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Nov 8

You are what you wear

Posted on Monday, November 8, 2010 in Happiness, Kat, Men, Self image, Women

Sara and I had made a luncheon date and instead of meeting at a nearby cafe, I stopped by her new office to check it out.

I was stunned at the cleavage that greeted me from behind the front desk. The 20-something receptionist was cute, no doubt about that, but she was dressed as if she were going on a hot date, not entering data and answering phones at work.

“What’s up with Ms. Cleavage?” I asked Sara as
we headed for lunch.   

“Oh, I know. Isn’t she something? The men can’t stop drooling at her boobs and miniskirts. She has the cutest figure, though. Reminds me of the days when I could get away dressed like that,” she sighed.

“You still can, honey, but please tell me not at the office!”

“Of course not. But, you know, when I was a hostess.”

“Because, that’s part of the job.”

“Exactly. Sex sells, right?”

So what does it mean when a woman dresses sexy at work?

Or just dressing sexy, period, in the age of “sex sells” (and when have we ever not lived in that age?)

A few months ago, there was a big flap over Inez Sainz, the New York Jets reporter who said she
was being sexually harassed because of what she wears. If you haven’t seen the way Inez looks or dresses, you’re missing quite bit; she’s stunning and, yes, she dresses provocatively.

That may be OK for her job — it’s TV, right? Hello!

But if you’re trying to be taken as a professional? Hmm, got me there.

Yet, many women do sex it up at work. Men — and you know you can be just as image conscious as we gals —  don’t. Although, honestly, I’m not even sure what a “provocatively dressed” man would look like: Tight leather pants? A skin-tight leopard-print shirt partially buttoned? Something resembling the disco era, circa 1979?

I lived through that already; must I live through that again?!

But, why is it such a problem if women play up their femininity?

It’s a sucky double standard; women are always getting judged for how we dress and look, and we gals are often the most critical of each other. (check out Amy Alkon’s “The truth about beauty and the feminist firestorm it started over at Jezebel). Guys do, too, but it’s mostly by their wives or girlfriends who wish they’d take off their baseball caps every once and a while and wear something other than sagging jeans and faded tees. (Although there are a few 30-something men in my office to whom I’d like to say, “Guys, you’re not in a frat house anymore — how hard is it to tuck in the f-ing shirt?)

So we gals are always flirting along the lines of “I’m feminine but professional” and “I’m sexual but not a slut.” As much as men like to look at a woman in a low-cut shirt or a butt-skimming skirt, it probably hurts  us professionally although quite a few women think dressing provocatively helps their career. Not if you’re a female politician, however. But you can’t be too mannish either (Hello, Hillary?).

So, that leaves us with …

Liz Claiborne?


I’m lucky; my office is casual. I could wear jeans every day, but I sure like to wear skirts and heels at work. I don’t have much of a chest to show off, but my arms are toned and my legs are “shapely.” Why wouldn’t I want play them off to their best advantage?

Or am I asking for it?

OK, OK — work rules are different. I know I need to “play nice” with the corporate rules while still being a woman who revels in her femininity. I can do that. Yet, as much as I hear guys say they want a woman who isn’t all about the clothes and makeup (and Sean is definitely one of those guys), I also know that when I greet him at the door for a date all dolled up — miniskirt, stilettos, flattering top, etc. — well, let’s just say it works.

No wonder we gals are all messed up!

  • Is it OK for women to dress provocatively at work?
  • If they do, do you consider them less professional?
  • Do you consider a professional woman less professional if, after hours, she’s dressed provocatively?
  • Where do you draw the line between sexy and slutty?
  • Does a slutty look get your attention?

Photo © Vladimir Koshkarov –

Nov 1

Can you be in love and still cheat?

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2010 in Affairs/infidelity, Honesty, Kat, love, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

I’ve been thinking of Garrett lately.

Garrett, the guy I dated for a long time.

Garrett, the guy I thought I would marry.

Garrett, the guy I loved so much.

Garrett, the guy I cheated on.

I hadn’t thought of Garrett in a long time, but while watching the World Series (go Giants!) and seeing more of Ian Kinsler than I ever had before, I had an eerie feeling. Ian and Garrett look a lot alike  — probably not anymore, of course, because Ian’s 28 and Garrett’s a middle-aged man now, maybe even a bald and fat middle-aged man for all I know.

But, back then? He was tall and hunky and sweet and had a gorgeous smile and he loved me and … and I was sleeping with him!! Know how many girls would have loved to have slept with him? Pretty much everyone in college.

So, why did I cheat on him?

How can you cheat on someone
you love?     

It’s a question I’ve pondered quite a bit since doing the nasty deed.

That I cheated is always something that surprises me, like I didn’t even know I
had it in me, like, “Really? I did what?

Another thing that surprises me still is how easy it was to cheat. There weren’t any cell phones or sexting or a lot of other technie gee-gaws that have since tripped
up many a man (women, too, probably,
but we tend to hear about the high-profile men). No, all I had was a phone (at work),
a guy I wanted to sleep with (and, since he pursued me, obviously wanted to sleep
with me) and a plan.

I always had a plan; If Garrett gets suspicious, who could I say I was with? What could I say I was doing? Where could I say I was?

It worked for about a year, and that’s when I ended the affair. Because I wasn’t in love with my paramour (ever notice there’s no 100 percent accurate name for the male equivalent of mistress?); I was just in love with having sex with him. It was exciting and dirty and I knew I shouldn’t be doing it, but I found a lot of ways to justify it.

And I still loved Garrett. At least, it felt that way.

But by the time the affair ended, I had made myself feel so bad about myself — What a horrible girlfriend I am! Garrett deserves someone so much better! — that Garrett and I were over, too. He never found out (or, if he did, he never said anything to me or anyone else).

Did I really love him, then?

Can you cheat on someone you truly love?

Sure, you can lust after someone and fantasize about him and still come home at night and tell your partner you love him — and mean it — and then bang him like crazy. Is that cheating? I don’t think so, but a lot of people  have some odd ideas about what “cheating” is.

But, if you act on that lust, knowing how much it would hurt him, knowing how it may irreparably damage your relationship (although some relationships can survive an affair, I suppose), knowing it could mean that he kisses your cheatin’ butt goodbye (and deservedly so!) … can you really, truly say you love him?

Unless, believing you’re not going to get caught means you’re not actually hurting him/her. Or, you think that it’s “just sex,” not “love” — whatever that means.

Now, I would never cheat on anyone ever again; although the thrill of an affair is undeniably intoxicating, the fallout is ugly and I just don’t want to be that kind of person anymore. Honesty and trust matter too much to me now; I want to give and receive that.

So, can you cheat on someone you truly love?

Have you?

photo © Andrius Grigaliunas –

And, on a totally different note: I know it’s easy to get cynical, frustrated, angry and apathetic, but, people, your vote counts! Tomorrow’s Election Day. Please, vote as if your life depends on it, because it does!