The Cocktail Bar

Minutes of Earlier Evenings

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NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.


Sweet Sixteen in Seamed Nylons

I am a 16 year old teenage girl in the U.S., and have been wearing garter belts and seamed nylons for almost a year now. My mother was instrumental in getting me started wearing them.

I have "converted" several of my girlfriends to the wearing of the garters, and will NEVER go back to wearing the dreaded pantyhose . . . EVER!! Keep up the great work, we need more web sites and pages as this one.
Love,
LIZ
South Dakota, USA


A Clean Place

I am most pleased to have found Aphrodite. It seems a most needed from the grim day and age. In our world of piercing and tattooing it's so refreshing to have a clean, well-lighted place to unwind. ALANA


The Sensual Feel of Nylons

I LOVE your site. It so much expresses the feelings that we have been taught are politically incorrect for so many years. . .

Why are men more attracted to us when we wear clothing such as nylons and garter belts? Perhaps it has something to do with desire for a by-gone innocence, a time when the world was simpler. I don't know.

But I DO know it's true. We had a fifties night recently at our college, and I was wearing full fifties regalia . . . stockings, gartered girdle, flouncy skirt, the works. My boyfriend could NOT keep his hands off me, and I was overwhelmed by the sensual feel of the nylons, and the delicious freedom of bare thighs.
Please keep up the good work.
RACHAEL

We shall, Rachael: and remember: politically incorrect is humanly correct. And vice versa.


150 Pairs of Stockings

My name is Katia Diedenhofen, I am 21 years of age and since almost 5 years, I am very much into 50's fashion especially underwear and stockings.

In this time I have acquired a notable range of underwear (girdles, corsets, suspender belts, bras) and I am also the proud owner of over 150 pairs of stockings all seamed in almost every shade.

I do not share the point of view that younger people are too much into modern clothes (for example I do not like to wear mini-skirts or pantyhose) and I do not think that most men are orientated to the modern fashions.
KATIA


Don't Do It!

I have been reading the recent postings about turning the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar into a Usenet newsgroup, and I have only one thing to say:

DON'T DO IT ! ! !

This place is absolutely unique on the net. There's nothing else like it (alight, alright, I know that's what "unique" means. So I committed tautology. So sue me). This is NOT a newsgroup. It has a completely different atmosphere all its own. The civilised, witty comments from the Aphrodite girls, the "club" feeling, even the quirky backwards structure all add up to give this place a real personality.

I come to the Cocktail Bar regularly, and also to the Femmeworld Common Room and the Wildfire Forum. They are all very different (I expect a lot of people wouldn't like all three), but they also have something in common. In a way they make up a sort of alternate mini-Usenet, but as you say, in Elektraspace, not Cyberspace. The atmosphere is very different than Cyberspace. Much more feminine. Much more civilised. Much more classy. A place right outside the 1990s, and, girl, don't we need that. For Aphrodite's sake, don't move downtown into Cyberspace. We need somewhere like this.

One more point, in case I haven't bored you to death already: on this question of your spending a lot of time giving the forum a slicker structure. Don't again. It works fine once you get used to it, and the people who won't take the time to get used to it aren't the ones you need to worry about. I predict that these forums are going to grow and attract a nucleus of intelligent, sensitive people, and a lot of girls. What we need is for you to keep up your work on maintaining and moderating these forums. Not get bogged down in a lot of technical stuff and then give up from overwork. I'm sure you all have other commitments and this stuff is taking a heavy toll on your time already.

You girls have brought some real magic to the Net. The important thing is maintaining it and letting it grow into maturity. Frankly, I think your philosophy could be one of the most important developments of this decade. I wouldn't be too surprised if in a hundred years time the Early Internet is remembered mainly as the place where the New Erotic Sensibility started taking off.
Sayonara
MARYLOU


The Eroticism of '50s Fashions and Younger People

We recently asked a question about whether nylon stockings and other traditional clothing had an erotic appeal for younger people who have not grown up with it. Most of the Aphrodite girls are too young to remember these things the first time round, but are we unique. This letter throws some very interesting light on the question:

On several occasions, I have been involved in the costuming of college productions of plays set in the period 1930-1968. Like most costumers, and all authors of serious costuming handbooks and reference guides, I believe that it is absolutely essential for women appearing in plays of this period to wear authentic undergarments (always gartered stockings, usually girdles and slips, sometimes garter belts, Merry Widows, crinolines, etc.) to create the right period effect.

