Orange Is The New Black has popularised the dirty underwear trade – we found someone who sells her old pants to men on Craigslist
Following the premiere of the latest series of Orange Is The New Black, in which protagonist Piper sets up a panty-selling ring from prison, registrations to one of the most notable used panty websites, Pantydeal.com, soared from 150 a day to 1,000. The TV programme sparked a conversation around the business, which is experiencing an unpredecented boom.
Selling used underwear used to be the preserve of porn stars, who would sell their panties post-session to mental fans. Now a whole crop of everyday women, who are not typically involved in the sex industry, have started selling their pants online. If you aren’t repulsed by the idea of a man enthusiastically sniffing your "aroma", like some kind of mad, curious dog then it’s probably not a bad way to pay the rent.
We found a panty seller – 23-year old MA student Jennifer* – a woman who sells her gear to people she originally found on Craigslist. We asked her about the industry and why she chose this particular way to make money.
How did you get into selling your pants online?
Jennifer: The reason I started was a certain curiosity and mainly that the money was just very, very easy.
Do you hide it from your friends and family?
Jennifer: Kind of. My friends not so much but I did try to hide it from my partner and didn't tell my family. I had to sneak off once to meet a guy when I was out with my mum. My current partner has asked me to stop. Others haven't minded in the past.
Have you ever met any of your customers IRL?
Jennifer: Yes I met one or two of the guys a few times. One of them wanted to take things further and be my house slave which is something I would have done had my partner been ok with it. Another asked to buy my pee.
What's the most anyone's paid for your used pants?
Jennifer: I think about £40? Sometimes foreign customers would buy them from Japan so they would pay more.
Is it weird, empowering or just a good way to make money?
Jennifer: Some of them were married which is worth knowing.. But overall I think it's actually quite lovely when people appreciate human smells. It’s nuts to me that they want to spend so much money but the market is definitely there and I don't think there's anything wrong with it either side of the transaction. Most of the buyers are very rich.