Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: health (Page 1 of 2)

Being Size-Positive but Still Wanting to Lose Weight

This is something I know a lot of people struggle with. It’s something I’ve struggled with before because I was looking at things from the wrong perspective. Something I’ve written about before a long while ago is the idea of size vs. health. I still think this is true. The idea of being size-positive is, in my mind, about promoting health at every size as well as allowing yourself to love your body at the size it is, regardless of whether you are working to change your body or not.

Advertising society wants us to hate our body the way it is so they can promote their product and we will want to buy it. If we feel incomplete as people and have been told that in order to be complete we must consume than that is exactly what we will do. We are taught it’s okay to shame fat people, that being fat is a choice because it’s “so easy” to lose weight. Obviously it’s easy, otherwise it wouldn’t be a billion plus dollar industry and we wouldn’t have diet pills and other “easy” ways to lose weight that may or may not actually work for you but will almost definitely not be healthy. It’s difficult to escape from those pressures that are put on us, the capitalism, body-hatred, and, really, self-hatred that is sewn in to our cores.

We are also taught that in order to change our body we must hate it, you can’t lose weight and love or be happy with your body, those two things cannot coexist according to the values of society, but I say this is wrong. You can love your body and be actively wanting to change it, but it requires a consciousness shift. Unfortunately that includes giving up the idea that losing weight is going to be quick and simple, because if it’s quick and simple it’s usually not healthy and won’t last.

Because I love my body I want to be healthier. I am actively trying to get healthier, which does, for me, include losing weight. Not everyone needs to lose weight in order to be healthier, no matter what size you are. I’m looking at weight loss as a by-product of becoming healthier, not the end-product. Looking at weight loss as the end-product can lead to unhealthy habits.

I have lost about twenty five pounds in the last six plus months, I’ve been doing it slowly and I am not doing it in a way that is unhealthy or (hopefully) going to rebound on me. It’s not as simple as eating less and exercising more, people say that to fat people all the time but, unless they are fat themselves, they don’t really understand what that means. Fat bodies store fat in different ways, otherwise you couldn’t have two people eating the exact same diet (and I don’t mean “diet” in the sense of “weight-loss diet” but in the sense of “what we eat”) and becoming different sizes, hell I know many skinny people who eat way worse than I do, yet weigh over a hundred pounds less than I do.

In a way I’ve been eating better and exercising more, but it’s more than that. I had been doing that for years, actually. I started seeing a personal trainer in 2008 and I wouldn’t say I’m exercising any more now than I was then, but I wasn’t losing weight then and I am now. I wasn’t eating much different than I am now either, and yet now I’m losing weight and then I was staying the same. A few periods in time in the last few years I tried calorie counting and was eating under what my calorie intake should be to maintain my current weight along with doing a fair amount of exercise. I was drinking lots of water. I was going to the gym at least three times a week doing, usually at very least an hour and a half each day. And yet I wasn’t losing weight and I am now. What’s different? I would say my attitude is different and I’m less depressed, and that alone is probably the reason for the shift. The brain is powerful. There are many other factors as well, and although I’m eating similarly there are probably some different eating habits, but it’s hard to quantify, and I know that is not the entirety of it.

Back to the point I’m really trying to make for a moment, though. We can love our body and want to change it, the two ideas are not mutually exclusive, it’s all about looking at it from a different and, dare I say it, healthier point of view. Most people who try to lose weight are doing it from a place of body-hatred so they end up going on extreme diets or making radical changes which will not hold up in the long run. Six or so years ago I lost upwards of fifty pounds by changing my eating habits pretty drastically. I was still in “plus size” clothes, but I could shop at “small size” clothing stores mostly without a problem (I was around a 14/16), but just like most diets it didn’t last and I ended up gaining around a hundred pounds over the next five or so years.

I’m slowly working my way down, but I think that mental health is drastically overlooked when we look at weight loss. Our mind needs to be on board and we have to find ways that work for us as individuals, encourage positive reinforcement, not think in absolutes, etc. There isn’t some magical formula that you can apply and make weight disappear, it won’t happen overnight or in a month, and if it does it probably won’t last. Eating less and exercising more isn’t the answer, eating better (notice I didn’t say “less”) and exercising more is a good start, but only if it’s something you can do forever.

If we love our body, if we can love our lives and come to existence from a generally positive point of view than we can achieve more than otherwise, and do it in a better and healthier way. Health is extremely important, and you don’t need to be “small sized” in order to be healthy, and you can be size-positive and still want to be healthier.

A side note: the automatic reaction, I think, when someone expresses losing weight is to congratulate them regardless of how they did it, if it was healthy or unhealthy, etc. I think this is bullshit and simply perpetuates sizeist ideas. Next time you have the urge to do that I suggest you try finding out the underlying reasons for the weight loss rather than assuming it’s a good thing and congratulate their healthy activities rather than their weight loss itself.