Whenever I have put women between the ages of 18-25 in such undergarments, and in such clothing, I have always observed two things: 1) they absolutely love it. While I'm not saying that they would all like to dress like this all the time, they all enjoy the experience of dressing in this way for the play. Several always say that they wish they could dress like this all the time and most always seem to feel that they wish they could have the opportunity to dress like this more frequently. I never hear serious complaints about the discomfort of a girdle or the inconvenience of stockings, etc. I usually hear them say how much more comfortable and convenient these things are than they had ever heard. In sum, the vast majority of these women genuinely enjoy and certainly the exude the femininity (mysterious term) of this clothing; and 2) the men can barely control themselves. It is quite evident in these play productions that the men, aged 18-25 at the most, are powerfully attracted to the women when they dress and underdress in this way, even though they may have never encountered women dressed in this way before. For some reason, this clothing, and this underclothing still has this power.

The sexual magnetism on the set is evident to everyone and sometimes it helps the production and sometimes it gets in the way. I'd be curious to know if other costumers have observed the same thing. What I have seen convinces me that if young people had more of an opportunity to dress in this way, many if not most of them would indeed enjoy it.
SUZANNE (beige camisole, beige Miss Helen boy-leg pantygirdle)


Free at Last!

Free at last! I was beginning to wonder if I was normal, feeling as I do about what it REALLY means to be a woman. I could not even discuss my feelings with my girlfriends with out being too politically incorrect. But now I know I am not alone. It's wonderful.
BERNADETTE


A Real Pair of Nylons . . .

I have yet to see any clothes which can beat those of the 50's. Women appear to have been more naturally sexy then, as opposed to today. A real pair of nylons with a garter belt are definitely where I am at! Please keep up the wonderful work that you are doing. It just goes to prove that women can bring out the true beauty in things that others may view as bordering on pornographic! Go for it!
CHRISTINE


Comments on the Newsgroup Question

The most appropriate news "hierarchy" under which you could form a newsgroup would be alt, as there's not really any place in the other hierarchies for something like this. Alt has the problems of being just a giant mess, and additionally not all sites carry alt. For people who don't like the structure of conversations as you now have them on the Web, something where each message was stored as a file, with "threads" being grouped together from a top page of links might be interesting. However, it's probably far more time than you wish to devote to such a thing. If the good folks at Zynet are running Unix, you might be able to get some script that would show the contents of a mailbox in this manner, but again, it's probably more work than it's worth. My suggestion (take it for what the bits it's imprinted on are worth) is to stick with how you're doing it now; it seems to work well. D.J.B.


Thank you. Our only worry about this system is the way the forums run backwards. Does that trouble people? Do let us know.


Fem Side

Hello all!
I was looking for something interesting on the Internet and I was so lucky to come across you lovelies. I myself have just recently (about a year ago) discovered my truly fem side and I hope to find lots of new friends in this Eden.
Love to all!
JOANNA


It is fascinating, if a little spooky to hear girls like Joanna (and you are not alone. Lots of girls we know say similar things) talk about discovering their "fem side", as if being a girl is somehow strange to them, and behaving as a female is a kind of exotic adventure. In many respects, females are using the language of male transvestism, because we have been so de-sexed by the post-60s world that femininity is something we have to act out until we begin to find it again. Sad in a way, but in another way exciting. We are in a position to rediscover and re-shape femininity into something more delicate, more thrilling and more lovely than ever before. Just as one who has been half-starved is sensitive to the subtlest savours of food, so we return to femininity from the neutered desert of the late 20th century, with a sensitivity more acute and heightened than in more normal times.


