Don’t catfish: Be you.

I’ve wanted to write this post for some time.  I get lots of messages from men and women who think they aren’t attractive enough to date online or to date in general.  It breaks my heart because what I’m really hearing is that they are alone and hurting and I don’t wish that on anyone.  My hope is that everyone could come to the place of peace where I currently like to spend my time, it’s stress-free, attack-free, and it’s loving.  It believes that you are perfect just the way you are and that the only person for whom you need to change is you.  And only if you want to.

You don’t have to do this alone

I’ve written a lot about body image and how I see the equation of self-esteem.  I reject the idea that a person should be an island of self-support.  I need you, I need another living person to be my mirror because sometimes the voice in my head screams louder than anything.  It’s why I do Boobday.

A healthy balance is part reflection from others and part self-esteem.  The amounts of each depend on your needs.  On days when it feels rough, lean on those who think you’re desirous.  A lover, someone you sashay past on the street, the man behind the counter whose gaze lingers on your bosom, the Internet.  When you’re feelin’ like your booty is better than Beyoncé’s, you might not need to hear it from anyone else and can rock the sidewalk like it’s Paris Fashion Week.

My point is that we all struggle, even those of us who might seem like we have it all figured out.

I spent the first two-thirds of my life hating every inch of my body.  Too short, too hairy, lips too thin, shoulders not broad enough, arms too muscular, ass too big, tits too small (it was a thing once!), hips too narrow, on and on and on.

Occasionally, I’d have a respite and I’d see myself through the eyes of a man or my friends; my body did miraculous things like control 1200 lb animals or swim so fast it was like flying.  Eventually, it made another human being.  My breasts grew to twice their previous size and never left.  My muscles stretched, I filled out into a fully grown woman.  Unfortunately, my husband didn’t notice and he was adamant that my self-esteem issues weren’t his problem.  I was completely alone with my venomous self-loathing voice.

So, when my old friend Tony leered at me appreciatively that one summer night when my husband was away on business it turned my world upside down.  I had been living in a barren wasteland of self-hate and rejection.  “Damn, Hy,” he’d said huskily.  “Your hips…”  I hadn’t known my hips were nice.  Ever.

Six years later I have left the man who made me feel small and unimportant behind and have realized there is an entire lifetime of acceptance and love before me.  Men think I am beautiful.  They love my ass, my breasts, my curves, my face.  The old Hyacinth never heard this — or she was deaf to it, I’m not really sure — but I’m listening now.  Whether it’s actually true or not is beside the point.

The new Hyacinth chooses to trust the new men before her: they know what they like.  Who am I to question them?

Instead I rely upon their taste in me to guide my moves.  I decided very early on in my new single life that I would not be ashamed of what I looked like; I only wanted to attract the man who was attracted to me.

Celebrate your look

That meant being as descriptive as possible in online profiles.

I didn’t just say that I was height/weight proportionate.  I said I had rounded breasts and arms, looked like a farm girl, and even included my measurements.  I posted flattering pictures, yes, but I also posted a full body pic that I might not otherwise share because of my deeply rooted — and stubborn — insecurity that I am not really attractive.

[Side note: I have gone on hundreds of dates and only one man ever thought I had catfished him, though, frankly, I have no clue how since I had sent him multiple pics of me in all my regular, boring glory.  I think he was just a dumbass.]

Every man got what he wanted: ME.

I didn’t do the iceberg photo —  you know, the one where the camera is held high and you only see the face and a larger-than-implied body is obscured [beneath the water].

I didn’t hide behind coats.

I didn’t hide my curves.

I fielded a lot of questions about why I had pics of my tits and my response every time was, “It’s not of my tits, it’s of my figure.  I want to be up front about the way I look.  I’m not skinny or fit.  I like to call myself ‘softly athletic.'”

My friends who are less savvy when it comes to internet dating don’t seem to understand that the entire point is to attract people who find you hot to begin with.  Not to dupe them into digging your personality first.  That’s just not fair.

