Boobday: mile high 13

I’m finally feeling pretty much well again, though I still have a couple of mild lingering symptoms. It’s been about eight weeks now! I’ve never had such a persistent cold before. But I’m continuing to get lots of rest and take care of myself, and that’s about all I can do.

My mood seems a bit improved lately. Maybe it’s because the worst of the cold is well behind me, or that life feels calm, or that I seem to have a little more energy and motivation to work on some personal projects.

Or maybe it’s just spring.

This photo is from my last outbound flight on the business trip that followed the Europe trip.

As Hy says, “Boobday is a body-positive meme where women share images of their bodies in order to show that there is beauty in all of us. With confidence comes power and with power comes confidence.”

badge Boobday

setting up the shoot

Part 3: last-minute logistics

Room 325 was an elegant shoebox.

I opened the door to see a flat screen TV flanked by two smallish, highish windows that revealed just how thick the outside wall was. The bed was tucked into the corner to the left of the door, and a wee built-in desk nestled at the foot of the bed, in the far left corner. To the right of the door was the bathroom, with smoked-glass walls and a weighty sliding glass door. The far right corner of the room (beyond the shower end of the bathroom) was a narrow space, with three pegs (each bearing one wooden coat-hanger) under the window.

The sheets, space-saving sink, and toilet were crisply white, while the tall padded headboard, bed, desk, shelving and floor were deep walnut. The one free-standing corner of the bed had a fairly spacious void under it to house the garbage can. The whole room was roughly 10’ by 15’.

I dumped my (unstylish) backpack on the bed and hung my navy trench coat neatly on one of the hangers. Other than the bed there was only one place to sit, so I sat there, at the little desk, and ate half of my sandwich while killing time catching up on social media. Whatever I was wearing would have been an iteration of my standard uniform: leggings and a long-sleeve T under a clingy cashmere sweater, plus a bold necklace.

After a few minutes, a knock on the door. I opened it.

“Hi! Come in!”

Nicolas was wearing his black wool coat, and wheeling what looked like an ordinary black carry-on style suitcase, which contained his camera equipment. The room’s dimensions suddenly went from modest to crowded.

We hugged. He edged past me, hung up his coat beside mine, and then turned his attention to setting up his gear.

Earlier that morning when we were making plans, he had suggested prosecco and although I’m not much of a drinker I’d agreed: it sounded like fun and, yes, this photo shoot was worth celebrating. But when he arrived he apologized for having forgotten to bring some after all. I wasn’t fussed. He had thought it might help me with nerves and perhaps it would have, but I feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of using alcohol to modify my mood so deliberately. Besides, I need to listen to my gut and alcohol scrambles the signal.

Wearing a black sweater and black jeans, he bustled about the small space and found a spot to put his light — there was pretty much just the one option, right in front of the TV. He brought the space heater out of its corner and set it on high, and then we tried to figure out the high-tech thermostat so the air conditioner wouldn’t suddenly kick in to keep the room stable at 21°. We chatted as he worked. At this point there wasn’t much for me to do except keep out of the way.

He asked which parts of my body I disliked. I had heard that this was a question he asked so it didn’t come as a complete surprise, and I knew my response might inform how he approached me. Months earlier I’d even given some thought to how I’d answer, but when it came to spitting out the words I rambled and qualified my statements.

“I’m going to ask again and I want a word not a sentence.”

Briefly then. Height, stomach a bit, and face a bit. I gathered that my answer surprised him, but if he had different expectations, he didn’t share them. He wondered aloud about the stomach being an issue because there was nothing wrong with it.

In retrospect, I think I understood his question differently than he had meant it. If the question was, “What parts of your body do you actively dislike, to the point that you avoid photographing them and perhaps even looking at them?” my reply would have been, “None — I’m OK with all of it.”

So what did my answer mean? I’ve always wanted to be taller than my 5’2”, but more importantly my horizontal measurements (bust, waist, hips) tend to go with a taller frame; it’s not so much my height as my proportions. As a child I learned from my parents’ example to be self-conscious about my stomach even though I now know rationally that there’s nothing to be self-conscious about. My face doesn’t look in photos the way it does in the mirror. Sometimes I feel pretty but never completely confident, but then I wonder — does anyone? Maybe I expect too much. Anyway, it comes down to this: do I hate any part of my body? No. Do I love it? Some parts but not all, and if anyone had bothered to ask my opinion, I would have tweaked the design a bit.

Eventually Nicolas had done all the setup he could. We had discussed how to approach the shoot. The preparations were complete.

