The Intricacies of Intimates

January 3, 2010 — 1 Comment

I remember feeling emboldened by the fact that I was hundreds of miles away from home. Guys didn’t go to places like this where I came from. In fact, I was pretty sure we didn’t have a place like this at home. I stepped across the threshold, one foot, then the next, my heart racing. I tried to look like I fit in, but clearly I was out of my element. The smell of perfume, the shimmer of silk and satin, the women – so many women; I was the only man in sight. It was a sensory feast for a road starved man. I held my hands clasped behind my back, took a deep breath, and moved toward the back room committed to taking it all in and following through – for her – or so I told myself. I needed education.

“Can I help you?” A beautiful young blonde smiled at me, clearly trying to reassure me that I belonged. My instincts told me to run. “Is there anything I can help you find?”


“Is there a particular size you are looking for?”


The rest of what happened is a bit of a blur, but I remember feeling a little like Caesar when I was done. “I came, I saw, I conquered.” In my hand I carried the spoils of my quest: a small bag full of beautiful undergarments and a catalogue that would guide my adventures next time. My visits to Victoria’s Secret would eventually become a much anticipated part of my trips to Columbus, OH.

Was returning home with lingerie a romantic gesture? Maybe a little because I “stretched” to collect those first items for my Mrs. This was, after all, the era when virtually all undergarments came from a slightly hidden, no-man’s land in a department store or, for particularly racy couples, in a plain, vaguely addressed package from a less than classy mail-order house. I felt like I was pioneering for my Mrs. I had a Victoria’s Secret card in my wallet long before the chain started marketing to Canada.

“… Romantic, yes – if they have taken the time to find something you’d like” – @adventureskids

However, for something to be really romantic, it should be all about her, and clearly it is hard to give intimate apparel without conveying some sense of an ulterior motive. Certainly, there was a not too subtle message in my returning home from a two week business trip with frilly things as gifts.

“No, because it’s for him, not me!” – @jbaddorf
“Suggestive, yes. romantic, no.” – @Brokeback_Cat

For someone whose love language is physical touch, this message could be a seductive preview, but for my Mrs., whose primary love language is “Quality Time,” the gifts were more pragmatic that truly romantic.

“Nope [not romantic]. Cuz it ends up on the floor.” – @tattood1

In the worst case scenario, a gift of lingerie can, and often does, convey a unintended negative message. When I gave lingerie I was trying to say “You are beautiful. You deserve something that makes you feel good; feel special.” However, that is not always what women hear. A gift of beautiful lingerie has the potential to act like an emotional hand grenade.

“It took me years to receive it in the romantic spirit it was given. At first it made me feel I wasn’t good enough for him without it.” – @tashabouvier
“No. No way. Lingerie is not romantic. It’s like giving them an invite to start working in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. No.” – @Jeryes

But in fairness, virtually all gifts have the potential to backfire, so I am not saying that lingerie should never be given. It is just important to know that it falls into the same “be careful” category as power tools and appliances; you REALLY have to know your SO before giving it. Ask yourself, if I am being honest, is it really for me? Would she be happier with, for example, a beautiful flannel nightgown? Is it something she really wants? Will appreciate? Have you asked? Take the time to know.

“As long as it is not to slutty” – @Simplytracy63
“Lingerie can be romantic if it’s something that you are comfortable wearing & not something a stripper would wear.” – @djhein70

If lingerie is not necessarily a romantic gift for you, know that unless finances are really tight, buying and wearing lingerie that your SO likes is romantic, especially if you let them know “I bought it with you in mind” and really mean it. It shows confidence and a desire to be your best for your SO – two important characteristics of a true romantic. It is a personal indulgence that is relationship money well spent. Treat yourself.

“What’d be more romantic is for a woman to go out and pick out the lingerie herself, then surprise her partner with it later.” – @AutismIsARose

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular? ~Author Unknown

Acts of Service Hmmm… looking for ideas here. The Mrs. said “Help take it off” but that’s a little outside my rated G parameters. :-)
Quality Time Consider going shopping for lingerie together. Enjoy the sensuousness of the experience and be sure to take notes about what she really likes.
“Definitely romantic. We used to have what we called Victoria secret dates. Shop VS , movie, hotel, order n pizza, & enjoy!” – @cbfintlscluster
Receiving Gifts For some receiving lingerie is a great gift. The trick is knowing what kind? Colour, material, size, style are all very important. Browsing through a catalogue ahead of time may be in order. Make sure it is for her.
“Only if she drooled over the item before receiving it. Otherwise it’s for the viewer not wearer. :-) ” – @DrJoyDavidson
Physical Touch Make lingerie a planned part of a “surrender date.” Lay out a beautiful teddy or camisole as part of the outfit you put together for her. Remember, you are going for sensuous and romantic, not sleazy.
Words of Affirmation Use the symbolism in lingerie to augment a message of positive affirmation. E.g. Gift it as the backdrop to a beautiful poem laid on top of the tissue inside the box so that the poem is the first thing seen. Know the receiver of the gift, especially her level of self-confidence and body image. Remember that the words are the important part. This is a high skill-level gesture, so be careful and extra thoughtful.

Does lingerie make a romantic gift?

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One response to The Intricacies of Intimates

  1. Lingerie can make a romantic gift. When we were dating, my husband would buy me sexy lingerie from Frederick’s of Hollywood. It was a nice thought, but at F of H, one-size-fits-all generally stops at a size 8, and well, let’s just say, I’m not that small. That’s only romantic when you’re dating and new, though.

    In the intervening years, my husband has learned that to me, sexy lingerie makes me feel ultra-feminine and powerful in my femininity, and I love that he encourages and nurtures this. There’s the slight tease of what might be hiding under frumpy bum-around-the-house wear. Then there are the times when I have to dig out the ultra-professional, conservative suit. Only he and I know about the stockings (not hose) and what “secrets” of my own might be hidden underneath. I carry that sense of power into the meeting and I feel on top of the world! It’s this sense of sharing the secret and that intimacy that feeds the romance.