A someone who enjoys taking their clothes off, I spend rather a lot of time preoccupied with the process itself. I’m intrigued by the power imbued in the ways in which we can make the transition from being fully clothed, to a state of undress. Roland Barthes believed the striptease to be something of a paradox, one “based on a contradiction: Woman is desexualised at the very moment when she is stripped naked”.  It’s a performance that marks a moment when the temperature between two people is beginning to rise, yet one that often gets neglected in favour of the flirtatious dance that precedes it, or the physical intimacies that follow. As it was for Barthes, for me stripping is a form of narrative, one that finds more meaning in the signs of a body gradually unveiling than through the revelation of pure exposure for its own sake.

For me, getting undressed for a lover is a moment to savour. The removal of each piece of clothing a chance to engage with their body piece by piece, limb by limb, making that physical connection patiently and sensually. (Of course, there will always be those liaisons in which neither party can bear to spend a second longer constrained by their suits and much is to be said for ripping the garments off each other in a fit of passion – let us spare a moment to mark the tragic passage of all the black lace lingerie and stockings I’ve ruined this way.

The act of brazenly, slowly stripping for another person is another kinky game I delight in. Escorting someone to a chair, then leaving someone seated while I delicately unbutton my blouse, letting it drift back on my shoulders, exposing the swell of my breasts in my bra, holding my thighs together as I peel down my skirt and taking my time as I carefully fold and place each item of clothing on the counter, relishing their eyes on my body as I do so. The more clothing I remove, the long the time I leave before the next piece is taken off. I adore watching a man work himself into a frenzy, while I appear to be moving slower, and slower.

There’s also something inherently arousing about the power imbalance of one person being fully clothed and the other fully nude; the submissive in me takes great pleasure from the vulnerability of being naked and exposed while a suited man touches, caresses…or commands my body. That said, there’s nothing quite like coyly removing a man’s clothes, looking up at him from under my eyelashes as I loosen his tie, and running a manicured hand across his chest, before tying him up and strutting around him in my favourite silky dress and heels. I count those moments, with electricity crackling between us, as some of the most fun a girl can have with her clothes on

2023 — Louisa Knight