I’ve decided that I’m apparently a prude. Or a very, very boring girl.
At least, when it comes to buying lingerie.
In my opinion, and that of my husband, my sex life is something private – to be kept behind closed doors and closed lips. Something between the two of us and that’s it.
So, in my ripe thirties, I am still embarrassed when I see sexy lingerie, and mortified at the even suggestion of it being on me and someone seeing me in it – even my husband! I’m also spectacularly offended by the prices of these little pieces of cloth that, let’s be frank, will be worn for two minutes before it is taken off…and that may not even be appreciated to its full potential.
I’m saying this, because, if you remember, I have recently been trying to upgrade my wardrobe. Slowly, I’ve replaced old, worn out, too tight or too big or just plain ugly clothing, with stylish yet classic dresses (OMG!), skirts, pants and blouses. I’ve reached to the point where I can get away with what I have – except for my underwear.
My Mother always used to say, always have good underwear because you never know when you’ll get hit by a bus…and then you know the ER room and people having to undress you and embarrassment etc. At the same time, since we were moving to the UK, I decided that I would not replenish my underwear until we reached – just so that we had a little more money on hand and just because I was lazy and had other things to do. So, to my embarrassment, I must admit to the world and to my Mother, the sad state of my underwear drawer.
I divide my panties into “period” panties and non-period panties. The former tend to be a bit more granny-ish and have the ability to keep things…um…in place a bit more than the latter. No, they are not shapewear and do not go from my waist to the underneath of my buttocks. They are all, however, cotton, some slightly girly (thank you Aerie) and probably none of them would fall in the category “sexy”. Hubby has complained once, but then I told him it was saving money and he was happy. At least, I think he is?
Then it comes to my bras – only one of which has a hint of lace/see through to it, thanks to Claire at Butterfly Collection Lingerie. The rest are all T-shirt bras. I have a bright fuschia one and a leopard print one just because I was feeling adventurous and down and needed some retail therapy one day – but they are padded and make me look like an Amazonian woman….which, in some books is a good thing…..but then in others, attracts a lot of attention and I’m not sure I’m able to handle that.
Also, I feel slightly awkward when I’m wearing them as opposed to my plain T-shirt bras – sorta like when I was twelve and wanted to shave my legs. I shaved half of a leg one day to see if my Mom would notice, then the next week half of the other leg etc. etc….it took a few months for me to do the entire thing – only to learn that my Mom did not care one way or another – and did not notice if I hadn’t confessed because my guilt was eating me up….
Anyways, the point is that I’ve reached an impasse. I have panties that are literally slightly see through (and are not supposed to be) and bras that are stretched out and falling apart. I’m almost at the point where I have to wash two times a week just to have enough to pull me through….which means …it’s shopping time. I’m officially in England, so all my excuses have run out.
So I ran around the little town of Huddersfield where I’m now living and noticed a store that looked like a lingerie store called “Ann Summers”. My darling British friends and family died laughing when I asked them if it were a good store – because apparently Ann Summers is known for…um…sexy lingerie…. and…um…other sexy stuff. Something I don’t really associate me with – 1) because I think that it’s a waste of money and 2) because I don’t see myself as adult/sexy/womanly enough to pull those things off and 3) I don’t want to see fake penises and vibrating toys – they just embarrass me (and to know that they’re “testers” in Boots here just completely made me blush and run out of the store!).
Also recently, I was reading a book where the character decided to “forego pantyhose in lieu of comfortable cotton panties…” and that made me think….do people wear pantyhose without panties?! Isn’t that sorta….gross? I mean forget sexy – think of chafing and certain bodily fluids and the laundry day….and the smell of your laundry basket…ew.
So I put the question out to the world (well, my world on facebook and twitter) – and every single woman (and suspiciously enough two men…) who replied either did not use pantyhose or wore panties under their pantyhose. The result was we all decided that the safest thing if you HAVE to wear hose of some sort are thigh-highs. Which, I had to admit on that day that my YOUNGER sister had to introduce me to….else I never would have known about them due to that being classified as “sexy-wear” along with garters and corsets (which she also knew how to tie….due to her being involved in theatre of course!….of…course…wait a min…). Does that mean I’m normal? Does everyone have these inhibitions when it comes to lingerie? Or does that mean that the people who talk to me online are as prudish as I am?
In the end, I’m still the blushing not-so-bride-to-be when it comes to lingerie. I have no clue what I need first to replenish my stock of lingerie. What do I buy first? What looks good on me? I mean, I look at the photos online or in magazines and I love how these frilly, sexy things look on the models, but trust me, none of those models look like me – and where is the advice from a normal jo-blo on what revealing lingerie would hide my thunder thighs and not-a-mommy-yet-belly?! Someone save me and make me grow up!
To be honest, it’s overwhelming and ridiculously embarrassing and I wonder constantly if there was some part of my upbringing that I forgot about? I mean, my Mom taught me everything I know – about how to buy a bra, how to deal with my monthlys (that in itself was quite embarrassing and is a story to tell) etc. etc. as a mother should do – but somehow, this seems to be beyond me. Was it possible that even my Mom is as clueless or prudish as I am? Also, when it comes to bra size, I’m the biggest among my immediate family – my Mom is a petite woman, as are my two sisters. I’m the only one who knows what it’s like to be making a cake, building an architectural model or leaning over to fetch something only to have my boobs knock it away/ruin it. And they think I’m the lucky one…..
This is why I always end up going for cotton-wanna-be-granny-but-not-quite panties and T-shirt bras. I cannot get myself to bring a sexy panty or bra to a cash register with confidence. I would want to run out of there blushing and embarrassed, and most likely would if the lady (please God be a lady!) says anything other than what it’s gonna cost me. So in the meantime, I will head to the 5 for $15 special cotton panties that sometimes look like they suit a pre-pubescent tween more than a thirty year old married woman – because those are not embarrassing in any way right? At the same time, they do nothing for making you feel sexy, womanly or confident.
(Completely off the point – how do you wear these lacy things under a T-shirt?)
The other thing is, how do you wash these pieces of lace and silk? I do NOT hand wash (my second rule after the “I do not shovel snow”…and the “I do not dust”…and…wait a min…) I’m sorry but I don’t see why I should put myself through that…also, my husband is very, VERY adverse to having anything hanging in the bathroom that could actually suggest that I may be female. No lingerie, no pantyhose, no bras, no panties, and God forbid that a sanitary product may be visible to the naked eye. And when I say very adverse, I mean VERY VOCALLY ADVERSE. So that would mean that these little pieces of cloth would have to go to a dry cleaner. I would have to wear a mask and a wig to take those in – seriously!
So I am a self-professed prude – the blushing not-so-bride-to-be – the one person in this world that cannot buy lingerie without feeling like a Mennonite virgin in hot pants must feel like.
Do you buy sexy lingerie? Does it make you embarrassed at all? Do you have any tips for replacing a seriously dwindling underwear collection? What should I buy first? Someone please take me under your wing and educate me!!!