Playful Promises Blog

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Filtering by Tag: Circus

Christmas gift review: Lady Unmentionable


A knicker in a tin, what a remarkable invention!


Lingerie is always a welcome gift from anyone. I truly believe that you can never have enough underwear, so whether a lover buys you a steamy set of lacy pieces or whether a friends treats you to a knicker in a tin, its just a win win situation.


Emma and the Playful Promises team make these rather delicious tins with a brief hidden inside. The tin itself has a very cute illustration and each brief is special with customized details like bows, lace and detailing.


I've been asked to review the Circus Pin-Up tins, but they really sell themselves. These tins are just great for the Christmas season, and for hen parties and even birthdays, and small treats for no reason. There doesn't have to be a reason to treat someone!


The Circus Tins are inspired by three typical circus performers. The hand-drawn illustration on the tin lid is delicately drawn to represent the; Ring Mistress, the Tiger Tamer and the Snake Charmer. Each circus act is wearing the brief that lays beneath.



What I really like about the tins, is that you can use the tin for other means than storing the brief. I've seen the Playful Promises girls propping up their computer screens with them! They need to be displayed, the tin is begging to be shown off as more than just a tin for a brief. The potential for the tin is limitless. Or you can simply store your beautiful brief in the tin in your knicker drawer!


The briefs themselves, are foxy pieces of cheek-wear. I'm not sure which one I prefer, it changes from day to day.


Tiger Tamer is a vivid pink, with just a simple bow on the front, it looks like any other brief. Turn around and a heart shape cut-out greets the observer with a pink lace centre revealing your buttock cheeks, this is a rather cheeky brief! This is very girly, and breezy, but I like the idea that it's a pant that can be worn every day, under any choice of clothes, it's subtle and only when undressed does it reveal it's cheeky secrets.


Snake Charmer is today's favourite. I like the rich purple colour of this brief, topped with a stripe of black its a dark and mysterious panty. I like the simplicity of the brief, the richness of the colour and the silky satin fabric exudes seduction and mystery. The two ribbon bows finishes off the pant and makes it that much more special. The tin illustration, of a snake charmer, is also my favourite. I like the envious green of the snake against the purple brief.



Finally Ring Mistress, a sleek all black number at first seems a little too common. On closer inspection this brief is all in the detail. The fine finish of the gathered seam on the back is very original. And the delicate lace trim at the top of the legs is subtle and beautiful making the panty more like a piece of delicate porcelain that needs protecting. The button detail on the front brings a little charm and cheek to such a graceful knicker.


At just £15 each, these briefs are a charming little gift, especially this Christmas. The receivers gets not only a playful and promising knicker but a tin, hand illustrated with more than just one purpose!


Promises team keep nudging me to also mention that these three tins are limited edition, so once they're gone, they're gone for good. Make sure you get hold of all three! Available in small, medium and large, something for every bottom.



The original Tiger Tamer!

Described as the first female tiger trainer (or at least the most famous), Mabel Stark was renowned in the 1920s for her death-defying acts. Typical of performers, not much is known about Stark’s life before the circus, and any information may have been exaggerated to add mystique. Some sources describe her parents as poor farmers, who died within a few years of eachother when Mabel was 17.


She lived with an unwelcoming aunt and soon became a nurse-in-residence at a hospital. During this time something occurred, whether it be a breakdown or something as simple as a change of heart – within a year she was performing in a carnival girl show, dancing the hoochie coochie.


In 1911 she ended up with the Al G. Barnes Circus in California, where she met famous ‘cat man’ Louis Roth. Working as a ‘high school’ rider (horseback rider) she set her heart on working with the big cats. Roth did not consider her worthy; until she married him (Stark married 4 or 5 times, mostly to further her career).


At first she worked on a ‘balloon act’, which involved her ‘riding’ a lion on a platform, complete with fireworks – a relatively simple act compared to what was to come! The circus encouraged her to work with lions, as it is easier to guess their actions and intents, but Mabel had an undying love for tigers. By 1916 she was presenting the show’s major tiger act.


She adopted a sickly tiger cub named Rajah, raising him by hand by keeping him in her apartment and playing with the cub at the beach. Realising how well he responded to physical touch, Stark decided to train him to perform a wrestling act – something that had never been seen before. Debuting the act in 1918, she shocked and appalled the audience, who believed that she was being mauled to death. It is said that brave men would often leave their seats, rushing towards the steel cage to try to save her.