He was now reclining casually at the head of the bed, propped up on his left elbow, looking utterly relaxed with a slight air of expectation. He was ready to start.

The next move was clearly mine: it was time to strip.

I chirped, too brightly, “OK, I guess this is it then!”

Part 5 will be up in due course.

Boobday: white and beige

I’m sitting here in the middle of the day and I can’t stop yawning. Part of that is because I was socializing a little while ago and that takes it out of me, but it’s mostly because I’m still not feeling 100% yet.

I’m approaching week 7 of this cold, and while I’d love to say it’s essentially over and I’m just getting back to normal, that feels like tempting fate: I’ve thought it was “almost over” for a few weeks already. But I’m down to the occasional cough and blowing my nose from time to time. Overall, I’m feeling pretty good but still fatigued and sleeping a lot.

This has been and continues to be a busy week for me, with something with the potential to be extra tiring happening every day, most of it fun. It all involves socializing or otherwise being “on”: it’s kind of an introvert’s marathon.

I could use a nap.

This photo was taken in a hotel during my last business trip.

As Hy says, “Boobday is a body-positive meme where women share images of their bodies in order to show that there is beauty in all of us. With confidence comes power and with power comes confidence.”

badge Boobday

e[lust] #93

aurora glory header elust 93
Photo courtesy of Aurora Glory

Welcome to Elust 93

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #94? Start with the rules, come back May 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

A dress to die for

Pushing Past

Necessary.

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Kink lite, Kink life
Disturbance

 

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

The Contract

 

Erotic Fiction

The Contract
Speaking Truth to a Submissive Heart
Thunder
Subjugate U

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Jerking off to be banned under Texas bill
That Time Steve Bannon Destroyed Me
How to program a sex robot

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Effortless Connections & Harmonious Energy
Cialis
Playlist…

Poetry

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “A” – Always
-07.04.17_02:43-
Scouting: A Lusty Limericks

Erotic Non-Fiction

Conflict(ed) part 2
It’s All About The Feet
TEASE
Oral Birthday Fun ~ The Glorious Sixty-Ninth!
I Will Do…
The subtle threesome

Events

Eroticon 2017 – I Herd U Lieks It

Body Talk and Sexual Health

photo shoots past and future

 

Elust 88

Boobday: mile high 12

Just when I thought I was almost better, my cold renewed its assault. It moved into my nose the other day and I’ve been sniffling and sneezing and generally congested, and needing pharmaceutical help to sleep. But sleep I did: other than the hour I spent trying and failing to be unconscious early this morning, I got 11 hours last night. Then got up, had breakfast, and settled down again for a two-hour nap.

I tend not to get sick, and when I do, I tend not to remain sick for very long. But this has lasted over a month and I’m so done with it. I’m sure all the travel didn’t help.

Speaking of which, this photo is from my first outbound flight on the business trip that followed the Europe trip.

As Hy says, “Boobday is a body-positive meme where women share images of their bodies in order to show that there is beauty in all of us. With confidence comes power and with power comes confidence.”

badge Boobday

last-minute logistics

Part 2: putting faces to names — and bodies

He’d said he would look for a hotel room for us! And now I had to get it done and, oh hell, where to start?

I’d woken up late following a bit of a late night, and a long sleep — my usual routine. But the photo shoot had been top of mind and first thing I’d done, after accepting the fact that yes, I was awake now, was to DM Nicolas to see whether he would be stuck working that afternoon or whether the shoot was a go. His response hadn’t been promising: he expected to be busy until 4:00.

Nonetheless we’d continued messaging back and forth, working out other details. He had asked what would help to create a good atmosphere for me, and specifically whether there were things that he might be able to bring (lingerie, toys, DVDs). None of that had resonated for me (though I did say yes to some prosecco). I was much more concerned about and focused on the emotional atmosphere, and stuff seemed largely unimportant.

After the somewhat awkward shoot I had done a few months earlier, it was Nicolas who had helped me to understand what hadn’t worked, so I was confident that he already had a fair idea of my needs and wants. Thus he had heard most of this before, but I reiterated: I wanted to feel safe, respected, and desired (I’d found Lucas’s cold propriety inhibiting), and I wanted emotional warmth, his full attention, and positive feedback. More importantly, I was getting to know my needs and wants, and that self-knowledge gave me confidence — that I wanted to do the shoot, that Nicolas would be able to take care of me, and that I could and would advocate for myself if something felt wrong.

While chatting, Nicolas had gotten more and more keen to do the shoot that day, despite his scheduling difficulties. It was almost 11:00 when he had messaged to say he’d successfully arranged to be off at 12:00 and would meet me at 12:30, so could I book a room and tell him the address?

