Sex drives: A beginner’s guide to car cranking and pedal pumping fetishes

While researching previous blogs on both podophilia (sexual arousal from feet) and stuck fetishism (sexual arousal from being stuck and/or stranded), I came across lots of online references to ‘car cranking’ and ‘pedal pumping’. For instance, an online article on the Wiki Answers website reported:

“When a female uses her right foot and constantly presses it down on the gas pedal. She can do it barefoot, hosiery, stilettos, sneakers, socks, sandals, pumps, high heels, boots or any possible footwear may be appealing to one who enjoys this fetish. The female doing the pedal pumping must tap into her dominating self-confidence as she steps on the pedal. She is the one who’s in full control her foot has all the power. Pedal pumping is all about the power of a female using her feet to activate power. Those that enjoy pedal pumping may enjoy a variety of variations to the fetish from watching the pedal pumped with the car engine off, on or in drive/gear”.

Almost all the online articles (and videos) that I have come across appear to indicate that the fetish is primarily male-based with females doing the pedal pumping and car cranking. According to the same Wiki Answers article, there are variations to the source of sexual arousal (i.e., revving, driving, being stuck, and cranking) and such fetishists may be attracted to one or more of these sub-types. The following sub-types are not based on any empirical research but from articles written by those with the fetish.

  • Revving: This refers to a female pumping her foot as hard as she can on the accelerator pedal, holding it down, and showing her full control. Anecdotal evidence also appears to indicate some men are sexually aroused by the fact that the woman has absolute control over the car and (if she so desired) could blow up the engine.
  • Extreme driving: This refers to a female driving a car at top speed and pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor. Some men like the exact opposite (i.e., casual driving) in which the woman gently caresses the accelerator pedal (going up and down).
  • Being stuck: This refers to a female who drives the car off the road and gets herself into situations in which the car is stuck in (say) mud, and has to press the accelerator pedal hard to get herself out of the trapped situation. The car wheels spinning and car not moving may also be a sexual turn-on.
  • Cranking: This refers to the car not starting that leads to the woman having to pump the accelerator pedal as hard as she can in an effort to start the car engine. so she has to pump the gas pedal with the hope that she can prime the engine with gas and it will start. The combination of the female in a position of both power and distress.

There are clearly psychological overlaps with other paraphilic and fetishistic behaviours including podophilia, sexual masochism and submission, sexual sadism and control, and stuck fetishism. The Wiki Answers article also claims that some who have this fetish may become an objectophile and develop sexual feelings for an inanimate object such as a car (that I covered in a previous blog). The article furthermore claims that:

“Those individuals with this expressed preference may feel strong feelings of arousal, attraction, love, and commitment to certain items or structures of their fixation. One if not already attracted to may over time become attracted to the following but not limited to the wheel of the car spinning, engine, exhaust pipe, the gas pedal, the car in whole, the shoes, socks or stockings on the female during the time the pedal pumping incident occurred”.

After reading the article in Wiki Answers, I decided to do some research into the topic and I came across a 2010 article in The Independent newspaper entitled ‘Growing fetish trend: pedal-pumping, revving and cranking’ that described the fetish as “clean, monotonous niche porn that is taking over the web with a big American ‘redneck’ following”. (As you may have gathered, I came across nothing academic whatsoever – not even a case study – so we nothing about incidence, prevalence or etiology). The Independent’s report took much of its text and inspiration from an article in The Daily Beast (DB) by Anneli Rufus. The DB article referenced a number of online websites (such as,,, and featuring a “thousands of video clips showing pedicured feet in sandals and heels pumping the gas pedal of an automobile, preferably a large truck”. Most of the videos cited by Rufus simply feature a woman’s foot on the car accelerator. The articles in both the DB and Independent article included quotes from US sex psychologist Dr. Susan Block who said:

