Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Why men like stockings and suspenders?

(92 Posts)
MsBakingCakes Sun 11-Mar-12 23:39:25

Had a chat with DP last night and he cannot explain why men like women in stockings and suspenders. I do not know the answer so I thought that here in mumsnet someone would come and helps us discover why.

He is not sure either but thinks it is sexy but he does not know why.

Anyone out there to help us please?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sun 11-Mar-12 23:45:48

Because in our society, they are shorthand for femininity - i.e. compliance with patriarchal norms of women as sex objects for men.


MeltedChocolate Sun 11-Mar-12 23:46:01

DP says it's because it has become a sex symbol thing??

I wondered if it was the tease of the tights which blocked access(?) being brought down to a level that exposed and allowed the access(?) and of course suspenders were used to kept them in place, but that the garment was still partly there, so a teasing thing? that has now become a sex symbol as DP says?

Sorry, I'm not so good with the words.

MeltedChocolate Sun 11-Mar-12 23:46:50

It seems that DP isn't that interested in it though.

MsBakingCakes Sun 11-Mar-12 23:51:19

HotDAMNlifeisgood: DP is not that type of man TBH and he is telling right now that he does not want me compliance, that that is not the idea at all but I can understand your point in that in some cases it may be the reason.

I just think it is very funny that a person can be turned on by something like this but I guess that is the game grin

MsBakingCakes Sun 11-Mar-12 23:51:55

Any men out there that wants to come and express an opinion?

joanofarchitrave Sun 11-Mar-12 23:53:06

IMO it is contrast. Like the contrast between texture of breast skin and texture of nipple, it is contrast between texture of stocking and texture of soft thigh skin (OK am turning myself on here, hope I don't get reported). Also colour contrast in some cases, depending on skin colour obv.

LeBOF Sun 11-Mar-12 23:55:26

It's the glimpse of flesh, I think.

DoUntoOtters Sun 11-Mar-12 23:57:24

They also provide a handy framing effect - belt, suspenders, stocking tops. Let's a man know what he should be aiming for.

MsBakingCakes Sun 11-Mar-12 23:59:01

DP saying that he likes the contrast and the glimpse of flesh too so we may be arriving to the reasons of why stockings and suspenders turn men on. Any other ideas?

He just saw the light and thought that i may be also because I am wearing something sexy that I know he likes it, but he has just tried to fix it saying that I look sexy all the time grin

Just asked DP. He said they are old fashioned, he reckons his dad's generation would like them but none of his mates would.

oikopolis Mon 12-Mar-12 00:01:09

no idea.

DH has confessed to me that he can't understand the love some men have for elaborate underwear. "isn't it sexier to be NAKED?" he asks. lol.

i do think it's symbolic of a woman lifting her skirt either accidentally or not, the sight of the tops of stockings meaning that the viewer has seen something "forbidden". and suggesting that the viewer is being invited to unclip the suspenders etc.

it's also about old-fashioned women's clothing though, the restrictive kind that we wore to please men. so a woman in suspenders = a woman who wants to please a man, maybe (though tbf i know women who wear stockings, not tights, because they have issues with thrush etc.)

izzyizin Mon 12-Mar-12 00:06:18

Apparently, it's not so much the sight of a woman in nylons/suspenders as the feel of bare flesh after a hand has been run up a stockinged leg that excites.

I have a thing for men who wear suspenders - or 'braces' in British English - but I find 'suspenders' (or garter belts in Amercian English) that hold up socks a complete turn off.

If a guy can't keep his socks up without help, it makes me wonder what else he won't be able to keep up grin

colditz Mon 12-Mar-12 00:07:49

Because they frame the genital area.

Surely lots of Women wear stockings because they are more comfortable though, maybe just maybe it's because men find Women sexually attractive, maybe a glimpse of stocking would remind them of what is above said stocking.

Also tights are quite ugly with their gussets and waistbands and whatnot, I suppose stockings have become a bit niche, but at one point they would have been the norm.

Bogeyface Mon 12-Mar-12 00:08:37

STBX never bothered about them, he always said that either fully clothed and getting naked together or just being naked was sexier. Ex H did love them though, and he said that it was because if I was wearing them then he knew he was onto a sure thing and that always turned him on grin

I am not sure that its because they are sexy so much as tights are so un-sexy!

