April 11, 2023
Lingerie In A New Light
Just before V-day, we partnered with a new lingerie brand, Lunatic Femme, and we are excited to share this Q&A with their founder, Stacy Baker.
Please check it out. There are some gems on how lingerie can be more than adorning; it can be healing and freeing — much like kinks, role plays and the associated “costumes”. We think you’ll like it!
Q: What inspired you to start Lunatic Femme?
Stacy: As women, we often grow up ticking boxes… we’re a mother, a wife, a caregiver, a [insert job title here], but why boxes? What if you live outside the lines? Or better, what if you live in the exploration and curiosity of what’s outside of them?
I’ve been building beauty, fashion and wellness brands for years. I’m also a NYT bestselling author, a large-scale artist and I’ve been in the pole-dancing and feminine movement community for about 15 years. So the idea that we’re not one thing is sort of the drumbeat of my soul even though that can be very confusing to people who want you to be one thing.
That juxtaposition of refusing to be put into a box, combined with the body exploration I experienced through feminine movement/pole classes led me to see that there was something missing in lingerie. While those classes are about play and exploration, it was rare to find sexual, erotic, kinky, playful pieces that could easily morph with how I felt inside. Through trial and error of literally tying, wrapping, draping different textures around my body, I learned what ignites me. I learned that certain fabrics or compression at my waist, my inner thighs, my neck, the arch of my foot… all put me into that sensual and creative flow… sometimes a fabric felt irritating, sometimes arousing, sometimes calming and. I found myself cutting, layering, tying different lingerie pieces to create what I was seeking. Then finally I thought, Why don’t I just create it?
It took me 15 years to learn all this about myself and my body. With Lunatic Femme, I’m helping other women learn now. No matter how much or how little you’ve explored outside the lines, there’s always more when we ask ourselves, “who else am I?” “what else is there to discover?” And when we do this from a lens of being playfully curious, rebelliously creative and unapologetically sexy, the journey of self-exploration and soul-expression is the most supercharged, super-delicious ride you can be on.
Q: What role does lingerie play in sexual discovery & expression?
Stacy: I love this question because it’s deeply personal and something I’ve witnessed repeatedly over time in various feminine movement classes where women experiment with lingerie constantly.
Different styles, different ways to style the same piece, different colors, different fabrics, textures, combinations of all the above.
I’ve seen bodies that used to move in a way that felt deadened and weighed down come alive through play and exploration — using lingerie and layers to allow the body to revel in finding its innate voice, confidence, expression, beauty. With the right combination, bodies move differently, they express themselves in new, unique ways.
I’ve seen extremely high-powered women who kick ass all day melt and surrender under soft lighting and delicate lace panties.
I’ve seen women who feel powerless rise up and kick ass when their body gets ignited by harness and flogger.
Personally, I’ve definitely used lingerie and music to move through the loss of people in my life.
I’ve also noticed that sometimes we outsource that sense of pleasure, discovery, exploration. We expect that our partner will pleasure us, explore us, figure out how to turn us on. That it’s up to them to please us and if they don’t, we’re not into them. With
Lunatic Femme, we give you ways to explore and play, so you become more fluid and in sync with that flow and movement within your own body… you know how to please yourself, in multiple ways. And in that way, intimacy can become more collaborative and communicative and playful.
Lingerie is so sensual and embodied by nature…. Stoking that fire is what ours is designed to do so that you’re always operating from your power.
Fun fact: Because we believe the eyes are the window to the soul, you’ll notice that our imagery and models rarely look into the camera… you’ll get the invite when they’re ready…. 😉
That’s why it was so important for us to create a playbook that takes you beyond lingerie. Not everyone can afford luxurious lingerie, but every woman deserves to discover her Lunatic Femme and I’m passionate about giving everyone an access point whether through an empowering tip or a curated playlist or an inspiring interview with experts like yourself, artists in their creative flow and other firestarters who align with our ethos to open the door. And what I love so much about providing this playground is that the more you dive in, the more you realize how much left there is to experience within yourself. This is why we want to constantly re-imagine and reinvent what this Lunatic Femme wants and needs in her world and wardrobe so that the fire inside remains stoked.
