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Venus in a clam shell

“Lighting new cigarettes, pouring more drinks.
It has been a beautiful fight.
Still is. 

~ Charles Bukowski

I was three and a half months out of a 10 year relationship. Heavier than I have ever been. More than slightly unsure of myself and feeling oh so vulnerable about navigating a whole new world of dating and sex and intimacy but determined to give it a try.

So I went online. How the girl gang and I yammered on about my foray into the dating world. They talked me off ledges, pumped me up when I sent them selfies asking do I look ok, told me I was amazing, and I could do this, and sent me on my way fumbling towards ecstasy.

I met a dude I really liked. A tall, funny, handsome welder of scandinavian descent who made me laugh and made me wet and was fun to hang out with.

The girl gang and I called him the Welder.
Original right!?

One hot summer night he and I spent the evening getting to know each other…in the biblical sense…and after, all sweaty and in post orgasmic bliss, we decided to cool off on my balcony.


It was 35 degrees and dark out and my apartment is hidden so why not?
We grabbed a beer, went outside and tried to cool down.

We were sitting there enjoying the summer breeze and he looks over at me and says:

“I want to build a giant clam shell for you to recline in while I paint you.”

My mouth fell open and me, the queen of awkward who has NO game, responded with:

“Do you paint?”

He said:

“No. But I would start if it was you.”

What. the. fuck.?

There are moments that change you and this was one of mine.

My friend Cory says epiphanies are: “Immediate transformations into the other side.”

At that moment I went to the other side. I decided that where I was, who I was and how I looked was ok.

I was sitting on my balcony, naked, belly rolls in full view and cellulite on display and I couldn’

I played small for a really long time and when it was time to start dating I wanted to go into it fully alive.

It wasn’t until that “clam shell moment” that I realized I was and I did.
I was showing up as me.

And a little bit naughty.

And he was wildly enchanted. By ALL of me.

It doesn’t really matter how those moments happen.
The clam shell was mine.

What matters is finding that feeling when you look in the mirror and you see someone extraordinary and someone amazing.
And then believing it.

When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole word belongs to you.

I can show you how to get there.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.



  1. So FYI, I *am* a painter and I would *totally* paint you naked on a clam shell.

    Let’s make that happen one day, k?

  2. What an exqusite style of compulsion your words evoke in me a I read them. I am a man and feel a bit invasive here in your world of “badass” intelligent proud and naughty women, yet what attracts me to you Renee is not so much your sexy image (Yes you are) but the delicious in depth contribution you are making in women’s lives. I want to tell all my women friends about you and the gift you could be for them. I love your intro to ‘the welder’ and read your blogs to my lady all morning while lying in bed in Venice. Fun way to start our day. Thank you for letting your brilliant mind spill out and into my inbox, I am honored to see your name pop up in mine. …. More later I hope.
    You are a rare gift already, no clamshell needed. – warmly, Tommy t

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