How Three Women Earn £200 A Week Selling Worn Panties

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
The first time Violet* traded her panties for cash, she was at a bar two doors down from her house, and anyone watching the encounter probably thought she was on a normal date. After a half-hour sitting across from a man in a Spiderman T-shirt, Violet subtly reached under her dress and slipped off the panties she’d been wearing for two days, pulling them straight down her legs and over her ankles. Then she passed them off to Spiderman, who stealthily traded her £40 for his treasure, placing the cash in the folder the waiter had left with the bill. Transaction complete, Violet waltzed out of the door — panty poor, but money rich.
That was just three short months ago, and now, Violet’s become a pro, meeting up with new clients twice, sometimes three times, a week. She’s far from the only woman who sells her underwear online: Since Orange Is The New Black brought the idea of panty peddling back into the mainstream two seasons ago, the marketplace has been flooded with women marketing their underwear — and men eager to buy them up. (Of course, this isn’t, by any means, a new practice; the internet has just allowed buyers and sellers to connect more easily than ever before.)
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Type “panties” into the search bar of Craigslist, and you’ll find dozens of listings advertising used underthings. Reddit has an entire (NSFW) subreddit dedicated to the practice — women selling and people giving advice, sharing photos, and generally indulging in their shared kink.
“It’s a very competitive business,” says Ginger*, who has been selling, on and off, since 2015. Ginger got her start when a man reached out to her on Instagram. “He said, ‘Hey, you’re really attractive. You can make money selling socks or panties,’” she recalls. The man actually wanted to buy Ginger’s used socks (he had a foot fetish), but the two eventually went into business together.
“He was my manager for a while, and in exchange for free pictures or socks, he ran a social media page for me and connected me with men looking to buy,” she says. They’ve since split, and Ginger has been on her own for over a year. Business is still booming: At any given moment, she has as many as 10 clients on her roster. And each one is likely to have their own particular kink.
The only thing relatively constant about this evolving market is that the people buying the panties are overwhelmingly male, even if their specific kinks are all over the board. Being an underwear fetishist doesn’t just mean being “into” women’s panties: For some men, it means wanting to actually wear women’s underthings — from panties and stockings, to bras and all varieties of lingerie. Other potential buyers are turned on by the smell of worn panties, or they get off watching women slip them on or off. For Violet’s customers, the act of meeting up and handing off the underwear is as titillating as the product they’re purchasing.
As is the case for most businesses, customer service is an important part of the job for panty sellers. The more they connect with the people they’re selling to, the more likely they are to wind up with repeat customers. “I want the people I sell panties to to be comfortable and feel safe in telling me what they require,” says Amber Elle, a seller from London. “I like knowing that I am providing good service to someone and making them feel comfortable.” Ginger says that talking to her clients makes up a huge part of the process for her. “You have to take time out of your day for verification, [talk] to the customers and make sure they’re happy.”
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I am very confident in my sexuality, and I have always found the idea of other people’s fetishes and why they have them very interesting.

Amber Elle
Personalisation is another key part of the process, because it helps build the fantasy of what these men are looking for — and every man is different. “The number one thing I get asked to do is masturbate in the panties,” Violet says. “I’ll sometimes tell [my client] that I’m riding my bike in them, which he’ll then tell me he’s imagining me doing. It builds an entire story in their head.” Amber often gets asked that her panties be extra sweaty, so she tends to work out in them. And while it’s certainly easy to lie about any of this, these women actually do what they say they do in their panties — they’re committed to authenticity.
The requests can get highly specific, too. “One guy recently asked me for Victoria’s Secret underwear, which I rolled my eyes at,” Ginger says. “They get really expensive.” Amber, who usually mails her negligees in a manilla envelope, was once asked to send her panties in a square pink envelope, decorated with three red hearts drawn in the corner, and a lipstick kiss. “I couldn’t find a pink square envelope, so I ended up having to make one myself,” she says. “It was weirdly fun to make, though.” Plus, the client paid her extra for the special attention.
There are some things all three of the women will turn down, including skid marks, period stains, and urine. But the number one requested adjective floating around the marketplace is “creamy.”
“That usually requires an extra day or two of wear, which I’ll charge extra for,” Amber explains. Violet reinforced that fact, claiming that men tend to want the panties messier than normal wear produces. Amber, Violet, and Ginger all wear their panties for one to two days max before prices start going up incrementally. Both Amber and Ginger charge around £20 for their “basic” panties; Violet charges £40, since hers include a meet-up. The women also tack on surcharges for “extras.” Amber, for instance, requires additional payment for photos, a spritz of perfume, or a few more hours of wear. Violet, for her part, is so busy that she’s considering charging her clients for pre-meetup communications.
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When you do the math, these entrepreneurs can make anywhere between £100 and £200 in a given week, potentially more than £10,000 a year. And make no mistake: It’s the cash that brings women to this business in the first place — Violet, Ginger, and Amber all said they didn’t get any sexual satisfaction out of this. In fact, the trio interviewed for this article all claim that they go in and out of selling, and tend to lean into it mostly when money gets tight. “I only recently got back into it because I had a stack of panties I wanted to get rid of, and figured, ‘Why not make some money instead of just throwing them out?’” Violet says.
Like a lot of work involving kink and sex, plenty of people are quick to judge the panty-selling business. But Violet, Ginger, and Amber embrace their side hustles. “I am very confident in my sexuality, and I have always found the idea of other people’s fetishes and why they have them very interesting,” Amber says. “It feels empowering to know I am the one fulfilling a fantasy of theirs.”
And it’s the internet, and the explosion of the marketplace there, that has benefited people both buying and selling in this situation. The women selling cater to their customers’ kinks and set the terms, while the customers are given the opportunity to fulfill a kink that they can’t accomplish alone. It’s all about acknowledging and accepting other people’s sexual desires, and providing everyone involved with a safe space to negotiate boundaries. And in a time when sexuality continues to be policed, the panty trade is a pretty stellar example of the fact that sex work is just that — work.
*Names have been changed to protect their identities.
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