Women – are we supposed to be sexy? Or not? What is the respectable way to dress?

As a little girl, I learned that “sexy”=”bad girl” and I dressed accordingly as I got older, with my high-necked lace blouses and conservative skirts. I remember my first boss giving me a little bit of flack about how high up my shirt was buttoned. (male car-sales manager)

My next employer was very conservative, so I fit right in with the dress code, but after work at happy hour, when all of us would go out to dance, I would let loose (I grew up dancing) and then drew inappropriate attention because of the way I moved my body. I was called a tease.

So, probably like most other women, I learned in my 20’s how easily I could control the attention of males (and the looks of disapproval or approval from others) with my clothes and how I move my hips.

Next stop… NFL cheerleading. May as well put that sexual energy into a creative outlet, I thought. That seemed like a safe place to dance my heart out and wear a sexy outfit. (Well, sexy for the 80’s, I guess.)

Next came marriage… He seemed to love my cheerleader status when we were dating, but once I became his wife, things changed. I changed. I became a mother. I dressed the part like I thought I should. Frumpy clothes. Weight gain… (I’m sure I gained the weight as a protective measure to be sure no other men looked at me.)

Time passes…

I hit my 40’s. God help me. God help all of us women in our 40’s with raging sex drives and “fuck-you” attitudes.

I dress for myself now. I dress so I can feel sexy, not so I can be sexy. I don’t care if men look at me or not… I care if I feel good. And most of the time, I feel good in a great VS push-up bra and a low-cut blouse. I finally like my breasts that I once thought were too small.

And I don’t really care if I’m leaving a wake of hard-ons behind me (even though the irony is, that probably isn’t happening now that I’m in my 40’s). I’m not dressing to get laid. I’m not dressing to impress the girls and get their fashion approval. It’s all about me, baby.

I don’t have to feel responsible for your behavior. I am not responsible for anyone’s reaction to what I wear. I feel confident I can control myself, and I’m the only one I need to worry about.

Pussycat Dolls
“I Don’t Need a Man”

I see you looking at me
Like I got something that’s for you
And the way that you stare
Don’t you dare
‘Cause I’m not about to
Just give it all up to you
‘Cause there are some things I won’t do
And I’m not afraid to tell you
I don’t ever want to leave you confused

But does that make me a whore for attention? Is it a character defect that I like to celebrate my femininity and dress in sexy clothes? Is it evidence of some childhood trauma or lack of love in my life?

Is it disrespectful to a significant other?

This last question is the most important one, in my opinion. How much do we give up of ourselves in order to make another person feel comfortable?

7 Comments on “I’m Bringing Sexy Back

  1. WOW you could have written that for me and I’m a guy in my fifties.How fabulous would it be if we could all dress the way we chose to express ourselves without others judging?But with work there is an expectation quite simply becuase we do judge. Would I get on the plane if I saw the pilot dressed in a goth outfit? probably not.So in answer to your question is it disrespectful to a significant other I would say how significant is that other if they cannot accept you for your own choices, especially with your maturity. I would dress anyway my wife wanted me to, but on the other hand sometimes I may not agree with what she wears for worrying about being embarrassed by what others would say. That’s me not accepting her and I need to deal with that.

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  2. Thanks, Peter. Of course, there is a time and place for everything. I was mainly referring to everyday, casual, wear-what-I-want-to-wear days.I suppose I got off on a tangent here, because I have not been admonished about my clothes… well, my ex told me once during the divorce that I was an 18-year-old wanna-be, but I considered the source and the context.I think you’re right – it’s the other person’s issue. But honestly, if I were in a committed relationship – married – and my guy told me that too much cleavage made him feel uncomfortable, I would seriously consider toning it down for him. (Emphasize the consider.) But I would also want to explore the surrounding issues about why he felt uncomfortable – was it some fear that I would be promiscuous or simple jealousy?

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  3. First of all… it’s not disrespectful. Disrespectful is when I impose my views on others, and ppl, mainly Man, can call it in many polite plotted words. be what you are and express yourself in anyway that make you feel good

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  4. QUOTE”But honestly, if I were in a committed relationship – married – and my guy told me that too much cleavage made him feel uncomfortable, I would seriously consider toning it down for him. (Emphasize the consider.) But I would also want to explore the surrounding issues about why he felt uncomfortable – was it some fear that I would be promiscuous or simple jealousy? END QUOTE”Well that is about as sensible focused and responsible (to both party’s) comment as anyone could make. Good for you 🙂

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  5. Thanks, Peter. (And thanks also to my friends cehmagic and balulu for your comments as well.)It’s really true, isn’t it, that when we argue about things in a relationship – all sorts of things – it isn’t really about the content… it’s usually about some underlying thing that eats away at us. Something we are unwilling to see or too embarrassed to share.Personally, I’ve spent way too much time arguing the “cover-up” issue, and not enough time getting down to the nitty-gritty.

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  6. The real question is, “Should you have to give up anything of yourself to make another person comfortable?”. What you see is what you get.

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