MsBakingCakes Mon 12-Mar-12 00:09:37

DP has come with another reason. Women wear stockings not girls

Bogeyface Mon 12-Mar-12 00:12:05

Or it could be that we walk in a "sexy" way when wearing stockings. Its actually because we are avoiding getting thwacked in the fanny by a rogue piece of elastic but the walk might look sexy!

garlicbutter Mon 12-Mar-12 00:22:46

What HotDAMN said. It's not a conscious choice, it's more of a conditioned response. Like when you see, I dunno, a Galaxy wrapper, you might instantly think "Mmm! I fancy some chocolate!" Not all men do find stockings a turn-on. I found that men my own age all did (not that I've sampled them all, you understand!) while it was about 50/50 with younger chaps.

It IS all about conditioning. Did you know the Victorians found a flash of ankle so lewd, they put skirts on their CHAIR AND TABLE legs?!

Nutters. No wonder they invented pornography.

diotima Mon 12-Mar-12 01:12:10

Surely it's about experiences and associations? A bit like a song forever reminding us of the first occasion we heard it. We all know that can provoke a very strong emotion. Men who developed an erotic interest in women at the time women wore stockings and suspenders are going to find stockings and suspenders erotically charged. I think the chocolate wrapper theory is probably about right too wink. You see the wrapper and anticipate the chocolate.

PoppaRob Mon 12-Mar-12 01:42:13

Chiming in as a bloke, albeit an Aussie one... They do nothing for me. I've never found stockings, suspenders or high heels in any way attractive. Boots with a bit of a chunky heel or wedge sandals to give a bit of extra height are fine, but the standard high heels are a turnoff. Mind you I'm not a big fan of make-up either, so maybe I just prefer a more casual look?

pluckingupcourage Mon 12-Mar-12 01:50:47

I wonder also if it is the framing effect: though DH doesn't like them much. I had an ex who liked them however.

While we're about it could someone explain men's attraction to white blouses/shirts on women. I give you Woody Allen films as exhibit A (Matchpoint for example).

garlicbutter Mon 12-Mar-12 01:53:15

Urgh, Woody Allen. He may like white shirts; he also likes shagging his stepdaughter! Example fail, plucking wink

pluckingupcourage Mon 12-Mar-12 01:54:30

It was slightly disconcerting to think of Mr Allen putting Scarlett Johanssen into a white shirt and rubbing his thighs vigorously while filming a wet shirt sequence.

garlicbutter Mon 12-Mar-12 01:55:40

rubbing his thighs vigorously grin

pluckingupcourage Mon 12-Mar-12 01:56:38


gilliegin Mon 12-Mar-12 06:41:31

BF has told me on many occasions that they are sexy because:
there is something old fashioned and kind of like this prim and proper lady but something else lurking under the surface.
Also that it is the fact he as 'access' and I can keep them on.
Then there is the lace part (all mine are lace) because there are gaps in lace there is the peeking part of that.
As it is the line going up my leg (if seamed) - leading his eye upwards, like a goody trail
and it is the feeling of them and then the sudden hit of skin

He also claims that he can tell when I am wearing them because I carry myself differently. (Which I can see) and that, that is sexy in itself

Taghain Mon 12-Mar-12 10:28:26

I'm a bloke and I don't find them particularly sexy at all, they're rather tacky if worn with a sus belt. Hold-ups are fine, I can see the ease of wearing them as opposed to tights.
Eenerally, I find that exotic lingerie is a turn-off not a turn-on; it shows that the woman has to try to be sexy, and has less natural allure IYSWIM. The same goes for lots of make-up.

DinahMoHum Mon 12-Mar-12 10:47:14

i dont think "men" do, I think some men do and some women do. Probably all sorts of different reasons people like the look of different sorts of clothes on their sexual partner

TeiTetua Mon 12-Mar-12 13:20:10

Something I read years ago that sounded exactly right was "What makes something erotic is when it's concealed and revealed at the same time." I think that's the point with stockings--there is coverage, but it ends just as the erogenous zone gets near. Whereas tights are no fun, because they cover all the way up. And knee-high stockings that some women wear with longer skirts aren't alluring either, because they don't cover enough.

Another thing I heard was "Why do men think stockings and suspenders are so wonderful? It's because they combine sex and gadgets."

MMQC Mon 12-Mar-12 13:46:33

My husband claims they give the bum a better shape under a dress than tights!

WaitingForMe Mon 12-Mar-12 13:53:28

"Why do men think stockings and suspenders are so wonderful? It's because they combine sex and gadgets."

I'm sending that to my husband grin

Mordred Mon 12-Mar-12 13:58:23

I'm a bloke and for me it's definitely the 'framing effect, plus the contrasts between skin/hair colour and the stockings. I much prefer dark-haired women, so I love white stockings more than black. That contrast of dark furry triangle framed by white is gorgeous (no shaved bits for me, thanks very much).