“The basic kinetic movement is a masturbatory motion: the muscles releasing and contracting as the foot rubs repetitively against a phallic symbol, which is the gas pedal. Men think of themselves as cars. The ‘vroom’ of the engine reminds them of their own libidos being revved up by this hot woman. It is a fantasy that can overtake a man’s sexual life. [The women in the videos are] helpless, stuck females overwhelmed by the power of this big, old vehicle. But not all of the women struggle – some of the ladies of pedal-pumping videos rev happily, representing the strong woman bonding with her powerful machine. Each type attracts its own audience. In the end, though, it usually comes down to an irresistible urge to combine a love of feet with a love of horsepower…If they can’t get off without looking at this one very specific thing, it can be awkward [because] they don’t want to have to keep asking their wives to get up in the middle of the night and get into the truck. Most of the pedal-pumping enthusiasts [I’ve worked with] hail from red-state America, because they’re more car- and truck-oriented, and they like to see their women as being more different from men. Conservative guys, working-class guys, like the idea of a very ladylike foot with a perfect pedicure in a big old truck”.

The DB article also interviewed Alexandar Bahunjek who runs a number of websites catering for pedal pumping fetishists including, and Based on his personal experience and the people who frequent his websites:

“The most important thing is the foot…but beyond that it’s a matter of taste…You also have people who like girls wearing sandals, thigh-high boots, platform shoes. But most of my fans and members like open high heels, where you can see the heels along with the rest of the feet. Also, people like the girls to floor the gas pedals, so it’s a combination of women in sexy outfits and the sound of the engine. Then you have people who love the combination of pedal pumping and engine sounds [and others who like it best] when the women have to pump the pedal fast. For a very sexy video [the most popular choice by far] is an elegantly dressed lady in open high heels. Personally, I like the combination of a sexy girl pushing the pedal – seen as a whole person, not just the feet. I also like high heels, so the combination of sexy girls in high heels sitting in cars I like very much. Pedal pumping is not just for feet lovers or shoe lovers”.

All the articles I have read on pedal pumping and car cranking claim that the fetish is almost exclusively male-based but that a few women also love pedal-pumping (although none of the sources I have read mention whether women like watching other men and/or women pedal pumping). Susan Block was also paraphrased by Rufus as saying:

“Most pedal-pumping enthusiasts started out as run-of-the-mill foot fetishists. They ultimately settled upon a feet-in-cars fixation because it’s not as explicit, and thus safer to watch at work or with family nearby. And it’s easier to find online, often for free, than hardcore foot-fetish material, which typically features nudity…Pedal-pumping videos aren’t as good as ‘foot jobs,’ but they’re easier to get. You can’t show a foot job on YouTube, but you can show this”.

Another person interviewed for the DB article was the President of the US Center for Sex and Culture, Robert Lawrence. He sees pedal pumping as comprising voyeurism and podophilia, along with the added “interest in a specific car part – the gas pedal – or object: the car”.

Based on some online discussions, I certainly came to the conclusion that pedal pumping and car cranking fetishes exist. For instance in one online forum, somebody calling themselves ‘randomhero24’ wrote:

“I am not sure [if the source of my sexual arousal is] a fetish or otherwise. I have no response to the physical car itself, although I do certainly respond to characteristics of the car. It has to be old, etc. Basically the sound of a car attempting to start but failing is the main thing that gets me off. I’ll imagine young pretty girls being in the drivers seat, but if the car is old enough, the person starting it doesn’t matter. I’ve [masturbated] to videos of men doing this and I am most definitely not gay. It’s the sound of the car and the anxiety attached to someone being stuck I guess. My partner uses this to pleasure me, which I am grateful for, and she will say things out loud like “I can’t start the car” which affects me greatly…There are a number of sites that film videos of this, but they are mainly set around the foot fetish aspect and women doing this in bare feet. I am also quite fearful, as I enjoy on occasion finding a deserted train crossing and pretending to be stuck there. I want this to stop as I can see it going very wrong…I’m yet to come across someone that’s got a sexual reaction to the act of trying and failing to start an old car”.

