Art To Learn When I was 21 I had a session with a strip-tease artist. I was in an all round rut and realised it was time that I learnt to feel good about by myself, by myself.
Watching Jo strip remains one of the most erotic moments of my life. She was an abundance of flesh, the generous side of curvy and when she started to strip, I was captivated. She knew her body so intimately, so wonderfully, so within her own right as a woman that I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I had never seen a woman move so like a tiger, a cat, so utterly feline and yet so fully human. At the end, when I came to do my full routine I felt as if I’d been given the keys to a great truth and one that I could feel tangibly pulsating through my body: sexiness, or the ability to feel relaxed about who I was, would only ever come from within. It had nothing to do with my partner, my job, or the size of my nipples. And fast forward today it definitely don’t have nothing to do with how gentle and sweet my child is. Though of course I tend to forget.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." -Friedrich Nietzsche
When the session with Jo finished I babbled something about how excited I was to show my boyfriend. Jo turned and looked and me, a soft potency about her manner and then she said “No no no Laura, what I taught you today wasn’t for your boyfriend, it was for you.” And I stopped amazed and without a response for a moment. Because in that statement was a world I didn’t know. But was being invited to know.
Just as a friend reminded me when she reached out to hold my hand as we fell asleep. And in that unexpected gesture my heart got touched and I was reminded how when someone is comfortable enough with themselves to do something that might be considered odd by others, it can mean the world to one of us humans.
We Forget, Lets Remember
In the end my boyfriend never did see me strip. In fact I have never performed a strip-tease for any man I have been with. Partly because I feel shy about it but also because of what Jo said to me – those words sunk into the cells of my body and their essence still lingers. Us humans: we are everything we seek. Why is it so hard to remember?