Look at my Tits

I am 40. My boobs, however, are yet to turn 25. Honestly. If I didn’t know better, I’d say I taken out the chest of a much younger woman on loan.

I do not make this claim, by the way, without recourse to science. Each booz has been verified as medically young.
A Total Bettie

A year or two ago, just about everyone I knew seemed to be diagnosed with illness. It was a confusing case of me-too-ism that took my tits to the radiology department of a hospital. I was convinced my tits had cancer.

Anyhow. They didn’t. Not only did the man with the sonograph pronounce me cancer-free; he looked at his monitor and told me I had, “very young looking breast tissue.” That was a good day.

My breasts are not only youthful. They are if you don’t mind me saying, pretty fucking shapely. They are not, by any means, enormous; each cup hovers modestly, and symmetrically, between a B and a C. But, damn if this isn’t an arresting pair of cans.

A boy I once went out with used to describe them as, “fat”. He’d say, “You’ve got fat tits, Helen”and seemed to love nothing more than performing Jackson Pollock art upon their surface.

Expressionist filth aside, the “fat” descriptor works well to describe these spherical tar-tars which are yet to sag and each have a cheery looking nipple at their center; these the approximate color of the good bits of raspberry trifle.

Plainly, I could go on and interminably on about my tits. As I age and the day that they will sink like over-sifted sponge-cake approaches, I tend to talk about them a lot. I’m going to miss them when they shrivel and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about showing them to people.

Why do I want to show you my tits?

Back when I was very young, I showed my norks to no one. I was morally opposed to cleavage. Then, I used words like, “phallocracy” in everyday speech and, for a brief spell in London, I joined a “collective” called Women Against Violence Against Women. At WAVAW, we sought to rid the world of smutty books and films. We also drank dandelion tea.

We did Important Work. On Saturdays, I would go to a WH Smith in Hackney and take a dozen or so lads’ mags to the counter. When the clerk had totaled my purchase, I’d say, “I will not pay for the systematic oppression of my sisters” or something similar from the feminist book of Common Prayer.

Every now and then, I would sneak a peek at the knockers of the ladies on the magazines and reflexively think, “cor!”. Drenched in the sort of guilt only a Catholic education and a feminist adolescence could upchuck, I told Janice, a progressive school teacher from Islington and the WAVAW mother-duck, that I sometimes looked twice at the funbags. She explained to me that this was, “internalized misogyny” and was exactly the sort of self-loathing that she, being one eighth Jewish, could easily understand.

It was not much later that I read works by the writer Andrea Dworkin and came to the unanticipated conclusion that I really liked porn. And I did so not because I hated my gender but because I liked to masturbate.

Let it be said: I will not crap on the memory of radical feminism. Dworkin offered some useful rage. But the book Pornography which is the sine qua non of joyless folk like WAVAW or those Stop Porn gals in Boston, is totally full of shit.

According to Dworkin, any depiction of sticking things in ladies is bad. Further, no lady really wants things stuck in her. Having something stuck in you and enjoying it is, in fact, “internalized misogyny” at its most extreme. Anyhoo. Back to me and my porn: Dworkin offers us her reading of literary works in which ladies have things stuck in them. This includes the work of Georges Bataille.

So, here I was with my (fabulous) tits hidden underneath a coverall reading about this “oppressive” literature and trying not to rub one out. God. I was supposed to be nauseated. Instead, I was deeply aroused.

I have since read The Story of the Eye and found it interesting but not really reliable as a tool for tossing. If you haven’t ever seen it, you can download a copy here. (Do take note: the act of reading this 1928 text may constitute a criminal act as the great literary figure Bataille describes sexual acts conducted by a sixteen-year-old person.) Anyhoo. Young Marcelle and the strange things she does with eggs aside, I was led to porn.

Even though I enjoyed the consumption of porn, I continued to be troubled, like a good Marxist-Feminist, by its production. This is to say, I worried for the working conditions of the women within it. Actually, sometimes, I still do. No. Let’s amend that. I worry that anyone involved in the production of porn might confront industrial accident, unfair dismissal or unflattering camera angles.

It didn’t occur to me for many years that some women might have elected to do this sort of work; it certainly never occurred to me that some of them might even enjoy it.

And then, at about 37, I began to want to show everyone my tits and understood for the first time that it was possible that these women might have some volition.

Of course, there’s a gulf that separates the idle desire to flash your whamdanglers and signing on to star in The DaVinci Load. (Yes. It’s real.) As an acquaintance of mine likes to say, “There’s a big difference between scratching your butt and tearing your ass to shreds.”

