The red dress: embracing your feminine from within

Mirjam Grupp

Mirjam Grupp writes about real love, romantic relationships and everything that falls between those two.

Recently, I moved into a new apartment. After a year of living out of two suitcases, I finally saw all of my clothes again. Amongst them—in a box labeled vintage—there was a bright red flamenco-inspired dress that I had intended to sell or give.

In my last article, I have briefly told you about the green feminine dress from Paris, the one that looked good on my body—but where I did not fit in emotionally.

This red dress was akin. To me, it was the dress of a woman who is calmly comfortable with feeling sexy and being seen.

I wore it once, and it felt as if I was dressing up for carnival as the character of the woman I was longing to be.

When I found the red dress again, I tried it on and looked into the mirror. This time, it felt less like a costume and more like second skin. I kept wearing the dress while unpacking and started thinking about what had happened since I had put it in the box. Why did it, now, fit much more emotionally?

The short answer: I developed a connection to my feminine. But what does this look like? There are many aspects to it—today, I want to dive into three.

Weak vs. Soft

For a long time, I thought that being soft means being weak. That anyone could hurt me or take advantage of me when I did not armor myself with a protective shield that let bounce off any hostile attempts. The problem with this protection shield is that once installed, it doesn't easily go away when you want or need it to. It literally becomes harder to let someone or something in. Unfortunately, it also prevents feelings from being expressed. This protective shield also manifests in the body, on the breastbone-area, and over the heart. Inside of it, there is a beautiful world that longs to get out. At one point, this longing to to let other people in, to be connected, outweighed my fear of being hurt or rejected. In two years of Grinberg bodywork, I melted the shield and learnt to let what hurt pass through. Brene Brown has a post on her Instagram: Soft chest. Strong back. That sums it up pretty much. She also added Wild Heart.

I find it healthy to use the adjective weak only when you want to describe a state lacking physical or emotional energy.

Impression vs. Expression

I had become tired of impressing others. Trying to impress is an attempt to control how others perceive me. It is an understandable attempt, yet it is draining. It is also pointless because I am not others, and I do not know how they experience the world (and me). Impressing means taking the desired end result, says the calm sexy woman in the red dress – and then dressing and forcing myself into it. Expressing means taking the time (and it can be a lot of time) to find out where – let's stick with the red dress example – calm and sexy resides within. Next, it means living these feelings – and letting the reception where it belongs: to the others.

Sex vs. Sexuality

The past year encompassed the period of lockdown and limited social life. This out-of-ordinary period of physical isolation helped me clearly see the difference between sex and my very own sexuality. During this time, I was not in a committed relationship (or with a regular sexual partner). At the beginning of 2020, I had been open and looking forward to meeting someone during the good vibes of the Berlin spring. It changed because  of  the pandemic. At first, I was angry and felt cheated out of what I wanted. Then, I got frustrated by my own frustration and started to ask what it was that I really really wanted? The answer was: to become one with my very own sexuality. Again, this was something only to be found (and developed from) within. And the lockdown helped very much in the sense that it let me take  the time to find it. Now, the how-to is very personal to each of us, and I don't want to share my process in public. But if you have questions or feel like you need inspiration, shoot me a message via Instagram.

The feminine is like love—it is always there, within us.
We do not have to create it—but connect and give space to it.



© sauer zine 2020