The Cocktail Bar

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


Tight Bras and "Slumber Parties"

I am so grateful for the sensitivity and effort invested in creating this unique location online. While I hope to explore new fashions and body sensitivity, I wanted to say I can relate to the pleasure of wearing ever-so-slightly tight clothing. I was helping a young friend shop recently, and we were trying out bras for her. We found the most exquisite floral bra, but I suggested she try the next size smaller. She hesitantly followed my cue, and I helped her fasten an obviously tight, slightly uncomfortable bra. She didn't say it, but I could tell as I turned her around to the mirror, that the close fit heightened her awareness of her body, her appreciation of her breasts and the femininity of her shape. It was a pleasure to begin to initiate her in this manner. It was only a short time before she began suggesting similar outfits for me, including one I bought just to wear for her. We had our own little "Slumber party" that night, showing one another off in the outfits we chose for one another. I can't wait to do it again. I just can't have this kind of fun with my husband!!
VICTORIA HARRIS

Andrea Replies about slips

I wish to thank Ariadne and Paula for their recent feminine advice about slips and etiquette. I am afraid that, perhaps, I am a little obsessive about my lingerie as it is closest to both my skin and my feminine soul. My conversation revealed a little too much, it was a Freudian slip, if you like. This was my first visit to the Common Room and I was feeling a little nervous so it all gushed out, you must think I am just a silly slip of a girl, but as a newcomer I hope that you might forgive me.

I have had a sip from a large martini now, so my nerves have steadied. It is a pleasure to share such common interests with other girls, but I will be more circumspect in the future when seeking their advice. I am still quite young (23) and not very experienced in the feminine ways of the Aphrodite world. I do have other interests, such as creating patterns for the dying art of Cross-stitch.

My original conversation arose out of a wish to know how an Aphrodite lady can achieve a balance between revealing just enough of her lingerie to give a little pleasure to those around her and how much she should maintain her decorum by just hinting at her feminine delights beneath by the way she sits. I also seek the advice, respectfully, of other older and more experienced members of the Common Room whether an Aphrodite lady should wear a waistslip in preference to a full length petticoat?

I am so glad that Ariadne feels that although the colour of a slip is very much a personal choice it can also be a reflection of your feminine mood. I had not even thought of Paula's suggestion that choosing the right slip can be determined by the length of stockings rather than just the length of skirt.

Perhaps Paula could suggest which slip from her large collection would be the best choice for me with black Pretty Polly Nylons and a knee-length skirt. These are the closest modern sheer stockings, with the right silky feel, that I can find to 1950s stockings. They are mid-thigh length with a lacy patterned top. If Paula got to know me better perhaps she would be willing to lend me one of her slips on a future trip into the Common Room. I would also be grateful if any of the girls that live in London could advice which is the best department store to buy suitable lingerie and stockings? I hope that Ariadne feels that these are more modest questions that stimulate the mood of the Common Room without lowering the standards of decorum or embarrass her sensitive nature.
ANDREA


Dearest Paula

O, I am so terribly sorry! It seems I have been, how does one say in CyberSpeak, "torched" or "set afire". I fear I may have given offense to Paula, with whose brief remarks on choosing slips I most entirely agree! I could hardly have put it better myself -- "whichever [slip] is perfect for the length of one's stockings" is exactly correct! And, too, Paula, I envy you your apt description of how the right combination of skirt and slip "can often just raise the level of desire of those about [one]." Honestly, Paula, I really do! Subtly suggestive, a clever turn of phrase. . . That I could write just half as well!

Yet I'm not quite sure Paula was addressing me -- Ariadne. I was addressing Andrea, but Paula speaks of Ariadne's tirade, Adriane's problem with petticoats, and Adriene's problem as well, so my head is all in a spin! Here we have four girls where I thought we had but two: Andrea, Ariadne, Adriane and Adriene. We sound very like the Anagram Girls indeed!

My comments' main intent was to provoke a lively response, and I hope I am not too terribly immodest in assuming that they have done. I had a good giggle over the whole thing, and I hope you can, too. Please do write again. Your loving
ARIADNE


Appreciation

I love petticoats.

