loved young and older women’s feet. The babysitters. The nurses. The friends of Mom’s. The passers-by on the streets of Altoona. Seemingly, with nary a thought, certain females’ feet simply and instantly enthralled me, and produced a reflexive and immediate sexual response; much as the knee jerks when the patellar ligament is struck with a hammer. Yes, that immediate pleasurable sexual response to pretty women’s feet occurred in me, even as a toddler.
It seems to me then, that I was built from day one to have the foot fetish. That is: I never decided that I wanted to possess it. I was never proud of it. It was just there, just like my hands, eyes, nose and mouth were just there. One is not proud of his hands, nose, or mouth. And, given the amount of humiliation I’ve suffered throughout my life because of my foot fetish, I, by no means, ever decided to have this foot fetish. It’s just a part of me, just like my kidneys, liver, and spleen. You don’t decide to possess these things. They’re just given to you by the universe.
Now in terms of self-esteem: In my case, my self-esteem has indeed been reduced at times due to my foot and leg fetish, and perhaps this explains why I’ve been frequently afraid to approach the women who most attract me throughout my love quest (those with the absolute sexiest legs and feet). I personally have been humiliated way more times than not, by asking a close lady friend if I might worship her feet.
In my own experience therefore, low self-esteem results from (and less, is caused by) a desire to worship women’s feet.
So why are we cursed with such obscure and objectionable desires anyhow? Grrrrrrr.