Hey, why do you think people are attracted to feet? I never understood that. Don’t get me wrong I love your work, id just lurk to know your input.



I don’t know. Why do people have fetishes anyway? They rather hinder sensible procreation. But on the other hand,… it would be rather boring without them.

Well said. Why is anybody aroused by anything that isn’t genitalia? Evolution is a complicated thing.

I have A Theory. (Note: this is based on undergrad anthropology classes talking about human evolution–place take with large grains of salt).Basically, lots of animals are aroused by traits or behaviors that aren’t actually useful for anything, but they’re a way for an organism to announce “Hey, I am available and healthy (and, if our species is social, high status in the herd), and we would have healthy offspring together.” Insects have stuff like pheromones and firefly butts, deer have antlers, peacocks have their tail feathers, baboons have bright or blue red naked butts, etc., etc.

How do humans do sexual signaling?

We flirt. We talk. We show off. We tease.

In other words, we play complex social games to say “I am smart and skilled at navigating social situations, clearly I must have high status in the herd community.”.

But wait! The thing about sexual selection is that it tends to go massively overboard. Natural selection is about surviving to have offspring, so it tends to give up as soon as it hits “good enough to not die.” But sexual selection is about competing with other members of your own species, so the bar is constantly being raised. So you get stuff like deer with antlers so big and complicated they get tangled in low-hanging branches, peacocks whose tails scream “HELLO PREDATORS I AM HERE PLEASE EAT ME,” and so on.

And then there’s humans, who after several million years of more and more complex social games making our social structures more and more complex, requiring more and more and more complex social games to demonstrate how good you are at navigating those social structures, have ended up with the frontal-lobe equivalent of deer antlers and peacock tails: language.

So human sexuality is completely wrapped up in our ridiculous ability to make abstract symbolic connections between literally anything. We can use arbitrary shapes to represent arbitrary sounds that represent complex ideas about where language came from! We can use them to represent things that never existed outside our own heads! (Fiction, obviously, but also stuff like money, nations, politics, math…)

Is it any surprise that this overpowered symbol-matching ability sometimes connects stuff that maybe it’d be easier if it didn’t? It’s the equivalent of a deer getting its antlers stuck! Things like conspiracy theories and, yeah, fetishes are just the natural consequence of our ability to make anything mean anything.