Yes, character is more important than the shape of a body, but so is honesty and ownership.  Own your body, be proud of it, rock the shit out of it!  You don’t want any one falling for a version of you you can’t provide later on in real life.

Believe the positive, ignore the hate

So often we hate our own bodies to the point we can’t believe that anyone else would find the greatest of pleasures in it, but it’s true: they can and they do.  Let go of the fear and welcome those who would worship you, just the way you are.  Tell that nasty inner voice of yours to shut the fuck up.

I have been stunned and humbled at the beauty that has presented itself to me with this attitude, men that I find to be much more attractive than me.  *Men with incredible physiques have clung to my softness, to my imperfect and dimpled body.  They have plunged into me, suckled on my breasts, and begged to fuck me from behind just so he can see my flesh ripple as he slammed into me.  Every single thing I was taught to hate about my body growing up they have worshiped and I have loved every second of it.

Don’t let fear make your decisions

As pissed as I was that I got catfished, I understood — he was afraid I’d reject him — and he was up front about the ruse once I called him out on it.  Obviously, he didn’t believe his real image would have caught my eye and he might have been right, but he took that decision away from me.  Had he put a real photo up it’s possible that, coupled with his chill post, I might have responded anyway and the evening would have gone wildly different for the both of us.

I imagine there must have been some level of anxiety on his part about my reaction to finding him out.  Being honest with me would have paved a path of least resistance, he could have relaxed and just enjoyed the night and not devolved into such a whiny, stupidly-high twat.

This goes for all of us, both men and women.  Be you, be exactly the way you are and hold your head high.  I know it’s terrifying — I only post photos of myself that I deem flattering — but anyone vile enough to pass on nastiness to you is merely giving away their own shit selves: they’re not worth your time.   Lift your chin and move on.

Find it in you somehow, somewhere, to believe that there are people out there who can and will find you to be their catnip.  I refuse to believe that there is anyone on this planet who isn’t someone’s cup of tea.

This wonderful community of sex bloggers is proof of that.  To my knowledge no one looks like Cindy Crawford, and yet we all are loved and fucked, we’re talented and caring, we’re searching and hurting and everything in between.  We’re not summed up merely by what we look like, but we also own what we are.  We don’t hide.  We offer ourselves up to you and you choose to stick around or not.  So too is it with online dating and life in general.  We really only want the ones who think we’re great to be in our orbits.

Offer yourself up unapologetically and see what happens because you are beautiful, you are desirable and you are fuckable.

Repeat after me:  I am beautiful.  I am desirable.  I am fuckable.  I’m gonna do me.

No go out there and be you.  

And don’t catfish anyone!

 

[*Ed. note: I tweaked this section to be clear on my point that I don’t prefer hard bodied men, but that I find them to be much better looking than me and I’d never in a million years think I could land such a guy.  It speaks to my point to trust others’ tastes and to be confident in what you’ve got.]

Sometimes I hate my body.

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Tick tock.  His heavy hand accidentally marked me.

“You ready?” He stood in my apartment, his gym bag over his shoulder.  I was dressed in my work clothes still.

“Yeah, gimme a sec.”

He followed me back to my room and flopped down on the bed.  Faisal jumped up to purr and meow and twist himself about The Neighbor.  I peeled off my barely opaque white v-neck and my breasts bounced.

“Mmmm,” I heard from the bed.  I flexed my abdomen and tried to push my insecurities away, focus on this man’s approval.  I bent over to roll my skirt down over my hips and sucked in my stomach hoping the swell didn’t pooch out too much.

“That’s right baby, show me those tits.”  He watched me beyond the end of the bed as if I were on stage; I clenched every core muscle I owned and stood up straight and smiled as I reached behind me to unhook my bra, trying to look nonchalant and confident.  His eyes followed my every move as I tried to morph my body into that of a lithe dancer’s: arch my back, pull my shoulders back, face the audience, be lean and beautiful.

