Have you ever wondered why you can wear your husband's shirt, but he couldn't possibly wear one of your blouses? Or why a businesswoman can wear a jacket and trousers to work, but a businessman wouldn't be seen dead wearing a smart skirt in the office? When you stop to think about it for a moment, a shirt and blouse really aren't all that different in terms of the function they serve, nor are a skirt and trousers - indeed, each can look just as stylish and sophisticated as the other, perhaps even being cut from the same material. Nevertheless, a female manager can wear whichever she likes with her jacket, whereas her male colleague has no choice in the matter - at least, not if he wants to avoid becoming the laughing stock of the office, the sadly inevitable fate of a man in a skirt and blouse. What makes these clothes so inappropriate for him?
Admittedly, a woman's blouse will be cut to follow the more pronounced curves of the female body, whereas a man's shirt will be tailored to match his broader shoulders and flatter chest, but such physical differences fail to explain the absence of skirts for men in contemporary Western society. In other cultures and at other times, there might have been nothing out of place about a man wearing a skirt or even a frilly, flouncy shirt, but even then he would have been unlikely to have adopted the feminine accoutrements of female fashion, whatever they may have been at the time - precisely because of their inherent femininity. The question of why men, on the whole, invariably show such deep aversion to wearing women's clothing is one that goes far deeper than physical practicality, and to begin to answer it, we need to look at what else clothing conveys beyond mere function.
All clothing comes with connotations, whether the wearer likes it or not. How a person dresses reveals much about themselves and their status in society, be they a policeman, a postman or a politician. That's why soldiers, sailors and schoolgirls are all expected to wear uniforms, albeit rather different ones, and why businessmen and bankers are so often found in smart suits. By donning such clothing, the wearer adopts whatever associations it may be imbued with, allowing those around him to use his attire as a convenient shorthand for his role as well as having a powerful effect on the wearer's own state of mind.
A soldier's uniform, for instance, not only allows him to distinguish between friend and foe, but also instinctively informs him that he is but one of many identically attired infantrymen in his regiment. The distinctive livery of a policeman automatically gives him a greater authority, respect and confidence than he may have while off-duty, whereas the garb of a shop assistant makes it clear that she represents the store employing her - to customers, other staff, and indeed, herself. Even the most nondescript of outfits says something about its wearer, if only to suggest that they place their own comfort above how they may be perceived by others, perhaps caring little for the vagaries of fashion.
Such associations are so deeply woven into the fabric of our society that even individual items of attire can become imbued with meaning far beyond their mere function. An aspiring job-seeker would not dream of wearing scruffy sneakers to an important interview, however comfortable they may be in comparison to the smart dress shoes he'll choose if he really wants to get the job. Likewise, the awkward tie around his neck signals to his superiors that he wishes to be taken seriously in the world of business, conforming to their expectations that he do so regardless of whether such a garment actually serves any practical purpose.
Conversely, the same man would be unlikely to want to wear his smart suit when watching a football match with his mates, the strict formality of such office wear sure to stifle his enjoyment of the game. Nor would a hotel maid choose to remain in her uniform when she returns home from work, preferring to change into something more suited to relaxing around the house. In donning particular attire, each adopts a persona to match, divesting themselves of their previous responsibilities and accepting new ones in accordance with the situation at hand. They unconsciously assume many of the attributes of their clothing merely by virtue of wearing it, both in terms of how they see themselves and how they are seen by the world at large - businessman or football fan, mother or maid.
Whether it's something as symbolic as a wedding dress or as mundane as a pair of slacks, the significance of any particular garment is a complex mixture of who is wearing it, where they are doing so, and why. Whilst doing her job, the hotel maid's uniform is unlikely to warrant a second glance so long as she does not step out of line, but going out on the town in such an outfit would be sure to raise eyebrows, let alone if a senior hotel manager were to do so! Societal expectations have an unquestionable power that can go quite unnoticed until they are broken, whereupon their full force becomes readily apparent - not just for punks and other non-conformists who go out of their way to shock with their attire, but even for something as apparently innocuous as everyday clothing.
Lingerie is far from being an exception to this rule. Even such intimate attire carries with it a wealth of connotations, despite remaining hidden under other clothing for the most part. That's not to say that women's underwear is without any kind of function, of course - we all benefit from the support a bra offers, not to mention the warmth that comes from wearing hosiery in colder weather. Nevertheless, there is a world of difference between a sports bra and one of the push-up variety, a pair of control panties and a racy, skimpy thong, or opaque woollen tights and lace-topped fishnet holdups. Although on the face of it, both serve the same practical purpose to a greater or lesser extent, each is imbued with quite different associations as a result of its design and what it says about the wearer in contrast to the alternatives available.