Art and Pornography

The difference between art and pornography is lighting.
B.

A very interesting thought; though we should say that our photography is not intended to be either art or pornography.


Male-Role-Playing

A thousand thanks for your reply "Feminism and Commercial Servitude". It is time someone had the courage to remind us there is a feminist argument against careerism and male-role-playing. For too long the field has been divided between "feminists" who say we all have to work like men and a handful of ultra-patriarchal types who want us in a subordinate role. Other possibilities are conceivable. It certainly isn't my idea of liberation to spend my life behind a desk, whether as a secretary or a company manager.
SARAH


Fun Place

What a fun place! The world is truly richer and more exciting than we ever guess - throw off that cotton/poly suit and roll on those stockings!
ERICA

Not sure what that thing you are throwing off is, but it sounds well worth throwing off! Hundreds of greetings to you.


"Feminism" and Commercial Servitude

As you can probably see from my E-mail address, I am not a woman. I am however, pro-choice and feel that women today are still treated unfairly by society and corporations as a whole.

A month or two ago I wrote to Cellular-One, a cellular phone service provider here in New York, urging them to stop running a commercial on the radio that put women back in the kitchen and the husbands in the office.

The commercial was a husband calling his wife from his car to see if she needed any groceries from the store. I was outraged by this display of pre-feminist ideology.

The company not only wrote back stating that they had received other complaints from groups such as NOW and LWR, but they also sent me coupons so that I could save tremendously on my cellular phone calls if I use their service.

Well, I do not use a cellular phone, and I never plan in the future to use one, but what I plan to do and will do until I die, is to make my voice heard. When I see the oligarchic corporations in America demeaning women, I take a stand.

P.S., Aphroditism is much more palatable than hard-core pornography. Keep up the good work!
M.P.


Thank you for your letter and your kind sentiments. We at Aphrodite can see nothing offensive about an advertisement of this kind, and find it sad that in the late 20th century women are supposed to be depicted only as pseudo-male career women.

The Stalinist repression of all images of women in the traditional role of wife and mother that suits so many women so well, is, in our view, part of the attempt, by fiscal, financial and propaganda means to conscript women into the workforce.

So many women want to provide a full-time home for their children rather than spending their lives in identical wage-slavery to men, but are unable to do so because the financial structure and the tax system make it impossible. If marriage is no longer as popular among women as it once was, we suspect that is in no small measure because it no longer represents an escape from commercial servitude.

Make no mistake, the big money and the corporations are on the side of woman-as-wage-slave. That is why the image on that advertisement is now a rare exception and why the company immediately responded favourably, and almost grovellingly, to your criticism. They knew that they were sinning against the propaganda-laws of the new economic order (of course, they are only a local provider. The big international companies, with their ideological censorship units, would never have committed such a sin against rigid neo-capitalist orthodoxy in the first place). Imagine the response this company would have given if you had protested at the representation of a woman as a masculinised female career-man. You probably wouldn't even have had a reply.

Now I'd like to make it clear that I am not a married woman and I never shall be. I am not even attracted to men. All my life I have found ways to avoid employment in the masculine economic system, and I hope I shall always be able to do so. Many women I know feel the same. We do not believe that the answer to women's problems is their integration into the masculine workforce as labour-units of identical value to men.

The old system was by no means ideal, but at least it recognised the special quality of women and the feminine nature. The new order, supported by money-power for the benefit of money-power and passed off as "feminism", ruthlessly suppresses that unique nature and tries to expunge all reference to it -- just as proscribed persons were expunged from Soviet history books -- from its, grinning, debased super-commercial international pap-culture.

Note how totalitarian the system is. Even a single instance of the depiction of a woman who has made a choice different from the officially-approved one is immediately leapt upon by the culture-police, aplogised for by the perpetrator and then, presumably, censored off the airwaves to ensure that the message of the entire mass-media is kept absolutely one-sided and women are not permitted even a single unapproved role-model. Is it not, perhaps, a shade ironic in the light of this, that you describe yourself as "pro-choice"?

