Dating is hard, you guys. I've been single for seven years.
I think part of what makes it so challenging is that everyone has little proclivities and not-so-little fetishes that aren't socially acceptable to just put out there right away like you do with the music you like or your job or how you used to set squirrels on fire when you were eight.
Sometimes those initially secret preferences boil down to a body part. I, for one, would love to date only guys who consider themselves "breast men," because I have a great rack and it likes attention. But one time, I didn't find out until a few dates in that while this one guy thought my cleavage is nice and all, what he really wanted to put his mouth on was my feet, which, up to that point, had been mostly hidden by shoes.
AND FOR GOOD REASON.
I'm not one to judge what anyone's into, and I'm more or less down to try almost anything as long as it doesn't involve toilet fodder (or anal--definitely not into anal). But if someone's fetish relies on a part of my body living up to his personal, arbitrary standard of attractiveness, it can make me self-conscious about a part of me that I never gave much thought to before.
Actually, I've given some thought to my feet, and that thought is "Ugh." They look OK from a distance--average size and shape, and they "go with" the rest of my body. But up close, they're a freakin' mess.
When this particular guy told me he's "always been into feet," my heart sank almost as low as if he'd said he'd always been into anal (again--definitely not into anal). I wanted to sleep with him, but I wondered if I could get my feet into a condition that wouldn't turn him off before we got busy.
My toenails have all sorts of problems. I used to get chronic ingrowns in my big toes so bad that the podiatrist would have to cut out half the nail (this is insanely painful), so now I just don't let those nails grow very long, which doesn't look particularly cute.
One of my pinky toenails grows in split into two parts. Plus, I'm a klutz, so I can expect to occasionally stub my toe so bad that that blood seeps in under the nail and it partially falls off, like it did the other day. Hey, at least I don't have fungus!
Once you get past the sideshow freaks that are my toenails, the rest of my feet are OK. (And by "the rest of my feet" I mean the parts that aren't toenails, not lots of other feet.) But I could definitely be treating them better, and they'd surely benefit aesthetically.
So just in case I encounter another datable foot fetishist, I've developed a regimen of several products. (And even if I don't, maybe it'll open the door to a magical world of strappy sandals, the likes of which I've never dreamed.)
There are a lot of foot scrubs out there, but I'm kinda skeeved out by how they feel. It's like when you've been to the beach and have sand stuck between your toes for days. Or at least that's what people who go to the beach tell me.
I prefer chemical exfoliation for my feet, so before I get in the shower, I use Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Gentle Foot Peel. It seems like a regular lotion, but when you massage it in, alpha-hydroxy acid makes your dead skin cells sort of roll off in mushy little balls. Again, do this before a shower so you can rinse away the boogery ghosts of your epidermis.
As soon as I'm out of the shower, while my feet are still damp, I apply FACE Stockholm Healing Feet. It's an awesome mix of ingredients that moisturize, like shea butter, and soften, like grapefruit, while making achey feet feel way better. And it smells like some kind of lemon dessert, which I'm sure would be delicious, but I resent desserts that include fruit.
At night, I switch to a different moisturizer. Right before bed, I go through, like, half a bottle of Desert Essence Perfect Pistachio Foot Repair Cream and really concentrate on my heels and ankles. A couple times a week, I'll throw on socks right after and sleep that way. I'd do it every day, but I genuinely dislike sleeping in socks. I feel smothered.
By the way, you don't need those socks that are specifically made for moisturizer. Regular socks are good enough.
Speaking of being good enough, my toenails really aren't--by anyone's standards, foot-horny or otherwise. The best I can do is treat them with Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment Strength which is for "severe, problem nails." It feeds the nails long-lasting strengthening ingredients, and serves as a base coat, too.
I rarely paint my toenails, so as not to draw more attention to them. But if I dare wear open-toe shoes, I sometimes resort to an option that, upon mere mention, has caused multiple people to laugh right in my face: Kiss Express On Toenails. Yes, they're like press-on fingernails, but for toes, which apparently makes them infinitely more comical.
But they honestly don't scream "I'm wearing fake toenails!" If anything, they stop my feet from screaming, "I have the ugliest mother-effing toenails!"
I should note, these fake toenails probably aren't the best choice for when you expect actual mouth-on-foot action. Although the adhesive is plenty strong, I don't know if it's poisonous when swallowed, or if it'll loosen when drenched in saliva, causing the nail to slip off and down into his trachea.
But at least he'd die happy, right?