“But Won’t You be Ashamed?” or Cripping Pasties

Image of my thigh with fishnet stockings and golden sparkly shorts

I am headed to Las Vegas to attend the “Oscars of Porn” – 2016 AVN Expo and Awards – in two days and have not been shy about planning for this on social media. It is a thrilling that one workshop on adapting sex toys, and seeking out more accessible sex toys for people with various disabilities and chronic conditions, could lead to an invite to present at the AVN. As a femme, the hardest part of this has been deciding what to wear during the days and at the many themed nights. I plan to make appearances at just about everything I have been given access to make the most of this.

Much talk of clothes and the like have provoked side conversations coming up, including one that included the title query. I have been very open about my plan to wear pasties and frolic. I explained this to an acquaintance, and one of their first questions to me was “Won’t you be ashamed?” They were baffled I would have the audacity to wear pasties generally, and especially among porn stars – who include those with medically sculpted bodies toward social beauty, rather than away like my medically enhanced body.

I considered what could cause shame about my body. With OI, I have a protruding sternum (which is its own sexual aid, but that’s a story for another day) in between my asymmetrical breasts that are, as one OI stated, east west boobs. Instead of pointing forward, they point to the sides. I’m fat. I’m compact in the core, and have relatively small extremities in comparison to my core. I have a short neck. My hair is in a middle stage of growing out, so a bit meh. And I’m not awesome with make-up. I use a wheelchair and will have a weirdo little service dog in tow. I’m likely missing other aspects of my body that they might be thinking; regardless the point is I’m not a typical person or a body-beautiful human.

I love my body, even when it’s in pain or falling apart at times. Surely, it’s not every day that I see beauty but I damn sure try to shed the weight of internalized ableism. I deserve embracing my body, after too many years covering up myself in baggy clothes. I have spent so many years beating myself up about my body not conforming to standards of typicality.

After doing some nude art projects in the bay area, and later some nude photos there, I have become really comfortable being naked with people. Perhaps a little too comfortable, as my wife often tells me my breast has popped out, again, or my shirt is little more than a scrap of fabric. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I plan to wear pasties, because truly how often does a person get presented with spaces to wear them without breaking the law or otherwise causing a moral panic? I plan to have fun. I plan to look at this like a journalist – take notes on moments, rather socially compare in negative ways. Why should I be ashamed? Why should someone have the audacity to ask a supposed friend this and not feel ashamed?