My best friend Vania and I were discussing feminism yesterday. It’s a subject on which we share similar opinions. I consider myself among the Fuck-Me Feminists. I have no issue with pornography; I love erotica as much as I love my feminist literature; and though I respect Andrea Dworkin, I think she would have benefited from a facial, massage, mani and pedi, and possibly a couple of rounds of chocolate martinis with her friends (please don’t call us girls) a la Sex and the City. Vania refers to us modern feminists as Lipstick and/or Stiletto Feminists. I think those terms are a little limiting and apply only to really attractive or young women who aspire to be part of the beauty myth-and it is a myth.
I personally can’t stand to wear stilettos and I’m more of a lip stain and gloss chick, but I do love a good session of “Nail Me like a Savior” on occasion and I am definitely pro woman. As I nattered with my best friend I could understand how he relates to us modern women with all our flaws, complexities, and insecurities. I can honestly say I sympathize with single men like Vania who are in their thirties and forties trying to get their groove on in this current dating pool of independent, self-aware, motivated, yet often neurotic, single women. However, I have discovered in my nearly forty years of living that what men say they want to fuck and what they actually fuck are often two diversely different types of women. The one universal constant I have discovered to rank high on straight men’s fuckability quotient is tits (i.e. breasts, fun-bags, knockers, ta-tas, melons, boobs, puppies, major league yabbos, jugs, pillows, and etc…). I consider myself lucky to have been blessed at the age of twelve with a rack that, on occasion, stopped traffic.
One of my first body-conscious memories involves my favorite high school English teacher, Diane Hudson. Diane had sponsored and produced a Shakespeare festival through the high school. I was a senior then and had never really thought about the advantages a great set of yabbos provided me. In my youthful naivety I decided to bounce across the gymnasium to talk with Diane dressed in my low-cut white peasant blouse, a well engineered push-up bra, and a corset that cinched my Beyoncesque curves into a perfect hourglass form. Her eyes sparkled as she gazed directly at my heaving bosom. She cocked her mouth into a smile reminiscent of a young sexy Elvis, or Billy Idol circa 1986.
“You have been given a gift, my dear,” Diane cleared her throat and attempted her best Obi-Wan. “Use your powers for good and not evil.”
I heard her, but I didn’t truly understand her message until I was in my mid-twenties. I’m not saying in my late teens and early twenties I didn’t throw my fun bags around and display them prominently, fully aware of the power they had over people. I did. I used them to get the attention I wanted. However, I was twenty-five years old when I educated myself on how to harness the power breasts possess.
I was volunteering at a local playhouse when I became aware of the potential impact my massive melons had on the social order in America. I was standing backstage with a technical advisor during the rehearsal of a production for which I had designed the hair and makeup. I was wearing these great earrings that were antique clock faces-they were flashy and fun. I was also wearing a very tight sweater. The advisor looked at my face-so you can see why I was confused-and announced that “they” were lovely and asked if he could touch them. I thought he meant the earrings, so I gave him a green light to enter my personal space. Before I could react the guy was fondling my breasts with great precision. I wasn’t sure if I was offended or aroused. After two minutes of his five finger exploration I announced that he had twenty seconds of groping left before he would be pulling back two bloody stumps where his hands used to be. He retracted his curious grasp on my mammary glands. He apologized and then laughed, saying that if he had a pair like mine he’d rule the freaking world. I laughed with him. I couldn’t imagine myself or my breasts ruling anything, except maybe the ability to prove that 18 Hour Bras never truly, comfortably support a gal for 18 hours-maybe 7 hours at the most without the straps burrowing into her shoulders.
I spent a couple of days after the rehearsal thinking about what the handsy techie had said. I recalled one of my favorite gay boys from college in the early nineteen-nineties who, while I was napping on piles of pillows on his apartment floor, straddled my stomach and began kneading my breasts like an unbaked loaf of Wonder Bread. I had several (think numerous) bottle of Bartles and James Tropical Wine Coolers, so I was not adverse to the scenario. I was, after all, a theatre girl and I loved (and still love) my art fags. My gay boy had my shirt up and bra off, admiring my chest in all its feminine glory.
“You know,” he said, “I could never touch a vagina, but these are really interesting and I think I get the appeal.”
I told him he was a silly faggot and I let it go at that. Three days after my experience with the curious techie I realized that my college gay boy had pointed me in the direction of my own personal Narnia. The world loves tits and I was going to use this knowledge to my advantage.
Men, women, and children all admire breasts in some regard. Whether it is the desire to touch, own, or nurse from them, all eyes will eventually venture towards breasts. I’ve used mine to get drinks at bars, obtain roles in plays, secure employment, wangle my way out of speeding tickets, pass college courses, and to finagle my way out of arguments with boyfriends and male friends. Dangling from my chest were the keys to the kingdom and I barreled through the gates like a bull in a china shop-I took as many prisoners as I wanted and gained access to wherever the titties would take me. I never let my weight, my big nose, or my giant ass with its own zip code stop me from using my body to obtain what I felt I needed. I now wish I’d been a tad more resourceful in my twenties and not sold my physical appearance short. I also wish I’d spent less time pretending to be offended by the ogling my breasts received. I’d snap my fingers at chest level while men stared hypnotically at my boobs and pulled focus to my face announcing that I was up here. I believe that as long as women in the professional world only earn 80% on average of what their male counterparts earn there is no shame in a woman wearing a low-cut shirt into Starbucks so the Clearasil covered male barista who makes her chai latte gives her a substantial discount on her weekly caffeine fix. In fact, I believe it is my inalienable right as a woman to bridge the financial gap between the genders whenever possible.
The only flaw in the tit system is age. Knowing that I’m knocking on forty’s door I have come to terms with the fact that my sweater puppies will not receive the longing glances they once did. My dear friend Marilyn wrote about this subject in one of her poems. She tells the reader of how she wears a black bra but believes at the age of fifty she is no longer bait. And, though I disagree with her personal assessment, I empathize with her sentiment. I’m no longer the bait I once was for the universal male gaze. But, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, I’m in no way going gently into that good night. Just last week this thirty-nine year old fat girl entered her local Cricket store to pay her cell phone bill. There was a long line of men waiting to purchase cellular plans and cell phones. It is an important detail that I had just recently purchased a new underwire plunge push-up bra from Catherine’s-big girls, I highly recommend this bra because the “girls” hadn’t looked that good since Bush Sr. was President.
I was wearing this bra under a low-cut boyfriend style T-shirt. Having little faith in my breasts now that they are four decades old I leaned against the counter waiting my turn in the line, but before I could say “Jumping Gisele Bundchen on a Trampoline” a very nice gentleman came to my aid and asked if he could help me. I looked up to see his eyes transfixed on my round teasing cleavage that was protruding from the gaping neck of my T-shirt. I laughed. I paid my bill and was out the door before those poor men in the store received any attention from the sales associate. That day the world made sense to me if only for a brief moment. I had a bounce in my step and the confident reassurance that in the sexual order of society I’ve somehow still got it.