And, of course, I don’t buy the crap that public sexuality is necessarily wonderful. Bugger me: I lived through the nineties. I remember all that shit. When Madonna grabbed her crotch and declared that she was “expressing” herself, nearly everyone believed her. When a celebrity declared that she found the experience of appearing in Playboy “empowering”, no one questioned her motives. And maybe we should have. The You Go Girl!™ din that greeted any muff-baring became, in short, really fucking annoying.

I don’t by any means wish to suggest that exhibitionism is liberating or therapeutic. I just mean that I have begun to understand why it might be fun.

And I mean to suggest, I suppose, that I, although a porn consumer, remain a little ambivalent about the entire va-va-voom thing. The WAVAW Spinsters and their pro-porn descendants each have a point. Yes, in one reading, porn is revolting. In a cultural economy driven by images, it hardly seems reasonable that there are so many pictures of bored-looking chicks lounging about in nothing but an airbrush. Then again, why do the elder defenders of the gender have to go about in dungarees equating representations of sex with threat and ugliness?

And I mean to suggest that my palookas are fucking excellent. At least, for the next five minutes. Why didn’t I get them out long ago?

23 comments for “Look at my Tits

  1. June 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Weirdly, you’ve hit on the one righteous ingredient from that whole period: dandelions.

    • June 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Yes, Susie. Dandelions. Pah. I’m left with the memory of mock tea, mock horror and, of course, mock meat. If we don’t count the unchecked facial hair of our sisters, the only thing that was not mock at the time was zealotry.
      Having said this, as I have said above, there are some elements of radical feminism that I still cherish. I’m presuming you feel the same?

  2. Ang
    June 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    you know I love every SECOND of your blog and I think we may, truly, be long lost twinnie sister-ey beings.

    • June 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      It’s possible, Ang. Are you also an inveterate procrastinator with obsessive compulsive tendencies who plays fifty games of scrabble a day but has somehow forgotten to submit her tax return? x

  3. June 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I hereby promise to use the word “whamdanglers” in a complete sentence at least once a day from now on.

    Great post Helen. I think a large number of women feel this ambivalence towards some aspects of porn, even those of us who strongly defend it.

    If I may post a link: there’s a new pro-porn movement: http://www.ourpornourselves.org and it’s looking to protest against the anti-porn feminists and also to re-start the discussion in a reasonable way.

    It might also be a good place to post a photo of your whamdanglers.

    • June 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      Madame Naughty! Thanks for the Shout Out, as the young-ish people say, to the our porn gals. I have seen it. Courtesy and Susie, I think. I’ll talk to my tits and we’ll see how we all feel about a display. (Trust you are well, btw.)

  4. unique_stephen
    June 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I’m all for the creation of a website to which empowered feminists can liberate happy snaps of their Marxist-Feminist boobs.

    ThirdWaveWhamdanglers.com perhaps

  5. Mark
    June 21, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I have recently revisited my old friend porn, but found changes to the “standard formula” quite unpalatable. Choking used to be reserved for S & M, but now is very prevalent and does not sit well with me at all. Plus, what is with all the spitting now? Yes, time to crawl back under my rock.

    • June 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      Yes. The spitting. At first, I thought, “well, there’s an interesting sensual curlicue.” Then, after seeing the tenth sheila gob on a bloke’s nads, I was quite over it.

  6. YB
    June 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I suggest taking a good quality photo now, and when gravity does it’s work, put the photo on a t-shirt and wear your own breats.

  7. YB
    June 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    breasts, even.

  8. Tom HB
    June 22, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Just don’t tumble dry the shirt, YB, else they’ll look small and squashed.

  9. June 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Great laundering advice, thanks, Tom.

  10. Nick Purtle
    June 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    At 40, Ive just signed up to be a life model so my dick may have the same syndrome. Would love to see your tits, we will ask – are they as good as her writing? A high hurdle to clear!

  11. Cat
    June 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    It was my girlfriends who encouraged me to get out the puppies. I hid them behind button up shirts, flattening bras and zipped them up in corporate jackets. Boyfriend after boyfriend would praise them & I thought they were the gift with purchase you got when you liked my brain first.

    It took me until my late 30’s before I realised it was okay if men could admire them via clevage clothes, cos the brain was always there to protect them.

    We gotta show off what we have, legs, boobs, nice teeth whatever it is..only doing ourselves and our secret pleasure a disservice.

  12. Na
    July 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Found this on one of my go-to blogs, Jezebel, where the reaction was…weird. So I came here to say, as a 37 yr old woman with small tits that suddenly(?) sag to my naval, I love everything about your piece. I’ve reached an age where, imperfect body and all, I am proud of any woman who is happy with her shape (whatever it may be), and not guilty or ashamed. I say get nekkid when you feel like it, and don’t listen to anyone’s shit about your perky nibs.

