I'm fortunate, in many respects. As a second-time bride, I'm not expecting a wedding shower. As a consequence, I am spared the bizarre rounds of public humiliation that pass on Pinterest as “shower games.”
Has anyone else noticed these games? And the number of them that circle around “naughty” ideas? Bring underwear that represents your personality, and make the bride guess whose knickers are whose… Play sexy truth or dare… Decorate undies for the bride with a message/instructions to her partner-to-be… Write down everything the bride says while opening gifts and recite it at the end as her “wedding night” commentary… Make undies with handprints on them so the bride knows where to get “handsy” with her partner… Have a sex toy-themed “honeymoon scavenger hunt,” etc…
I understand that some of these come from our socio-cultural anxiety surrounding the traditional fact that a wedding is when a virginal girl becomes a sexually experienced woman. There are a host of traditions around the world that deal with this. Bedding ceremonies, charivari processions to accompany the newlyweds to the bedroom, all kinds of fertility rituals. These all deal with our social discomfort with the transitory phase of life a young bride is going through, and are often meant to decrease the anxiety or pressure surrounding a young couple who might be feeling a little less than up to the task of getting down to business. That's all part and parcel of the wedding ceremony itself, after all, in a ritual theory context.
That's likely where you get “lingerie showers,” where experienced women give the bride underthings and nightgowns and such, to hold her in good stead as a married woman, and give her advice about her marital duties. (Unsurprisingly, these are apparently very popular in certain Evangelical subsets where female virginity is prized, especially in the ones that reserve first kisses for the altar. My partner's family is of this stripe of Evangelical Christian, and I have been invited to some.)
But the “naughty party games” feel like a different thing… as if they're designed to be specifically humiliating.
I don't know if that's the case, or if that's my social anxiety talking. But I can think of nothing less funny than having my aunties and mother make sexy underwear for for my future husband, so I know where to put my hands when we get down to the business. I mean, honestly. It feels awful, as if the purpose is to put the bride's sexuality on display in order to mock it.
Maybe I just have the wrong kind of friends. Maybe I am sexually repressed and don't want to talk about my bedroom antics with friends and relations who have known me since I was tiny and didn't know how to wear lipstick. Maybe I'm an anxious introvert who is no fun at parties (probably true).
Does anyone actually think these are a good idea? And I mean specifically for a wedding shower, where people are ostensibly giving you appliances and shit like that — not a bachelorette party, which is more likely to be just friends of the bride. Do people think having a sexy scavenger hunt where grandma looks for dildos and lube is a great idea, and I'm just a prude? Or do other folks feel an unpleasant tone, too?