being sexual


“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.”

I’m talking about saying something about who you are as a woman with your whole self; including intellect, body, grooming, makeup, use of scent, gestures, walk, talk everything.


For me, this well-known picture by Helmut Newton embodies all of that. Maybe I’m just buying into the fantasy, but if I saw this woman walking down the street, I would think, “there goes a really sexy and sensual person.”   

Why can’t women have both, why can’t we be both physically sexy and happily sexual, and comfortable with both?

Society at large seems to fear the sexy, sexual woman, especially as she ages. I really want to understand the wider repercussions of this, I want to understand what older women have to teach the world about being human.




  • “Maybe I’m just buying into the fantasy, but if I saw this woman walking down the street, I would think, “there goes a really sexy and sensual person.”

    I think the average man, conditioned to see sexy as appearing in feminine clothing, might not see the inherent sexiness in this photo.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      Ugh, I know, we’re all just to cliché or something. I love the way she looks, I’m attracted to her, and I’m attracted to the few men that would also see the sexy beauty in her. But then I’ve always loved a bit of androgyny…

  • Melanie says:

    I love that photo!! I would think so too. And, yes, men usually dislike it when I dress like that. Pfff. But I guess it’s part of me owning my image and dressing according to my personal definition of what’s alluring. My own gaze outranks the gaze of anyone else.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      Let’s see, we have male gaze, girl gaze, and our own gaze. Love it. I believe that the selfie phenomenon has something to do with this, right? Women especially have a hard time seeing ourselves, what with media, males, and convention, what’s left for us and our own eyes? We’re constantly being looked at and accessed…but we want to be, right? Oh well, can’t figure this all out right this minute 😉

    • Anita Irlen says:


      “My own gaze outranks the gaze of anyone else.” Perfect 🙂

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