So my boyfriend has a thing for wearing socks when we have sex. I can't tell you how much I hate his footwear habits in bed. Maybe I'm too particular, but it seems very odd and silly looking. - Carla in Chicago
Thanks for raising the issue. The do's and don'ts of sock-wear, both socially and sexually, is vastly overlooked and under-discussed. Beyond your personal pet peeve, which I'll get to momentarily, there are several other sins of the socks that make the average man look like a fashion Antichrist.
For instance, with dress attire and even business-casual wear, the color of a man's socks should match his trousers, not his shoes. Dark blue pants, for example, require dark blue socks, gray pants require gray socks (of a similar shade) and red pants or anything of the primary palette requires a complete wardrobe intervention, as sock color suddenly becomes less important. So unless a man is colorblind, it's really that simple. And he should know that black socks, regardless of how enticing they may seem, should be saved for a black suit, which by the way should be saved for funerals and formal occasions.
And then we have the slinky socks -- the ones that no longer have the functional elasticity that allows the fabric to sit properly on a man's calves. Those need to be removed immediately and set on fire. Look, no one wants to see a man's hairy shins when he sits down and crosses his legs. Impotent socks that are unable to get up and stay up on their own are a pathetic sight to behold.
This leads me back to your original issue. Regardless of color or elasticity, there are three occasions when a man should never be caught wearing socks. One is when his feet are subject to get wet, as in bathing, swimming or being water-boarded. Two is when he wears sandals, despite his "frat boy" inclinations to do otherwise. And three is when he's about to "tap it." Yes, "tap it". Because, Carla, you are absolutely right; it's the silliest looking thing I've ever seen.
Unfortunately, it's not exclusive to men. Some women are guilty as well. The very idea of foreplay, alone, with a partner who is fully undressed minus a pair of white footies or black nylon knee highs is magnificently un-erotic. There is a reason why actors and actresses don't wear socks in sex scenes; it's arguably the most unflattering bedroom look possible, right up there with a wave cap or set of rollers.
Typically, offenders will make the case that their feet are chilly. To that point, British researchers
have discovered that couples with cold feet while "shagging" (yes, "shagging") are less likely to achieve full and genuine orgasms than couples who wear socks. Personally, I contend that if the feet aren't warmed by the natural body heat after ten minutes, somebody is doing something wrong anyway – either that or turn up the damn thermostat. And if the entire act is expected to last only 10 minutes or less, then again somebody is doing something wrong anyway.
Think of it this way: If what matters most is making sure all the extremities are nice and toasty before "bumping uglies," (yes, "bumping uglies") then why don't couples wear gloves and skull caps? It can't be any more hideous or any less of an act of sexual heresy than sporting socks like one is trying his or her best to recreate a bad porn scene. Seriously, what could be more sexually deflating than someone strutting out of the bathroom decked out in footies, a hat and mittens? Yes, it's utterly ridiculous. Tell him to keep it classy and lose the socks.
Mason Jamal writes about issues pertaining to the style, substance and sensibilities of men (and sometimes women). For more of his musings, you can visit www.MasonSays.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @masonsays and on Facebook.