I’m petite and always had small breasts. When my daughter was born, I was nervous at the prospect of them growing for breast feeding, but the minute I saw her, I thought nothing of it; they grew and at the end of the breast feeding period they deflated. I had no remorse. It was a temporary guest who came, stayed his time and left when the journey was over.
I remember sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office long after my body was back to normal. I hadn’t been to this particular doctor in years, but the flu wasn’t going away, and he was an obvious choice due to location and the simplicity of the visit. The waiting room was empty and the receptionist glanced in my direction too often. I wondered if my last minute appointment was keeping her back from finishing on time, so I smiled the next time I caught her glance. This was a mistake as it prompted her to clear her throat and speak.
She indicated that she had seen me around; she remembered I was pregnant and wanted to know if I had a boy or a girl. After our pleasantries, I began searching for something to read, on the coffee table. It was then she blurted out, “Do you miss your breasts?”
‘What?” I replied. I didn’t understand what she meant. She became sad and grabbed her two breasts with dismay. “I used to have wonderful breasts, they were big and sexy and after I got pregnant with my last child they just shrank, I am so embarrassed by them.”
Being a polite introvert means that I don’t usually initiate conversations but I try to be as receptive as possible to any logical topic. However, I am mortified, sometimes on a weekly basis that complete strangers size me up as a revolving ear for any and all of their peculiar personal thoughts. My choice of silence seems to be mistaken for quietness and sends a beacon that I am a good listener. Astonished but intrigued, by her topic of conversation I sat in the nearest chair to her and waited for her to continue. She spoke now almost in whispers about her glory days, her youth, her body, her shape, her passion for her teenage breasts. These breasts were the epiphany of her womanhood; they were the reason why her husband married her, the reason why she used to look good and the reason why she was a woman.
Her philosophy surprised me, she was in her late forties maybe even early fifties but was naturally attractive, she didn’t need her flawless make-up or perfectly groomed posture to get anyone’s attention and as I eyed her, her breasts still seem larger than mine. But that wasn’t her only problem, she found a lump and although undiagnosed, had a real fear of depriving her husband of the joy of her breasts and the loss of them altogether, in addition to the fact that chemotherapy meant a loss of hair. What would she become without them? Our talk was too short, I offered no real life annotates to help her and she was gone by the time my visit had completed. We never crossed parts in that way again.
I often tried to put myself in her shoes, but couldn’t. I’ve never seen my breasts in this way. I didn’t miss the breasts because they deprived me of going bra less. Whenever I would try to hang free my chess would hurt, it seem too much of a price to pay. In my mind chemotherapy would only be an option for me after both breasts were removed. The thought of depriving my husband of a sucking toy, wouldn’t even be a consideration. The truth is; I was positive that even if I lost both breast and had no hair, my husband would still slap my ass on every occasion he got. He would still kiss me deeply and he would still want to have sex with me. The woman that I am is not measured by the sum of my parts.
As a woman I also know that women underestimate the love and devotion a man has to give; we understand our love and our devotion but because we don’t see ourselves as worthy, we don’t accept that they will be just as devoted to us. We hide from them the hard questions and choices of devotion because we are afraid that they would not choose adoration. I should have said to her that I was sure that her husband would not hesitate to choose her life over her breasts, if she spoke to him the way she spoke to me.
My sensuality, my sexiness, my womanliness is in my mind and sex is my release, heaven sent, not just for my husband’s gratification but for me. I deserve an orgasm, and every time I have sex, I push the crap of the day out of my mind and leave room just for the act of pleasure. I always say that if by chance I die today, I would have had the best sex, the last time I had sex. My husband’s penis is my bitch for that period and after the high, I can go back to the mundane. He likes the fact that I am not just having sex because he wants to and I like that he’s always ready.
Your very confidence depends on the ability to love yourself as a whole person. Your sexiness is not something to be ashamed of or something to misuse. Sex is a spiritual dance that helps you grow, like every other encounter in your spiritual being. Every woman must know that her worth is not the sum of her parts.
She is a spirit, a goddess even, her eyes, her lips, her hips, reflect a sensual soul. Embrace it.
This story and many others can be found in She SEX: Prose & Poetry . SEX & the Caribbean Woman
“She Sex is an important gathering of women’s voices. On one hand the writing is a celebration of sexual fulfillment and curiosity ranging from Atiya’s poem, “Differentology”, about sex with a lover who transitions from a male to a female, and to Zahra I. Airall’s story, “Over the Hill and Through the Wood” about an older woman finding sexual gratification for the first time. But the anthology does not shy away from the ways that sex is used as a weapon against women. Both Delesse Francis and Shakirah Bourne write stories of intimacy and emotion about ways that sexual power can be used as a primary tool to control women and seed self-doubt in girls. I hope young women around the Caribbean get a chance to read this book and have heated discussions about the beauty of sexual pleasure and vulnerability of that very beauty. The collection also does important work by introducing some writers to a wider audience.” Tiphanie Yanique, author of “How to Escape from a Leper Colony