Socks on or off: We asked 6 people and here's what they said!

Socks on or off: We asked 6 people and here's what they said!

I loveee reading about crazy sex experiments - like the study on how prevalent sex acts were while driving or a study on whether the shape of someone’s lips has an influence on the likelihood of having an orgasm. It’s a rabbit hole I willingly plunge into, relishing every detail and dissecting the legitimacy and implications of all these steamy studies.

One such usual day, I tripped over a gem – the University of Groningen investigation into the sock-game and orgasms. Now, I know of some friends who swear by sock-clad escapades, but I never delved into the ‘whys’. Always left it at - ‘it may be their own personal preference.’

But, hmm, this study has got me thinking. Let me first tell you what they did! 13 heterosexual couples were selected, between the ages of 19-49 – yeah, not the most fair party, but hey, it was a while back. The results? A staggering 80% of sock-clad participants climaxed, compared to a mere 50% of the barefoot brigade.

In an age where these studies aren't exactly dinner table conversation, why in the world do people still choose to keep their sock game strong during sexy times?  Let's kick off our shoes (maybe keep the socks on?) and get into conversations!

Srishti, Indore :
“We're in the heat of the moment, under the sheets, but without even realizing it, my toes sneak out of the blanket. It’s very much like how we’re properly tucked in but our toes sneak off the blanket just while we’re about to doze off.  Here's the trouble – he's going down on me, and all I can think about is how darn chilly my feet are. That's when the lightbulb moment struck – socks, my friends, socks. Now all I can think of is how his tongue rolls on me!”

This made me think of the time when Emily Nagoski was curious about this very question - why would socks make it easier to have an orgasm. And guess what? She stumbled upon a revelation – women were eliminating a sneaky distraction that was stopping them from completely submitting to their own state of arousal.

Let’s break this down in Emily's own words. She begins by explaining that all of our internal states - hunger, thirst, sleepiness, loneliness, stress - exist and interact in our brain at the same time.

These states influence each other in a process called integration. So, when one process, like cold feet – interferes with another process – such as arousal – it causes ‘subtractive integration.’

“Imagine for a moment that all of your feelings are a flock of birds.

When all the birds are flying towards an orgasm then it will be incredibly pleasurable. But when some of the birds are distracted from the goal and fly off somewhere else, it’s not so good. But it can work the other way, too.

If you can get rid of the distractions – put on the socks and have warmer feet – then the birds that were flying to that destination suddenly start flying enthusiastically back in the direction of the orgasm. In effect you are turning on all the on's and turning off all the off's.”

Laxmi, Rajkot :
“I’ve had sex with and without socks. Intimate moments with socks are just on another level of comfort and delight. I can't explain the magic behind it, but it's not a one-time wonder; it's a revelation that's stood a considerable number of my steamy encounters. I can still have sex without socks, but it’s a lot more fun with socks on!”

Holstege, the neuroscientist who led the research we spoke about, hypothesized that one of the prime reasons that socks might seem to increase sex drive in women is about the warm, fuzzy feeling of safety and security. Forget the cold; with socks, you get that extra layer of coziness that sends signals to your brain's anxiety squad (aka the amygdala and prefrontal cortex) to chill out.

Prathamesh, Mumbai :
“I cannot remember the last time I had sex without socks. My cold tolerance isn't exactly breaking records and I live in Uttarakhand - which is chilly almost throughout the year. Trust me, if I dare to go sockless, my body goes into full-on tension mode, and my focus takes a nosedive. It completely kills my vibe, to say the least.”

Let’s break it down on a biological level – our bodies are wired in a 'fight or flight response’ mode. Cold? Immediate danger, activating the fight response. The amygdala, the brain's fear processing HQ, goes on high alert. Now, here's where the problem starts – as a result, our blood plays musical chairs, flowing away from the genitals and focusing on other survival-centric body parts. Staying in the arousal zone becomes a Herculean task, let alone reaching the grand finale.

Kriya, Gurgaon :
“I've got a bit of a foot fetish, and let me tell you, there's nothing quite like the thrill of well-adorned feet. Whether it's stockings, socks, or a full-blown foot extravaganza, count me in! There's something undeniably sensual about the slow reveal during foreplay – hands gracefully dancing around socked feet, eventually peeling them off in the heat of the moment. Or sometimes, you know what? Just letting them be, socks and all.”

Ah, we cannot forget about the ones who love socks for the heck of it! Bringing socks into your sensual play can add a new fun edge. The visual appeal of sexy socks can add an extra oomph. That's a pretty compelling reason to stock up on socks. So, go on a shopping spree! Or, you can save yourself the trouble by checking out our really cool socks. You can thank me later!

Simran, Kochi :
“I live alone, so I have the privilege of creating a complete set up when I masturbate. I turn the AC on, take all my clothes off, put a great playlist on. It's a one-person party, and I take my sweet time exploring every inch of my body. Somewhere in the midst of this, the chill from the AC starts to creep in. Turning it off, though, throws me into a warmth overload. That’s when I remembered one of my closest friends talking about how she always keeps her socks on, and thought that it might be a great solution for my problem. And yes, it worked wonders.”

To be honest, by this time, I'm genuinely floored by the wonders our humble sock can unfold. Chatting with Sonali was an absolute eye-opener, it proved that when it comes to any kind of sexual arousal, the smallest additions can make the biggest impact.

Nirali, Bhubaneswar :
“Confession time: I've never been a fan of the sock-during-sex, but my partner swears by it. Turns out, she's way more comfortable, focused, and in the zone with socks on. She’s also had a conversation with me - about whether her socks distract me or take away the appeal - but hey! If slipping on those socks adds to her comfort and confidence, who am I to complain? In fact, it does the opposite – it makes me happy to see her feeling at ease and fully present in the moment.”

So, the verdict is now in : We are #TeamSocks! Did we already convince you that this is a good idea or should I bring up another study? 

Get cozy with Sox for Seggs from That Sassy Thing!


About the Author 

Hemali (she/her) is an explorer of the realms of sexuality, intimacy, and dating. She talks endlessly about the evolving landscape of feminist narratives on the big screen and makes you reanalyze the portrayal of women in mainstream culture. If you're looking for alternative conversation starters, take your pick from: Biryani, Art Fairs, or Spoken Word Poetry.

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