We in Aphrodite are in open revolt against this totalitarian new order. We are feminists; but ours is feminine feminism rather than masculine feminism. We support a true feminism which upholds and elevates the feminine principle; asserts its superiority in many respects to masculine values; rather than deriding it, attempting to asphyxiate it, deleting it from our cultural heritage and colonising women the with the masculine work-culture.

Thank you for your kind appreciation of our pictures. If you read Miss Snow's essay (further down this page) entitled "Pornography or Gynaecology", you will see how the hard-core pornography you so rightly deride is organically linked to the same philosophy as masculinist "feminism".


Imagination

Absolutely fabulous. Finally some sensuous pictures. They leave something to the imagination.
T.R.


Aphrodite Newsgroup?

I think, that the Internet Web structure does not fit a forum type of thing where people want to talk to each other and share thoughts about others comments. For a true life conversation you should consider Internet's newsgroups. The newsgroups are in fact meeting places. Aphrodite could of course moderate a newsgroup that's why certain control is possible.

Personally I would pay you a annual fee for a password protected newsgroup, because a place like Aphrodite is a home place where I like to be as often as I can. There is no other place around providing that level of thoughts and feelings.

Please think about and let me know more.
SUE ESTELLE, GERMANY


We think the Cocktail Bar forum-structure is working quite well; but there might be advantages in starting a fully-fledged newsgroup. The main disadvantage would seem to be that not all Internet providers carry all newsgroups, so fewer people might be able to get to us than now. Advantages would be the newsgroups' excellent thread structure and an increased encouragement to participation. We think newsgroups do not charge fees, but we would be happy to moderate one (it would need to be moderated if we were to maintain the civilised and unsmutty atmosphere people come here for). The main thing is, we don't know anything about forming newsgroups. Can any one help, or has any one any comment on this idea?

What "Erotic" Truly Means

I am very glad to have found my way here at last. This is what the term erotic truly means, the secrets that are exposed only a little but enough to entice. This is what stirs the soul and feeds the desires. Thank you again for providing this spot.

MOUSE


Feminine Sensuality and Marriage

I just dropped in by recommendation of a girl-friend. She told me that this is a place where you can find real feminine sexuality without the aggressive and unsensuous behaviour of men.

What I read in the introduction and your little sample are making me very curious of joining your "society". On the other side I'm afraid that cruising around here changes the way I see my husband!?

I would like to hear some comments on experiences of how sexual life changes with that -for me- totally new sight of my fem-to-fem sexuality.
J.P.


Dear J.P.,
I think your problem is that you are still conceiving erotic issues in the rather narrow "sexual" light that the masculine society of the last 30 years has taught you. We are not recommending an "alternative sexuality"; we are recommending a deeper, subtler, more sensitive appreciation of the whole area of the feminine-erotic - this is just about the opposite of "sexuality" which is, in itself a crude, reductionist term belonging to a crude, reductionist society.

Women have always appreciated feminine attractiveness - that is why the way to sell a magazine to women has always been to put a pretty girl on the cover, very rarely a man. Heterosexuality for women contains a high degree of narcissism which is natural and good. Men are not sex objects to women in the same way that women are to men. A generation of feminists has attempted to simulate male-type sex reactions in women (the use of the word 'hunk' being a good example of the project) and the whole thing still seems artificial and ridiculous, as it always will.

A great deal of a woman's sensual stimulation in a heterosexual marriage or courtship turns on her consciousness of her own attractiveness. She is the sex-object, not only to her husband, but to herself.

So, to answer your question with a recommendation, come to Aphrodite, appreciate the feminine eroticism, and try to bring it into your own life. Try creating (perhaps only in private at first) a new femme-sensual you. Experiment with stockings (if you can find real '50s/'60s ones in a charity shop, so much the better. Nothing else quite matches them), suspenders (garters), flared skirts and delicious flouncy petticoats. We bet your husband will love it, and it could open a new world of delight in your marriage.


I very much enjoyed the pictures at your www site. The picture of the young lady taken in the late 1960's, with her knees up to her chin as she gazes off into the distance, was wonderful!

