***Friends, I’m having a very sad day for reasons that I’m not ready to write about yet. They’re only peripherally related to the topic of this post, but it’s hard right now to even feel confident enough to write about the things that keep me from being confident. Still, aside from putting the telephone down the garbage disposal, writing is the best thing I can think of to do. ***
About a year ago at a conference, I was sharing in some group or other and mentioned that I’m a sex blogger. An adorable teenage queer person came up to me after the group and asked “So, you write about fat culture?” I was mystified before I got furious—I rarely think of myself as a fat girl and certainly wouldn’t have thought to write about it. My response was cordial but indignant.
Back when I was dating (or whatevering) Bill, I wasn’t familiar with the norms of casual sex and kept trying to get him to go on real dates with me instead of just showing up in my living room weekly. He made every excuse. For a while I bought that he was too broke for dates but I knew he was going out with his friends, so I got it in my head that he didn’t want his friends to see me. When he finally and un-auspiciously announced that we were never going to goth night together (Goth night was kind of a stand-in for a playspace, before I knew about play parties.) I never had the courage to ask why but I took it to heart that he was ashamed of me and didn’t want his friends to see him with me. He’d made very minor (so minor as to have been possibly nonexistent) fat-themed comments, but I felt like what he was telling me in not wanting to date was that I was too fat and ugly for him, even as he was quite grizzled and (yummily) bear-shaped himself.
Maybe because it brought back the Bill feelings, but part of what made me cry on my date (again, or whatever) with Steampunk Guy was when he said (Citing time constraints) he wouldn’t go to the nude beach with me unless Steampunk Girl was there, or maybe the two of them would just run into us at one of the upcoming gatherings. He’s (understandably, maybe) hesitant about playing with me in public, too. There are many possible explanations, but a question bubbled up in the aftermath of that conversation, one that I’m really hesitant to type: “What if he’s embarrassed of me? What if I’m too fat?”
To ask that question in connection with the nude beach, where I always feel so happy and loved and perfectly myself, seems like a terrible sin but I have to confront it—do these guys only want casual sex because they see me as unattractive, or does casual sex just make me feel fat? Or both?
All the way down to my heart, I love my body. My hips and belly are all smushy and my ass is round and of documented spankability. My boobs are round and plush, my nipples are huge and pink and blessedly sensitive. As a series of vacation-day selfies proved to me last week, my pussy is adorable. My arms are long and toned in places and I easily get a golden tan. My eyes are big and blue and my smile is endless and sincere. On a good day, I know I am beautiful.
But I also know that a body like this wouldn’t make every guy proud. There’s absolutely nothing about me that is small or delicate, except for my adorable sneezes. I’m taller than most girls and I do wear size 18 jeans. While I don’t worry about my size on a day-to-day basis, I have resolved to lose the same 40 pounds for the past however many New Yearses. I have an ambivalent relationship with weight loss, complicated by a desire to be loved exactly as I am and a hedonistic resistance to not eating whatever the hell I want to.
A friend of mine recently dropped a whole bunch of pounds, but to me she was the same perfect little adorable angel before and after. I was hanging out with her a few nights ago when I guy came over to say “You look great before but you look so much healthier now.” His saying that to her made me want to a. Give up on men entirely and b. punch him in the face. How in the fucking world would he know whether she was healthier or not and who in the world was he to tell her she was better this way?
A favorite aunt of mine used to tell me that fat is “jerk repellant” but it certainly hasn’t worked out that way for me. I’ve often wondered what makes people treat me with less respect than they do others, what makes guys forget I’m there or treat me as much less valuable that other partners or potential partners. I don’t want to think it comes down to how I look, but sometimes I wonder.
I wonder if, in some guys’ eyes, fat might mean I’m fuckable but not lovable, at least not take-outable. Even as I get in better shape, shrink down, and start wriggling into cute lingerie, size-ism (Or perceived size-ism) makes me hesitant to put myself out there, lest the body that I genuinely love (at any size) be mistreated and/or rejected. Whether it’s true or not it is certainly unhelpful, but hopefully naming the fear will take away some of its power. I want the confidence to know that I am beautiful and worthy and the self respect to just go ahead and reject anyone who doesn’t treat me that way.