Tramps Unite!

I will admit that I am always fascinated by the stereotypes people surround themselves with to “protect” their beliefs and social structure.  Fascinated…yes.  Appreciative…not so much.  One of my favorite is tramp.  Now, it should be disclosed that I have always had male friends as far back as I can remember.  It made me oddly more aware of being female and I like that very much.  As my life stands right now, I currently have a great male friend.  I am very blessed by his friendship as he is a very kind and understanding person who puts up with loads of my issues with an accepting smile.  On the heavier side of my life, I have been in a committed relationship with the same man for almost 22 years.  He is my strength by fostering my growth both as a woman and as a wife.  I never have to look behind me to see if he has my back because he always does.  But, because I work for an erotica company and take great pride in the fact that I believe women should grasp their sexuality, I am a tramp.

The good news is that, in the grand scheme of things, I have apparently upped my bid for the tramp of the year in the last year when I go a rather large tattoo on my shoulder.  My hubby and I had always wanted to get tattoos for Valentines Day.  Before that gets to sounding too romantic, we picked Valentines Day because we wanted to commemorate the day.  We did not get matching tattoos or things inked onto our skin that represent our commitment to each other.  More than, we picked tattoo designs that represented our ultimate believe in something higher…..not because our dedication to each other is any less….but because we understand that our bodies are our only real possession.  We share them with each other, but when we decorate them, it has to be something we can feel in our heart and soul.  Anyway….as he was a Marine…he has an incredible scene of an eagle in the flag with the letters USMC underneath.  On a man, apparently, a tattoo is an accepted form of expression.  On a woman, however, it is considered a “tramp stamp.”

At parties (and several other times in the past), I have been asked about my tramp stamp.  I am very proud of it and display it often.  It is rather large…I realize…at about 4” round and took four hours with a great tattooist to make a reality.  I purposely picked a Japanese symbol (kanji) in full six colors in the middle of a sun.  I wanted people to ask what it meant, if they wanted to know, instead of judging from a pictorial representation my character or views of the world.  Apparently, on this, I was so vastly wrong.  It seems that the mere presence of a tattoo and my willingness to show it off to others offends the masses.  I have been educated and enlightened by the hoards of well wishers that God did not intend women to have tattoos.  I would love to say that this is only in the Bible belt, but that would be untrue.  I received the same information when I was in Florida recently (where tons of people show off pounds of skin!). 

The interesting thing to me is that people rarely ask me what the tattoo means because they are so focused on stereotyping.  When I explain that the kanji symbol represents the absolute power of God, people really get a horrified look on their faces.  When I am asked if I think my actions as a member of an erotica company makes God happy (I know I know—that’s like porn right?  No…more like literotica, but that is not the stereotype), I reply that I guarantee that my actions make God happy because, if it did not, I would not do it.  I know, it’s not a popular theory of life, but, hey…its mine no less and I own it.   I challenge all others to do the same.

The point I am getting at is if you judge someone by what you see on the outside, then you will get the wrong impression every time.  Taking a moment to look a little deeper always pays off.  In an instant, sex turns to sexuality and tattoos become artwork.  And then, my code says that if you if you don’t like something about me…please feel free to keep it to yourself!  I believe they call it the Golden Rule or something like that, but I doubt it will ever catch on.~~Dee

5 thoughts on “Tramps Unite!

  1. Technically, a “tramp stamp” is a derogatory way of referring to a particular kind of tattoo – tattoos on a woman’s lower back (especially tribal, butterflies, general flash instead of custom work). Just saying.

    I have worked in sexuality for six years but in the past year I added a half sleeve tattoo to my outward appearance. Of course there are always negative reactions from people who ask “what do you do?” and get a straight answer from me, but to an extent I can conceal my profession… but I can’t conceal my tattoo if I’m wearing short sleeves. When strangers make negative comments about my body and what I’ve done to it, I smile to myself and think, “You have no idea.”

  2. I’m with Audacia on this Dee.

    For as long as I’ve had ink (10 years now) a “tramp stamp” is referencing a tattoo on the women’s lower back. I’ve also heard it called “Reading material” and “Put thumbs here” ha…ha…ha… 😉

    I always laugh at people who want to be so stereotypically ignorant. Tattoos should always be something special to the wearer. It took me *years* to decide on the design I wanted for *my* lower back tatt and it is NOT a tramp stamp. It has an emotional story to tell –if a person is interested enough to ask.

    Matter of fact, I stood in the produce section of my local grocery store and gave a gentleman a 1/2 lesson on Norse mythology..all because he inquired about my tattoo and wanted to understand it’s significance. How cool is that? 🙂

    Sooo…your tattoo doesn’t make you a tramp. You profession most certainly doesn’t make you a tramp!

    A tramp is someone completely OPPOSITE of you Dee!!

    A tramp has no sense of self-worth, no sense of her own powerful sexuality, no courage to embrace her female energy.

    And none of that describes you. 🙂

    Oh….and if you are curious — you can see my ink on my blog:
    http://pinkpiddypaws.com/2007/06/25/zee-plane-zee-plane/

    And if you are even more curious, you can ask me what it means. 😉

  3. As Audacia Ray pointed out, “tramp stamp” refers to a lower back tattoo. I have one such tat. It’s my avatar… I have it colored so it looks like a henna tattoo (but only because it suits me).

    Strangely, I have only had a positive reaction to it. Maybe it’s a location thing…

  4. Before I went into the glamorous and fast-paced world of manufacturing, I was a student of the social sciences (psych, sociology, organizational behavior, corporate development, etc.), so I admit that I have a skewed view of human behavior.

    Anyway, one of the patterns that I’ve noticed is that the appellations of “tramp”, like it’s more derogatory cousin “slut” and old-fashioned cousin “hussy” are labels that are more often then not assigned not by men, but by other women.

    It’s my own belief that women act as a more socially controlling force on women than do men; I can only speculate on the reasons why, but it’s my theory that women tend to “punish” other women who are deemed too lax with their sexual standards because it lowers the value – that’s why we often hear the euphemisms “‘cheap” and “easy.” Yes, men also use these terms, but the more I observe, the more I’m convinced that they do so because they are socialized by women to act that way. There are other mitigating factors, too, which I won’t go into now.

    That said, I’m fine with tramp stamps women’s tattoos. In fact, I’m fine with quite a few things about women 😉

  5. Tom,
    I believe you have the root of some truth there. Women are really more difficult with other women than men are. For the most part, men tend not to notice things about women like a tattoo or hair color…or whether her boobs are real (smile!). Men dont care about that at all. If anything, they are more appreciative of the results because it shows effort in their minds. Like a woman is going through extra efforts to attract his attentions.

    I know that many women feel threatened by other women in this instance. I think is is not a matter of feeling like they need to punish other women so much as a jealousy aimed at someone comfortable enough to act as women and men often do. Because in their minds, so many women have been taught an “us or them” (meaning women or men) mentality that it makes them feel like these women are on the “them” side. Cause men identify and tend to be attracted by these women also–jealousy follows. Good for you. Good points. ~~Dee

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