Sexy is a sexy does.
I’m not sure that is the exact quote, but it is a perfect way to start this blog. I have promised a blog on sex, being sexy, feeling sexy and living out a sexy life in your own skin. There was an interlude between this blog and the last one because I was sad after going through the death of three people we loved. Its hard to write about being sexy when you just ain’t feeling it, but I am in a better place now so jump on board, here we go.
If you read the last two blogs about this, I have been telling you about my journey.
If you haven't here are the links:
Here is a short piece that I only realized today was a big part of my issue with not feeling sexy. I have said that over the past 10 years I have put on weight and it is weight that I wasn’t happy with. I did manage to use this extra weight to help me reach some much sought after powerlifting goals, mainly a 402 squat and a 416 deadlift. In my brain that was the trade off “can’t be sexy at this weight so I better be strong”. I fooled myself into thinking that it was one or the other. If I was thinner, I couldn’t be strong and if I stayed thicker, I could be strong but not attractive.
This statement has been proved to me to be completely untrue.
Also, if you know me, you know that I absolutely adore Beyoncé, Rihanna and Serena Williams. This triumvirate should rule the world, I am almost positive of that fact. I support everything they do; buy anything they sell and have countless pictures of each of them slaying in life saved on my phone as motivation. Rihanna has recently started her own lingerie line, and like a good fan I am a VIP member of the club. The cool thing about Ri is that she uses all different sizes of models to show off her products. One day I got an email blast from her company (Fenty Savage) and the cover model was around 200 lbs and wearing a beautiful black bra and black thong panties. I was mesmerized. She looked amazing. I mean AMAZING. As I was gawking at the image my little, tiny brain started waving its hands and shouting “what? You think she looks amazing? She looks amazing and you don’t? How is that possible”. Yep, my brain gave me a big ole’ smack to the forehead because of course there was no way that I could see this beautiful plus sized woman as a sex goddess and then turn around and say I was too “fat” to be sexy.
Thanks Rihanna, I needed that.
I’ve written about our weekend this summer in Columbus at the Be Activated clinic and how a super fun dinner out helped me to change some notions that I held about myself and where I stood in the universe. I will not re-hash that. But I will say that after that weekend I set about on a journey to find my way back to my body and back to feeling good about who I was and what I looked like. I decided that I was going to go back to doing things that challenged me and that helped me get that confidence back.
Here are the things I have added to my life.
- Pole Dancing
- A boudoir photography session
- Time in the recording studio singing/recording all my favorite songs WITH A BAND
I’ve got more to come but these are the things I am focusing on right now. Let me explain the what and why of each.
Boudoir Photography Session
A boudoir shoot, for those of you that don’t know, is where you get gussied up in your fanciest lingerie (which usually means you have to actually buy fancy lingerie) and have pictures taken. The intent is to give them to your husband or boyfriend as a present. In actuality, it is mostly just about being comfortable taking the photos in the first place. If you are at all concerned with how your body looks – which I tend to be – then this can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, I am not uncomfortable in front of a camera so at least I had that going for me.
Here are some of the photos. Highly edited. I don’t want to break the internet.
Three outfits, three “personalities” and lots of different poses. And I am not going to lie, when I first saw the pictures, I was sad. I honestly, felt a lot sexier taking the pictures than I thought I looked in the pictures. Bummer! But then I just sat with them. They are on my phone so I would just stop and scroll through every couple of days and I started to like them – cellulite and all. I started to see the beauty in my big ol’ booty, the softness of my side meat and the fact that genuine playfulness can take you a long way into the realm of the sex goddess. That was a good start, huh!
Some years ago, I took a pole dancing class. We did a lot of spins because it was an intro class. Spinning makes me unbearably dizzy and pukie. I made it through the class but was literally toast when they made us do our little routine and added the strobe light. I realized then and there that you can be a mediocre pole dancer and probably still bank some coin, but you couldn’t be a mediocre pole dancer who puked on everyone and make a dime. (To be clear the goal was never to get a job as a dancer – not that I have anything against the profession just seemed silly to quit my day job to be bad at something).
Flash forward to when we hired our lovely manager for the supplement stores and low and behold she also owned a dance studio and taught pole dancing. For grins and hopefully you saw it, if you didn’t here is the link, we took all the boys of Spud, Inc. into the studio and shot a video of them learning a simple pole routine. The video is solid gold and each guy brought the goods. It also gave me the itch to try again so I signed up for private lessons and 7 sessions in I can do some basic moves.
