“It is only by way of pain that one arrives at pleasure,” wrote the Marquis de Sade, patron saint of bondage gear. That rule has been revised recently in the hands of lingerie designers who prefer their scandal handled delicately. In other words, lingerie for a woman who wants the attitude of S&M but is definitely not a masochist. For example, bras with small cutouts plus an extra strap or two, paired with a high-waisted panty, capture an edgy, seductive style while retaining a user-friendly comfort level.
Hanky Panky launched its After Midnight collection in 2010, with styles that include a bra in its signature stretch lace with peak-a-boo slits on the cups, decorated with pink bows for a romantic touch. The idea behind After Midnight was “erotic, sexy lingerie that’s also pretty, feminine and comfortable; that women actually want to wear to feel sexy in,” says Larissa Shirley King, a designer for Hanky Panky. “There’s a lot on the market that’s cheap and trashy, and [a lot] that is very, very, very high-end. We found this niche for ourselves for pretty things that are still comfortable.”
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