According to science, it may improve the act.
Of all the things that you can possibly wear during sex, few items of clothing have gained such widespread divisiveness as the humble pair of socks. The proclivity of some individuals to keep their socks on while doing the deed has inspired countless memes, Reddit threads, and moments of suddenly depleted desire—but it turns out we may be too quick to judge this simple preference. Wearing socks during sex, after all, may make getting it on even better.
That’s according to a study conducted at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Working with 13 heterosexual couples aged 19 to 49, researchers found that when couples were given socks, about 80-percent were able to achieve orgasm, compared with 50-percent when they lacked the socks. The researchers, led by neuroscientist Gert Holstege, also conducted brain scans to determine different mental responses during orgasm; seeing that female participants demonstrated a decrease in activity from the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, the parts of the brain that process fear and anxiety, they connected that socks could help bring about the level of the relaxation necessary to hit the big O.
There’s also a relatively simple biological explanation, too: The intensity of orgasms are dependent on blood circulation to the vaginal area and erections are also dependent on blood flow. Wearing socks increases blood circulation. Hence, socks make for better orgasms.
So why all the sock hate? Commenters on one Reddit thread suggest it’s because the sight of anyone totally naked, except for socks, is more silly than sexy, and others say it’s a texture preference (especially if, you know, you’re getting your feet involved in any way). And, of course, there’s also liability of pop culture—you’re probably more likely to see TV and movie characters wearing shoes on their bed than you are to see a sex scene where actors are wearing socks.
But there are still plenty of people who are pro-sock (i.e. pretty much anyone who always complains about having cold feet). Some also explain that spontaneity and sock-removal don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, and while others insist that their partner wearing socks during sex is actually a turn-on. At the end of the day, what goes on between the sheets is between you and your partner—and if you decide to get your sock drawer in on the action, that’s up to you. Cold feet never led to a good time, anyway.