Shit! I thought he was going to take care of this, and there wasn’t much time!

I rushed from one website to another, looking for a room that was attractive but affordable. I’d never been to any of these places and was trying to interpret the flattering photos. No, too expensive. No, too small. No, too dowdy. Time was wasting. Nicolas pinged me occasionally: did I have an address yet? He was leaving soon, and where should he go? Shit!

Finally I found a hotel that seemed like it would work. But their check-in time was 3:00. Was there any hope that we could get in any earlier? Inquiring by email would eat up time that I didn’t have. I needed to call and ask, but my room didn’t have a phone — could he call and check? Yes, success! Sort of. We could get in at 2:00, but they wouldn’t take reservations over the phone ­— could I do that? OK. And it was done! We revised the meet time to 1:30, on the off chance that the room was ready earlier.

By this point it was about 12:15. I jumped in the shower and shaved (not my legs…), threw on some clothes (no time to worry about lines from bra or underwear or anything else), stuffed a few items into my backpack (black dress, stilettos, push-up bra, collar and cuffs, a pretty scarf, and, after a moment’s hesitation, my vibe). With a kiss and hug from Gawan and a plan to reconvene here at 5:00 (he was in possession of our one room key), I dashed out the door. There was a Sainsbury’s around the corner, which was perfect for grabbing a pain au chocolat and a sandwich (I hadn’t eaten a meal yet), and then I rushed to the tube station.

I went one stop and then had to change trains. (With all the walking and stairs and escalators and walking in the two stations, it probably would have been just as fast to walk straight to the second station. By simplifying, it might also have felt a bit less frantic.) I nabbed a seat on that second train and finally tucked into my much-needed pastry — but very carefully and tidily, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone eating on the tube and, come to think of it, I think there are signs saying it’s forbidden. Oops.

I made no wrong turns and arrived at the hotel at 1:30. I’d planned to just sit and wait until Nicolas arrived but the reception area was very small and I couldn’t avoid being noticed, so I spoke to the front desk person somewhat reluctantly and stumbled over my words in the process. But the room was ready early and I was able to check in immediately.

There was no lobby as such. Opposite the front desk was an unoccupied café area with chairs and tables. I chose a window seat overlooking the sidewalk, the better to spot Nicolas and the better to conceal the fact that I was eating a banana — I wasn’t sure if outside food was allowed.

My phone didn’t work anywhere in Europe and the only connectivity I could get was through wifi. I’d been burnt a few times by offers of free wifi that required you to receive a code via SMS. I can’t do SMS and that’s why I need wifi! The connection at the blessed hotel just worked, so I sent Nicolas a DM to let him know I’d arrived and was all checked in. He was in transit, about 10 minutes away, and was taking the opportunity to look at my blog again en route. I told him I was going up to the room and gave him the number.

Having sat still for more than 5 minutes and eaten something, I’d finally caught my breath. I wasn’t late and I didn’t have to rush anymore. I stood up, slung my bag on my back and started toward the elevator when it hit me: here I was in an unfamiliar part of London, about to meet a man that I barely knew in a hastily arranged hotel room. No one else knew exactly where I was, and only a handful of people even knew I was in England. We were arriving separately; I’d given him the room number and with it the unstated promise that the door would be unlocked to him. I’d soon be naked. The only thing that kept it from being a total cliché was that I was there for photos, not fucking.

I smiled at myself and went up to room 325.

Part 4: setting up the shoot

Sinful Sunday: Paris

We had so much to do and not much time to do it: eat and provision for later; pack; get the bags down all those damned stairs; check out; catch a cab; catch a train.

So we started with what was important: he got me off. I missed the privacy that we had in Italy. It’s no fun having to be quiet.

badge Sinful Sunday

Boobday: mile high 11

I’m still not completely over this cold yet, but I’m close – so close. And now poor Wolf has the plague. I might not have given it to him, but it doesn’t matter. He just feels like complete shit.

I’ve been working, but also finding time to rest and get better. I’m starting to have energy to do more than just the most essential things, which is good because as I’ve come out of depression, planning ahead no longer seems futile. (I’d plan to do something but when the time came, I wouldn’t have the energy to do it. It got very frustrating.) I’ve started remembering the things that I’ve been wanting to do and thinking of new things.

Returning from Europe, last flight.

badge Boobday

putting faces to names — and bodies

Part 1: photo shoots past and future

We were going to be late. Five minutes for sure, maybe ten. Not a long time, but still. We strode through the dark, lonely streets to the bustling pub and searched the entire place top to bottom, twice, before concluding that we were first to arrive.

