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Aug 08 2006

Dee-nied

greetingsfromtwistybung.jpg

Today the spinster aunt contemplates swim-wear. Specifically, nonboobal swim-wear.

What’s the big whoop, you ask?

Well, it’s like this. If a gal with a couple of lumpy scars where her ta-tas used to be wants to go swimming in public, the sartorial considerations are complex. You’d think nonboobalosity would simplify things, as it does for men, by taking the top out of the mix and more or less boiling down to a pair of novelty Hawaiian-print board shorts. But it doesn’t. A top one must wear, if one is female and desires to be admitted to one’s sibling’s country club pool.

That’s what my sister Tidy says, anyway, nevermind that it’s loony for a chump like me to wear a top, since swimmy bras have all that fabric in the gazongal area, which fabric, if it is not filled up with gazonga, just poofs out there, conspicuously superfluous and unstreamlined. Whereas the case for bottoms can be made (for all sexes) in the interest of pube containage, a bra on a boob-free person amounts to an entirely gratuitous entanglement of the upper torso in pointless, gender-role-affirming cloth. Apparently, if I were to saunter in to Tidy’s club pool without a swim top, even though I am now entirely devoid of anything that needs to be supported by a swim top, I would make everyone ‘uncomfortable.’

Check it out: a double mastectomy does not, it turns out, relieve a woman of her patriotic duty to have boobs. One must maintain the illusion for the common good.

Which must be why people ask me all the time “aren’t you going to get reconstruction?”*

They ask me this even though ‘reconstruction’ reconstructs nothing but compliance with the patriarchal mandate. It is painful, invasive, non-therapeutic surgery involving not the reconstruction of mammary glands, but the implantation of synthetic foreign matter (or of tissue excised–no joke–from your abdomen), the object of which is to restore the indecently disfigured cancer patient to an adequate state of femininity within a boob-sick society by saddling her with inessential dead weight.

Sure, I’ll get reconstruction. Just as soon as you staple a couple of two-by-fours to your nuts.

As for taking a dip, I guess I could nip down to Barton Springs and be as rudely unmammaried as the day I was born, but the water in that swimmin hole is 68 degrees, dude, and as everyone knows, the obstreperal lobe is particularly susceptible to shrinkage.

________________________

*An anomaly in the wild world of professional breast cancer, my boob surgeon alone expressed approbation of my decision to stay flat. Of ‘reconstructed’ breasts she opined, “They look like baseballs.”

93 comments

2 pings

  1. Sylvanite

    Can’t say I’m surprised by the attitude at the country club. I mean, it is a country club, after all.

    Perhaps you should install a swimming pool at the Twisty Bungalow. That’ll take care of the problem. Admittedly, pools are a pain in the ass to take care of, but that’s why pool maintenance services exist, right?

  2. qp

    Psh, “uncomfortable.”

    Whuddabout a rashguard/swim-shirt kind of item? More or less unisex and thus without unfilled boob space, though possibly more cloth than you want to be wearing for a plain old swim.

  3. Puffin

    Wow, something about that big blue sky just says “Texas.”

    Does the country club allow pit hair? One of my girlfriends in high school was a lifeguard at a country club and they had very strict rules about ladies with unshaved pits. Not just for lifeguard staff, mind you, but for female guests too. She was not allowed to have visible armpit hair and she was to notify the manager if she noticed female guests with visible armpit hair.

  4. barlyru

    Sounds to me like someone whose fake initials might be TF needs to start designing some swimwear for the gazonga-free set. Or at least a cute tank-top suitable for for poolside blaming. I would buy one.

  5. Ruthie

    68 degrees isn’t all that cold, dude. The lake we swim in around here hovers around 70, but Barton Springs it ain’t. Barton Springs is the best swimming hole ever.

    Title Nine Sports has good swimwear suitable for a variety of situations and chest topographies.

  6. finnsmotel

    >Sure, I’ll get reconstruction. Just as soon as you staple a couple of two-by-fours to your nuts.

  7. finnsmotel

    (whoops, try again)

    “Sure, I’ll get reconstruction. Just as soon as you staple a couple of two-by-fours to your nuts.”

    HA!!

    I think all pools should be top-optional for all.

    In lieu of that:

    Let’s do this strictly by the numbers, regardless of gender. If we’re going to hide female boobs (and I’m not sayin we should), let’s also find some way to give ourselves some respite from man tits.

    X ounces of flesh requires coverage.

    Y ounces or more requires coverage AND support.

    -finn

  8. redneckmother

    One of my girlfriends in high school was a lifeguard at a country club and they had very strict rules about ladies with unshaved pits. Not just for lifeguard staff, mind you, but for female guests too. She was not allowed to have visible armpit hair and she was to notify the manager if she noticed female guests with visible armpit hair.

    Well, I can see why they would put a lifeguard in charge of pit monitoring. After all, the sight of a natural pit on a gal could cause a genteel club member to get the vapors, faint and drown. Also, couldn’t pit hair get caught in the pool drain, threatening the life of the unshorn swimmer? Not that this would be a problem for men, of course. Or women with big hair on their heads.