Here ya go, don’t get to excited, I am not a professional….YET!
I have always wanted to be a good dancer. I love dancing. I am just not great at it. I will dance all night long if you give me the green light, I just might look more like Elaine from Seinfeld than Janet Jackson from Rhythm Nation. To be decent you really have to be in your body. When it comes to powerlifting I think I am pretty tuned in to what my body feels. After Be Activated, I am even more present in my body and how it is moving. Put me in a studio in front of a pole and I become the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. We did our first routine to “Baby I’m a Star” by Prince which is one of my all time favorites. I was grade A terrible, but had so much fun. I am getting better and the next routine is going to be to Midnight Star’s “No Parking on the Dance Floor” because early 80’s funk is my jam. You can find me on social media at Susan J. Finley (facebook) and @birtdaycake2 (IG) if you want to follow my progress. I totally feel ya' if it is to hard to watch.
It is very hard to find your sexy in front of a mirror. No matter what, you just aren’t that sexy to yourself. Being in front of the camera was easier, the mirror doesn’t lie. It shows you the cold hard truth. I am slowly but surely working to be able to watch myself in the mirror dancing and like what I see. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
The Recording Studio
I have played guitar and sung at church for most of my life. Currently, my only guitar gig is working with 3, 4 and 5-year old’s at church a few Sundays a month. I teach them songs and put on a sort of comedy/clown act in the down time to keep them occupied. I have always said that I am good and what I do and not much more – the bar is pretty low.
My nephew is a music whiz and can sing and play multiple instruments. When he was 6, I started taking him into the recording studio to do an album for Christmas presents. He did the vocals, his mom played the piano (she is fantastic), his dad played guitar and did some background vocals, I played guitar and a family friend played drums. We recorded such hits as “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Tainted Love” plus many more. (These are not available for purchase but if you want to hear any of them, I can make that happen – they are pretty phenomenal.) I did that every year because of the whole 10,000-hour rule that says if you do something for 10,000 hours you can get really good at that thing. On the off chance that my nephew ever wanted to be in a band or record music I wanted him to be completely comfortable with the process. We always had a great time, but I left music selection up to him and even though I LOVED everything he chose, I have always had a running list of my favorites that I wanted to record but never really had a reason to.
In one of my blogs that I wrote shortly after coming home from Be Activated I wrote about a time when I was activated and had to sing. (Read that blog here). That activation story made me want to go to the recording studio and play around with my vocal ranges with and without activations. It was fun. A lot of fun and I realized that I wanted to just keep doing that and start recording the songs that I love. So, I have been doing that every 4 or 5 weeks. The songs I have recorded so far are really a random collection. There are a few children’s songs: The Duck and the Lemonade song and a song by the Indigo Girls that was on a children’s Greenpeace album many years ago. There are also songs that speak to my soul: “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Black Boys on Mopeds” by Sinead O’Connor, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” by Tom Waits, “The Ship Song” by Nick Cave and “GMF” by John Grant. Oh, and because my guitar playing is not great, we hired some session musicians to give me a full band. OMG! It is so much fun and the singing and owning of these songs that mean so much to me really have helped me tap into the “who” of me – don’t know if that makes sense – but making art feeds me and makes me stronger.
Here is one of the first songs I recorded: "Black Boys on Mopeds" by Sinead O'Connor
(This is before we got the band so it is just me and my mediocre guitar playing, but it gives you an idea of what I am creating.)
I always made going into the studio about my nephew, because he has the real musical talent. It is easier to put the pressure on someone else to perform. I realized that it is also the easy way out. It is much harder to decide to do something and go for it – become the star.
Ha! That just made me think of the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” where the plant the Audrey 2 (or Twoie) starts as this little thing and quickly grows so big it overtakes the shop becoming very demanding to be fed. That is me. I am on a quest to find my sexy and I am becoming very determined to make it happen. For me finding my sexy = learning to love myself and so far, it has been a lot of fun. I have other projects that I want to tackle, things to learn and do and hopefully 2020 will allow me to live into all of them as super sexy me!
Stay tuned. I have one more blog on this subject. One more discourse on how to live into your sexiest self.