We all have shamanic rituals we enact to get through life on this earth – these sacred routines that help connect you to your higher self and escape the harshness of reality. Maybe for you it’s taking a bath, gardening, staring at the stars, breathing in the wind, digging a ditch to then writhe naked with the worms while humming show tunes, or watching Internet porn? To each his own. For me, I like to walk around the lake by my house – it’s pretty.
The other day as I was walking, it started to rain. I looked above me and could see the rain cloud, but also a patch of blue sky in front of me. I figured, “Oh Toni, you’re right underneath the rain cloud, so you just have to run in front of it to where the sky is blue, and then you won’t get rained on anymore!” Yes, you heard me right. I thought I could outrun a rain cloud, and genuinely tried to accomplish that goal for the remaining 3 miles around the lake – and wouldn’t you know it – I never was able to RUN FASTER THAN THE EARTH’S ROTATION? Weird right?
Or maybe it was weird that I authentically thought this was possible? Oh whoops, I forgot to tell you I was pretty stoned during this experience, so that might explain some things.
We think we are in control of the earth. Humanity maintains this illusion that we have power over the planet and that we Sapiens are the priority above all other the species, and even the planet itself. We believe that all the earth’s bounty and resources are primarily for us to sustain our lives, even at the cost of everything else. Yet why? For thousands of years mankind was much more in tune with the harmony of the natural world and our place inside it, rather than above it. Why have we become corrupted into assuming that humans deserve to consume everything in our wake?
A hostile ideology towards nature has permeated modern thinking and Francis Bacon, who is considered the father of empiricism and “Western” scientific method, ejaculated this attitude. Bacon would use analogies of raping and controlling the earth when discussing the need for science as a means to dominate nature. His metaphors were filled with violence towards the feminine, and it was his teachings that birthed our Western relationship to science.
No wonder we as a species are acting so viciously towards the planet. There is a collective sentiment of domination over nature like she is a woman that needs to be put in her place. The arrogance that nature can be restricted is echoed in the way the world treats women and all that the feminine has come to represent. Consider our relationship oil – it’s as if we are sucking at the teat of the world, yet giving her no time to replenish. Is it really a good idea to keep nursing until there is no more milk left to nourish? Doesn’t mother earth, like an actual nursing mother, need time to rejuvenate? Even a baby knows to take a break and stare into space for a little while or play with its fingers. How are we so smart about so many things, yet so unaware that you can’t treat the earth, or women, like they are purely vessels for taking whatever you want from them?
We use the term “mother nature” acknowledging the symbiotic relationship that the planet sustains all life, yet we simultaneously treat her like a disposable whore. There is a psychological conflict that’s taking place and it’s reiterated in the way women are treated across the globe. The violence towards the earth is reverberated in the violence towards women. We take advantage of the mother earth much like we take advantage of mothers. If the mother instinct prevailed, then preservation of the future would be the top priority over money and the restrictions of a privatized global economy. Every decision would be made under the lens of “what is best for my children” rather than “what is best for me.” Yet sadly, and irrationally, that’s not our approach.
The human species is the greatest ecological serial killer the earth has ever known. Over the past 50,000 years a staggering amount of animals have gone extinct because of our influence. We are in the midst of a 3rd mass extinction of animals right now. Our 3rd! We have done this before. North America used to be the home of giant 8-ton sloths that were 20 ft high. There were rodents the size of bears. Wooly mammals. Giant Tigers. Right here where you’re sitting! All the animals that exist today, are a mere fraction of what used to be – we killed them all. And all that death made way for what? The most useless generation of humans ever to exist? Yeah maybe we can text really fast while driving, but we don’t know shit about survival. Human beings at least used to be one with their environment – I don’t even know how to keep myself alive without a refrigerator. I just go to the grocery store and am like, “Uhhhh this box of food looks look good.” Most of us are useless. We’re not inventing solutions to the world’s problems; we’re just creating more trash.
Yet even if all the citizens in the US lived in intentional communities of off the grid geodesic domes, ate only organic vegan food grown locally in our shoes, dressed exclusively in clothes that were hemp colored hemp, and traveled purely by unicycle – the military industrial complex would still be polluting the planet at an alarming rate. We can’t just change our personal behavior; we also have to address the entire system that operates without consideration of the future, which I know, feels exhausting.