    Good luck finding “appropriate” swimwear for the club, Twisty. I personally would go for the tiniest, most revealing string-bikini top I could find. You know, to ensure everyone’s comfort.

  9. hedonistic

    Oh, the comedic potential! Twisty could do endless riffs off the “I was at the clubhouse and (fill in the blank).” Living a country-club lifestyle is a bit like waking up every morning on the set of a bad sitcom. The problems are always nonproblems ripe for mocking.

    Might I suggest one of those no-nonsense one piece Speedo suits made for professionals? I recall they don’t have much extra fabric for boobage.

  10. Friggas Own

    Reconstruction is what happened after the Civil War, not what happens when someone puts bags of saline into your body.

    I was wondering, but I was too polite to ask, if you’d planned to try out toplessness. Especially in light of the fact that this particular summer seems designed to fry us all alive.

    You just know there are going to be “dudes” at that pool who have bigger boobs than most of the women. I say, go topless, it’s not like you have a duty to make people comfortable anyway.

    Failing that, a nice soft t-shirt should serve nicely to stick it to those prudes, preferrably white so when you get out of the pool everyone is confronted by non-boobal wet t-shirtness. Maybe it will sink in how dumb the rule is.

  11. Amber

    I know two women at my gym who have had one and two boobalectomies, respectively. When they get in the pool, they wear a very close-fitting spaghetti-strap sports tank thingy that’s made of the same kind of stuff bathing suits are, and a plain black bathing suit bottom. The tank is a normal length so there’s no bikini type action. I think it’s designed with extra-small gazongas in mind, so there’s no bra-fluff. You could probably get something like that at any sports outfitter.

    It never even crossed my mind that you’d get reconstruction. I scoff. Just like all the people that think it’s such a shame I have abnormal scars from my breast reduction and don’t I want to get them fixed? With another surgery? And more scars? Yeah that’ll happen.

  12. tuckova

    Realizing that it’s crazy that you need to cover up at all, it’s more ridiculous that you can’t get into the swimming pool if it’s hot. Could you get a bikini or tankini with a different sized top than bottom? Surely there are bathing tops made for the less well-endowed, if not the previously endowed. Ooh, or you could stuff some plastic boobs down inside the old suit, and then spend time chasing them around the pool. “Excuse me, but could you hand me my breast? Thank you! I didn’t want to make anybody uncomfortable by not having them, but the darn thing keeps floating away!”

    My mother had a double mastectomy, as did her sister. Hugging my mother, who opted for tabula boobless, feels normal. Hugging my aunt, who has two baseballs in slings, does not. I know it shouldn’t be about my comfort level, but still, I don’t understand choosing an option that is more work.

  13. Dr. Free-Ride

    I agree that support for the unsupportable is a silly requirement. However, you might not want to get too much sun on your scars (or am I being unreflectively maternalistic/vampiric in my instict toward UV evasion here?).

    That said, no reason not to make a statement while protecting scar tissue from UV. Perhaps a T-shirt with a “historic marker” indicating the spot where Twisty Faster’s boobs once stood?

  14. hedonistic

    You could also buy one of those retro 1950′s bikinis (a la Annette Funicello), and pop two of Bert’s chewballs into the bullet-shaped cups, just to see the looks on everyone’s faces when you settle onto your deck chair.

    That’s what I’d do. No, really.

    Is there a pool boy to boss around?

  15. CafeSiren

    Waitaholdaminnit:

    You just went through months of chemo, radiation, and surgery, and now you’re supposed to worry about how seeing the evidence of this might make other people uncomfortable?!?

    FAAAUUGH!!!

    Just let me know when you want me to come down there and beat them w/a two-by, Twisty.

  16. Viveth

    How is it that pink ribbons and teddy bears increase breast cancer “awareness” but booblessness and scars are supposed to be hidden away, disguised, or ignored?

  17. manxome

    Good point, Viveth. I suspect it’s all about the Hooters.

  18. accordianchick

    I agree with tuckova’s suggestion that you put a couple of fake boobs in your top. That way you can appease the country club folk and participate in group exercise, too. Sort of a new twist on the old Marco Polo game, only instead of searching for a person you could look for the floating boobs.
    Yeah, it is a pretty lame idea, about as stupid as requiring the boobless to wear a top.

  19. Sara

    Oh, good gad, no. We mustn’t make anyone uncomfortable, now, must we?

    This is giving me evil thoughts, to wit:

    http://members.fortunecity.com/lang3/1-piece-suits.html

    The great thing about a suit like one of these is that it covers everything it has to, but reveals so much as well. Plus, there’s no cup shape. The strips of cloth stretch to suit the wearer’s actual anatomy.

    I wonder if you could get the “wet-look sling shot” in the red, white and blue flag print? That would be ideal. I’m sure the country club would support that.

  20. norbizness

    Don’t worry, I’ll bring one of those Crazy Clown sprinklers out to the Hill Country. Dogs love those things, and it teaches them to attack clowns if they ever decide to bother your homestead.

