Tag: portrait

Sinful Sunday: Film Noir

“I was thinking about that dame upstairs, and the way she had looked at me, and I wanted to see her again, close, without that silly staircase between us.”

-Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity.

black and white portrait of Malin James in film noir style for Sinful Sunday post Flim Noir by Malin James

 

To see more Sinful Sunday, click the pretty lips….

Sinful Sunday

Small Breasts

Portrait by Tabitha Rayne

Portrait by Tabitha Rayne

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.

A Poetic Portrait of An Unknown Woman

Reclining Nude from the Back. Modigliani, 1917.

Reclining Nude from the Back. Modigliani, 1917.

I Am….

I am not what you thought I was.

I am not a breast,

a mouth,

a tongue.

I am the sigh that answers your

palm,

your fingertips,

your bruising touch.

I am a yielding, arching spine.

I am my body’s response to your salt and your skin.

That is what I am

for now.

Portrait: Tessa

black & white partial nudeAwhile ago, I had an interesting discussion on women and submission on my other self’s blog. The discussion, which originated at The Erotic Writer, was excellent and ranged over several different sites. Dominance and submission are subjects that I am particularly drawn to, and I find myself coming back to power dynamics quite a lot in my work. Control requires a delicate, watchful balance, after all, and I’m sure it will come up here again. In the meantime, however, I offer you Tessa, a snippet of a scene from the opposite side of the coin. Rather than female submission, it’s the portrait of a dominance.

TESSA

Elsa, a woman knowledgeable only in the ways of her own psyche, stared at her sister skeptically. The lines around her mouth settled comfortably. Skepticism was her natural state.

“…But deep down, you must have fantasies about being dominated. Every woman does, even if we don’t admit them to ourselves, even if you never act on them…?”

Tessa leaned back and sipped her tea. She was tired of the conversation. Elsa was her twin, a fact that made less and less sense the older they got. It was a threadbare question, but threadbare or not, the question passed the time.

“Elsa,” she said. “I dream of pulling a man’s heart out of his chest and cupping it in my hands. I want to cradle it so he can see it pulsing, gorgeous and red. I want to say, “look, darling! Your heart! Your heart is in my hands.” I dream of my face being the last thing he sees – my face and his beautiful heart. That is what I want. So no. I don’t dream of being dominated. Not even a little bit.”

Elsa’s fingers fluttered over her porcelain cup. It was empty. Tessa watched her resist the urge to lift it to her lips. She needed something to do.

“I don’t understand you,” she murmured. “I wish I did.”

Tessa reached for the pot, and filled her sister’s cup.

“It’s all right that you don’t.”

© 2017 Malin James

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