I gathered my workout clothes and scrunched up again to thread my legs into my leggings and cringed at how much I must seem the Michelin Man from the side.  I imagined shaking it off, these thoughts invasive and cruel.  Where was this coming from??

TN had stretched out on the bed and begun to absent-mindedly stroke his bulge.  I tucked my breasts into the little shelf of a sports bra and said, “You know, I was about to jerk off when you knocked a minute ago.” I walked around to the side of the bed. ” There’s still time before class starts.”

The ugly voice inside my head was shouting at me, relentless.  I felt awkward in my skin, undeserving, foolish for all of it.  Orgasms can be my reprieve from such thoughts.  TN didn’t spark them when he dropped by, he’d only walked into a snarling ant pit of self-loathing.

“Well, then let’s get going on that,” he replied as he watched me reach for my Hitachi.

I rested my knee on the mattress and planted my foot on the floor, my left arm straight and strong as I pressed the vibrating head to my crotch.  Instantly I was on the magic carpet ride up, up, and up.  TN had a front row seat to my cleavage cradled in white, an expanse of belly which I allowed to be whatever it was going to be — though I hoped it looked flat and muscular — and the swell of my hips encased in transparent Lululemon-like yoga pants.

He moaned a little and kept rubbing.  I kept my eyes latched onto his hand, then I felt his free hand sweetly trace my breasts.  “Is this ok?” he asked.

“Mmmhmm.”

But it lasted only seconds.

Instead he pulled his shorts down and flopped out his erection, big and juicy before me.  His hand began to whir and the sound of fap fap fap deliciously filled my ears.  My ride was spiraling its way to the clouds, my lashes fluttered, I could see him staring at me as if I were a unicorn passing outside his window.

The orgasm shook me and just before it stole my breath I managed to whisper, “I’m gonna cum!” knowing it turned him on more than anything.

He quickly and neatly replaced his cock beneath his layers of clothes and pulled me into his arms.  I hung on to his middle and laughed, waited a minute then pulled my shit together for the gym.

We worked out side by side, muscles bulged, faces red.  I stared at myself in the mirror hating every goddamned music-pumping second of it.  The orgasm relief had been fleeting — as I knew it would be — I was again beating myself down.

Other women in the class were athletic specimens, all narrow hips and beautifully wide shoulders, firm buttocks and roundly muscled arms.  I was…. not.

I caught TN’s icy blue gaze on my cleavage in the mirror more than once, an appreciative gleam in his eyes, but it wasn’t enough to protect me from myself.  Yes, I thought, I have nice tits, but what about the rest of me??  I resigned myself to the Pig-Pen-cloud of low self-esteem and smiled wanly to the other class members as we put our weights away.  I really just wanted to go home and lie down.  Maybe die a little, hide under a rock, whatever.

When I get like this, seized by self-doubt and hate, I undoubtedly make a decision that will support this belief.  That night, it was making Mac n’ Cheese out of a box for dinner — something I rarely eat, but will always make me feel at once comforted and like a complete failure.  I ate 2/3 of the box in bed while watching The Taste, took a shower, and texted TN for our nightly cuddle.  I wanted to skip it altogether, but he’d asked me to text him and so I did.

I lay there anxiously, tired, a pain pill shivering through my veins.  I heard him snap his fingers through my darkened apartment and appear in my doorway.  He removed the kitten, shut the door, turned out the overhead lights and flipped on the closet light for ambiance.

“What’s going on?” I asked, nervous, irritable, feeling like utter and complete shit.

“I’m going to fuck the shit out of you, that’s what.”  He came around the side of the bed and dropped his shorts.  I reached out for his erection and it bobbed hot, thick, and clean in my palm.  I chuckled half-heartedly and rolled away from him, my whiteness stark against the aubergine bedding.

“What are you doing?” he wondered aloud.

“Making you work for it,” I answered.  He growled and pounced on me, wedged my knees apart and slid deep inside my body with one easy stroke.  His clean strawberry dusted body thrust into my own vanilla scented one and we made a warm body dessert out of two naked people.

