Where Have All The Lingerie Loving Women Gone?
A common complaint I hear from men at my blog, A Slip Of A Girl
, is that women don't love lingerie like they used to. I don't have stats to back me up, but I think I have my finger on the pulse of some cultural issues which may explain this...
In the 1960's women supposedly burned their bras. Nevermind this isn't a literally accurate statement, but it's the vision we all have burned into our brains.
This had happened before. Gibson girls left off layers of lingerie as they pursued more physical activities such as riding bicycles. In the 20's women left confining corsets and petticoats as the Flapper dropped her drawers on bedroom & car floors, never to pick them up again. In the swingin' free 60's and the liberated 70's bras became if not public then private enemy number one. Women left bras at home for a night out. Many even left them at the department store when they went to their jobs. Along with our free minds and bodies we collectively felt the need to liberate our breasts.
Ironically, bouncing boobies likely did more to encourage the objectification of both boobs and chicks. But this is not my concern at the moment -- I am more concerned with where all the lingerie went.
From a purely economic stand point, less consumers purchasing lingerie means less stores selling (and carrying) lingerie which means there will be less companies manufacturing lingerie. That's a cause and effect as transparent as a see-thru-babydoll. But there is more.
Along with the 70's, women's fashions became more 'practical'. Pants were en vogue. Since panties had not been 'burned' along with the bras, there was an upsurge in producing practical panties. Gone were the ruffled rhumba panties, the sweet embellished and embroidered nylon panties, and the tap pants. (Forgive me a moment while I weep...)
Adding fashion insult to lingerie injury, it became practical and deemed more healthy to forgo panties and just wear pantyhose with built in panties. (I can still hear the 'ding ding' of the Underalls ads, can't you?) Horror of horrors, lingerie had become underwear.
While the 80's saw an undercover return to some romantic lingerie (tap pants became more popular to wear under business suits, for example) and women were told/sold to diffuse the manish powersuit looks with more feminine ones at home (you can thank the anti-feminist movement for Laura Ashley fashions and home decor), lingerie lessons had been lost.
Even if you didn't have a mom who skipped braless & bouncing through the liberated hippie fests to make love with equally liberated strangers who valued her nameless person as an equal (and therefore were not taught about proper undergarments), you had little available to you.
Commerce, the great equalizer, had diminished it's creation of intimate apparel which was to exist beyond the bedroom. (Which is to say that teddies, gowns, and other forms of bedroom playwear still existed, but daywear lingerie was virtually non-existant.) Bras may have come back onto the sales floor to join panties, but the other items such as slips, corsets, girdles, and camisoles were still rare.
In fact, the only places they really existed were in large department stores, in the 'foundation department' which was referred to as the granny department because they only stocked that stuff for dowagers and old wealthy biddies who had never been liberated (cool) enough and therefore still insisted upon wearing them. One by one even the department stores limited the stock they carried. Soon foundation garments (and real stockings along with them) became special order or mail order only in many places.
A limited audience, a limited voice, they were the lingerie industry's afterthoughts. Along with limited locations to purchase and limited sizes there were limited colors, styles and few of the pretty details such items once had. These ladies were also the afterthoughts of society in general; they certainly didn't have sex or derive pleasure from their intimate apparel!
Foundation garments became synonymous with "grannie panties" & the "sexless grannies" themselves.
But the 'joke' was on the rest of society.
Limited exposure to real lingerie combined with no education from once-a-hippy-mom meant future generations would be ignorant. No longer did little girls get to hug mom's slip from last night (still carrying bits of her perfume). In fact, little girls didn't even know such garments existed.
Women today were once little girls. Little girls who never knew these joys:
the bliss of pouring a cool nylon slip over their skin
of silky panties sliding across their own bottoms
of the special secret of wearing pretty ribbons and lace that no one else would see.
As little girls they no longer had these simple sensual pleasures of femininity; as young women, they never knew how powerful such secret sensual delights could be.
Bras, panties and pantyhose are to just be yanked on and off.
Few knew the pleasure of gently spreading nylon stockings up the length of her leg. Few knew the thrill of attaching those stockings to the garter clasps. Few knew that wearing such bits could be so fun.
(Oh, if I had received a quarter for every girl in my graduating class who on graduation day feared falling off the stage because she didn't even know how to walk in heels!)
It's likely not a coincidence that the word 'linger' is in 'lingerie'. Pretty underthings make you slow down and enjoy the ritual of dressing -- and imagine the undressing as well. This delight of lingerie and dressing didn't exist, so it could not grow into an ability to appreciate the power of sweet seduction...
Many women today don't know or fully understand how a little mystery works. How the appearance of a bit of lace peeping beneath a hem is a flirtation -- a promise they want made good on. How the slow removal of each lingerie layer can drive a man as wild as any foreign sports car. How a girdle, garters and stockings can make a man stand and cheer as loudly as he does at any football game.
So why do women today seem to not care for lingerie?
The lingerie ignorant little girls grew to become the lingerie illiterate women we have today.
What you can do about it is another question ;)
© Slip of a Girl. Slip, as she is known, is lingerie literate and proves it with (multiple) daily posts at her blog.