Throwing caution to the wind, and not heeding the fact I probably got lucky when I didn't piss anyone off with the SexIs article Oh, Beautiful You—It Doesn't Take Much Work in which I tossed around my women's beauty tip thoughts, I'm going to tell you what you should be doing with your body.
Own it, for God's sake.
Own all of it, and stop letting other people (or companies or political parties or churches) convince you of how it should look and how it should be used.
Now, I make no secret that while I hold reasonably moderate views politically and ideologically overall, I do lean noticeably leftward and I think that the Republican Party officially lost its mind when Barack Obama decided to run for U.S. president. So, you might think I'm only here to warn you about those right-wingers and “moral majority” types, along with the Pope and a few others, and leave it at that.
Oh, no, I'm also here to warn you that a lot of liberals want to tell you what to do with your body, too. A lot of people in general, regardless of ideology, and many of them fellow women, frankly.
Sure, we all know about how many conservative folks will say that women should be focused on having children, raising them and maintaining the household while the husband works—and shouldn’t be trying to build a career or a life outside of her husband's approved circle. But when my wife was in an emotional/hormonal post-childbirth haze and hanging around parenting boards online a lot, I would look over her shoulder many different times to see a woman post with regret about how her two or three children were too big to cradle anymore and she wanted a new baby but there wasn't enough money...and one of the elements of the radical mommy circles would pop in to say something like, “Your job is to be a mother and a goddess. Have another baby, and if your husband really loves and supports you he'll get a second or third job. If he can't handle it, go on public aid. Have as many babies as you want, don't do any work but nursing them, raising them, playing with them and homeschooling them—because that's your true calling and if necessary, society should pay you to do that.”
Aside from the notion that government should pay women to be moms, the only difference I see between a liberal mom of that niche and a right-wing family values type is that the former will say, “the husband needs to stop pestering you for sex when you're busy raising those children” and the latter would say, “submit to your husband when he wants sex, even when you’re making the children dinner.”
Shut them out. All, of them, whether on the left, on the right or in the middle ideologically. Find yourself and your needs and desires and then be yourself.
To illustrate my point, let me work my way around your body—well, not your body specifically, because I don't know you well enough for that and it would be rather disrespectful for me to be touching you without my wife having been consulted first—um, where was I?
Yes, let me address some areas of the female body and where I see women frequently giving into outside elements about what they should do with those parts. We’ll start with a tame one (well, unless you’re a foot fetishist, that is).
I remember how the TV series (and then movies) “Sex and the City” made women crazy for Manolo Blahnik. If you weren’t wearing, didn’t own or weren’t saving up for at least one pair of Manolos, what kind of hopeless frump were you? Uggs had their place in the sun, too, for a time, and now my wife thinks it might be Christian Louboutin-designed shoes that are the big thing, though she’s not 100-percent certain.
I wonder sometimes about the mental health of people outside the fashion industry who can look down at a woman’s feet and identify the designer of the shoe. But I really worry about the mental health of a woman who walks around worried that someone will look down at her shoes, find the brand wanting, and then judge her based on that.
Yeah, a pair of shoes that are obviously made of cheap material and/or are falling apart may cause you to be judged, but believe me, you can pick up a pair of shoes from T.J. Maxx or DSW or from a price-accessible brand like LOFT and if you like them and you wear them with confidence, you will be sexy.
For that matter, why cram your feet non-stop into unnatural shapes, requiring that your partner give you a foot rub just so that you can walk without agony, when you can get a nice pair of Danskos or something and have feet that are already feeling OK when you take off the shoes, so that the rubbing can be a prelude to something nicer?
One more word about feet: Pedicures.
My wife is a little judgy in the summertime especially, when she sees women (and men) walking around in sandals and other open-toed shoes with unkempt nails, visible corns or calluses and the like. Her theory: If you’re going to show off your feet, shouldn’t they be presentable? Now, when she’s said such things on Twitter, some people have accused her of not just being judgmental but ableist somehow—though I’m not sure how you make the latter jump. But she has a point about basic hygiene.
