Maybe it happened in fifth grade. That's when I got boobs. And not any measly training bra boobs. No. I had a full-fledge rack. Think underwire and roundness. Then scold yourself for imagining an eleven year old's tits. Either which way, I was aware of my sexual power at a very young age. I never had a hard time finding a boyfriend and they never had a hard (well...) time creeping a hand under cotton. But it wasn't so much the touch that I craved. Instead, I was interested in honing (albeit unbeknownst at the time) the persona that accompanies the performance. Or, rather, the attention that the performance produces.
I went to a very liberal performing arts high school. Teetering between the ego-pull of theater and the esoteric lean of poetry, there was nothing I loved more than being on stage. I quickly learned that most kids (people?) don't really care to attend (or listen to?) poetry readings. They find it boring and dull and doze-inducing. They stop paying attention and start checking their cellphones. Or, worse, they start coughing and talking. To guarantee that my time on stage wouldn't heed these common results, I did the only thing I knew how to do: I sexualized my poetry. It was the quickest way to please a crowd. Even at fourteen my metaphors were ripe with age-inappropriate body imagery. I talked about the curve of my breast, the shape of my mouth, the sway of my hips and, for some reason, I got away with it. I was never censored or (publicly) scoffed. Quite the opposite. I was known as the girl who talked about sex, no matter if I didn't know the first horizontal thing about it.
It goes beyond that. There's nothing I love more than discussing sex. In fact, the only things I ever really want to discuss are the holy trinity of social taboos -- sex, politics, religion -- with sex reigning supreme. Just as with religion and politics, you can deduce a lot about a person based on their sexual opinions. But, as the saying goes, there is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. I am definitely a talker and, as such, perhaps, less of a walker. In other words, there is a disconnect between what we exude and what we experience. If we have a need to perpetuate attention, then what of our actual visceral affections? If sex is the ultimate performance, what happens when it's released on a larger, less intimate scale?
I was talking to my friend the other night about this very thing. He is a musician and said that his greatest lover is his guitar if only because women tend to disappoint while the guitar's gratification never wavers. Moreover, he said that, while he craves touch and connection as much as the next carnal male, he isn't a very sexual person in its typical manifestation. Ignoring the sentiment of the expression, he feels sexually satiated while on stage. When touring and performing for an audience every night, he doesn't have the urge to sleep with random women. It's as if he shoots his load, if you will, on stage and, as such, he experiences sexual release to the point of not having much left to give to the flesh-and-blood incarnation of interaction. This is quite interesting. I've seen my friend perform and there is no doubt that he embodies sex down to the way he moves and works up a sweat; however, I thought this was a result of being so emotional invested in something as opposed to it being a deliberate expression. And maybe it is. Maybe you can exhaust yourself so much in the public realm that you have very little left to give in a more privatized sphere.
It is easy to deduce that these veracious people act out in this way because they are bubbling over the surface with sexuality, that they have so much passion inside they can't help but let it come out in everything they do. This is not necessarily true. Instead, the energy that radiates is exhausting and gratifying to the point of having nothing left to give. Or, perhaps more positively, they feel so content and sated that there's really no need to search for sex in other common outlets.
This makes me think about beauty and, more specifically, the role of beauty as it relates to sexual presence. My friend is quite handsome and doesn't have to lift a finger or verbally seduce to garnish attention from the ladies. He can pretty much take his pick and, as such, picks no one more often than not. His persona isn't weighed down by the need to impress and his impressiveness, just as his beauty, is a given. Therefore, the desire to seduce plays second fiddle to public display. Perhaps this is why ugly people make the best lovers: they have to try harder than their prettier counterparts. When people aren't throwing themselves at you, you learn to hone a certain set of skills otherwise lost on those chained to the hems of their own attractiveness.
We can't help but be a victim to our biology: it defines how the world sees us and, as a result, it shapes our role as sexual beings. I've been told that my physique is of the hourglass era which, despite not being the most desired body of our generation (what with the fashion race to be the skinniest girl ever), is definitely the archetype of sexy as it relates to procreation, which in turn perpetuates the population. Thus, regardless of how I dress or act or what I say, I will forever be defined as a sexualized person because of my genetic implications. So, maybe, instead of fighting against what I have, I've learned to go with the flow of my form.
Confidence also plays a part in this equation. When you know you're desired on a relatively universal scale, it is easier to exude sexual energy. There is nothing at stake. You have the freedom to perform sans inhibition because you know the results won't go unnoticed. However, when you replace the construct of the stage with the intimacy of the bedroom, vulnerability often reigns supreme. No matter how you work a room and vicariously "touch" people with your sexuality, it is a far different beast to have one-on-one assurance. Plus, you feel so spent and worked up by talking and performing and exuding that you're all but drained to give any more of yourself. So, alternatively, you do nothing. You allow people to believe what they will about you -- aiding it along with your tenacity -- all the while feeling slightly less self-assured when things get personal and your performance is reduced in size.