This one is hard to start. As a woman who grew up being considered traditionally ‘sexy’ (blonde hair, green eyes, long legs, etc) I had to deal with attention from men from a very early age. I hit the cover of Playboy when I was 17, (my mom signed a release). But when they asked me to do a centerfold, I refused. As a model, the cover was fine, a modeling job, but being ‘a playmate’ was just too much of a stereo type, one of crowd, not for me.
I spent a good bit of time in Europe and the Virgin Islands where my family had a home when I was growing up. Even at ten and twelve, when I was a competitive ice skater in training in Switzerland and France, all the young skaters shared a dressing room. I remember being shocked to see boys stripping down to their underwear to change, but quickly got used to it. It was just what they did, not a sexual action. Around the pool in St Croix, or at the beach, pretty much no one in my family or circle of friends wore a top, and it felt completely natural. In my opinion, Americans are far too puritanical about nudity, which causes a inordinate amount of sexual frustration and worse. But there is a difference between comfortable nudity, meaning self-image, and portraying yourself as a sexual object.
I’ve done plenty of nudity in films, it’s true. But I have never, ever been the chick who takes her top off, and that’s all. If I liked the role as an actress, if there was a challenge for me, then I wasn’t afraid of nudity, though I do remember having to fight with directors who wanted to make a rape scene into a sexual thing with nudity. It isn’t, and I wouldn’t do it. The bottom line for nudity in movies for me is this—if I’m playing a part I want, and a love scene comes up, I have to act it just like anything else.
Once, in class, another actress was working on a scene from “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’. She was trying to play the sexy Maggie, and it just wasn’t working even though she was absolutely gorgeous. The coach, a wonderful director named David Beaird, was working with her and she was having trouble getting away from being self-concious. So I raised my hand and said, “Can I tell her something?”
David looked up and me and laughed. “Shari Shattuck wants to help with being sexy, come on down.”
I went down onto the stage and whispered in the girl’s ear. “It’s not about ‘acting’ sexy, it’s about ‘feeling‘ sexy. You have to feel turned on.” She looked at me, blinked, said, “Oh,” and started the scene again. She crawled over the table and slithered across the other actor, her voice had dropped an octave and she was in total command, and everyone in the theatre was speechless.
David turned to me again and said, “What the hell did you say to her?” I still haven’t heard the last about that from David.
The entire point is this. There is nothing sexier than a woman in love who is into a man. Or a woman into a woman, or man with man, or man with a woman, whatever. My point is that sexiness comes from within. Sure, some greased up playmate in a bikini with her thumbs in her panties, about to pull them down, creates a sexy visual image, I could have done that for a living for quite a few years, as many women do, but it isn’t real passion, it’s just icing on a cardboard cake.
I’m fifty-four years old now, and I’ve never felt more sexy. I adore my husband who makes sure that every single day, I knows that I’m the best thing for him. Talk about great foreplay! I’m pretty much ready to throw him down anytime.
I have many author friends who write erotica, and I really respect what they do. I know the people who read it, love it! And I’ve heard statistics that women who read romance or erotica are something like 80 times more likely to have sex, and this is why…they get turned on!! Go figure. It isn’t about dressing up in lingerie (though that can be fun) or flavored body gels, (which are sticky) it’s about being into and sharing the physical and emotional experience.
Because that’s what a vixen is, a woman who’s in it for the sheer joy and pleasure, and gives as good as she gets. She’s an artist. It’s the same for men, though I don’t have a name for it.
I know this isn’t a particularly life-changing blog, but I do think it’s important. So many of my friends have been in marriages a long time, are going through body changes, have too much to do taking care of work and kids and houses, and they get lost from that part of themselves.
So here’s my advice for today, rediscover your inner vixen, or your truly sexual male self, I’m not going to discriminate. Find it in yourself, not outside, that’s where the real joy is. Share it with someone worthy, try something new with an old mate, just feel sexy!!
And then curl up on the sofa in your pjs and eat ice cream and kiss a lot. That’s my plan.
Shari, May 24th, 2015