Sssh.com, the Internet's number one erotic site for women, and Blushing Books, have partnered to release "Unleashing Your Inner Goddess" a real sex guide. Drawing on over eight years of the best columns, quizzes, articles and editorials published on Sssh.com, "Goddess" covers a huge array of topics, from practical questions women wonder about but don't even ask their best girlfriends ("Anal; Is Everyone Doing it?") to easy decorating tips for a relaxing home and tasty menus for romantic dinners.
Note: This is a sexual how-to book that, although positively reviewed at Amazon, does not have spanking advice or mentioning.
Femininity- What it Is, and Why You Want It!
Words are weird. They take on connotations over time that are sometimes not closely connected to their actual meanings. Take the word "terrific." This originally meant something with the power to terrify�kind of a negative thing. But now when we say it we mean something is wonderful!
So what do you think when you hear the word "feminine?" Soft? Weak? Passive? Flowery? Giggly? Sweet-smelling? No? How about compassionate, creative, persuasive, resourceful, resilient, and charismatic?
I think we have all figured out by now that women cannot be men no matter how hard they try, and what's more they shouldn't want to be. The sexes are different, and there is really nothing inherently wrong with that. It would, however, be nice if our society would treat the sexes equally in terms of social programs, workplace benefits, etc. It'd be great if women made the same amount of money that men do for doing the same work. It'd be fantastic if women could command the same attention in the worlds of business, finance, politics, law and athletics as men. Even the arts are kinder to men; how many female Poet Laureates have there been? Or female Booker Prize winners?
But this article isn't a treatise on all the things wrong about gender inequality. This is an article about femininity, and why it's important to maintain it and cultivate it, even in areas where it doesn't seem to pay to be a woman. My theory is, if you sacrifice your own feminine persona to get ahead at the office, or to dominate your group of friends, then you're not letting the true you shine through. And being your own unique self is really the surest way to success and satisfaction I can think of.
Not all women are feminine in the same ways. Some women are very comfortable with being a bit more androgynous in their looks, or a bit more dominant or aggressive in their personalities. No need for you to fundamentally change who you are. But if you find yourself wondering why your daily wearing of navy blue power suits and drinking bourbon at business lunches isn't advancing your career like you'd hoped it would, maybe you're going about it the wrong way. What follows are some tips for bringing a more feminine touch to your daily style, at work and at leisure.
FEMININE STYLE: AT THE OFFICE
I am personally appalled at how unfeminine some women look even when they're wearing a skirt and high heels. Femininity is not about ruffle and lace and heavy make-up�it's an attitude. You can be an absolute knockout in your faded blue jeans if you pull it together right. So let's think about this. Do you have to wear business attire for your job? You're already at a disadvantage because, unfortunately, our society says it is okay for men to wear virtually the same suit every day, but women have to change their colors like chameleons. So even if your suits are polished and professional, if they start to look too much like a "uniform," you're not making a good impression. Check out the film Working Girl with Melanie Griffith. Yes, I know it's from the 1980s, but check out the transformation she goes through. When she's a secretary she's very feminine, almost too much so: bleached blonde hair that's long and layered, and running shoes with a skirt and jacket. Nothing says "I don't care about how I look" like that suit and running shoes combo. Just get yourself some sexy, comfortable shoes, for Pete's sake! They exist. I used to be an exotic dancer and even I found heels I could dance comfortably in for hours.
Back to Working Girl: Melanie's character changed utterly when she was trying to pass herself off as an executive. She cuts her hair into a shorter but very flattering, feminine style. She wears beautifully tailored suits from her boss's exquisite wardrobe. She wears a gorgeous, classy designer dress to an office function where all the other women are wearing suits; Harrison Ford comments that she's the only woman there who looks like a woman. She doesn't look overdressed, either, she looks like she simply put some thought into what to wear for the evening.
Can't afford Armani suits and fancy salon haircuts? No worries, one aspect of utilizing your feminine intuition is to be creative when it comes to looking good. Check out outlet stores, end of season sales and thrift shops�you'll be amazed what you find, some thrift shops will have clothing that is still new with the tags on. Or check on eBay, some sellers specialize in designer clothes. Be sure to get classic styles but don't be afraid to get something that stands out: a tweed jacket in a non-neutral color, for example, or a suit in a luxurious fabric like silk or suede. Make sure it fits and flatters your body type. Above the knee is the best skirt length, but don't go too short or you might feel uncomfortable. Also, looking feminine is sometimes about not going too far: less is more. One nice subtle trick: dark sheer stockings that match the color of your outfit, instead of flesh-toned or nude ones. Very classy and sexy, looks more pulled together.
How do you make a suit look feminine? Contrast and balance. A classic A-line skirt and blazer would look great with a silk crepe blouse underneath, or a form-fitting cashmere sweater. Wearing sexy fabric next to your skin not only feels nice, it calls attention to your softer side when people are close to you. A lace camisole peeking through from underneath a blouse can be perfectly acceptable at the office if it's not too obvious (be aware, chances are good someone will notice!) But subtlety is always key. Don't wear showy jewelry to the office; simple pieces will make a statement about your own personality, not the ton of metal you've piled on.
