Jewish Journal

Letting Yourself Go

by Tamara Shayne Kagel

March 17, 2011 | 12:59 pm

My sister has been in a relationship for two years now and she’s very proud of the fact that she’s let herself go.  Not in the traditional sense of becoming unattractive.  She’s a gorgeous young twenty something who has probably never weighed more than a hundred pounds and has a great post-New York clothing style.  But as a girlfriend, she’s stopped doing those extra feminine things that women do to make themselves more attractive especially when they initially like a guy.

My little sister was in town visiting from Argentina where she’s currently living with her boyfriend and so we were strolling the Malibu Lumber Yard together.  When I saw La Perla, the upscale lingerie store, was having a sale, I let some excitement escape.  Sis responded with something about how lingerie is a waste of money, her boyfriend doesn’t care what underwear she ever wears, and wouldn’t notice if she did wear lingerie.

It reminded me of my behavior in my first relationship.  You get used to someone loving you and so you just get lazy.  You stop shaving your legs as often or getting bikini waxes, or bothering with high heels, or even wearing make-up.  Now, my sister’s not this bad but her point is, she’s been with her boyfriend for two years, he knows what she looks like and she doesn’t have to trick him into wanting her with accoutrements.  He loves her and therefore desires her.

When I got out of that first relationship and found myself single again, I naturally started engaging in all these little behaviors we girls do to make ourselves feel pretty.  I actually became strict about always doing them because I suddenly had this mentality, like I had no idea what or whom any single day could bring so I wanted to always be ready in case a White Knight suddenly appeared.  I thought I would be annoyed by all the work, especially as months went by and no one touched my exfoliated legs but my yoga teacher, but quite the opposite was true

I realized that while I thought was engaging in these behaviors just for men, I actually felt completely differently about myself when I added all the bells and whistles.  I’m not engaging in these behaviors for men, I do it for myself.  Some time ago, I read something that suggested one of the most important factors in making a long term relationship work, is ensuring that both parties are equally interested in sex and both partners make efforts to initiate it.  I’ve come to realize that shaving my legs and wearing matching underwear is not something a girl should do to keep a man.  It’s something she should do so that she feels sexy herself.  Because if she doesn’t feel sexy, she’s not going to initiate sex in the relationship and then you’re in the clichéd relationship where the man wants sex with a woman who never does.  This certainly cannot be the secret to a successful long-term relationship.  So get out your razors, stop telling yourself your boyfriend doesn’t mind your gut, and get to La Perla.  So what if he loves you and just wants your lingerie off.  It’s about finding out what you want when you’re putting them on…

Tamara Shayne Kagel is a writer living in Santa Monica, CA. To find out more about her, visit www.tamarashaynekagel.com and follow her on twitter @tamaraskagel. © Copyright 2011.

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Tamara Shayne Kagel is a twenty-something fixture on the Los Angeles scene currently living in Santa Monica.  Currently, Tamara is a successful freelance writer (just ask her...

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