Of all the garments that can be worn during sex, socks are perhaps the most polarising. Online communities and popular culture have long poked gentle fun at those who keep their socks on. Some find the practice funny, silly, or a tad unglamorous. But as it turns out, the joke is on them: something as simple as a pair of socks could be all it takes to have more and better orgasms.
You’re more likely to come in socks
You can increase your chances of reaching orgasm just by wearing socks during sex, according to a frequently-cited study at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 2005. The researchers, led by neuroscientist Gert Holstege, worked with 13 heterosexual couples aged 19 to 49 to stage a series of sexual experiences in a controlled environment. In the first round of the experiment, about 50% of couples achieved orgasm. In the second round, couples were given socks to wear during sex, and whopping 80% were able to achieve orgasm. That’s a 30% increase - no small feat for the humble sock.
Comfort is crucial
In the same study, researchers also performed brain scans to examine different mental responses during orgasm. Observing that female participants demonstrated less activity in the parts of the brain that process fear and anxiety in the second round of the experiment, they surmised that the socks helped them reach the level of relaxation required to climax.
Holstege hypothesised that the reason socks seem to increase the female sex drive is because they help them to feel safe and secure. Whether solo or partnered, reaching orgasm can be tough if the parts of your brain that cause fear and anxiety are activated. The soothing effect of wearing socks can relax your body and mind, making it easier to orgasm.
Wearing socks improves blood flow
The reason wearing socks makes for better orgasms is not only psychological but also physiological. The intensity of orgasms is dependent on blood circulation to the genital area. Wearing socks reduces the blood flow needed to warm your extremities. It also helps to dilate blood vessels leading to increased circulation overall.
Sometimes socks equal sex appeal
For some people, socks themselves are a turn on. Foot fetishes are one of the most common kinks, and people with stocking and sock specific fetishes in particular enjoy seeing those garments on their partner.
Other generous souls just love to see their partner comfortable and find that their partner wearing cosy socks to bed adds to their sex appeal rather than detracting from it.
Not all socks are created equal
Understandably, your sex partner may not love the feel of your scratchy, sweaty hockey socks against their calves when you’re getting down to business. We recommend a pair of cute, clean socks that are soft to the touch and easy on the eye.
To keep your feet warm, comfortable and dry, choose socks made from organic, natural fibers. Materials like merino wool and cotton offer superior climate-control, deodorisation, warmth and softness - all of which are important when you’re working up a sweat between the sheets.
The verdict is in: the socks stay on.
While Holstege’s study is pretty much the only one of its kind, the results make it pretty clear that wearing socks during sex can help you achieve climax more easily. Add comfort, warmth and style into the mix, and slipping on a pair of socks before your next intimate encounter becomes a very sexy proposition.