Stocking fetishists usually find sexual partners clothed in sheer nylon or silk stockings to be sexually stimulating, or find the act of a person donning or removing a pair of stockings arousing. Some men find it arousing to collect and wear stockings, sometimes hidden under a pair of trousers.
Like feet and shoes, sock fetishists often require some specific attraction in the object which may include particular styles or knit patterns. People with a fetish for socks may have no special attraction to feet or shoes. Some speculate that the strong attraction some men exhibit to the smell of socks worn by women may be an example of the existence of human pheromones – the hypothesis being that the sweat from women’s feet may contain chemical attractants that arouse a male subject and that when a male subject is exposed to the smell of women’s feet or footwear at a young age that young man may carry a strong psycho-chemical imprint which motivates his enthusiasm for worn socks or shoes later in life.
Many male sock fetishists are also highly specific regarding the nature of the socks that stimulate them, and this may be coincidental with the type of socks worn by the originator of the female foot odors which first stimulated the psycho-chemical imprint. This belief is supported by observations that the nature of sock fetishism appears to differentiate according to age brackets and periods of clothing trends. Among men who exhibit an interest in women’s socks who are currently in their 30s and 40s, and who were therefore in their early pubescent period during the late 1980s/early 1990s when slouch socks were a popular clothing trend, there is a tendency to exhibit a strong interest in very heavy slouchy socks, whereas younger men with a sock fetish tend to show greater interest in the short ankle-style socks that became popular in later years.