It doesn't need a scientist to tell us that the sight of stilettos can have a dramatic effect on men's libido.
Sex and the City: The four main characters in the show boasted a good sex life and love of high heels. [Agencies]
But wearing them can also work wonders for a woman's sex life, research suggests.
High-heeled shoes not only tone the legs and strengthen the pelvic muscles, but they "directly work the pleasure muscles which are linked to an orgasm", it is claimed.
In the past stilettos have been blamed for stress fractures and joint pain but now it seems that the pain might be worth the gain.
Italian urologist Dr Maria Cerruto discovered that a pair of "moderately high-heeled shoes" had beneficial effects.
"I adore high-heeled shoes and I wanted to find something positive about them," said Dr Cerruto, of the University of Verona. "In the end I achieved my goal.
"The heels influence and work the pelvic muscles and reduce the need to exercise them.
"We now hope to prove that wearing heels during daily activity may reduce the need for the pelvic exercises necessary to keep that part of a woman's anatomy toned and elastic."
The study involved 66 women under the age of 50. Dr Cerruto discovered that women who held their feet at a 15-degree angle to the ground, the equivalent of a two-inch heel, showed up to 15 per cent less electrical activity in their pelvic muscles.
This suggests the muscles are more relaxed with higher heels, increasing their strength and ability to contract.
Dr Cerruto added: "Women often have difficulty in carrying out the right exercises for the pelvic zone and wearing heels could prove to be the solution.
"Like many women, I like high-heeled shoes, and although they are sometimes uncomfortable I continue to wear them in an effort to appear more slender and taller.
"It's good to know they have potential health benefits."
An official guide to better sex, provided by NHS Direct, advises women to become more aware of their pleasure muscles (pelvic floor muscles) and advises them how to exercise them to aid sexual arousal.
The NHS recommends that women, particularly just after pregnancy, should do pelvic floor exercises up to five times a day.
Manolo Blahnik, the shoe designer who specialises in vertiginous heels, said: "This is wonderful news.
"I've been hounded for years about how bad it is for posture, but I always thought it was contradictory.
"Until my mummy was 87 she was wearing high heels and she looked wonderful. She is my living example that heels are good for you.
"When you put on a high heel it makes life more exciting.
"In the 1980s it was all about power, but today it's shifted; it's about elegance.
"If you are a woman, it's a way to appeal to the male species, it's a way to attract.
"And it works. I have men who tell me that heels have saved their marriage.
"I think there's a limit, though. Anything over four-and-a-half inches is just too much. You can't walk properly; it's no longer elegant."
pelvic muscles: 骨盆肌肉
（英语点津 Celene 编辑）