I love watching the hips of someone who can really walk in heels – someone who knows it and owns it. The swagger that comes with being comfortable walking on what are essentially mini-stilts – the command it gives a person as (s)he sidles across a crowded room – is palpable. It’s mesmerizing.
The first time I truly recognized the power of heels, I was fifteen. My closest friend and I dressed up for school one day in matching miniskirts and white vinyl knee high boots; walking the hallways and feeling the weight shift between my legs – feeling my hips switch – from the relatively short height of the heels, I felt powerful. Feline, almost. I felt like a young woman.
Fast forward twenty years: I own two pairs of high heels now, and they’re both strictly for dancing! At some point between being a rebellious teenager who was trying to navigate the murky waters of identity and sexuality and becoming a confident woman who feels happiest when I’m most comfortable, I’ve ditched the heels for sneakers.
When I was working as a switch, I often had to wear heels for work; my clients would request specific colors, heights, or styles. I’d use them to squish balls, stand taller against the St. Andrew’s cross, or give a strip tease, but I never felt quite comfortable moving in them. I could put on a show and pretend, but I felt like a fraud – an awkward, clumsy girl who might topple over at any moment. I always wondered if they could see through me… but likely not. The illusion of desire and fantasy is strong.
Dancing, however, is another story. A dance instructor once told me that I should start blues dancing in heels; that it would change the way I moved. That it would change my entire frame of mind. She was right; once I tried it, I never looked back. When I’m dancing in heels, I feel graceful, beautiful, balanced, and poised. I feel sexy as fuck. I can give smoldering, come-hither eyes to a partner across the dance floor who will then saunter over and put their hand in the small of my back without a word exchanged (this does happen sometimes, and it always feels like magic when it does). I can spin fast in heels, several times in a row, loving how the silk lining in my skirt rustles against stockings stretched taut against the muscles in my legs. I can dip and sway in heels, enjoying the attention they draw to my well-toned gams… and I feel most alive, sultry, and fully in my body when I do.
I just can’t walk in the damn things.
I guess that doesn’t matter though, because in the end, I can crawl in them… and I think I look pretty darn good on my knees in nothing but shiny black heels, cuffs, and a collar.