Sexual Health » Body & Body Image; Society » Fashion & Beauty, Women's Health: "Own Your Body—All of It"

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Own Your Body—All of It

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These days, a great number of people will probably say it takes a huge fool of a man to tell women what to do with their bodies. Ladies, I'm going to be just that kind of fool right now.

  Your Feet

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.

  Your Breasts

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.

  Your Vagina

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.


Contributor: KikiChrome

I liked your point, and I really hate to be this kind of internet dork (I also know it's a very common mistake) but I've never, ever pissed out of my vagina. Sorry but that whole mental image just made me shudder and totally broke my concentration on the rest of the article.

That would be like saying I vomit out of my eye socket. My vagina and my urethra are two completely different orifices, not connected to one another, that just happen to be close together. The vagina really doesn't multitask that way.

The penis on the other hand... much more utilitarian. Yet another reason why it's one of my favorite organs of the human body.

Contributor: Smokedawg

Point taken, anatomically speaking. That section of the article was focused on the vagina, since that's the part where penises go in, babies go out and crusty politicians like to control mostly. So, I used my terminology a bit too loosely and you're right...technically speaking, the urine passes through the lips of the vulva on its way out of the urethra. The world really should come up with a catch-all word for female genitalia (a really un-fun clinical term) other than pussy or cunt, since sometimes, you just want to reserve those terms for talk during sex and for erotica and porn

Contributor: LadyDarknezz

Aww, there wasn't any mention of loving thine ass regardless of what people say, but I get the point. I appreciate your opinion and agree with most of it. I don't know, maybe none of this stuff matters to me because I've been single for a long time, disabled, and have all sorts of reproductive issues. Just being alive seems to be good enough for me. I don't get out much, so a lot of the going-ons in this world sort of pass me by. I like reading articles like this to sort of see what's on people's minds--well, the people that are actually out and about in the society. Thank you for sharing!

Contributor: Smokedawg

You know, now that you mention it, I could have addressed the whole "junk in the trunk" issue, too, but that might be sufficient for a whole other article...on the other hand, the article WAS getting a bit long already...

Contributor: LadyDarknezz

Haha! I love your articles. They are always very interesting and insightful. I love reading, so I don't mind long articles, but I understand.

Contributor: KikiChrome

Oh Smokedawg, we already have a catch all word for female genitalia - you used it yourself. I love the word vulva. Such a nice, soft word that forms on the lips like a kiss.

Contributor: Smokedawg

Good point. It's about as close to a catch-all as we'll get. I always associated the vulva with *just* the external parts, but on further review, it seems that it includes the opening to the vagina as well, so it covers everything but the actual "love canal" itself

Contributor: K101

OMG! You know about TJ MAXX? Now, I find you a trustworthy human. LOL. Only kidding, but wow! What an intense article. Loved it. The best one I've yet to read. This actually is about the only time a male could get away with "telling women what to do with their bodies" without me going into a blind fury. LOL. Okay, I'm intense too. Anyways, this is one fabulous article. It's awesome to see a male supporting women like this. Huge kudos.

PS. That wife of yours, she must have some seriously kick-a** style! I like what I'm reading.

Keep up the awesome article-writing. I can't tell you how much I liked this article!



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