A Discovery of My Love Affair (with Lingerie)

The story of when I accidentally discovered the power of lingerie, along 10 with of the best quotes about why women love sultry undergarments. By Karley Sciortino.

Perhaps I’m late to the game, but it was only in the past year that I truly understood the power of lingerie. Recently, I was dating this filmmaker, and for his birthday I decided to surprise him with a new set of lingerie (and by new I mean first ever, because at that point he’d only ever seen me in cotton granny panties, which, of course, have their own allure). So I went shopping at Maison Close for the perfect set—a pearl and black silk ensamble, complete with a garter and thigh highs, the works—and went to meet him for dinner. I expected my new lacey undergarments to be fun addition for later in the night—I mean, it’s not rocket science that wearing something pretty and flattering will make you feel hot and confident, which will make sex more fun. However, the lingerie had a different effect on our evening than I had initially anticipated.

As I left my apartment and walked to the subway, I could feel the garter shifting under my dress, and just being reminded of what was under my clothes, with every step I took, immediately made me super horny. And then it was more of the same at dinner—every time I crossed my leg I got increasingly wet, because I could feel the clasp between the garter and my stockings (the kind with the line up the back—I die) slide across my thigh. By the time we got back to his apartment I was in full predator mode. Not only was the lingerie a fun and aesthetic enhancement to the sex itself; it also made me more sexual, and more excited. And while I’m not one of those annoying women who claim to “only wear lingerie for myself”—like as if you wear a red lace thong and matching colar when you’re alone—I now fully understand that it’s not just for the benefit of your date, either.

karley sciortino vogue lingerieMe in Maison Close

Personally, I’ve always felt that clothes have the power to turn me into a superhero—clothes allow you to escape into fantasy, to assume foreign identities. It’s like how an actor puts on a costume to help get into character. We dress to reflect who we are, but we also put on clothes (or panties) to become who we want to be. Personally, I flirt better in lace, I negotiate best in a power suit, and I just fuck better when I’m wearing extremely complicated underwear. I’m not ashamed to say that.

In the words of my feminist icon, Camille Paglia, “Sex is animality and artifice—a dynamic interplay of nature and culture.” This is how I think of lingerie—the perfect blend of animal and artifice. There’s this idea that sex should be “natural,” or that “natural beauty” is somehow superior to other types of beauty. But says who? Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the artifice in sex, seduction and beauty—and the fun that can be had with smoke and mirrors—is simply lying to themselves.

Below are 10 sweet and sultry quotes about lingerie—some from my friends, and some that I found lurking around the internet. Enjoy :)


Some thoughts on lingerie, from my friends:

1.Myla Dalbesio, model and artist: “ There’s something about lingerie that can set a whole mood. I think it can give you a lot of strength. When it’s under your clothes, it’s something special that you can do just for yourself. And when it’s all you’re wearing, it’s like a gift you can give to your lover. It’s something you can have total control over, and it can be reserved from public judgement, which feels rare these days, even in simple sartorial terms.”

2. My BFF, a chic NYC escort: “Lingerie makes me feel like  a Helmut Newton muse—glamorous and slightly intimidating.”

3. Adwoa Aboah, model, founder of Gurls Talk: “Lingerie makes me feel like I want to have sex with myself—not in a narcissistic way; it’s more that I don’t need anyone to make me feel sexy, that I’m independent, and I’m the only one that knows that underneath the tracksuit lies a matching set of lace that make my arse and boobs look great. However, give me a granny pantie any day.”

4. Maayan Zilberman, lingerie designer and the woman behind Sweet Saba Candy: “I think having lingerie in your drawer means something could happen… some people liken it to having a gun in the house. You feel protected. You have a weapon.”

Quotes on lingerie, shouted from the internet:

5. Dita Von Teese: “Lingerie is not about seducing men; it’s about embracing womanhood.”

6. Christian Dior: “Without proper foundations, there can be no fashion.”

7. Amelia Diamond (of Man Repeller): “It wasn’t about wearing lingerie to impress or seduce someone or make my chest look a certain way. It was mental, internal.”

8. From the abstract to “Becoming a ‘Woman to the Backbone’: Lingerie Consumption and the Experience of Feminine Identity”: “Consuming lingerie with the purpose of experiencing feminine identity is a matter of controlling your bodily performance in social life.”

9. Elle Macpherson: “If you’re wearing lingerie that makes you feel glamorous, you’re halfway there to turning heads.”

10. Ashley Graham: “For me, wearing lingerie isn’t about anyone else but me. If I dressed for others I would be a miserable person.”

Photos by Aria Eastwood

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Maison Close.



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