Lesbihonest will be a bi-weekly column focusing on relationships, sex and love through gender theory. It will not only question societal norms, but also provide suggestions for improving relationships.
Anna G. Stevens, class of 2013.5, is from Shoreham, VT.
During an impromptu stop at a gas station on the way home from Burlington, my boyfriend and I, on a whim, purchased the latest issue of Cosmopolitan—the straight girl’s guide to being a fun fearless female. Once in the car, I started to read aloud the “50 Things You Should Never Stop Doing in a Relationship.”
Reading this advice on how to remain a subservient, white-lying, inconspicuous yet sexy, committed girlfriend left me with a sickening feeling, and even worse, a head full of doubt; does my boyfriend really find it attractive when I use my “big-girl voice” and “[suck my gut] in and [strut my] stuff when he’s watching?” If so, I have got to make changes, posthaste.
My favorite was rule number 37, which said that I must never let my boyfriend “see [my] grody underthings and—most importantly!—protecting [my] eyes from his as well.” This challenge is only heightened when we move in together but Cosmo has the perfect solution: “get two lingerie bags.”
I do not see the benefit in shielding my eyes from my loved one’s underwear just so I can pretend they don’t exist. If we’re not supposed to see one another’s undergarments then how can we comfortably look at each other naked without fear of nausea, and—god-forbid— awkwardness. I am not asserting that involving my partner in every aspect of my life, including forcing him to look at my girly wears on a regular basis, is healthy or necessary. However I don’t see the harm in remaining human; if we aren’t rocking it commando, it is likely when we remove our underwear it will remain discarded on the floor or bed, somewhere in the public view in the privacy of our rooms.
I am not arguing that girls should be inconsiderate of their boyfriends, and vice versa, but rather I want to push back against the belief that in order to remain a good girlfriend I am supposed to follow a certain set of rules that prohibit me from, essentially, being myself. Furthermore, telling girls that they should not leave their lingerie in plain sight perpetuates feelings of discomfort while naked; everyone wants to look their best nude, but if a girl is not comfortable being around her partner naked, she will always fall just short of being the most attractive she can be.
At the beginning of any relationship, it’s natural for one to feel slightly uncomfortable when naked in the presence of his or her partner. In fact, even after the initial honeymoon stage of a relationship it is still perfectly acceptable to feel reservations when the clothes start to come off, but this discomfort can foster communication, exploration and most importantly connection.
Let’s be honest—Dirty clothes should play less of a role in a relationship than dirty roles.