We straight men are supposed to prefer women in heels. “Heels do wonderful things for women’s calves,” we are told, “not to mention their asses.” And to be sure, they do.
But heels also conjure up lots of associations for me that are more ambiguous than just “Yummy! Curves!” When I see a woman teetering on (or standing improbably confidently on) spiky, high heels, the first thing I think of is Anna, the woman shopping for shoes in Steve Martin’s “The Cruel Shoes.”
He took off the lid and removed a hideous pair of black and white pumps. But this was not an ordinary pair of black and white pumps; both were left feet, one had a right angle turn with separate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inward like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.
Carlo spoke hesitantly, “. . . Now you see . . . they’ re not fit for humans . . .”
“Put them on me.”
Put them on me!”
Carlo knew all arguments were useless. He knelt down before her and forced the feet into the shoes. The screams were incredible.
Anna crawled over to the mirror and held her bloody feet up where she could see.
“I like them.”
I think about this – pain, blood, gore – every. single. time. I see a woman in seriously high heels.
There’s more, though. There’s the undeniability of the elevation of form over function (or, perhaps, of the function of sexual appeal over that of, say, walking). I don’t generally like this. It’s one thing if you’re wearing those shoes for ME, in the context of our sex life, because I’ve asked you to, because you are my toy, and I’ve chosen to adorn you that way for my own gratification. It’s equally good if you’re wearing them for me, for my pleasure, but not at my explicit request or bidding.
But if you’re just wearing them to be generically hot, without reference to me? Well, then you’re making me your prey, instead of the other way around, and while I’m all for that among people for whom that works, it doesn’t work so well for me. I like hunting, not being hunted. I mean, I’m all for sexy dressing, but it’s seriously a lot sexier when it’s for me.
Now. Let’s talk about flats.
In recent years, I’ve noticed a trend toward flatter and flatter shoes, ones that bring women’s feet closer and closer to the ground, and that feature less and less arch support.
I’m entirely in favor of this trend. There’s something about the ease and natural-ness of a woman walking essentially barefoot that is at least as sexy as whatever it is that heels do to calves and buttocks.
This morning, I saw a woman whose feet were separated from the ground by a few millimeters of leather, under the simplest black canvas. Her calves swelled up, filling textured black tights (or stockings – I never know the difference) that led up her legs, vanishing beneath her skirt somewhere between her knees and her thighs. Whereas in heels, the calf is pressed up, and forward, in flats, the calf – it’s muscle, its flab, its curve – curves out and back, under the ass. If anything, the curve is accentuated in flats. Maybe this is part of why people say heels look better: they make calves look slimmer. But me, I’m all about the curve.
It’s so yummy.
In conclusion: I like women’s feet and legs. I like shoes. I like heels, and I like flats.