Select Page

As children, I accustomed slip into my mother’s space and check out on her behalf situations; nothing provided me with more of a-thrill than rifling through the woman drawers. My personal many coveted products had been put away – a ­veritable treasure trove of concealed silken garments: camisoles, teddies, bras that i might content with areas.

I would give them a go on and, dripping with a decadent meal of womanliness, top off the style along with her outfit jewellery. I would then roll around on the bed, acting I became Marilyn Monroe in

Gentlemen Like Blondes


We liked the way these fragile things – the greatest embodiment of womanhood – thought when they rested softly against my epidermis. But because they had been considered to be of a sexual character, these people were restricted to the adult world: 18+, sealed doorways and, usually, unseen, apart from that ­special some one (or, awkwardly contained in this instance, my father).

Image: Etienne Reynaud

Very while youngsters are motivated to play dress-ups with clothes off their moms and dads’ childhood – back then, it had been musty ’70s velour, taffeta bridal party’ clothes and shorter-than-short ’60s miniskirts – they aren’t generally motivated to head to lingerie drawers. My mum caught me checking out hers on plenty events that she must-have known she had been elevating only a little deviant.

At 13, while grocery shopping, I spotted a maroon G-string for $8.99 into the section next to the clothes and feminine-­hygiene products. The bad fluorescent lighting did nothing to deter my desire. I mustered in the bravery to ask my mum purchasing it for me. Wondering turned to quivering-lipped begging and she relented on a single condition: “you aren’t to wear it away from home. Picture any time you fell more than dressed in it in school!”

Once I had gotten residence, we scammed the tags and pulled the G-string over my personal thighs. Its slim bands hugged my personal sides and developed a dramatic curve accentuating my personal already-ample behind. During the time, used to do swim-squad education eight times weekly, so most mornings and afternoons my personal butt had been exposed. But this G-string had been that tiny bit even more obscene: 10 centimetres of sin, move exaggerate the female ‘asset’.

We never ever planned to put on full-bottom briefs once more.


y obsession with lingerie amped up after I got my basic task at 14. I would spend all my hard earned $9-per-hour pay in the city’s lingerie store.

We revelled in my own secret delicates. I would amassed a collection of coordinating sets: fuchsia fabric, creamy white push-ups, mint-green polka-dot smooth servings with frills. Every set helped me feel truly special – distinctive from all the other women, exactly who, we realized through the college changing spaces, were putting on boring, flesh-coloured, sexless bras.

Once I turned 15, i discovered a corset in a pal’s dress-up package; we knew it must be my own. I inquired their if I may have it – and that I’ll remember the appearance that she provided me with together with the response, “go on it. What can i’d like that for? Merely nymphos put on such things as that.” For the first time, we believed uncomfortable. Just how performed this little bit of clothing make some one slutty?

That night, after everyone choose to go to bed, we endured facing my mirror and laced myself in to the corset. Using ribbons pulled tight, the slightly distorted boning cinched my personal waist. We thought constricted but curvaceous; it got my personal air out.

Image: Etienne Reynaud

Used to do somewhat saunter round the area and try to let my personal hips naturally sway, like a beguiling womanly pendulum. We encountered the mirror and said aloud, “You’re a slut.” The language slice the atmosphere with a tinge of den­igration. These were demeaning, but I enjoyed the way they forced me to feel: dirty.

Within the next several years, I carried on to collect pieces and began to test out various intimate apparel designs and designs. Each one of these unlocked a sensation, a brand new section of my individuality – brand-new ‘intentions’ and wishes, despite the reality i did not have a gathering on their behalf.

Along with this all, I was interested in learning sex shops. Each week, i’d create my moms and dads drive past a certain street across town from your regional Queensland house in Rockhampton and so I could sur­­reptitiously take a look at the new ensemble on display at local sex shop, Loveheart. We longed to venture around, picturing a paradise of frilly accoutrements.

However the ‘18+’ sign across doorways was actually a morality shield that my personal timid, innocent home cannot also imagine crossing. Imagine if they questioned what kind of woman is inside? Indeed, ‘18+’ obstacles similar to this held myself straight back from a long list of things that i needed to do.

You know what they state about ladies whom wear black colored lingerie – really, black underwear had been my favourite.


y coming old unfolded in Brisbane. Changing 18 noted the realisation of a listing of items that I would been waiting to do, that would securely put me personally during the realm of ‘bad woman’: get intoxicated, get a tattoo, get my nipples pierced, begin working in a strip pub. Of course, a single day after my personal birthday, I found myself quite uncomfortable. Not only ended up being I nursing a terrible hangover, but my personal new ship tattoo had been recovering, as happened to be my nipple piercings.

It took me 2-3 weeks to descend the stairs in the middle of black colored mirrors into Club Minx in Brisbane’s CBD. But I thought somebody who ended up being size 14 couldn’t become a stripper, therefore I started doing work in reception instead, checking dollars and greeting clients.

My uniform – a see-through interlock outfit emblazoned with a purple ‘X’ – don’t compare to the stripper’s costumes, and it also truly didn’t please my personal need certainly to flaunt my personal intimate apparel collection. I understood what I was required to carry out and convinced control to allow me personally provide dancing a spin.

Image: Eitenne Reynaud

The promotion to stripper created that I needed to select an innovative new title, thus I opted for ‘Lexie’. In addition shaved from the right side of my personal tresses, donned slightly blond mohawk, and wore Bond Girl–esque black colored evening gowns with crotch-high slits that flashed when I strolled within my six-inch pumps.

