Sex advice with Suzi Godson: I don’t want to wear sexy lingerie for my husband

Dressing up makes your husband’s gift a fun costume, rather than as a reflection of who you are, says Suzi Godson.

Q. A few months ago, after eight years of marriage, my husband and I talked about making our sex life more interesting. Shortly afterwards, he bought me some sexy lingerie from an expensive boutique. But I don’t want to wear it. 

It makes me feel as if I’d be putting on a performance, which makes me feel very uncomfortable.

A. I can understand your reluctance to wear sexy lingerie. Some women are comfortable in — and enjoy wearing — lacy knickers, thongs and attractive silk bras. Other women prefer the comfort of fuller knickers, T-shirt bras, or sports bras/crop tops. 

The range of underwear available for women is enormous, so I would advise any man thinking of buying lingerie for their partner to ask himself what kind of underwear she normally chooses to wear — and buy accordingly.

The clue is whether or not she already wears it. If she doesn’t it probably isn’t because she secretly really wants to but hasn’t found the right shops yet. 

Even Marks & Spencer does attractive silk lingerie alongside plainer underwear. If she is a plain underwear sort of girl, stick to that style, but buy a more luxurious version.

I would definitely give credit to your husband for having a bit of class, however. He could have gone high street, or even for a novelty sex shop style. Instead, he went to a designer boutique and made the effort to choose something elegant. 

Even so, buying you (singular) sexy lingerie as a way of spicing up your (plural) sex life, is not a particularly progressive way to improve a shared sexual experience. It also illustrates the rather stark gap between his idea of what constitutes “sexy” and yours. 

Clothes, whether outer wear or underwear, are an integral part of personal identity, and it can be upsetting when someone who is supposed to know you extremely well presents you with a gift that is so at odds with how you see yourself.

Fortunately, this is not an insurmountable problem. You say that you feel uncomfortable because wearing sexy lingerie makes you feel as if you are putting on a performance.

Often, the problem that people have with sexy lingerie (the type which is not designed to be worn comfortably under clothes), is the more practical side of when to put it on. 

Sometimes, people feel uncomfortable going to change into something different when already in the moment as it removes the spontaneity. 

Instead, on an evening when you are both at home, why not try putting it on under your clothes, so it will be a nice surprise when you remove your clothes, rather than a “performance”. 

It’s still not entirely spontaneous, but it would certainly add the element of spicing up your sex life that you both seek.

It goes without saying that if you feel uncomfortable, sex is not going to be enjoyable. However, and it may sound counter-intuitive, one way of helping you feel more confident and relaxed could be to explore the sense of being “out of character” and turn the problem into the solution. 

A common way of adding excitement in a long-term relationship is to create a sense of “otherness” by using role-play to create scenarios where you both play a part. 

If you are both consciously “performing”, any feelings of awkwardness will soon disappear. As role-play requires you to trust each other and to communicate openly, it tends to intensify rather than diminish intimacy.

Exploring what it feels like actively to “perform” and role-play with each other will help you to overcome the self-consciousness that is inhibiting you. 

Similarly, dressing up will allow you to reinterpret your husband’s gift as a fun costume, rather than as a reflection of who you are, or what he wants.

Send your queries to suzigodson@mac.com 


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