Sinful Sunday: sea change

I remember when Wolf took this photo. Japan, in winter. I had been teaching English since the summer and Wolf came to visit me for a couple of months. We had been together for three years before I left on this project. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, I was a few months away from signing up for my very first email account, at a Thai internet cafe.

I remember feeling very uncomfortable when he took this photo; I couldn’t wait to get dressed again. He tells me that when I finally saw the developed photo (which I think wasn’t until I came home again, so 6 or 8 months later), I was still just as uncomfortable with it.

I can tell you how I felt then: self-conscious, vulnerable, and vaguely ashamed. It felt wrong to do a topless photo even from the back. It felt wrong, not exactly to be seen that way, but to be looked at, never mind recorded.

Looking at the photo today, I remember those feelings fairly vividly, but I don’t actively feel them. Now I see what Wolf probably saw all along: a fit body, with strong arms and shoulders and back. Now I like how I looked. Now I see that it’s actually not a bad photo: good pose, direct sunlight, the shadow of the drapes, the warm tones of the tatami. (Though now I would make a point of eliminating the clutter of the kotatsu (table with heater and blanket – the red and grey in front of me) and the foam “couch” (covered with a blue and white sheet, in the background).)

Then I was deeply torn between my authentic self versus what I had been taught. Now I have discarded a lot of that incorrect teaching, and this photo seems to have a clarity and emotional simplicity that I never saw before. But since the photo hasn’t changed, the clarity must be in me. I identify with this photo so much more now than when it was taken, it’s almost like this was a glimpse into my future.

sea-change

I remind myself once again that it’s my body and my choice, and there’s nothing at all wrong with enjoying how my body looks and feels. I was taught the opposite at such a young age that it was never even put into words, but no matter how deeply ingrained that lesson has been, what I was taught was utterly wrong. It is not my truth and I reject it.

(Side note: I only really became aware that I had nice shoulders when someone complimented me on them about 5 or so years ago, and I started noticing my arms and back since I started taking photos for this blog, so within the last 2 years. I’ve been attributing my tone to belly dance, and yet this photo was taken a few years before I started. Huh.)

badge Sinful Sunday

thinking…

My partner emailed me a photo of himself for the first time today, and he would like me to share it with you.

In the words of a pre-World War I fellow to his fiancée during a long separation, this is entitled “THINKING OF YOU HARD”1 (all caps, because this declaration was made via telegram).

thinking of you hard

Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (Oxford: OUP, 2000) at 24.

[Why footnotes in a blog post? Because I fucking hate inline citation, that’s why.]

I wear stilettos to bake

So, I got into the habit of wearing stilettos to wash dishes. But while my partner is back, he does the cooking and dishes, so the heels have migrated toward other tasks, such as baking and ironing. (All of my indoor activities that involve standing do tend toward the domestic.)

Yesterday evening, I needed to do some baking. And the baking made me think of the heels. And the heels suggested a costume change, into these skinny jeans (as well as lacy panties, by request).

stilettos

And this is more or less what I wore to the low-key party/small event this past weekend. We are a pragmatic lot, so even though this was a dance related event, most folks ended up just wearing their winter boots. My heels attracted attention (as well as some surprise at my surefootedness), and not just because they added 4 inches/10 cm to my petite frame while everyone else was in flats.

Wearing them while baking last night, I once again noticed how they draw my attention to, and subtly change, my physicality. Ordinarily, I move almost silently: more than once have I passed someone on an otherwise deserted sidewalk and startled them because they didn’t know I was there until I was right beside them. The heels announce my walk through the quiet house with a blatant clip-clopping that makes me mildly but inevitably self-conscious.

Otherwise, I feel sensuous and feline in them. They discourage efficiency and promote gentle hedonism. A reach, a bend, a squat — practical movements, slowed down and savored, take on an additional aesthetic dimension. Mindfulness delivered in the shape of a shoe?

More hedonism followed later in the evening, not all of it gentle…

lacy panties 1 lacy panties 2

jackpot

After my last post, I got thinking that maybe I should try to replace my underwire bras since the cups are now too small.

Now, my usual style — for everything — is plain. It’s probably the HSP in me that makes me like clean lines, natural fibres, neutral tones. Glass, mirror, white, unbleached fabric, stainless steel, unstained wood. Clothes that allow a range of motion. My daily underwear is comfortable low-rise panties and a soft pullover bra, all in black cotton. But plain is surprisingly hard to find and thus can be quite frustrating to try to source, which is part of the reason why I hate shopping.

For me, underwire bras are not for daily wear — they’re mostly for playtime. And for playtime, I don’t want plain, I want sexy. I can live with a some discomfort. Stores are full of uncomfortable sexy things, and shopping is a lot more fun when uncomfortable sexy things are what I want. So, with much more optimism than usual, I trundled off to the mall.

Hallelujah, I actually found a bra that fits! It happened to be a fairly basic style after all: one-piece foam cups with what is considered minimal padding, though still more “help” than I’m used to. On the numbers (under-bust not quite 30”, bust 34”), I should be a 30D(!). I bought a 32C. (Only specialty stores carry a 30, but somehow this 32 still fits properly (i.e. worn on the loosest hook when it’s new), and the cup of a 30D is comparable to the cup of a 32C.) I guess I’m not as flat as I thought! And then with that bit of padding… I even have cleavage.

new bra

Then there were the panties: tables heaped to overflowing with a cornucopia of styles, all involving the tiniest scraps of fabric. There was a deal if you bought a certain number, and I was told I could mix and match among tables, so I did. But it turned out that there were actually two separate deals with different conditions. Rather than choose one or the other, I did both, so I’m now the proud owner of 8 pairs (7 styles) of sporty, stringy, and lacy underthings.

When I got home, I immediately modeled the haul for my partner. Let’s just say he approves…

This pile of lingerie, as well as a new anal toy, mostly demolished the Visa gift card that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. It’s a good thing that she probably won’t ask what I bought.

“fresh” Boobday

adissolutelifemeans.com/boobday/Hyacinth over at A Dissolute Life Means… runs a meme on the last Friday of every month, which she calls Boobday. The purpose is “for us to honor breasts of all shapes and sizes belonging to all types of folks.” Click the icon above for more info.

Boobday inspired the first photo that I posted. This month I’m participating in the Boobday round-up — the theme is “fresh”.

How is this “fresh”? Well, as it’s my first time, I’m a fresh face. Or chest, at any rate.

Head on over and check out this month’s collection of lovely “fresh” boobs. And if you do drop by, leave some comment love.

I wear stilettos to wash dishes

I bought my first pair of stilettos last summer.

I started wearing them while cooking and doing dishes so I could get more steady on them and eventually wear them outside.

Although I feel confident in them now (as much as I can without graduating to practice in the wild), I still enjoy wearing them to do dishes sometimes. But now I’m not sure if they’ll ever leave the house…

Vince Camuto 'Druni' heels

 

a first

About a month and a half ago, I took a revealing photo and emailed it for the first time. My partner was the recipient.

Today, I post my first such online. This time, he’s the photographer.

[And even though I’ve been mulling this over for about a month, it still took me a good while to click ‘publish’.]