03 January 2008
Mapping the Female Brain to Find the World's Most Effective Pick Up Line
This morning, my darling wife announces to me that she was in the midst of the most delicious dream when the phone rang. She reports this while still lying in bed, stretching her arms over her head rather sensuously as she yawns. The visual she provides me neatly ties into my own definition of delicious dream, and I’m convinced that we must be talking about exactly the same thing. When I get too bored by sleep, I dream. When I’m lucky, the dreams are delicious.
“What were you dreaming,” I curiously ask, trying not to look too eager to hear salacious details.
“I was in the most incredible shoe store,” she said. “It was like a shoe aquarium.” My little Canadian added, her eyes aglow, “and they even served tea!” As my expectations of erotica dissolved, she launched into details about the assortment of shoes on display, one pair in particular she was inquiring about when her friend Kate called.
I don’t understand women and shoes, but I’ve been given a theory that has to do with brain mapping. (If I could, I would avoid all shoes. My toes get claustrophobic and I will put on a jacket before I put on socks and shoes.)
My daughter, the cog sci major, shared a theory about why women so love shoes. As it turns out, the brain has regions that map to the body. The genitals map to a large region near the top, on the side of the brain, with the toes and feet immediately adjacent. (The brain map does not exactly accord with the layout of the body. Lips – vital for eating and loving – get disproportionately more of the brain’s real estate than, say, the leg.) One (fairly casual) theory is that the wiring for the genitals and feet sometimes overlap in ways that can, in the extreme, lead to foot fetishes or, more often, closets littered with shoes. Our very different "delicious" dreams might actually be exciting very similar regions of the brain.
Only now, happily married at 47, does it occur to me that some guy out there is on track to break Wilt Chamberlain's’s record for sexual conquests with the simplest of pick up lines: “I just love your shoes.”