Jets' Coach Rex Ryan's Foot Fetish Isn't Unhealthy, Sex Experts Say


While it's not immediately clear how the videos became so public, the fact that the Ryans appear to have posted the videos online demonstrates a sense of "exhibitionism," said Kuriansky, who again chalked it up to a desire to spice things up in the bedroom.

"Some people are a little bit exhibtionist about their sex life," she said. "In this day and age there are a lot of couples who like to have a little danger in their sex life to spice it up, like having sex in public places. There's nothing wrong with being slightly risque."

"But I do think they had a lapse of judgment to be that public about it considering his position and the fact that everyone, in the middle of football season, would be interested in it," added Kuriansky.

When Fetishes Can Be Unhealthy

An estimated 2 to 4 percent of males have a fetish arousal pattern, said Washington, D.C., psychologist Barry McCarthy, who authored the book "Men's Sexual Health."

While it is commonly believed that men alone develop fetishes, more and more women have been seeking treatment in recent years, psychologists told

"Fetishes usually develop in childhood or adolescence and are controlled by this combination of high secrecy, high eroticism and high shame," McCarthy said. "It's a poisonous combination."

"There are some men who are extremely erotically charged to full-length boots on women and would not be charged by anything else. Usually, this is due to an experience in childhood that, for whatever reason, gave a powerful sexual charge to that object that the man then masturbated to exclusively."

While some sexual variance can be healthy in a relationship, fetishes can become a problem when they interfere with the ability to enjoy intimate, interactive sexual activity, McCarthy said.

"A lot of women will say that when they have a partner with a fetish arousal, that he's not really there during sex," McCarthy said. "He's there physically but he's not really there."

But fetishes don't have to be permanent and are often treatable to the degree that the individual is able to go on and have a healthy sex life.

McCarthy, who described fetishes as a sort of "sexual heroin," said that they can be much like an addiction to drugs.

"People give up heroin because they realize it's really hurting their lives," he said. "What a person with a fetish has to understand is the value of intimate sex. While it won't be highly erotically charged, it will fit more into the reality of his life."

ABC News' Ryan Creed contributed to this report.

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