Mabel Stark (left) with Mae West

Hitting the big time in 1922, she joined the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, rising to star in the center ring just a year later. It is said that personal problems with yet another marriage resulted in an altercation with the circus, and in 1925 they banned all wild animal acts.


Moving to another circus in Maine, a collection of issues led to Stark receiving a severe mauling. The circus had been delayed by rain, and by the time the show began, the tigers had spent the day on wet bedding. Stark had no time to feed the tigers, which would normally have resulted in a cancellation of the performance, however, she went on anyway. Some describe this as her first attempt at suicide, and later in life she often explained that she wanted to die being torn apart by her tigers. She lost her footing in the muddy arena and suffered wounds that almost severed her face, lacerated her face, tore a hole through her shoulder and a whole host of other injuries.


It took 2 years for Stark to fully recover and start touring with various circuses. She returned to California and finished her career at the Jungle Compound (later called Jungleland). In 1968 a new owner took over the business, who took an immediate dislike to Stark and fired her. Soon after this, one of the tigers escaped and was shot. Mabel was outraged, feeling that she could have secured the tiger if only asked for assistance.


Distraught by the loss of her job and personal memories of her career, husbands and tigers, she decided enough was enough. On April 20, 1968 she took a bottle of barbiturates, walked to the garage and put herself to sleep behind the wheel of her car. In the last pages of her autobiography, ‘Hold That Tiger’, published in 1938, she writes, “The chute door opens as I crack my whip and shout, ‘Let them come!’ Out slink the striped cats, snarling and roaring, leaping at each other or at me. It’s a matchless thrill, and life without it is not worthwhile to me.”


In honour of Mabel Stark, and all the other performers who have lived sad and glamorous tales, we have decorated the Playful Promises boutique window in big top style, complete with vintage-inspired posters!

Dear Lady Unmentionable...

Why do my boyfriends shy away from buying me lingerie?

I love lingerie, and I enjoy wearing lingerie for bedroom partners, however I have never received lingerie from any men in my life no matter how many hints I drop.

What can I do?


LackingLingerie, 24 from London


Dear LackingLingerie,

Thank you for a very worthwhile topic.

Why do blokes shy away from lingerie gifts, lingerie shops and lingerie shopping?

Although I myself regularly receive lingerie gifts from gentlemen, this is a question that pops up among friends.


In the past I have heard such excuses such as;

“I don’t want anyone I know to see me in the shop…”

“The boutique girls thought I was a pervert…”

“I don’t know your size, I’d just get it wrong and you’d hate me for it.”


However, these excuses are petty and these, in my mind, are simply men with their tails between their legs running away from responsibility.


So what if your friends or colleagues see you in a lingerie shop, clearly they are also in there doing the same thing. Surely a real man isn’t shy to admit he can confidently walk into a lingerie store and browse to buy something nice for a girl? And would this not prove to friends that he has a rather successful sex-life. I would be bragging about this to my macho male mates.


Lingerie boutique girls are happy to help any gentleman who is looking to purchase something whether as a gift for a girlfriend, something for themselves or even if it’s for other reasons… Lingerie shop girls have seen it all and there is nothing to be shy about buying lingerie for a girlfriend.


Remember that store assistants are trained to help with sizing and are likely to help you with sizing problems as well as picking out popular styles, matching accessories and even showing you how to wear pieces.


The sizing issue is most likely the best excuse. However, most stores have a 14-28 day exchange policy. So even if the guy doesn’t have a clue of your bra size he can purchase a size and he or you can exchange it later. Lingerie stores also offer plenty of treats and goodies that do not require the mathematical genius of a bra size expert. Briefs, triangle bras, nightwear and gifting pieces, no excuse, just pick one.


With the popularity of online shopping, men can shop for lingerie in the comfort and serenity of their own home. No one will see them, no one will know, and lets be honest they’ve probably browsed for similar if not more exciting things on the net in the past. Men are able to buy lingerie online, get it sent to them and make it look like they’ve walked into a store…again they have no excuse.


Playful Promises often team up with voucher deals such as Living Social. So if the man is really too shy or too dim to buy lingerie he can buy gift vouchers and still get away with it.


LackingLingerie, I would say that the men you date love your playmate aspect but aren’t man enough to be your playmate! If they can’t buy lingerie, what else will they shy away from in later years?


And men…get off your backsides! When you don’t know what to buy a girlfriend for a birthday, anniversary, valentines day or any non-special days –THINK LINGERIE.