Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Power of Panties

Once upon a time, when Mr. Elle and I were a new enough couple that we were just starting to explore our boundaries together, he challenged me to make him blush. I think this was to give me confidence when dabbling in D/s-type scenes for the first time and reassurance that I couldn’t come up with anything so extreme that he’d be unwilling to try it.

I scoured forums for ideas and eventually I settled on picking up a few pairs of panties for him. We got together, played a few awkward scenes in between enjoying regular “vanilla” intimacy and I never did whip out the panties. I got home, stuck them in my lingerie drawer, and pretty much forgot about them.

Years later (about a month ago), when Mr. Elle mentioned that he was having trouble holding his tongue, he received this suggestion from an anonymous commenter:
Ms. Elle should have you wear nice lace panties while in public. You might be able to get away without acting submissive, but you should not get away without feeling submissive.
Mr. Elle was less than enthusiastic about the idea, but many other commenters weighed in on the topic:
It just feels good. If there were clothes made for men using such light and smooth materials, I'd wear them instead, but since there are none, I also wear clothes originally made for women. I don't feel even a little bit submissive when wearing them.
- René
Mrs.Anonymous has found that I'm more compliant when wearing them. Some people talk about triggers, and pushing submissive buttons. For me, this is like a button that gets pushed and held down for as long as I'm wearing them. I think it's similar to the effect subservient-husband describes with long-term chastity: maximum effect and minimum work for her.
- Anonymous
and referred us to Kathy’s wisdom on Femdom101:
Seeing a grown man in panties is not something that I care about. The reason panties are tolerated, as well as being required attire is that men like John are easier to control when the male ego is kept in check. What I have found is that panties have a way do doing just that.
- Kathy, quoted from from Femdom101
Why exactly this is the case is a question raised by J and apparently unwittingly answered by my own efforts to stay in a dominant mindset:
there seems to be wide agreement that a man in panties is more compliant. That's easy enough to observe, but harder to explain. However, I think you may have hit the nail on the head--wearing panties is doing SOMETHING to keep him in 'sub mode'
- J
There's a tendency in the community to ascribe "magical compliance powers" to panty-wearing (and likewise to prolonged chastity). I don't think this is the case at all, but that both panties and chastity are perpetual reminders of something that one is wearing or doing because their will is subordinate to the will of their partner. Like refusing to say "please" and "thank you" helped me remain in a dominant mindset, perhaps a constant low-level submission like panty-wearing helps a man maintain his submissive mindset.

Of course, Mr. Elle and I have spoken on the topic, and he is not interested in wearing panties because he thinks it would be emasculating. This means that, unlike those in the same camp as René, he is likely to feel submissive when wearing them. His resistance is not a relevant factor, except that the more resistant he is the more powerful the experience of submitting can be. It is likely I could use panties to induce a consistent feeling of submission.

The remaining (and only) relevant factor is my own choice on how to manage our relationship. I am fully aware that panties are an excellent tool in my arsenal, and Mr. Elle is fully aware that I have this tool at my disposal. I have three lovely pairs of panties, that may or may not be his size (they're too large for me though), and I’m not sure if or when I will use them but I know that there’s no need to rush.


  1. Ms. Elle,

    Thank you for taking the time to elaborate on your thoughts, it was well worth the wait. We don't often get a woman's viewpoint, so it's nice to hear. I'm honored that you quoted my theory about how requiring a man to wear panties is a good way to maintain his submissive mindset. I've been thinking about it since I posted, and it reminds me of requiring a man to wear a collar--another highly symbolic act. One big difference is that it's entirely practical to put a man in panties 24/7--nobody would know except you and him. That's harder to do with a collar because it might attract unwanted attention in public. With panties, you might not be able to literally "tug on the leash", but a pat on the bum and a few well chosen words reminding him of his situation would probably do just.

    I'm curious about something though: you discussed the merits of putting a man in panties, but you didn't mention whether you think Mr. Elle would actually submit to wearing panties. In his past comments, he has made some fairly strong statements that he would NOT be doing such a thing. Is he correct to make those assertions? If not, do you think it would be appropriate for him to correct the public record?

    I love that you're analyzing the how's and why's of different aspects of submission.

  2. I think the reason panties work so well as a symbolic gesture is rooted in our cultural stereotypes. In your own self-description, you say you like to "wear the pants". "She wears the pants" is a well established expression, and basically means "she is the boss". It's mostly applied to women who take on the traditionally male role of being the head of the household. (I'm going to ignore the fact that it's a sexist expression, because it's not really relevant to this discussion.)

