What is it about the Stiletto?

These high, thin, spiked heels are hot. They’re sexy. For some, they’re a symbol of female power — and lately — even male power. If you haven’t seen any videos featuring street jazz choreographer Yanis Marshall and “his boys” rockin’ it out in stilettos to the likes of The Spice Girls or Beyonce, well, you should. They’re awe-inspiring. And strange. And strangely hot.

Kim Cattrall, our beloved Samantha from Sex and the City days, devotes a page to “The Secret Life of Shoes” in her fascinating book, Sexual Intelligence, where she quotes Dr. Michael Bader: “A spiked heel is a phallic image and, for a man, it often symbolizes a woman who is powerful, strong and dominant (even if it doesn’t feel that way to the woman).” If you look up “stiletto” in The Book of Jezebel, its historic reference to the 17th century Italian word for “small dagger” also refers to “the sharp, stabbing pain one feels after wearing them for longer than five minutes.” 

Despite their propensity to cause pain, stilettos take their rightful place in a fetishist’s closet. Yanis Marshall admits to a shoe fetish that started when he was a kid. He estimates that his mom owned about 300 pair and that he now boasts almost as many. When he became a dancer, “the heels became a specialty.”

My husband loves heels on me because they’re sexy, and I love to look sexy for him (and for my own complicated feminine ego). I have purchased several pair over the years (although my small collection would be an epic failure to Yanis) and have even taken some out for dinner. But they are not my specialty – rarely do they dance. Some, like the pair of thin, black, faux fur stiletto ankle boots, sit sadly in my closet, ignored by their owner, who ponders why on earth she bought them in the first place, when she lives in Canada in a forest. Poor things.

That’s when I boldly decided my pathetic love/hate relationship with these gorgeous, impractical shoes could be better managed. Within Jezebel’s astute observation lies the solution: wear provocative clothing and stilettos in comfort of private quarters and remove said painful daggers after 5 to 10 minutes of foreplay. Or keep them on and get horizontal fast. After all, stilettos are incredibly versatile. They look great with anything, or nothing at all…


Sandy Poitras is a freelance writer with a little bit of a shoe fetish. No, you will not find her on YouTube, dancing in stilettos in her Canadian backwoods. Her Internet connection isn’t strong enough for that.

Photo Credit: IamKhatu via Creative Commons 

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