  21. ::Wendy::

    praise – the 2 by 4 comment will stay with me for the rest of my life. Genius.

    practical – there are some fun tops in mens sports sections that might cover the scars and hug your streamline frame.

    paranoia – your frame now looks more like that of a pre-pubescent which attracts the attention of some extremely wierd fellows, even by patriarchal legal standards.

  22. sailorman

    Functionally: Surf shirts. They’re what guys wear when we need to wear a top. UV screening, too, which is handy on scars. But they’re not nearly as nice as bare skin.

    Morally: I second the “fuck them, idiots” attitude. Do what you want.

    Interesting ways to really, really, tweak them:

    1) My favorite: Don’t wear a shirt. But wear men’s shorts. If anyone gives you shit, say you’re a guy. Let’s see them try to disprove THAT one! (“Um. sir, I mean ma’am, I mean, oh hell, can I see your penis to prove you’re a guy?”) The name thing is an easy finesse, just claim your parents were drunk when they gave you a girl’s name.

    2) Wear a really, really, really small string bikini top. I don’t remember who it was, but back in the day a famous woman was denied entry to a restaurant for wearing pants. She then proceeed to remove her pants and go inside wearing her tunic; probably the first miniskirt.

    Disgusting as it seems to me as a parent, you can get string bikinis for 3 year olds these days. A “Hello Kitty” bikini might be a “wake up you fool!” smack to their face.

  23. keely

    Is there a painless way to afix tiny pink ribbons in the appropriate space?

  24. nancy73

    Why would anyone want to go swim at a Country Snub anyway? They all act like they’re swimming in Perrier, when you know for a fact that their little booger-eaters are pissing in the water.

    As for their request that you cover your currently boob-lessness: to that, I say, PASTIES! They come in all kinds of nifty designs and colors, so you could coordinate any number of swimming ensembles. And you’d be taking back the boob jewelry from the patriarchy.

    Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine wore boob jewelry. Why can’t Twisty Faster?

    n

  25. jbeeky

    Maybe the club could thoughtfully offer rolls of duct tape for wayward guests and members? Speaking of Misogyny, has anyone read about this gift to women?

    http://www.latimes.com/features/magazine/west/la-tm-gonewild32aug06,0,2664370.story

    Jbeeky

  26. e fulton

    Why not just wear a comfortable bottom (bikini, swim trunk, whatevs) and an Ace bandage wrapped around your chest? You could write on it with a Sharpie so that it said, “I covered up my mastectomy scars so that you’d feel more comfortable.”

    Of course, looking to see if there are any sassy-looking elastic bandages, I noted that such products appear to have missed the whole “not all people are white” thing that the adhesive bandage people have figured out to some extent. How is it not racist to have one “skin color” for bandages? Anyway, sounds like a market opportunity for the Archie McPhees of the world to make pirate-patterned elastic bandages. Now THAT would be a fun boobal-area-wrap-around for the Country Club pool…

  27. Chris Clarke

    You could also buy one of those retro 1950’s bikinis (a la Annette Funicello), and pop two of Bert’s chewballs into the bullet-shaped cups, just to see the looks on everyone’s faces when you settle onto your deck chair.

    Even better: stuff with a coupla these, and you’ll be the life of the pool party.

  28. alphabitch

    Triathlon gear. Men’s. The women’s versions have those awful shelf bras in them a lot of the time, and even if they don’t they are tailored to fit around boobage.

    I have several cycling tank tops that I swim in from time to time that are extremely comfortable in the water , with no irritating shelf bras or seams. They’d look fine with any kind of swimsuit bottom.

    There are a bunch of sun protective type swimsuits that might work too, but they seem to all be long-sleeved.

    But even the sleeker, flatter chested racing suits (eg speedos, etc.) often have seams that might irritate scars.

    If you wanted to really freak them out though, you could wear a thin cotton tank top. When it gets wet it will cling to the scars in an alarming sort of way.

  29. Pony

    Time to become a triathlete. Just ignore the sexbot covergirrrl and scroll down. Most of the triathlete and X suits have no built in bra or liner. They’re stripped down for action. Sadly, a swim coach of olympic acclaim (not his of course, theirs but I digress) was heard to comment these new Speedo suits kept him concentrating during long hours poolside with the stopwatch.

    http://tinyurl.com/olo4k

    http://www.speedousa.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.browse/categoryID/be0ee0bd-5b19-493b-8c42-fbfcf7afb72b/

  30. emilyedna

    I recently visited a pool populated almost exclusively by women, and during my time there, I experienced one of those National Geographic moments in which I marveled at what an odd pack of bipeds we Americans are. I could bring up several bizarre (yet familiar and accepted) customs and attitudes that were displayed at the pool, but the one that struck me the most is how even the infant girls wore itsy bitsy bikinis and full coverage tops while they bobbed around in their floatable baby baskets. O save us from the indecency of a flat female breastbone! What do little ones have that they need to support or cover up? Females are conditioned from babyhood to believe that the skin on their chests should be hidden. All females are mandated to hide what is there, what used to be there, or what might be there far, far in the future–Look out, girls, your body is dangerous! Your skin, uncovered, will incite disgust and/or violence!

