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I did a boudoir photo shoot

*This is not a sponsored post. I was not asked to write this post. I received zero discounts or perks.*

I’ve wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot for a long time now. As an amateur photographer I’m fascinated by sexual photography–naked or nearly so bodies, fetish photography, the whole nine yards. I longed to be a model in one of those photos, but the voices in my head that said I’m not pretty enough or thin enough drowned that desire in a bog of self doubt. I generally hate how I look in photos, with the exception of my wedding photos (which the voices remind me was twenty-five pounds ago). But beneath all of that was a sense of inevitability.

Several months ago I was introduced to Groupon (remember, I just moved back to the US–I’d heard of it but it wasn’t as big a deal as it is now when we left in 2010). One day I was idly scrolling through offers in my area and stumbled across a discount for a boudoir photography shoot with two photos for a steep discount.

My partner turned forty last year and I turn forty next year. No matter what the voices in my head said, he has always found me beautiful.  decided to push my boundaries and do this shoot for him. Or at least I told myself it was for him.

I booked my date and because of childcare and travel issues had several months to dread and second/third/hundredth guess my decision. Initially I made up a bogus appointment to explain why he needed to take the kids one day while I went into San Francisco. I’m a terrible liar and my excuse fell apart, so I told him what was up. He was incredibly supportive and together we crafted the four looks I would shoot with.

The price of the shoot was just the beginning. I hadn’t thought about all the details.

In the months before the shoot…

I’ve had back surgery, and was told heels were off limits for me. But I wasn’t about to wear flats in a sexy shoot. I bought three pairs of heels and a pair of dominatrix boots.

I bought a new piece of lingerie.

I bought new lacy panties.

I bought a man’s white shirt as mine didn’t look so fresh, and I wanted a better fit.

Celebrate Your Sexy sent me an email to ask me questions, including how do I feel about photos of myself and what are my concerns. (Top concern–I’d hate the photos and it would wreck my fragile self esteem).

The week of the shoot….

I got my eyebrows, lower arms, under arms, and full legs waxed.

I got a pedicure and acrylic nails.

On the day of the photo shoot…

I couldn’t find one of my outfits and had to rethink an entire look. This totally freaked me out. (It was on top of my bureau so I wouldn’t lose it–which I discovered that night.)

I had my hair and makeup done.

When my stylist asked what I wanted done with my hair I said “make it look like I just had really good sex.” My straight hair was curled and teased. Since I was (mostly) going to keep my glasses on, we added fake lashes and just did some liner on my eyes. I did a blood red lip (fiery liquid lipstick from Stila–it is my go-to and the only red I’ve ever tried that didn’t look pink-y or orange-y).

All of this added up to way more than the photo shoot cost. A more secure/more cost conscious person could probably do without these extras, but this is my journey.

The experience…

I was ready about an hour before my shoot, and I sat in my car so as not to sweat my make-up off in the insane heat wave that gripped the Bay Area a few weeks ago. This gave me plenty of time to contemplate if I wanted to take anxiety medication.

I drove to the location of the photo shoot with a carry-on suitcase full of clothes/shoes/props and texted the photographer that I was downstairs.

The photographer immediately put me at ease. We talked through my outfits and shoes. She let me plug my phone in and put on a playlist (regret–should’ve had a better playlist as it wasn’t something I’d really thought about or planned for). We talked about my props and which outfit they went with, etc.

We set up my four outfits, and I changed into the first one–a sexy red dress with red heels with a matching black lace bra and panty under it. The photographer started me off on the bed, moving the lights and herself around me. She walked me through poses, and told me to tell her when something was just not okay for my back or any other reason. Some poses were indeed uncomfortable, and I gained a small appreciation for what it must take to create ads and layouts in magazines (apart from photoshop).

My second outfit was a turquoise bra and panty under a white men’s shirt and black heels. I posed with a copy of Capturing the Moment. I wished I’d brought my own laptop, but the photographer lent me hers. I’m hoping I like one of these photos so I can use it here on the site.

My third leaned hard into kink. A nightie with a vinyl/pleather breast bra top, black lacy panties, and dominatrix boots that on my five foot two/three inch frame went nearly into my vagina. I posed with a riding crop with a sparkly handle and one with a heart-shaped surface.

My fourth? Mesh with nothing under it and black heels. I should have felt self conscious or uncomfortable, but by that point I felt comfortable with the photographer, with my body, and most shockingly–with the camera.

The photos…

I’m seeing them on Friday. I wanted to write about the experience before I saw them, and then I’ll write another entry about that experience.

Final thoughts…

I had such a positive experience that I volunteered to model in a plus sized lingerie show next month. It was a safe space.

After the shoot they give you a pamphlet with next steps and it’s not until you reach that point that you learn the ridiculous per photo costs. However, this seems to be a standard thing in the world of boudoir photography. So the selection process will be brutal, or at least I hope I like enough of the photos for it to be a difficult decision.

