It's taken me a long time to be ok with my body as it is. Never wanted to be naked in front of anyone for any reason, never would have worn a bikini, certainly never would have wanted photos of it. I've never been "thin", somewhere along the line as a young teen girl I got the idea that I was "fat", I've even been told by doctors and gym trainers that I am obese...medically speaking. Some of my first intimate experiences were less than supportive, if not outright traumatizing regarding body image and control over what happened to it.
When I was in my late 20s I had the luck of discovering burlesque and that is when my journey of self acceptance of my body really started. It was when I really discovered and was empowered by my sexuality.
I am not ashamed of my curves, stretch marks, large and not so perky breasts. But always I was in control of what was seen. If there was a photo taken and circulated I knew that it was what I chose to present in public. The feeling that is portrayed in these images is what I cultivated as a persona and character that is Mae Western. I was in control of what I was sharing with an audience from a stage, or a scheduled photo shoot, or a selfie meant for social media.
I have been sleeping with a married man, judge as you like (I know you will, we have been conditioned to do so), I know all sides of this as I have been cheated on, cheated on someone, and been the other woman...humans are vastly flawed in our romantic relationships. And honestly think what you want, call me a slut, I've reclaimed that word long long ago. But am not here to talk about that or explain away the situation I've found myself in.
What I would like to talk about is the fact that a photo I shared, meant for a person I was sexually intimate with, has been discovered and downloaded by this person's spouse. This spouse then decided it was appropriate to share it with someone I work with. I am honestly curious as to what she thought would happen (nothing except I am required to wear a red A at work from now on). I am more curious to see what she plans to do with it next. Supposedly she is out to ruin the life of her spouse, and mine too. To that I will respond as such, good luck with your life, mine will not be dictated by your blackmailing sneaky ass ways.
No matter what you might think of a woman who has sex with a married man, the point is I had no desire to "ruin" any lives, and as a matter of fact probably did them a favor by providing them a perfect reason to get out of a miserable situation. But the desire for revenge is something that should not be directed at me, and the intention to slander should be considered a worse behavior than sleeping with a married person.
In the end I will continue my mantra of, "I love my body, and I will not be shamed by it". But anything non-consensual is violating, especially when it falls into the realm of sex and intimacy. And just because this is not a physical assault, and even if I am the dreaded other woman, I still have the right to dictate who gets to see what part of my body.
On that note, here are some photos that I choose to share now of my own volition...including the ones that are meant to scare me into feeling shame (with some slight edits as to not totally shock everyone...do not scroll down if you don’t want to see naked me).
I love my body, and I will not be shamed by it.