Loincloths and bloomers and kilts, oh my.
Ever think about the research that goes into writing a historically accurate sex scene? Probably not, because you are a fun person with a life and hobbies. Besides, your good friend Amelie does that stuff for you.
In Oathbound, I got around the question of underthings by having our fair princess stripped of everything but her chemise during her fainting spell. Her historically accurate underthings were a question for another day. But in reality, she probably was never wearing any to begin with. Medieval women liked to feel the wind in their bits. Kept them alert in the absence of Pornhub.
Oathbound and my upcoming title, The Blacksmith’s Bargain, take place in an unidentified medieval time period and a mysterious unknown kingdom. Those ambiguous details gave me quite a lot of flexibility in the panty drawer because the evolution of underwear – particularly women’s underwear – has had a long and varied past.
Men (of course) have generally covered their junk. Starting around the 13th century, all the guys sat around a campfire and decided they should protect the family jewels with a primitive (but not much different than ours) version of boxer shorts called braies. Women had no time for campfire genital discussions what with the butter churning and the 19 consecutive pregnancies a piece, so they were still free balling (as it were) for the next few centuries.
It wasn’t until almost 500 years later that knickers were introduced into the picture. Corsets, bustles, bum rolls, and stockings all predated the simple idea of a pair of shorts to keep us womenfolk from making impulsive decisions with our nether regions. And it’d be another 400 years before bras came into play.
Boring, you say? Uninteresting? Well, it sure is important when a knight or a blacksmith is playing striptease with your fair damsel. I do take some liberties, of course. They were called “drawers” for the longest time, but that’s not a very sexy word, so my progressive medieval peoples have a leg up on terms like “knickers” and “panties.” I’m sure Chaucer would forgive me.
As it is, I appreciate the easy-access approach to historical lingerie. I’ve returned to the ancient world this week while I start crafting the sequel to Another Man’s Queen.
Loincloths and shendyts were de rigeur in the courts of ancient Thebes, but to be frank, Isis and Anubis spend more time out of their clothes than in them, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.