  31. mycrust

    This is an amazing post.

  32. sailorman

    As parent of two girls:

    Nekkid is nifty. What’s there to cover up? But there are “sand issues” sometimes. And one much occasionally watch for the rare perv. Sad to say but true.

    Full coverage is nifty. No sunscreen required, yahoo! Kids hate sunscreen. And no SAS (sandy-ass syndrome) either. If you choose right (bright orange/yellow) it makes ‘em easier to pick out of a crowd.

    Bikinis, OTOH…. yuck. Bikinis are much more sexualized than either full coverage or nakedness on a toddler. I hate them.

  33. Jezebella

    I think someone beat me to it, but I too would suggest boys’ surf shirts. I’m guessing there’s not much in the way of propa surf gear in Austin, though.

    stupid country club, with its stupid rules. They should make men with boobs wear man-bras if they’re going to be like that about your nudity.

  34. Pony

    I have heard so many women become ecstatic knowing they will get new boobs AND a flat tummy in this procedure. The tatooed nipples. Er. Easy for me to say. I don’t really know what I’d do, with 34FF breasts. I won’t tell women what they are doing is wrong. I think what the surgeons and researchers are doing is wrong. Why look for options when they can be surgeons AND gods.

    A friend took Twisty’s choice. She is so small, barely 5 ft. and not 100 lbs, and never did wear a bra. You can’t see any difference between the remaining breast and the mastectomy side. She wears a Tyr suit or shorts and little t.

  35. grrr kitty

    I call bullshit on the nixing of female pit fur without an equal fatwah on male back hair. Because it makes *me* “uncomfortable”.

  36. Megin

    How about a wool knit black and white horizontal stripe tank-short one piece, topped off with a nice handlebar mustache?

  37. wren

    I’m in favor of either the triathlon short *or* the itty-bitty string bikini top. It depends entirely on what you’re interested in prioritizing, of course – it seems to me that the triathlon top would provide maximum swim potential and personal comfort (plus, scars UV rays definitely do make me nervous).

    If you’re in it for the Blame, though, then go with the itty-bitty top that would cover exactly everything you don’t have, and exactly zero much of the scars that they’re so damn uncomfortable with. Perfect adherence to the letter of the law, with maximum disregard for its blatant stupidity of spirit. Morons.

    It seems like there ought to be some flat sportsbra-type surfer tops out there, too.

  38. wren

    Oops – by “short” above I mean “shirt.”

  39. susaneb

    I lifeguard at two pools (one at the college I attend and one at a tennis club — although I recently quit at the tennis club.) and there are a few double mastectomy patients who frequent them. Two of them always wear racing suits, which makes sense to me because they are fitted by “band size” and have no extra fabric in the expectation of boobs. A knockoff suit (like the champion ones from Target) would probably still fit problematically, but a speedo or TYR suit would fit fine.

    The other one, I think wears a racing suit as well but she might just wear swim bottoms. She usually pairs it with a wetsuit-style top, which I think is an adorable style and more flattering to just about anyone than a tiny, tiny bikini.

  40. susaneb

    edit to my above comment: i definitely meant triathlon/surfing style top, not wetsuit top… brain fart. (To be fair, I wear wetsuits but not tri-suits for triathlons!)

  41. Denise

    I’d recommend just getting a racing suit. It’s not fancy, but it doesn’t have superfluous boob padding or shelf bras.

  42. speedbudget

    What gives me the cognitive dissonance is the idea that the richer you are, the more cultured you are supposed to be. Miss Manners says that one should never make anybody feel uncomfortable for things they can not help. The fact that these supposedly “cultured” idiots at your country club wouldn’t have the grace and class to deal with a person with some scars and treat them with some dignity is just beyond me. I have a super-rich aunt, who is “class” embodied. Every time I am around her, I feel super-accepted, and she seems to almost go out of her way to make everybody feel like that. That is what manners are for. So I say, tell your sister to discontinue her membership at this stupid country club. Those idiots are obviously neuvo-riche, anyway, and who wants to hob-knob with that?

    And throw some band-aids on where the boobal appendages are supposed to have been. If they come off in the water, that’s not your fault.

  43. bitter-girl.com

    Echoing Dr. Free-Ride, and speaking from experience (although giant, freaky scar is on elbow and not boobal area): if you’re fair-skinned or tend to keloid scar like I do, keeping your scars out of the sun isn’t a bad idea. Mine actually ache if they get too many nasty UV rays, which I imagine would be much more uncomfortable where you’ve got ‘em. They’re a few years old now, and it was even worse when they were fresh.

    Just trying to spare you some itchy uncomfort!