Like any other garment, the particular choices a woman makes regarding her underwear not only reflect but affect how she sees herself, quite apart from having an effect on how those around perceive her - at least, to the extent that they are privy to what she is wearing. She may, for instance, don sheer stockings to show off her shapely legs, deliberately drawing the attention of onlookers as she proudly promotes her beauty - simultaneously demonstrating and enhancing her self-confidence. Conversely, she may choose to wear a pair of pretty panties not in order to appeal to anyone else, but simply to feel good about herself, even under the most mundane of outerwear - perhaps as a secret rebellion or boost beneath an otherwise dreary uniform. Like the businessman's tie, there may even be times when she wears such garments simply out of social convention, perhaps feeling immodest in their absence, or conforming to the unwritten expectation that parts of her body should remain covered in public.
Among those of an older generation, an openly displayed bra strap or visible panty line would still be regarded as unseemly, whereas younger women tend to be far bolder about flaunting their choice of underwear. Even so, only the most daring would choose to wear a black bra under a thin white blouse to work, let alone reveal the tops of her stockings - doing so would be sure to earn her a reputation most are unlikely to want among their colleagues. On the other hand, a woman dressing to impress a potential suitor may very well choose to send such signals, perhaps unbuttoning her blouse to expose as much cleavage as she dares or letting her skirt ride up rather more than would be seemly in other circumstances. In the bedroom, an even more risqué selection of lingerie might be employed to inflame the passions of her partner - skimpy, provocative attire that would be quite out of place in the gym, where a supportive sports bra and Lycra leggings would be much more the order of the day.
Whether it's the virginal purity of snow-white bridal lingerie or the sensual seductiveness of smoky black stockings and suspenders, the nuances associated with such garments are as varied as the items themselves. Even a girl's first bra has a symbolism far beyond its function, signifying the beginning of her transition to womanhood. From the strict confines of a tightly laced corset to the wispy gossamer of a diaphanous negligée, there's one thing they all share in common, however - a distinct femininity that sets them apart from anything to be found in a man's wardrobe. Men may have boxer shorts and briefs, and these too carry their own connotations, but they're nothing like lingerie.
Many of the subtler distinctions between different kinds of lingerie become rather blurred when approached from the point of view of the average man in the street, but the pervading sense of femininity remains nevertheless. Although he is unlikely to have much of an appreciation for the practical differences between, say, a balconette bra and a plunge one, even the most unobservant of males can't help being influenced by the powerful connotations instinctively associated with such garments. He may not be able to consciously put a finger on such nuances, but that doesn't mean he isn't affected by them all the same - a bra, whether it be of the balconette or plunge variety, is still a bra, supporting, surrounding, emphasising and yet obscuring a woman's breasts in a manner that is undeniably feminine. The same is true for panties, hosiery and every other kind of lingerie, each in their own unique way.
If you've become accustomed to routinely donning your underwear along with the rest of your clothes first thing each morning, perhaps in somewhat of a hurry as you juggle all the other things that have to be done before going to work, it may be difficult to fully appreciate just how much a man's perspective on such matters differs from your own. After all, it's natural to become familiar with something you're wearing almost all of the time, not giving your underwear a second thought except perhaps when correcting an errant bra strap or pulling up sagging tights - habits that can become almost unconscious when one is occupied by more important business. Nevertheless, it's important not to disregard the profound impact that such feminine garments have on the half of the population that lacks such first-hand experience of wearing them, day in, day out.
A typical man's exposure to women's underwear invariably occurs in a sexual rather than a practical context. Whether it's scantily clad models promoting the latest products, a flirtatious tease flaunting her charms, or simply the act of undressing his wife as part of their lovemaking, it's a very different perspective from the humdrum aspects most women are all too familiar with. He doesn't have to worry about more mundane matters such as finding an acceptable balance between style and comfort, nor is he likely to notice the countless women whose choice of lingerie isn't openly displayed for his pleasure. For him, even the plainest of everyday underwear carries with it the promise of what it must contain, arousing by virtue of its proximity, its protection and its presentation of what he is instinctively drawn towards.