    If we disect the expression, a woman wearing the traditionally male article of clothing is what symbolizes her authority. It's not much of a leap to see how a man wearing a traditionally female article of clothing is what symbolizes his submission.

    "He wears the panties" basically means "he is NOT the boss". And while a woman literally wearing pants has no real meaning, the message conveyed by a man literally wearing panties is inescapable. He will be confronted by this message each and every time the realization that he is wearing panties seeps into his mind.

  3. "you didn't mention whether you think Mr. Elle would actually submit to wearing panties" -J

    Of course he will! And if you take care to push his buttons, he'll even like it. In fact, he'll probably love it. Yup, you heard me right. Don't believe me? You had him cum on your feet and lick it up. He submitted to that, and by the sounds of things, he LOVED every minute of it. Don't let any of the comments make you doubt yourself! (You can consider this your friendly kick in the pants.)

  4. Haha. Nice blog, sounds like you've got a pretty sweet deal going. I say do it. I got my boyfriend to wear some in a drunken game of truth or dare. It started as a laugh, but the night ended with some great sex. Life's short, have fun ! Oh, and I don't really do the whole dominant thing. Might tho if I find the right guy.

  5. "…both panties and chastity are perpetual reminders of something that one is wearing or doing because their will is subordinate to the will of their partner."

    Ms. Elle,

    Your post is very well worded thank you. The above comment I spot on. You provide tremendous clarity to the subject. Your skills are superior to mine in this respect and I thank you for taking the time to do so.

    I agree that for panties to be helpful, the guy needs to be hetero-sexual and find the thought of wearing panties to be appalling. Him doing so goes against his every fiber and therefore is an act of compliance to the will of his dominant. Each time he is reminded he is wearing them and has the momentary flight reaction, your authority over him is elevated.

    I believe it is the same for chastity, but also I do believe there are some very real bio-chemical changes in men who are kept chaste. There seems to be some varying opinions on this matter. For me it is clear as good crystal. Those aside, the feeling of the chastity device is too a constant reminder of being subjugated.

    My wife is from Latin America. For her, a man wearing women’s clothing is out of the question. For you it may not be and you are of course at complete liberty to order your relationship in anyway you find best. It is the privilege of a dominant woman, and I think you will find Ms. Kathy agrees.

    I thank you for the opportunity to comment.


  6. "The remaining (and only) relevant factor is my own choice on how to manage our relationship."

    I could not have said it any better myself. It is good that you understand that you're the one who will decide whether he does or doesn't wear panties and that he does not get a vote in the matter.

  7. It sounds like Mr. Elle hasn't ever worn panties before. So while I think you're correct in saying they will induce a feeling of submission, it might take a few days for the novelty to wear off and the submission to set in. That's my $0.02 anyway.

  8. "I have three lovely pairs of panties, that may or may not be his size"

    Ms. Elle,

    If they don't fit, he can just buy some that do. Some will advocate sending him into a store to buy them, but I have mixed feelings on this. Yes, the idea is great, but the reality is that you might unwittingly involve an employee who doesn't want any part of it. You need to be careful.

    Not to worry, as I think it would be equally effective for you to do the actual purchasing, and simply demand reimbursement. For one thing, you can ensure an appropriate selection (maybe something with bows?). Also, if you decide what to buy, it takes all choices in the matter out of Mr. Elle's hands. Combine that with the fact that he'll be paying for something he ostensibly doesn't want, and I think you've got a winning combination.

    Good luck!

  9. I know it was addressed to Ms. Elle, but in response to J's question, I think Mr. Elle needs to check his ego and acknowledge that he will indeed wear panties if Ms. Elle so instructs. (I think the advice <a href="http://obedientlover.blogspot.com/2011/04/learning-to-follow-rules.html?showComment=1302883975478#c2762772649529462104>here</a> is appropriate.) He might not be actively defying an instruction (as some have suggested), but he definitely screwed up. I'm sure it wouldn't take much for Ms. Elle to remind him of his place.

  10. sorry, the link was: here

  11. @J - my pleasure! Of course Mr. Elle would wear panties if I made him. I don't think he'd like it, but it's not as though he'd give up what we have for the sake of avoiding them. Wearing them because Anonymous commenters tell him he should is another matter entirely. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and hope it was worth your wait ;).

    @Anon1 - There are undoubtedly many reasons, among them cultural ones you describe, as to why men tend to avoid wearing panties.

    @Beth - thank you! I agree. Just because Mr. Elle doesn't want to wear them, does not mean he wouldn't like to be FORCED to wear them.

    @Random chick - welcome! So far, my complaints are few. Mr. Elle is definitely the only one of my boyfriends with whom I have had an arrangement like this, and the only one with whom it would have worked.