Your behavior at work is part of your feminine persona, too. Are you a "team player" who's expert with negotiations and communication, but always eager to please? Playing the game is all well and good but you can start to blend into the woodwork after awhile from all that nodding and smiling. What about sharing your more unusual ideas that you're holding back, for fear of looking foolish? Don't apologize for your creativity, share it with confidence and offer it with the expectation that people will take you seriously and consider what you're offering. Women are often frustrated with advancing at their places of business and sometimes they think it's because they are not "pushy" enough. But it's probably just the opposite that's true: women just aren't expected to be as aggressive as men are at communicating, and so some women sabotage themselves by trying to act as men do. But think about it: our voices are pitched higher naturally, so if we raise our voices to make a point, we may seem more strident. We are usually shorter and smaller-framed than men, so using body language to make a point works differently for us than it does for them: their simple finger pointing and head shaking may look silly when we do it.
So we need to adjust and find ways to put our best impression out there. Practice speaking in front of a mirror (don't laugh, the most successful people in the world have always done this).Speak calmly, clearly and confidently. Modulate your voice so that your words come alive, and vary your pitch so it's not all monotone. Watch your face in the mirror: do you smile too much? Frown too often? Do your eyes wander? Do you move your hands too much, or are they stuck like boards at your sides? The more you practice speaking in private, the more confident you'll be about doing it in public.(This same sort of practice can help you become more confident in more intimate and social situations, too! Just pretend you're at a party instead of in the conference room.) Finally, it's okay to let the men at your workplace act like gentlemen if that's their thing. Let them open your door occasionally, or compliment your hair, or buy you a drink after work. A lady accepts all acts of kindness or generosity with grace and class. And nothing is more graceful or classy than repaying a compliment or favor in kind...but let the guys act first! They do sometimes feel a wee bit threatened if they feel like they're not the ones in control. Of course, we know better, and that's part of the fun.
FEMININE STYLE: OUTSIDE THE OFFICE ( LOOKING GOOD, AND BEING YOURSELF)
So how feminine do you feel when you're in your everyday duds, doing errands? Do you head out to the gym or the grocery store hoping you won't run into anyone you know? Or do you get all gussied up so you're afraid to sweat or get rained on a little? Both extremes are stress inducing. Who's got time to put on make-up before yoga class? But looking as close to your best as you can helps you get through your day in a more confident manner. So how do you cope with having too much to do and not enough time to dress and groom yourself for every possible scenario? Simple solution: take five minutes to inventory before you head out the door and take some quick steps. You'll be happy you did this, if you run into that guy you've been thinking about asking out, or have a chance to make eye contact with some random hottie, or run into a female acquaintance who might be happy to see you looking less than you're best (it sucks but it happens).
If you're off to somewhere to exercise (the gym, yoga class, hiking or jogging), make sure your workout gear is clean, at least, if you're wearing it on your way there. You may love your ratty old college sweatshirt but, well, maybe you should relegate it to the clothes your wear for doing yard-work or laundry at home. Or, if your grey hoodie is the only thing handy, at least put on a nice t-shirt in a flattering color. If your hair is not looking its best, brush it out and pull it into a pony tail, or tuck it under a colorful scarf or bandana that brings out the color of your eyes.
Baggy sweatpants may be comfortable but they're not flattering. Some nice yoga pants or leggings define your shape better and make you look like more pulled together, but effortlessly. And don't forget to wear just a touch of makeup. Not a face full, you're just going to go sweat it off, but enough that you don't look like you just woke up. Wash your face, apply your toner or moisturizer, and then a touch of waterproof mascara and some lipstick in a neutral color. No one should notice you're wearing make-up but you'll look so much better with a bit of it on.
Off to do a necessary, but time-consuming errand? Like the grocery store, or the home improvement shop? These can of course be great places to meet men, so you don't want to slink out of the house with a baseball cap on your head and bunny slippers on your feet. Casual is the way to go: something that makes you feel comfortable but that you know you look good in. Like, "I'm too busy and leading too fulfilling a life to worry about what I'm wearing, so it's a good thing even a pair of faded Levi's and a red t-shirt look sexy on me!" Comfy clothes can be feminine, too, like a short swingy skirt and a tank top, or long black cotton skirt with a leather biker jacket. Your leisure times are moments when you can be yourself and show your unique style to the world, so these aren't times to be invisible! Don't forget that color is the single most eye-catching thing people notice as they approach you. That bright scarf or pair of sandals might catch someone's eye in a good way.
Same rules apply here for accepting a gentlemanly gesture if it's offered: say thank you and accept it graciously. But in the social world we sometimes have to defuse a situation if we're the recipients of unwanted attention. But freezing the guy with an icy stare is not only unkind, it's unnecessary. Be polite and as diplomatic as you can ("No, thank you for offering but I can load these plants in my car all by myself"). If you feel threatened or uncomfortable, don't be shy about calmly approaching someone else for assistance. The man may not have meant to make you uncomfortable so it's best to err on the side of good intentions. Women often think it is their prerogative to simply ignore a man whose attentions are unwanted. But most of the time the man is simply trying to be nice or friendly, so he deserves to be treated in a civil manner, with eye contact and polite answers. This is a little-known secret of femininity: being approachable. Contrary to popular belief, men do not like it when women act like aloof bitches: they genuinely appreciate kindness and compassion, just like we do; even though we've all fallen for our share of cruel, bad-tempered bastards, haven't we? Ah well, classy is as classy does.
Now get out there and charm the hell out of everyone!
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