So yes, we as individuals have to do everything we can to be more ecologically aware and lesson our footprint, but we also can’t forget about the GIANT BOOT on our chests that is the US military, and most of corporate culture that operates by the rules of Wall Street rather than the laws of nature.
Hope y’all had a good earth day over the weekend and weren’t thinking about the apocalyptic shit that I was!
I have a lot of social anxiety around people. Wait, let me rephrase that – I have a lot of social anxiety around people that don’t know me and I have to prove my worth through some sort of pithy conversational cue that indicates my humanity and suggests there’s more to me than a woman who has dirt under her fingernails from some unknown source. Considering my personal preference to eliminate all superficial banter that Homo Sapiens are seemingly comforted by, I usually start off with such talking points as, “tell me your primal wound,” when meeting a stranger. My interest is in wanting desperately to know who someone truly is, and not hiding behind the conventions that masquerade us as the happy, perfect, success we all want to be perceived as. I want to know your darkest parts, your deepest shame, your emotional-self, the piece of you that scares you the most – and wouldn’t you know it, not everybody is down for that journey?
Living in the woods for the past 9 years has insulated me from the societal pressures of impressing humanoids. In my community of cuntree living I’m mostly accepted as my authentic self. The chipmunks understand my crude nature, the trees don’t judge my incessant yammering about capitalism fueling the psychological raping of the patriarchy, and the grass is accustomed to my endless well of genitalia infused humor. Yet when I leave my population of moss-covered rocks and venture into the big world of urban existence where I’m exposed to a plethora of people to connect with, I tend to constantly question who the hell I’m supposed to be in order to be liked.
Of course there the simple answer is, “yourself”- be yourself Toni!
Or another answer is, “who cares what people think?”
Both of these I agree with and try and implement, yet who is “myself” around those I don’t know? How can I not be aware of how others perceive me when I can’t help but notice as their brow furrows at my comment about “butt-fucking corporate greed” and how soon we will be a population of genetically modified humans where only the wealthy will be able to afford designer, Nietzschean, Uber-babies while the poor will lack the resources of genetic perfection thus igniting a cultural war between the immortal demi-god elite and the deformed, polluted, regular humans? I see how their eyes glaze over as they slowly excuse themselves from talking to me, and move stealthily away to have more comfortable conversations with someone else – avoiding eye contact should I return with more polemic antidotes.
I’m a lot like cilantro in that way. To some, I taste very soapy.
I struggle with accepting the fact that I turn a lot of people off because I realize I’m making a choice to approach people in the way that I do. I know I could be more likable if I was socially lubricated enough to give out emotional hand jobs. Deep down I know I am capable of deep throating their desire to stay on the surface and discuss things that aren’t as emotionally loaded as, “does your dad actually love you?” Yet instead I feel this need to avoid jerking someone off even if I know they’d enjoy my company more and instead end up furiously metaphorically masturbating while staring them in the face hoping they eventually drop their trousers and do the same.
I feel torn about wanting to be liked and wanting to be real because those things don’t always go together.
When I was a young kid I didn’t have any friends. SURPRISE! I had my older brother and he was the only playmate I needed. When I started the 1st grade I made one friend named Trudy who didn’t wear underwear, so I knew she understood a lot more about life than I did. She was also great at cartwheels despite the provocative consequences of the afore mentioned fashion choice. Trudy moved away for the 2nd grade, so I made one more friend to replace her. She was a very shy girl with ringlets named Ashley and we spent most of our time not talking and jumping rope. In the 3rd grade I was separated from Ashley so I became friends with a girl Lizzie, who had an exceptionally impressive blond ponytail that swung when she walked. Lizzie was popular because she was the new pretty girl with the hot hair and the popular boy had a crush on her – and as we all know – a women’s value is often defined by the caliber of boy that likes her because… the patriarchy. Yet sadly Lizzie and her luscious mane moved away after one year, leaving a black hole of the “popular girl” vacuum to be filled. I figured I would go back to my life of obscurity and singing songs about frogs and pigs with Ashley, yet because I had been Lizzie’s best friend, I inadvertently inherited her crown.
I found being popular to be very stressful. Having many friends is theoretically nice, but when you’re a co-dependent, people-pleasing, 9- year old that feels responsible for the emotional happiness of others and has been socialized by Catholic guilt to prioritize everyone but yourself because love is conditional and only given when behaving in the manner adults want – it can be a bit overwhelming. I always wanted my friends to be happy and this created a dynamic where I was more concerned about being who THEY wanted me to be rather than who I actually was. I was intuitive enough to understand the parts of me each friend preferred, but then my personality became a performance art of negotiating the traits each audience member was most likely to enjoy.
