Getting my phwoar on

Late last year I joined a gym for PhD sanity purposes. Healthy body, healthy mind and blah blah blah. And despite working very hard at eating and drinking all the tasty things, I’ve still lost 5kg in 5 months. I’m a size 14 and if I was a celebrity, being seen in public would mean I was “celebrating my curves”. Possibly by smashing a bottle of champagne on my arse.

My usual exercise gear is a pair of trackies and a old Bonds singlet. Hubba hubba. But lately it’s felt like there’s a lot of fabric around me, so I bought a pair of cotton exercise leggings for the sweatshop sale price of $5. (I know, I know. But I only work two days a week and have to keep myself in alcohol. Not in a formaldehyde-y way, although I’m probably quite pickled.)

The first time I wore them, four male drivers almost cricked their necks having a perv. One man was already turning his head as I walked by, so he could check out my arse. I had to laugh. Anyone would think they lived in a culture devoid of sexualised images of beautiful women everywhere we look. Later, when I told ManFriend about it, he chuckled and said you know the reason why, you know that men and women generally have different ideas of phwoar. I listed reasons why they were mistaken in their phwoar – perhaps they were visually impaired, or drunk, and no doubt they got whiplash from the double-take when they discovered they were perving on an old bird – and he pointed out what I was doing.

I’ve blogged before about how being leered at in public makes me feel like I’ve been physically mawed. And often, the feeling of wanting to hide my body so they can’t see it anymore overrides my normal mouthy response to dickheads. There is a big difference between checking someone out and leering at them, and if you don’t know the difference then it’s safe to say you’re a fuckwad who thought you would see boobies on this blog.

But this isn’t a post about the arrogance of believing you have the right to comment on someone else’s body. It’s a post about an experiment. This is about getting my phwoar on. Because although we live in a highly sexualised culture, it isn’t very sexy. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to feel sexy in public much these days. Brightly-coloured/casually-dressed/work-attired/dressed-up/hot-and-sweaty-but-not-in-the-good-way, sure, but sexy, not so much. When my friend The Dressmaker gets her phwoar on, she could be drinking beer at a house party or wearing an afro at Wrong Prom, but everyone in the room has noticed her because she’s just so damn sexy. (She’s a designer, but The Dressmaker sounds more commanding.)

The next day I was walking down the road with a coffee, wearing jeans, t-shirt and hi-top volleys. It was way too stupidly humid for any of these things, let alone all of them together. I felt sweaty and gross. So I thought back to that stinking hot summer when ManFriend and I met, when we were already dripping with sweat before we jumped on each other. Perhaps the reason I’m sweaty is because I’ve been having bikram sex all morning… Suddenly I was walking taller, and smiling. Smiling knowingly. Because not only do I have the carnal knowledge, but I’ve had it all over the apartment. And people started to notice me. Perhaps they were checking that the crazy sweaty grinning lady wasn’t going to start talking to them, but I’m going to pretend it’s because I had my phwoar on.

A few nights later, I went to the fabulously funny and sexy Pirate Jenny’s Strip Club with Lady C and Mistress X. On the way home, in a teal singlet and red pencil skirt, I felt like an overstuffed sausage. I felt dumpy. Then remembered I was supposed to have my phwoar on, so I stood up straight and began striding up the street with as much stride as a tight pencil skirt can allow. I passed a group of young guys and one leaned over and smiled and said “pretty”. It was pretty funny.

All of this is not to say that I judge my physical attractiveness by the reactions of others. Not at all. It was an experiment to remind myself that attitude – rather than appearance and attire – makes you sexy in public. Which is something I tend to forget when I’ve divided my looks into “normal, everyday” and “dressed up, going out”.

19 responses to “Getting my phwoar on

  1. Great post. This reminds me of something my grandmother told me when I was inappropriately young: “The secret to amazing sex is all about the woman feeling sexy. Not the man telling the woman she is sexy; the woman telling the man she is sexy.” I didn’t understand this at all at the time, but now I love it. It’s up to us to bring sexy (back) to the bedroom.

    I should also note that my grandparents are swingers and my great aunty and uncle are sex therapists, so walking straight backed, feeling confident and talking freely about sex were life lessons instilled in me as early as “eat with your mouth closed” – a blessing and a curse!

  2. i’m the fuckwad who thought he would see boobies on this blog

  3. I was taught that there is nothing sexier than a woman who is smiling,laughing or happy. Not by my grandmother.
    Grandma used to say ‘it’s lucky you are so clever, dear, because your sister got all the looks’. Thanks Grandma, now where is that fucken WOLF!
    Aaargh – the PhD – it is like a marriage – enticing and exciting at first, then a routine, then you just want to kill it. Then you just want it to get finished and get off you so you can go to sleep.

  4. A man with an enormous. . . . .smile :P

  5. i so enjoyed this. and i don’t even know what ‘phwoar’ is. but i’m gonna get me some :D it sounds worth getting!

  6. I love this post. And you are so right. :)

  7. Pingback: Something Sexy | Thoughts and All

  8. Oi, KP. don’t s’pose you’ll be offering a review/critique of The Global Mail (“Independent Journalism For Independent Minds”). It went live today …

    • I’d love to, but haven’t been able to see it properly yet. The site is not happy. Which is a pretty big fuck up. Still, the content is more important than a few technical issues on launch day, so will try again later today.

  9. So I’m back at work and my work network has decidely whilst I’ve been on maternity leave that newswithnipples is NOT a porn site and I can get on. Yippee.

    on topic…I don’t feel like I have had much of my phoarr on since I had a baby. I have felt less publically (and sadly internally) sexy and more mumsy lately. I’m working on this to change in my new tight Holly Chalmers pencil bustle skirt and attempted a more wiggly internally sexy walk. Observation: men don’t perve at pram pushers I find; probably cos they know you’ve already been “got at”

    • Lexy, you may not have had your phwoar on, but in the past year you’ve looked more lovely than mumsy. That doesn’t change how you feel about your body, but I wanted to tell you anyway.

  10. Pingback: The Forty-Sixth Down Under Feminists Carnival « Zero at the Bone

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