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First order of business: pin-up photos. Some of you might remember that for Christmas, ML gave me a pin-up photo shoot, and I finally did the shoot at the end of February and got the photos back last week. There were a bunch that I really liked, and I’ll post a few of them here. I’m a little excited about this because it’s the first time I’m exposing my FACE! on my BLOG! I feel pretty okay about that, and in some ways I think that it’ll enable me to feel freer posting here about whatever, because it’s just ME, it’s not me-posing-as-someone-cool-on-the-internet. Not that I pose or anything, but I do sometimes get anxiety when people figure out who I am in real life, then I’m all “OMG I’m so not as cool in real life as I lead people to think on my blog.” Which, intervention! That is not the way I want to be. So, yay, pictures!
The photos are all courtesy of BombshellBetty.net. Betty is awesome, and the photo sesh was a LOT of fun!
So I’ll post a few here, and then you should go over to my Facebook profile to see some more!
UPDATE: The swimsuit is by Fables by Barrie and they have ridiculously adorable sailor swimsuits, plus other awesome pin-up type clothing. I seriously can’t wait to wear this to the beach this summer.
PS: You can click ‘em to make ‘em big! Eep! My face is so big! Also, I’ve already had a question re touch-ups: these photos are not touched up at all, the reason my skin looks so glowy is because of the fantastic photographer and the lighting!
In lieue of a real post, of which I have several in the line-up in the coming days (including one that’s very overdue in response to an email I got asking me about my career goals/interests… and another that’s BDSM-related), and because I’ve been overworked lately (still at work at 9pm on Thursday) and haven’t had time to finish any of them, I’m going to post the music video to the song I will be performing my burlesque act to in May.
I have to thank SublimeFemme proFUSEly; she first posted this video a few weeks ago and I would never have come across it if she hadn’t. I’m so happy she did, because I love this song. I love the video too. I knew that I would need to find a song that makes my body want to move of its own volition, and this one does it.
Also, I realize that my subject line makes it sound like this post was going to be about sex. Sorry to disappoint. Next time. Because, well, I have been a bad girl…
So, my burlesque classes are a few weeks underway. We’ve started having to “perform” what we’re learning to each other, and it is NERVEWRACKING. Have I ever mentioned that I get very afraid of being the center of attention of a large group of people? Well, I get very afraid of being the center of attention of a large group of people. So as soon as all eyes are on me, *poof* I’m out of my body. This means that instead of feeling what my body feels like, I’m feeling what it LOOKS like to other people. It’s a very weird disconnect, and I think it’s pretty connected to the way I was raised to prioritize other people’s needs ahead of my own. Though I’ve been getting better about that in my daily life, it’s still pretty hard for me to just relax and enjoy the feeling of being in my body when I know other people are looking at me. Suddenly I become all, “are they enjoying looking at me? am I boring them? what if they hate what I’m doing? AHHHHH!” and want to run away. And because I’m not thinking about what my body is doing, but instead am thinking about what it looks like to them over there, my body (obviously) suddenly can’t do anymore what my brain wants it to do.
So, burlesque is a bit of a challenge. But this is why I started it, isn’t it? I think I’m doing okay. Maybe I’m even getting better, bit by bit. I do think, though, that I need to practice on my own if I’m going to start feeling rapid increases in confidence in class. (Class is only held once a week, after all.) And let me reiterate: my lack of confidence is not in my body’s appearance. I’m perfectly happy with my body’s shape and size and what it generally looks like. The problem is maybe even some sort of opposite of that — rather than being hyper-aware of my body and what it looks like from in my mind, I’m all sorts of clueless about it. As I watch myself move in the mirror, I can see my body as if from an external perspective, can see that it looks good at what it’s doing. But I can’t tell what it FEELS like. So when you take me away from the mirror and put me in front of 14 pairs of eyes, my body has no fucking clue what it’s doing anymore.
So I’ve got to take it on myself to do some work on this. I’m starting by getting the book and DVD by my instructor, Bombshell Betty. She’s the bomb. Ha. Seriously, though, she’s adorable and very kind and encouraging and really good at what she does. Here’s her book:
And she has a DVD too which I’m going to buy from her next week in class. The book is great, although it doesn’t have color photos. It’s basically a guide to posing for a photo! And goes into stuff like pin-up poses, “personality projection” (“it’s all in the eyes”), using props in photos, best poses to flatter your body… So even if you’re NOT doing burlesque, you can learn a lot from it. For me, I’m hoping I can practice in front of my mirror and then close my eyes and memorize what it FEELS like. Instead of what it looks like. And having camera confidence and stage confidence are, I think, closely related.
But I’m looking for other ideas too, that I don’t have to stand in front of my mirror to practice. Has anyone else had this problem, this inability to connect with your own body? What have you done to help fix that? Anything you got I’m willing to try!
