Monday, 20 May 2013
Writing About Panties: Part 1
We call them by different names: knickers, panties, briefs, undies, smalls. But whatever we call them, these items of clothing are a basic fact of life for women everywhere. I guess the only places where this doesn't apply are those little corners of the planet where people don't wear many clothes at all, except maybe a loincloth dangling from a piece of string. For the rest of the female population, a pair of panties is de rigeur, an essential item (except, of course, on those occasions when we choose not to wear them). It's probably true to say that most of us regard panties (whether our own or somebody else's) as fairly ordinary things - like socks - and not particularly worthy of special attention.
So why, after saying all this, do I write erotic fiction about panties?
It's an interesting question (for me, at any rate). I've tried to answer it a couple of times, in emails and in face-to-face conversations. The question usually comes from women, not from men. Those who ask it are usually people I know quite well. They know I don't conceal the fact that I write explicit erotic fiction about lesbian sex. Some of them enjoy reading my stories, and these are the people who'll turn to me and say: "Hey, Yasmin, what's the big deal with you and panties?"
My answer is always the same: I write sexy stories about female underwear because I feel the subject is an unexplored kink in lesbian erotica. By 'unexplored' I simply mean that not many authors of lesbian erotica write about it. Plenty of these authors mention panties somewhere in their stories, but the mention is usually brief (please excuse the pun!). The panties tend to get removed soon after they appear in the story. Not many authors use panties as the main theme in a lesbian tale, in situations where underwear becomes the focus of erotic attention for the main characters. It's different, of course, in some parts of the spanking fiction genre, especially in stories where a female character is an adult 'schoolgirl' getting spanked by a dominant 'schoolmistress'. But I think a lot of these panty-spanking stories are written by male authors, or for male readers who get turned on by the idea of adult women wearing traditional school uniforms. I don't see many stories by female authors in which a lesbian spanking scene puts panties at centre stage.
When I first started writing lesbian fiction, I decided to concentrate on three sub-genres, as specialties through which I could build up collections of stories grouped by theme. One sub-genre I chose was bondage, both consensual and non-consensual. Another was the bi-curiosity of heterosexual women, leading inevitably to temptation and seduction. The third was panties.
All three sub-genres were chosen by me after email conversations with my friend Jen Saunders, a fellow-author of lesbian erotica. Jen advised me to focus on specific themes, because this is what she did herself: she reckoned it helped her to write better stories. Bi-curiosity and seduction held an instant appeal for me anyway, because of my own relationship experiences, but bondage wasn't something I would have considered without strong urging from Jen. She said bondage fiction was always in demand and would get me noticed by the online reading community, so I chose it as my second sub-genre - albeit somewhat reluctantly. To my surprise, I began to enjoy writing about bondage. But it has never made the transition from my computer screen to the bedroom I share with my girlfriend.
My choice of panty-related fiction as a sub-genre of lesbian erotica felt a bit weird at first. Also, I figured I couldn't write anything new on the subject because Jen seemed to have it pretty well covered. Stories about lesbian panty fetish were her main output in those days, and she seemed to have the market all to herself. I mean 'market' quite literally, because she was making money from writing custom erotica for private individuals. Her clients were mostly men who paid for kinky tales about lesbians indulging in various kinds of panty play. In some of these stories, Jen and her real-life girlfriend Karen turned up as principal characters, in situations where they seduced the customer's wife while all three of them kept their panties on. Jen often added bondage to the mix, some of it quite heavy and sadistic. Her clients really loved this stuff and couldn't get enough of it. Some of them even wanted to buy Jen's unwashed panties, but she never went down that route.
The first piece of erotic fiction I ever wrote was a softcore lesbian story called Train Ride which was essentially about British school uniform panties, or 'school knickers' as we used to call them. Jen Saunders had originally asked my sister Trish to write this story, but Trish passed the assignment to me. I enjoyed writing it, and Jen went totally wild about it, and I got plenty of feedback from readers after it was published online in 2005. What I liked most about the story was the challenge of making panties seem as erotic to female readers as they obviously are to large numbers of men. Judging by the very positive comments I got from women, I succeeded in this objective.
