NOTE: This conversation runs backwards! For the benefit of regular readers the newest comments are put at the top.
I have "converted" several of my girlfriends to the wearing of the garters,
and will NEVER go back to wearing the dreaded pantyhose
South Dakota, USA
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
Please keep up the good work.
We shall, Rachael: and remember: politically incorrect is humanly correct. And vice versa.
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.
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
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)
Thank you. Our only worry about this system is the way the forums run backwards. Does that trouble people? Do let us know.
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.
A very interesting thought; though we should say that our photography is not intended to be either art or pornography.
Not sure what that thing you are throwing off is, but it sounds well worth throwing off! Hundreds of greetings to you.
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!
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
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".
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 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.
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.
"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.
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 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
"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
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
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)
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.
BACK TO BELLADONNA