10 Things To Know About Toe Sucking

It's also called 'shrimping.'
PHOTO: Chris Clinton

Toe sucking is one of those kinks that's more popular than you'd think, even though it seems like it's kind of a leap. While it might fall into the "foot fetish" category, toe sucking is also popular enough as a standalone sex act that anyone can experiment with it. If you've ever wanted to try it out, or are just curious about the schematics of toe sucking, here are 10 things to know.

  1. It's also called shrimping.

    Dr. Laura Deitsch, resident sexologist at Vibrant, explains that yes, a toe suck by any other name is called "shrimping"—just like the shellfish. It makes sense when you think about it, because what are toes if not shrimp of the feet?

  2. Being into toe sucking doesn't necessarily mean you have a foot fetish.

    As sex and relationships expert Kryss Shane, LSW, LMSW, explains: Toe sucking is often considered to be part of the foot fetish category. Shane adds there are distinctions, because while "toe sucking is something a partner does for their mate as foreplay, typical foot fetishes focus on shoes, stockings, or the shape of the foot and toes."
  3. There's a reason it feels so good. 

    "There are so many nerve endings in the feet," Shane says. Not only can it feel similar to getting a foot massage, but when you add in the endorphins and eroticism of interacting with your partner in a taboo way, it's a double whammy.
  4. Being the giver can also be a turn-on. 

    Shane says many people enjoy doing it not only because it gives their partner pleasure, but also because it's a less common way of turning their partner on during foreplay—which checks out. Not everyone can be a person who pulls toe jobs out of their back pocket.
  5. It's probably worth discussing first. 

    As with anything in bed, communication and consent are key. If you want to perform this on your partner (or want your partner to try this out with you), Shane recommends asking them to consider including it in foreplay, and asking them to reciprocate.
  6. It doesn't have to be literally dirty. 

    Sunny Rogersa clinical sexologist and certified sex coach, recommends bathing each other before diving in. "This adds a new level of intimacy and can also make your partner feel better and more relaxed when their toes are in your mouth."
  7. In fact, the preparation can be just as sexy. 

    Jenni Skyler, certified sex therapist and sexologist for Adam and Eve, says that some foot worshippers consider cleaning their partner's feet as part of the ritual.
  8. Treat it like you would oral sex. 

    Rodgers suggests licking and teasing the tips of your partner's toes to start. Think of it like genital oral sex—you want to start slow and soft, and then ramp up. You can also try swirling your tongue around their toe as well as kissing and licking the tender area between each toe.
  9. You don't just have to use your mouth. 

    Yes, the physical act of sucking on your partner's toes involves your mouth, but you can (and should) also get handsy with it. Shane recommends starting with a foot massage, and then move onto kissing individual toes.
  10. There shouldn't be any shame when it comes to toe sucking. 

    "Toe sucking and other acts of eroticism and pleasure are nothing to be ashamed of, no matter how rarely these are openly discussed," says Shane. "The only thing wrong with fetishes and desires is when a person feels shame about them. While there may be some sexual actions that are typical, being atypical does not mean you are abnormal in any way."

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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