What challenges do you face working in an industry intersects with sexuality?
Thank you for asking because we definitely consider lingerie as healing for the heart, soul, body, mind and therefore in the sexual wellness-adjacent space. There are certainly crossroads, but I feel like, while we’ve made some huge progress in promoting body acceptance, the lingerie industry still largely operates around this stereotypical definition of what it means to look sexy. My goal is to give women the tools to access their sexual flow that has zero to do with your chest-to-hips ratio. Part of that is the adjustable nature of the lingerie, because there aren’t cookie-cutter small, medium and larges. You might need a little extra room in the hips or have a little longer torso. The extra 2 inches of space on the straps help accommodate these things.
I also think the lingerie industry needs to be more responsible with the messages they send. With the exception of a few stray threads or small details, we don’t retouch our models and our influencers come in all different shapes and sizes. We are also working toward having an even greater size range, which is something that’s been incredibly challenging for us to accommodate, given the small-batch production runs at the aforementioned manufacturers in the NYC fashion district.
Our other challenges have mostly related to having our accounts shadowbanned or posts taken down, which for a small startup is particularly frustrating. Probably the most insane one was a warning we got on TikTok for a video of us sketching a silhouette wearing a bra and panties.
That said, there are so many brands and experts like yourself really doing amazing education in this space that I’m hopeful conversations and products centered around our bodies and sexuality become normalized, which is bizarre to think in 2023 but here we are.
What’s the best sex and/or relationship advice you’ve ever received?
When I ask people this question, I always want some hot new tongue trick I can use 10 minutes later, but honestly the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was to create a sex bucket list, which I’ve been doing for some time. At the beginning of the year, I make a list of things I’d like to experience or learn throughout the year, and without fail, that list grows the more I learn about what’s possible. Sometimes it’s a hack or a position or a technique, and other times, I’ll just start the year with a list of workshops or books. It doesn’t have to be anything massive… maybe just pop into a cunnilingus class so I don’t leave it to my partner to figure out what I like… I’ve taken erotic massage, shibari rope tying… And honestly, like with anything, what turns you off is as informative as what turns you on. I might try an experience and then realize it’s not for me. I’ve definitely come in hot after a dirty talk class only to have my partner laugh out loud because what I said was a little off brand for me or like right words, wrong time. I still haven’t landed a proper safe word. (I like Chewbacca but I’m told it’s a mood killer.) Other times, I might learn about a new way to use a toy or get a role play idea and then that goes on the list.
What makes Lunatic Femme unique — in terms of products?
We’re a brand that recognizes and celebrates that you’re not one thing — and so your lingerie shouldn’t be either. It should be a pleasure zone where you get to explore and express the full-blown breadth and depth of all you are, in all your moments and moods.
I think experiencing how a Lunatic Femme piece is made first hand is the biggest testament to it being made to enhance the pleasure of the wearer, not the observer. Some lingerie makers might say this is the case, but when you look at the construction, the seams, trims and hardware say otherwise. That’s why we go to painstaking detail to make sure everything feels amazing. We’ve put a massive level of thought into how a woman likes to experience her body, from textures and compression to layering. For example, our silk kimono features two layers of silk, so you feel that lushness against your skin, inside and out. We use soft Japanese elastic with incredible snapback, which has to be hand-wrapped in silk and fed through the machine as well as Belgian mesh that’s super-smooth. All of these details are made to enliven the senses. And given the fact that it’s a female-designed, female-led company, we are no strangers to how underwires, boning, elastic etcetera can really impact comfort. Fully adjustable straps and removable parts are a staple part of our designs. It’s really details like these that say, “How your body feels and moves in this garment is most important to us.”
