Why can I orgasm using my feet?
March 8, 2011 5:18 AM   Subscribe

For as long as I can remember, I've been able to "orgasm" using my feet.

One of my earliest memories is having a "foot orgasm". I can perform this action at will. There's no refractory period, as such, but the sensations get less intense the more I do it in a short period. After a couple of hours I'm good to go again. The feeling itself is quite pleasant (hence orgasm).

When it happens, it feels almost like an electric shock that starts at the soles of my feet and travels up my body. The further up my body the sensation travels, the weaker it is (strong in my feet, weaker in my hands). The feeling itself is instant. When it's happening, I feel slightly paralysed, in that my body goes rigid and my chest tightens. I can still breathe and move, but I would probably fall down if I did it standing up.

I can call the sensation at will. It's never happened at any point apart from that which I've caused it. It's about as intense as an orgasm, but it's a different sensation. Sexual arousal makes no difference to whether it can happen or not. I did notice once that after I'd done a lot of walking and my feet were sore, the sensation was stronger.

So far as I'm aware, there's no family history of neurological conditions. I don't have epilepsy or anything similar, and the only drug I take is a cup of coffee.

What is going on here? Is this a recognised condition or am I even more of a freak than I thought I was?
posted by Solomon to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

I have no idea what's happening (I'm not anyone's doctor, let alone yours) but I'm guessing that knowing how you trigger this sensation is probably going to be relevant to getting an answer.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 5:40 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

You didn't actually say how this is achieved. By walking? By wiggling your toes?
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 5:47 AM on March 8, 2011

Someone I once spent some time with talked about getting similar (pleasant, somewhat controllable) sensations with the aid of hash cookies. He (NZ guy, if it matters) referred to them as 'body jolts', but searching that term seems to get a lot of stuff about full body twitches when falling asleep or unpleasant electric shock sensations caused as a side effect of certain medications. Don't know if that's helpful though....
posted by Lebannen at 5:52 AM on March 8, 2011

It's difficult to describe the method by which I cause it to happen. I don't have to physically move or anything like that. I just sort of press a switch inside my brain, and it happens. I kind of focus on my feet and "let go", as it were, and it happens.

When you're walking, you don't actually have to think about walking. As in, you don't have to mentally tell your leg muscles to contract and relax in a certain specific way, you just walk. You move yourself without having to think about it. This is kind of the same. I don't have to think about moving a specific body part to cause it to happen, I just do it.

This is pretty vague, I know, and I wish I could be more specific. My guess is that something is going on in my brain, sort of like a mental switch, but I don't know anywhere near enough about the physiology of the brain to describe what I'm talking about.
posted by Solomon at 5:53 AM on March 8, 2011

I've had hypnagogic jerks in the past, and various paralysis-like sensations, when drifting off to sleep, but this happens when I'm wide awake. I've never tried marijuana or anything like that. I've been able to do it for as long as I can remember, so I don't think it's something that I've consciously taught myself to do.
posted by Solomon at 5:59 AM on March 8, 2011

V.S. Ramachandran documents cases of foot amputees who have orgasms in their phantom limbs. In primary sensory cortex, the foot is located directly next to the genitals.

It's not really an explanation, but foot-genital interactions aren't unheard-of in the medical literature.
posted by supercres at 6:03 AM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Believe it or not: previously.
posted by Grither at 6:13 AM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

Wow, Grither, thanks for the link! I can do that sort of thing too - not full-on orgasmlikewoah, but a nice tingly feeling that spreads out from the back of my head.

Brains are weird. Enjoy it!
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 6:59 AM on March 8, 2011

Does it kind of feel like a nervous adrenaline shot, except nicer? After reading that other thread, all I can imagine is the feeling I get when I think about or make my body "get ready for" something that makes me nervous (imagining a big performance, or running into someone who I worry may confront me, or seeing someone I have a big crush on, etc.) The posters in the other thread make it sound like it's a chemical rush in the body- is that close?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:20 AM on March 8, 2011

I wouldn't describe it as feeling like adrenaline. When I think of times that I'm scared or excited, the feeling is more in my head. It's a similar physical sensation, though, rather than an emotional one.
posted by Solomon at 7:40 AM on March 8, 2011

Wow, I can do the thing in Grither's link, too. I hadn't ever tried it before just now. That's SO COOL. I'll try to keep it in mind for when I'm feeling bummed.

Based on that, I'm guessing that there are other folks out there with non-amputated limbs who can also orgasm via their feet. Oh hey. And I just googled "foot orgasm" and got this link, which isn't good for explaining, but it does say that you're not probably alone.
posted by aniola at 7:47 AM on March 8, 2011

Huh. I think I can do some mild version of this.

1) Rubbing my feet across a carpet, especially after a long day in shoes, is insanely pleasurable for me. I wouldn't describe it as an orgasm though. But it's way beyond just "good feeling".
2) Just thinking a certain way (as described in the linked thread) can give me a good feeling, although again not orgasm level, and for me it involves a little conscious muscle contraction.

Also reminds me how some people (female bodied people?) have intense sexual sensation when you put a little pressure in their belly button.

My guess is this kind of thing is a benign quirk. No big deal. Enjoy it!
posted by serazin at 9:04 AM on March 8, 2011

Perhaps it is similar to the sensation that some people have labeled Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
posted by nobodyyouknow at 9:17 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Like serazin, I can get a very pleasurable sensation in my feet from, say, a certain kind of carpet, or nice bedsheets. It's much more than just a usual good feeling, but much less than orgasm. I have no idea, but I've always figured the nerve endings on the arches of feet were particularly sensitive in ways my fingers/toes weren't. Though this would seem to go against what I've learned in biology classes. My feet also get tingly in odd situations too, completely unintuitively - like, thinking about a gory medical procedure, for example.

Reading this conversation makes my feet feel weird.
posted by naju at 10:17 AM on March 8, 2011

Believe it or not: previously.

(Solomon should believe it, since he posted a comment there).

Anyway, neat link. Like aniola, I just tried it and whether I experienced the same thing or not, I certainly experienced something interesting!
posted by pardonyou? at 10:27 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't know, but it sounds a lot like you've learned to get yourself into a trance-like state by focusing on your feet. Yogic meditation uses focus on points on the spinal column (chakras) along with visualization exercises in a similar way. There's no foot chakra of course, but since the number and placement of chakras varies between different schools of meditation, the location of the focus points seems fairly arbitrary (though not necessarily completely arbitrary).

What you're describing sounds a lot like the "emotional induction" technique in hypnosis, which capitalizes on the identity between imagining experiencing an emotional state and experiencing the emotional state. If you really focus on an emotional state, you can experience it pretty intensely. (And if the emotional state in question is pleasant, the result can be pretty pleasurable.) Hypnosis usually relies on an external stimulus, usually the hypnotist's own instructions, or "patter," to establish focus, but if you're doing it by yourself for yourself, there's no reason you can't use focusing on your feet, part of your head, or you left hand, imagining a sound, or whatever, to get the effect you've learned to connect with focusing on your feet.

So, basically, I think you've invented / discovered your own meditation technique, without the usual theoretical or theological baggage that so often accompanies that. Maybe you could teach classes or something?
posted by nangar at 10:41 AM on March 8, 2011

The meditation concept is interesting, but I can invoke the sensation in less time than it takes me to type this sentence. I don't have to do anything special to get there. I've done it sitting on the bus in traffic before now. I've meditated myself into a pretty calm state before now, but this is quite different.
posted by Solomon at 10:58 AM on March 8, 2011

It isn't broken!

Don't fix it.
posted by flabdablet at 6:04 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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