Ah, breasts. They’re lovely, right? Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about breasts, (I know, it’s hard not to), mostly because I realized that the only time I ever describe them in my erotica, is expressly to say that the breasts in question are small. If I don’t describe them, it’s fair to say that the character’s breasts anywhere from average-sized, (whatever that means), to large and that they are, of course, lovely.
However, if I take the time to actually describe them, it’s almost always to say that they are small or “delicate” just as the bodies that go with them are “boyish” with “subtle curves.” I don’t do it often because most of the time, I want the reader to slide herself, (or himself), into the story and, for better or worse, tiny tits are not very common. At least, they never were, especially in the erotic content I read when I was younger.
In many ways, popular erotica tends to traffic in ideal body types, which means that the genre has been graced by an abundance of full, heavy, goddess-like breasts – the sort of tits a man can lay his head on after fucking the slender yet curvy woman they’re attached. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. Erotica is, in many ways, a fantasy driven genre, and for many people, slim bodies and large breasts are the fantastic ideal. Recently though, we’ve seen more stories featuring women with true-to-life proportions, which I think is wonderful. These women are sexy and hot despite not being a size-4. They rock those goddess-like breasts in a whole new way, and it’s wonderful to see the slow integration of realistic body types in erotica. But this left me wondering about those of us who do not have full, goddess-like breasts; ladies who, rather than rocking a pair of D’s, are sitting pretty with a set of A’s?
I read a lot of filthy romances growing up, which meant that I was exposed to a great many “bountiful orbs,” (no joke). Somewhere along the line, I internalized that a woman’s orbs should be bountiful, and that, if they weren’t, it was something of a problem, if not an outright flaw. I’ve often wondered where my insecurity over my small breasts came from, because I’ve never once been with anyone who complained. In fact, the men and women I’ve been with, (and there have been quite a few), never once criticized my breasts in any way. Nor was I ever on the receiving end of another woman’s platonic critique. In fact, as a younger woman I was a ballet dancer and briefly modeled. Both industries are brutal in their own ways, and yet my A-cups were ideal by the requirements set by each. And yet, I’ve often found myself reflexively fixated on my chest, as if somewhere along the line I judged my breasts to be a flaw. It’s bullshit, but it’s true.
My first serious exposure to sex and desirability were in those trashy romances, at the age of 12 or 13, when I had difficulty distinguishing a fantasy from my real life body image. So, despite the fact that my small breasts work in proportion to my long, tall body type, I got used to wanting fuller breasts, breasts that adhered to my own false notion of what sexy should look like. It took a long time to unwind that internalized sense of proportional failure. And then, very recently, I realized that I hadn’t unwound it as thoroughly as I’d thought.
The portrait above, which was done by the massively talented Tabitha Rayne, arrived in the mail last week. When I opened the soft paper that protected it, I was reminded of something I often forget. I was reminded of what I look like. I have a hard time seeing myself in photographs, or even in the mirror. But I can see myself in this portrait to an almost uncanny degree. That’s my hand, looking strong and capable, my shoulders and my collarbone, and yes, my breasts. They are small, and yet within the context of my figure, they are undeniably right. Change those breasts in any way, and the subject would no longer be me.
We are all more than our bodies. And yet, our bodies are the conduit through which we engage the physical world. For years, I held myself to an impossible self-imposed ideal, impossible because, short of silicon, my breasts were never going to change. Now that I write erotica it gives me pleasure to let that ideal fall away. It gives me pleasure not to describe a woman’s “orbs” in lurid detail, but rather to have her partner say “god, I love your tits,” regardless of what her tits look like. And, on the rare occasions that I do describe a woman’s breasts, it pleases me to make them small and delicate. The perfect mouthful. Because I think if I’d read something like that at 13, it might have made all the difference.