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GOOP: Break Up with Your Bra

Getting Rid of Old Lovers—and Why It’s Time to Toss Your Bras

When you’re attracted to someone, and they are mind-blown by your body in lingerie, it’s an epic feeling. A surge of adrenaline and hormones make us giddy and invincible in that moment of power and pleasure. So when we want to be sexual with a lover, we often buy/wear lingerie that makes us feel aroused and confident.

“Apart from a wild one-night stand, it had been a year since I’d slept with someone after leaving my husband,” Ariane, a high-end fashion accessories buyer told me. “I found an incredible guy. When the time was right, and we slept together, I wore the most beautiful, sexy piece of lingerie I’ve ever owned. It wasn’t like f$cking; it was art.”

When the fantasy fizzled, Ariane was left with the lacy leftovers.

“Now they’re stacked in my drawer,” she paused. “They just sit there to torment me.”

Another client of mine, Lisa, an entrepreneur, told me:

“I wear my underwear to feel good—if I have a date, or I’m going out, or I’m feeling sexy, I wear lingerie to match my mood.”

A boyfriend bought her a beautiful set—one she said she wouldn’t have splurged on for herself. “When we broke up, I hid it until the pain went away,” Lisa said. “Anything I own that reminds me of difficult times—not just lingerie—gets buried.”

So our underwear chronicles our love lives: Remember how Jack betrayed you, or when you dumped Jordan over dinner? The lingerie you wore with past lovers can carry the toxic residue of those relationships, along with painful memories. While we might not think to trash lingerie that once made us feel so good—or that we spent a lot of money on—it’s a powerful, healing gesture to make.

We all want to feel good, and self-esteem and physical appearance are such vulnerable areas. Our lingerie might be special, and beautiful, and even expensive, but while it may have made you feel desirable, the lingerie itself is not the desirable thing in the recipe here—it’s you.

To let go of the old—even if we know it makes us look fantastic—and make room for the new, a fire ritual can help release memories of past lovers. Full-moon fire rituals are ancient practices for spiritual cleansing, representing a time to get rid of the old and celebrate what’s next. They can help you release distrust, and in turn, open the space to invite new love into your life.


  1. Find a safe place where you can light a fire. (Why not invite a few close friends to join you, too?)
  2. Before you start, you might want to write out a few words, or recite a prayer to help release and forgive.
  3. Throw your needs-to-go lingerie into the fire one piece at a time.
  4. Watch intently as the pieces burn. Know that your past is recycling into the ethers, liberating your future.

Whether we’re devoted to lingerie, braless, or pantiless—whatever doesn’t feel right, whatever is stripping away your sexiness, let it go. You own your story.

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