At Santa Monica beach, 1962
When my daughter was little, she saw me and my lady all tarted up to go out for dinner for the first time in ages. She exclaimed in excitement, “You’re wearing your dasherations!” Ever since then, “decorations” have been “dasherations” in our family.
Now I’ve been thinking about the power of clothing and earrings and necklaces and hair dos. Odd, isn’t it, that a particular dasheration can totally alter how a person seems, how sexy we find them? Only on perfect bodies–or with someone you love–is nudity sexually exciting. But coy hints can be very exciting. The thin fabric of a speedo, all that’s between your full nudity and the world. Sexy. The hint of a pair of white briefs at the top of your jeans, or at the bottom of your shirt. Sexy.
Fishnet on a man. Suggestive. Interesting. Sexy, because of its cultural overtones, not because of anything intrinsic. Same with leather. Why should leather suggest masculinity, indeed, hyper-masculinity? But it does. So the juxtaposition of leather and fishnet on this bloke intrigues–and excites. Similarly, the leather collar (suggesting submission) contrasts with a face which implies the exact opposite. Enticing mixed signals.
Yet, you know, when he’s wearing his ragged jeans and ratty T-shirt, and looking like every other “ordinary” bloke on the street, would he be just as interesting? When he gets up in the morning, hair a bird’s nest, breath a furnace, body unshowered, is he still just as sexy? He might, if you were already fond of him, of course be more endearing. And that might make him very sexy to you. (I don’t know how you photo ‘endearing’)
So love sees through the paraphernalia. But sex and attraction don’t. We use dasherations to renew our sexiness in our own heads and others’. We send signals by what we wear. And yet, when you think about it, it is really rather odd, isn’t it? How complex and subtle humans are, without us even realising it!