“Love. Sex. Shoes.” Suzanne Marie Cody

detail of shoes
detail of shoes
Women’s basketball, 1940, from The University of Iowa Department of Physical Education for Women Records.

In this collection of performance essays, Suzanne Marie Cody uses shoes and clothes to explore the many lives a woman may live. Each pair conveys a different experience, a different time and different lessons like chapters of a book, while constantly calling attention to what it means to walk a mile in a woman’s shoes – whether they’re hiking boots or red stilettos.


Peter demanded non-monogamy. Like he had options. Maybe he thought he had options, that he was the one to decide for both of us—him being older, thirty to my nineteen, and the man, and all. That he could give me permission. I suppose he was just giving himself permission. Not that he ever did anything with it. Not that I needed his permission. I was going to do what I was going to do with or without it, and I certainly did.

As Cody writes, “Shoes will carry you through times of no love better than love will carry you through times of no shoes. Because even love requires the right footwear.” Read more at the link below.

Suzanne Marie Cody. “Love. Sex. Shoes. A collection of performance essays.” MFA (Master of Fine Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2014.