  44. KMTBERRY

    I TOTALLY L*O*V*E my swim shirt. It is from TITLE 9 and it is like a surf shirt, it is SO comfortable and has short sleeves. It is just made out off bathing suit with no expectation that there’s anything in the boobal area at all. I am never going to wear a sexualized swimsuit AGAIN !!! Unless I can get one like the 1900′s, with a matching cap HA HA HA. Oh speaking of: My friend Gina turned me on to this swimsuit website and it has ones that look like wrestling outfits, you know, unitards, I L*O*V*E that style too !!

    http://www.swimoutlet.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=rashguard

    check out this website, great styles !!!!

  45. MzNicky

    Just get a leotard-style tank suit and be done with it. You’ve got the body for it. Because in this culture slim trumps anything, you can be flat as a boy as long as your stomach is also flat, or preferably concave. For women with no-longer-boyish bodies, though, the culture demands a contour wherein the “bustline” protrudes further than does the stomach. Thus shall it be, sayeth the patriarchy, or thou shalt not findeth any clothes whatsoever to ever wear anywhere, and don’t even thing about anything that plunges or gapes in the least since cleavage is a thing of the past. Thus the stuffing of the bra or bathing-suit top, not with 8-Balls or baseballs or what have you, but with gel-filled plastic sacks that cost around $200 each.

    As for reconstruction: What, as usual, Twisty said. What I thought when the first breast surgeon explained the whole TRAM-flap thing to me was that if he’d been trying to talk me OUT of it he couldn’t have done a better job. As fucking if.

  46. antelope

    I think you should go topless at a titty bar one of these days. I’m really curious if they would have the guts to send someone over & tell you, “I’m sorry, ma’am, you can’t show your, um, chest here.”

  47. ghostorchid

    Please, please, please make yourself a nice fashionable bikini out of permanent marker.

    Or airbrushing?

  48. Carpenter

    I agree with the teenist tineiest bikini top idea, you can a really cheap one in the pre teen section of the K-mart. Or failing that, tube top into a tiny strip and put that on, that pughta show ‘em. Or hell maybe just put stickers over the nipular area. I mean seriously what the fuck is wrong with people, I don’t see why people even wear bathing suits ever at all, they are basically the most pointless clothing in the universe…I mean board shorts? Why wear all that?

  49. Urban

    I think I would find the largest plastic ‘comedy’ boobs possible (you know the sort: often worn by drunken male morons on stag parties) and wear those under your normal suit. You could even tape them down with surgical tape so they don’t swim free of their own accord. Let them come over and ask you to explain your reasoning. Bastards.

    Seriously, though, if you want to avoid the whole uncomfortable confrontation for your own ease of life, I think the rash vest idea is great. Just wear it with ordinary swim-shorts or whatever you’d usually do.

    And on the kids in bikinis thing, it has long bothered me. Most people I’ve mentioned it to think I’m over-egging the issue, but I think there’s definitely something suspect about parents who think it’s fine to sexualise what should be a non-sexual area of a child’s body. It has the whiff of pedophilia in it, if you look closely enough at the underlying reasoning. The bottom doesn’t bother me, only the ‘breast’ coverage.

  50. meret

    I don’t know who else who could make it all sound so funny.

    “Check it out: a double mastectomy does not, it turns out, relieve a woman of her patriotic duty to have boobs. One must maintain the illusion for the common good.”

    And the 2×4 comment too.

  51. jrochest

    Just swim in a tank-top. I agree, given all that you’ve gone through, that this is stupid beyond all imagining, but scars squick people. I have a couple of mother-jeezus sized ones myself, and keep them out of sight when possible.

    With any luck, a small child will ask in a loud, piercing voice “Mommy, why is that lady all FLAT???” or even better, “Why is that man wearing a ladies bathing suit???” and you will be justified.

  52. thebewilderness

    It would appear that while boobs are distracting at school
    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2006/08/put-those-breasts-away-young-lady.html

    Failure to boob is distracting at the pool. It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s Amurrica.

  53. Joanna

    Mmmm, swimming at Barton Springs sounds delightful! But does it have a bar?

    So many great ideas for making sure you don’t sunburn your recent scars (the best reason to wear something at all). I do like the image of stuffing with giant fake breasts, jumping off the diving board, and watching them float away. Whoops!

  54. Miliana

    Not for nothing but Spain, people. Good times.

    A few years ago I was on the beach in Casteldelfell, south of Barcelona, which was populated by an amazingly kick ass assortment of half naked Spanish women of all ages.

    Yes, Lady in her early 70′s with enormous gazongas dangling to her knees sitting around totally topless!

    Yay, uniboobal Spanish 50-something rocker woman sunbathing topless displaying her mastectomy scar and uniboobalness for the entire world to see!

    The magnificence of the local wines, the pristine public toilets, and the freedom to be as boobal as one is scored huge high marks.

    The hell with “other people might be uncomfortable” meme – time’s too short to deal with that crap. I second what grll kitty said about male back hair – there’s a skeeve just waiting to happen and that should be prohibited.

