Close-up of a woman's legs and feet. On her right foot is a sneaker, on the left, a high-heeled shoe.
Should women choose shoes based upon their “orgasmic potential?” (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Helga Weber/Flickr)

French footwear designer Christian Louboutin claims that women are happy to wear painful high heels, not just to attract male attention or to show their sense of style, but for their “orgasmic potential.” While he’s no doctor, Louboutin tells the Daily Mail that at least one French “libido-pain” shoe expert agrees with his high-heeled prescription for “painstasy” (pain-ecstasy).

Sexual arches in high heels

According to Louboutin’s unnamed expert in orgasmic shoes (or perhaps shoe marketing):

“What is sexual in a high heel is the arch of the foot, because it is exactly the position of a woman’s foot when she orgasms.”

As such, wearing high heels puts a woman in “a possibly orgasmic situation,” says Louboutin. The leg-lengthening glamor of high heels simply doesn’t exist for men, he believes.

“A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes. … Shoes for men are about elegance or wealth, (but) they are not playing with the inner character. That is why women are happy to wear painful shoes,” said Louboutin.

Pinchgasms aren’t busting out all over

Dr. Wilhelm Reich taught that the libido energy released during orgasm is part of a replenishing life force that staves off physical and mental decay. Yet nowhere in Reich’s therapeutic literature does he discuss the merits of channeling orgasm through high-heeled shoes. Louboutin’s ridiculous pronouncements regarding the continuous orgasm or “pinchstasy” phenomenon is intended to sell shoes, not health.

Real doctors point the finger at high heels

No scientific evidence exists that high heels promote orgasm for the wearer, but plenty of evidence points to the damage excessive high heel wearing can do. An Iowa State University study by sport biomechanist Dr. Danielle Barkema found that wearing high heels puts extra pressure on knee joins, which increases the risk of joint degeneration and osteoarthritis. The higher the heel, the more the risk increases.

“Everyone knows that high heels are bad for you,” said Barkema. “It can get to the point where there’s bone-on-bone contact, and knee replacements are in order.”

Dr. Marco Narici of the U.K.’s Manchester Metropolitan University also says wearing high heels regularly can make flat-shoed activities like running painful. However, he doesn’t go so far as to suggest that high heels should be banned.

“It would be very impractical,” Narici said. Regular stretching exercises involving the heel and toes can make wearing high heels more bearable.

What’s a fashion-forward woman to do?

Fashion consultant and co-host of the makeover program “What Not to Wear” Stacey London admits that feet are not meant to be in high heels all the time. Yet she also feels strongly about not having to make the choice between style or comfort. Products like Dr. Scholl’s for Her insoles can help, she says.

How to walk in high heels


Daily Mail:

Discovery News:

Dr. Scholl’s For Her:

Fashion Q & A – Stacey London:


Orgone Wiki:

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