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As women, we are raised with the understanding that our bodies are viewed differently to men's bodies. The media, society, the boys at our schools, the adults who push problematic school uniform rules onto us. Girls must wear skirts, but not too short because then it's inappropriate. Remember to keep those shoulders covered, otherwise your skin will distract the boys and the teachers! We're taught that our bodies are something men will feel the entitlement to shove their dick against in a club before we're even aware of their existence. We know if we confront them with our frustration and disgust, we're the ones causing shit. We know it's easier to simply move out of the dick's way, and give our friends that watch out for the creep look.
We grow up consuming media and music videos featuring women in bikinis dancing around male artists, presented similarly to how the artist's expensive watch is presented. A trophy, an object. As I progressed into my teenage years, I started learning about feminism and the patriarchy. I would passionately discuss my "feminist" views in the college canteen with my friends. I would see those music video dancers in bikinis and feel disgusted at how they were letting women down by objectifying themselves. My beliefs have changed massively since then, and I see now that my anger was down to me being uneducated and insecure. Those women made me angry, but also scared. I thought my future sex partners would expect me to have the sexual confidence and 'perfect' body these women had.
When I started having sex at 18, revealing my body for my first boyfriend for the first time was so scary. I was terrified I wouldn't meet his expectations. Of course, he didn't give a shit about the things I was insecure about and I quickly grew comfortable and confident. As I gained body confidence, I gained the ability to feel sexy in bed.
I don’t struggle to feel sexy while I’m having sex, that's not an issue. I love wearing clothing some would view as "sexy." I dress myself in outfits I look and feel good in, and sometimes those outfits might involve fishnets, a lacy top, or a bodycon dress. But even so, I really struggle to express my sexuality and see myself as "sexy." I’m confident with my body 90 percent of the time, it’s not a big insecurity of mine. So, if it’s not a lack of body confidence that makes me uncomfortable to express my sexuality, what is it?
Maybe it's because I was raised to see my body as a sexualized object, and as a result, I struggle to take ownership of my own sexuality. Fucked, isn't it? This has been on my mind for a while. A month or so ago I took undie pics of myself to draw, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for my body and my sexuality. So from now on I will be actively practicing being a sexy bitch.
Expressing your love for your body, especially if it doesn’t meet societies ideals, is a huge fuck you to the patriarchy. I want to be in control of when my nipples are sexualized. Free the nipples. They're literally just fucking nipples. I won't wear a bra just because of the shape of my nipple and the way my boobies bounce makes people uncomfortable. That's their issue, not mine.
Don’t shame sexy dancers, don't shame sex workers, don't shame women who are comfortable and proud of their bodies. Praise and support that shit, it’s beautiful. Harness that empowerment and use it to work on yourself, we’re in this together. Be naked, masturbate, bop your ass, channel your sexuality how and when you want. Take nudes, even if just for yourself. See your body, treat your body, and use your body how you and only you want to. There are no flaws. Wrinkles, moles, rolls, and stretch marks are a part of existing as a human—and that's really cool.
Lastly, don’t forget that your body is simply a frame for your personality.