Intimately Yours

A comparative analysis between shopping for lingerie and selecting an escort

 

I’ve always had difficulty coming to terms with the concept of retail therapy. As someone who is conscious of my consumption, I generally opt for services when I am in need of a little boost, be it a delicious meal or a relaxation massage. However, when I do go shopping for possessions, my favourite way of indulging my urge to spend is by investing in good lingerie.

What makes for good lingerie? It is entirely up to you- the consumer. While some might argue that it is the price, and others the style, I believe that ultimately, it is the experience that you take away from the affair. Let me show you what I mean by walking you through some of my experiences, and drawing similarities to how one would go about hiring an escort for themselves while navigating the different styles of providers.

La Senza, Victoria Secret, and Agent Provocateur: Three tiers of Agency-Style lingerie. 

If you search through agencies in Toronto, you’ll come across a few with similar business styles (incalls, outcall-only, seductive to the alternative tastes, etc). What sets them apart from one another is mainly they marketing techniques and their corresponding price points.

La Senza is known for its French provocative flair, fun-flirty aesthetic, and affordability. It is rapt with cuteness, a multitude of options and sizes that offer a great selection to the masses, and a price point that is accessible to many. I love shopping at La Senza to supplement my basics, such as panties, stockings and bras that I can wear every day. Although a few lament at the quality, I would argue that La Senza is good quality if you treat their items with care (no throwing your lingerie in the dryer- ever!). When I started out as a newbie escort, one of the best photos I had taken was of my derriere sporting lacy purple panties (view below). It is still one of my favourite photos; the cut of the panties was very flattering, they were comfortable to wear, and everyone who was privy to them absolutely loved their look on me. Three years later, I still have this same pair of panties. While not all of my La Senza items have withstood the test of time, this particular favourite is still going strong. I would compare La Senza lingerie to an approachable agency provider who is down to earth, confident and doesn’t take life so seriously that she forgets about the fun to be had. Some might never get the chance to experience her because they deem her price point too accessible, yet I would argue that they are doing a great disservice to themselves. I will mourn the day I finally have to retire my beloved purple panties. The customer service at La Senza is very straightforward, and they always make a point of mentioning promotions so that I want to come back time and time again. My only complaint? I don’t particularly like when I see lingerie I own on other people. It’s a personal flaw, but it is also rather unavoidable with how popular this brand is.

Victoria Secret has become a hallmark of seductive wear across the world. Their annual fashion show featuring their gorgeous models is a celebrated yearly occurrence. Their styles are innovative, their models are diverse in background, and when you wear their lingerie, it makes you feel like an angel. Their price point is higher than La Senza, yet significantly lower than boutiques such as Agent Provocateur and La Perla. Their business model is strong: they touch on seductive wear, loungewear, activewear and they have a beauty line. While La Senza also has a beauty line, I find that the scents are a little too strong for me to wear comfortably. Victoria Secret, on the other hand, often wears lightly on my skin and lingers through the day. This being said, I only have a select few Victoria Secret items, since I find they tend to pill after repeat washing. My one set that I love from them (which was a gift) is my navy blue bra and thong set, as can be seen below. The colour is magnificent, and the cut is very flattering. I do find, however, that the colours at Victoria secret are often not what I’m looking for. In my opinion, they tend to suit tanned skin, and as someone who falls into the palest category of alabaster, many of their options can be overpowering for my pigmentation. Victoria Secret can be compared to a higher end, outcall-only agency: more refined in some aspects, and a wonderful option for those seeking a quality experience that feels a little fancy. While their customer service is good; I find that I have been mismeasured a few times when I’ve visited, and often asked too many times “if I need any assistance.” This might just be me- I generally like to wander on my own when I shop. Others could easily enjoy this aspect and find it very helpful. All in all, I would shop at Victoria Secret when I want to do something sexy for myself and my lover on a special occasion, such as Christmas, Valentine’s, or a birthday.

