Dr. G Hits the Spot: To wear lingerie or not to wear lingerie

wearing lingerie

Written by Gretchen Lambert-Wiltbank

Dear Dr G, I am wondering if you think guys really like lingerie. It is expensive, and it feels like it stays on for such a short time, so I don’t understand why it’s important in the first place, but I love it! I have some guy friends who like it, and others who don’t. Same thing with some of my girl friends. Can you help me understand how to figure that out? VS Addict Dear Big Spender, I did a quick survey after I got your question, and I was surprised by the responses. As it turns out, people are split fairly evenly across the board; men and women. There are women who feel sexy when they wear lingerie, and there are women who feel sexy when they wear t-shirts and men’s boxers. There are men who feel turned on at the sight of lace and silk and see through articles of clothing, and other men who just want nakedness. Some people like the lights on (so as to see the lingerie) and some people want it pitch dark. This may be obvious, but it’s a fact: men are far more visual than women. Men get turned on about 100 times faster than women in general. It often doesn’t take more than a nice pair of legs, or some perky breasts, or some nice hair to get a guy in the mood for sex. Whereas for women it can take a good conversation, lots of kissing and touching, a romantic dinner, and a beautiful setting in order for us to get in the mood for sex. We are very different creatures! Lingerie is a personal choice, that is for sure, but it is also somewhat of a universal aphrodisiac for men. Here is a very interesting take from a guy in the survey, “It’s not the lingerie alone that’s sexy, it’s the thought and effort that went into looking sexy for me that I like. Taking it off in 10 minutes devalues that effort. Treat her like a fine wine that deserves to be experienced fully with all the senses. Don’t just tell her she looks sexy, make her feel sexy without words.” What I found interesting is that there are quite a few women who wear lingerie for themselves. They wear it even when they don’t have a sexual partner with them. One gal said, “I’m single, not dating and I do it for myself, regardless of my attachment status. It’s about how it makes me feel, how it helps me see and appreciate the beauty of my body, to celebrate it, to have fun and play, to have a different kind of sexual power that nudity doesn’t afford. I also love the texture of silky, slippery fabric when I move. It’s a very sensual thing for me. The fact that some men truly love and appreciate it is simply a fat cherry on the cupcake.” Women like to feel sexy, and men like to see sexy. Some women only like to feel sexy in front of one person, whereas others like to feel sexy in front of a crowd. It’s such a personal choice! Here’s the deal, though, a lot of how we feel about lingerie has to do with how we feel about our bodies. And it goes both ways, meaning that some women who have body issues will use lingerie to offset their insecurities, while other women who feel great about their bodies will use lingerie to accentuate what they love about themselves. It also depends on what kind of emotion is linked to sexy clothing. I had a client tell me that when he was young, he used to see his mom in lingerie when her boyfriends would come over to spend the night. It was very negative for him to have the guys there, so the lingerie actually has negative connotations for him. A side note that was interesting, is that quite a few men suggested that they don’t like lingerie all of the time. Some said they liked it once or twice a month, while others said just about every other time would be great. However, nobody responded with the idea that they like their significant other in lingerie every time they were going to have sex. In fact, one of the drawbacks is that it takes away a little bit of the spontaneity. While the planning aspect is part of the fun at times, being in the moment is fantastic as well.

So, in answer to your question, yes I think guys like lingerie. Yes, I think they like it even if it only stays on a little while. Yes, I think women like lingerie. Yes, I think they like it if it stays on for a long time. The wonderful part about this discussion is that it leads to examining how we feel about ourselves and our bodies and what helps us actually feel good. Keep in mind that if you wear lingerie and feel objectified, meaning that if you are only wearing it to get attention from somebody who wouldn’t otherwise want to be with you, that’s probably a red flag. In the end, whatever you choose to wear that helps you feel sexy, good about yourself, and transports you to a place of self-love is the perfect thing for you!

Gretchen Lambert-Wiltbank is a licensed associate mental health counselor. She has a bachelor’s degree in special education, and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. (“Dr. G” is her pen name. She isn’t a REAL doctor.) Get in touch with her at [email protected].