Accepting the sexy

Nothing like baby Jesus to dampen my mojo

I don’t do sexy in the bedroom. The times I’ve tried have resulted in uncontrollable giggles instead of x-rated action (exhibit A and B). That isn’t to say that I don’t revel in a satisfying hanky-panky session, I most certainly do (note the graphic terminology! Can’t help it. My father reads my blog. Awkward). Nor am I particularly vanilla once I’m behind closed doors, despite what exhibit C might have you think. However much I enjoy and have strong opinions about sex, I am completely uncomfortable with attempting to seduce a guy, publicly or privately. I am not sexy. I don’t believe I am sexy. Thinking about being sexy makes me freeze up with self-conscious stage fright.

Growing up, being sexy out in public was synonymous with being vulgar. Flirting? Vulgar – shameless, desperate hussies flirt, not strong independent women. Dressing sexily? Vulgar – inappropriate in all settings other than night clubs, and even then, why trade on one’s body? That screams of desperation. You don’t want a man than can’t see past the physical packaging, do you girl? Of course you don’t. And dressing sexily anywhere else other than a night club? No woman worthy of respect would be so desperate for male attention that she’d ignore all other considerations like good taste, and elegance. VULGAR. I blame my education in an all-girls Catholic school run by nuns and my religious upbringing at home. Sex is reserved for marriage, y’all. Add to that the time I went to confession for having regular sex with my long-term boyfriend, and presto: I was ex-communicated. The priest was very apologetic, and told me to tread lightly – clearly going home and exclaiming “honey?! I know we’ve been banging for the past 3 years but that’s a sin. No more sex before marriage if you love me, because you don’t want me to suffer eternal damnation!” would not be the best course of action.

Getting ex-communicated at 23 for sleeping with a guy you love, in a long-term monogamous relationship, will fuck with your brain, and definitely reinforce the message that sex/sexy = bad/vulgar/desperate/weak/sinful. And since I enjoy sex, I must be bad/vulgar/desperate/weak/sinful. Obvi. I spent all of my twenties burying this side to my personality. #healthy #welladjusted

Fashion saved me

I enjoy fashion. I like clothes. I like their transformative properties, the workmanship that can make or break an outfit. When shopping for Dynamo’s wedding tux, I adamantly rejected one of his top 3 options because of ONE unnecessary horizontal seam that totally ruined the long lean look he was going for. I love how I can turn myself into any version of myself that I feel like expressing, depending on the shmatas on my back. As long as what I feel like expressing is anything but sexy. Powerful, beautiful, striking, elegant, delicate, athletic, professional, rebellious… All good. As my body has transformed in recent years through boxing, I’ve been tempted to show it off: I’ve worked hard for it, I don’t see anything wrong with wearing clothes that most other people cannot pull off. The clothes have gradually become more form-fitting, the skirts shorter, the colors brighter. I still look powerful, beautiful, striking, elegant, delicate, athletic, professional, rebellious but dare I say? There is a hint of sexy. And… I enjoy feeling stealth-sexy. Gasp!

Implications and next steps (or how an accountant plans on becoming sexy)

A key takeaway from my interactions with Beaut is that I like sex. More importantly, that my lifelong belief that I want a relationship built on mutual respect, admiration for each other’s intelligence, and appreciation for our personalities, values and characters is NOT incompatible with a need for strong chemistry and a deep physical attraction. I’ve always ignored my “vulgar” desires, and vetted potential dates based on their personalities… Its no wonder none of them ever worked out: I was being dishonest in what I wanted, and what I am attracted to. No matter how nice and upstanding the guy is, if I don’t want to rip off his clothes, it isn’t going to work out. That is just how I am. I finally accept it. I want and need the sexy in my life.

However, there is still a gap between this realization and my 30 years of programming. It creeps up in my physical reactions. At salsa, when a stranger puts his arm around my waist, I stiffen – he is in my bubble. He is touching me! I tried kizomba, a fun and sexual dance… and didn’t last 15 minutes. Shaking my hips! Standing chest to chest with a guy! Dancing sexy on purpose!!! NO NO NO CANNOT BE PERCEIVED AS VULGAR IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. But my brain whispers… this is fun! this IS the appropriate setting to be sexy! RELAX ALREADY!

I’ve a ways to go. Pretty sure dancing will be my way to integrate this essential part of my self into my identity. Then, and only then, will I be one step closer to being happy with myself and who I am, and honest enough to look for what I want & need in my dating partners.






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