No. I am not going to get too deep into my bedroom experiences, I mean my son may be reading this and I don’t want to freak him out (more than he is already likely freaked out by his mother’s blatant in your face truth serum writing). But I have such a clear memory of my beloved Dr. W. with that very serious face she has when she is about to forewarn me about something possibly life changing gently letting me know that with reconstruction comes a loss of sensation in said upper half. Now for you chicks out there who are looking in the mirror at the probable southern heading portion of your upper body who have likely been married for well over fifteen years at this point, weighing the loss of sensation with a sporting new 36D porn star rack may seem like a no brainer. Easy for any of us to say when we are not in the drivers seat contemplating our female body parts.

Taking away the life or death decision part of this (humor me for just a moment here), and focusing on the other two elements, #1 being the cosmetic element- new boobs, upright, and forward facing (definitely an upper body game changer as it relates to swimsuits, form fitting shirts and walking around naked, for sure) and #2- the romping element. Cosmetic comes into play surely here, but so does participation and with no sensation, what does that really mean for my romping future?

Let’s start off with the fact most obvious in this overall big picture, I AM ALIVE. So let’s just put this aside for now and talk about the other things that really mattered once I determined that I would in fact be living. I actually do feel comfortable in my skin for the most part, (though I think the lululemon saleswomen working today that I just spent the last hour with may not agree). I mean come on, I am self body loving, but I am also a body realist. I do not have long legs so trying to cram them into a pair of size 6 (thank you very much) Lululemon compression workout bottoms was a bottom half sensation I didn’t feel much like forcing. I already have the constant companion of a triple a training bra with a padlock that is now a permanent fixture on my upper body. I have nothing to prove by feeling slightly uncomfortable in a size 6. Though they did slide on nicely, they surely didn’t slide on like a glove and as I contemplated my reflection back, rather then them slimming my bottom half like the young lovely lulu women insisted, I, instead, thought I looked more like a sausage. They interpreted this as ‘negative body talk,’ as they said with their sweet and fem pride tone, “Now come on Alayne, that will be enough of that negative body talk here.” Like they were schooling me on body security after completing their most recent class on female body shaming at Salve. Did they even know that that phrase never existed until they were born like 22 years ago when we started having to name everything with a dysfunction?

Did they know that my generation grew up during a time when there were no female doctors in a television commercial ever. I grew up with commercials saying things like, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” Yes that was really a commercial, maybe for contact lenses? I grew up in a time when the latest perfume on the market sang out, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never ever forget my own man…” Enjoli. In case that name escapes you fifty year old chicks reading this. These chicks had no idea about the negative body image bullshit we grew up with. Actually now that I think about it they are probably the product of us since a few of them could have been my daughters now that I realize our age gap. Although in all fairness they were born of Brittany Spears and post Madonna boy toy generation, so maybe they do have their own issues afterall.

No not negative, I assured them, pragmatic. I am totally comfortable with my body as I have mentioned numerous times. I have worked hard to get to this self body acceptance that make any modern woman proud, but trying to fit into a size 6 lululemons when there is no reason to because the fact is that an 8 is my happy place. Frankly I can’t even believe that I easily wear a size 8. What is cracking me up now is that I have to go up a size for my upper body now. The girls were telling me that I could wear these leggings with a cute wedge boot and a sweater. I guess they didn’t understand that the words ‘cute wedge boot’ is not happening and surely not happening with skin tight leggings that make me feel like a piece of kielbasa. They were adorable and I seriously wanted to take each of them home to be my pretend daughter (no offense to my son, here but I just can’t see him being my sidekick shopping at Lulus on a snowy Saturday unless I was bribing him with a trip to Mission or Winner Winner speaking of legs looking like Kielbasa).

I love wearing Lulus when I work out. I actually feel stunning and lengthy as I blast through burpees with Nicole Toppa and minute sprints on a six incline with Queen Kath. I can’t even believe this is me who is staring back at me, shiny and sweaty and wait, happy. Happy to actually be working out, but even better, happily enjoying my workout. Like I actually look forward to it. Like I can’t wait to sign up for another class. I don’t dread it. I used to hate exercising. Now I love exercising. I love it because I really believe that it has saved my life. Exercise is what made me so healthy that when I got a shitty diagnosis I recovered at the speed of light because of my health. I know that this is ironic, but let’s be real here, most of us will get something coming at us and if we can stay as fit and healthy as possible, if shit comes at us, we are ready like the female warriors we are.

Now back to the bedroom because clearly I digressed into a completely different direction, but my writing always comes around as a process. A process because the fact is that a happy bedroom experience absolutely hands down (no pun intended) equals a positive body experience. If I feel heavier than usual, or flabbier than usual, a romp is a head game and this is a buzz kill with a capital B. So back to the reconstruction now that I am eight months to the day since my mastectomy, I am not so sensitive to touch anymore. Here is the thing though, touch is a funny word here because there is no sensation here at all just like my brilliant and thoughtful Dr. W. warned me about. BUT, with a capital ‘B’, I LIKE THE NO SENSATION. The no sensation is actually a new sensation and this adds an interesting layer to the connection that I would never be able to describe to anyone who has not experienced this. Don’t misunderstand, though, I would rather have sensation, but I kind of like the exploration of something that shakes up a potential romp. What I have known since my earliest foray into the first set of young hands I allowed to creep up my shirt as he prayed that he might get to first base with me back in OMG was it sixth grade? Maybe seventh. Maybe sixth. What can I say, I think I was born a young boy in a female body. If I had a daughter who told me this now, I would probably freak the hell out, but I seemed to turn out fine so who really knows.There is something so exciting as I reflect back to those young early days of sexual curiosity and the feeling that arises as I remember the innocence of it all.

Maybe this new sensation I am experiencing with my almost seven year seventy year young partner is kind of like this, that newness we long for in long term relationships that shake up the predictable. For those of us who would never venture out from our monogamy and I am one of those women- loyal, traditional and kind of old fashioned which likely surprises many who don’t know me that well, shaking things up in the bedroom is what keeps things fun and interesting. Who knew a new set could be this much fun?

Gotta love cancer. Medical marijuana cards, porn star status and I am alive, a trifecta perfecta. I am so lucky.

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