You may have noticed a whole new section on our website and you may be wondering what is going on…
We are constantly reviewing, thinking and analysing what we are doing and how we are meeting the needs of our customers. We have to do this in order to keep going, to keep Moot afloat in these really challenging times for small businesses. We cannot afford to stand still and we don’t want to assume that we have all the answers; we are learning all the time and part of that learning involves understanding ourselves.
It has recently dawned on me that despite the very best intentions, and the very hardest thinking that I can muster up, in-between checking stock, posting things, and dealing with all the metal work of the downstairs business, I might have been missing something huge here.
I will never forget the day when I was fitting up some metal retail fixtures in a small village lingerie shop and the owner, in talking to me about the beautiful pieces, told me that there was enough local business for her to open the shop regularly in the evenings for men to come and select lingerie for themselves. She quipped with me that men had nothing as beautiful made for them.
So that was it, I knew I loved the look of lingerie and to be honest, I had always looked on fabulous websites like AP and Honey Birdette and imagined how wonderful it would be to dress myself in something so magnificent, but I never wanted to swipe my wife’s things, they belong to her and I never thought of myself as a cross-dresser, I simply wanted something of my own. And surely, if there were enough guys daring to come face to face with a small village lingerie retailer, then there would be enough guys who would be looking for lingerie in a safe place online.
As an online customer myself, I soon found the site XDress, and I was able to buy underwear that was specifically created with my shape in mind, but with the visual ‘language’ I was yearning for. I didn’t wholly feel like an XDress guy though, and I didn’t feel particularly represented in their styling and imagery.
I started drawing my own ideas, I dared to share my thoughts with those closest to me and Moot was born. I was excited about being able to bring the aesthetic of lingerie to the masculine form, in celebration of the masculine and not diminishing that in any way. I was so excited about the idea of establishing an equity of experience, of making the important point that if this is OK on one sort of body, why on earth is it so shamed and ridiculed on another?
I have found myself getting further and further into this ‘crusade’ (if that’s the right word) for the right to be allowed to wear what you want, and it’s given me a whole new perspective on what it feels like to be in a group which is slightly marginalised, which, as a straight white man in the pleasant South East of England, is not a feeling I have ever had to deal with.
But a blog on men’s lingerie that we read during some research time at work a couple of weeks ago, struck a tricky chord for me and made me look at everything I have been doing in a whole new light. Have I completely missed the point here? Have I failed to be as deeply honest as I could be with myself, and with my customers? And have I misunderstood most of the emotional draw for the guys who want to buy lingerie?
The blog started out on familiar ground, all the things that I talk about; the right for any shaped body, any gender, any person to have the option to wear beautiful lingerie if that’s their preference. It agreed with me on the importance of breaking down barriers and shame, but it then went on to acknowledge the fact that simply BECAUSE it is ‘not allowed’ and because it is taboo and because it is ‘naughty’ - therein lies the frisson of pleasure, the thrill that the wearer is seeking.
If we were in a world where there was absolutely no barrier whatsoever to men wearing the prettiest knickers, would it carry such pleasure? Women, who have unquestioned access to lingerie, most frequently don’t choose it - opting for more practical and comfortable ways to dress. Most men I hear from, who want the lingerie look, opt for the most strappy, bow-covered, lacy, dressy pieces that they can get. WIth Moot, I have been creating pieces that fit masculine bodies really well, elegant and sophisticated looks with exceptional materials in the best way that I can.
But, they are not women’s knickers. They are different.
And maybe, this is why it’s just been a bit too quiet for comfort here. We know we have an excellent product, but if you are drawn to lingerie because you’re a thrill-seeker looking to be a little bit naughty, if you are the kind of person who, when someone says, ‘Don’t look over that wall” just HAS to peek over the wall, if you are actually looking for secret silkies and naughty knickers, then the whole point of your lingerie experience might be to NOT fit into it your knickers perfectly!
You might want the fact that it was created and marketed at women and you are being a bit of a rebel for sneaking it over to your life and for daring to get it on.
I have been playing with this idea. I have spent the past week, as an exercise, wearing only ‘women’s’ underwear, rather than my own Moot designs and trying to work out what emotions and feelings this brings up. They are definitely less comfy. Bits definitely poke out and other bits dig in. But I do get the thrill. It’s a transgression from, even my, norm. Fundamentally, I have been wearing women’s knickers and I need to acknowledge the power of the thrill that this provides. I need to admit that there is a power to this emotion response.
So, am I a cross dresser? Maybe I am. Maybe I am a cross dresser because I do like wearing women’s clothing. I have no desire to wear women’s outer clothing, and that has always felt like the reason I have never seen myself as a cross dresser, but I like some parts of what has been labelled as ‘women’s’ and I can admit that without fear.
In light of this big emotional breakthrough, and in us trying our best to find the right combination of products for the people who like Moot, we have created a collection to test the water here. We have selected some pieces stocked by a lingerie wholesaler based in the north of England, we have chosen the pieces that we think you might like based upon the many questions and requests that we receive for pink, for silky fabrics, for babydolls and camisoles and pretty blues.
We know that there will be some customers who are not interested in the femme collection, and for that reason, it is entirely separate on the website and the pieces do not feature in any other collection. You only get to them one way.
For those of you who love the collection, we really hope that we will serve you well with a combination of our fantastic own brand designs, made to fit perfectly and tailored specifically for your body, and a bit of pleasure and fun with the Touch of Femme collection for when you’re not looking for the masc fit, when you just want to ‘give yourself over to absolute pleasure’, as Richard O’Brien wrote for The Rocky Horror Show:
‘Whatever happened to Fay Wray?
That delicate satin draped frame
As it clung to her thigh
How I started to cry
'Cause I wanted to be dressed just the same
… Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever..’