I lived like this for ummmm… 30 years? There was this hyper concern about the needs of others that made it impossible to prioritize the needs of myself or truly settle into the relationships that made the most sense for me. I was so desperate for love that I’d take it from anyone, even if it meant folding myself into an origami shape of their liking – “oh you’re not into me, well how about you try Toni as crane.” It wasn’t until I birthed a human that I started to address shedding this strategy of manipulating others by manipulating myself into the manipulated figure they most fancied. Not only because of my child’s all-consuming unconditional love that accepted all, didn’t judge, and whose only expectation was my utter devotion – but also because taking care of a kid is very time sucking and forced me to prioritize what was actually important.
I think we all change, mold, and develop as we grow, but for me personally becoming someone’s mother shook me out of a coma of my own making. I started to genuinely feel like, “who gives a shit what anyone thinks but her?” My kid’s opinion of me is truly the only one that matters and she thinks I’m the fucking shit. The Munch loves my videos, she thinks I have a beautiful voice (I don’t), and she’s convinced I’m an accomplished artist purely because my hearts aren’t crooked and I can draw a descent star shape. Not that I’m basing my sense of self purely on my daughter’s perception of me because I’m aware there will come a time when she’s resentful, rebellious, or questions why she can’t smoke pot in the house when mommy does – but what I have learned from raising The Munch is that I will never be able to be who someone wants me to be because they will ALWAYS want more. They will endlessly suck from my teat, ingesting the milk of my efforts to please them and then digest my excretions while expecting me to change the diarrhea in their diapers.
So I’ve gone the other direction. I’ve come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to like me, and maybe I even speed that process along by being so unapologetically myself right out the gate. If you’re not interested in discussing the future of A.I. and how maybe hating yourself is what you love about yourself most, then we probably aren’t going to have a lot in common anyway. I’m not perfect at this practice of course. I can get intimated by strong personalities that think they’re better than me because hey – you probably are better than me. I can allow myself to feel bullied in conversations if the person I’m engaging with resists my efforts because they are stuck in their own ideology and too closed-minded to be willing to explore. I can find myself back in old patterns of wanting to please and allowing comments I think are dumb, offensive, annoyingly sexual towards me, or purely shallow. When I’m at my strongest I challenge, and when I’m at my weakest I acquiesce and let things slide I later wish I didn’t. Yet life is a work in progress and I guess the best I can do is keep forcing myself on people and hoping I run into those that are interested in investigating their darkness with me.
When I am my happiest, I am thinking the least. Not a lot is going through my head when I’m having a good time. I’m not thinking about my own personal failures, the fact that humans are currently causing our 3rd massive extinction of animals, or about the inevitability of implicit bias and how our collective unconscious mentalities only further subjugate the already oppressed and vulnerable. I’m not thinking of any of that, or feeling the inevitable depression that coats those thoughts, but instead I strip down, allowing my brain cavity to empty out the pesky thoughts of the overwhelming inequality in the world, leaving space to forget all that momentarily to instead notice the beauty, hope, and potential all around me… and then of course I take another hit of weed.
When I’m at my most depressed, I’m thinking a lot. My mind is filled with the futility of my artistic pursuits – how I’m just spinning wheels, existing in a vortex of my own mediocrity and meaningless efforts. I question why I spend my time yearning for something I’ll never achieve because my poor life choices mixed with average abilities have rendered me forever insignificant. My head will then fill with the living nightmare of my political and social impotence to be part of a real revolution that annihilates the economic system that has corrupted every facet of human culture and serves as the driving force of ecological terrorism we’ve enacted on the planet. I’ll lose myself in these thoughts that everything is so insurmountable and regardless of my emotional boner to penetrate society with my positive influence, I’m instead a flaccid inactive member that hangs pathetically, ashamed of my own inadequacy.
Everyone feels this way right??
Most people I know battle with depressive thinking. We all choose to handle it in our own ways. We self-medicate, masturbate, and believe that smoking a vape is safe. Yet the truth is, there are countless things to be legitimately depressed about, yet we all crave reprieve from that all consuming feeling of no feeling. No one wants to be depressed. There is a massive industry promising you relief from this encompassing emotion, and people will deal with the side effects of dry mouth(s) and soft dick for liberation. Depression is a pervasive feeling that has swept across this country with millions of people aching to sweep it off the platter of their emotional plate for good.
