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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


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Pillowtalk – Loving yourself in lace: How to get comfortable and confident wearing lingerie


Dear Pillowtalk,

I’ve been having a hard time feeling “sexy” in lingerie. I just feel kind of silly. I love how it looks and want to wear it and buy it, but I just have a hard time taking myself seriously. Any advice on how to get more comfortable/confident?

Hi! You’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place. Lingerie is a fascinating intersection of Western sexuality, misogyny and fashion. All of those things influence the way we see ourselves in lingerie. It’s hard to see yourself as sexy when you don’t look like a lingerie model (read: skinny, white, perky boobs, hairless body) or don’t feel like a person with sexual agency. 

I’m going to define lingerie here as undergarments specifically designed for sexual aesthetic as opposed to utility. There’s a blurry line, I know, but we’re talking about the stuff you get that’s lacy, strappy, leather, see through, etcetera. Those things are designed to be pretty, sexy and unfortunately sometimes have the side-effect of making you feel like an imposter. When we see lingerie in popular media, it’s in sexy scenarios with steamy partners, or it’s a gag meant to embarrass people or make them insecure. When you put on lingerie, it’s probable that you’ll try to paste your perception of yourself onto one of those two scenarios. When your sexual self esteem is low, or if you’re just not familiar with looking at your body in lingerie, “feeling silly” is a perfectly normal reaction.

Remember, first, that lingerie isn’t inherently sexual. We’re conditioned to see it as sexual because it’s pretty much exclusively associated with sexuality. In reality, it’s just fabric (or the lack thereof). Distancing yourself from that association can help you appreciate it as just decoration for your body! Skipping straight from feeling “silly” to feeling “sexy” is possible, but “neutral” and “good” are helpful steps along the way. See if you can just appreciate the lingerie before sexualizing it.

I’m going to recommend some ways to get from silly to sexy on your own (and maybe with the help of a few others).

First, practice! You can’t get comfortable with something by avoiding it. Get some diverse lingerie and wear it around (high waisted, low waisted, lacy, full sets, etcetera) to see what you feel good in. Experiment with styles a little bit, add accessories that make you feel confident (like doing your hair or matching your jewelry). 

Then, add in some sexy. Masturbate in lingerie. Take racy photos, even if you don’t keep them or send them to anyone. Start a private group chat of people who will hype you up in pics! Shop for lingerie with friends who will boost your confidence and push you in the right ways! Wear it when you have sex if you want to! Really, in all honesty, there’s no trick to feeling good in lingerie except to have pleasurable experiences in lingerie, whether alone or partnered, whether sexual or non-sexual.

Also, make sure your lingerie fits. Plenty of people feel abnormal or uncomfortable in lingerie only to find out that they were just wearing the wrong size. It’s also no accident that most classic lingerie models are very skinny. The lingerie you buy in stores is designed for one type of body and “scaled up” to small, medium, large and (if you’re lucky) extra large. The design and fit of the lingerie might not be right for your body at all, and that could contribute to why you feel awkward. Finding brands and pieces that use models with similar body types to yours might be really helpful. I’ve heard good things about both Cantiq and Pretty Little Thing! Even just going to the plus size lingerie section in stores might help you find something that fits, even if the rest of your body isn’t usually considered plus size.

Lastly, remember that there’s nothing wrong with feeling silly, and that silly and sexy are not mutually exclusive. It’s totally normal to have to adjust to seeing yourself sexually. Even then, you might carry over some of the awkwardness! It’s a learning experience, and I’m excited for you to have that space to explore for yourself.

Have a question for Elleri? Send it to http://bit.ly/2LZTHeY or scan our QR code here!

Have a question for Elleri?

Send it to http://bit.ly/2LZTHeY

or scan our QR code here!

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