  55. Sasha

    Your basic tank suit has no additional nonsense in the upper chestal area. It is just stretch lycra. If you’re flat, then that’s what you’ll look like. Should provide sufficient coverage. For example

    http://www.the-swim-store.com/product.php?pd_id=8190038

    That “reconstruction” and nipple tattooing is really really gross. Surely if one were going to tattoo a former breast area, something more dramatic would be in order. http://www.upstate.edu/bioethics/thehealingmuse/05_bsa_breast.shtml for example.

  56. curiousgirl

    barton springs rocks my world. you spend a near swim-free summer in brooklyn, and you will see what I mean. Cherish what you have.

  57. Aussie Liz

    Hey, Twisty – that cannot be your bungalow, you were only building it a month ago, with the help of a few neigbourly cows, Bert and misc wildlife.

    Also, whatever you wear swimming, strip down to it from your fine new linen suit, while all around you idiots sweat in lycra.

  58. KTal

    “Sure, I’ll get reconstruction. Just as soon as you staple a couple of two-by-fours to your nuts.”

    Yeah. I wanna say that to some people I know and soon too.

    I don’t know what to say about your upper body dilemma. I’d just wear a T-Shirt with a camisole under it (becuase god knows, some ass will be staring at you looking for the wet t-shirt happening).

    But then, I can only imagine your quandary as you write it out, I can’t imagine it other wise, also I’m tired. Damn working.

    I like the eichleresque bungalow there. The deck looks kid-proof, just let them walk over the edge under rail. We can’t build them like that up here, we have to have ballusters. And what is that wood? Is it painted pine? Its all red and all, its not pressure treated? Or is it/

    Damn! Ignore me! Ignore me! I’m working again. Damn damn.

  59. sage

    I love your attitude towards the “baseballs.” I was raised by a mom with one boob who was constantly adjusting the foam falsey in her swimsuit. At the time I thought it was silly that she tried to keep it in place. In hindsight I feel really badly that she had to go through that at all.

  60. shannon

    My partner (who has boobs but would rather not and wants to de-emphasize them as much as possible) got herself a pair of bike shorts and a bike top and swims in that. It is appealingly athletic and not at all femmy and the boob issue is neither here nor there, due to more or less shapeless spandex. But if the spandex proved nonetheless to have too much shape for you, you could get a teen boy’s bike top instead of a women’s one, yes?

  61. wabewawa

    Ah, now you can get not just pants but also swimwear with terms like Foxy and Kapow! splashed across the buttockal area:

    http://www.the-swim-store.com/category.php?c=82

    I like the look of this thermal suit. No Brazilian waxing or major depilation needed with this one even, unlike most of the suits that seem to have the leg holes cut up nearly to the armpits (which cut for me produces pretty much an instantaneous wedgie/thong effect):

    http://www.the-swim-store.com/product.php?pd_id=302380

  62. jc.

    There are many people who seriously make the claim that our world actually makes sense.

  63. justtesting

    I’ll add my vote to the trisuit unitard, here

    Alternatively there’s this

  64. scratchy888

    Well, you know, you just need to go and live in Africa or some place where they don’t have Cartesian “rationality’. Go preModernist. Where reason and rationality are not a world apart.

  65. bitter-girl.com

    Miliana —

    Spain? Heck, go to one of the public baths in Hungary. A lifetime of paprika and lard-based cuisine is the great naked leveler.

  66. Ledasmom

    If the minimum swimsuit top for a woman with breasts is that which just covers the nipples, what is the minimum swimsuit top for a woman without breasts? Seems to me that the limit the bikini approaches is a set of very thin cords, two going over the shoulders and the other once around the chest area, which may easily be achieved by a simple alteration to a bikini top or five minutes’ work with a ball of string.
    It cannot logically be insufficient, since it entirely covers the nipples that are not there; it is the solution to the trivial-case bikini problem.

  67. slade

    I’ve been taking co-ed water aerobic classes this summer. I cannot stand to have males looking at my breastal area. Now, I wear a sports bra, a one-piece bathing suit with bra, AND a sleeveless t-shirt. Three layers and I still don’t feel comfortable….why? I am forced to look at a couple of men who have faces resembling my neighbor’s dog’s butt. So can I request that they wear bags over their heads? How about a veil of lycra? After all, I want to be comfortable, too.

    Hey, Twisty….how about one of those silly t-shirts that has boobs painted on it??? One day, you could go perky breasts. The next, droopy. Or even male chestal. What fun in the sun!

  68. Megin

    Sorry to encourage the off-topic-ness, but, KTal, it appears that the upper deck has a wire/cable/screen type thing in place of posts.

  69. Pony

    We all have families and friends that support us during illness. Why throw that back in their faces? If you want to respect their feelings, want to go to the country club (or wherever) you follow the rules. When you have such devastating illness, things fall into place. That doesn’t mean to me that I don’t ‘get busy’, but that I know making things difficult for my support is not what I want to be remembered for.

  70. jonk

    hows about guys wearing bikini tops? i haven’t been swimming in 15years, but think i will take it up shortly. i suspect it will invoke the same kinds of reactions i would get for wearing skirts and dresses – generally hostility, repulsion, and horror by those most invested in performing normative roles to confusion and humor.

