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The question

I'm confused about what men really think of lingerie. The only time I ever put it on for someone, the guy I was dating laughed and said it was pointless since it was going to come off anyway. Do most men feel this way?

The answer

Wow. I want to slap that guy. I want to take away his guy licence. I want to ban him from all future contact with women. Listen to me: That guy is an unalloyed, unvarnished five-star clod.

He was trying to make you insecure because it gives him power over you. Such behaviour creates a complex that will impinge on the sex lives of other innocent men. He does not represent my gender, the members of which are generally thrilled not just by the beauty of the coyly covered and exposed female form and by the frisson of recognition that comes from years of exposure to the whole fetishistic myth of the secrecy, intimacy and luxury of female undergarments, but also by the head-spinning idea that a woman might want to present herself like this for us, that she thinks so highly of this one particular everyday guy, this hairy, video-playing lunk, that she would go out of her way to dress herself in a deliberately erotic way for him. The whole idea is so romantic and ego-inflating for us that it is closely bound with the idea of love itself. Yes, we like it.

Russell Smith's latest novel is Girl Crazy . Have a fashion question? E-mail