Imagine the scene if you will: a burger bar at about ten in the evening. Myself and a friend approach the counter to request our culinary delights. We bump into two other friends (and some strange woman I've never seen before, and no doubt, will never see again,) sit down and talk.
One friend (female, if you are interested) asks me an interesting question: why do men get turned on by stockings and suspenders? Obviously she has spent far too much time with copious amounts of alcohol, as this is just the thing people ponder over while swigging some booze on a quiet night. I speak from experience.
Had she indeed asked me this question while I was swigging copious amounts of beer, then perhaps I could have thought of an answer, but as I had bumped into her after watching Mission Impossible, and had just spent the last ten minutes complaining that the film shows the French Train a Grande Vitesse on British soil, going fast (completely implausible; who's ever heard of a train actually running in the UK, yet alone at speeds in excess of 150mph?) my mind wasn't in much of a mood to ponder and discuss this question.
However it is a question (the suspenders, just in case you were still wondering about the train) that began to plague my mind. Hey, you can't keep a good question down!
At one time, so I am led to believe, middle aged men could be driven into a frenzy by just glimpsing the stocking top, ay which point the strip show would end and the horny punters ejected onto the street.
Obviously this would work no longer. Todays pornography stops at noting short of going up inside the poor woman's body with a video camera, though I'm sure this will soon be arriving in a seedy Soho theatre soon. But this doesn't really answer the ultimate question, does it?
Indeed, our question could be extended further. Why do men get turned on by lingerie? My answer to this would be based around the fact that men's underwear is just so boring. Woman undressing for a bit of hanky panky in the bedroom may be hiding a bra, french knickers, stockings and suspenders, a bustier or something else full of lace and satin. The man, however, would be stood there in his grey y-fronts. They probably have a small hole in them.
Men are perhaps interested in lingerie due to the sheer variety of garments and styles. The bumps and curves of the feminine form can be covered in so many ways, and, whatever you do to it, the female form looks a lot nicer and neater that the male equivalent. I know. I read those books you get as a teenager about puberty, and have quaint names like 'Growing Up' and 'Your Body'.
As for the suspenders, which was the original subject of this column (or was it trains? I forget) my co-hort for that evening later came up with a suggestion as we were driving home. The suggestion was hip hugging. Tights look ugly when compared with the elegant style of the suspender/stocking combination. Apparently, the crotch on a pair of tights ain't much to look at.
Personally, I prefer another explanation. Many years ago, Radio One went around asking people if they preferred tights or stockings. One man stated that he preferred stockings because they allowed a quick and easy bonk in the back of a cab if they were stuck in a traffic jam. It is so obviously the fact that the man is turned on by the fact that he can take his designated woman somewhere quiet (say a cupboard) and bonk without the fuss of removing any clothes.
However this poses another two, bigger questions. Indeed the initial question has now been superseded in my mind by these. And far more important be they. They are...
This was written in 1996 and may I say that yes, that conversation in the burger bar did happen. And yes, Radio One did once ask people for their preferences between stockings and tights.
And I really have no idea why