So, I kind of love this blog (she’s on my blogroll and I also occasionally share her posts in my reader–you should follow my shared items!). It’s got a little bit of everything I love, minus queer: cooking, organizing, styling, designing, fashioning. Plus a little bit more.
She does this thing every month where she pictorially introduces things she’s happy about that month. I think I’m going to take a page out of her book and do the same this month. Yay February! You’re a hard month to get excited about on your own, but when I look beyond your name, you’ve got a lot to offer.
So. Here are the things I’m happy about this month:
1) Starting my burlesque class on Wednesday.
2) Valentine’s Day! I know it’s cool to hate Valentine’s Day, but sorry, I love it.
4) Getting a vibrator for mi’lady’s house. Haven’t chosen one yet — we’ll take a trip (well, not much of one, seeing as how I live two blocks away) to Good Vibes SF to pick one out!
5) I get a bonus this month! My firm apparently exceeded budget this year, and so all staff are getting a fat bonus on our next paycheck. This couldn’t have come at a better time: mi’lady’s birthday coming up in March, plus hmmm maybe some burlesque costuming and props? And maybe some shoes? Also, erm, savings, cough.
Happy February :) (And yes, I know February is such a short month that it’s almost over. I’m a bit behind on my life.)
It seems I’m down to just about one really substantial post per week here, which is too bad, because I actually have a lot to write about and I love doing it. I guess working a more-than-full-time job, plus taking a statistics class, plus staffing a rape crisis hotline 32 hours a month, plus having a girlfriend, plus trying to have other friends aside from my girlfriend all sort of adds up. And, while I love the thoughtful substantial posts, I think it might be time for me to expand beyond just a once-a-week post. So, I might start introducing some lighter fare to this here blog-o-mine. I can’t handle the pressure of a regular feature, or anything like that, but you might start seeing around here stuff like fashion snapshots (I’m not the most fashionable person you know, but I’ve been having a lot of fun working on my style lately), cocktail recipes, music/youtube clips (I’m a pianist, you know! maybe I’ll play something for you!), and little sex vignettes. Or, who knows, maybe I’ll just start posting substantial stuff more regularly again. Theoretically, I should have more time now that my grad school applications are in. Theoretically.
Anyway, discussing this blog was not actually supposed to be the topic of this post. I was going to write about burlesque. Last night, I and some friends had free tickets to Teatro Zinzanni, a famous cabaret and cirque show that resides along San Francisco’s Embarcadero at Pier 29. The show was splendid, and while I enjoyed the cabaret and the acrobatics and the live music, I was completely captivated by this one character, played by Rachel DeShon:
And I realized that this captivation was of the “I want to be her” variety. I don’t actually want to be Rachel DeShon. I don’t want to be an opera singer and perform cabaret and all that. But, somehow, I just watched her the entire time, thinking to myself “THAT.” It just sorta clicked. I have a similar body type to her, short hair like that, and LOVE CORSETS. But watching her perform I had this urge—no, it was more than an urge, it was more like a longing—to glam it up sometimes. Strut around, feel utterly confident in my sex appeal, pull off dark purple sparkly lipstick and huge plumes! Yes! I want that!
And so I went home and signed up for a burlesque class. I’ve had pretty healthy body positivity in the past few years, and my confidence issues aren’t because I think I don’t look good. It’s more that I’m somewhat reserved and a tiny bit introverted and so I don’t much like being the center of attention. I tend to sort of shrink into myself. In the past few years, so many people have told me that I’m tiny, and I think a large part of the impression I leave is not actually physical tininess but metaphysical tininess, if you will. I’m sort of ephemeral. I’m very good at not being noticed.
There’s a whole history there, a complicated history of sexual violence and family patterns and all that that I won’t go into right now, though I probably will eventually. And so while I think that some of my metaphysical tininess is my personality—I’m just not the life of the party type—which I’m not worried about changing, I think a lot of it is also a sort of unwillingness on my part to take up space. This certainly isn’t the case all the time; if I’m around people I know and love and trust, I fully take up my space, and am the master of my body. But in new situations, when meeting new people, or when I feel out of place and noticed, I freeze up. Sometimes I panic. Sometimes I withdraw. Sometimes I muster through. But whatever happens, my tendency is to get really small.
So when this intense urge to be like her came up for me, and I realized that it’s not, in fact, because I want to do her but because I want to be her, I decided to run with it. My first class is next Wednesday, it’s a 12-week class, and there will be a performance at the end. Gulp. So scared. But also so. excited. In fact I think I may be more excited about this than I’ve been about anything in a long, long time.
And so, on this Friday night when mi’lady is out of town and the plans I had with my good friend fell through due to a crisis in her family, I am sitting at home, on my computer, drooling over websites like this.