by Melissa Joffe


Last weekend, my friend at CSU Long Beach told me she sold two pairs of her used panties for $150 on Craigslist. She wore each pair, which she had bought in a package from Target, for a full day, and spent only about $2, giving her a total of $143 in turnover, minus the cost of gas for a 15-minute drive to meet the man from Irvine half-way.

She took along her most threatening male friend and slipped the cotton panties into a manila packaging envelope, even though she was making a delivery and not sending through postage. The man was middle-aged, wore glasses, and paid her in cash. Overall, she said that even though the experience was awkward, it wasn’t creepy and she’d do it again whenever strapped for cash. “Thank you, Craigslist!”

manilaPhoto by RocketScientistJan

I created my own advertisement for selling used underwear as an experiment (or even a twisted joke that almost crosses that fine line between funny and cruel).

It read:

Sexy Panties from Beautiful Sexy College Student

Hey, my name is Cassandra and I’m just looking to make some money to put myself through college. So if you want to help me out, I’ll send you pictures of me wearing the panties I have for sale. We can work out the stipulations of delivery and condition of the panties upon delivery through e-mail. 😉 Price negotiable, but no lower than $40 a pair. Girl needs to get her tuition paid. 🙂

The first response in my inbox read:

hi Miss,

will You sell stinky/dirty socks? i’m looking for white socks, willing to buy a pair once or even twice a week, thank you!


What does he want with dirty socks? I imagine that to him sweat smells like a woman, and that turns him on sexually. Does getting turned on by the smell of sweat and seeking out a strange young girl’s socks constitute sexual deviance or normal behavior? To me the idea is bizarre, but reading all of the sexual postings on Craigslist makes it less so. Craigslist serves as a forum for people to connect, and perhaps the fact that people are sexual beings by nature combined with the site’s anonymity facilitates extreme sexual openness.

I think that I will sell him my socks because: 1) I don’t have a job right now, 2) I live near the post office, 3) The idea of selling my socks is weirdly thrilling (call me a creeper, but he is the real creeper and I can profit from his sexual deviance).


Another response I received read:

Im interested in your panties. Can you prove you are not some guy selling the panties? How much mailed to me for a pair of boy shorts? What size?

His casual response reminds me that these are simple transactions—exchanging products for money and earning a profit. Is it wrong to sell things that people could use for perverse activities? And in that case what is deemed a perverse activity? Something that many people engage in constitutes normalcy by definition. Besides, the people on Craigslist are our neighbors, friends, and parents, and even though these people may seem crazy, I have come to terms with the fact that they exist.

As a college student watching the funds in my bank account slide closer and closer to zero, the deal sounds pretty sweet. Still, there exists something mildly degrading about soiling some article of clothing and selling it, knowing that some WASP-type man might jack off to MY smell during his lunch break at work…maybe even my gym socks? And while I sometimes find that the way I smell after the gym gives me inspiration to exercise more, I struggle to understand how “mike” will find my sweaty socks arousing. But by my calculations, if he’s willing to pay $20 per pair, twice a week, then that would be $160 dollars extra a month. My earnings would be dramatically increased if I sold to other people. What’s there not to get? After all, when I tell friends about this money-making opportunity, they jump on it eagerly.

My friend in Santa Cruz listed her used underwear for $50 a pair and received 20 responses in the first hour. No question about it – there is definitely a demand for sexual objects like used panties, and who’s to say that we young college girls can’t take advantage of this business opportunity? Maybe some people who would otherwise find that sexuality of this sort compromises their values may start seeing the value of this type of simple impersonal financial exchange. After all, selling some dirty undies to strangers can’t be such a bad thing when the exchange is so anonymous. Maybe this means we’re moving towards greater acceptance of this sort of sexual practice. Or maybe not. Whatever the case, just don’t tell my parents!