As they grow up, pubescent boys become aware of lingerie in a profoundly different manner to girls. While his sister soon adopts such garments as a natural extension of her wardrobe, introduced to them by her mother, sisters or friends to accommodate the blossoming changes in her body as she metamorphoses into a woman, her brother can only glean experience of them in brief, illicit glimpses as he follows his natural desire for what lies beneath. Whether it's sneaking a peek into the girl's locker room or at his brother's pornographic magazines, it's a far cry from the more pragmatic, everyday experience of a growing girl. Invariably sexually charged, such clandestine impressions of an alien, off-limits world are sure to set the scene for his later outlook as a man. Such a narrow focus on the erotic aspects of lingerie leaves him lacking any kind of awareness of its more subtle or practical nuances, serving only to heighten the sense of mystery that surrounds this most intimate of attire.
Even if you know full well how to use your choice of underwear to tantalise, seduce or arouse, it's essential to realise that such occasional, erotically charged glimpses are all that most men know of such garments. However much they might be turned on by a pair of nylon-clad legs, they'll never have experienced the relief that comes from taking off hot, sweaty hosiery at the end of a long day at work, nor the discomfort that a badly fitting bra can cause, even if they're irresistibly drawn to the cleavage it creates. For men, lingerie will always have profoundly sexual connotations, its quintessentially feminine aura giving it a unique fascination and allure quite unlike anything else.
It's obvious what happens when a woman decks herself out in sexy underwear - as we've previously discussed, such adornment has an unmistakable effect on those fortunate enough to know what she is wearing, herself included. In the bedroom, donning a lacy black basque or a skimpy satin nightdress not only works its magic on her partner, but also on the woman herself, making her feel desirable, confident and perhaps more than a little bit naughty - all great for getting them both in the mood. Lingerie bestows its unique feminine magic upon its wearer, emphasising her natural charms in order to make her feel more attractive and womanly - both in her own eyes and those of her man. The same is true, albeit to a lesser extent, for more practical underwear - an everyday bra and panties, otherwise unremarkable, will still impart an unmistakable aura that will subtly and yet undeniably make a woman more feminine.
A very different effect occurs when a man wears such garments. Now the tables are turned, such that he is the one who both looks and more importantly feels more feminine as a result of what he is wearing - admittedly not to the same extent that a woman might, but nevertheless, more so than he would have done otherwise. All of the aforementioned associations of lingerie are brought to bear on him now that he's clothed in such unlikely attire, bringing with them a profound change in his state of mind. Lacking the familiarity that comes from wearing women's underwear in the natural course of affairs, our lingerie clad man is thrust into a maelstrom of conflicting sensations and emotions induced by the physical and the psychological effects of donning such clothing - even in the case of otherwise unremarkable garments such as practical pantyhose.
For starters, women's underwear offers a wealth of novel tactile experiences not to be found in a man's regular wardrobe. Smooth, flowing satin, luxurious silk and delicate lace are far from common among men's underwear, particularly when packaged in a figure hugging form that clings and embraces in a way sure to get his attention. Moreover, there's simply no equivalent to the complexities of a bra's clasps and straps, let alone some of the more esoteric contraptions a woman might wear, with their underwires, boning and suspender elastic quite unlike anything he's likely to have experienced before. Feeling such clothing on his wife may be one thing, but feeling it on himself, from the inside, is quite another - rubbing against nylon stockings is a far cry from being clad in them, whereas unhooking a bra is a world apart from being strapped into one.
Lingerie not only feels physically different to a man's usual underwear, it also generates completely contrasting emotions in him too. It's hard for even the most macho of males to be too masculine when he's all dolled up in such feminine finery - the archetypal image of the alpha male, rugged and muscular, simply doesn't involve delicate lace, frills and bows. Soft and gentle, such clothing is the antithesis of the hard, tough guy who seeks to dominate all around him, instead engendering a sense of submission in the feminized man. While he may feel ashamed or embarrassed at the thought of being seen wearing women's underwear, he may equally find himself aroused by its inherent sexual connotations - indeed, he may be turned on by it whilst simultaneously blushing with shame, much to his consternation. Such a heady mix of emotions is sure to prove rather confusing - even something as simple as feeling pretty or cute in his new attire isn't going to be an everyday experience for most men, what with looking girly or effeminate being taboo with regards to their regular wardrobe.
