I’m posting a sexier photo for Boobday this week as compared to last week. Am I feeling sexier? Not appreciably. I’m still feeling inward-looking, but a little less so than last week.
This image doesn’t objectify me. It can’t. I’m the model, stylist, photographer, editor, and publisher. All decisions have been made by me: it’s a demonstration of my agency, even if you can’t see my face.
It is, I think, a sexy image. I felt sexy when I took the photo, and I wouldn’t have taken the photo if I wasn’t enjoying myself. Not all photos of an individual are equally sexy even though it’s the same person throughout. The most significant variables are the pose and clothing. There isn’t much to my pose, so the sexiness is mostly from what I’m wearing.
I bought this bodysuit mostly for me. When I first saw it (in the possession of someone who had recently bought one for herself), I wanted it immediately. That doesn’t usually happen. I’m not really one for collecting clothes. I went to some lengths to get it, and then bought other items from the same line because I liked them that much. (Repeating patterns, like the parallel lines here, tickle my brain in a good way.)
Like any photo I post here, I hope you enjoy it. But the more important thing is that I enjoy it. And I do.
Photo courtesy of Miss Scarlet Writes
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In a slight daze, I wandered out of the school office into the chaos of the hall between classes. The noise and bustle engulfed me, swirling around me on all sides, but it felt like it was at a distance. Maybe I was at the eye of the storm. But it felt like I was the storm, and my swirling thoughts were causing everything else to rotate noisily around me. I walked indifferently through the maelstrom.
“Lexiiiieee! What happened?!” Ugh. Tanya. We’d been chummy in school years before but hadn’t hung out together for a long time. We were too different from each other. She teased me about my serious demeanor, and I tended to find her pink, sparkly girliness grating. Though she meant well. She must have heard my name on the intercom and made note.
“Nothing, Tanya. Nothing happened. Look, I’m going to be late for class. Talk to you later, OK?”
She paused, peering at me. “Oh, I almost forgot! You know I’m in band, right? Well, we just found out when our recital is going to be. Can I put you down for a ticket?”
“Enough with the promo, Tanya. Late, remember?”
“OK, bye,” she said weakly and wandered off.
“Honestly,” I muttered as I hurried away. She’d been regarding me oddly, which seemed to prove that I looked as much of a mess as I felt, so I made a beeline for the restroom.
I neither expected nor found the solitude I would have preferred: there were four other girls who had taken up stations in front of squared-off white porcelain sinks, a few stall doors were closed, and the general echoing clatter was punctuated by the occasional whooshing flush. Worried that my thighs might tell the tale, I went straight to the last sink, where I figured I was least likely to be closely observed. The stall behind me stood empty.
I turned one battered knob and splashed cool water on my face while examining myself in quick, businesslike glances.
Red eyes – check. I looked like I’d been crying. Or, generously, like I had a cold.
I pulled a length of brown paper towel from the rattling dispenser on the wall to my right and dried my face and hands.
Messy hair – check. I extracted the elastic, combed my hair out briskly with my fingers and redid my ponytail.
Sloppy shirt – check. It must have pulled up out of the waistband of my skirt while I was… upended. Over his knee. With my hands and feet barely touching the floor. And he… Never mind. I tucked the shirt back in smartly and smoothed down the blazer and skirt.
As I got myself tidied up, I became aware that, yes, my ass and thighs were throbbing with heat. It had to be visible below the hem of my skirt. Although I was seriously tempted to check, the last thing I wanted was for people to look and I didn’t intend to telegraph that there was something to see, so I mastered the impulse. I had to hope that the others were too involved with their own reflections to pay attention to me as I strode purposefully out the door and off to class.
The hallway was still bustling, the advantage of which was that my legs were unlikely to cross anyone’s sight-line, especially with me being as short as I am. And anyway, I’d mostly blend into the forest of other bare legs.
My thighs, though. They were hot. They’d be warm to the touch, I was sure. It felt like blushing. And with my skin so pale, no blush ever seemed to go unremarked. The very though brought color and heat to my cheeks. That is, my other …
Oh god, this was going to be a long day.
For some time I had felt drawn to reveal my body. Confronting it, ceasing to use clothing as a barrier to conceal my appearance, deflect my own gaze. I’m content in my body. It just is. I just am.
I now feel drawn to reveal less: magnetic north has shifted.
Hy’s post today and her comments on how women are routinely sexualized got me thinking about clothes. There is a persistent belief that women should be and are dressing to attract men. Women who are perceived as rejecting this norm are called fat, ugly, dyke, or man-repelling. This belief, plus the belief that men can’t control themselves, results in women who get raped being accused of attracting men too effectively: “What was she wearing?”
Here’s a thought experiment: imagine that all the women you see (yes, even the hot ones) have dressed themselves without reference to what men might think of their outfits. Imagine that they all have a different collection of priorities, like what makes them feel good from the inside, what’s comfortable, what’s clean, what’s new, what won’t get in their way during the commute or at work, what color grabs them today, what’s warm enough, what’s cool enough.
Imagine that how women dress isn’t about you and that your opinion of them doesn’t matter.
I feel deeply. It’s a mere membrane between me and the world, thin and porous. Shutting off feeling is impossible, and even if it could be done, I wouldn’t. If I did, I wouldn’t be me. The pain and anguish of others is so loud that I tend to forget where lies the boundary between “mine” and “not mine”.
So I close the door for a while.
I’m in the middle of my period today. The pain lodged deep in my gut – at turns aching, or throbbing, or twinging, or fading into a background hum – that’s mine. Neither good nor bad, it just is.
It’s a glorious day today, and unseasonably warm. The sort of day that invites you outside, to feel the breeze on your skin, to squint into the sun, to move and stretch and work, to be aware of being alive, as though the plottings of humans were irrelevant to the rising and setting of the sun and the moon, to the flowing of the rivers and the growing of the trees.
(Shh: this week’s theme is “no words“.)
It’s been quiet around here lately. I haven’t been writing or taking photos. Haven’t wanted to.
I’ve been working harder which means less time spent writing, and less writing means fewer ideas. And things have cooled off in the bedroom, so there’s simply less to write about – though I do have a few adventures with Gawan that I have’t written up yet.
As for the photos, I’m simply not in much of a sharing mood and I’m not inclined to be bare. And if I do things that seem OK I guess but if I thought about them, I’d find that I didn’t actually want to do them after all, but I go ahead because I think I should because it would please someone else, well, I’ve just enunciated the difficulty I have with valuing my own consent.
I’m feeling even more inward-looking than usual, which for me sounds a lot like self-care. Maybe it’s just the world getting me down.
There will be an image for Sinful Sunday – I know roughly what it will be and I’m keen to post it, though I haven’t shot it yet. The theme is “no words” (i.e. just the image itself), which suits me fine.