And there we were, face to face, caught up in a river of passion, lust and desire. I felt 100% in control of my womanhood and stripped down to nothing without thinking twice about the rolls on my back, the cellulite on my legs, or that terrible scar on my leg I gained as a child.
In the silhouette of darkness, I felt like a goddess, exuding strength, confidence and power. And then, with just a flip of a switch that all changed. "I want to see you", he said. "All of you." And just as instinctively as my lioness actions were, so was what happened next. He turned on the lights and Miss Confidence, Miss Strength and Miss Power was quickly met by Miss Insecure, Miss "Dang, I'm Feeling Extra Plumpy Today" and Miss "What Will He Think?".
Like many women, I've struggled my whole life with the ups and downs of my weight, the marks of life on my body and the never ending battle of standing still in my own sexuality.
As I stood there, raw and vulnerable to his gaze, I couldn't help but think about how much of my sexual identity was attached to this personality; this mirage I had created. How could I go from a place of confidence to a place of fear in an instant? Did this mean I didn't love myself? That the confidence that I worked so hard to build was fake? Was I a fraud? Was it because I was with a new partner? Or because the man I had loved chose another woman over me? With just the flip of a switch, I had allowed fear to corrupt my body and cripple my soul.
That night, I sat in my bedroom and started working on this post. I couldn't stop thinking about all of the emotions that were running through me. As I spoke about this with other women, I realized that that three letter word carries so much significance in our lives.
Our ideals of sex are built around TV shows, conversations with our girlfriends and the occasional Cosmo Magazine. But do we ever really stop to talk about the grittiness of stripping down and putting our trust in someone else's hands? Do we talk about the strength of knowing the curves of our own bodies and the motions that take us to ecstasy? Do we ever talk about the fact that it's okay to build a sexual identity that is true to you and your needs? Whether with the lights on or off, alone or with a partner, your body and your emotions are your own.
Now my glorious divas, I don't have the answer to these questions. However on this Valentine's Day, whether or not you have a special person in your life or not, I encourage you to stand in front of a mirror and take a good, long look at your reflection – and yes, turn on those lights.
Come on – don’t shy away. Now, for some of you, this might be nothing but for others, this might take some time. Once you're done… Once you’ve cried, yelled and cursed the lady in front of you, I want you to close your eyes. Once YOU are ready, take another good look at yourself and say – “I love you!”
At first, it will feel strange and maybe unnatural, but say it. Say it today, say it tomorrow and say it every single day.
This one post won't solve all of the self confidence struggles of the world but I am hoping that it will spark more conversations between women, sharing their stories and owning their sexual identities. I ask you to join me in keeping the light on in regards to this conversation by sharing your story and/or photo on social media and using the following hashtag: #AndThentheLightsCameOn.
LOVE ETERNITY SCARF; SATIN MAKEUP ROBE; LACE-UP SIDE HIPSTER PANTY; FISHNET LACE GARTER BELT; UNLINED LACE BALCONETTE BRA WITH CONTRAST TRIM; STRAPLESS LONG LINE BRA; LACE-UP TALL HEELED BOOT; PEEP TOE CUT OUT HEEL