Many of us have a love/hate relationship with our high heels: They make us look — and subsequently feel — like a hot tamale. But at times it’s like you’ve strapped little torture chambers onto your feet, making it impossible to limp and seduce your guy at the same time. Talk about a total buzzkill. To add to the drama, there are now rumors floating around that wearing high heels annihilates your ability to have an orgasm. For. Real.
Back in the day, a study conducted by Italian urologist Dr. Maria Cerruto concluded that a pair of moderately high-heeled shoes tones your legs and strengthens your pelvic muscles. “They directly work the muscles which are linked to an orgasm,” she says. (And all the designer shoe brands in all the land rejoiced.)
She found that women who held their foot at a 15-degree angle to the ground (about that of a two-inch heel) had as good posture as those who were wearing flats. It was concluded that the pelvic muscles were at an optimum position to help strengthen and improve their ability to contract (in other words, lead you to a much bigger O).
However, the findings from Dr. Cerruto’s study don’t suggest that stilettos are a good thing for improving pelvic floor function, and other experts tend to agree. Christian Louboutin became famous for saying high heels are sexual because the arch of the foot is exactly the position of a woman’s foot when she orgasms, and while this is sorta true (it’s called “plantar flexion”), “I know many women whose feet go into dorsiflexion (where your toes point back to your shin) during an orgasm,” says certified sex counselor Eric Garrison, “And what shoe does that?”
So while wearing a moderate heel might give you the option of taking a breather from Kegels for a while, stiletto-height heels are bad, bad, bad. With what high heels do to your posture, it goes without saying your pelvic region will be affected. If the arch of your shoe replicates the way your pelvis tilts when nearing an orgasm, it makes sense that you may end up immune to the pleasure. Dr. Eden Fromberg of Holistic Gynecology New York said it best: “An orgasm is usually like going from zero to 60. If you’re already at 55 [from wearing heels], you’re not going to have a full experience.”
I’m more inclined to believe this to be true, especially considering what we know when it comes to repetition in our workout routine: When you don’t switch things up, your body adapts to the repetitiveness of your workout and you reach a plateau. In the case of wearing heels 24/7, once your body adapts to the repetitiveness of your fashion choice — well, there’s no plateau in sight.
While there’s no hard evidence to suggest either one of these theories is 100 percent accurate, I’ll use any excuse to take a trip to Aldo to expand the variety of my shoe collection. Who’s coming with me?