taboo

Sad, but true: "Yvonne" said the magic phrase that does a stompy dance all over my hopes: "my boyfriend."

Oh well. Moving on.

While I was home a while back, we were discussing (for whatever reason) the fact that the new puppy needs to be neutered. (Mainly he keeps humping everyone's arm and biting them, and while he's small enough so that kind of dominance behavior's not dangerous it is rather annoying.)

I discovered that I seem to be the only person in my family who can unhesitatingly say the words "penis" and "testicles." There is more than a little irony in this.

Maybe it's lifedrawing class, where you get used to contemplating a nude human in a fairly dispassionate manner, or maybe it's just that everyone at art school has a more relaxed manner towards sexual matters in general, but I don't have a problem with nudity. When I did my nude self-portrait, I was a bit self-conscious hanging it up in class, but while I was actually doing it Maureen and Hans would hang out in the room with me while I was nude (in socks). It was funny when Maureen decided to draw my "shining ass," but it wasn't embarrassing.

On the flip side my family has always had pet terms for genitalia, and sex and genitals are discussed with a sort of giggly hesitation, as if they were something "naughty." They give lip service to the idea that "sex is a beautiful thing" and whatnot, but their ATTITUDE towards sex and nudity says something totally different.

I don't remember ever getting a Sex Talk, or at least anything beyond an explanation of menstruation. Most of my sex education came from classmates and books. I remember being ten or so and reading a book about various stories in a maternity ward, with graphic descriptions of women giving birth or their various sexual ailments. I sort of hid it as if it were a "dirty" book, even though there was nothing actually sexual in it. It was just various stories of women in pregnancy and labor, and I somehow felt like just the fact that it discussed genitalia made it taboo.

On the flip side, I've gotten shit about my more-modest-than-average way of dressing. I have been explicitly encouraged to wear "shorter skirts" and "lower-cut shirts." My response to it is usually along the lines of "I'm not advertising what I'm not selling," which is essentially true but doesn't quite get at the point. Frankly, I don't wear revealing clothing because I don't like being revealed.

Women's clothing is calculated to reveal. It becomes a game to see how low your neckline or waistline can go before it's public indecency. Women's bodies are so relentlessly sexualized that it's numbing. I've gotten to where it's a downright turnoff for me to see a girl whose breasts seem to be making a bid for freedom from their Wonderbra.

My roommate first year asked me once "You have such a nice figure. Why don't you show it off more?" Because to me, my body is not an object for everyone else to look at. It's mine to use as I see fit, when I see fit, and that does not include displaying it for public approval. I'm happy with my body and my looks, and frankly I couldn't care less if some random schmoe walking down the street I live decides I'm fuckable or not. Talk to me, not my cleavage.

So where does this fit into the messages I get about sex from my upbringing? If sex is dirty, why should I use my clothes and my body to elicit sexual desire from men? If nudity is taboo, why flirt with the edge?

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thus saith Liadan at 12:09 AM

4 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth saith at 11/09/2005 12:42 AM...  

You make some excellent points, dear. I agree about the nudity thing. And about sex, I seem to be the only one who can say vagina, penis etc in my family. It's pathetic.

I'm sorry the girl's straight. Suckage. More fishies in the sea, m'dear.

Blogger JJ saith at 11/14/2005 10:30 PM...  

Sorry about Yvonnes unfortunate heterosexuality.

Blogger Jay saith at 11/15/2005 10:41 AM...  

Don't give up Yvonne too soon. She wouldn't be the first gay girl to date a boy -- even if she doesn't refer to him as her girlfriend. Come to that, would it have been better if she was gay, but taken? Anyway, maybe I should try dating girls you like -- that usually does the job with girls I like working out they don't actually like boys all that much...

Anonymous Anonymous saith at 11/17/2005 4:06 PM...  

*gigglesnort* You said "nudity"...

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