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Wearing heels is 'possibly orgasmic,' designer Louboutin says

Arantxa Cedillo / Veras/Arantxa Cedillo / Veras/THE GLOB

Some designers will go to any lengths to shill shoes.

To wit: Christian Louboutin announced in the Daily Mail that wearing high heels is like having an orgasm.

His rationale comes straight from the lips of "a French academic" who reportedly told him that the arch of a high heel mimics the position of a woman's foot in orgasm.

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By putting a foot in a heel, Mr. Louboutin said, "you are putting yourself in a possibly orgasmic situation."

That's one explanation for why women pay up to $1,600 for a pair of his six-inch stilettos.

The French cobbler wasn't done playing armchair psychologist, though. Unlike men, Mr. Louboutin continued, women buy shoes to develop their inner character. "A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes," he explained. "That is why women are happy to wear painful shoes."

At least he admits that tottering around can be torture. Wearing extreme heels (anything over four inches) puts enormous pressure on the feet – seven times your body weight – causing injuries that can cascade from the foot and all the way up the spine, Best Health reports.

But let us get back to Mr. Louboutin. Could it be that he played the orgasm card in desperation after Sunday's ode to his competitor, Manolo Blahnik, in The New York Times?

The article accused Mr. Louboutin of hijacking a chunk of Mr. Blahnik's market by "using an arsenal of gaud and ostentation" (and compared Mr. Louboutin's signature red soles to the price tags dangling from Minnie Pearl's hats). Unlike Mr. Blahnik, wrote Guy Trebay, "Mr. Louboutin seemed to revel in borderline vulgarity."

And now the designer is risking ridicule.

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"Sorry. I don't need painful shoes to be sexy, charming, witty or shy," Sarah, an Iowa City nurse, wrote on the Daily Mail website.

Joanna of Derby added: "My feet don't hurt when I have an orgasm."

What do you think of extreme heels? Are you with team Blahnik or Louboutin?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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