This is the real story of one of my clients, however I wanted to tell her story in complete truth with vulnerability and not give away her identity, so she will be referred to only as HER/SHE.
In November 2017, she was added to a private facebook group by a high school friend she hadn't seen in years. Initially, she was annoyed to have been added to a group without her permission. She was going to leave immediately. Interestingly she needed to go into the group to click that "leave" button, and what she saw captivated her. She sat in her cubicle scrolling, reading comments and letting curiosity get the best of her. She looked left and right to make sure no one saw her facebook surfing, especially not in a group geared toward boudoir. She decided not to leave the group, but she wanted to be a lurker, and not get involved.
In the evenings while she had her glass of wine, she'd scroll her newsfeed and inevitably a woman in a bra and panty set would pop onto her screen. She started to wonder what that feels like, to be the woman in the studio, the woman sharing her photos for the world to see. She thought "I don't have that confidence, I don't have that body" and she'd scroll on.
Months later, on a particularly confident day, she decided to reach out just to see what it's all about. She clicked on the website, filled out that contact form and sent the message. A short while later she received an email back with details about what is included in a boudoir session, and an invitation to chat on the phone. Originally apprehensive, she didn't respond. It was becoming too real. But a few days later a follow up message came through with another invitation to the phone call, and you know what? This time she agreed. What's the harm in a conversation?
The phone call was easy, she answered questions about why she'd like to have a session, and what her style was like, what she may want for hair and makeup, and then she heard more about what the day is like from beginning to end. She couldn't help but get excited imagining that she could have that. At the end of the call she was asked if she wanted to book, and even though her logical side wanted to scream "let me think it over", her emotions kicked in and said YES! and she did. She chose a date 2 months from the call to give her enough time to shop, work out, and mentally prepare.
This was completely out of her comfort zone but she was in a way nervous and excited at the same time.
Leading up to her session, she shopped in stores like Target, Macy's, Victoria's Secret, and TJ Maxx, finding outfits, shoes and jewelry here and there. An email landed in her inbox one day suggesting a few other options, one of which included La Senza, which she had not hear of and honestly felt too old for. However, on a trip to the mall one day she thought she'd just wander in to see what the hype was about. It was in that store she felt the transformation begin, as she realized she felt drawn to a different type of outfit. Previously looking for soft blush, and delicate lace, she found the strappy, black and faux leather items to be tantalizing. She bought one piece in particular to act as a 'maybe' during her session.
Just days before her experience, she had her hair cut and colored, got a wax, mani and pedi, never once telling a soul what she was prepping for. Inside she was as excited as a kid on Christmas, but she feared judgement. She had been married for years, she had two small kids, and other women often look down on you for taking time for yourself, so she kept quiet.
The night before, she put her kids to bed, packed her outfits, shoes, and accessories into a tote bag and stuffed it into the closet so her husband wouldn't suspect anything. That night she slept with a smile on her face in anticipation.
In the morning, she got up with her husband who left for his work day before her, got her kids ready for school drop off and then put her tote in the car and headed downtown. She was approximately half way to the Columbus studio when the nerves began to kick in. She felt a little shaky and wondered if she'd made a huge mistake. She strangely didn't turn back, even though she had really considered cancelling. She just turned the radio up louder to drown out her self doubt and kept on. Once she was downtown, she parked and navigated the busy weekday streets until she was standing right in front of the door to the studio. It was all happening so fast. She stopped in the lobby for a deep breath, she put her phone on silent, fixed her bun on the top of her head and boarded the elevator. "This is it" she thought, no turning back now.
As the elevator doors opened to a brightly lit studio, she could hear music, laughter and there was a smell...vanilla? lavender? It put her at ease. She walked nervously toward the hair and makeup area to meet the stylist and photographer, but honestly in that moment all the stress melted away. In hindsight she would have never thought the hardest part would be walking in, she thought it would be taking off her clothes, but it wasn't.
Everything from that point on was fun and comfortable and easy. Mimosa? Easy. Getting Hair and Makeup done? Easy. Changing outfits and taking direction, although sometimes silly and challenging, it was pretty fun. They laughed like friends who had known each other for years, and having been vulnerable with one another, they had bonded. She was more concerned with straps and tags, and arching hard enough, she never worried about her love handles, or her mommy marks.
When it came time to put her clothes back on, she gave a sigh of relief and said "that was not at all what I had imagined it would be". She put her leggings and oversized tee shirt back on and waited for the reveal, the part she imagined would be overwhelming.
As images of herself clicked by on the TV screen in front of her, she was in disbelief "is that really me?", she swore it could have been anyone else. She felt beautiful, confident, and sexy. And she couldn't believe that she felt that way about herself in such little clothing and these photos weren't even retouched yet. She said yes to so many that she had to narrow it down to fit her budget and you know that outfit with the leather? It ended up being her favorite.
She felt she was able to express a side of herself that had been pushed down inside her for years. As a wife and a mom, she felt the need to fit a mold that she truly didn't relate to. For her, this experience helped her to feel true to her sexuality, free from any judgement and celebrated for being authentic.
As she walked from the studio to her car, she held her head high, she smiled, and felt like a celebrity.
I am incredibly grateful for my client sharing her experience with me from a third person POV, hoping that someone can recognize themselves in the same place she came from. With that being said, everyone's experience is a little different, we all have different insecurities and needs. If you have questions about what a session could look like for you, reach out and we can talk about it!