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Washing The Body.

2013 September 9

Bathing sounds more simple than it is.

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Many women have spent years, decades, making their bodies do what other people want or need them to do. When you have a baby, for example, you can’t decide you want a day off from nursing. And nursing is exhausting. Even if you’ve got a person willing to bottle-feed your baby and your baby agrees (which is by no means certain) to take a bottle, your breasts will continue to make milk, and that milk needs somewhere to go. Your milk-ducts do not listen to Siri saying you have an appointment in 20 minutes. A nursing mother is in her body: she has to empty her breasts. It’s just reality: biology is, for a while at least, destiny. As women we can choose to disconnect biology and destiny, but there are costs (the child’s growing immunity being not the least).

And then there are the other choices about what the body does. What work it does, and where. Who gets to decide about the body’s sexuality—when it happens, for how long, in what ways. For what purposes. We live our lives with other people for decades and the methods and purposes of pleasure evolve into something entirely other than what we started with. And we may never talk about it. We may just hope it works out, because we’re tired, there’s a stack of bills on the table, the kids are in bed, we take pleasure where we can get it—it is an age-old urge.

We fake orgasms and hide chocolate under the bed…

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