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Friday, March 2, 2012

A timely treatise on tan lines

This week, my buddy Secret Spanko wrote a blog about tan lines and how appealing they look on spankees. He included several pretty pictures and linked to several other bloggers who had written about the same topic. Check him out, and give him some love, will ya?

Lest you think I'm writing this to pick on or piggyback upon my pal, rest assured -- this post was his suggestion. :-)

I've lived in California all my life; I understand the appeal of a suntan. I grew up in the Coppertone and Johnson's Baby Oil era. No one talked about SPFs or skin cancer; getting a tan was the holy grail, as it made us look young, sexy and healthy. Alas, while I didn't inherit my mother's red hair, I got her redhead's fair skin, and all I did was burn and freckle, pretty much remaining pasty white. However, I did have a few tan summers in my late teens/early 20s, as I was working evenings and spent days by the apartment pool. So I was happy to finally have that golden California glow.

I didn't know any better. But my younger spanko sisters? You do.

Honestly, I understand the appeal of tan lines. Years ago when self-tanner came onto the market, I was overjoyed. Granted, the early self-tanners were gross -- they smelled awful and they made your skin orange-y. But they gradually improved and now, I can get a pretty decent tan via Jergen's Natural Glow. And when I do, I leave my panties on so I can have a little bit of tan line myself.

And here's a classic tan-lines shot:

Very sexy indeed. But here's something that definitely isn't:

Yup, that's my forearm. Never mind that it's covered with sun/agespots (I could call them freckles, but I wouldn't be kidding anyone). See that big white scar? That's skin cancer, kiddies. Squamous cell carcinoma. Not as lethal as melanoma, but still potentially dangerous.

So I had it burned off. Ever smell your own skin burning? It's grotesque.

I'm not telling you guys to completely avoid the sun; I know that's unlikely. But please, please use sunscreen. There are so many good ones now. And for God's sake, don't use tanning booths. Ever. Under any circumstance. Respect your beautiful skin and don't nuke it.

Next time anyone tells you you'd look sexier with a tan, ask them if they think skin cancer is sexy.

OK, just so I don't end on such a morbid note, I'll share a funny tan line story. When I was 18 and working at the fast-food place, I hated the days when the store supervisor would visit. Jerry was an "older man" (30) and a lech to end all leches. He'd watch us girls, leering at us, making comments, blocking our way as we tried to pass him. If someone like him existed in today's work climate, he'd be buried in sexual harassment lawsuits.

One day, I was wiping the tables in the dining room. Jerry and our manager Mike were sitting there eating, watching me, laughing and whispering. Ugh, I thought. I'm in for it now. Sure enough, Jerry called me over.

"Hey, Erica," he smirked, giving me the up-and-down look. "You've got a nice tan there. Been sunbathing?" I said thank you, yes, I have.

He and Mike exchanged a glance, and Mike snickered. "Bet you have some nice tan lines, huh?" Jerry said.

"Yeah, I guess I do," I smiled.

"Mmmmmm," Jerry sneered. "I'd sure like to see 'em."

OK, you bastard. Two can play at this game. I beamed at him. "Would you like to see one right now?"

I watched both their jaws drop. "Sure!"

I leaned over the table, stuck my arm in front of him, and slowly pulled my watch up my arm, revealing the white stripe on my wrist. "There you go."

They were speechless. I smiled triumphantly and went back to my cleaning. :-)

Have a great weekend, y'all.


  1. Smart, smart, SMART advice Erica! I am the redheaded, fair skinned, freckled girl and skin cancer freaks me out.

    I agree that tan lines are sexy, but is it worth the ultimate price?

  2. Hi Erica.I agree with you about the sun tanning.Skin Cancer sound's VERY scary :-( I like your advice cause it's very true.I laughed so hard when you showed those guy's the tan line on your arm hehehe LMAO.I bet they wanted to see something else other than your arm they most of been surprised LOL.Wishing you and John a nice weekend :-)Much Love and hug's from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  3. Totally agreed, Erica. Skin cancer = totally NOT WORTH IT. Good job protecting yourself!

    I wonder if we could convince some tops that excess exposure to radiation also comes from hands. Spankinoma, we'll call it. "Be careful! If you spank me too much I could get Spankinoma!"

  4. Too bad that was before phone cameras, that would've made a great picture! LOL

  5. For some reason this post reminds me of the awesome tres leches cake I had last night after Mexican food. Maybe it's the pale creamy boobies I was hoping to see when I suggested that you post this as a response, or maybe it's that I risk coming across as just as much of a lech as Jerry the "lech to lend all leches" by admitting that!

    (Seriously, I did eat tres leches cake last night, and couldn't resist.)

    A very good point you make here, Erica. I think part of the appeal of tan lines now is that they're sort of retro, and hearken back to a time when no one knew any better or just didn't care.

    I'll also say that this was just an excellent post: timely, topical, meaningful, personal, funny, and oh yeah... just a little sexy too. My only criticism is that you don't need to be so nice to me- because it makes it a little harder for me to pick on you!

  6. Kat -- I don't believe so, no.

    Jade -- yeah, I sure showed THEM, huh? :-)

    Heather -- um. OK. You try that, and let me know how it works for ya. ;-)

    Jen -- which one, the one on the bed? Actually, it's a frame grab from video. I know the quality sucks. Still like it, though. :-)

    SS -- I like being nice to you! Besides, it lulls you into a false sense of security for the next time I jab at you. :-D

    Rest assured, you'll NEVER be as creepy as Jerry the Lech was.