Agent Provocateur has for a long time been seen as the cream of the crop in terms of retail lingerie. Their styles are stunning, their materials are top quality, and their price point matches their image. Believe it or not, I would have never bought AP for myself until a client treated me to my first set a year or so ago. I had never held something so fine between my hands, and I was instantly in love. Agent Provocateur is somewhat akin to a very high-end agency, exquisite options for those who want to invest in their pleasure. For some it might be a once a year investment, for others it might be a once a week treat. As for me, I do my best to treat my existing collection with the utmost care, weather it’s my lingerie or evening wear (which is simply to die for). That being said, I had one set that was a complete tragedy. This set was a vibrant bra and panty ensemble made of blue and vermillion silk. I wore it once, then went to hand wash them in cold water…. and the colours bled into each other, crocking the silk irreparably. This is generally the biggest complaint I hear regarding AP, after their price point: because of how fine their work is, it is incredibly delicate and requires care beyond what most are willing to do for their clothing. However, the customer service at AP definitely makes up for this aspect. When I went shopping for my set in my F/W shoot for 2017, I met with a wonderful sales associate with excellent colour theory. I brought my vintage silk kimono adorned with flowers and she helped me pick out a set that had the exact colour of the orange blossoms on the robe (view below). Plus, it complements my shape, skin tone and hair colour. I could not have been happier with my experience with her that day- it was probably my best shopping experience ever. It saddens me to think that at this moment, AP is currently battling against bankruptcy. What a shame.

What about Independent Lingerie Boutiques?

I recently started shopping at smaller scale boutiques to discover more about local Canadian designers. This past fall, I ventured into Secrets From Your Sister in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. Their designs are beautiful and very unique. I had to book an appointment for fitting a few days in advance, much like how a prospective client would have to book an independent provider. I had my fitting and measured perfectly on a Friday afternoon in one of their spacious changing rooms. The sales associate was very attentive, if not a little nervous. She brought me several options that suited my style, and I settled on a leopard print vintage inspired wireless bra and high-waisted panty set, a pair of sheer black stockings, and a wine-coloured lace bodysuit. These were handcrafted by local Toronto Designer Fortnight  and they feel amazing. Thanks to a generous gentleman, who bought me a gift card as a token of gratitude, I walked with my newfound items with a spring in my step. My only complaint? The owner, who wrung me up, seemed unpleasant. It was as if she couldn’t get me out of there fast enough, and was irritated with my questions. This is never a good feeling; when I’m spending money, I want to know that I am welcome where I am, and her attitude killed it for me. I’m sure a few of you can understand exactly what I’m referring to. Good customer service is a necessity, not an afterthought.

Lastly, I ventured into Gigi’s House of Frills near Bloor and Dovercourt in Toronto. I found my heaven! The small boutique was filled with authentic vintage and vintage-inspired designs. As someone who has a weakness for vintage style, I was overjoyed that a fellow independent escort has recommended this boutique. I currently have a wish list established with a vintage bathing suit and a three-piece set from the Betty Page lingerie line that is straight out of London. I can’t wait to go back and gift myself these items: they fit my price point, my style, my desire to be unique, and my love of kind yet not overbearing sales associates. My experience here was memorable: the dressing room is decorated in mid-century modern style, and my heart was overjoyed to be surrounded by so much of what I love. I would compare this glass slipper adventure to that of finding an independent provider who is a perfect fit for you: has exactly what you desire, loves what they do, and are happy to welcome you into their venture. Bonus: Gigi’s feature their sales associates and models of all ages in their marketing campaigns, which I find lends authenticity to what they are selling. I know that when I shop with them, I can look and feel good for years to come. I will definitely be featuring their designs in my next photoshoot- stay tuned for updates!

With all of the options above, I try to portray what I love and what could be better with the different business models in seductive attire and seductive pursuits. The moral of the story, however, is that it doesn’t matter where you shop, or ultimately what type of provider you choose. What matters is the experience you take away at the end of the day; how you feel after spending some time investing in your pleasure. So invest in the way that works for you, and everyone wins.

Did you enjoy this article? Let’s talk about it under the covers- send me an email at vivienne.e.lawrence@gmail.com to connect!