back talk


My back is weak.

I have a slip between two vertebrae of my low back. Everyone thinks it’s from an injury, like a car accident or something, but it’s not. I don’t know what caused it but I first noticed it when I was about 13 or 14. As far as I know I’ve always had it.

Eight years ago, I was doing too much sitting and not enough exercise and the slip got worse and pinched a nerve. I was in excruciating pain and walked with a cane for a week. Since then, back health has been top priority for me. I’ve seen doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists. I once spoke to a surgeon about the possibility of surgery; it was the doctor’s idea, not mine, and fortunately by the time the appointment rolled around, I was experiencing only discomfort and not pain, so the surgeon didn’t want to touch it. We agreed on that point.

I still have some symptoms from the pinched nerve, but it’s referred pain or discomfort elsewhere along the nerve but not actually in my back.


My back is strong.

My daily maintenance routine involves traction, walking, and targeted exercises and adds up to about an hour a day. I feel obliged to do it but it keeps me feeling better than merely status quo. To keep my back stable, I must stay reasonably fit.

I’ve done yoga, and I’m still dancing. In dance, arm movements telegraph movements of the back, which can’t so easily be seen. Strong arms, the desired result that is visible from stage, require a strong back. The back itself has a subtle beauty, accessible to those who know how to read it.


My back is sensual.

I’ve had courtships begin with requests for or offers of massages. I love getting massages (and am fairly competent at giving), but I know that sometimes it’s a transparent excuse just to touch. And I’m OK with that.

I’ve recently discovered that the top of my back just below my neck can be very sensitive, almost erogenous. A light touch there can make me shiver.

I’ve had a gentle flogging on my back once and would like to try that again, please.

10 thoughts on “back talk

  1. I think looking after our backs is something that many of us ignore or don’t think about enough often until it is too late or we do something bad enough that it makes us realise the importance of it. I try to always include something for back when I work out at the gym.

    You have a beautiful though, and I love all the pictures and how all the different poses show the muscles and bone structures beneath the surface



  2. Zoe,

    Don’t ever do surgery, I made the mistake of doing it over fifteen years ago..All that happened was what was in the past painful….now is more than just painful…It’s agony….The only relief I get is from hardcore pain killers, and the more you take the more you need…I’ll massage you if you massage me lol…..

    I am to far gone now for exercise and the only thing that helps is water therapy…like in a pool….but i am not a fish so that only really helps while in the water…

    As for your back it is truly sensual as the rest of you is…:)



    1. I’m sorry to hear that your surgery has made things worse. Don’t worry. Surgery would be my last, last, last resort! Modern medicine is great and all, but it’s not like getting a part replaced for your car. It may someday become necessary, but not in the foreseeable future, and I’ll put it off as long as I can.


  3. I have three broken vertebrae (L3-5) with two herniated disks from an injury that happened in the mid-1980s. I live an active and very healthy life with pain, burning fire in my left leg and numbness in my thigh and toes. I do not let it stop me.

    Physical therapy and exercise keeps me mobile. I will not have surgery.


    1. Mine is a spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 and it affects my right leg: something like sciatica, tension in the calf, a spot of odd sensation (not quite numbness) at my big toe, and problems with the arch of my foot. Hearing that you’re able to stay active despite what sounds like considerable pain is encouraging – thanks for sharing that. And I really don’t want surgery.


  4. Oh…too quick on send…

    As per usual, your photos are subtle, yet sensual. Composition and subject is always so tastefully beautiful.


  5. I’m guilty of not looking after my back properly, I work in a hot desking office so don’t have monitors or docking stations to lift my laptop up to the right height. I spend far too much time hunched over and not moving about.


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