I know intellectually that thin does not equal sexy, but this was a primal satisfaction that I couldn’t control. In spite of my best intentions, it wasn’t until I lost that weight that I felt sexy on that level.
I did a boudoir photography shoot shortly before becoming pregnant. I lost 25 pounds to help control my blood pressure before pregnancy put its strain on my heart, and I hadn’t been at that weight since high school. I wanted a record of that body, before I shared it with a new little human. It felt so satisfying to take in all of my sexy lingerie; to tighten those cords of my corset. I had done it! I was smoking hot!
Yes, that is what went through my head, despite years of feminist thinking, of body positivity, and of trying to accept myself as is. I know intellectually that thin does not equal sexy, but this was a primal satisfaction that I couldn’t control. In spite of my best intentions, it wasn’t until I lost that weight that I felt sexy on that level.
That is the feeling I just can’t deal with when I think about letting out those cords again. My daughter is almost a year and a half old, and the ‘baby weight’ is now just ‘my weight.’ I do have ‘my’ body back, in the sense that this is the weight I spent most of my adult life being. That temporary, strangely-thin body never felt like mine anyway.
But my husband and I have indulged our social hermit tendencies long enough and we need to get back into the world. It’s time for play parties — gatherings of kinky folk involving BDSM scenes (involving bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, or sadism and masochism). Dress codes vary widely, but many kinksters use parties as an opportunity to show off our fineries, especially corsets and leather gear.
And I have nothing to wear.
Not just, ‘Oh, nothing in my kink drawer is clicking with me today.’ It’s, ‘Nothing in my kink drawer fits around my post-partum hips.’ And I see that gorgeous corset just lying there, taunting me. I don’t even know how to let it out again. I’ll have to research that humiliating task, and I just haven’t felt up to it yet.
It’s not a great mindset for heading out to a party. I have attended a few, cobbling together outfits from older pieces. And each one is helpful, because it reminds me of one of my favorite parts of the kink scene.
All bodies are sexy.
It’s true. Every type of body is on display at kink events, and they are all celebrated. It sounds like a big kumbaya when I try to describe it, but that really has been my experience. Are you fat? Great, more of a canvas for someone’s single-tail whip. More to snuggle with in a big pile on the couch. More to wrap in beautiful rope dresses and awesome leather.
Watching the parade of naked and nearly-naked bodies before me is indescribably therapeutic. It’s one thing for your partner to tell you that your body is sexy. It’s another to watch person after person joyfully making use of their body in a public way. And to really feel yourself that each of them is sexy. If it’s possible for that person to be sexy in a body like that, it is just conceivable that my body might also be okay. Sexy, even. Maybe.
I have a long way to go. Being a stay-at-home mom means that I don’t often ‘dress to impress,’ and I frequently end up leaving the house without ever having checked a mirror. I like it that way, because I am rarely pleased by what I see in the mirror. But I am making baby steps. And there is a pirate-themed party coming up. . .maybe I should try to figure out those corset cords after all.