The Heat of A Summer Thigh – The Great Friction Battle

Gentle Readers,

I am a dress-loving femme.

Once I hit 25, my thighs decided it was time to become acquainted. They previously were happy to stand apart and acknowledge one another from a distance. No longer. They love each other and cannot abide separation. But like many loves, there is friction in their relationship.

My thighs cannot be made to play nice on their own, but they refuse to be kept in separate quarters. I had to come up with a solution so that we could all live in harmony, without confining myself to pants when it is oppressively hot in the summer. I needed the freedom to move and the freedom to not perish of heat stroke.

I tried many solutions and can now help everyone solve their personal thigh-fight.

Solutions for Summer Thighs

My least favorite, but workable solution is Anti Monkey Butt Powder. It is calamine and cornstarch. Softening and drying. It is effective, but I don’t like how messy it is to put on. Squeeze some into your hand and then rub it onto the body part that wants less friction. Some always falls from your hand to the floor. There is always residual on your hand. You have to immediately go to the sink to wash it off. Not a convenient solution when you share your bathroom with two others who don’t want you walking around trailing powder.  I love the name though, because I giggle easily. 7/10.

My next workable solution is Friction Defense, aka Chub Rub. It comes in a tube similar to deodorant. You apply it to whatever body part you want to slide easily against something and let it do it’s magic. I love this product. I previously used “BodyGlide” for runners, but I grew frustrated with the company. The company used to sell one BodyGlide product and it was in a nice gray package and marketed to everyone. Suddenly, they decided that they needed one for men and one for women. There was absolutely no difference in the product, but the packaging became blue or pink. The pink one was also priced higher. That pissed me off. There is no need to gender friction. Then I found the Gold Bond version I’m using now and it is also cheaper than BodyGlide.  Definitely workable. The only drawback with this product is that sometimes you have to reapply based on heat and humidity. I keep a stick in my purse. 9/10.

My actual favorite solution is super femme and no one is surprised. Bandelettes are beautiful. You measure your thigh to figure out the appropriate size and then you wait for these lovely helpers to arrive. They come in multiple colors and sizes and I adore them so much. My thighs are protected and get an extra bit of sexy that absolutely impacts my strut. Just put them on and go about your day knowing that your thighs are safe and gorgeous. 10/10 would buy again.

What are your summer wardrobe protection mechanisms?

Why I Started My Own Small Business

Gentle Readers,

There are many reasons I decided to start my own small business two years ago. These reasons are still compelling to me even though I have been working full-time on top of my business, and started the business in a niche I did not yet fully understand. I am a queer woman and the professional world wanted to wipe that off of me.

Like many young professional women, I don’t necessarily fit in many work settings. I have worked for small businesses, fast food, county government, local nonprofits, national nonprofits, retail, and a variety of temping opportunities, first as an admin and now as a professional. I fit in maybe one of those work environments, and that organization no longer exists.

A little over two years ago, the female editor in chief of the NY Times was fired for daring to ask why she was being paid less than the male editor who occupied the role before you. Fired for asking why.

Work environments were not designed with women in mind because sexism said they didn’t have to be.

Most women I know contort themselves to fit in to work environments. We ignore the subtle and not-so-subtle sexism. We ignore clients hitting on us when we are not free to leave their vicinity. We ignore that desks are built with the average-sized man in mind, and are not comfortable for our bodies. We beg to have office buildings not burn us in winter and freeze us in summer since we are more likely dressed for the actual weather and not insistent (conditioned into) on wearing a three-piece suit regardless of the appropriateness to the season.

We read the articles telling us that we are considered harsh if we act confidently. We read the articles that bemoan our poor negotiating skills right next to the articles that say we are not appropriately ladylike when we negotiate well.

We are chided for our very voices with new concepts like vocal fry and commanded to talk in masculine normative methods of expression. EVEN when it is proven that women’s general style is more collaborative and more effective.

We contort ourselves. Many of us have extra things to contort. Our colleagues ask about boyfriends we aren’t interested in having. Our preferred styles of dressing can be read as unprofessional on a body read as femme, but would be fine on a body read as masculine. Our bodies themselves are not read as belonging in public due to disability. Our relationship styles may not value marriage or monogamy the way the government and dominant culture would prefer.

We can contort all of these things and still not succeed. We can still be fired for daring to simply ask about our pay rate.

I opened my own small business to avoid these controls on my personality and dress-code.

Two years ago, I was fed up with my gig-centered work-life and my inability to get hired for a career-based job in my profession. I had applied for so many things. I had contorted. I was not getting what I wanted.

So I decided to create it.

I am creating a space that focuses on a niche in my profession and allows me to serve my community through it. I am creating a space where I own the keys to the door, and set the dress code. I am still a professional, but my fantastic dyke hair is fine with my supervisor as she is me. She still makes me wear the pearls when it is required, but she never tells me to grow my hair out. She never requires me to wear heals. She never tells me to dress like a lady. She knows that I am a human and that being a good human is the true goal.

I am creating a space where I do not have to say yes to potential clients that I find distasteful to work with. I can focus on serving the LGBT community. I can serve my community competently, because I know from personal experience some of what they are facing and I know where to research the specific problems that impact us.

I am creating an environment where I do not have to punch in. Eventually, I will not have to be there to “get my 40,” but rather must get the work done in a timely manner for my clients. I work better after 10 am, and can set most appointments after that. I adapt my work life to me. Should I decide to have a family in the future, I can schedule my life and career together far more easily. I am creating this because I am dissatisfied with the work environments available to me.

I don’t want to just show up. I want my work to reflect my values. I am creating that work.

What made you start your own business?