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Retifism is another name for shoe fetish. It comes from the name of a French novelist Nicolas-Edme Rétif. Retifism describes the fetish characterized by sexual arousal from the look, touch, smell, and wearing of shoes. Most often, retifism involves women's shoes.
In general terms, a fetish is the attribution of sexual qualities to non-sexual objects or body parts. Fetishists usually need their fetish in order to be aroused or climax. They can often cause problems in relationships because the fetish can become an obstacle to true intimacy between partners. A shoe fetish means that a person needs to be in contact with shoes in order to be aroused or to climax.
Popular depictions of shoe fetishists, like in Sex in the City, usually present shoe fetishists as a bit weird or strange despite foot and shoe fetishes being relatively common in the population. Shoe fetishists love to touch, lick, or otherwise be in contact with shoes in order to feel aroused or climax. Some even require genital contact to shoes in order to satisfy their sexual needs.
Although more mainstream than many other fetishes, shoe fetishists can still feel awkward or ashamed by their fetish.