I love slips

I love in general Fifties style and fashion.

I would love tender, soft, warm conversations among us.


More on Slips

In reading the most recent post I was taken aback by Ariadne's tirade regarding Adriane's problem with petticoats. I have been following the new post as they come along, because I long for the days of the 50's when we dressed as women should. I am thankful that the girls from Femmeworld sent me this way.

I myself often ponder and often times will try one of my many slips until it is perfect for the length of my stockings. The right length in combination with the skirt can often just raise the level of desire of those about me. I say let Adriene tell us about her problem and then we can help solve it. I may have just the perfect slip in my collection for her.

Keep up the good work, and as I sip on my afternoon tea, I'll look forward to reading more about the fashions that I hold so dear.
Love,
PAULA


Andrea's Dilemma Tentatively Solved

Andrea's perplexity over which of two perfectly lovely slips to wear confuses me. Either would do quite well, I should think, depending on her mood, her hem length and whom she plans to meet. But all this detail about panties, Pretty Polly stockings, slithering into (or out of) one waist-slip or another, semi-lacy black bras and A-line petticoats is positively embarrassing to sensitive girls!

Far be it from me to advise another woman -- not my girlfriend -- about what she should wear! I am no fashion consultant. But for a girl I really know and like, were I learn to something of her spirit, her sense of humour, her little quirks, well, then, that's a slip of quite a different colour entirely, and I should be able to give her a reasonable opinion. Don't you other girls agree? (Where's Suzanne?)

So, Andrea, not knowing much about you, it is not without trepidation that I would most respectfully suggest you slither into the slip that feels the best under your skirt, the one that, without which, you would feel less than completely feminine. I should think that a slip corresponding in length to the skirt you will wear would be a valid starting-point. Colour is a matter of personal taste, of course.

Might you share with us some of your non-lingerie interests? The advert for the Cocktail Bar promised "Five o'clock femmy chit-chat, clever conversation [and] three-in-the-morning philosophy" I, for one, want to see some femmy chit-chat and clever conversation, something more than soliloquies. So come on, Andrea, order a drink and tell us some more! I'm a very shy girl indeed, but I've been rather forthcoming, I think, in my conversations in the Common Room, so if I can, so can you.
ARIADNE


Many a slip

I love the erotic appeal of a slip. The slip brings together the whole view of the feminine woman far more as an erotic object than mere flesh ever can. Long may we all enjoy such sensual pleasures.

I adore the delicious sensation of pulling my favourite full length, black, silk petticoat down over my panties, suspenders and nylons. The 2 inch hem of lace barely covers my stocking-tops as I sit at my dressing table removing my makeup. The thin black suspenders peep out through the lacy hem. As I stand to admire my feminine figure I feel the taut nylon sliding over the bottom of my full cut black frilly panties and the stocking tops disappear from view as I modestly pull the slip down. I can see the semi-lacey black bra through the filigree of swirling lace that sweeps over my soft breasts at the top of the slip.

Tomorrow I shall dress in my long navy coloured, button-down-the-front, linen skirt. I love the feeling of a silky petticoat rippling over my legs encased in ultra-sheer nylons, so I will wear a knee-length waist slip. But I have a dilemma, which waist slip shall I choose? Should I slither into my 26-inch length, navy blue nylon slip with a long lacy slit worn at the front, just a hint of frothy blue lace peeks out to compliment the slightly darker navy of the skirt? Depending on how many buttons I leave undone, my glossy indigo coloured nylons can be seen underneath, perhaps even the hint of a stocking top? Or should I be a real tease and slip into my even longer 28 inch length, silky, cream, classic A-line petticoat that comes to just below the knee? As I walk the front split of the skirt parts, the 3 inch lacy hem and a triangle of silky cream slip are briefly revealed to view and then hidden again. Whether I wear the cream or the navy blue petticoat I shall, of course, slide into cream or navy blue matching lace edged Charnos French knickers and suspender belt. The cream slip is very thin so when I am dressing, the outline of my suspenders, the dark band at the top of my Pretty Polly sheer indigo stockings and my French panties can just be glimpsed beneath the silky material. This is an added pleasure. Oh what a dilemma, perhaps readers could help me, which slip should I choose?
ANDREA


As an American, I live in what is possibly the most femme-negative nation in the world. There are certainly places where women suffer more, but nowhere are the imperatives to be mannish and to be extremely sexually permissive more intense. To make matters worse, I am a computer technician and must work in an environment that is simply saturated with maleness. It is a constant temptation to take the path of least resistance and just allow oneself to be absorbed by the ugliness.

