We’re in a smoldering love affair with lingerie that has spanned centuries. Since a corset cinched every fashionable waist of the early 1800’s, men and women alike have found themselves intoxicated by the mystery and sensuality of lingerie, the way it lingers like a naughty secret between you and your skin. In 1910, the corset gave way to bras and bloomers, and over time, the evolution of lingerie unfolded in line with the quiet undercurrents of change at work in our society. From the slinky slips of the flappers to the curvaceous silhouettes of the pin ups to the bra-burning liberation of the 1960’s, as women fought to gain control over their bodies, their livelihoods, and their sexual autonomy, lingerie adapted accordingly, blossoming into a beacon of both divine femininity and emboldened sexual empowerment.
Yet historically, lingerie was not made for women: it was not created for their pleasure or enjoyment or as a celebration of their natural bodies. Designed by men and dominated by the pervasive presence of the male gaze, women’s pleasure was rarely considered, and early lingerie often symbolized an unattainable standard of beauty and femininity. Fast forward to our current chapter of history, which is nothing if not revolutionary, and we believe in taking our pleasure seriously, whether it’s of the sartorial or sexual nature. Thankfully for us, so does our newest obsession: Porte-à-Vie, a luxury online boutique catering to the modern woman by purveying female-focused provocative pleasures, from exquisite lingerie to sinfully soft loungewear to sleek and sophisticated toys.
The lovechild of former Vogue Australia colleagues Lisa Hili and ex-editor-in-chief Kirstie Clements, Porte-à-Vie was created with women’s pleasure in mind, featuring an expert curation of high end intimates and accessories sourced from around the globe. Although we dare you to peruse their collection without filling your cart, Porte-à-Vie is more than just an online boutique, in the same way that lingerie is so much more than just an undergarment. An educational and empowering experience for both women and men, it encourages a luxurious and adventurous approach to pleasure, whether that pleasure comes from a high-end vibrator, show-stopping lingerie, delicious perfumes and oils, or a partner.
Their message to modern women is simple yet revolutionary: the pleasure is all yours. Read on as we dive into why this chic and inclusive boudoir-style concept is transforming the luxury lingerie landscape in their passionate pursuit of pleasure for all women, and shop their offerings here.
1. They Shift the Gaze
In the past, almost every aspect of the lingerie industry, from design to marketing, was influenced by the male gaze. Lingerie was created by men and advertised to women under the guise of spicing up your sex life or pleasing your husband or boyfriend. Any empowerment women derived from lingerie itself, any hint of personal or sexual pleasure, was rarely spoken of in a voice louder than a whisper. Porte-à-Vie is breaking that mold by taking the industry back, unapologetically shifting the gaze from male to female. Their boutique is a sophisticated space created by women and for women: their intricate curation caters to a variety of styles and sizes, representing the multi-faceted essence of sexuality in a way that encourages women to explore and experiment with what makes them feel good, from lacy bodysuits to barely-there bralettes to high tech vibrators, without the uninvited influence of society at large. Porte-à-Vie places the focus on female pleasure in an environment that is chic, discreet, and utterly sensual, reminding us of the inherent power that lies in unleashing your own pleasure before anyone else’s.
2. They Exist at the Crossroads of Classic and Cutting Edge
One of the many reasons we’ve found ourselves head over heels for Porte-à-Vie is the way their flawlessly curated collection intertwines sultry ultra-feminine silhouettes with must-have modern trends. The collection itself is next level lustworthy, filled with pieces that straddle the line between luxuriously naughty and gorgeously romantic from designer brands such as Le Petit Trou, Kisskill, Love Stories, Pleasure State, and more, as well as Porte-à-Vie’s own decadent collection. From single ladies to long term lovers to new mothers, the collection caters to all women in all phases of life, reiterating the importance of indulging freely in our desires and allowing them to grow and evolve alongside us. Their collection is stacked with everything from elevated everyday essentials to bold and breathtaking boudoir staples, and their wearable pieces inspire you to infuse a touch of lacy luxury or sumptuous sensuality in every facet of your life. They give a wink to the classic femininity of decades past with mesh stockings, strappy garters, and high-waisted silhouettes, and the unparalleled quality and extensive variety of their coquettish offerings coupled with their cutting-edge sex toys makes Porte-à-Vie the modern woman’s dream come true.
3. They Encourage Her Lover To Get Involved
In the oversaturated lingerie landscape, what sets Porte-à-Vie apart is the uniquely magnetic way it appeals to both men and women. It serves as a liberating and sex-positive space for women to take ownership of their own desire through show-stopping skivvies or an exciting new sex toy. It’s also the kind of intimate and openminded environment that welcomes cheeky curiosity and playful experimentation, both on your body and in the bedroom. Yet women aren’t the only ones who get to have all the fun: Porte-à-Vie makes it a point to be an empowering, approachable, and, dare I say, even educational shopping experience for men as well. Like every beautiful thing in this world, no two women are the same, and each woman’s relationship with lingerie – what it means to her and how she expresses herself through it – is as unique and nuanced as she is. Porte-à-Vie encourages partners to learn what their lover likes and why, a gentle reminder that that pleasure involves the mind just as much as the body. A far cry from flowers and chocolate, treating your lover to an exquisite lingerie set or luxurious loungewear that proves you see her for the goddess she is, inside and out, is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
4. But They Never Forget Her Pleasure Is Paramount
Porte-à-Vie never forgets where their loyalty lies. Their mission is to create a chic and comfortable environment in which modern women can unapologetically explore their sexuality and passionately pursue their pleasure. Although their website is highly shoppable for men and women alike, there’s no doubt who’s the boss, and every aspect of their messaging subtly reiterates that idea. They’ve divided their extensive selection of lingerie, toys, accessories, and fragrances into playfully titled categories like, “She’s The Boss Of Me,” “She’s An Adventurer,” “She’s A Romantic, “She’s My Baby Mama,” all of which quietly subvert the male gaze by placing the focus on who she is and, most importantly, what gets her off. Though cheeky in nature, it’s a provocative and powerful detail that ensures women’s pleasure remains front and center throughout the entire shopping experience.
Porte-à-Vie’s carefully curated high end selection proves they never settle, and they don’t think you should either. Their intelligent and elegant range of sex toys epitomizes taking your pleasure seriously, with soft shapes and intuitive designs that powerfully intensify your sexual experiences, whether solo or with a partner. Whatever pleasure means to you, they’ve got a sexy something that will help you get there.
5. They Are an Immersive Celebration of Sexuality
Porte-à-Vie is more than just an online shopping destination, it’s an inviting and immersive world that aims to educate women as much as it supports and empowers them. They walk the walk by rounding out their site with a magazine dedicated to celebrating femininity and shattering stigmas surrounding female sexuality. Filled with tantalizing erotica, glamorous editorials, informative features, and even some starry-eyed Sextrology from their impressive and impassioned roster of contributors, it’s a thought-provoking platform that understands that the pursuit of pleasure goes far beyond any purchase, undressing the art of seduction and delving deep into our innermost desires to unpack what makes us feel sexy and why. Desires are indulged, exploits are recounted, and “taboo” topics are shared and celebrated.
We have long understood that buying lingerie is an act of self love, and Porte-à-Vie takes that idea a step further with an effortless elegance, positioning lingerie as a revolutionary act, a celebration of the power of pleasure and the importance of a lifelong pursuit of it, in all its sumptuous and sensual glory.
Intrigued? We thought you might be. Peruse Porte-à-Vie’s collection here.