The New Sexy

I am a relatively fit woman. I have begun to wear clothes that flatter my figure, although Long Distance Boy said he had “no idea I had boobs….” So, maybe I’m not doing so well in that category. I take care of myself. I run. I curl my hair. I bathe.

So, why don’t I feel sexy?

I physically cringe when someone calls me attractive. I scoff when a friend uses that “someone likes you” tone of voice. I doubt any advances that come my way and am generally surprised when I realize someone is flirting with me.

And why?

I used to think it was because I wasn’t skinny enough. I always had a softness of stomach that left me uncomfortable with all my other parts. And yet, even at my biggest, I saw plenty of women on the street of varying shapes and sizes that walk with a poise, a confidence, that left me in sexual awe. How could this woman walk with such a bounce? Such an oompf? Such attractiveness? What does she have that I don’t?

Now that I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been, I still feel unsexy – awkward, boyish. I can’t keep my manicure for more than a day (at most) without chipping it. Let’s be honest, it usually only takes an hour or so for me to bump into something, ruining my glossy exterior. I cut myself regularly while shaving. I can devour a burrito better than anyone I know. I snort when I laugh. I curse. A lot. What hope is there for a woman like me?

Then I realized – maybe the issue isn’t with me and my impressive burrito eating skills, maybe it’s with our concept of “sexy.”

I am a firm believer in romance. The old-fashioned kind. The kind where partners are reverent of their significant other, who respect them and communicate with them, regardless of difficulty or differences. It’s more nuanced.

Which, I guess, means I am a firm believer in an old-fashioned concept of sexiness. To me, sexiness isn’t wearing nude leotards and bending over to have everyone look at my ass, tongue out, hand in crotch. To me, being sexy isn’t making myself into a sex object, it’s being confident in sensuality. It’s subtle. It’s a confidence in knowing that I hold a powerful and rewarding force inside of me that no one else can copy. It’s uniquely my own.

It’s that subtle sensuality of Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” that brings me to my knees, the crooning of Otis Redding and Ella Fitzgerald… And, yes, Ginuwine’s “Pony” is a powerful aphrodisiac, but it’s like the orangey cheese-like substance that coats corn curls. Yeah, it’s great once in a while to behave a little badly and do something that’s naughty, but to last, to create something enduring, you need something natural and substantial. Something with layers.

You’re bound to get gas, either way, but at least it’s worth it.

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