journal entries

in praise of femmes: fishnets

Some meditations on fishnets, and femmes:

Alison spoke of fishnets once upon a time, and well, speaking of fishnets … it got me thinking. I have a bit of a fetish.

I have a thing for legs anyway, which is why I try not to surf sites like Sock Dreams at work, because it really does get me hot & bothered in the way that porn does. Photos like this one of the raw-edged fishnet are so very erotic to my gender-fetish brain … I’m not sure exactly what it is about fishnets, but they are just so sexualized in this culture. They’re practically fetish gear, except that they can be worn by women to offices, to fancy parties, to the opera, as dress-up, and it’s also totally appropriate. Maybe that’s it – they can be good-girl stockings, can be fancy and seen as totally normal and even some sort of traditional femininity, but they can also be so dirty, in such a delicious way.

Then there’s that little criss-cross that the net actually does, and the way that garters – if you’re using them, and oh, that’s an entire other bit of lingerie to be in praise of – tug on the net and show just a little bit of strain in holding them up. The way that the stocking gets pulled, which is so very visible on nets where the little diamond shapes get pulled. I like the subtle force there. I like the subtle strain.

I think it might be also why I like corsetry and lacing and the criss-cross ribbons that are on some lingerie, too – it’s an implied little bit of bondage, this implied ribbon that I could use to restrain your wrists or ankles, that I could use to tie your knees up and back.

Plus there’s the idea that perhaps with just one little tug, the whole thing will unravel, and leave you bare.

It’s the hint of bareness that is so much more sexy than the bare revealing itself. There’s really something to that idea of leaving something to the imagination.

And then the skin. Because the thing about fishnets, which is not true of other stockings, is the bare skin that is exposed. I can feel these tiny spots of smooth under the pads of my fingertips, the direct contact is intoxicating. You’re not actually protected by these nets, not actually held in or hidden, your skin is revealed, fishnets aren’t about control-top or nude tinting or hiding, they’re about decoration, about texture.

And oh the implied force of it all. Because fishnets rip, they get holes, they just beg to be destroyed. The stockings are layer I can (possibly, maybe, if permitted, if our relationship allows it) rip through in order to expose your skin bare, use a sharp blade against your skin and pop through the tiny tied nets, use my teeth and pull until I hear the ripping.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

9 thoughts on “in praise of femmes: fishnets”

  1. the femme top says:

    I love when my pantyhose get ripped off (much harder than ripping fishnets and I like watching people struggle with it).

  2. uuuuuummm. that was really freaking hot. might have to go throw a fit now. phew!

  3. Zoe says:

    I once got to wear a costume with fishnet arms. I loved waving my arms around in it. I wish I could wear fishnets on my arms all of the time.

    I've never seen women in offices in fishnets.

  4. Jade says:

    A few of my favorite things… fishnets and force.

    I love the way fishnets feel against my skin, the way the fabric lays on top but not covering, not hiding anything. I love the way they stretch just a bit with the addition of a garter belt, the way they stretch slightly across my legs.

    I love the way they make my legs look when coupled with my favorite stilettos.

    I love the way they can immediately invoke fantasies, the way they tend to attract attention.

    I adore it when they get holes in them, adding an entire layer of trashy-sexy.

  5. muse says:

    oh, yeah. fishnets are lovely – I found myself wearing them practically every day, all winter long. I love the way they feel, the texture, and the fact that they're just a small (or large) rip away from being very naughty. yum.

    Zoe, I've found you can get away with fishnets in the office as long as they're pale-colored (as are my legs, so they're not too obvious.) I only wore darker fishnets with long skirts and high boots, so only a bit peeks out when I cross my legs or when my skirt swishes as I walk. (and my colleagues shouldn't be looking at my legs anyway, now should they?)

    my favorite flesh and pink colored fishnets are from Agent Provocateur. they have great hold-up micronets so a garter isn't necessary, or stockings if you'd rather. they're often out on the website (which is based in the UK), so I recommend calling the store nearest you – they always have a much larger selection and are happy to ship.

  6. muse says:

    p.s. I recommend AP's Europa holdups as well. they're mesh, not fishnet, but they are almost as awesome. super flattering and very hot.

  7. Bea says:

    . . . I need to buy a new pair of fishnets and talk someone into ripping them off of me now.


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