Today I bought a dress. It is in rather beautiful fuchsia silk, and was made by Carmen Marc Valvo, New York. I also bought two brassieres and five pairs of panties in varieties of black lace. This, you may have surmised, is not by way of confession. I might add that the only true unmentionable among this veritable hoard is the price. Shopping with a lady can be joyful; shopping for a lady is an unmatched pleasure.
It is always more rewarding to give than to receive, and all the more so when the reception is rapturous. In my experience, and contrary to popular opinion among men, women do not like to shop. Nothing fits properly; designers have other body shapes in mind; mirrors do not flatter. Their feet hurt. And to top it all off, their male companions drag their feet, look like wet weekends, and cannot muster a sincere comment, either because of fear or because of boredom. This, dear men, is all your fault.
Engage with a woman’s shopping mission. Take an interest in what she wants. Empathise with her desires. Offer input before she gets to the changing room. Make suggestions yourself, based on considered judgments of her style. Don’t be afraid to dare her, but don’t cheapen her. Tell her if something doesn’t suit, and tell her why. Be honest above all things. And if a garment just does it, for God’s sake don’t mumble that it’s ‘alright’. Allow your internal expression to paint your face. If your eyes light up, she will have the pertinent information. I promise, if you do these things then you, the male companion, will not be bored, and she will thank you for all of it. The mutual bad mood can be avoided.
Now, as for buying ladies’ underwear, let me reassure you. Women wear their finest delicates when they want to feel good; when they want to feel confident. A woman preserves her best for a job interview, for a business meeting, and yes, for a date. Her French frillies are not for us men, however much we may like them. Therefore, when shopping for women’s underwear, think about what she would like, rather than going off the deep end with your own Cabaret inspired monstrous fantasies. And take that stupid look off your face, like you’ve turned up naked to a black-tie ball. A man who can confidently handle, and mention, intimate lace in a shop will surely not falter when it comes to handling it in intimate situations.
I bought a dress today, and man did it feel good.
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