So profound is the change of mind brought about by wearing women's clothing, especially overtly feminine attire such as lingerie, that some men actively engage in crossdressing of their own volition - some seeking satisfaction sexually, others doing so simply for the solace that adopting a different persona can bring. For many, this is an intensely private affair, a far cry from the stereotypical image of the promiscuous transvestite exhibitionist that might immediately spring to mind. A surprising number of men choose to wear lingerie in secret, for instance, some dressing up occasionally in the comfort of their own homes, others wearing panties to work, perhaps stockings or even a bra safely hidden under their suit. Often they've done so for years without anyone ever finding out - indeed, the chances are that you've passed countless men wearing lingerie in the street without ever knowing about it. We'll be exploring their reasons for doing so in more detail later on in this book.
The effects of wearing lingerie are not limited to those men who would choose to do so themselves, however. The powerful connotations associated with a bra and panties are the same regardless of whether a man enthusiastically volunteers to don such garments, or has been reluctantly persuaded to dress up in them by his partner. Once he's wearing women's underwear, no matter how basic, its feminine aura gets to work, automatically affecting how the wearer regards himself, and in turn, how he behaves to those around him. In exactly the same way that the policeman's uniform empowers him and a woman's choice of outfit makes her feel good about herself, wearing a pair of panties, stockings or a bra can make a world of difference to a man's attitude and outlook on the world - both in the bedroom and beyond.
In a nutshell, that's the premise of this book - having your husband wear lingerie is something that's guaranteed to have a profound effect on him, regardless of whether he does so occasionally or on a more regular basis. Moreover, the consequences of putting him in panties are sure to be beneficial for the both of you, working wonders for your relationship in all manner of ways - some quite surprising at first glance! It may be difficult to believe just how powerful such simple garments can be until you've experienced the results for yourself, but countless women can attest to the power of lingerie over their men - especially when he's the one wearing it!
First off, as every child knows, dressing up can be a lot of fun. In the context of the bedroom, it's even more so - a naughty little game that can be just the thing for spicing up a flagging love life. You don't have to reverse roles completely to enjoy putting your husband in something feminine - simply fooling around in frillies together can be a great laugh if approached with an open mind, as well as being erotic and exciting for both parties. Dressing him up in sexy underwear before seductively undressing him again while he does the same to you is a great way of getting a man in the mood, especially if you'd prefer him to take things a little more slowly than he otherwise might.
Lingerie for men isn't just something for the bedroom, however, any more than its female counterpart. When worn under everyday clothing, women's underwear helps develop the more submissive aspects of a man's personality, as well as discouraging unseemly and unwanted behaviour. It can be an occasional addition to your husband's wardrobe when he's been acting up, or used as a way for him to atone for letting you down. There's nothing like secretly wearing lingerie to work as a dare, keeping your man on tenterhooks all day in preparation for a special evening in together, not to mention acting as a reminder to be home on time. Alternatively, you can go out shopping together with him so attired, or even on a date - either with something naughty in mind, or simply to keep your husband right where you want him, focused on you.
Finally, some women like to have their husband wear lingerie on a more regular basis, perhaps even completely replacing his ordinary underwear with that of a far more feminine kind. A pair of pretty panties is the perfect symbol of a man's submission to his wife, reminding him of just who's in charge whenever he drops his trousers - something he won't want to do in company! The hug of his stockings or the tight embrace of his bra provides a constant reminder of a feminized husband's position as he goes about his daily business, the presence of his lingerie impossible to ignore. Whatever he's wearing, you can be sure he won't be getting up to any mischief in such embarrassing attire - the thought of getting caught wearing women's underwear is more than enough to keep a man on the straight and narrow.
We'll be covering all these subjects in more detail over the course of this book, showing how you too can enjoy the manifold benefits of employing lingerie in your own relationship. Don't worry if it all sounds a bit too much to take in right now, or perhaps even rather daft - any concerns or worries you may have will soon be addressed. It's perfectly understandable to be a little sceptical about an idea that may initially seem somewhat strange, but once you've seen what lingerie can do for yourself, you'll be glad you kept an open mind about it - and, believe it or not, your husband is sure to thank you that you did!
As well as debunking popular misconceptions and providing ample advice on how to get started, the following chapters contain a wealth of practical tips and tricks, gleaned from many years of personal experience of both the author and her correspondents. We'll be discussing everything you need to know in order to feminize your husband as much or as little as you like, whenever and wherever takes your fancy. In addition to exploring the merits of particular garments, a subject to which the second half of this book is devoted, we'll also look more generally at the variety of ways in which lingerie can be used in a relationship. First, however, let's consider what makes women's underwear so effective for such purposes and take a deeper look at the benefits that it brings - benefits that could soon be yours and your husband's to share.