Ahem. I think I'll go and have a little lie down now smile

AThingInYourLife Mon 12-Mar-12 14:10:55

I have always presumed it had something to do with the special effort that (nowadays) goes into putting them on for a bloke.

DH doesn't get them at all.

NickL Mon 12-Mar-12 14:24:54

Apparently there is a scientific explanation. It's all to do with the "Chuckle Line" at the top of the stockings: get past there and you're laughing.

SimpleDad Mon 12-Mar-12 16:33:35

LMFAO @ Chuckle Line.

Must say they do nothing for me. Surely they have been superceded by the thong now?


Just me then blush

OxonDad Mon 12-Mar-12 16:40:03

HotDAMNlifeisgood - you sound a riot.... So, the skimpy pants my partner buys me are what exactly - shorthand for masculinity - i.e. compliance with norms of men as sex objects for women?

DH isn't into any sort of fancy underwear (on me!) preferring the present to the wrapping paper IYSWAM...

One question I've always had is whether you wear your pants under or over the suspender belt.... pictures of people wearing a suspender belt always show the pants under but surely that actually restricts access (for shagging or more practical activiites like a trip to the loo).... Before I realised I was wasting my time I used to wear the pants over the stockings but always with a slight suspicion I was doing it wrong....

Warlock Mon 12-Mar-12 16:46:24

Definitely over, and yes it is the texture contrast and the framing and the access and the fact that the woman has probably worn them for her man.

BelleDameSansMerci Mon 12-Mar-12 16:47:19

Skimpy pants? <shudders> <not in a good way>

Thanks Warlock smile

Heleninahandcart Mon 12-Mar-12 19:21:15

Let me reverse this. Has anyone, ever felt American Tan tights are sexy?


AnyFucker Mon 12-Mar-12 19:23:35

Helen, I am sure there is a niche website somewhere for American Tan tights smile

Heleninahandcart Mon 12-Mar-12 19:25:45

Arf at AF grin

I remember as a 13-year old boy, seeing a picture of a woman wearing stockings and suspenders and thinking "wow-wa-wow-bow-wow". I think it's leg decoration for me.

By contrast I think thongs are horrid. Anal floss? No thanks.

DustyDen Tue 13-Mar-12 11:09:58

I think stockings and suspenders are sexy and naughty because they reveal more intimate flesh at the top of the thigh. [dreamy] It's like a tease rather than a full flash, y'know? I like wearing them and seeing them on other women. My partner's not really bothered by them, though, so I don't wear them any more. smile

OxonDad Tue 13-Mar-12 11:47:21

grin @ BelleDameSansMerci. Well, not that skimpy.......

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 13-Mar-12 12:06:49


Sanjeev Tue 13-Mar-12 12:46:13

They don't do much for me. Far too fussy. Simple undies are much sexier.

Tight are the devil's own invention though.

Oh and OxonDad, you will get used to that ultra-feminist bullshit if you hang around long enough (the patriarchy catch-all I mean, not your satin skiddys). Just laugh it off grin

oldraver Tue 13-Mar-12 17:00:03

Well a well stocking leg just feels so nice.... and my BF looks so blummin good in them

detoxneedednow Tue 13-Mar-12 17:39:09

I find them a turn on and i'm a straight womanconfused Seriously don't know what that means........grin

pluckingupcourage Tue 13-Mar-12 18:14:41

detox, so do I - I like the, ahem, breezy feel

DevonshireCat Tue 13-Mar-12 22:42:45

Okay, as a chap, my big association is with 'effort', rather than framing or flesh. It's a signal that someone has gone to a good deal of effort to buy them; put them on etc.

Naturally, this should be reciprocated...what do women see as a sign that a man has put some effort in?

AnyFucker Tue 13-Mar-12 23:04:48

he is still breathing ?

CardgamesFTW Tue 13-Mar-12 23:10:35

"Naturally, this should be reciprocated...what do women see as a sign that a man has put some effort in?"
Here is your answer:
"I find them a turn on and i'm a straight woman"
I'm sure they can be found in male sizes too. Some men do in fact like to wear lingerie - auto-objectifying themselves or something.

CardgamesFTW Tue 13-Mar-12 23:17:18
oldraver Wed 14-Mar-12 00:08:08

Male sizes..... My B/F is quite petite so he wears a 'small' in sized stockings and is between a 10 and 12 twelve in other stuff envy

joanofarchitrave Wed 14-Mar-12 00:21:41

@DevonshireCat - the taste of soap, where it counts.

oreoaddict Wed 14-Mar-12 19:17:21

grin love your comment joanwink

AllThoseMomentsWillBeLost Mon 31-Dec-12 15:36:43

I think it has a lot to do with whether a man is a sub or a Dom.