We can be depressed about a romance gone sour, a love that has curdled in the cup of your heart that you don’t know how to reverse the rotting process. So you think about this person obsessively, not because it feels good, but because it feels bad. It’s almost as if you’re not the one doing the thinking. That someone else is controlling your mind as if with a remote. Every time you try and change the channel to something else, they change the channel right back to your heartbreak. You try desperately to watch something benign like animal planet, but this demon keeps forcing you “Clockwork Orange” eversion therapy style to instead stay tuned to the reality show of your bitter rejection.
Maybe you’re depressed because you can’t have the career you want, the baby you want, or the life that you want. When your needs aren’t being met, or you feel at the mercy of a culture that’s designed to keep you down because you’re not the status quo, it’s natural to feel hopeless, helpless, and despondent. Yet those feelings are often not in the backdrop of your brain, quietly murmuring in a corner of your mind, but instead they are the loudest voices in your head – reminding you constantly of their existence by screaming their discontent.
Why is it that when you WANT to think about something else, you CAN’T? Aren’t you the only person in your mind? So then why can’t you choose what you do and don’t think about!? If YOU don’t want to be thinking about something, yet can’t stop thinking about it, then WHO is the one making you think about it? Is there a real-estate agent in your mind renting out the rooms of your psyche?
Imagine your brain as an apartment building, and each feeling is an apartment in your head. Let’s say you’re in a relationship, and you give that person the keys to your penthouse. The penthouse is of course the pinnacle of your mental energy, so by living in the penthouse your lover becomes the thing you think about the most, care about the most, and are most consumed with. If the relationship is good, or you’re in that initial phase of love/lust where everything seems perfect and full of possibility, then allowing yourself to daydream about that person all day feels okay. But what happens when the relationship starts deteriorating? Then thinking about that person is going to make you feel like shit, yet you can’t not think about them because they live in the fucking penthouse of your brain! In order to stop thinking about them, you need to get the keys back!
You tell the real-estate agent in your mind that you’re breaking up, so your lover can’t live in the penthouse anymore. The real-estate agent then says “Okay, so we’re evicting Chad from the penthouse – who wants to rent the space now? Oh ‘Crippling Self-Doubt’ your application looks good and I see you have the full down payment. Wow, ‘Self-Loathing,’ your credit score checks out – y’all wanna be roommates? Now, who wants to rent the anxiety apartment because we just remodeled it and added a few extra rooms in including a master bath for depression! Oh Chad you’d like to live in anxiety now? Sure that works out, and you’re new girlfriend can even have her office in there, so perfect. Ummm let’s see, looks like suicidal thoughts has a room to fill, any takers? Looks like Chad wants a few more keys to some other apartments. How about right before bed thoughts, and first thing in the morning thoughts? Great. Oh, and of course Chad, here is the key to listening to music and watching people kiss on the street.”
Who lives in the penthouse of your mind? If it’s another person, career goal, how fucked up the world is, or a specific vision of how your life should be – chances are that you’re going to think about things that make you miserable. We have no control over other people, we have no control over our success, we have no control over the Illuminati, and we have no control when it comes to constructing the perfect life. If your penthouse is rented to something or someone you have no control over, then you will always feel powerless in your own mind. Instead, why not rent out the penthouse of your brain to the process of self-growth? Not a specific vision of what that looks like, but rather the simple journey of self-reflection and actualization. If you decide that your one goal in life is to evolve at whatever pace makes the most sense at the time, then you are no longer a victim of circumstance. You are the architect of your own personal progress, and you can design your penthouse for you. Maybe your kitchen is messy and the master bedroom is still under construction, but you still sleep well in the guest room and the walk-in closet is finally finished. As long as you’re working towards progress, you will always feel some sort of mental peace. Yeah the world is a fucking trashcan filled with racism, sexism, hate and fear – but the greatest form of activism starts with empowering yourself to have the mental energy and emotional bandwidth to put yourself out there in the face of all the adversity and try. Why rent your penthouse to anyone else besides your self-awareness? It’s YOUR penthouse after all. Would you own an apartment building and live in the basement? So why would you do that in your own head?