There is clearly a niche market for those into pedal pumping – not just based on the number of YouTube videos and specialist video clip sites, but also evidenced by pedal pump fiction and online discussions of the topic. Whether pedal pumping will ever be the topic of serious academic research remains to be seen, but given the empirical research base on podophilia, there certainly seems to be some scope to look at the psychological and behavioural overlaps.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK 

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Giannini, A.J., Colapietro, G., Slaby, A.E., Melemis, S.M. & Bowman, RK (1998). Sexualization of the female foot as a response to sexually transmitted epidemics: a preliminary study. Psychological Reports, 83, 491-498.

The Independent (2010). Growing fetish trend: pedal-pumping, revving and cranking. March 30. Located at:

Kunjukrishnan, R., Pawlak, A. & Varan, L.R. (1988). The clinical and forensic psychiatric issues of retifism. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 33, 819-825.

Rufus, A. (2010). The Red State Sex Fetish. Daily Beast, March 21. Located at:

Weinberg, M.S., Williams, C.J. & Calhan, C. (1994). Homosexual foot fetishism. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23, 611-626.

Weinberg, M.S., Williams, C.J. & Calhan, C. (1995). “If the shoe fits…” Exploring male homosexual foot fetishism. Journal of Sex Research, 32, 17-27.

Wiki Answers (2013). What is a pedal pumping fetish? Located at:

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 600 research papers, four books, over 130 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on March 31, 2014, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Gender differences, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Some people I know with this fetish get more aroused by a female removing her shoe and pressing the gas pedal with her sweaty socks or foot leaving a sweaty print on the pedal. Something about sweaty feet that arouses some men with this fetish

  2. Hello:) I’m not entirely sure if I’m in the right place and I’m even less sure if this is the place for a sob story…but I’m lost for answers. 12 years ago my now husband confessed that he had a fetish that included watching or picturing girls push down hard on a gas pedal. He confessed because he got caught revving his car around a woman walking down the street. She saw him following her and called the police. Please…please spare me negativity. I’m not sure if I can bare it. I’m pretty embarrassed as it is. Though it’s been many years, I still flip between thinking I knowingly married a pervert, or thinking I’m just misinformed, a prude, and too vanilla. I guess I’m just asking for help. It’s not the pedal pumping fetish that gets me, I could care less and I have my own fetishes that are fairly mainstream porn, so I get wanting to scratch and itch from time to time. What bugs me is the idea that his fetish had to include stocking a woman (19 years old) on the street while he revved his engine. To the point that she felt scared. If I knew that every guy with this fetish did this sort of thing I wouldn’t feel so bad…but still creeped out. But he’s the only guy I know who’s into this. What the heck do I do??? Every time it’s sunny weather I worry that he’s prowling the streets around the local college for young women in tight jeans just so he can masturbate in his car imagining they are the one revving the engine. (He told me that’s why he followed that girl). He says he doesn’t do that anymore now that he found youtube cranking videos. But how do I trust this? Please don’t write me off. I’m eager to make our marriage work. I just want to know that how I can possibly keep his interest when he’s already seeking other women or interests. He says I can’t help him. He won’t let me pedal pump for him. I feel very isolated.

    • Hi Amanda,

      I’m a guy who has this fetish. I am married with kids and my wife has known about my fetish before we got married. I also have an ex-GF who knew about it. Both acknowledged it and were very receptive. Of course, like you, they could care less that I had the fetish. However, I can feel that they wanted to be a part of that world that I used to isolate myself in. In turn, I was able to fully open myself from the initial revelation to my SO. My ex-GF laid the foundation for which I can freely express my true self. My current wife solidified the belief that we can truly be open to each other. I have been very lucky.

      Your main worry is if your husband is a closet predator. Is that correct? Well, I’ll tell you a quick story about myself before I truly knew what the PP fetish was (before the Internet and search engines). I was a young teen walking around and if I found a girl driving, I would walk up beside the car and catch a glimpse. Women parking? I position myself like I was waiting for something while catching glimpses. Regular mischief. I still do this into adulthood, but not as much and to that degree as when I was younger. Online and my wife satiates that need to a point where I never go out of my way to get that view. All of those times is similar to me staring at a beautiful girl. All quite normal for young adolescents.