Our garments, almost in entirety, are made of eco, non-violent silk — also known as Peace Silk or Ahimsasilk. The silk is taken from the wild only after the moth has fled the cocoon, instead of the alternative that kills the silkworm in the process. Due to its limited nature, it delayed our launch and proves to be quite a big expense that we lose in terms of our bottom line, but I didn’t want to compromise on this. It’s another way that you can feel good wearing our pieces, because guilt has no place when you’re unapologetically sexy.
Further, we manufacture our collections in the NYC fashion district at some of the most elite houses. This not only ensures top quality, it avoids some of the labor atrocities that are so prevalent within the lingerie industry when manufactured abroad. Again, it’s another factor that impacts our costs and margins, but goes a long way in terms of feeling good about your purchase.
Again, because we believe you’re not one thing — endless hobbies, multiple roles, limitless pleasures, countless hustles, passions and more — our pieces are customizable and adjustable, designed to mix-match-and-detach depending on how you feel in the moment. Because we want you to find that sense of flow that is your superpower, they’re designed to be experienced from the inside out, so that you can interact with them and fully participate in the most luxurious sensory experience. You can remove ties from the panty and wrap them around your legs like the ties on a stiletto. You can wear our silk neck choker-collar around your waist. You can wear our waist cincher under a sheer dress, as a kimono robe belt, on the outside of a catsuit, as a top, as a choker, on your upper thighs as a delicious decoration. Their multi-way aspect invites you to play, ask yourself questions and discover more about your body, your likes, your ignites. For example…
Do you like how the choker feels on your neck? Your arms? Your waist? Your thighs?
What do the ties feel like here or there?
The other differentiating factor is that all our pieces are adjustable… you get an extra 2 inches or so because a woman’s body fluctuates throughout the month, and we want our pieces to move and grow and change with her. Depending on how you wear a piece — or where on your body — you get more room to play. It’s a little like getting tailored lingerie created just for your body.
Something one of our clients said the other day is that she felt that the ability to adapt pieces to be worn multiple ways, including as a fashion statement outside of the bedroom, made Lunatic Femme such an incredible sustainable choice and I really loved looking at the creativity of multiway pieces as part of the green movement.
Another example is integrating jewelry. We’ve seen neck jewelry and ear jewelry and body jewelry but what about lingerie jewelry designed around exploration? Some of our pieces use 14- and 24-k-gold-plated hardware that detaches and reattaches so you can highlight your legs, your wrists, your neck… We like to refer to it as “lingerie jewelry” because you can truly wear it like that.
The possibilities are as endless as you are. And honestly what surprises me most is that nearly every person who’s worn our pieces has come up with a new way to wear that we didn’t think of, which makes me feel like we’re on the right path. I want everyone to push themselves and our pieces to evolve with them and keep peeling layer after layer of that onion of who we are.
What’s your vision for the brand longer term? Why is building community important to your work?
My end game is that every woman lives from her own turned-on, tuned-in state of flow and, perhaps even more than that, sees herself as we see her… unapologetically juicy, powerful and alive in her limitlessness.
For us, that always goes back to soul expression. That’s our lighthouse…. How can we support your journey of getting into your sensual, creative and spiritual flow that allows you to express your soul? That, we believe, is your superpower. The more each of us can stand in that space, the more we can share ourselves and our gifts with the world, the more that inspire and uplift each other.
That means, yes, more lingerie collections that focus on everyday playthings that light you up in the bedroom and out in the wild. Most of our pieces can be worn as fashion or with fashion because as you begin to own who you are, maybe you don’t want to hide that part of yourself. A larger size range of course. We’re also working on ways to reach our clients through curated events and workshops versus a typical retail experience.
Our mission is to help you discover and express who you are at the soul level — your passions, desires, moods, moments, curiosities — and to drop into that state of flow that we believe is your superpower.
This is a sponsored post, but you’ll notice that we do very few sponsored posts, as we only work with brands of which we’re genuine fans.