Some years ago, I ran across a publication called Artemis. It was by and for women who love women, and (miracle of miracles!) it was absolutely pro-femme! I was delighted. I finally felt that I'd found some kind of identity. Sadly, I was never able to locate another issue, and the US just doesn't offer anything for the girl who longs for a truly girly way of life.

Imagine my joy when I found Femmeworld, and subsequently Aphrodite! My "Victoria" magazine feeds my love of herbs and flowers and lacey things, but what I was really missing was a woman-oriented forum that offers subtle erotica. I feared I was the only person in the world who craved elegant, demure images of pretty girls in pretty clothes rather than crass pornography.

I cannot thank you enough for this Web site, and I eagerly look forward to my next visit! Fondly,
RACHEL


Legs in the '60s

From what I've read ever so quickly, I have found a place that brings a very refreshing smile to my 50 year old face. I remember being so excited at the College I attended from 1963 to 67and how I enjoyed all the boys looking at my legs! Of course in the beginning of the 60's we didn't have pantyhose yet but we did have those mod mini-skirts! I know I hooked my hubby then, because he loved my legs and still does at 50!
KRISTINA


Making Men behave

Whatever "custom" might dictate these days, when I'm wearing corsets and stockings I feel myself more woman. Besides, (I must admit) I like the stern ones in leather and the like and have found out that any man behaves himself whenever he finds out what I wear. No more rushing into bed, they just try to please me and behave much more politely. As they should with women.
HANNAH


Less is More

I just found how to join your group. I am so excited given that I just love the old English style of life, the frills and proper behavior. I have been using these type of ploys with my husband and I know by his reactions that less is more. Perhaps you will consider a section to guide the modern women in ways to make use of this fetish and bring it to greater significance both personally and with a couple. I will be sending my communication via snail mail as you call it today.
BARB Thank you for your comments Barb, though I have to say that we don't regard this as a fetish; we regard it as a revival of fundamental femininity that lies at the basis of eroticism. In other words, it isn't a quirk or a perversion, but a return to normality.


Girl-friends and Underclothes

Suzanne,
I agree with your comments about the sensuality and femininity attached to wearing corsets, suspenders, and lace. I find that when my girlfriend and I go out in public, she loves to feel my under-garments through my outer clothes. It is very erotic for both of us to feel and still appears as just two girlfriends with their arms entertwined. I feel that what is the biggest stimulation for me is the imagination involved in not knowing exactly what it is I am feeling, but leaving it to my imagination.

I want also say thank you to the ladies of Femmeworld for sending me to this site.
CHARLENE


The Male Approach?

Drawn initially by the pictures, I continue to find the discussion on your site absolutely fascinating. I must take (humorous) exception, however, to the oft-asserted claim that the culture's current fascination with the unsubtle medical-book approach to sexuality is a "male" imposition. Maybe it's just the circles I run in, but I know precious few males who really find it all that stimulating. I hear (and say) over and over again that something was lost when women stopped wearing pretty, flirting dresses with even prettier flirtier things on underneath. When I go out to lunch with a friend, it's not the short-shorts and the spandex blouse that provokes comment. It's the nicely-tailored dress or skirt whose hem falls above the kneeline that grabs our attention. The culture at large has been nose-diving to the lowest common denominator in fashion, movies and music for the last two decades. The low-lifes are in charge at the moment, male and female. I (along with thousands of other males) eagerly await the inevitable swing of the pendulum back toward real femininity that the Aphrodite Girls are pushing along. We're suffering as much as the women who are just beginning to realize that the culture has been oppressing and suppressing something quite basic to their characters. So, please, let's not make the same mistake that the Marxist-based feminists made and decide that this is an us-against-them issue. I think men and women are in this together and I (for one) am determined to try to keep us together. Looking forward to more of your delightful philosophy,