I clung to his hindquarters with my legs and wrapped my arms around his broad, fuzzy back; he grunted and kissed my neck and collar-bone.  When he sat up to hitch my ankles on his shoulders I refused.  My irritation and discomfort with my body had grown — my belly felt rounder — and suddenly, the fucking routine that went missionary-to-folded-in-half-to-orgasms seemed tired and only stoked my irritation.

I slipped my left leg between his knees and turned on my side.  He held my right leg with his hand and nailed me to the headboard.  I cringed when thoughts of Troy crowded my sad, addled brain — this had been a favorite position of ours.  I quickly rotated again to my belly and I heard the soft smacking of our bodies on my bottom and Troy thankfully exited stage left.

From his new vantage point TN brought his free, lead hand down on my flank.  Three excrutiating times.  I cried out and went rigid, the sting down to my bone, and then I was granted a reprieve when he got a charlie horse and was forced to stop.  We laughed at his misfortune and pulled apart.

I lay next to him and rubbed his massive hamstring chatting easily.  I was waging a stupid little war with myself and decided to let him in on the secret; I felt shy and worried about opening up to him about my self-loathing and odd flash of low self-esteem.

“I feel really bad, TN.  Like out of control.  I don’t like the way I look all of a sudden.  I hate feeling like this.  I feel so stupid and dumb.”

He crooned to me and pulled me into his arms and tried to rationalize my irrational behavior.  “Maybe you think you’re fatter than you are because your tits are so big,” he suggested not unhelpfully.

“Maybe…” I murmured.

“Hy, you’re very sexy and I think you’re extremely beautiful: your tits, your ass, especially your face.”  I flushed at the compliments and with shame for needing to hear the words.

I thanked him and took a deep breath to embolden me to open up more.  “So, there’s something else.”  I heard him hold his breath a little.  “When I’m in this kind of mood — feeling down on myself — what I really want is for you to throw me around.  But,” and his low timbre joined mine perfectly, “I/you don’t know how to let you/me know that’s what I/you want.”

“Right,” I nodded into his chest.

“Well,” he said sitting up quickly.  “Telling me to work for it is kind of perfect.”

He grabbed my wrists and I said quietly, “Work for it,” and held his gaze.

He repositioned himself between my legs and I tried to wriggle away, but he had me pinned.  I was tired, yet thrilled at this little game before he had to leave and before I passed the fuck out under that rock I’d been pining after earlier.

He slammed into me, stroked me from the inside and nuzzled my neck, gripped my wrists like he was hanging over a cliff and I came once then twice with big, round blooms of pleasure.  It was fast and fierce.  Perfect.

He pulled out abruptly and I lay there bathed in light from the closet, my thighs rested on the tops of his as he sat on his heels.  He ran his hands up from my hip bones to my ribcage and across the soft, mostly-flat plane of my belly.  He groaned approval and apologized that he had to go.  I nodded assent and assured him I was ready for him to leave.

He came around the side of the bed and wrapped his hand around my throat, tilted my head back as if to give me mouth-to-mouth and gently suckled my lips, his tongue soft and pliant while his hand gently squeezed — a kiss so unlike his usual hard, punishing, immobilizing goodbyes.  I melted away into those lips of his surrounded by a little sea of scruff.

And just like that, for that magical moment, the cloud lifted and I felt a bright, shiny love on me, my idiocy be damned.  “G’night, Hy,” he said as he left.  “I’ll lock the door behind me.”

“Good night!” I called out after him and then whispered smiling, I love you, as I have begun to do nightly.

The terrible feelings about my body and my looks were there when I awoke the next day and I am still waiting for them to subside.  I have committed to health, not looks, and I refuse to fall victim to the old bully of self-loathing.  I love my body and what it can do; I love my tits, my hips, my little pot belly.  I don’t know where this sucker punch has come from and I don’t know how long it will stay, but I’m going to do my goddamned damnedest to get rid of it.  Fuck it to hell.

I’m hoping lots of cuddles and fucking are just what the PhD ordered.