Incidentally, I think pretty much all our sexual tastes happen to stem from this root categorisation.

I expect that men who find stockings and suspenders a turn-on, have a tendency towards submission (whether they admit it or not) because of their connection with being worn by confident, more mature women.

I don't think it would be a simple sub/dom division though - there's also the image of stockings as women making themselves "available" and putting the effort in to please a man, so could just as easily be seen as a submissive image as a dominant one.

Personally I hate tights, and wear stockings and suspenders when I'm in a skirt which looks better without bare legs. But mostly I wear trousers.

There's no sexy way to take off tights, or to keep them on. Stockings are therefore sexier than tights. But so are bare legs. Or trousers, or almost anything...

Amothersruin Mon 31-Dec-12 17:47:50

this thread is pertinent as i spent a bomb in ann summers today lol.3 for 2 on all their hosiery.i wear hold ups and stockings a lot.prefer the feel and i also try and emulate a vintage look so feels more authentic.

AllThoseMomentsWillBeLost Mon 31-Dec-12 17:56:54

I should clarify - I am a man, so am speaking from the point of view of one who finds S&S a huge turn-on!

Just because a woman is "putting the effort in", doesn't mean that the man who is on the receiving end is not a submissive type. What you [AMumInScotland] have said is that the woman could be a sub as well as a dom, which is very likely.

Read the above comments from the male posters - there's always an element of 'worship' in the phrasing.

Men who might like to be submissive at times can still take a dominant role in the bedroom and elsewhere but my point is that, if you took a survey, I expect that there'd be a strong correlation between a submissive tendency and men who find the image of women wearing S&S sexy.

hett1e Mon 21-Jan-13 23:14:07

I got fed up with wearing stockings, sussies are too fiddly and hold-ups don't hold up, tights are easier. Hubby was not happy and kept pestering me about wearing stockings, so I told him to try wearing them - and he did opening up a whole load of problems, arguments, rows. Turns out he was a closet TV and into kinky stuff. We haven't had sex since.

Slolee Tue 26-Mar-13 21:00:06

To me,stockings/suspenders were reinvented as a symbol of bondage/availability in the early 1970's -- what other interpretation is there?

skyblue11 Fri 29-Mar-13 09:32:54

My ex had a real thing for stockings, in a big DH does not find them a turn on at all, our intimate relationship is very poor now but I read this with interest, why did he not like stockings, in fact I think he once laughed at me when I wore them (great for the confidence!) which confused me as I thought all men loved them? Is there something wrong with him, I think there might be!

MilgramsLittleHelper Fri 29-Mar-13 14:35:01

As a chap I'd like to give my opinion.

Always holdups over stockings.

The difference in sensation twixt skin and fabric, that excites so.
That they are so incredibily feminine.

Now I'm off to take off my wifes (they're making my legs itch)

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 29-Mar-13 14:48:02

I think they like the combination of silky legs and easy access.

More importantly, though, they are associated with Porn and sexy moods.... They are a sex costume that women wear to be "sexy."

This reminds me of Wayne & Waynetta Slob, when Waynetta was trying to be sexy & didn't have stockings so put on tights instead. Not the same effect at all!

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Fri 29-Mar-13 22:39:42

Amazing. Apparently, the majority opinion from the blokes is that " They do nothing for me............." Hmmmmmmmm hmm

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Fri 29-Mar-13 22:50:26

PS. Sienna Miller in Layer Cake.

No more needs be said.blush

Verbalpunchbag Sat 30-Mar-13 02:05:12

I think it's that glimpse of flesh at the top of the stocking, quite sexy but I can take them or leave them to be honest.

I'm just wondering, if someone asked why those tight black boxers beckham wears in that advert were sexy and I replied, 'compliance with matriarchal norms of men as sex objects for women'. Would you agree? or think, er, no, they just look nice?

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 02:24:37

I would say it's an association thing - they've come to be synonymous with 'sexiness' and feminity.

It was probably in the 40/50s that women first came out from under their clothes for public consumption - think stereotypical pin-up girls, Betty Grable, etc. And those women, due to the era, inevitably wore sussies and stockings.

Women in their underwear or even naked now - on billboards, in music videos, in ads, selling everything and anything regardless of whether nudity is required or appropriate - doesn't even raise the slightest of eyebrows, so it's hard to imagine exactly how 'shocking' and provocative and alluring it was back then. But it would have been very provocative and would have got a million pulses racing like never before.

So stockings and suspenders have come to epitomise sex, sexuality, 'up for it' women. And probably as the generations pass, the less it will appeal in such a universal way, since men are now more and more desensitised to female nudity due to its utter ubiquitousness...