    @S-H - Thank you :). We may yet try a chastity arrangement in the course of our experiments, who knows?

    @Anon2 - thanks for your vote of confidence :)

    @Anon3 - that's a good point, and one I hadn't thought of. Thank you!

    @size matters - Devious! Thanks for your input!

    @Anon4 - He would indeed wear panties if I instructed him to, but you'll note that I have not. He was defying an anonymous commenter, not me. While the former is impolite, it is only the latter that demands serious corrective measures.

  12. Use lace. He'll notice the difference in how they feel.

    1. UHHH,
      When you say "use lace" do you mean on the edges?
      Or all lace?

  13. "He was defying an anonymous commenter, not me."

    I appreciate your stance, and while I agree you're mostly correct, I think Mr. Elle has waded into dangerous territory. Someone else cleverly pointed it out in this comment.

  14. During the late 70's and early 80's you could find plenty of men's underwear made of 'panty' like material, no big deal. Then came the CK white briefs and the boxer rebellion. Guys are simple, they buy what is for sale, and try to keep it clean before they wear it again. This whole make sub guys wear panties makes them more sub is such a faux femdom projection. And quoting femdom101 and that dude Mistress Kathy that write it, reflects badly on the reality check of this blog. Read it from beginning to end and you will clearly see the jacking/blogging of a confused guy caught up in the femdom fantasy, like so many other femdom blogs written by dudes pretending to be Mistresses. If wearing panties gives your sub guy a hardon, go for it, otherwise, enough with desperate projections.

  15. To the previous commenter:
    Everyone is different, and you're being awfully judgemental. Also note, the people writing this blog probably weren't even born in the timeframe you mention, so those events really aren't going to do much to shape their perceptions. It's with all appropriate seriousness that I offer the following advice: don't get your panties in a bunch.

  16. Elle said...
    "Of course Mr. Elle would wear panties if I made him."

    Mr. Elle, now that Ms. Elle has made her position perfectly clear, do you retract your previous statements?

  17. @Anon5 - I'll keep that in mind.

    @Anon6 - Feel better now?

    @Anon7 - Appreciated, your comment made me giggle.

    @Anon8 - Despite the anonymous handle, I have a feeling you've commented here before. Please stop harassing Mr. Elle. He is submissive in the context of our relationship, that does not mean he is a figure to be publicly belittled.

    @Anons1-8, It would be a lot easier to keep you straight if you'd sign off with a pseudonym.

  18. Hi Ms. Elle,

    I find it interesting that Mr. Elle challenged you to make him blush. To me, that implies that he wanted you to humiliate or embarrass him. Erotic humiliation takes a lot of forms, and if often specific to the person (i.e., we don't all find the same things embarrassing). Previously, he noted that certain condescending phrases get under his skin. He also says here that condescending instructions pushed his buttons. He mentions it again when describing his cum licking experience. I get the strong sense that Mr. Elle likes being on the receiving end of erotic humiliation. So, what does that have to do with panties? Well, you said Mr. Elle thinks wearing panties "would be emasculating". That probably falls under the umbrella of erotic humiliation. Keep in mind if you decide to explore this together. You can experiment with playing up the erotic humiliation aspect of it all and see how he responds. It's hard to say exactly how to do this though, because every situation is different.

  19. Hmmm I can well associate with the 'humiliation' factor of wearing panties. I have thought long and hard (pun intended :-)) about why I wear womens panties. I'm straight, not a cross dresser in any other sense, considered a 'macho' bloke in my other life. But I have concluded it is the emasculation and humiation that turns me on. I have posted various bits on my blog trying to evaluate this. If I knew how to post links in comments I would - but you could see http://cliveskink.blogspot.com/2011/02/bring-on-blushes.html for example.

    Mr. Elle is in for some fun times :)

  20. Ms. Elle, I hope it's appropriate to share fantasy / game ideas. You might find something useful that you can adapt for your purposes. Here's a game that I think would exaggerate the effect of wearing panties. Rules are:
    1. Sub is not allowed to orgasm without permission.
    2. Sub is not allowed to ask permission until he wears panties for 24 hours.
    Simple, right? The fun is how you play it out. Ideally, once he's wearing panties, you tease him that he must really want to wear panties. He will probably object to that notion. That's fine. After 24 hours, just say "no" and add a 3rd rule:
    3. Sub is not allowed to wear panties without permission.
    That last rule is the kicker. If he decides he wants to try again, he now has to get your permission to wear the panties. Very difficult for him to successfully petition you to wear panties, and then turn around and say he doesn't want to wear them.