      Only difference here is that I was pretty good at being discreet – thus, I never got caught. I can believe that your husband no longer seeks out young women in the street. With everything being available on the Internet, it is easy to get your fix on anything. With your participation (and Husband willing), we can take this a step further.

      That last few sentences does concern me greatly. I know you’re not looking for negativity but I have to set some realistic expectations. It is now 12 years since the initial confession. From the sound of it, there has been little progress on fostering this very unique connection you both share. I did not hear any complaints about your regular sex life but I am curious if that has been affected from your POV. I won’t lie and say that this fetish does not affect my sex life. It does dominate in some ways. However, I’ve learned to cope and have a relatively healthy sex life. The effort goes both ways and I always look to satisfy my wife.

      Over the years, that wall has probably gotten taller and harder. It’ll be no easy endeavor to try and bring that down. It sounds like you’ve been trying but I don’t have enough specifics to say you are blameless as well. It feels that you both have been kicking the can down the road, knowing that you both have to do something. Your H being evasive is not good – so he is also to blame in all of this. Since you have reached a boiling point, its likely you’ll need to take the initiative and do some sort of intervention. I am sure you already know this in your heart but I can’t re-iterate this enough, but please DO NOT blame his fetish in anyway. It will break him and subsequently the relationship.

      As a man, I took the first step in revealing this “shameful” side of me to my significant other. That was the only way I could heal myself and truly believe that all of us are unique in some special way. Now I can feel shameless while being myself. It is very liberating. I truly wish your husband can feel the same way one day.

      What that intervention might be… I cannot say for sure. It is unique for everyone. Maybe its a sit down and let-it-all-out session. A date wearing something that your H will go hot all over. Something to open a crack in that wall that has grown over time. The unexpected. Your H has been stuck in this routine of denial and evasiveness. It has to be confronted soon or both of you will continue living with this regret of not being able to do anything.

      I know this is very hard… When I knew I was going to marry this girl, I had to reveal this part of myself. If it all went wrong, the relationship was over. I cannot begin to imagine continuing to hide from my SO to satisfy my fetish needs. So much trouble and regret. I was about to reveal something that could forever change the relationship. I weighed the pros and cons and continuing to hide parts of myself would lead to a life of misery. I can probably endure it in the end but it is not really a life to live.

      This is just from a guy’s rambling perspective. My earnest wish to have you and your husband live a fulfilling sex life. My wife would be open to talking if you’re interested. Everyone needs a lifeline. Use it.


    • Hi. As someone with a fetish similar to your husbands I must say I find it strange that he won’t let you pedal pump for him. He may feel…I guess embarrassed, or self conscious about it even though he confessed it to you. I can relate as I am very much in the closet about it myself. I can assure you his fetish is not unique. There is a moderately sized community for this, and similarly related fetishes pertaining to women and cars. We are not as big as the s&m, or latex crowd, but very tight nit. And we love to help each other out, as well as thier spouses. I need to clear one thing up. Did I read correctly that he made this revelation to 12 years ago? Neither of you has made progress dealing with this for 12 years? The police have not been involved recently it seems, so I think it’s safe to assume he is sticking with YouTube videos. Let me know how/if I can offer any assistance to you on this matter any further.

  3. To all theses men on here who think you’re being discreet and not distressing teenage girls as you peeve around town just because they don’t appear to react, let me tell you. As a female, I know they have noticed and they’re just too bloody terrified to do anything. They genuinely think they may be murdered. Stay at home and wank over your silly films instead. Oh, and to the poor woman who didn’t find out her husband til after the wedding and after he was stalking young girls; he won’t ever change, take it from someone who had the misfortune to be stuck with an incredibly violent speed addicted auyogynophile for 17 years. Good luck though.

  1. Pingback: GOP Candidate can sort of explain why he was arrested for masturbating with sparkplugs | Death and Taxes

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