You know those people who just pull you in as if by imaginary force? Whether it’s in the way they gesture with their hands, employ a certain vocal tic or move across a room, you just can’t help but stare? Later, you may not even be able to recall how they look, but you remember exactly how you felt in their presence. I’ve always wanted to have that effect on people. More often than not my charms are described as “bookish,” if they’re described at all.
When I heard the news that Rihanna was creating her own lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, I could only assume it would unlock the secret to that kind of sex appeal. As someone who buys her underwear almost exclusively at GAP (it’s great underwear and I stand by that), lingerie consecrated by Rihanna seemed my best shot at turning into a north pole of sexual magnetism.
But as I anticipated the launch, I realized that was foolish; I couldn’t expect Ri to do all of the heavy lifting. And you know, I never felt that my lack of sexiness was because I possessed physical shortcomings — it was more so based on the idea that I lacked some element of, I don’t know, joie de vivre. So I decided to devote some time pre-launch to getting as sexy as I possibly could, without majorly disrupting my routine (I’m a Taurus). Results of said pursuit below.
Step 1: Read a Sexy Book on the Train
I originally tasked myself with listening to sexy music in public, but then I realized I do that all the time. According to Spotify, my most played song of 2017 was ”Body” by Syd, and 90% of those plays occurred while I was waiting in the line at Trader Joes. Since I couldn’t recall that behavior emboldening me with the swagger of Syd herself, I decided to go to McNallly Jackson Books and buy Sex at Dawn instead. It felt like the best bet vis-a-vis sexiness because it has sex in the title (maybe my lack of imagination is part of the problem…). And what better way to kick off my sexy preparations than to boldly ask a man with a ponytail where I can find a book about sex? When I did just that, he led me into the basement of the book store, handed it to me and said, “Enjoy.” I responded with my best Eartha Kitt, “I will.”
High off of the thrill of such a sensual bookstore interaction, I thought reading it in public would be no problem. Boy was I wrong. My first mistake was to try to read it on the bus. I took it out, opened it, put it back, then spent the next 20 minutes staring out the window while trying to figure out why the bus feels so much more intimate than the train. The next time I got on the train, a man was singing loudly right next to me and I thought it was in my best interest to remain invisible so I nixed it (didn’t want to steal his thunder). The next time I was on the train, I was surrounded by children. I finally took my book out for a spin on try #3, but my fellow commuters seemed too tired to notice my erotic reading material.
Sexiness level achieved, as represented by a Rihanna song: Rihanna’s guest verse on Coldplay’s “Princess of China”
Step 2: Do Everything Incredibly Slowly
This came up in my “sexy research” a few times, and struck me as an odd one, but since it wasn’t going to cost me any extra money, I added it to the list. I was visiting a friend in Florida the weekend before the Savage x Fenty launch and she took me to a party full of her fellow bug scientists, a.k.a. my own personal version of a sexual goldmine. When we arrived at the party, I attempted my best, leisurely Joan Holloway strut — to middling results. Then I proceeded to drink my single Hefeweizen incredibly slowly and turn my head with what must have been a disconcerting slowness, not unlike a frisky sloth. I admit I forgot about my glacial assignment more than once — like when I would hastily pet a dog or you know, sneeze — but whenever I remembered, I felt sennnnsssssssuuuuuuaaaallllllllll.
Sexiness level achieved, as represented by Rihanna song: “Yeah I Said It”
Step 3: Eat an Oyster
Okay, I’m a vegetarian and am very actively not a pescatarian because I think anything from the sea tastes like barf, but it is probably the internet’s top “feel sexy” tip, so I felt like I had to try it. To complicate things, one of my top three life fears is to have my throat close up as a reaction to something I’ve never been allergic to before, and I assumed this would happen with oysters. Aren’t a lot of people allergic to oysters? I might be thinking of shellfish in general, but anyway, I brought a Benadryl just in case. Once I got the plate of six in front of me, I spent a few minutes poking one with a fork while considering a career change before my friend got impatient and advised me to get it over with. With the help of something that looked like hot sauce (was not hot sauce) and more lemon than god should allow, I ate one. It tasted like sauce and lemon. High on the feeling of tackling something I never thought I would do, I felt sexy as hell. Confidence is an aphrodisiac so I guess the internet was right about this one.
Sexiness level achieved, as represented by Rihanna song: “Desperado”
Step 4: Pretend to Be a Sexy Stranger
Although the idea made me violently uncomfortable, it seemed a crime to go on a sexy diet without incorporating some… *sighs*… roleplay. When I told the guy I’m dating to come over to my house because I had to pretend to be a sexy stranger, he responded with what I believe is the only appropriate response: “what.” So I explained and he said, “Oh, so it’s gonna be like this?” I confirmed he was close. I had a few scenarios laid out and they all involved Jeff Goldblum (Jeff Goldblum in a Jeep, Jeff Goldblum doing science, Jeff Goldblum reclining). Unfortunately, when it came time to get into character, we were both too tired to truly embody the incomparable allure of Jeff Goldblum (now that I think about it, my scenarios weren’t sexy so much as just scenes from Jurassic Park), so we decided to let it go. Luckily I didn’t have too long to dwell on this failure because Savage X dropped the next day.
Sexiness level achieved, as represented by Rihanna song: “Sledgehammer”
Step 5: Wear Actual Savage x Fenty Lingerie
The Savage X pieces I procured were an embroidered lace bra, these satin shorts and a very cute skirt situation, all of which had an old Hollywood vibe to them. I tried to take some photos to share but you could definitely see my nipples and I figured I should wait until at least my third month employed at Man Repeller before giving away those particular goods. (I have, however, included a photo of my best Instagram model pose and horrible bathroom lighting). It was sort of the perfect lingerie set for beginners. Sure the skirt looks WAY different on me than it did on the model, but who cares? I felt fine as hell. I felt sexier than when I ate an oyster in the middle of the afternoon, sexier then when I read a sex book (sort of) in public, sexier than when I walked slowly through a crowd of entomologists.
Sexiness level achieved, as represented by Rihanna song: “Kiss it Better”
This was true, too, when I attended the line’s launch event which, yes, was professionally engineered to be a sexy time, but which was honestly filled with such a wide range of folks who were feeling themselves that it was hard not to feel like hot shit. Unsurprisingly, the women Rihanna chose to model the line fell everywhere on the color, shape and size spectrum, and everyone looked amazing. There were a wide ranges of sizes available at the pop-up, too — from an XS-3X — further proof that Rihanna appreciates bodies of all types and that lingerie is for everyone.
I have since gone back to my regular schmegular cotton underwear and smudged glasses existence. But I guess it is nice to know that I can feel unironicly and unselfconsciously sexy while stepping outside of my comfort zone. The collection is linked bellow, let me know if you’ve tried any and how many oysters it made you feel like you ate.
Images courtesy of Savage x Fenty.