Several other amazing bra bloggers are tackling the theme “redefining sexy” this month. I think that’s a great topic, both as a bra blogger and as a feminist. It’s really interesting hearing all of the other viewpoints, and I thought I’d throw my own two cents in. So how do I define “sexy”?
Short answer: I’m not sure, actually. Oh, you want the long answer? Well, it’s pretty complicated. I’ll try to condense my thoughts down to a readable amount. And I’m going to try to relate this mostly to what I find sexy in the lingerie world, otherwise I’m going to end up writing a novel.
There are two categories that my brain seems to divide “sexy” into: things that I understand to meet an objective 21st century American cultural definition of sexy, and things that I actually find sexy for me. Sometimes those things overlap, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes it’s hard to identify which is which*. “Do I really have sexyfeels about this thing/person/situation, or am I just supposed to?”
For example, I get that nearly all of the lingerie advertising I see is supposed to be sexy. But lingerie advertisements rarely hit that button for me, so to speak. I find a lot of them cute or fun or glamorous. I can usually (and I’m speaking as a basically straight woman here) find the models attractive. (The modeling world is filled with pretty people, after all.) But not necessarily in a sexual way.
Not that sexy always equates to sexual feelings. There are men and women that I find sexy as hell who I don’t actually want to get down and dirty with. No, that doesn’t make much sense to me either, but there it is. Maybe because for the last few years I’ve had a pretty low sex drive. But I’m not sure that’s all of it. I think that when I identify a person as sexy it’s because they’re projecting confidence (and to make this all more unclear, I don’t think confidence is exactly the word I’m looking for) in their own sexuality. For me, a person who looks like they’re enjoying themselves and appears comfortable in their own skin is always sexier than someone who appears uncomfortable or ill-at-ease, generally irregardless of physical attributes. I feel like I’m not articulating my thoughts very clearly here. It’s actually not any clearer in my head. Probably because rather than being a concrete concept, sexy is much closer to an emotion, in my opinion. And emotions are not known for being rational.
That pretty much sums it up for me. Sexy boils down to a feeling or an attitude more than any physical characteristic. To bring it back to bras ‘n stuff, the lingerie ads that I find sexiest are the ones that, if I put myself it the model’s place, I would feel sexy. I can’t define it any better than that. Certain scenarios, certain poses, certain suggested moments and feelings. And I can’t tell you exactly which ones. It’s subjective and it’s capricious.
So, what types of lingerie do I find sexy? That’s subjective and capricious, too. Usually depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s lace and garters. Sometimes it’s vintage styles. Sometimes it’s bondage-inspired stuff. Sometimes its straight up bondage gear. Sometimes it’s bright flowers and dainty bows. Sometimes it’s an old, worn out tee shirt and a pair of cotton undies that came in a package from KMart. Depends how I’m feeling at the moment, and whether I feel like even feeling sexy right then. Lingerie doesn’t always (or even often) have to be about sexiness. There are a million different reasons to pull any particular piece out of the drawer or off the shelf. “Because it’s sexy” is only one of them.
Please, please, please go to Les gros bonnets for a round-up of other posts on the topic!
*I think this is a matter of overuse of the male gaze in advertising. I couldn’t quite figure out a way to expand on that thought in the post without making it really, really long and academic. Click the link for more info.
**Curvy Kate Princess in scarlett/chilli