  71. CafeSiren

    How about this: wear a string bikini top, but wildly misplace the nipple-covering parts — slide them away to halfway under your armpits, for example. When someone inevitably objects, sweetly ask them which parts of your nipple-less chest they should be covering. Watch the lack of nippular landmarks baffle them. While they’re sputtering, remove the top, hand it to them, and tell them you’ll be in the pool, “promoting breast cancer awareness,” and awaiting their reply.

  72. KTal

    I remember when I was about ten, my dad got married again and for the new homestead, he bought a sixties ranch with a 20 x 40 inground pool. Always being sensitive to having polyester fibers to my skin, I shed the bikini top and often swam with just my shorts. No one cared and I had no idea that there was anything wrong, no one said there was anything I had to hide. Although I believe I did know enough to swim with at least a one peice when friends were over. My dad was a complex man, a patrirach in some ways and in others quite liberal.

    Anyway, last I took up lap swimming to try to shed some of these pounds and went to find the least revealing suit in the least amount of time. The result was a black TYR racing suit that although it covered, the tightness left me feeling quite exposed. Reading here, I think next time I take it up (I quit due to workload and embarrassment) I’ll wear a T-shirt and shorts over my suit and not care if anyone thinks me odd.

    Which concludes, that if you are a woman, to do anything because its comfortable or what you like will probably run contrary to the rules and put you on the outs with some tongue clucker somewhere. White noise we need to learn to ignore i guess.

  73. Ms Kate

    A couple of suggestions:

    I have a speedo two-piece suit that has a tank top top and brief bottom. They also make them in non-bra types, sort of like a long-line sport bra, with any type of short you’d like to pair with it. I think LL Bean and Lands End and the like have their own lines of these.

    The second suggestion is a strappy cycling or climbing top. REI has them, and the smaller sizes have an internal “bra” that is flat and will just provide a second layer and keep the top in place. I know women who are so flat they just kind of have big nipples who wear them to bike and swim. They cover up the side a bit for comfort and scars. The fabrics are usually coolmax or other swimmy type of stuff. Pair with your fave board short.

  74. Ms Kate

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=48012057&parent_category_rn=4501475&vcat=REI_SSHP_WOMENS_GEAR_TOC

    Something along these lines – it is a “watersports top” (juvenile snicker).

  75. Ms Kate

    And this one … well, let’s say you add a bikini or otherr suitable bottom and it could be part of a swimsuit that never misses dinner.

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?productId=48050781&storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&langId=-1&color=BLACK PRINT&img=/media/814490.jpg&view=large&vcat=REI_SSHP_CROSSTRAIN_TOC

  76. darkymac

    Friggas Own,
    Reconstruction is what happened after the Civil War

    I see. So, to be reconstructed one may best remain unreconstructed.
    And to remain unreconstructed, one would crave reconstruction.

    It’s okay to frighten the horses only if you aren’t on the dray.

  77. hazelkat

    Obviously, you need one of these.

    In all seriousness, I too approve of the sleek racing top proposed by other commenters. Not that my approval is solicited and/or necessary, of course.

  78. Kelda

    My first thought was of course “Stuck on nipple tassles”. Stuck to random bits of the chest. They can be swung around for extra fun. Perhaps you could go beyond the normal two, and have four or five stuck randomly about the chest (avoiding the scars)?

    More boringly, my swimming cossies tend to be sporty ones that try and flatten my boobs into submission, so I think they’d be fine sans boobs, although one commenter has already mentioned the possibility of seams vs scars being a problem.

  79. weeza

    Paint on interesting shapes with liquid latex?

  80. jaye

    This indeed is a problem worthy of much weekend consideration. Would it matter if you could stuff your wild bikini top with say beer cans? Perhaps you could get one–er—two of those really anatomically correct dildo–er–dildi and sort of curl them into circles and stuff those in your shelf bra from hell.

    May be tennis balls? The dogs would like that.

    May be one of those missile bras from the 1950s reintroduced by Madonna? Those things would never move not even in water.

    They do have water filled boobs at the counter in the bra department of D*llard’s.

    Tank tops, H*nes for Her undershirts, ballet leotards, or small beach balls. It is your choice you brave woman and if I have to come to Austin to kick someone’s ass who dares ask you about your powerful body, I will.

  81. ae

    Twisty, sorry if I am repeating what others have said above; I’m in a hurry and haven’t read all the responses, but one option is to go w/ a yoga tank, which has that nice, stretchy, breathable material which is not see-through (or, fuck ‘em, get see-through), and it will move w/ your form, not bunch up w/ extra cloth, &c. Personally, I am down w/ the Hawaiian print shorts idea, but hey.

  82. mountdore

    This puritanical preoccupation with covering female nipples is a north american phenomenon. There are of course, other places in the world where burkas are de rigeur, but don’t get me started on that topic. I’ve referred to the nipple because it’s really the only common denominator when we talk about women “covering up”.