    • July 9, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      Miss Na! Thank you so much for bringing your approval and our tits to my little salon. xx

  13. deb
    July 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Helen,

    I’d wondered where you got to. I’d stopped looking for you on the net a few years ago and now here you are. I loved your book Everything’s Fine. I think the best bit was at the end when you compared yourself to being like a porsche. There, I’ve sucked up already. But it was a brilliant paragraph and I realized that I was a porsche, too. Or, maybe that porsche bit was at the end of ‘Gas smells horrible.’ Either way, the porshe analogy resounded with me.

    Yes, unfortunately your 20 year old tits will go south at some point. But don’t get down about it for there are probably good surprises in store.

    My good surprise was that I had really ordinary hair colour all my life and I coloured it a heap of different colours because the colour was so fucking boring.

    Then, about 7 years back I stopped colouring, got it all chopped off (that was not a good look on me) and let it grow out ‘grey.’

    What I’ve found is that I now have extraordinary coloured hair. Hairdressers love it and woman ask me where I get it coloured. My hairdresser counted 8 different distinct colours in it ranging from light brown to creamy white. So, I let it grow long. I’m not missing the chance to show off my hair at every opportunity. I’m a bit nasty too — I scoff at all those 54 year old bottle-golden-blondes out there — their hair is like a uniform — unless they are ‘Deborah Harry blonde’ and trying not to fool anyone while looking great.

    I have no answer for you about how/when you can show off your breasts. I’m 54 and won’t wear a bra because I think cleaveage on a woman of 54 looks totally wrong. Or at least, wrong on me. And also, I won’t wear a bra — very necessary to create the cleavage that I don’t want — because I hate them, always did, and never found one that wasn’t uncomfortable, and an example of the subjugation of women. Yep, I’m for real about the last bit. Bras are just what we got left with when women threw away their corsets. The only concession I’ve made to wearing a bra is the one my daughter dragged from me. She asked me please to wear a bra to my children’s weddings. I said, “okay.” Thank god, only one of them has been married so far. It was such an uncomfortable night. And I felt ridiculous — my tits felt like they were up near my clavicles. (Apparently my daughter is in denial that breasts drooping with age is just fine).

    I do know that sadly, unless miracles happen concerning my hair, that my lovely greying out hair will one day be all one ordinary grey colour. If I live so long. Should I live so long, I have a plan. When that time comes that my multi-coloured mane is becoming a thing of the past, I’m going to colour it exactly the same colour hair that Milla Jovovitch wore in the movie ‘The Fifth Element.’ That orange red colour I can’t describe. But if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember it. I’d wanted to try it when I was younger but I wasn’t game enough.

    Which brings me back to your tits. It might be, that by the time you’ve come to an age when you feel it’s fine to show them off, they will not be as they are now. Somehow, maybe, you should do it now. Because I think regrets of things not done are horrible. But easy for me to say. It’s not my tits but my hair that is great.

    Maybe just go on a beach holiday and be photographed topless and hope they get printed. Or perhaps show them off on the front of your next book. Although doing that could bring you a new crazy assed stalker.

    blue

  14. Steve
    September 8, 2010 at 9:43 am

    This is like waiting for Rob Oakeshott to stop talking… get em out already!

  15. Harald
    September 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    If there’s something more arousing than reading porn, it’s reading a magnetically attractive woman writing about how she’s aroused by reading porn.
    When you were doing WAVAW, I was hanging out with a woman who was very keen on a manifesto from SCUM – the scarily-named society for cutting up men. A quick glance at life in other countries – especially the hot ones – suggests that a spate of cutting-up of men could greatly improve the world.
    However, it’s comforting to know that after the heavy work of personal reconstruction and a bit of housework, a body affords tremendous pleasure.

  16. social worker
    January 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  17. May 23, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    When it comes to porn I’m a typical girl and like the words on a page with my own imagination, I just can’t help it but redtube etc makes me squirmy, and not in a crotch seam rubbing nicely way.

    When it comes to tits, they’re all good and they are all interesting when seen in the flesh/naturally lit/artistically interpreted. It must be good having scientific verification that you’ve got a good set!

  18. May 24, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Hey nadiwoo. By no means would I boast of my interest in visual porn. And, please, don’t think you need to apologise for finding the deli-tray at red-tube less-than-appealing. My point, more or less, is: there is no legislating over fetish. Safe, sane, consensual and all that.
    And, yes, I WAS very happy about the titteh news! x

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