Of course for some many of us that are in debt, the targets of bigotry, or suffering from severe trauma – your penthouse is going to have some squatters. When you are struggling financially and worry if you can feed your family, those thoughts are going to plague you. If you’re a person of color constantly reminded that your life doesn’t matter, these thoughts will haunt you. If you’re the victim of some awful crime it’s going to be incredibly to hard push those thoughts out of the penthouse. You maybe have to have some unwanted tenants in your penthouse, but you STILL have to insist that it’s YOUR name on the lease, and your RIGHT to kick them out as you gain strength and need more rooms.
Then don’t forget how do you want to design the rest of the building? You are going to have an anxiety apartment, a self-doubt apartment, a self-loathing apartment… But how big are they? Who are you renting them out to? Who are you allowing in these spaces? What about your love apartment? Your feeling optimistic apartment? How big are they? And what is your screening process like? Don’t let rats and vermin take over your building and make sure you’re only giving out keys to those with impeccable references!
Look at this lovely bath in the penthouse in your brain!!!
The plight of lonely white men is a cry heard from a thousand rooftops across the country – like a barking baby seal, yapping it’s discontent with a piercing echoing sound that penetrates the eardrum, rousing my auditory cavity with both irritation and empathy. I feel for this archetype of the lonely white male because he comes to his pain honestly. In this hyper-capitalist patriarchal world, if you were to win the genetic lottery of being a man, and white, you’re basically born on 3rd base of the playing field of life. So when white women born on 1st base, or people of color born in the dugout, or immigrants born in the goddamn parking lot surpass you in economic or social success – dashing by you as they round the bases for a home run – the failure feels extra potent.
As a woman, if I’m an economic failure it’s not THAT big of a deal for me psychologically because the game is already rigged against me. It’s considered cute that I tried so hard. The inbred sexism that is still alive and well in not only the work force but society at large gives me a rational explanation for why I’m not thriving. Sure sometimes institutions need a token female to float around in their sea of men, (and in that way being a female can be an extra advantage), yet even when you’re used as a tool for diversity, it’s still a lot of work to hammer your way in.
Being a white male is a lot of pressure, and being a white male that feels like you’re drowning despite your life-vest being secured tightly, probably is particularly depressing. I can see how this would ignite disdain towards those that don’t directly benefit from the patriarchy as a mask to hide the shame. It makes sense that there is an unconscious rage brewing that’s being externalized because the internal anger at the self is too much to contain. There is a cause behind this movement of men that feel victimized, marginalized, and discarded in this “politically-correct, post-modern, over-sensitive world.” Yet men feeling the oppression of problems caused by other men, then blaming it on “feminism,” or “reverse racism,” is divisive thinking that only empowers “the 1% man” that’s actually eating us all for dinner.
The loneliness of white men is often attributed to a lack of connection. Many men find themselves socially isolated and lack opportunities for deep emotional bonding. When looking at the psychology of these mass shooters, loneliness is often mentioned as one of the causes for this kind of extreme erratic behavior. This lonely, lone wolf that lacks connection to the pack, so their solution is to murder a bunch of people to feel less alone in their pain. Of course not every lonely white man becomes a mass murder, some of them fill their time calling women “cunts” on the Internet, so… it’s a spectrum.
This feeling of loneliness and emotional isolation for white men is spreading with the tenacity of HPV. They often have a reaction against “politically correct” culture because they feel personally attacked. Women and people of color yammering on about the patriarchy seem like a direct insult rather than a plea for alternative structural systems that aren’t so one-sided. Rather than acknowledging the imbalance of how society has been set up for thousands of years and listening to the experiences of how others have coped, they shun those conversations in fear of being blamed.
Yet the irony of this situation is that the solution to this loneliness white men feel that makes them feel so closed off is actually right under their noses.
When I listen to men talk to men, they tend to discuss common interests. They find topics they have opinions about, and then stay in that safe space of conversation. When you listen to women talk to each other, they tend to talk more about their lives and how they feel about different events that happen to them. When I hang out with my best friends most of our time is spent catching each other up on all the things that happened since the last time I saw them. So rather than expecting men to get all their emotional needs met by their friendships with other men, what if men had more female friends that were purely platonic (ie not trying to fuck) to help them better connect to their emotional selves?
