The Naked Truth

Confidence: Fake It ‘til You Make It.

For your audience to enjoy you, you must appear to enjoy yourself first.  Despite your nerves, you have to convey confidence.  It’s harder to pull off insecurity than a few butt zits.  I know it sounds a little contrived, but use self-talk, a sexy little pep talk, to get in the right mindset.  Tell yourself  “prowling tiger” rather than “young Shirley Temple”, because seeing someone with a naked body, but a too-big, unmoving smile and deer-in-a-headlight eyes is very uncomfortable, some might even use the word “boner-killer.”  Don’t misunderstand, I’m not telling you not to smile, but it has to be natural.  The smile of actual enjoyment.  No one is forcing you to be naked, if you truly hate being naked, don’t do it.  If you don’t hate it, try not to look like you do.  Happiness is attractive; you catch more flies with honey.

How You Move is More Important Than What You’re Moving.

If you move, walk, dance, pose with intention and attention, you automatically convey a sense of having your shit together.  Your body is a fluid thing of beauty, let it move that way. If you move with doubt, unsure of where to go or what to do, you’re putting off nervous energy, which is hard to make sexy, unless you’re one of those lucky people getting naked with someone who has a fetish for clumsiness…

Beautiful sexy woman is lying in bed.

Beautiful sexy woman is lying in bed.

It’s Never as Bad as You Think It’ll Be.

Sure, there was the initial moment of intense fear and anxiety right before the robe dropped, and right before I went onstage.  Both of those moments felt so huge that I thought they might be my last.  But really, the worst part about it was just the anticlimactic follow-up to that moment.  It was MY first time moment, not theirs.  First time modeling, I expected students to laugh and whisper.  The truth is, no one cares nearly as much about the flaws we obsess over as you think they will, they are busy worrying about themselves.  They assume that because you are naked, you are okay with what you’re showing, that it’s just business as usual.  Art students are taught to view bodies as a collection of shapes, not as good or bad.  They weren’t upset at having to draw me in my lumpy, bumpy glory, they were excited to have someone new to draw.  There was zero attachment between my body and my character.  The first time I stripped, I thought the drunk dudes would heckle me with cutting zings about my cellulite, or my rounded belly.  Nope, turns out, if they don’t like what they see, they just walk away, because they weren’t there to make me feel bad, they were there to see tits.

No One Person is What Everyone Wants, But You Are What Someone Wants, Exactly As You Are Right Now.

Even when I did get my feelings hurt in the strip club, it wasn’t because that was what the guy intended, it was when I made someone else’s personal preferences matter to me.  For example, I’ve had men pass me over for private dances because tattoos weren’t their thing.  They weren’t saying my tattoos are ugly, or that there’s anything wrong with me for having tattoos, just that they didn’t like them on anyone.  And who knows why?  Maybe there was a tattooed she-bully in his neighborhood who used to punch him in the nuts and take his lunch money.  Maybe his first love was inked up and broke his heart, and now every time he sees a tattooed woman, he cries inside.  The most important thing is not how he feels, or why, it’s that I like my tattoos.  Trying to change his mind about them would be a waste of everyone’s time, which is better spent seeking out those people who do like them, of which there are plenty.  Once, I had one man tell me (in a very apologetic tone of voice) that my ass wasn’t wide enough for his taste, a mere 3 hours after another one tipped me $100 for having, as he so eloquently stated “more cushion’ for the pushin’ back there”.   If you have any doubt that you can find someone who loves your body as it is, whatever it’s state, I advise you to go to an adult store and peruse the porn DVDs.  Look at the people on the covers in ALL the categories, and take notice of how many different categories there are.  There’s literally something for anyone and everyone. With that in mind, when someone asks my body type, I don’t say “athletic” or “curvy,” or “short and squat,”  I say “FUCKABLE… just like yours.”

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The Naked Truth

About The Author
- Susanna Lee is a standup comic, storyteller, burlesque artist, and yoga teacher. She has performed at numerous festivals, including the Bridgetown Comedy Fest, Chicago Comedy Fest, and was a headlining performer and main emcee for the 2013 New Zealand Burlesque Fest. She lives in Los Angeles with 3 cats and a lot of hope.