Word of the week - Sexy -Is it OK to feel Sexy?
Ok, so just writing this blog makes me feel sick. Why?
Because I have a whole taboo in my head about being sexy. I have written myself a few affirmations saying I am sexy so I tell myself this each day and this is still a work in progress.
And do you know what, I need to deal with it. So I'm starting here by talking about a topic that I personally struggle with.
Also, every day for a week I've drawn an oracle card about sexuality and the fact I need to own it. Even the universe is on my back to get this sorted.
Is it OK as a woman to be sexy?
I've always found this confusing. I want to look good, not for anyone but me and I'll be honest I am a bit dumb when it comes to noticing if people like me. And I mean really dumb, as in sometimes my parents have had to point it out to me when a bloke likes me. (really it was mortifying and happened more than once).
You'd think at my age I'd be over this (soon to be 45), but I'm not. PS I am also happily married and love my husband dearly, but owning my sexuality has an impact on him too.
The messaging I had as a child was I was "plain" - I still don't really know what its supposed to mean but it was never meant as a compliment. However I was also brought up with comments about girls around me dressing inappropriately. "too sexy" "too slutty" and woe betide any girl who thought she was attractive. Then she was egotistical, narcissistic.
No wonder we have a world full of women and men with self-esteem issues.
For me I've felt compelled to hide my figure most of my life. Occasionally I get the confidence to wear a dress that fits me perfectly and I get compliments. We all like a compliment and whoever we are its nice to receive them and whatever we say, its nice to get noticed. A little bit.
See this is my problem. I wear a nice dress, I get a compliment, part of me feels good and then my self doubt fairy strikes and I look in the mirror "is it too slutty" "should I be feeling happy for getting a compliment" .
If I notice a man or woman checking me out I assume the worse (is my skirt accidentally tucked in my knickers, have I got food on my face). I'll look behind me - they must be looking at someone else and then if I do finally realise they are actually checking me out in the "nice way" I'm generally mortified.
Straight away I think "I can't wear this dress again" I need to wear less make-up" (even though I barely wear any). I find a fault with it.
I long to be able to own my sexuality, to be confident in it and to see those furtive glances as a compliment. Yet I generally feel disbelief. If I know them I may eventually pick up the courage to flirt with them and I know I do like flirting (it's fun, it feels good - but is it wrong? and I'm married I shouldn't do that (should I?) )
I've probably in my lifetime had the comment "wow you look amazing" "or wow you look hot" 5 times and each time I've over analysed the situation, each time its been from a very "hot" younger man and each time I freak. "Why would someone as gorgeous as them look at me?" I assume it's a wind up, that their mates have put them up to it, even though each time its been a person I know quite well.
I watched a video recently where the person told the people they were filming that they were beautiful. In it the men reacted more positively than the women. Many of the women and girls dismissing the compliment and brushing it off. Why?
Right back through the ages we've been taught to be quiet, to hide, to not shine too bright. When we look at the historical records of the witch trials often women were accused of witchcraft just because they were pretty. Yet everyone is beautiful, sexy and sassy in their own way and there is always more than one person who will find you uniquely beautiful.
For me I long to own my sexuality, to be able to walk down the street and to not feel awkward if a man or woman checks me out, or stares at me. I long to be able to just say"thank you" when I get a compliment, rather than wanting the earth to swallow me up whole. I long to be able to have a chat with other women and say "OMG, I can't believe he just checked me out" without feeling I am bragging or being egotistical.
You see I've lost weight and still am. I'm an hour glass figure, I'm tattooed with silver and dark hair, wearing Dr Martens and driving a Landrover, So I do get noticed. I'm over 40 and told that now I'll become invisible. But I'm not, I feel the best I've ever done in my life and feel the most attractive that I have ever done. But part of me feels its wrong to feel attractive! (honestly don't be in my head!)
If anything I've become more visible and I'm having to try and own my own worth. It's F*****g hard. I am actually for once in my life noticing the hot guys checking me out and I'll admit its a confidence boost, it makes me feel great. (Is that wrong!). Especially as where I used to only seem to attract older men (who often freaked me out), now they are younger and I want to own it, to let it build me up, but a part of me thinks its wrong. It's slutty, I'm married I can't possibly accept a compliment, I'm not sexy! Yet me feeling sexier only helps my marriage.
I am for once noticing when a guy flirts with me, in the past I'd have freaked now I'm trying to own it, shine bright. I worry I will encourage people and with it cause people to attack me. But now I release when I shine slightly they can see I am weak, but if I shine fully they I am strong and I own my confidence, I own my sexuality. But it's hard.
Because I will admit I like sex. I also like feeling sexy and now I long to own both without feeling guilt without feeling it's wrong. Yes, my traumas in past have screwed up my own perspectives on this and the messages from the media don't help. I know every self-help book out there will tell you that you don't need other people to "check you out" to 'compliment you" to feel sexy, to feel your own self worth, but I'm going to be honest. When it does happen and the person is someone you feel attracted to, it does feel really good and we are human. This is what we do and we do sometimes need appreciation from other sources than just ourselves. Being told I look good, to get a furtive glance with that knowing look, to get told I look hot is a real confidence boost. It helps my self esteem and yes I know I shouldn't need it, but you know what why can't we own it and like it.
I see so many women as they get over 40 being told to conform, being told they are no longer beautiful, yet this is the time when our sex drive is highest (men it is in their 20's and dwindles form then on, WTF is going on there evolution), when many of us feel freedom for the first time.
So I am going to embrace being sexy, and confident. I am going to embrace being looked at and own it. Because we women in our 40's, 50's 60's etc owe to the women younger than us. We need to be role models for the future and even though I still feel sick writing this, I will make it my pledge to own my sexuality to embrace it and to love it.
And with this I will tell other women they are sexy too, give them compliments, not be judgemental. (I know I can be without even realising it). We can all be sexy together.