(Don’t) Sex it up

Last weekend I met some school friends on a party, and one of them made a nice comment on my blog, saying she loved how I am entering the lingerie business. I was very pleased to hear it, but something she said after it left me thinking for a while. “We all need lingerie for those special moments with boyfriends, you know…”. It got me thinking for a long time about the way people relate intimates to sex. And this would be funny because I’m the first person to talk about sex without taboos -and even joke about it-, but when she said it, something inside of me told me it was wrong.

Let me get this straight: I don’t think sex is wrong. I don’t think relating lingerie to sex is wrong, not at all. What I think it’s wrong is to have sex as the only direct relation to lingerie. And, because of that, having sex as the only use to lingerie, as well.

Wear it to yourself. And then, show off if you feel like.
Wear it to yourself. And then, show off if you feel like doing it.

I guess one of the points of this is that -at least here- we pretty much use the word lingerie when talking about fine pieces and underwear when talking about everyday pieces. Brazil has a nice market when talking about underwear, but a not-so-nice one when talking about lingerie. That leads people to think that if you put a bit of lace in anything, it becomes something rare, something to be used only in special occasions. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, underwear is “clothing or an article of clothing worn next to the skin and under other clothing”. And lingerie is “women’s intimate apparel”. In other words, lingerie and underwear mean the same thing. 

Here's what brazilian women categorize as underwear. (This one by Trifil)
Here’s what brazilian women categorize as underwear. (This one by Trifil)

Ok, I can get the idea that in popular belief, lingerie is better than underwear. What I can’t accept is the inner prohibition to wear nice clothing during a common day. Thinking sex is the only use to good underwear leads women to believe that they can’t wear special things on common days. The way people and the market sell undergarments is, indeed, not correctly constructed. I can’t say it’s wrong because I don’t study publicity (and because people have been selling lingerie and underwear like this for a long time, so it must be working), but it usually hangs on women insecurities to sell them things, and we can wall agree that this is not a nice thing to do.

I just can’t agree with how this propaganda leads women to think that sex must come before their pleasure. How lingerie must please someone else instead of pleasing you. A while ago, a big lingerie brand around here released an ad in which they said, basically, “there is just a few good men for every woman. you better wear good lingerie”. If you understand portuguese, check the video out. Plenty of feminist groups were after the store responsible for the ad, later on, because it was not only offensive to women but to men, as well (it said something like “men who are afraid of cockroaches are not good. men who dye their hair are not good” and on and on). I couldn’t agree more, it’s one of the worse lingerie ads I’ve ever seen.

This is negative, in my opinion, because of some reasons. First of all, it makes “searching for a man” a priority in a woman’s life – guess I don’t even have to go on about how this is wrong. Second, it accentuates women’s insecurities, usually reminding them that they should cover up and disguise the parts of their bodies that are not ideal, because their main objective in life is finding a man (and you should be perfect, otherwise no man will want you, right? no, wrong!). Thinking like this, women keep focusing on being perfect for everyone else, except for themselves. When they keep trying to correct their “imperfections”, keep wearing undergarments that make them uncomfortable and keep in mind everything bad about them… it can’t be good sex. Ok, it can be good, but it can’t be great sex. Because in the middle of it you will be thinking “does my bottom look good?”, when, to be honest, it doesn’t matter if your bottom looks good. All that matters is if you are having fun.

Fifi Chachnil gives a little reminder about what intimate moments should be about: fun.
Fifi Chachnil gives a little reminder about what intimate moments should be about: fun.

I could summarize every one of my thoughts in this article by saying that life should be about having fun. That serious moments exist, but we should have fun everyday with our choices and just focus on feeling good with ourselves. But, because I write about lingerie, I will just translate this advice within the context of the blog: lingerie is not about being perfect. It’s about love.

Love for yourself, love for your body – and for the amazing form it has with or without some clothing. Love for another one, why not? It’s not negative to relate lingerie to sex, what is not good is to forget that loving yourself must come before it. Or else, none of us will ever have the chance to be as sexy as the girls on ads.

And if you build that self-love, dress yourself up and still, your loved one don’t appreciate your work, you can always do like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in this Agent Provocateur ad.

Just remember to love. And wear amazing underwear.
Just remember to love. And wear amazing underwear.
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(Don’t) Sex it up

13 thoughts on “(Don’t) Sex it up

    1. That’s right! It’s natural and nice to please someone you love (or just like, or barely know – it doesn’t matter anyway), but lingerie is way more than this. And this is what I try to express here, how lingerie is about you, not anyone alse.

    1. Thank you! And that thought is considered natural because our society have been building it for such a long time! But it’s good to remember that we should love ourselves, sometimes!

  1. As a boutique owner I too often see women who will only shop for underwear when they have a date or for a lover and I always stress to them the importance of wearing pretty, special or sexy underwear just for themselves. I always remind them of that naughty twinkle we get in our eye and that extra confidence in our step when we are dress in something glamorous underneath. Generally on reflection they are inclined to agree and end up buying something for the man and then something just for them too! I guess sometimes us ladies have so many things to spend our money on that we just forget to treat ourselves to great lingerie. So I love it when articles like this give everyone a reminder. Celebrate your gorgeous sexy selves ladies! x

    1. I couldn’t agree more! It’s great to have the view from someone who actually owns a store. This is the view I try to get when drawing, since I still don’t make any pieces. But everytime we are able to remind a woman that she should be sexy to herself, we are doing something good for every single woman out there. Thank you for saying this to your customers!

  2. flirtylingerie2008 says:

    Great food for thought! After owning and operating a retail store and online site for 14 years I have seen many women who are buying lingerie. Most, but not all were buying lingerie, not foundations, for themselves and their lovers, boyfriends or husbands. Over and over women would tell me the reasons they were buying this piece of lingerie and generally it was for an occasion, rarely for themselves, how it made them feel or simply because they loved lingerie or even liked it. Many expressed disdain for lingerie as while their husbands loved it on them, they had a drawer full of it and didn’t wear it. I draw the distinction between lingerie and foundations as that was more for support, comfort or looking better in clothing. This article puts a lot of those mini conversations in perspective and it seems there is not a lot of love women have for themselves or their bodies. It seems we have a really long way to go girls!

    1. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with all of us! Yes, I agree about the foundations, although here in Brazil women are more inclined to wear them or cotton panties everyday. If you put some lace or color it becomes special (that’s why every girl I know falls in love with Pink by VS). We really do have a long way to go, but together we certainly go faster, further and having more fun!

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