Dirty Sexy Panties

Yet another expectation... yay.

Shannon Ashley
Jun 22 · 5 min read

I've got a love-hate relationship with underwear and it's been going on for more than a couple of decades. Underwear is a necessary evil in my life. No matter how much people talk up the benefits of sleeping in the nude, I will always be that girl who has to wear panties all the damn time.

That includes immediately after sex.

Oh, and not just panties. I have to wear pads. Those dainty little panty liners aren't enough for me. Tampons and the cup? They're no aid for my problem.

Apparently, I've got an extra juicy peach. Or in other words, I'm a little too wet down there, and nobody seems to be willing to talk about having the same kind of thing happen to them.

I have noticed this issue since puberty. In fact, I can't wear black panties and expect them to stay black. They inevitably start looking as if they've been bleached pink in the crotch.

Because they get too wet.

The one time I brought this issue up to a gynecologist, he looked at me like I was crazy and suggested I was accidentally spilling bleach on my clothes in the wash. As if its better to make a young girl feel like she's crazy than admit that maybe you don't know.

It turns out I wasn't crazy about my bleached panties, but it took an online article twenty-something years later to set my mind at ease.

Why do women even have to wonder about these things? Oh, that's right.

We can talk about semen, but vaginal fluids are another story.

Words like vaginal secretions or vaginal discharge tend to make people cringe. Bring up jizz or whatever word you've got for penile discharge and people take it as an everyday conversation. Maybe they'll laugh, but you know, conversations about semen are pretty damn ordinary.

Women, on the other hand, are taught as if we have reason to feel weird just ringing up pads, tampons, or panty liners at the store. We can't help but carry that cultural knee-jerk reaction to our own bodily fluids.

Ew, nobody wants to talk about that.

Men seem to have great expectations of our panties.

"Don't get your panties in a bunch" is a common phrase used to tell women to calm down. Or to disparage certain men for supposedly effeminate ways.

But women, it seems, do face plenty of panty pressure.

When it comes to letting men see our underwear, we tend to worry about whether they're the right kind of panties. Are they sexy, little swatches of slinky fabric? Or big and awkward granny panties?

Of course, if we're on our period, then we (or our partners) could also have a big problem with that.

But what if you're trying to enjoy some sexy time and you happen to be like me and need to wear a pad all the time? Are we supposed to hide the evidence?

Personally, I don't mind that my pussy tends to get very, very wet. But I do mind the sensation of prolonged wetness between my legs. And wet-crotched panties are a big no too.

Some men take issue with a woman needing to obscure the sexiness of her underwear with a maxi pad. And women are frequently no better when they tease each other for wearing the "wrong" kind of panties or even "diapers."

Form versus function?

No, feminine hygiene pads are not diapers. And we haven't done anything wrong if we happen to need them (or panty liners) every day.

Having a lot of vaginal discharge doesn't make you gross, unwomanly, or ill. It doesn't mean you have an infection.

But traditional wisdom says that women must wear sexy panties for men. There are two different types of dirty when we're talking about sex, and many folks simply assume a lack of hygiene over completely mundane things. Like periods or heavy vaginal secretions.

Women who opt to wear more comfortable and functional panties are still shamed today for being somehow uncouth, ugly, or awkward.

And then there are the plus size panties.

Maybe it's too much for women to have comfortable panties in fun prints or colors and inclusive sizing. In other words, maybe I’m expecting too much when I say that I want pretty panties designed with me in mind.

Not for pure profits and the male gaze.

It seems silly, but somebody is bound to tell me that my size 3x "lard ass" should lose some weight to be worthy of pretty undies. Or that big women can't have sexy panties by our very design.

But if the bulk of so much sex appeal lies in confidence, it seems that it's nothing but a mindset problem. Designers and manufacturers aren't creating underwear with enough women in mind.

Personally, I'm still holding out hope for Eby but as much as they advertise inclusive sizing, their larger sizes are constantly out of stock. Or they only come in nude and black.

And no boy shorts, at least, not yet.

Even the mainstay plus-size retailers have big problems. The quality of Torrid panties is so poor that it's not uncommon to find holes after only one or two wears.

My body, my panties.

At 36-years-old, I am done worrying about my panties and whether or not they're good enough for any man. I think women have been taught for long enough to consider what men want from us, and often to the point of ignoring our own desires or needs.

While we're at it, let's find a way to start talking about vaginal secretions without shame, or as if they somehow make us dirtier than men. The reality is that a well-lubricated pussy is pretty damn important for women having sex, and we should be able to talk about our bodies without other folks losing their shit.

And we certainly don't need our doctors or friends treating us like we're crazy when we bring up an issue they don't understand.


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Awkwardly Honest

A home for some of my most cringe-worthy tales that have been well-received on Medium.

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, fulltime writer, exvangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer. http://www.patreon.com/shannonashley

Awkwardly Honest

A home for some of my most cringe-worthy tales that have been well-received on Medium.

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