However, if you like rocking a grungy look, that’s your right. Be proud of it, then. But for most of you, it might be a good idea to pay attention to the actual appearance of your feet—and many people don’t, even the most shoe-obsessed women—and ask yourself: Is this the look I want to present, or do I want to sand down the rough skin and trim my nails? Might I even want a fancy nail polish thing going on my feet, even if I have bohemian friends who think such things are tacky?
Whatever you choose, though, make it your own, and don’t let anyone—not even my wife—make you feel self-conscious for your preferred appearance of your tootsies.
I’ll be among the first to admit there is an oversexualization of the female breast—then again, I’m not a “breast man.” I mean, I like breasts. I like rubbing, licking and sucking them. I especially like the reaction I get from a woman when I do so. But I’m not especially drawn to breasts (or legs, going back to the foot section above) when I first encounter a woman. I’m more into the eyes and lips, frankly, on first impression. But still, I like them, and lingerie that accentuates them is nice, so I can admit that I am a happy victim of society saying that breasts are sexual.
Intellectually, though, I don’t see why women can’t go shirtless in public just like men. I mean, they can—in my state, there’s no law against it and some women have done public marches while topless to assert that right. But, of course, doing so attracts a lot of the wrong kind of attention, like demeaning comments, leering looks and raunchy come-ons. Mostly from men, of course, some of whom think breasts are just for gawking at and rubbing on their faces or cocks.
However, while I could probably go on about women topless in public and the prudery that makes it next to impossible in the United States and many other nations, that’s not the main thing I want to address. Because I’m not sure I want to encourage women to own their body so much that they all go around shirtless all summer and invite all kinds of verbal abuse and perhaps worse. Few and far between are the women who are willing and able to endure dealing with jeers and leers for the sake of being a little less hot around the upper torso in the middle of August.
What I want to address is something more practical in a relationship, and that’s the notion of breasts as a source of nutrition for babies and even sometimes toddlers vs. the notion of them as arousal-producing symbols and sex toys.
My wife, who formula-fed her son from her first marriage, was committed to breastfeeding our daughter, and I supported this. She nursed at home, at night (co-sleeping with the kiddo) and in public when our daughter was hungry, because you don’t let a child go hungry just because there are uptight people in the world who think nursing is something that should never been seen in public, even though it’s the way things were for millennia and that’s the way nature expects children to be fed.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve been privy to many discussions online about breastfeeding and I’m aware of a lot of lactivism (lactation activism) matters.
On the one hand, you had a formula industry (and for many decades from the 1950s until today, the physicians, too), saying formula was in and breasts were out. They made out as if breastfeeding was some archaic thing that only barbaric people in some other part of the world did, and mass-produced formula was what forward-thinking people did.
This effectively eliminated, for a long time, the idea of the breast being something to nourish humans, and is probably a big reason why the breasts became so highly sexualized, since that made the titties go undercover for a long time and left them no other job than to tantalize or stimulate.
Now, if you break this down, it’s pretty silly. Imagine telling men, “Hey, guys, only backwards hicks jack off with their hand or orgasm inside a vagina. That’s just gross. Only come inside a woman when you need to make a baby. Otherwise, you should only use of the fine, textured, factory-produced male masturbation devices for your orgasmic pleasure.”
So, if you want to breastfeed, please do so. There are many good reasons to. My wife nursed our child frequently up to around age 2, and periodically for around a year thereafter. Some women go a little longer, and that’s not odd around the world in places where breastfeeding is the norm. Don’t let people tell you it’s gross to nurse. No, I’m not saying be an extreme lactivist and nurse in the middle of a crowd with your boobs hanging out just to make a statement and be in people’s faces, but don’t be afraid to discreetly and casually nurse your child on a bench in the mall or the park—why should your child be forced to eat while in a bathroom stall? Grown ups don’t eat in the restroom.
