Warning: Long story, which is why I am only getting around to responding to it now, but I feel like this is the only way to fully describe the emotions.
For most of my life I had no interest in footwear, and pretty much just picked a color and something comfortable and went on with my life. After we moved to Texas, we wandered into a cowboy boot store, and my wife convinced me that it was worth the investment to get a nice pair of cowboy boots, now that we lived in Texas. I started wearing them in place of dress shoes, into the office and what not, and grew quite fond of the look and feel. One winter, I took a few weeks of vacation, and after spending several days at home (similar to the current shelter-in-place situation) I realized that the thing I missed most was that I didn't get to wear my boots every day. So I went out and bought a couple pairs that were more suitable for casual wear that I liked, and though I didn't pursue it, one of them happened to have 2 3/8" heels. I didn't think much of the heel height until my wife complimented how they made my feet look smaller and more elegant. That night, I "woke up" and starting really looking at footwear, and how details like sole design and heel height can really change the presentation of the entire person. Contrary to popular belief, heels do not just help short people be taller. I am 6 feet and don't have any particular need to be taller. Heels change your overall proportions and posture, adding elegance. As with any new found interest, I hopped on the internet to find a forum in hopes of learn more about high heels, as I knew nothing - none of the women in my life (mother, former girlfriends, wife) have worn heels of any significant height. But I knew there are a lot of women out there who love shoes, have huge collections, and would be a wealth of knowledge.
HHPlace came up first, and it seemed to be what I was looking for - clean and fun discussion about high heels. I wasn't surprised to find a very active "For the guys" section, as I imagined there are probably many guys who admired girls wearing heels. Imagine my slow and steady awe as I browsed deeper and discovered that "For the guys" didn't just have mostly guys that admired girls in heels... they were mostly guys WEARING heels. Honestly, my first reaction was, you guys are weird! I closed my browser, shoved it into the back of my mind, and moved on with life. I may have come back to lurk occasionally, but I never thought I'd be crazy enough to wear 4" stilettos.
But my overall interest in footwear continued, and shopping for cowboy boots became my new hobby. The taller the boots, the higher the heel, the more awesome. My cowboy boots started getting wilder, and I embraced what they can do to the overall presentation of a person and outfit. But I was still envious of the many more options women had in their footwear, to really capitalize on the effect shoes can have on how they present themselves. The pinnacle of this jealousy may have occurred when I was at an event and 4 ladies in an electric string quartet strut up to the stage in 4" stilettos and rocked out with their heels pumping the wah-wah pedal the whole time. The heels were the linchpin of their style and stage presence. Shoes matter.
Fast forward about 20 months, and my latest pair of custom cowboy boots finally arrive in the mail with 18" shafts and 3" heels. I excitingly posted a picture of the boots on Reddit, and someone responded "I'm confused. These are men's or women's boots?" despite the fact that this is one the standard heel styles in the catalog worn by men all the time. Then, I suddenly remembered HHPlace... I have become one of the guys who wear heels. The rest of the world thinks that I've gone off the cliff, but here I find a community of people who enjoy the liberation of having taken that plunge. I immediately created an HHP account, and here I am...