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Life Etc: Emma Gold's Sexploits

Brief encounters
Ilike these," he said, running his hand over my legs. We both marvelled for a while. He at the stockings and suspenders, me at the pleasure they afforded. You imagine that some men, possibly intellectual types, might be thinking, "That tired, tacky trick isn't going to work on me." But no, the effort is always appreciated and, as is the case with most tricks, it's the simple ones that work best. "Such an easy way to bring happiness," I thought to myself. "I should wear these every day."

The next morning, however, I forgot my good intentions. I really don't want to clip anything restricting around my waist; I don't have the time to search for matching stockings nor the inclination to fiddle with fasteners. Stepping over last night's thong, I reached for a pair of clean, capacious cotton briefs. Isn't a famine supposed to be as good as a feast?

My best friend, a genuine sex kitten, wouldn't be seen dead in a pair of cotton briefs. Not only does she not possess any cotton underwear, I don't believe she owns a pair of briefs either. It's lace thongs all the way for her. Thankfully, she's just about in the minority. A survey by Alldays and Figleaves.com asked women about their knicker preferences. Around half of the women polled liked briefs best. But a surprisingly large number claimed to prefer the cheese-cutter sensation of thongs. They're probably the same women who gladly undergo a Brazilian. Only 5 per cent go without underwear. And 17 per cent admitted to having worn "Tummy Tuckers", an item of clothing previously known as a girdle.

My friend Helen foolishly wore a pair of TTs on a third date, the traditional knicker-removal evening. She weighed up the benefits of looking good on either the outside or the inside and finally plumped for the clinging dress and steel knickers. The normal knickers went on first, then the tights and then, to fix the tights, flatten the stomach and tame the thighs, the heavy duty girdle. She forgot herself after dinner and ended up on his bed, breathing suspended, while his arm attempted to navigate Fort Knox. "Those knickers weren't going anywhere," she told me. "You'd have needed talcum powder, oil and a fork-lift truck to dislodge them." Courteously, he managed to restrict himself to just one question: "Do you usually wear knickers over your tights?" The next time she saw him, she wore the flimsiest dental-floss-style G-string she could find.

One way or the other, we're prepared to suffer. Up to the age of 35, the majority of women questioned in the survey were prepared to wear uncomfortable underwear to please a partner. The rebellion starts at 35 when women wise up, realise no one's trussed up on our behalf and decide there's no need to suffer to achieve an orgasm. We're entitled to one whatever we wear. Just as long as all obstacles can be removed. e.gold@independent.co.uk