“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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I Touch Myself

Something interesting happened this morning.

I jumped out of the shower to quickly dry off after my morning run (okay jog, okay speed walk, okay parade where naked guardsmen bore me forth, around our neighborhood park, on a satiny be-pillowed gilt litter befitting Aphrodite…)

body image issues

… And as I dried myself my hands brushed against my naked bum.

I was startled by how soft the skin was there and how juicy the whole round package felt. Huh.

Most of the time, when I notice my body, it’s in a mirror where I diagnostically assess whether or not I can enjoy some brownies washed down with a pinot noir that day.

It’s rare that I ever touch myself.

(okay, I think we all know there are times we touch ourselves with a particular agenda in mind, but DON’T MAKE ME SPELL IT OUT, PEOPLE!)

So I paused there on my tiny little green bath mat, closed my eyes and let my hands tell me about my body.

I started with my face. Feeling the bone structure. My cheekbones are high, my chin is a strong V that ends in a cleft at its very tip. My skin there is even and soft.

Visually I don’t like my aging neck, but it’s nice to touch, even though the skin is looser there. My fingers are more forgiving than my eyes.

The bones in my shoulders are prominent and broad, my arms felt firm and long, my wrists narrow. They were so much more youthful and fancy to the touch than to the ever-critical eye; which, it’s becoming clear, is the evil eye of Sauron.

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My breasts were a banquet. They overflowed my hands.

When I look at my breasts in the mirror sometimes I like them, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I wish they were still as high and hard as they were in my twenties. But again, my hands felt nothing offensive, just soft, round, full, malleable flesh.

They travelled south to … the tummy. My perceived interloper.

If my breasts were a banquet my tummy was Babette’s Feast. Granted if I lived in the midwest it might seem a puny feast, but here in LaLa land it’s a 3-day fete.

The flesh is soft, I can grab it and knead it like dough for Challah bread. But here’s the thing … there’s nothing wrong with that!! My hands don’t really care, because to them it feels soft, comfortable and even, dare I say, luxurious!

From there my hands returned to my derriere. It verged on the precipice of bootilicious and smackable (Henry, take note).

My hands moved down the length of my thighs which end in a V at my knees. I could feel some serious density and muscles due to my efforts in my mildly masochistic Pop Physique classes (is it just me or is this post veering into BDSM with J.R.R. Tolkein? And does anybody know what the second R stands for?).

My calves were prickly, my body’s first offense, and my hands promised to shave them shortly.

The arches of my feet were high and strangely my feet felt muscular and strong. Who knew? However my hands scolded my rough summer heels and promised to give them a good pumice-ing.

In all touching my body simply to feel it, to discover the mysteries unseen by the naked eye, was such a kind and loving thing to do for myself today.

I don’t want to punish my body anymore. I want to exercise in ways that give me pleasure, eat foods that are delicious and not look in a mirror except when I need to check for food in my teeth and bats in my cave.

I hope you’ll try this and tell me how your body feels. Keep it PG-13 you sex fiends! xo S


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Body image issues

10 comments

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  1. Jenn
    Jenn 21 August, 2014, 13:18

    It’s funny that you shared this on Facebook today, because I sort of did this same thing this morning in the shower. Well, it was just my stomach really. I was lathering up and kept thinking to myself, it’s a shame this flab is so unattractive, because it’s really soft. LOL

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 21 August, 2014, 13:22

      Jenn isn’t that the truth?? I’ve actually found clothes that make me look great. No more tissue paper tops that show every little roll, but tunics and shirts that skim that are of my body. It’s amazing how liberating that is. I feel comfortable sitting down and breathing. Who knew?

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  2. Liv
    Liv 22 August, 2014, 11:43

    I do it sometimes too. Especially my legs, which aren’t the same since my car accident. My calves are finally getting tighter and I can feel the muscles in my knees again…but the right one is kind of knobbly now. And my belly…well remember that skin flap Adam Sandler had in the movie “click”? Well, three babies in, I’m almost there.

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  3. Anne @MidlifeBlvd
    Anne @MidlifeBlvd 22 August, 2014, 16:11

    I’m squishy if I press, but my skin in nice and smooth, so I don’t mind too much.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 26 August, 2014, 07:19

      Well I just wonder when squishy started to get a bad rap? I think it needs to make a comeback.

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  4. Anne Louise Bannon
    Anne Louise Bannon 22 August, 2014, 16:41

    I may not have touched myself as extensively as you, but I do explore. I even look. I find I’m much less judgmental when I’m looking at myself directly, as opposed to looking in the mirror. That may be because I’m looking more and more like my dad these days. Not a bad thing except for the gender disparity.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 23 August, 2014, 10:34

      Anne you crack me up!! I’m looking more and more like my grandma. When she was my age. Which is actually pretty great.

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  5. Sher
    Sher 27 August, 2014, 10:02

    I’m not as critical of squishy as I used to be. I think our hands can show us a glimpse of how our partners see and experience our bodies. Listen to the hands!

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 27 August, 2014, 10:07

      Sher that’s exactly what I meant. I tried to imagine how it must feel for my husband to touch my body and I realized he’s a lucky guy with all that soft flesh to fondle. (Somehow that came out a little creepy).

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