We are in complete agreement with you. It has never been our intention to promote a women-against-men attitude or to treat men as the enemy, and the whole of Aphrodite eroticism is founded on the belief that the unsubtle medical book approach is not erotically satisfying to men or women. However, we do suggest that the fallacy that it is satisfying is a male one. Few if any women seek out this kind of pornography. To say that men are the creators of this fashion is not to say that all men are responsible for it, or that many men do not suffer from its soul-impoverishing consequences just as much as we do. We are not really interested in blaming either men or women, and when we speak of an unbalance toward the masculine sensibility, this is not an attack on men. Bongo feminism, for example is a lurch toward masculinity on the part of women and is, as we have argued, the other side of the coin of reifying pornography. Both are founded on the annihilation of femininity (as opposed to femaleness), which is the underlying malaise of our times and which is a tragedy for both men and women We must all try to set this right. That is the purpose of Aphrodite.


Shy, Sensitive, but Romantic

I, too, aspire to achieve the almost unutterable perfection of the new -- or old -- femininity. My innermost woman tells me that your concepts are fundamentally sound, particularly as regards the degradation of feminine sensibilities in our Tellurian post-industrial world. Your place is indeed a refined, elegant yet subtly stimulating refuge! And subtlety is so central.

But I am not absolutely certain we are in perfect accord. As I am shy and sensitive, there are quite a number of things I am not quite ready to share with the other girls until I know them a bit better, such as my predilections for what I wear next to my skin.

Your interior decor is so soothingly feminine (particularly in the choice of colours) that I would wish to be a frequent visitor here should the girls I meet prove even half as lovely. But I'm almost certain they'll rival the decor.
ARIADNE


It is not in any way compulsory to share one's innermost secrets. I do not believe I ever have. One may well opine that complete concealment is in any case the most delightful way of all.


Girdles, Restriction and Stimulation

" ... I have actually done quite a bit of , often embarrassed, thinking about why I actually enjoy tight girdling and corseting. Although the main physical appeal of wearing a girdle is that sleek, firm sensuous feeling that is in many ways analogous to the tactile sensations of wearing a silky slip, negligée, or stockings, that sense of the pleasant "touch" of a garment, there is actually something more to it, if I honestly get a certain pleasure from tightness and from reasonable and not excessive "girdle suffering." As I see it, there are several different distinct but interacting sensations here. First of all, I do think, from my personal and costuming experience, that a woman's waist, abdomen, hips, derriere, and thighs are all neglected erogenous zones. Different women respond differently to stimulation of these areas, but I think that the stimulation women receive from stimulation and constriction of these areas is general enough to explain why they not only tolerated but chose to wear corsets and girdles for so long. Although I think that the male domination and suppression of women has taken many forms in the course of history, I do not believe that the wearing of girdles and corsets can be entirely explained as an imposition of males upon females. As I remember the portion of the golden age of girdles that I experienced first hand, we wore girdles primarily to please our own, more refined and sophisticated sense of beauty and decorum (and secretly, because it gave some erotic pleasure, just as a slip or nylons or heels did). Although some men, like my husband, developed an erotic attraction to them because of the enormous profusion of advertising images of girdled women, and because they were a frequently and openly discussed (largely, I think, because they were not viewed as an erotic garment) signifier of adult femininity, I think most men and boys would have been happier to see our derrieres bouncing back and forth, and to encounter no such formidable obstacle when, in the back seat of the Chevy, they put their hands up our skirts. I remember so clearly how much I, my mother, my sisters, and my girlfriends enjoyed the sense of dressed-up and elegant femininity associated with girdles, that I can't help but think that the sense of pleasurable arousal I experience when I wear them is actually quite common. So, to put it in the most direct possible terms, I find that an important part of the appeal of wearing a girdle is the sense of being perpetually stimulated. The stimulation is more subtle than, say, a direct stimulation of the genitals would be, but it is a mild, endurable, teasing excitement nonetheless. And it would stand to reason that the tighter the girdle, the more intense the subtle stimulation.

