According to Peggy Ornstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter:
“When girls are pushed [into sexuality] prematurely… they learn that sexiness is a performance, and don’t learn to connect it with their own feelings.” Orenstein said, adding that this was the crucial distinction between being “anti-sex” and “anti-sexualization.”
Psychologist Deborah Tolman questioned 30 teenage girls about sexuality. She found that they understood being sexy as being sexy for someone else, not for themselves, showing that, for them, sexuality is all about performance rather than a personal and intimate experience. According to a New York Time article Tolman states “By the time they are teenagers, the girls I talk to respond to questions about how their bodies feel — questions about sexuality or desire — by talking about how their bodies look. They will say something like, ‘I felt like I looked good.’ Looking good is not a feeling.”
I personally don`t see anything wrong with associating feeling sexy with looking good. Knowing that she looks good often gives a woman the confidence that she needs to let go of any inhibitions that might be holding her back from seizing her sexuality.
The problem lies when a woman doesn`t gain confidence from looking good, but rather sees it as a prerequisite to being sexy for someone else (that whole sexy as performance thing again). Women could be missing out on their sexuality entirely if it becomes just an act rather than an experience.
So, when do you feel sexy?