At the same time, if you don’t want to breastfeed, don’t give in to pressure to do so simply because it’s more natural. There are many things we do in life for comfort or convenience that aren’t natural.
Bottom line, though, make the choice that you want to make. Don’t let prudes on one side or activists on the other make your choice for you. Weigh your options, know what you want/need, and act on that.
But that brings me to the sexual side of the breast. I’ve seen lactivist types decry the notion of men (or women, for that matter) playing with breasts during the period of time a woman is nursing a child. Some of them declare the breast off-limits to the woman’s sexual partner. It’s a source of food now, and is only for the baby or toddler.
Really? Last I checked, the vagina was for pissing out of, but that doesn’t preclude it being a location for sex, too. Body parts can multitask, thank you very much.
Now, if a woman is nursing a lot and feels “touched out” or overly sensitive around her nipples, she might not want to have her breasts played with. That’s her choice, and one that her partner needs to respect. But that’s not all—or even most—women. Most women nursing can still derive sexual pleasure from their breasts and their partners are still aroused by their breasts, and there’s no reason to make some arbitrary decision that it’s off limits just because a child is suckling there periodically at other times of the day.
And if a little leaking occurs during play…so what? We drink up each other’s spit, cum, pussy juices and more sometimes, and you’re worried about a 100-percent natural milk product? Besides, you might find—as many of us others have—that breast milk actually tastes nice, and can feel nice when two chests are rubbing together.
Plenty of people want to take away your access to contraception and your ability to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy. Plenty of people want to declare who you can or cannot marry and give more or less full-time access to your pussy as well as more binding legal rights to insurance, inheritance and tax benefits. Plenty of people want to downplay rape and condemn victims for “asking for it.” These are things most of you know that you need to fight against.
But there are other things, too. Like pubic hair. And the notion that suddenly, “hair down there” is a bad thing.
Look, porn stars have been shaving their pubes for a long time because they want to display the juicy stuff more prominently (and men want to look bigger). Granted, there are good reasons to shave your privates even outside the porn industry. I keep mine shaved or trimmed because it makes fellatio more pleasurable for my wife and because I can penetrate her a bit deeper. She has similar reasons for trimming, using depilatories and sometimes getting waxed. In addition to not getting so much hair in our teeth, we like the feel of skin on skin sometimes when we fuck.
That said, I miss things about her pubic hair when it isn’t there. I love the smell of my wife’s pussy, and the hair holds such scents. It’s supposed to. That’s the kind of thing that, evolutionarily speaking, helps signal arousal and encourage others to work that music box until the pair of you sing out in pleasure. Sometimes, I miss the scratchiness of her pubic hair against mine.
There is no one right way. It seems lately women get judged for not getting a Brazilian wax (or at least shaving their pubes). Waxing works for some of you and doesn’t for others. But don’t lay out money for a Brazilian or whatever and endure the discomfort to please others. Do it to please yourself. Or don’t do it at all.
It’s one thing that, societally speaking, we tend to shun leg hair and armpit hair on women. There, too, I feel the woman gets to choose what’s right for her, and the rest of the world be damned. But I understand that we’ve come to view hair in those spots on women as less than pleasing aesthetically. I feel that way myself most of the time, though it’s not a universal thing that always turns me off.
But with the vagina, it’s mostly not being viewed, and when it’s finally unveiled briefly for sex, chances are your partner is doing a lot more than looking at it. In fact, he or she probably will spend very little time looking at it. And as for the feel of it or other factors, if it bothers your partner that it’s there, that’s something that needs to be worked out to the mutual satisfaction of both parties and not have one do something that is completely uncomfortable to them. Same if your partner wishes you were furry down there and you don’t want to be.
Yes, we will sometimes do things that aren’t our first choice to please a lover. But we should never choose to do things we truly dislike to please them. That’s where compromise comes in, or is the point at which your lover needs to understand it isn’t all about them, and sometimes, they won’t get what they want at all, because it isn’t their body.