I would given delivery to a new fictional character – a femme fatale. At Club Minx, I decided I experienced permission to mould myself into anyone who i needed getting; it actually was the best identity playground.


knew about burlesque through Dita Von Teese’s book

Burlesque together with Art in the Teese

, and whenever we watched an indicator at Mad dancing House marketing courses, I right away signed up. In tutelage of veteran striptease musician Lena Marlene, we performed my personal first routine to Christina Aguilera’s

‘Nasty Naughty Boy’


With newfound confidence, we began having fun with a burlesque persona at the club also, using classic French knickers, pearls and beige silk stockings, and having fun with bloated marabou boas. We started bringing in a unique kind of clientele – types who had been intimidated by gorgeous Lexie but attracted to the softer demeanour of ‘Miss Alexia’.

Besides, I channelled yet an­­other concealed character – coquettish, flirtatious and flippant, symbolizing the 1950s cheesecake style of ­burlesque – all by putting on a brand new ensemble and ­different-coloured lip stick. We produced my first solo burlesque program and done under the title ‘Cutie Catarina’. While Lexie would look males down because of the gaze of a sharp-shooter, Cutie’s look would dart in regards to and tease in an alternate manner.

But burlesque isn’t just concerning the performers on-stage. In an era once we seldom get to wear ballgowns or tuxedos out, the viewers, as well, ought to perform dress-ups.

During 2009, at a big annual event called The Burlesque Ball, I identified Mistress Kalyss and her posse; these costume outfit aficionados happened to be the best-dressed folks I’d ever before put vision on. They certainly were people in the kink world, additionally the night culminated in a basement dungeon in an unassuming suburban Queenslander filled up with toys that made my personal sight widen with disbelief:

That goes where and really does what?

Quickly, I became element of Mistress Kalyss’s posse and she invited me to my basic kink occasion, Brisbane Hellfire. I experienced no idea what things to wear to a kink celebration, therefore I pin-curled my tresses and set on a puffy black colored tulle lolita top, a white corset and large, exaggerated doll sight. I Happened To Be joined by my good friend Alan, who, zipped into a black exudate catsuit, transformed into the statuesque rubber mega-femme ‘Lolita Latex’.

Arriving at the function, Lolita questioned us to shine the woman match – which changed into the first spanking I’d ever offered. Here I was, experiencing excited in a-room high in folks dressed as ponygirls with pieces within lips, or monochrome jesters in black lingerie and black colored latex. We were holding the clothes of my personal aspirations.

Doing just a little general public play unleashed the internal devil inside myself. Intimate apparel ended up being my personal portal to this treasure-trove of titillation.


n the gold exclusive place at pub, we disclosed to 1 of my personal reg­ulars that I’d began planning kink clubs. This started an unparalleled sequence of gift suggestions – knee-high Bettie Page boots, publications on line bondage, my personal first latex pencil skirt – to your envy of the many some other dancers.

We felt like I’d gone from an ‘innocent’ nation woman to a cosmopolitan kink connoisseur. The only real destination I’d been able to display down my costumes in Rockhampton was at the neighborhood shopping fair, nevertheless now I got a multitude of places in which i possibly could parade my personal correct, underlying colours.

Nothing of the had been very general public, but there had been usually sight on me personally. Made spaces teetered on edge of semi-­private, but I felt more shielded inside compared to an exclusive space with a guy.

But even though the general public spectacle of my personal sexual self-expression ended up being flourishing, it don’t stay well with my extremely vanilla extract sweetheart at the time. Burlesque had been appropriate, and removing had been accepted because it settled the lease, but likely to kink organizations was actually in some way considered a huge no-no.

“how are you affected behind sealed room doors is something” – he had been alluding that the guy secretly enjoyed an excellent spanking – “but whipping males dressed as feamales in general public is not appropriate. At exactly what point you think all of this traipsing about like a hussy will impact your career as a journalist? What are the results as soon as your household realizes? When will you stop playing dress-ups and expand the bang upwards?”

“Never,” we reacted subsequently – and “never” is my personal response now.


changed my personal title to Alyssa Kitt – ‘Alyssa’ getting my personal real title, and ‘Kitt’, my personal childhood nickname. I made the decision to receive my personal parents to any or all my personal burlesque programs; I happened to ben’t gonna cover. My mum and I began heading underwear purchasing together, and she’s got even believed her own burlesque persona: ‘Mama Kitt’.

It has been 11 decades since I have initially moved onto the burlesque stage. We explain myself as a purveyor in the naked arts, and my personal exhibitionism features advanced to a grand-scale – I’ve performed in Las vegas, nevada at lose Exotic community clad in outfits designed by a few of the planet’s top artisans.

Image: Joel Devereux

While I’ve outgrown those items into the musty dress-up package, I never ever outgrew my personal want to liven up. My personal collection not comprises ’70s velour nor is there that insipid mothball stench I remember from my youth.

Whether at a kink pub, at a burlesque tv show and sometimes even just putting on a ‘professional’ outfit for an office work, everyone will need to have the liberty to experience through its identities. I very much genuinely believe that there is not an individual in the world whonot want to wear a unique character and flaunt their own interior deviant sometimes. As I’ve constantly stated, you can never be too-old to tackle dress-ups.

Fierce. Formidable. The Feminist Fatale.

Alyssa Kitt Hanley

dances over the lines of a twin identification. The woman is both an artistic and mental chameleon. A powerhouse of Australian burlesque, feminist, blogger, journalist and purveyor on the nude arts, she writes regularly regarding public presentation for the human body, burlesque, SADO MASO, sex and identity politics.

This post at first appeared in Archer Magazine #12, the ENJOY concern.