It’s funny: We enter this world in blissful nudity, unadorned, bare and unjudged. When we’re born and our mothers hold us for the first time, we are seen as unequivocally perfect in every way. It doesn’t matter that we’re born resembling the pale human version of a raisin that has dried out a bit too long. To the world, at that moment, we are beautiful. And then as toddlers we might have run around a yard or two, joyfully naked, unashamed and waving our diapers in the air while our mothers ran behind us trying to spare the neighbors from another episode of the “The Great Streaking Toddler.” But then something changes, the message that we receive as we grow is that somehow our bodies aren’t perfect, aren’t wonderful, aren’t good enough. And for some of us, we internalize the recurrent message that our body is in itself something of which we should be ashamed.
And as women especially, we’re told to cover up in order to be seen as respectable, but then we are told that our worth only depends on what we actually uncover. Saturday night: Wear a short skirt to get a man to notice you. Monday morning: Wear pants to an interview to get a prospective employer to respect you. Does that way of thinking sound familiar? These conflicting messages, this change in the script half-way through the lines we’d been taught to memorize, has a jarring effect on one’s body image and ultimately one’s sexuality because we’re thrust into a world where suddenly nothing about you is good enough. As a result, you see yourself through a clouded lens, a lens that tells you that you’re never pretty enough. Either your nose is too big, your hips are too curvy, or your breasts are too small and you find yourself swimming in a sea of insecurity, barely staying afloat.
Don’t drown! Swim to shore! Ardor’s waiting there. Don’t laugh. We know what you’re thinking: Ardor’s a sex game, not a therapist that can help you learn to love yourself. It can’t rescue you from yourself...or can it? Let’s think about this. Have you ever had a rough day, but then someone does something kind for you? It could be something as small as holding the elevator door open when you’re about to miss it or helping you when somehow you drop everything from your purse to the ground. And how much better does that one gesture of kindness make you feel? Pretty darn amazing, I’d say.
Ardor can’t keep an elevator door open for you when you’re running late or help you pick up the contents of your spilled purse, but it can help you feel like a sexier, more confident version of yourself. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone and pushing the envelope is all you need to adjust the lens out of which you view your own reality. When you pull a card from the stack that instructs you to do something bold and daring, something that makes you blush and never confess out loud, a piece of that self-doubt is chiseled away. When your partner is sharing his or hers deepest desires for you as instructed by the game, do you dismiss your partner’s view of you as an absolute goddess who deserves to be ravished or do you embrace it?
Contrary to what many people believe, confidence can be found in the bedroom and applied to other areas of life. After a night of passion, you might look in the mirror and instead of thinking, “I’m not pretty enough” you may find yourself thinking, “I’m a sexy ass vixen who really knows how to work it...in and out of the bedroom.” And then, you find yourself strutting down the street, inner thighs still a little sore from rambunctious lovemaking and everyone’s looking at you. They wish they were you because you’re glowing. You’re giving off a sense of confidence, the vibe that you’re comfortable in your own skin and you dare anyone to challenge that. And suddenly, being pretty enough is laughable.
You’re not pretty. You’re gorgeous. You’re not beautiful; you’re perfect. Yours, Yasmeen