    1. Was talking about the look on those guys' faces when you did that with your watch strap! LOL

    2. Jen -- ROFL! Right over my head, that one. You're right -- they looked like fish in a bowl, mouths gaping.

  7. So no one made a joke about tanning your hide?

  8. Hi Erica

    That bit with showing your tan lines, just loved it, i am still smilin.


  9. Ah, an excellent warning regarding UV rays, and at a good time too since some of us will get getting an early spring this year and will spend more times out doors.

    Regarding your clever play with the watch, "You GO girl!!!" Lol! That was pure wit.

  10. This fair skinned broad has Rosacea and sun is a death sentence to the skin on my face. I SLATHER 100 Sun Block and wear a goofy hat when I go on beach vacations. My skin burns within minutes otherwise. I actually embrace my white skin because I know I'm caring for it the best I can.

    I have a TBD video shoot with a producer who LOVES tan lines so if I ever get there he said we could apply a self tanner. I actually have never attempted it myself.

  11. I used Johnson's Baby Oil in my younger days, and one summer I had a glorious tan. But that was a one-off during my only summer term at university, when I lived in residence and could lie on the rooftop patio after lunch each day.

    Skin cancer isn't pretty; my husband has had several removals, with both laser and scalpel. I'm older and wiser now, and never go out without a floppy hat, but thanks for the tip about Natural Glow.


  12. Dana -- yup, you just did! ;-)

    Emanuele -- I have my moments!

    Adriane -- I didn't even go into the other nasty thing the sun does; ages your skin like crazy! She who bakes herself in her youth may look like old leather later.

    Kelly -- you could also go to one of those spray-tan places, I guess. Self-tanners can be tricky; some work better than others and some require several applications.

    Hermione -- I like the Natural Glow foam, because it's the easiest to apply. But they also make a cream called Natural Glow Express, that works with just one application.

  13. I'm so white.. my middle name should be "Lily". I mean geeze, it's damned embarrassing to get nekkid in front of a man with this ghostly skin I'm sportin now! On a side note, one day, I realized, when doing the proverbial "just been spanked gotta look in the mirror" thang.. I realized that "WOW! I look like I got a sun burn at the beach today! Such a contrast against the white skin! Kind of sexy actually! I thought, the only bad thing was that it's not the kind that by tomorrow, I'll look like I've been to San Tropez for vacation! Ahhh well .. sometimes you just have to compromise!

    I quit tanning about 15 yrs ago.. and that was NOT soon enough let me tell ya. If I'd only known then, what I know now! It's so hard not to get right back into tanning. Living in Florida is tough.. especially when you do get a nice bronzie tone on your face from working in the sun teaching equestrians. People see you, and they say "WOW! You look GREAT Whatcha been doing?!" Well that makes it doubly hard - as I sit here all palefaced and drawn looking, to NOT go sit out by my hot tub and catch a few rays tomorrow!

    LOVED YOUR restaurant story! SO YOU!

  14. I have my annual visit to the dermatologist tomorrow. Living in Sydney all my life and being very fair skinned it was inevitable that I would have BCCs.

    Thank you very much my Irish ancestors.

  15. The tanning salons out here make you fill out info and check in each time you go. It's supposed to limit you to only being able to go to the salon twice a week, "for safety." A friend of mine in high school would bypass this rule by hitting different salons and go tanning every day of the week. Now she's 25 and looks twice that. Her skin is leathery and awful looking.

    I went to a tanning bed once ever, and oh boy was that a mistake. I'm super pale, rarely get outside much. I went in for 10 minutes and afterwards thought hmm nothing changed, oh well. I woke up the next morning and could hardly move. I was burned from head to toe and it was the most uncomfortable I've ever been. Little known fact, being on birth control pills makes one's skin even MORE sensitive.

    That was it with that. I've accepted being extremely pale and I warn my friends to wear sunglasses if my skin is ever in view when swimming. On the other hand, glowing in the dark makes it safer to cross the street at night. ;-) I was going to say I have no tan lines, but your watch story reminded me that I do have that ONE.

    1. Oh man alive.. my really good friend on Fetlife "Morgan_" - holy smokes.. he goes to the tanning salon near his house EVERY single day! He's very tan of course.. (in his 60's), and he thinks this helps him look more youthful. To tell you the truth, he doesn't look older than his normal age to me. But I bet him doing that has got to have major side effects. I worry about him going so often!

  16. Skin cancer is serious! Thanks for the warning. I hope all heed it. I've seen first hand what it can do(family). Love your answer to those men!

  17. Zelle -- we are so conditioned to think tans look healthy! Back in the olden days, white skin was the ideal. I'd fit perfectly there!

    John -- hope the dermatologist visit wasn't too bad.

    Lea -- ouch. Talk about a hard lesson. But I'm glad it only took once! And Zelle... Morgan is begging for trouble with that. :-(

    Jean -- my John had a melanoma on his back. It was about the size of a watermelon seed. The scar is a helluva lot bigger than that.

  18. Not bad. Only ten sun spots removed from my scalp and arms with dry ice.