Have you ever felt like something was both inevitable and not going to happen in a million years?
Have you ever done something that felt the complete opposite than you expected?
That was this past Saturday in a nutshell.
A few weeks ago The Breast Form Store sent over a few items for me to sample and review. Some new forms (more on those later but OMG), a new gaff, and some lingerie. Usually when I am sent clothes to review I will have professional photos taken by my friend Shannonlee. When I have done reviews for gaffs, lingerie, or a corset I have used product pictures from the designer’s website to illustrate my review. But this time… I couldn’t stop thinking about if I wanted to do a lingerie shoot for the review. I am not sure what changed my mind from something I didn’t think, or want to happen in a million years to something I sorta kinda maybe wanted to do, but honestly I think it’s the past year that has really shaped my perspective on life.
A funny thing happened around my last birthday. I noticed I started to think about, well, the end of my life. Not to sound dramatic and I know I have a lot of time left (fingers crossed), but I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life. Some of my thoughts were practical, such as making sure my wife and I were financially stable, some of it was more fun, like planning a vacation. These thoughts, combined with how COVID has really impacted the world and has limited what we can and should do, I thought about life is short and things we want to do could stop being an option very suddenly. Sure, I want to go on a trip and yes I want to go to the mall without a mask but it’s not smart to do either of these things right now. A year and a half ago no one would have thought that life would be like this. But it is, and could be for a long time.
The idea of a lingerie shoot terrified me and at the same time the fear wasn’t stopping me from thinking about it. I talked to my wife about what I was thinking and we had a good conversation about everything from what I was feeling about life and time running out and fears of someone we know stumbling across the pictures (because let’s face it, if I am going to do it I am likely posting the photos) to what I wanted, and didn’t want if I did the shoot. After our talk, I felt lighter. I didn’t realize how crushing my feelings of life running out were impacting me. Honestly? I realized I was scared of getting old, getting sick, not being able to do things I wanted to do, whether it was a boudoir shoot or going for a run. I know the day will come when I shouldn’t be driving (and yes I know that day is decades away) or or doing things that I take for granted. I don’t want to regret things I could have done. Things that I want to do but kept putting off, whether it was a lingerie shoot or visiting Italy.
So I did it.
The shoot, not the trip. At least not yet.
The shoot happened almost 48 hours from me writing this and I am still processing it. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was surprised at how… nervous and awkward I felt. I’ve done a lot of shoots over the last five years. Some for fun, some for reviews, some for En Femme. I’ve worn everything from wrap dresses to PVC skirts to pants so I am accustomed to being photographed in a lot of different outfits. But stockings and bras? Good god. Lingerie is something one wears for themselves, for intimate moments, for sleeping. Lingerie is personal, private, and a secret. Wearing lingerie when someone other than my wife is in the room is a… well, I felt as uncomfortable and as awkward as you can imagine. I felt silly. Although I wasn’t expecting it to be… I don’t know, erotic, I didn’t expect it to be a big deal considering my previous shoots and outfits. I felt exposed and nervous. Not exactly strutting out of a comfort zone.
As the shoot progressed I felt a little less nervous and self-conscious. Shannonlee always helps me come out of my shell a bit and she was as professional as it gets. She is also my friend. I can’t imagine letting anyone else photograph me for a shoot like this.
I’ll (probably) post the finished shots, but I wanted to share some pictures from that day. These were taken with an iPhone (please excuse the quality) and haven’t been touched up with lighting and whatever magic Shannonlee does. They are also in black and white because, well, black and white is… forgiving. Let’s leave it at that.
As I write this I can honestly say I am glad I did this, even with all the nervousness and anxiety the day brought. I can’t say I will ever do this again, but I think this is one less thing I will have on my list of regrets when things like this aren’t an option anymore.
Strutting Out of a Comfort Zone