    Visit an outdoor PUBLIC swimming pool (let alone a public beach) in rural France, (and most of Europe) and you will see nude sunbathing. It’s not an issue there because the culture doesn’t make it an issue. Here, it’s a social “rule” that we are coerced into accepting because we all want to belong to the “proper” group of society.

    It’s noted in this blog roll (and a long one it is too) that a nipple covered by a postage stamp bikini is just as erotic (if not more so) than the hidden one. Does covering them up suggest that they no longer exist?

    The original thread of this topic referred to a woman who had undergone a mastectomy. I think this is another good reason to begin to relax the social stigma around the bare breast in north america. In the sixties we had the “ban the bra” movement. I hope in this century we can drop our pretentiousness and let women be topless without hassling them. For those of you that are parents, and your children were breastfed, you may recall how the breasts became to have, for a time, a functional value. It’s all in our collective point of view. I don’t know how to get from where we are to where I’d rather see us be, but it’s high time we started to at least talk about starting the process.

    Cal

  83. Pony

    But where is it we want to be Cal? Moving from Twisty’s desire to be with Sis and Rotel at the club (I guess would be one reason to want to cave to ordinance) to women and bralessness — ever (and that was only in some areas of the States) I am never going braless, Ever.

  84. mountdore

    Well, Pony, I see it being a matter of choice. If a lady wants to be at the beach topless, nobody pays it any mind. If a lady would prefer to sit at the same beach with top, nobody pays it any mind. That choice does exist elsewhere in the world. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the choice?

  85. Kikipotamus

    Come up here to Ontario, Canada, where we passed a law making it okay for a woman to be topless anyplace a man is allowed to be topless. What a load of shit, eh? I think you definitely should go, but should wear something that makes people as “uncomfortable” as the bare scars would have made them…while still adhering to the LETTER of the rule but not the spirit. Ha. Oh, baby, that pisses me right off.

  86. Pony

    It would indeed; but the last time I was at wreck beach (vancouver) I just up and left because I was so hassled and made to feel perverse because I would not go topless. I didn’t care what they did. Whoo boy some of the things they did. It just seems to cut both ways. So hard to know whose political to be correct to.

  87. Pony

    But what y’all seem to be missing is it’s her SISTER who laid out the law. Her SISTER who sat hours and hours with her to ward off pink confestti shit.

  88. Pony

    Yeh Kikipotamus, them Sudbury beaches can be some chill.

  89. StarWatcher

    .
    I got reeeeal tired of swimsuits several years ago; they’re made for looking pretty, not for actually *swimming*. And I have too much boobage; movement through the water inevitably pulls the top downward…

    I’ve solved my problem by using stretchy bicycle shorts and stretchy sports-bra top. The sports bra is so flat and tight before one pulls it on, that it may serve your needs — preserve ‘propriety’ without having too much excess material to get in your way. Good luck.
    .

  90. wagger1

    Please, please, listen to yourselves! Not that we don’t all want to solve Twisty’ issues, because we do love her to pieces, but there is way too much helpfulness here and not enough blame.

    There are jillions of ways and clothes out there to answer the demand that we cover our naughty bits, but the reality is that Twisty is being asked to cover something that just ain’t necessary.

    I say, go for broke and uncover with pride. Stuff ‘em if they can’t take reality.

  91. Rana

    Duct tape. In pink. ;)

    Or perhaps a flesh-colored sports or mini-bra?

    Or one of those pairs of fake plastic boobs that people sometimes wear at Halloween?

    I like the idea of a dental floss bikini, too.

    (As one of the small-breasted, I’ve often felt the annoyance of the bra-to-hide-the-nipples “requirement.” I don’t _need_ a bra, so why do I have so many of them?)

  92. Caukee

    I have some feelings about this type of situation as an aunt . Your sibs control your access to their rugrats. I am not saying anything about Twisty, Tidy, and their particular relationship. But for me, it’s been true that the sister who has made an effort to give me time with her kid, no matter how sick I am, who brings her to me when I’m unable to come to them, I cut some slack on stuff that’s important to her even at times when it’s obviously stupid and we would both prefer to kick some ass. She does the same for me. I mean she would, except that, for myself, I always go for the ass-kicking option, unless I’m busy puking from chemo or something.

    Tidy doesn’t want to fight with the bigots at the club. I get it. The wise do not disturb the minds of the ignorant, at least when trying to relax by the pool.

    Is someone going to hit me with the obvious stick now ? I’m usually funny, I swear. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.

    And Twisty has some great advice on wardrobe here – but what about the cast ?

  93. Apricot

    I think you should go with a Wicked Weasel top (wickedweasel.com) and board shorts. No one can argue that’s not a top.

  1. sonitus.org » Blog Archive » Dee-nied

    [...] I Blame the Patriarchy [...]

  2. Figleaf's Real Adult Sex

    Staying abreast of a twisted situation…

    Twisty Faster of I blame the patriarchy is still, I think, recovering from a double mastectomy and possibly chemotherapy, and has some totally sharp observations about social conventions and women’s bathing suits. Well, it’s like this. If a gal with …

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