Dorian Katz is a sometimes writer, sometimes performer, full time visual artist and a troublemaker. She is also my girlfriend.
Even though she’s my girlfriend, you can probably have some panties she’s worn, if you like. I suppose I should explain that. She’s currently working on a project that involves panties; hers, yours, friends’, strangers’. Lots of panties! To be exact, Dorian is sending her panties out in to the world as part of a chain letter.
She wears a pair of panties and then folds them up and puts them in an envelope with a letter. The letter asks the recipient to send three pair of their own worn panties out in to the world. Two go to new people of the sender’s choosing. One goes to Dorian. When she receives panties with a return address, she draws a picture of the panties and sends it back. The idea is that at every step, the number of panties returning to her will double. Lots of panties!
So, you may ask, what exactly is this crazy lady doing with all these panties? That’s not entirely decided yet. They might be sewn together in to a quilt. They might be dipped in polyester resin and made into a sculpture. They might be ground up in to tiny bits and made in to paper. I’m not sure that what becomes of the panties is the most important piece of the project.
Aside from the obvious silliness, there’s a lot going on here. There’s definitely sex. There’s attraction and maybe a tiny bit of revulsion. There is the contrast between the current dominant culture obsession with “cleanliness” (hairless, odorless, colorless, bloodless) and the (remarkably mundane) fetish for soiled panties. I think above all there is risk.
There is the risk of offering an intimate gesture that might be met with disdain or rejection. Panties are intimate. Sending your panties to dozens of people is not as easy a thing as it might seem. I’ve watched Dorian wonder if people will think this is creepy or if they will respond in a way that she finds creepy. I see her pushing herself beyond what is her usual comfort zone and hoping that others will push themselves a little in the same way.
Right now, I’m trying to decide who to send my panties to. I’m carefully considering my options. I don’t want to send them to someone who will take it as an unwanted sexual advance. I don’t want to send them to someone who will take it as an invitation I don’t mean to extend. I don’t want to send them to someone who won’t send their panties out in to the world. This gets complicated. Whoever I decide on, I will be nervous about what they think of getting my panties in the mail. Whoever I decide on, my heart will beat a little faster when I drop the envelopes in the mailbox. I can’t say that it’s very often that art makes my heart beat faster.
If you have not yet received a pair of panties with a charming chain letter, and would like to, you can start by sending your panties (not laundry fresh) to Dorian with a note expressing your interest in participating. The note is important. With no note, she will mistake your panties for those of someone who has already received the letter, and only send a drawing. She will send you panties she has worn along with the letter and a drawing of your panties. She even includes form letters for you to include with the panties you send to others. Once drawings are sent back, there will be no record kept of who has sent panties. All contact information will be destroyed. You don’t need to worry about being on some Panty Watch List or about being embarrassed in some other way.
You will notice that I have not revealed the contents of the chain letter. I promised Dorian that I wouldn’t. There is only one way that you get to read it. I can only tell you that it’s funny.
Send your panties to:
PO Box 20461
Stanford, CA 94309