Last Friday I was on my FB page when Betty caught a glimpse of one of my MIMP pictures. She hit the roof. It came from a place of love. She was concerned that I was positioning myself as a "pin-up" not as a business woman and attorney.
Betty's reaction got me thinking about why now at 39 (let's just round up to 40) I feel comfortable naked in front of the camera. I've never made a sex tape. I've never posed for a picture in the buff. When I was a teenager, I used to share clothes with my mom. I liked conservative clothing that left everything to the imagination.
I grew up in a Christian Fundamentalist home. My parents loved me but they loved church more. Both my siblings went to school but I was taught at home. They said it was because I was too smart for public school. Looking back on it I was too attractive...they were terrorfied by my "sexual" disposition. I was cloistered away in an ivory tower until I left home still a teen.
I married by first real boyfriend when I was 20. He was good looking, pre-med, articulate and funny. In the beginning, he celebrated by sensuality. Ultimately - like all of my relationships - what he was first attracted to repelled him. He didn't want an independent woman in her sexual power. I endured his attempts to diminish me for 4 years until I packed up all my things and left for good.
There were a series of similar relationship arcs (attraction...connection...possession...break up) over the next decade. I remember one boyfriend positing the "Carlin" dilemna with a hypothetical. He asked me what I would do if I was in a crowded room and someone walked up and kissed me on the lips. I hesitated to answer...he jumped on me saying, "see that's what I'm talking about".
Since I met Betty, I've masturbated to orgasm on camera, displayed by vulva on network television, and posed twice for MIMP. For me, context is everything. It's about my body being mine. It's about me being able to express my sexual self without my parents or some ass I'm dating disapproving.
I'm not 22. My body isn't perfect. And that's the point. For the first time in my life I'm truly in my body...in my sexual power. It feels fucking great. No, I'm not a pin-up. Yes, I'm insanely smart and accomplished. And sharing my sensuality doesn't diminish me as a woman. I refuse to perpetuate the madonna/whore dichotomy.
I'm thoughtful and provocative. And I take a damn good picture.