I’m Michele Lisenbury Christensen.
I fall in love on sight. Started at Vacation Bible Camp when I was four. But I’ve been a one-man woman since 1997.
My husband and I have taken on fidelity as a spiritual adventure, not as a moral restriction.
After years of sacrificing sensuality for stability in our relationship, we learned to stoke a steamy sort of domesticity (with two kids under 4!).
In another life, I could be polyamorous, bisexual, and maybe ambidextrous. In this one, I’m a wife, mama, and instigator of turn-on at every turn. I wear my huge professional ambitions and my passionate motherhood side-by-side, like merit badges on a red velvet Girl Scout sash.
I’m leading the Turned-On Monogamy Revolution. It’s transforming the lives of people who’re called to committed love, but don’t want to sacrifice adventure, sensuality, or spiritual growth to have it. Monogamy is the hottest place on earth.
I was born in Colorado and grew up in Alaska. Not that any of us watch TV, but my dad’s business – where I worked for 11 years – is the subject of a History Channel reality show. The original Ice Road Trucker is Harry McDonald. He not only married my mom; he chose to be my dad. The song we danced to at my wedding said it all: “I’m everything I am because you loved me.”
On the first day of 3rd grade, everyone said one thing about themselves. Mine? “I’m psychic.” That was also the year I taught myself to meditate, inside a refrigerator box we used as a toy.
Spiritual evolution – and the way everything, EVERYTHING is a mirror for our inner world – is my life’s throughline. The practice of Orgasmic Meditation fuels my body, spirit, and relationship. It’s the only way I’ve found to truly bring my gyroscopic mind to a standstill.
When I installed not one, but TWO, Venetian crystal chandeliers in my cozy office, my husband said, “They’re just like you: brilliant, sparkly, and a little over the top.” Fair enough.
Are you a hot woman?
I wasn’t hot at 18.
That year, my friend Ginger invited me to spend spring break with her in the Caribbean, on a cruise her mom was taking her on as a graduation gift.
“Sweet!” I said. I tended to say that a lot.
Forgive me: It was 1991. Ginger and I always had a blast together, and there would be tons of sun, crystal blue ocean, and (here: grab each other by the forearms, lean forward and squeal)… college guys!
One problem: I was way too fat to go.
From the time Ginger asked me, I upped my exercise and reduced my food. At that time, that meant eating fewer bowls of cereal at various times each day. I didn’t actually succeed in “getting skinny enough” and I went on the cruise worried that I was hot enough.
Looking back at pictures now, I see a beautiful girl with long curly hair wrestling with an NYPD police officer on the beach in Grand Cayman.
I see a cutie in a size six dress ready to go to the disco.
I knew at the time that Ginger was “hot” – and that we could trade dresses back and forth, as we frequently did – but I never saw myself that way.
Has that happened to you? Did you fail to realize how very beautiful you are?
It took me more than 15 years after that amazing cruise (thanks, Ginger! I love you!) and more than 70 pounds of weight gain to realize how hot I really am.
I was hot then. I’m hot now. I will always be hot.
No reduction in body size makes me hotter, and no amount of added weight can make me less hot.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
I was defining my “hotness” from the outside in.
I was measuring myself through the eyes of a gang of dudes on spring break from the University of Connecticut who I had yet to meet. And even when they approved heartily of my hotness, from bikini to evening gown, it wasn’t enough to reassure me. I still needed to have less fat, more curls, fewer freckles but a darker tan… the list of things that would make me “hotter” went on and on.
Fast forward 15 years.
I’ve been happily married for almost a decade. I’ve got a beautiful baby boy and a wonderful house my husband and I built together. And we’re have a blast parenting together and deepening our friendship.
Sex? Not so much. Too tired. Not enough time.
“Wanna watch a movie?” We had a thousand things we’d do instead.
And yeah, I’d gained a few – more than a few – pounds.
I wanted more passion in our marriage.
I wanted him to want me more (or so I thought).
And I heard the old refrain that had never stopped echoing through my head: “You’re not hot enough.” Was I too fat? My husband assured me that wasn’t it, and we both made an effort to “make more time” for sex.
It was undeniable: there wasn’t much heat between us.
One day I was cleaning out my closet and ran across a box of pictures from high school and college.
“Oh! What I wouldn’t give to be that thin again!”
Surely, then, I’d have the sensuality and heat I was longing for, right? But I was so far from that size. And looking at that girl, I knew that her tiny ass didn’t make her feel hot inside, so it probably wouldn’t make me feel hot, even if I could get it back.
How could I feel hot?
Fat or thin.
18 or 35.
Freckled or wrinkled.
I deserved to feel hot, and I wanted it.
I began to investigate. I wore more makeup. That just made me feel cakey. I wore just a bit of lip gloss and mascara.
Aaah! That made me feel juicy.
I played with a feather boa. That just made me feel silly. I wore tops that accentuated my waist and my – bountiful, now – cleavage. Indeed! That gave me a little jolt inside.
I was on the path to hotness.
Since I stepped onto it, that path has led me to the just-right practices to keep me hot. I have spiritual practices and self-care practices, ways of talking to my husband and ways of playing with my son, ways of eating and ways of going to bed. They’re all designed to make me feel hot. Inside. On my terms.
Turns out, I didn’t have to lose weight to become a hot woman.
But after I became a hot woman, I did lose my extra weight.
Being turned-on within myself – and having a lot more sex with my husband – helped me create a body that feels great to live in. When I stopped waiting to be kind to myself until I looked “good enough,” I didn’t have to eat out of self-pity. And when I felt hot and made sex more of a priority, I didn’t have to eat for sensual gratification. Being hot has changed how I treat myself, and quieted some of my compulsions.
Being hot has turned me into a revolutionary. I want every woman to get hot.
I believe each of us can be as hot as I am now.
Hot is not an age.
It is not a body fat percentage or a dress size.
It is not measured in how men perceive you or how other women do. It does, I find, turn heads and catch others’ attention, no matter how you look. In sweats and a ponytail, on 3 hours sleep a week after giving birth, I was hot at Trader Joe’s. I felt it and so did those around me.
That poor, insecure 18 year old Michele on the beach was pretty and attractive and thin, but she wasn’t hot. My 58 year old mom is hot. My 8-week old daughter will be 18 before I know it. I hope she doesn’t worry as much as I did about what guys think of her. But I also hope I can teach her to be a hot woman.
May you, too – in stilettos or Danskos, in Burt’s Bees lip gloss or MAC red lipstick, at pole dance class or walking in the woods – discover and savor the unique things that help you be a very, very hot woman. Let me know in the comments below what makes you feel hot. And come on over to my blog and join my Hot List if you want to keep in touch about authentic hotness and well-being.
Hot love to you,