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 02:25:43

Verbalpunchbag - there are no matriarchal norms, which is why that answer would make no sense.

Tortington Sat 30-Mar-13 02:27:25

i like a good hold up - as good as suspenders without the bother

i think they are sexy.

Tortington Sat 30-Mar-13 02:28:20

oh and i'm fed up of everything meaning that women are mens sex slaves. ffs.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 02:28:39

Just to add, I know pornography dates back way before the 40s/50s, but it wasn't for public consumption. You had to seek it out and most people wouldn't have had access to it.

Pin-up girls were suddenly there for everyone to see and, um, appreciate.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 02:31:04

Meh, I think suspenders are sexy.

It is possible to be able to look at something from an analytical viewpoint and critique it and indulge in it. wink

Verbalpunchbag Sat 30-Mar-13 02:32:31

Thanks midnight, for that rather predictable reply.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 02:39:44

Sorry - what sort of response were you hoping for then?

I'm struggling to see your analogy / point...

Verbalpunchbag Sat 30-Mar-13 02:46:01

Maybe it's not because of patriarchal norms, or pornography, or a sign women are 'up for it' , maybe they just look nice?

Tortington Sat 30-Mar-13 02:50:24

lets face it - along with lines on the back of stockings - its like road map to the vagina

the promise of whats underneath the skirt - or what's higher up.

the issue is not the stocking, but the meaning of sexyness.

Its not right to state that preening and pruning are the domain of women alone

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 02:58:04

Maybe it's not because of patriarchal norms, or pornography, or a sign women are 'up for it' , maybe they just look nice?

Yeah, maybe. If you don't want to think about it too much... <shrugs>

The OP asked a question, and people gave their thoughts on it.

Verbalpunchbag Sat 30-Mar-13 03:04:39

Maybe it just doesn't need thinking about too much, maybe someone might see a picture in a woman's magazine of a woman wearing stockings, in an article written by a woman, the editor is a woman, the readers are women. But of course it's all about women being portrayed as sex objects and men are to blame because of the patriarchal society.....<rolls eyes>

MidnightMasquerader Sat 30-Mar-13 03:09:33

The annoying thing is though, that some people like to think.

And every now and then they'll come up with explanations that aren't to the satisfaction of everyone... smile

No-one's forcing anyone to agree with them, as far as I can see.

Verbalpunchbag Sat 30-Mar-13 11:25:37

This is true midnight but whenever such thoughts are articulated the usual reaction from most men is to think 'man hating feminist'. Rather than accusing all men of treating women as sex objects or pontificating that the reason men like stockings or heels or women shaving their eyebrows off and then drawing them back on so they look permanently surprised, is due to patriachial norms, or pornography,or whatever. I really think women who espouse such views are doing women a disservice, feminism has a long way still to go and such views damage women's cause. They're just stockings, they look nice, that is all.

Midwife99 Sat 30-Mar-13 11:35:43

I don't want to over think it. I look & feel sexy in them in the same way my DH does in a nice pair of tight trunks with that lovely trail of tummy hair poking out! blush

coxspippin Sun 31-Mar-13 18:32:55

do you remember those experiments with ducklings and imprinting?
well perhaps small boys imprint on their mothers' legs (and tights/ stockings). i know that's a daft answer!

Dahlen Sun 31-Mar-13 20:47:45

I always wear holdups. I cannot abide the feel of tights, where the gusset always ends up somewhere around your knees and the waistband up by your bra. hmm Ugh!

Stockings and suspenders, however, are a huge faff, and I will only wear them if I need to wear hosiery that I cannot get in a hold-up version.

This is all about personal choice for me based on how things feel, but I am amazed at how men seem to think my personal choice in hosiery is about them rather than me (well not them, specifically, more the male of the species IYSWIM).

I've worn stockings since I was about 18. Don't like tights because they make me feel too warm. Any added sexual thing is just a bonus, but I don't wear them for that, I wear them for my comfort.

slutorvictim Sun 31-Mar-13 22:33:04

I just asked DP, he said "dunno" lol

I think they look nice - maybe its that? maybe its the accesibility with the nicely shaped legs?

I personlly look ridiculous in them (think muffin top but wiht legs grin)

sydlexic Sun 31-Mar-13 22:43:23

DH says it is about contrast, they look all prim and proper Miss Jones with the skirt down and sexy and accessible with skirt up. He likes them because he knows I put them on for him, to be fair I don't wear them any other time. He also said they look a bit strappy and bondage like.

He asked is this a trick question, am I going to be on trouble again.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now