I am learning the art of burlesque dancing. I joined a class about a month ago, and we meet in a swinger’s club. The dozen or so ladies who are my classmates are all ages, shapes and sizes. Our teacher is fabulous; funny, kind and generous. One thing I’ve always appreciated about burlesque, and perhaps why I am such a fan, is that it is an art that reveres a woman’s curves, regardless of size. It is a hobby that is sex-positive, and encourages a positive body image. In fact, a healthy body image is a must if a woman is going to succeed in burlesque dancing. She cannot go out on stage, strip down to pasties and a G-string and twirl her tassels without a good bit of self-confidence to back her up.
I am not a BBW by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve had my issues with how my body looks. Over the years, I’ve been fat and I’ve been skinny. I’ve had big boobs and I’ve had HUGE boobs. When my class met for the second time, we had to present our homework, which was to reveal our stage name and the history behind it. We had to create our “backstory”. As we went around the room, my classmates began revealing their struggles with self-confidence and body image. Many of us shared how our upbringing reinforced many negative attitudes about sex, too. It became somewhat of a cathartic group therapy session. By the time we finished, we felt ready to take on this challenge of learning the art of stripping.
I noticed that a majority of the ladies were very familiar with the club, and were participants in the swinging lifestyle. That got me thinking about how I felt about myself when Rick and I first began swinging. I remembered being very worried about not being a size 2, and being a little afraid that nobody would be interested in a size 12. I needn’t have worried. After a couple of swing club visits, I realized big girls are getting laid, too! When I finally realized that men (and women) are attracted to all sizes, and that having fun at a swing club or house party and skinny girls are not mutually exclusive, I was able to relax and enjoy myself a lot more.
There’s no doubt that being in good physical shape can increase sexual pleasure immensely (and is the main reason I’m going yoga these days). But if you’re not, that’s no reason to avoid swing clubs or house parties. Unless you want to, of course. But that’s a blog post for another day.
Burlesque dancing is a blast! I’m still learning to get those tassels swinging in the same direction (takes practice)! My performance is in April and I can’t wait to see what happens.
What about you? Do you struggle with body image issues? How did you overcome them?