I soon had a little portfolio of lesbian panty fiction and discovered, again to my surprise, that the topic offered enough ideas for new stories to keep both Jen and me happily scribbling away. Jen sent one of her custom erotica clients over, and I was soon giving this guy what he wanted: stories about gay and bisexual women enjoying sex while their underwear stayed on. Like Jen, I agreed to appear as an occasional character in the narrative, in scenarios where I made love to the customer's wife or girlfriend. But I went a bit further than Jen and agreed to write myself into explicit scenes in which the customer himself was part of the action. So in some stories the guy had sex with me, and then with his wife (both she and I would still be wearing panties!). It all got very kinky and a bit messy, but it was strangely amusing and I had no problem with it at all. The guys in question paid a nice amount of money for this stuff. One customer even paid extra after I agreed - after some hesitation - to bring my sister Trish into the storyline (not only as co-writer, but as an additional character in the sex scenes). Trish helped me write some of the scenes involving her and me but we couldn't take the assignment seriously. Although we're not in a real-life incestuous relationship it's a taboo we've discussed without fear or embarrassment in the past, most notably 23 years ago when a particular situation arose, so it's not like we suddenly became shy about writing ourselves into a sibling incest tale. Writing those scenes was just one big laugh for us, because Trish peppered the narrative with lots of in-jokes that only she and I would recognize. I think the customer noticed our little game, because he asked for certain parts of the story to be rewritten. He was, however, extremely happy with the final version and (allegedly) showed it to his wife. Later, he asked for a sequel, but Trish and I had already agreed between ourselves that one story about 'lesbian panty incest' was enough. In any case, Trish had her own erotic fiction project involving elves and orcs and sexy Xena-type characters.
So, although I write in the genre of lesbian panty fiction, I'm not actually a panty fetishist. For me, panties are functional rather than erotic. I put them on in the morning, and I take them off at night. I like wearing them on cold days because they keep my butt nice and warm. I like buying new ones from my favourite brands, and I like receiving them as presents. Nonetheless, it would be a lie if I said panties don't turn me on occasionally. I have to say I do enjoy looking at attractive women in their underwear, whether in real-life, on TV or on the internet. Hardcore visual pornography doesn't do much for me, but a picture of a cute female ass in tight panties is very sensual and can often push my buttons. And it goes without saying that I adore the sight of my girlfriend Bobbi in her 'smalls', especially when she doesn't realize I'm staring at her. But the crucial aspect for me is that the panties must have a woman inside them. On their own, they're just items of clothing which don't give me any kind of sexual buzz.
Jen Saunders is different. She is a most unusual lady. I am not quite sure what to make of her. She is the only woman I have ever met who has a genuine panty fetish. And I do mean a full-on fetish, not just an occasional kink. I could say more about this. One day, I will say more, but I'll need to get her permission first. The key point is that Jen, unlike me, writes lesbian panty fiction because she finds it massively arousing. It's not just a literary sub-genre - it's a big part of her sexual existence. She boasts that her fetish is the reason why her stories were so much in demand from her customers - those panty-obsessed guys knew she was just like them, but a rare female version. They knew she enjoyed doing weird stuff like sniffing underwear from a laundry basket (something she openly admits to). They knew she enjoyed writing panty fiction as much as they enjoyed reading it, and this gave them an extra thrill. When she sent a client a customized story, she often included a little note describing in graphic detail how she masturbated while writing certain scenes. She once told me in an email that she only added these notes to keep the guy on the hook, to ensure that he came back for more stories. She complained that it was such a big effort for her - a gay female with no heterosexual experience - to share such intimacy with men. But she said it was necessary, a surefire way of holding on to her clients, whose payments funded her excessive drinking and smoking. She often told these men other intimate things, such as what kind of underwear she was wearing while writing their stories, and I think she rather enjoyed doing it. I suggested (half-jokingly) that she was a hypocrite, a closet bisexual who enjoyed teasing men via email. She wasn't amused.
In another blogpost I hope to include a sample of Jen's lesbian panty fiction, and also some samples of my own.
[to be continued....]
My e-book anthology of lesbian panty stories is available for download. Click here.
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