The not trying to fuck these women is the KEY ingredient to this dynamic being successful. Women – much like bloodhounds – have a keen sense of smell and are aware when they’re being hunted. If I know a dude is talking to me purely because he’s trying to nose dive into my muff, I tend to be a bit guarded. Yet if I’m having a conversation and don’t feel mentally undressed and choked lightly while being pushed against a wall, I might open up more! The beauty of male/female friendships is that lonely men can then not only get better acquainted with their own feelings, but they could also learn more about what women think.
Men often don’t read books written by women or with women protagonists. Men don’t watch movies about women (unless a woman dragged him there and there is a potential blow job on the line). Men mostly don’t listen to Podcasts hosted by women. Men are not forced to take gender studies classes, or feminist theory – they would have to choose to have curiosity about these subjects and pursue it on their own accord. We often hear men complain that they “don’t understand women” or that ladies are “too complicated, “ with all our uterine undulations and random leaking of tears and blood. Yet women are no more complex or emotional than men, women just have had greater exposure to the psychology of men, and therefore understand them better. By simply going through the educational system and living life women are accustomed to reading books by men about men, watching movies made by men about men, and digesting the entire human history almost exclusively through the eyes of men because women weren’t educated and considered property for the last few millennia. Men don’t have the reputation that women do of being “complicated” but that’s not because they are truly any simpler. I don’t find men that mysterious not because they’re not multifaceted creatures, but because I’ve been constantly exposed to their thinking for all my years on this planet.
If men had more female friendships that highlighted the humanity of the women and not their sexuality, they would benefit greatly from the wisdom women have – not only about other women and how to be more appealing to them, but also around the female perspective of life. The more men are empathetic, understanding, and aware of the feminine experience, the more they will actually come to learn about themselves, their mothers, and the world around them. The female voice may have been silenced in most of recorded history, but the influence was always there. Why do you think the calendar is marking the months connected to moon cycles – because periods that’s why! Men that have a heightened awareness of the plight of women will actually better understand their own plight in the end. Women have so much to offer men intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, yet when they are treated purely as receptacles for sperm deposits, all that potential personal growth is lost.
So my advice to all the lonely white men struggling to find emotional peace in this world is to make more lady friends that you’re not trying to finger bang and instead use those hands of yours to learn to massage feet, braid hair, cook better, hug, and tear down the patriarchy one brick at a time with the rest of us.
I remember being a flat chested pre-teen and really wanting big boobs – so much so, that I’d even wish for them on a star. I’m not really sure that’s what Pinocchio had in mind for me, but I’m 100% sure it’s what Walt Disney did.
I’m not sure why I was so interested in having large fat balls dangle off my chest, but at the time, it seemed very crucial. Maybe it was curiosity? Wanting to know what they would feel like? I also wanted braces for that exact reason. I’d see my friends struggle with metal scraping their inner lips, rubber bands snapping their tongues, retainers that flipped and got coated with food mucus, and I think to myself – I want that. Braces seemed so eventful compared to my boring mouth that was free of torture devises, and I guess tits shared a similar allure.
I knew when my mom was young she had a big pair of tits, so there was hope for my dream of acquiring bounteous fun bags – a dream so pure it rivaled the vision of MLK. I even saw pictures to prove my mom’s lady sacks were impressive because her current woman balls were less so. When questioning the size change of her breasts, my mom explained to me that I sucked them away while breastfeeding – her words, not mine. Although I felt slightly guilty for vampirically devouring the bosom of my mother, I also secretly hoped they’d transfer to me through eventual osmosis.
Finally in the 7th grade I decided I needed a bra. This was of course a subjective decision made by yours truly. I think if you’d held up my front body to the scrutiny of objective scientific inquiry – the results may have varied. Yet sadly for me, science had other things to do than quantifying if my tits needed to be holstered, so I had to rely on my own method of bouncing up and down on a trampoline trying to measure for movement – I mean, I guess I could have gotten a grant to be more precise, but you know how they only give grants to boys in science because the patriarchy.
After I deemed myself worthy of being initiated into the culture of bra-wearing women, I asked my mom if she’d buy me one. We both knew there was only one store she was going to take me to. This was 1993 my friends, there was no real choice; this was the height of the monolith that was Victoria’s secret (PS her secret is that she’s having an affair, that’s why she needs the sexy lingerie). My mother, who was a classy lady, wasn’t going to take me to some department store to get a cotton “training” bra to train my boobs for some esoteric Olympic event of boob bouncing. My mom was going to take me to where she herself found her breast buckets.
