A woman was wearing black sweatpants in the parking lot. My son and I had just finished swimming when we passed her.

My eyes rested for a moment on the ‘Love Pink’ on her bum.

It has nothing to do with the color. But I don’t ‘Love Pink.’

Victoria’s Secret campaign to sexify something as slouchy as sweat pants with a two word slogan is brilliant. Women wear ‘Love Pink’ because it identifies themselves with something we all want.

Desire-ability. Buying lingerie or even sweatpants at a lingerie store proves that we believe we have sex appeal and that automatically means “Worth.” Sexy women are empowered women, right?

Some thought I meant that in my modesty post (Covering Up is Not the Answer).  Actually, I believe confident women are sexy and this makes them empowered. But you can get sexy without the power or the confidence.

Victoria Secret has shown us the way. ‘Love Pink’ says, “Don’t judge me by my sleepwear, because I’m sexy underneath.”

Doesn’t matter if I’m wearing briefs up to my belly button or a red silk thong, the words “Love Pink” mean I am in charge, that I can flirt with you on my terms.

And what girl doesn’t want to be known for some little bit of seductive power?

I won’t pretend that it’s not enticing.  All you have to do is slap down $30 to buy in. And if you wear the uniform, men are bound to notice.

This is cheap sex appeal.  Don’t hear me wrong, the women aren’t cheap. The uniform is.

Their sex appeal is cheaply bought.

It takes a more than buying ‘Love Pink’ to have sustainable sex appeal.

I’m in the middle of watching Magic Mike right now and finding myself feeling something similar.   The dancing isn’t bad, but it’s not quite what I had hoped for.  Honestly, it doesn’t ring my bell.

Even my husband thought Channing Tatum was an excellent dancer. Sure, he dances pretty well. But, well, he’s not the guy I want to make love to.

Have my capacities to become turned on dulled with motherhood?

I don’t think so.

I believe my capacity to be turned on has focused into wanting something more than tittilating abs and gyrating hips.  In fact, even a guy with a tighter body than my husband’s can’t get me turned on because I don’t want that stripper.

As I watch, I find the men and their outfits rather unusual, creative. But it’s mostly like observing a mating dance.  It’s entertaining, but it doesn’t make me want these guys.

These male strippers are not, contrary to Matthew McConaughey’s line “The husband I never had . . . the dreamboat guy that never came along.”

Now, if my husband were dancing like that?

Okay, sure. But not these guys.

The strippers in Magic Mike are, in one small way, like the women who wear ‘Love Pink’: they’re begging me to reduce their humanity to sexiness.  And that is not sexy, at least not to me. 

Even Magic Mike helps us see he has more dreams than women, booze and a good time.

Mike wants to create one-of-a-kind furniture instead of fantasies.

And that woman in the parking lot, I know, has dreams beyond being sexy and desirable.

Sexiness is actually pretty elusive, it comes as a by-product of something else.  I would love for you to join me in cleaving apart the unnatural connection between sexy and desire-able.  In other words, I can desire a person without thinking them sexy. And, you can be sexy without being desirable.  You can want to ‘do it’ with someone out of anger, dominance, disgust, revenge, bitterness, power, domination, etc.   I believe this list is part of the inspiration for the ‘F’ word.

But most young women have bought the lie that to not sexy = not worthy.  For a man to say, “You’re not sexy to me,” feels insulting to most women, even though it would be the most appropriate response of a father for his daughter or a brother for his sister.  Most of us would feel demoted maybe even discarded.

But being merely sexy is also synonymous with being discardable (you look, you lust, you $%#*, you’re done). So we’ve got a lose-lose situation panning out here. Sexy is not enough, not by half.

And this is why I don’t ‘Love Pink’.

When I’m in public places, if I come across as sexy I want it to be a by-product of something else, say my intelligence or my boldness or my enthusiasm.  I want sexy to be a sparkle, but not the whole show.

I hunt to find clothes that make my sex appeal limited to glimmers. And I’d ask the same of every woman or man around me. Let me be surprised by your sexuality, don’t brand it on your butt and breasts.

Let me notice your sexuality as part of the marbled goodness in your humanity. Let me stop in my tracks when I see your beauty because I didn’t see it when you first walked in the door.

Don’t guide me to imagine what you wear underneath.