A picnic table was available outside and we pounced: it was the perfect place to see and be seen. The spring evening was cool but we were dressed for the weather and still warm from our walk, which had not been leisurely.

Time passed.

I concluded that something must have happened and started to wonder how long we should wait and whether this meeting was going to happen at all. Then I remembered that I had intended to provide a description of what I’d be wearing but failed to do so, and then I realized that he hadn’t requested a photo of my face. How did he think he would find me?

Suddenly, there he was, in a black coat that looked to be good wool. He would have walked right past me but I called out, “Nicolas!” and he stopped short. He hadn’t expected to be confronted with us before he even opened the door.

He stopped briefly to say hello and explain that he had DM’d me to say he was going to be late, but I was reliant on wifi and didn’t have access so I didn’t get the message. And he had planned to look for someone who seemed to be looking for someone, so it must have been a bit jarring to be hailed. When Nicolas continued on his trajectory inside to get drinks, I moved to Gawan’s side of the table.

The tone of conversation changed, as it must. It had been Zoë and Gawan, vacationing lovers; it was now Zoë, blogger and potential model, Gawan, companion and blogger, and Nicolas Laborie, photographer.

Gawan put his arm around me and gave me squeezes from time to time, and while we had been inseparable for two weeks already this particular public display of affection was new. The message to me was warmth, love, and happiness to be with me, but I noted with a touch of amusement that Gawan was being mildly territorial, and the message to Nicolas would have been “She’s with me.” But then if all went to plan, Nicolas would be seeing me with my kit off very soon, and I could see how Gawan might have feelings about that. A bit of masculine posturing was not unexpected.

After chatting for a while, we eventually had enough of the freshness outdoors, and Gawan went to look for a table inside. Now we were at a little round table against a wall: Nicolas took one side and I took the other, with Gawan in between. There were no distracting TVs showing the latest game and, surprisingly, no music at all. Just warm lighting and the buzz of animated conversation all about.

Our conversation was good and ranged over a variety of topics, but occasionally I did feel a bit left out. I can’t recall what prompted it, but I stated, “In Western society women are seen as weak.” I meant it as a shorthand. Stereotypical binary thinking, which views “masculinity” and “femininity” to be opposites, assigns one trait to one gender and the opposite trait to the other, and usually the positive trait to men and the negative to women, hence, “Men are strong, women are weak.” Of course, I recognize this as utter bullshit, and I’m sure Gawan and Nicolas do too. But they seemed to think I was saying that women are in fact weak, and then set about citing historical examples of strong women. I thought with a mental smirk, Are they mansplaining misogyny to me? But they weren’t, not least because they were talking to each other more than to me. Ah, well.

The conversation eventually turned to the shoot, as it must. Since my schedule was going to be tight, I had given Nicolas lots of warning about the days that I’d be available and had hoped to make some reasonably firm plans in advance. Nicolas, on the other hand, had picked up on my hesitation and didn’t want to make any firm plans until he was confident that I was in, which meant that he would now have to try to get some time off on short notice.

Two dates were possible. One was the last full day of my trip, but I didn’t want to leave it that late and I was going to want to spend that time with Gawan. The other option was the following afternoon, if Nicolas could get the time off work, which he wouldn’t know until morning.

And there was still the issue of location. The place where I was staying was roomy but spartan, lacking style, and otherwise challenging, so Nicolas said he’d look for a hotel room for us.

There was a moment when Gawan stepped away briefly, and Nicolas leaned in a little closer, his voice pitched for privacy (not that anyone would likely have heard anything interesting over the general hum), but the bigger the audience, the less personal the truths shared. (And some people fail to be truthful even when they’re alone, but I digress.)

All of us knew about the shoot, but only two of us would be participating and that creates a certain intimacy. Instead of straightforward details to be discussed objectively and pragmatically, Nicolas now wanted to know how I felt. I felt good. Comfortable. I had considered all the angles, had done my very best to know myself and prepare, and had realized that nothing more could be discovered except by trying it.

Gawan came back after a few moments and we chatted a while longer but I needed to eat and it was getting on, so with this tentative plan in place we parted ways.

It was late by the time we got back to the room and I would have been happy to go straight to bed, but I had this feeling that Nicolas might be expecting me to send a late night message backing out at the last minute, terribly sorry for the bother. I wanted him to know that I had meant it when I said I was in, so I made a point of sending a message reaffirming my interest in the shoot and my hope that he would be free tomorrow.

And with that big question in mind — will it happen or won’t it? — I somehow fell asleep.

Part 3: last-minute logistics