The closest Victoria’s Secret was at the “Cambridge Side Galleria Mall,” which was not a place we’d frequent often because my mom hated malls – she thought going to malls was a republican thing to do, as was giving your kids rides, or playing golf. As a family we were forbidden all activities that looked slightly republican – hence why I walked miles to school by myself starting at age 7, but I digress. When my mom and I entered into the heavenly scented silk haven that was VS, we then perused the various drawers and racks for the perfect bras for my petite tits.
To my surprise, it turned out that this process was not the joyous feminine bathing in satin I thought it would be. I suddenly lost interest in all the delicate fabric, and was too ashamed to try anything on, or have a sales lady help me. I felt out of place with my GAP jeans, T-shirt, and ponytail. Nothing about my 13-year old self felt womanly or sensual – nor was I even interested in my own sexuality. I was also very intimidated by the many manikins whose plentiful breasts where being decorated by Victoria’s holsters while their blank faces stared into mine, mocking me.
I asked my mom to hurry up and pick some bras for me because she loves pretty things. My mother of course chose a red-lace padded push-up bra, size 32A.
My dad’s a lucky guy. My mom knows how to woman.
I left that store with this fancy bra and two others, humiliated by my own uncomfortability both emotionally and physically – because wouldn’t you know it, a red-lace push-up padded bra is itchy as fuck, as was the black lace one, and the other flowered lace one. All these bras had underwire in them that dug into my ribs and chaffed my skin. They hurt to wear… but they were beautiful and that’s the whole point right? To adorn your sex parts with sexy clothing so they can be sexy for all the sex you’re going to have? The message was clear – decorate your sex because you are a sexy present that a man will soon unwrap.
Now, I know you’re probably on the edge of your seat right now wondering if I ever achieved my childhood aspiration of growing big tits. I get that you might even lose sleep if you don’t find out the answer to this crucial question and are probably searching for your anti anxiety meds right now because you can’t take the anticipation. Well you can exhale and breathe again because I DID GET THOSE BIG BOOBS AFTER ALL! I got on birth control pills at 15 and then grew a pair of full C-cups, sometimes D’s.
I know. You feel so much relief now don’t you?
But… I bet your still beside yourself with curiosity wondering if that young girl with the red-lace padded push-up bra grew up to be a woman that still wears such alluring lingerie and the answer is… hahahh that’s hilarious. My current bra situation is some old nursing bras that are stained with breast milk from 7-years ago, but I still wear them because they’re soft. I also have some floppy sports bras that aren’t too tight because I hate the feeling of fabric constricting my lungs. These bras don’t necessarily support anything, and are more just material I drape on my body with the intention of holding my breasts in place. These are Buddhist bras, and it’s more about visualizing them working than them actually doing anything productive. Oh, we also can’t forget about my favorite bras of the many no-bras that I have.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “But Toni, what about those ample ta-ta’s you had?? Don’t they need to be held up securely?” Well… despite my fun bags at one point being as large as a Double D when nursing… my daughter sucked them away, and now I’m a B cup just like my mom. I know. Karma.
What have I learned through this journey of not having boobs, then having boobs, then not having boobs again, to decorating them with painful bondage binds, to freeing them from captivity? What are the lessons I gleaned from caring about them, to then not caring about them?
Boobs are part of my lady suite and I had wrongly assumed that acquiring them would make me feel more feminine. What actually happened is that they always felt like they were for someone else, rather than for me….
My boobs were tools to attract others to me, and then me boobs were tools to keep my child alive. In both cases it was more about the “other” than the “self.” It’s not like I ever sat around playing with my tits, molding them like Play Dough into little shapes of animals. They mostly just have sat there, ignored, and collecting dust. Of course tits can be a part of sex – but that’s more about the nipple anyway – the actual size of your breasts has nothing to do with pleasure.
What I’ve come to think about lingerie is that it’s a costume for women to adorn themselves with to find their identity of “sexy” in sexual situations. It helps both parties get into character. When you think of all the weird, banana pants stuff one does in the bedroom, you kind of have to suspend belief and forget who you actually are for a moment. A rational person would NEVER ask another human to tongue their asshole. That’s just not an activity that makes ANY sense when you think about it in a normal state of mind. So we have ladies ornament themselves with lingerie as part of the process of forgetting all reason and allowing a new version of yourself to come out and not question all their bizarre shit we do to each other’s bodies when possessed by lust.
Look how much fun they’re having!