"I felt so much more powerful in those impossible heels, tits pushed up and out, cleavage for days..."
It all went downhill from there. Women in the audience started disclosing their rape fantasies during the Q&A: "Why do we like this? Are we fucked up?" It was like group therapy and second-wave feminist sex guilt were getting together to have a really terrible party. By the end of it, I was bowled over and exhausted.
And then a pretty young fat girl — white, maybe 19 or 20, kinda punky, with wire-rimmed glasses and fine blonde hair with an orange streak — walked up to me as I gathered my things. She had tears in her eyes.
"I've ..." She had to gulp, she was that choked up. "I've never... Gina, you're the first fat person I've ever heard talk about being comfortable with your body and comfortable with sex. I really want to be there, and I'm not yet. What do I do?"
I was floored. I almost started crying too. I hugged her. I told her she was beautiful. I scribbled down some websites and some book titles. And then I hugged her — again — and told her she was beautiful — again. I felt like I could not say that enough times.
I wish I'd had time to tell her my story — how wearing clothes as armor and fetish helped and healed, and got me to where I am now. If that girl wants to wear nothing but vintage lingerie for a year? For the rest of her life? More power to her.
Gina de Vries is a San Francisco-based writer, sex worker, activist, and writing instructor. Hear all about her at www.ginadevries.com. Hot for Lust for Life? It's our new sex column, stay tuned.