Another aspect of the pleasure of girdle-wearing and of tight-girdling, has to do with our "reading" of the stimulating experience. We read girdles as signifiers of our femininity. Since this mysterious experience of "femininity," this powerful sense of our difference from males, is central to our sexuality, everything that makes us feel feminine stimulates us. Wearing a girdle that is so tight that it doesn't let us forget that we have it on perpetually reminds us of our femininity. We can't escape it. We feel it every time we sit down, walk, or make any movement. The girdle is always there, reminding us of our femininity and enforcing and inspiring feminine comportment. This is, after all, the fundamental reason why all serious costumers and costume books are adamant about the need to put actresses in girdles for plays set between 1930 and 1968, in spite of the expense and extra work involved in fixing up the actresses with a garment that won't after all be seen. No woman can create a convincing visual impression of the femininity of this period unless she is wearing a girdle.

So, when we wear our girdles, we are being stimulated in a tactile way, and in an imaginative way ("feeling feminine"). They work together, I feel, to make us more erotically involved and erotically attractive to our men. Apart from the fact that he conceived an early attraction to women in girdles, my husband is stimulated by my acting feminine, different from him I'd assume. This is fundamental to the dynamic of girdle-flirting in our marriage. He is stimulated by this defining reminder of our difference.

Okay, finally the most difficult and complex aspect of the attraction of wearing a girdle, especially a tight girdle. I am not 100% comfortable about talking about this, but I am very grateful to you for directly raising the issue, since I think that if we are going to construct a serious analysis of what it means to wear a girdle, we have to confront the "masochism" issue. I want to say several things first. I know exactly, exactly what you mean by the "after-the-girdle" feeling. When I take my girdle off, I still sometimes feel the feminine effects of the constriction I accepted for the course of the day, and I feel that constriction, in a powerful way, because I have just been liberated from it. This powerfully intensifies my romantic relations with my husband. I suppose I must admit that I do enjoy the freely chosen constriction and, at times discomfort of a girdle. I enjoy it because of the way in which it intensifies my awareness of my femininity. I think of myself at such moments as proudly and even deliciously submitting to the constraints of womanhood.

I will not submit to any social or intellectual constraint and will fight with every fiber of my being against them. But there is something down there, in that dark mystery of femininity that enjoys a freely chosen constraint and submission, symbolically and temporarily, to the greater strength, mobility, and freedom of the male. As I've said to you, I love the wonderfully exciting gender play he and I enjoy with each other. And all wrapped up with this, in some unexplainable way, is the exciting sense that I choose to accept the constriction of femininity, symbolized by the wonderful contained experience of being always girdled and corseted. And when I am really tightly girdled, the feeling of constraint allows so much romantic energy to build up that I'm like an unbound tigress when I'm freed. Now it's not pain that does this to me. When a girdle or corset is too painful, the pain takes my mind off of my excitement, and can ruin the experience. Pain is part of life, undoubtedly, but I get no pleasure from pain itself. ... I don't like pain, but I guess that something profoundly feminine in me enjoys signifying restriction ..." SUZANNE


A Gentleman Writes

Hi, great site. I agree with the philosophy of Aphroditism (as I understand it) 100%. I think it's foolish to try harder and harder to make men and women "equal". The sexes ARE different, as any fool can plainly see. Neither is "better" than the other, just different.

I applaud your goal of a return to traditional feminism, and I don't mean that in some kind of conservative way - I'm about as liberal as they come. I wish there was something I could do to help but, as you point out, there's really nothing men can do. Like you, I think that there isn't enough eroticism in the world, and far too many people who think that graphic depictions of other people having sex qualifies as "erotic." While it may be exciting on a visceral level from time to time, it certainly lacks the subtle refinement of a truly erotic experience. I only wish there was a similar movement for men. Now that women (some of them, anyway) have realized that it's possible to be completely feminine without being second-class or weak, I wish men would realize that they can be strong, confident, and masculine without being overbearing, chauvinistic brutes.

