The Princess goes Commando – The History of Underpants

Loincloths and bloomers and kilts, oh my.

Underwear1913I have a timeline saved on my computer of underwear technology. No, you can’t see it.  I just want you to know it’s there.

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 OathboundI 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.

03It 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.

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I have no idea what freaky shit is going on here, I just want to keep you guys on your toes

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.

Good Smut is Hard to Find

He rubbed her throat parts and she was like “oh yeah, do more of that,” and then the microwave timer went off.

So, let’s just get one thing out in the open.  I really love sex scenes.  Like, a lot.  But, also, most sex scenes are terrible.  There.  It’s been said.

Why terrible?  Well, there are a few reasons.  First you get the people who seemingly have no idea how the mechanics of sex work.  Then you get the foreplay foregoers (the worst) and the euphemism enthusiasts (for the love of God, please don’t compare intercourse to microwaving a hotdog.  There’s an associative smell.  I can’t read your work ever again).

So, when I stumble upon shockingly hot sex (or even just hot flirting) from the most unexpected of authors, I feel it is my civic duty to share that knowledge with the world at large.

Case in point, I was in the mood for gothic ghosts and post-war scenery when I picked up The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James.  Three weeks later, I’d read her entire published catalog and had every sex scene bookmarked as a reference point on how to do it right.  That woman writes hot sex.  She should do it more often.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it?  Good smut is hard to find and great writers are often discouraged from being explicit.  There’s plenty of straight-up pencil porn out there that jumps right into humptown with no context or character development, and while that’s all good for a huge demographic, the only reason I’m reading instead of browsing pornhub is because I want context (and to avoid 40 minute blowjob sequences, genital slapping, and various baffling habits that are apparently sexy to someone, somewhere).

So, that’s why we have to share.  As I build my master list of “hot stuff you guys should totally check out,” I’ll devote a whole page to it, but consider this post a taster while I work around to actually getting a few stories up and running.