For our second wedding anniversary, my husband wanted to get me something made of cotton, as is apparently customary, and landed on a nice cotton bathrobe and a nice cotton nightie from a local lingerie boutique. The bathrobe was great, but the nightie, it turned out, flattened my boobs in an unflattering and uncomfortable way. He went back to get me the next size up, and when that didn’t solve the problem (it was clearly not designed for big-breasted ladies), he suggested I go to the store myself and pick out something else. So I did, and as I shuffled through the racks looking for another sensible cotton garment, I came across an item that made me blush: a completely sheer bodysuit, with lacy wire bra-cups and a lacy crotch that split open erotically in the front and had only straps of elastic in the back, to frame the ass but not cover it. I marveled at it for a second, then flipped past it — I am not, generally speaking, a wearer of overtly sexy lingerie. I’ve never used a sex toy. Commodified eroticism has always seemed forced and even cartoonish to me.
But later, as I was trying on an assortment of nighties and sleep sets — all of them totally blah, none of them cotton — the bodysuit popped into my head. I’ll just try it on, I thought. Just for kicks. When I ran out to grab it, the salesperson looked at me knowingly, “I love that bodysuit.” I studied the label: It wasn’t cotton, but it was made in New York City, by the supercool brand Only Hearts, which has been around since 1978. I tried it on, convinced it wouldn’t look good on me; I often feel lumpy in bathing suits, and this would surely be even less smoothing than a normal one, given how sheer it was. But, slipping into it, I was shocked. I looked … great. I felt the deeply unfamiliar feeling of loving my body. I felt sexy. I also felt … aroused.
For a minute, I balked. The price was higher than I’d normally spend on a single piece of clothing, not to mention a piece of lingerie I wouldn’t wear under clothes or even sleep in. It was also higher than the amount of my store credit. On the other hand, it was a gift! An anniversary gift. Couldn’t I justify spending a little more by thinking of it as a gift for my husband, too? (I had gotten him a book, oops.) Couldn’t our sex life use a little spicing up? Who can put a price on horniness?! Reader, I bought it. It works.
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