I have always wanted a source of erotic photos which leave something to the imagination.

BTW, what is your definition of the term "bongo"? I notice that you use this a lot in your texts about Aphrodite.

Thanks again for the wonderful pictures.

R. C.


"Bongo" is an informal term used by the girls to refer to the world that has developed after the cultural Eclipse of the 1960s and to people who are very much the products of that world.


Beauty

There's so little real beauty in so much of the 'pictures' on the web. Surprise and imagination are the real eroticism.
D.B.


Bravo

We want to offer you this standing ovation for your pages. (Applause, Applause)
My girlfriend and I share your philosophy and preference for feminism and subtlety as opposed to 'vulgar obviousness'. We look forward to the day when Aphroditism is the norm.
MIKE AND ALICIA


At the Sound of your Voice . . .

The female voice is the most sensual sound on earth.
The girls at Femmeworld sent me. TERRI


Respect for Women

Thank you for having such a wonderful site. As one of the few men my age (29) who hasn't fallen into the whole politically correct thing, I know the value of chivalry in a world where men are told not to open doors for women. I maintain my chivalry. I think it's a sign of respect for women. Thanks again.
L.F.L.


You are right. It is a sign of respect for women, and women who do not accept it as such are boors. It used to be constitutionally impossible for a woman to be a boor, but unfortunately masculist "feminism" has changed that, to the great detriment of all of us. Part of our work, as enlightened women, is to change it back again. Incidentally P.C. does not stand for "Politically Correct", it stands for "Policed Consciousness".


The Decline of Sensuality

Kudos to all of you! Having stumbled into Aphrodite during my daily 'surf was like the first semester in college, when I was introduced to several of a like mind who made me feel at home.

The depiction of the our bodies, our form, represented in the media, along with the overwhelming presence on video of a sort of sexiness to appeal to the 'typical', 'saleable' male mentality has simply shredded away at what I grew up looking forward to as the weekend drew near.

That look across the room, or accidental brush against one that intrigues. . . later on, the glimpse of something that was meant to remain obscured - This is what I want to see, think about, dream of. . . As erotic as I have found the words depicting what Aphrodite contains, I can only guess at what may lie behind. . .
GLORIA


Seductive

I want to thank you for this site. As a former AOLer, I got into collecting pictures, but was constantly disappointed in the overly graphic and tasteless nature of what I found. This site is perfect for someone who appreciates the seductive nature of your upskirt photographs. Please continue, I would love to see more.
NM


Pornography or Gynaecology?

A correspondent writes:
. . .your service is fascinating and I have always thought this type of pic is far more interesting that the clinical details of most porn.

"Clinical". It is an interesting word and one that has cropped up more than once in descriptions of late 20th century "erotica". More than ten years ago I had occasion to see a "mainstream" men's magazine, and the gynaecological nature of the photographs was such that I thought at the time they could not go much further in "revealing" photography without recourse to obstetric instruments. Curiously enough, such instruments have not (to my knowledge) been widely employed in subsequent pornographic photography. Even the bad taste of Johnny Bongo and his Freudian ignorance of the true nature of erotic desire have not gone so far as to foster the illusion that such methods would get him closer to the True Object of his desire. Beyond the shaving craze, there has been no real progress toward greater "revelation". After all, even ten years ago, there was nothing much left to reveal.

The whole rather dismal business is based on the "onion-skin" fallacy of Freudian reductionism. The modern attitude to sex and pornography is like that of a man with an onion who imagines that by stripping off layer after layer he is discarding the "coverings" that stand in his way and getting ever closer to the "real onion". Of course, when he has finished his greedy process of stripping away the unnecessary and getting at the thing he really wants, what he has left in his hand is precisely what he deserves to have. Nothing.

That "real onion" was a fallacy from the start, just like the notion that all erotic desire can be reduced to the physical, the animal, the clinical and ultimately (and this is no more than the logical conclusion of the entire modern attitude to "sex") the gynaecological. The onion, of course, existed in every layer, and with each one stripped away there was less onion.

