being sexual

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“What worries me is that the pressure on women to appear sexual gets confused with being sexual.”

That’s an idea Walker Thornton brought up in the last post, and that really struck me. I can understand her concern, women putting more time into looking sexy and not enough time into actually enjoying their sexual selves, seems senseless.

Ideally though, I’d say that dressing should be a part of the sensual experience of life and an adjunct to sexual expression, that may or may not lead to actual sex.

I’m not just talking about wearing sexy lingerie in the boudoir. And I’m certainly not talking about the endless, baring, squeezing, waxing, tweezing, and painting rigmarole the end product of which people often call “sexiness.”

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what does a woman want?

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What Does A Woman Want

As I said in Thursday’s post, for the next week, Walker Thornton and I are going to have a discussion, here, on my zine. We’re talking all things Donna Karan, Harvey Weinstein, and what women are asking for.

Please join us as we ask questions of each other, and ask your own questions, disagree, discuss.

My first question to Walker:

Why do we, as human beings, men and women, need to express our sexuality outwardly, with clothes, grooming, makeup, etc.?”

“I don’t think we do. Yet that’s what our culture would have us believe.

We’ve become a visual world and much of what we see—ads, magazines, movies, tells us that sexy is something we show, ignoring the more nuanced idea of feeling sexy.

Designers keep pushing that boundary farther and farther and now we equate cleavage, tight pants, and see-through clothing to true sexual expression.

To a lesser degree, it’s the same for men. But men have it easier. They can go gray and be distinguished; they’re not told their aging faces need fixing. They don’t need lush long lashes to appear attractive.

I view sexy as a feeling, an attitude—a way of looking and being in our own bodies. Granted it’s more subtle, but it’s also more authentic. The problem is that my approach isn’t going to generate a profit.

What worries me is that the pressure on women to appear sexual gets confused with being sexual.

I like to wear clothes that are flattering and occasionally I like to show a little cleavage. And that’s often about ‘me’ and how I feel about myself. But I also know that I can convey sexuality, when desired, in ways that have little to do with clothing. And, in all honesty there are times when I think about who I am dressing for.

Therein lies the dilemma—what’s natural desire and what’s decades of conditioning?”

Anita

See you Monday!

what donna said…

“How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”

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Donna Karan

 

That’s what Donna said, and the discussion about sexual harassment, and what it has or hasn’t got to do with sexuality and what women wear, has just heated up to scorcher level.

While I find it really repugnant, this endless picking at what women should and should not do, I can’t leave it alone, because it’s a topic that’s too important to gloss over. 

Walker Thornton

I can’t stay away from discussing it and either can my friend, Walker. Let me introduce you to Walker Thornton

“Sex Goddess, published author, avid reader, grandmother… all labels that work to begin defining me. Lover of bourbon, woman finding her voice, growing older with audacity. For starters…

Divorced, single and slightly over-educated, I came to this work through my lifelong love of writing. Writing for me is a personal journey as well as a tool to inspire, inform, and educate others.  In my writing I explore sexuality, relationships, women’s (and men’s) sexual health, aging and other midlife topics.”

Discuss

For the next week, Walker and I are going to have a discussion, here, on my zine. Please join us as we ask questions of each other, and ask your own questions, disagree, discuss.

My first question to Walker:

“Why do we, as human beings, men and women, need to express our sexuality outwardly, with clothes, grooming, makeup, etc.?”

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modest fashion

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“Modest Fashion”

On the streets at NYFW this year, there were more young, modestly dressed women, ready to pose for pictures, than I had ever seen before. 

Something though, seemed wrong to me. It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with posing for a picture, it’s that doing so goes against my idea of modesty. 

There’s showyness to what I thought was supposed to be humble, this religiously invoked way to go out into the world as a woman. 

The shinyness of her dress, the very “on trend” Supreme fanny pack, the bracelets, the shoes, do not say modest to me. 

Wealth

I have always thought that modesty would include a kind of humble simplicity? If I wasn’t exactly expecting sackcloth, neither did I expect glitter, gloss, heels, and makeup, but those are all things I have seen modest dressers wearing.   

Then I remember, wealth is acceptable everywhere, and women in Saudi Arabia wear Gucci and Prada beneath their burqa.

For now, I’ll just call this a paradox created by men.

In “traditional” cultures, men are the ones who purchase the Prada and diamonds,

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