I'm glad that our friends across the pond are continuing in their tradition of philosophical enlightenment! (I haven't heard anyone use the word "chary" since my British Lit. studies!).

Anyway, good show! Carry on.
D.L.


Corset Query

I totally understand your description and feelings while wearing frilly but tight fitting garments. I have enjoyed this for years, and now I would like to find a corset that will train my waist to be much smaller. Maybe 4 or 5 inches smaller over time. If you can help me find such a garment, please let me know.

The only corset manufacturer we know in the U.S. is B.R. Creations of California. Does any one know the address?


Stockings and Suspenders

It is so nice to find a place I can become myself. Raised in the 50's I have learned to honor and love nylons held by suspenders, and always wear them. It is my belief we can be ourselves and be lady-like. I am sure the majority of persons I am with know nothing about my nylons, assuming the concept of today's pantyhose. By the way we are doing our duty for the saving of resources --- when one ruins a pair of tights or pantyhose they have to throw away both legs. I always buy two pair and actually get the use of four.

I also find the firmness of a girdle and long line bra quite erotic and also figure enhancing as middle age spread sets in.
L.


Salute to England

I salute you for your ideals and vision. As the single parent of a 13 year old daughter, your views of womanhood give me confidence that there are still areas of this world that do make sense. I'm sure if I continue to do my job as a dad AND a mom, she will be able to find a niche that she will be comfortable with.

I miss England and the sense of womanhood that I felt from many of the women I met and saw. I enjoyed knowing that a woman would take as much trouble preparing for a quick trip to the market as she would for Sunday services.

I miss seeing women enjoying the public gardens, dressed in lovely summer dresses on a warm sunny day in Bury St. Edmunds. I miss sitting in the Wimpy Bar and watching the sensuous visions of womanhood that would pass by the front window as lunchtime in Newmarket unfolded. I was a part of life back then.... Never.... not before, not after my seven years in England, had I ever felt more a part of something. Thanks for the Aphrodite pages. Thanks for my seven years in your country.


I regret to say that it may be for the best that you left England when you did. Much of what you remember is no longer. We recently had a visit from an Italian-American priest who had been at Oxford in the 1970s. He was quite horrified to see what had happened to the beloved city in the relatively few intervening years. The University was no longer a haven of learning and civilsation; the famous Oxford accent was hardly heard any more, being replaced by a pseudo-proletarian drawl. He found it really quite spooky to find people -- even older people so mutated in so short a time, and to tell the truth it is spooky. I saw an up-to-date (I think 1950s) film in which a Frenchwoman says contemptuously to an Englishman who has performed some cowardly act "I heard that you were once a proud people." One feels like that now about the nation as a whole. Women who once dressed smartly to go on a 'bus ride now do not dress particularly nicely to go to the opera. And yet we know most women would like to. I think Aphroditism in England is partly an attempt to recover the real England, and in America, no doubt, it will be an attempt to recover the real America.


Layers and Sensuality

Suzanne, I agree with you. There is a unforgivable push in this world today, to show all immediately. Someone came to the idea that in order to be free, we have to shed our clothing as soon as possible. And now fashion being liberated, has dictated that more should be shown.

I find this disturbing, and disappointing. Subtleness is a wonderful lure, to me at least. Thinking about what lies under the layers, is very stimulating. There is an anticipation when you see your girlfriend dressed seductively, yet wrapped in the folds of her clothing. You know what is physically underneath, but not being able to see it, your imagination fires and draws you towards her. You long to peel her out of her clothing, as you would unwrap a secret present on your birthday. The Trill and to the Romance.

When I dress for a girlfriend, I try to dress for her, yet I want to show others that she is with an attractive yet subtle woman.

Dressing with hints, allows me to show enough to entice her, while not give away too much.

I hope this makes sense. and I thank you for the chance to talk about this, and I hope other things.

I would like to thank the wonderful girls at Femmeworld who have directed me here. Thank you.
Yours in time
NYSSA

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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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