Likewise eroticism exists in the aesthetic and the imaginative, the spiritual and the whimsical just as much as in the physical. The idea that "it all boils down to sex" (i.e. physical copulation and gynaecological detail) is the grossest of masculine fallacies. Eroticism exists in a smile, a voice, a frill of lace; in the profound mystery and absolute otherness of femininity in a masculine society, which has been wished away by modern dogma. The idea that you can capture the essence of femininity by sticking a camera into a woman's privates is as gross as the idea that you can destroy it by making her an "equal member of the workforce". Both come from the same root, and both are part of the masculine malaise that is choking off the stream of life from post-'60s civilisation.

The two fallacies feed each other and depend on each other. If (as we are told by the propaganda services day and night) there is no such thing as the mysterious and thrilling quality called femininity which makes woman psychically, spiritually and mentally a different creature from man; then there is only brute physical femaleness, and only there can we look for the feminine essence we as individuals and our world as a whole so desperately require. The "men's magazines", ugly as they are, pathetic as they are, only take the dogma of the entire post-feminist society to its logical conclusion.

The onion analogy is perfect in its way, but there is another which may make the matter clearer. This style of photography may be likened to an aged connoisseur of art who, in his senility, develops a desire to get closer to his paintings. He no longer cares what they represent in terms of light and shade, far less in terms of thought and ideal. Now he only wants to get at the "real thing", the "picture itself". He wants to rub his nose in the canvas and lick the paints until they dissolve in his mouth. He wants to set aside "airy fairy" concepts of vision and imagination and wallow in the real, the ultimate, the physical nature of his pictures.

But paintings, of course, are not primarily physical objects. They are primarily visions, imaginative experiences, profundities of thought and nuances of sensibility, expressed in a small collection of matter. Nor are human beings merely physical objects. Our material part -- our so many pounds of carbon and hydrogen and calcium -- like the pigment and oil and canvas of a picture, is merely the means of expression for something that far transcends it.

So is there a "real thing", a "central core" of eroticism, that corresponds to what Freud and the smutty photographers are both seeking in exactly the same place? I would say there is. That "real thing", that "central core" is the eternal essence of femininity, which existed before the first woman was born, before the stars were formed or the cosmos took its shape. The modern world seeks the true essence of Aphrodite and of woman in exactly the wrong place. The same place that it seeks for the true essence of everything -- in the mud, when it should be seeking among the heavens. And that, in a thousand different areas, is what is wrong with the whole of our civilisation, particularly in the turn it has taken since the 1960s.

A little story:

A rich woman went to the shop of a highly celebrated Parisienne milliner. For three hours she tried on every hat in the shop and found nothing to suit her. Finally the milliner took a wide band of silk ribbon, and giving it a few cunning twists in her white, dextrous fingers, she folded it into a delightful bonnet. When the rich woman put it on she was overwhelmed.

"But this is perfect," she said, "perfect. How much do you want for it?"

"Three hundred pounds," said the milliner.

"Three hundred pounds for a length of ribbon?" cried the rich woman aghast.

In an instant the milliner unfolded her creation and handed the length of limp, shimmering ribbon to her customer.

"The ribbon, madam," she said, "you can have for nothing."

That ribbon is the physical part of eroticism.
MISS REGINA SNOW (Copyright)


Many a Slip

I agree that the eroticism of the chance show is far greater than the posed. Clinical details leave little for the imagination and so are not nearly as erotic as situational photos. But I have seen no mention of the eroticism of slips. The thin slip with lace and/or a slit is a real erotic article of clothing. It is curious that a woman in a full slip is far more "decently" covered than a woman at the beach in a bathing suit. Yet, few women will show themselves in public or semi-public in a slip. Chance sightings of slips beneath skirts and dresses are equally erotic to those of stocking tops. Of course, to have both together is the real delight. But don't forget glimpses down the front of a dress to see a lacy bra. And women who bend over while wearing a loose fitting top give us all a delicious treat. I will be sending for a password and hope the photos are as good as the description!
C.R.S.


Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.
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