I’d definitely recommend Celebrate Your Sexy if you go into it knowing the photos are really expensive. They shoot all over the US.

Here’s hoping that I’ll have an excellent Friday morning.

Curvy Girl Lingerie (With a Discount Code and a GIVEAWAY)

I met today’s guest poster on Facebook a few years ago when I first heard of Curvy Girl Lingerie. While my size pre- and post-kids (and throughout my health struggles these past few years) has yo-yo’d, I’ve always been a size 16+. Today, despite more than half of all women being above a size 12/14, fewer and fewer stores carry lingerie for us. On my last few trips to the States, I’ve checked out lingerie everywhere from K-mart to Torrid to various sex shops with very uneven, and often poor quality results. Which is why I return time and time again to Curvy Girl.

When I was ready to place an order, I reached out to Chrystal. We talked about my body shape and what parts of my body I’m more sensitive about. I told her which items I was interested in.  She actually told me not to buy some items because they wouldn’t make me happy, and what sizes to order other things in. Between the top notch customer service (including replacing a lost order), and the high quality products, I am a Curvy Girl fan who puts my money where my mouth is. They are my first choice when it comes to buying lingerie.

I am lucky to count Chrystal as a friend, not just a contact at a website. She’s going to tell you about Curvy Girl, and then I’ll be back to tell you about today’s discount code and my giveaway.

curvy girl logo

I opened Curvy Girl Lingerie in San Jose a little over 3 years ago in October, 2012.

I had a dream of having a place to shop for sexy clothes for my fat body since I was around 20 years old, when I had a partner who embraced my size. That was 27 years ago!

I remember going to a local lingerie store here in 1988-1989. I would drool over and pine for all of the dainty baby dolls and stockings that would never fit me.  I even tried buying two of one very inexpensive item sand I tried hobbling the two items together to try and get them to fit. (And, I should I mention that I do not sew.) Talk about depressing and demoralizing!

Fast forward to 2016! We are a little bit more than 3 years old and we just had to expand to a new, larger location. I adore our local Curvy Girl community. We get customers traveling to our store from all over the world!  We’ve had couples travel to my boutique from Newfoundland, Singapore, London, Vancouver, and Sydney just to name a few. We have several sets of customers that are long-haul truckers and they plan us into their route when they have a California assignment. We have become a “destination.”  Talk about amazing!

curvy GirlPicture of my most recent Curvy Girl Order.

On the bottom right is The Boyfriend Shirt (which is a go-to piece of lingerie for me–Delilah)

We do suggest that our customers who are not local give us a call (408-264-4227  add a +1 for international calls) so we can help them to get the exact right fit the first time. At Curvy Girl, we deal in humans and we see the lingerie on actual women and we know a thing or two about sizing and fit. (We do our best to put what we know about an item in the description of our products, too.)  If you can’t call us  because you’re in a different time zone, you can always email us at CurvyGirlInc@gmail.com

At Curvy Girl, out motto is “Sexy is for Every Body.”  There is so much pleasure to be had in all of our bodies. I want us all to experience every ounce of it and to NEVER EVER apologize for our bodies or how much space you take up. We all get to enjoy our bodies exactly as they exist right now and never ever settle for ugly underwear, bad sexy or crappy partners.

 If you would like to know more about Curvy Girl, you can shop us,  read my blog, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

love

Okay, my lovelies–here’s where things get fun.  Curvy Girl is offering my readers a discount code, delilahnight,  good for 15% off your order.

Items I own and love include the one-shoulder mesh dress (it’s soft and not itchy!), the boyfriend shirt (as pictured above), the fishnet kixies thigh high stockings (they don’t slide), and the black strapless lace dress. The stock is always evolving and items are not on the page if they’re out of stock (I really love my blue nightie in the pic above but the item isn’t on their page anymore.)

If you order using my code between now and Feb 15 (Singapore time-which covers Vday around the world as we’re ahead of most of you), leave a comment. I will pick a winner (two if there are more than ten entries, or a maximum of three if there are more than 25) on Feb 16 in Singapore and reach out privately so I can verify your purchase via screenshot. Do not leave your email or a screenshot in the body of the comment. (I can see the email you entered to leave the comment in my wordpress dashboard) The discount code has no expiration, just the contest.

 

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 11.19.55 AM
The prize: either an e-book of Irresistible: Erotic Romance for Couples (which includes my story, “Renewal”) edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel or Chemical [se]X (wish I only wish I were part of, but is one of my favorite anthologies–see my review here) edited by Oleander Plume. If you need a completely queer friendly anthology, just let me know–I’m all about getting you something you’ll enjoy.
Chemical [se]x

Lingerie from a wedding dress exhibit in Southeast Asia

early 1900’s

Lingerie from the 1920/30’s

Dita Von Teese’s Wedding Corset, 2005

I would’ve loved to see more examples of lingerie through history, but these were what were on display.