  21. Ms. Elle, personally I think anything that can be kept private is acceptable, and entirely up to you. That includes panty wearing, cum licking, painting toenails, hair removal, hidden tattoos, hidden piercings, ankle bracelets, etc. As longs as it can be hidden from public view, Mr. Elle has no reasonable grounds to object. Ultimately, I think Mr. Elle will appreciate you taking liberties with his "freedom", and solidifying your position of authority.

  22. Interesting post and comments.
    Yep, I think the next step is put him in panties and march him down to buy some either at VS or Department store!
    Either he can do alone, or if you come you can tell him you'll embarrass him with the sales clerk. Delicious fun!! :)

  23. "embarrass him with the sales clerk"

    That's exactly what I advocate against doing. Unless the sales clerk is a friend, and is in on it, you can't put somebody else in that position.

  24. "We may yet try a chastity arrangement in the course of our experiments, who knows?" (Elle)

    Mr. Elle is going to love you or hate you. Maybe both at the same time. :) Since the topic of this post IS panties, I'll point out that you can quite easily combine chastity and panty wearing. Some might even say they complement each other well. When in a chastity device, it's best to keep clean shaven. It might make sense to do the same for panties--to magnify the new sensations.

  25. @Intrigued - Welcome :). There's certainly something about being obedient that he likes, though I'm not sure it's erotic humiliation. I'm fairly sure that the challenge to make him blush was more to give me confidence than an expression of his desires.

    @cliveskink - thanks for sharing, I will have a look!

    @KINKY - devious! That's a great suggestion for a game.

    @Jealous - that's quite a list, thanks for the ideas!

    @Z - we have talked about shopping together, and probably will at some point, though I don't think I'd go so far as embarassing him with the clerk ... that would be as awkward for her as for him.

    @size matters - agreed.

    @chaste - interesting ideas! Thank you for stopping by :)

  26. You could always take him shopping for boy clothes, while he's wearing frilly panties underneath. Insist that he try things on. You could even join him in the dressing room. Just a thought.

  27. @Anon.... 9? - That would indeed increase his awareness, but I hardly think that would be necessary in the beginning. Thanks for your suggestion :)

  28. "because he thinks it would be emasculating"

    Some people would say that giving your wife a pedicure on demand is emasculating. Most would say that licking up your own cum on demand is emasculating. Mr. Elle has submitted to both, and it seems like he enjoyed it immensely. I wouldn't hesitate to use every "tool in your arsenal" to demonstrate your position. I'm sure he will love that you put in the effort to remind him.

  29. A neat trick is to round up all of his "normal" underwear, and put a bike lock through one of the legholes. That way, he can't cheat if you're not looking.

  30. I just came across this post, and thought I'd add something that hasn't been mentioned. In choosing the material for the panties, consider something that will easily show if it gets wet. Men often precum when aroused, and if you select the right material, it will be very obvious to you if this happens.

  31. I love it. He can protest that he doesn't want to wear panties all he wants... but it's pretty hard to explain away an obviously visible wet spot.

  32. What a lovely blog, i have just come upon it and enjoyed a few of the entries On this particular subject, i would add the insight of personal experience, since my Wife is the authority in our marriage, and sometimes she has made decisions with which i found to be difficult to accept and in our earlier incarnation, i would but up a fight. Now, however, when she has made a decision that she anticipates will be a problem for me, she has me dress up, not just panties but skirt and hose and blouse and Mary Janes, or maybe my maids uniform. Then when she explains my new chores, or shows me what she just bought, or what she expects me to accept, i just curtsey and say "Thank you". Truly, there is nothing as ridiculous as a man in frillies trying to act like he has the right to disagree with his dominant wife, and this has led to a much more harmonious relationship for us.
    sissy b

  33. My boyfriend cheated on me, that was the last straw!" He said, " will do anything" too save our relationship. I said to him anything?" I wish, or want? I decided to make him my beotch" My " Sissy Beotch" too a girly bath, wearing panties 24/7, nylons, too!" " ha " ha" So sexy bitch!" Jennifer A.

  34. I love your ideas, Jennifer? My guy or should I say " precious little girl" that will be his Halloween costume he'll be forced too wear at many, many parties, no alcohol she will be allowed to drink!" or a spanking on her ruffle panties will be seen by many people and friends too!" I have a lovely very short party dress for him to wear with stiff Crinoline slips too!" let's not forget the Mary janes shoes" hee, hee" he has long hair takeing him to the beauty shop Marilyn Monroe color, banana curls too, so, so, sweet so " pretty too!" hee, hee, Gretchen


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