Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Roadblock #5: Way Too Grateful

There’s a terrible comedy trope about ugly and/or fat girls being adventurous in bed because they’re grateful to be getting anything at all. It’s a horribly sexualized idea and definitely not the reason I’m adventurous, but I do find myself to be guilty of too much gratitude, especially when it comes to men.

Because for most of my life I didn’t think I could attract men at all, there’s part of me that tends to think that a guy partner is doing me a huge favor and suspects he would rather be doing something else. This suspicion rises in proportion to how much I’m attracted to him—the men I want the most are the ones I’m least sure of myself around. I end up feeling self-effacing and desperate, and that makes it very difficult to be a person or make good decisions.

When I’m with a guy I’m superattracted to, something in my brain tells me not to ask for anything, to compromise everything, to do whatever he wants so that he won’t go away. I feel an almost physical strain when I have to assert my own needs—I have to fight hard against the urge to be a complete doormat. I can see how someday that might be channeled and shaped into a healthy submissiveness, but for now, sheesh! How could I really see anything but unbalanced relationships, no matter what they are like in reality?

I’m sure the gratitude partly has to do with having deprived myself of an entire gender for as long as I did—my body is pretty pissed at me and full of understandable urgency. After any breakup, there’s this feeling of what-if-it’s-seventeen-years-until-the-next-guy? Not an awesome bargaining position to say the least!

I’m not sure where I got the deep conviction that I’m undesirable to men. Sweetie has pointed out on many occasions that it’s WILDLY insulting to women-why shouldn’t they be seen as deserving the same aesthetic standards? Why feel like I’m good enough for one gender and not the other? I don’t know.

Empirically, I’m starting to understand that I’m not too ugly or fat for guys. I have flaws and beautiful qualities just like any of the other generous naked souls on the beach. Mr. Shiny Eyes pointed out that the men in my recent life have no shortage of options and yet they chose to spend time with me. I see that and I’m trying to absorb it.

But this is a very powerful block. The past few years have come a long way towards dismantling it, but there’s still a ways to go. I’m trying to do a better job of believing and gathering evidence that I’m desirable. It isn’t their job to make me feel loved and beautiful (Though they certainly help!) it’s mine. I am hoping that the more I treat myself like a worthwhile, lovable creature, the more I’ll believe it.

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