Flashing Back to the Playboy Mansion, Paris & Prague in Search of a Better Body Image

Cannabis lube and three orgasms in one night. Yep. That’s what my middle-aged, present day, post-divorce sex life looks like… sometimes. While some friends are complaining about atrophied vaginas, my legs are open for business and I’m letting hot suitors visit my grand canal. My curves are being adored and admired and I feel sexually, like the song “Free Bird.”

It certainly has not always been this way. Long before my hot romps of late with the Joes, Peters, Pedros, Fabios and Juan Miguels, I would look in the mirror and dissect myself. I didn’t trust or love my body as much as Louise Hay wanted me to. My screenwriting professors always told us to use FLASHBACKS sparingly, but I decided it was time. I wanted to see a time-line of my body image psyche.

Flashback, 1980s. I’m a 17-year-old virgin spending the summer in L.A on a film internship. My roommate is a Malibu bombshell who is very “in” with the “LA fast track.” She’s about to attend Hugh Hefner’s Midsummer Night’s Bash and desperately wants me to come with her. But there is a big caveat: I have to meet with Hugh Hefner’s private secretary, Mary O’Connor for approval.

So here I am at the infamous mansion of hedonism standing in front of a moxie-fueled, style-less older women who holds the keys to Hefner’s Garden of Eden. She has me spin around in a slow circle, three times, to determine if she approves of extending a coveted invitation. She says, “You’re pretty, but your caboose is too big, but then again, you’re exotic.” (Exotic translated from bunny speak meant: Jewish) She hands me the golden ticket — I’m in.

It’s an exceedingly hot night in August. All the pin-ups are wearing sheer teddies and furry-feathered 4-inch heels. They’re doing lines of coke and stripping naked as they leap into the grotto, the notorious dark pool within the mansion caves.

I look at all the buxom Barbies and think, I’m not one of them.

Me? I wear oversized, fuzzy, elephant slippers and an extra large Fair Lawn New Jersey football jersey that hit my knees. I watch as Bill Cosby steals a feel from Miss February. I am a voyeur, never participating just observing. I look at all the buxom Barbies and think, I’m not one of them. Their boobs are so perfectly perky and Miss September has her pubic hair coiffed into the shape of a bunny. Every woman is blonde and there was not a wrinkle of cellulite within a five mile radius. I think; I’m never going to be sexy enough to have a great sex life.

Flashback, 1990s. I am a fledgling yet successful, LA-based screenwriter — very sought after. Actually, let me rephrase that. I am very sought after in the writing department but not in the under-the-sheets department. I am 5’5”, 125 lbs and beautifully curvy, but wear my body insecurity on my sleeve. I am going to a “Hollywood” party and I tell my friend who grew up in Beverly Hills that I really want a boyfriend. Her response is “Sue, if you really want a boyfriend you need to lose a good 15 pounds. This is LA. Curves and a big butt are as bad as having syphilis.” I wanted to wear my football jersey to bed forever to the tune of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This.”

Flashback, Early 2000s. I am sent to Europe on a research trip for a script I sold to Nancy Meyers. It’s there I met my “Parisian prince” — and like every Nancy Meyers movie, everything is ever-so perfect. The backdrop is sublime. He is reading Voltaire in front of Les Invalides or Napolean’s tomb. We get engaged a few months after meeting on that magical day. I find my soul in Paris but lose my body image even further. My frog and I are traveling to Prague for a lover’s getaway weekend. I pack a new low-cut dress, a pair of fishnets and 4-inch pumps. I get ready in the bathroom, shimmy into my sexy garb, smooth out my red lip stick and strut out of the bathroom with a spin similar to the one I did for Hef’s secretary. I feel good. Until… my newly-wedded guy looks at my fishnets and calls them “vulgar” and says I didn’t have the legs to pull them off. My heart sinks. My fantasy of going to a dark, candle lit, Czech restaurant and having my husband possibly put his hand up my skirt dwindles into a puddle of shame and tears. I spend the next 18 years in a sensual-less marriage. Erica Jong’s “zipless fuck” clearly never translated in repressed French.

I am determined to make up for lost time.

Flashback, 2015. My husband leaves me. My ego is below sea level. After much prodding by my friends, I join the online dating pool. I jump in but don’t know how to swim. Until, one day I’m watching an old Sophia Loren movie. I watch the way she doesn’t walk but actually saunters. Her curves, cleavage and confidence serve as her own personal entourage. I think, there is no way in hell Sophia Loren would wear a football jersey to bed ever! She would never hide her assets. She flaunts them. I make a new pact with myself. I want to own my body, my curves, my passion. I love the sexual act of giving and receiving so why am I not getting any action? Through my own self-analysis, I come to the epiphany that it was time for me to stop hiding in shame, fear, self-doubt, and instead, take an active approach to jumping back in the saddle.

First, I head to the European Wax Center. The aesthetician gasps and in her Russian accent says, “Wow, this is quite a forest! We may need a double session! There is a lot of work to be done. I mean a lot!” I then march my ass into La Petite Coquette in the Village and let the “bra specialist” cup my bosoms for hours searching for the perfect ensembles made of the best lace. I ignored it was made in France and blow close to a thousand dollars on exquisite lingerie. I have a date that night with a super cute, successful, sexy, thirty-something who cherishes my body and it’s the first of many three-orgasm nights. My dam is finally broken and I feel a restored sense of sexual trust and confidence.

Flashback, early 2018. I sleep with a gorgeous, African American man. In the throws of lovemaking he whispers in my ear “I love how confidant and sensuous you are. I am so glad you have a real woman’s body and aren’t obsessed with Soul Cycle.” Music to my ears! I dance around his living room to the rhythms of Santana and can feel how amazing it is to feel good in your own skin!

Flash forward: I am determined to make up for lost time. Sexy lingerie, landing strips, cleavage-confident dresses, and throwing caution to the gale force winds. Bring it on. As a feminist, who would think Kim Kardashian and I would ever have anything in common? So I’m thankful to Kim and Sophia and all the ladies who flaunt, flirt, saunter and own their bodies whatever size or shape they are. It’s empowering to step out of one’s safe zone, cannabis lube and all. If you own it, they will come… and so will you, possibly three times a night.

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