In 2010…

I resolve to stop having meaningless sex in 2010, so I suggest you pay me a compliment or get me liquored up ASAP

Of the things I said I wanted to do in 2009 I didn’t do too badly, actually. Some of these things are the same, and some are different.

Get my body piercing license! – My biggest goal, which I hope I will be able to do in a year, but that will depend on when we can get the apprenticeship going and everything. I’ve been accepted, it will happen, but I have to wait until my teacher has the time to teach me and we have paperwork to figure out and all that good stuff. I hope to be done with my 1000 hours required to get the license by the end of the year, but we’ll see.

Get my driver’s license. – While we’re on the subject of licenses, this would also be a good one to get. It was part of my list of things I wanted to do in 2009 too and something I did not end up doing. Being here in Juneau, however, with access to cars may make this goal a little more attainable this year.

Write more. – The last half of 2009 wasn’t filled with as much writing as I think it should have been. Having time to myself up in Juneau is going to help with this, I think. This also means focusing more on this blog, maybe implementing another posting structure like I did a long while back where each day I have a topic I focus on posting about.

Comment more. – Commenting on other people’s posts is something I always mean to do but don’t always do. I know how much I love comments, even if they are just a few words or a couple sentences, so I like to spread the love around, but I don’t always have the time.

Figure out my job situation. – I would love to get a job with an online sex toy retailer which I could do from here while I pursue my apprenticeship and figure out my life. However, I know this is probably unrealistic, so I need to figure out what I can do in Juneau.

Get out of debt. – Or at very least reduce the amount of debt I have. Getting a job will greatly help with this, as will living with my Dad and not paying rent. School loans are the big thing here, unfortunately, but not the only.

Be more active. – This last year was not one of great activity, quite the contrary, and already in the last month since I’ve been here I’ve been out more and doing more things, or at least it feels that way. I want to be more active in general, socially as well as physically. I also want to get healthier, start going to the gym again, do more yoga, establish a routine, and lose weight. I’ll never be skinny, and I don’t want to be, but there’s healthy fat and unhealthy fat for my body and I’m in the latter phase right now.

Find a partner. – Specifically a female one, preferably here in Juneau, but I know that’s asking a lot. Who knows, though, it could happen.

And, last but not least…

Continue to learn and grow. – I think it’s nearly impossible not to do this one every year, but it’s something I am making a goal every year as I want to be consciously aware of it and work on it, not just have it happen to me.

Size & Sexuality Study – N.N.*

adipositivity124Number 124 from The Adipositivity Project

This is the twelfth of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here including links to the other responses.

This set of responses comes anonymously from a 28 year old “femme (sometimes ultra-femme) female” lesbian who is “As married as I can be in Virginia.”

What size is your body?

I am a size 20 – currently 235 pounds – so definitely large

How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?

Not so comfortable now, since I just gained 40 pounds in a year, after losing those same 40 pounds the year before.

How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?

I’ve been large my entire life. Two years ago, I actually managed to start losing weight and dropped 40 pounds, and 2 dress sizes – I was actually buying clothes in the regular sections, not the plus size. I felt pretty okay with my body before the weight loss, but then really felt great afterwards. I was wearing much more form fitting clothes and went out a lot more. Thats when I met my wife, and was pretty confidant the whole time, which is partly why she was attracted. Then, I had to start some new medicine, and all the weight came back. Since then, I’ve been very negative towards my body – I know I’ve been driving my wife nuts with the negative talk – and I’m trying to get back into losing the weight again, and stop the negative back talk.

How important is sexuality to your life?

Very – I love sex. Our bedroom is a shrine to our combined nymphomaniac sex and sex toy addictions. Well, not quite addictions, but I’m not saying no anytime soon. I know the best way to cure a headache is sex :)

How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?

I love sex – and since I’ve come out, its been a much more positive relationship. When I was younger, and still trying to fit into the heterosexist norms, I was very promiscuous, because I craved sex and the closeness with another human being, but on the other hand, hated being that close to a man. I would actually get physically ill afterwards sometimes, and of course, I was the most stereotypical commitment-phobe – no one came to my place, and I never had breakfast. But after accepting myself for who I am, and getting over the ingrained homophobia, I’ve never loved it more! Unfortunately, with the weight gain, I’ve found myself more reluctant, but my wife always makes me feel so sexy when we’re getting to it!

How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?

Not so much now that I’m larger – if I can lose the weight again, I think I would be much more comfortable. Definitely will not be going to fetish ball in my leather corset this year.

How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?

Rather uncomfortable – at least it seems that the younger folks are. Even when I was under 200, the people attracted to me were usually older – thirties, forties and even fifties. Younger girls (and guys when at a hetero bar) would sometimes even make nasty comments. But when I was confidant about my body, it seemed that most of the mature people were very positive about my overtly sexual attire – but now, with the extra weight and lowered confidence, I’m not sure it would go over as well.

Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?

I think since I actually lost weight for the first time in my life (as opposed to just gaining), when I did gain it back again, I was much more negatively affected than ever before. It was almost like a I got a glimpse of life on the thin(ner) side, and now can’t accept the change. This might be okay if it could be a positive influence, but I’ve never lost weight when I’m trying to lose weight – I lost weight by giving up on losing weight and just trying to get more healthy. My sex drive, while still healthy, has also dropped off some since the weight gain, and I think its because of how self-conscious I am about my body now. Plus, with the new weight gain, I’m not as proportioned as I used to be – used to, I didn’t like my size and I was hourglass – now I’m an apple, and look like bigger than my size, so its been a difficult adjustment.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’d love to hear what others have said! Especially the skinny women who always stand in front of us big women and complain how fat they are – I’ve always wondered if they really think that, or if they are just fishing for compliments (which, by the way, I never give – Instead I suggest weight watchers ;)

*N.N. stands for “nomen nescio”, Latin for “I don’t know the name.”

Size & Sexuality Study – Lori

adipositivity268Image from The Adipositivity Project

This is the tenth of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here including links to the other responses.

Lori is a 38 year old female who is “straight, with long held and so far unfulfilled bi curiosity (straight with a slight curve, perhaps?)” and married.

What size is your body?
Last weight put me around 300, but the number means little to me. Carry my weight in my hips, thighs and ass, mostly. Although, I have never considered myself to seem out of proportion or necessarily pear shaped.

How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
I am quite comfortable within myself. I have days where I want to stay in the bed and do nothing but hide from the world, but I have never considered those ‘fat’ days. I wish it were easier to find stylish clothes, but have never blamed this on my body as much as the fashion industry who doesn’t recognize me, or on a society which refuses to accept that I have as much right to great clothes in a size 30 as someone who is a 0. My body size isn’t something I think about a whole lot. I like my body size, and feel very comfortable in my own skin. I’m lucky that way, as many of my girlfriends – thin or fat – don’t seem to share that.

How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
I was very lucky to have had influences in my life that propelled me toward healthy self-esteem. I certainly went through a phase of self hatred, which I commonly refer to as high school. Post high school though, I realized that I could really care less how other people judged me. I came to the conclusion that I had no reason not to love myself and haven’t really looked back on that. I have had successful relationships, both long term and…shall we say rather shorter term? I never felt that my size should be an issue, and I’ve tried not to make it one in my head, either. I have gained weight over the years, but in those years my attitude toward my body has actually become more accepting, rather than less as might be expected.

How important is sexuality to your life?
Extremely important. I love my sexuality, and I love expressing it. As much as possible.

How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
I started having sex when I was 18. Not good sex. Just sex. It filled a need, but barely. I was having sex back then, but I don’t think I can say that I saw myself as a particularly sexual being. Over the years, I have realized that I am extremely sexual, and with this epiphany have also opened myself up to new experiences. In the past I think there was always a part of me that I declined to face; the part that said that I wasn’t allowed to be exactly who I was. It is possible that my weight played into this, but I’m not sure that is where the roots were truly planted. I believe that it is more likely that I recognized in myself needs and behaviours that seemed to clash with what I thought to be ‘normal’ for me. I had a far harder time accepting my sexuality than I ever did my weight. I have come to realize that the state of normal exists only in what we are contented with. It’s really only been in the last few years that I have not only found what satisfies me, but also have come to embrace it as another facet of myself that I am perfectly content with. I realize that there are any number of people out there who will equate my weight with some form of self-protection to “keep me from facing” my sexuality. I understand that thinking. However, in my case, it was at my heaviest that I truly realized how sensual and sexual a being I am.

How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
Very comfortable. No wilting flower am I. I have no trouble expressing myself and my sexuality.

How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
Not comfortable at all. Society is not comfortable in accepting my body, so how is it possible for it to accept my body as sexual? There are a lot of facets of society that seem to hold very unshakable opinions as to what fat women are supposed to be. And a confident, sexy, sexual woman is not often equated with a fat one.

Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?
I have noticed a link, actually. But it’s probably not one that would come to the mind of someone looking at me from the outside. As my sexuality has blossomed, I have come to love my body even more. It’s a very simple equation. How could that which gives me so much pleasure, and is capable of providing others so much pleasure, be anything but a gift? I cherish my body, because it is capable of so much. The fact that my body isn’t a size two doesn’t equal sexless, or loveless. The more I’ve let my body experience, the more I stand in wonder at what a marvelous thing it is.

Size & Sexuality Study – slf

2photoru
Photo via 2photo.ru

This is the eighth of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here.

Read the first: luna[KM]
Read the second: icecoldbath
Read the third: Nadia West
Read the fourth: Dee
Read the fifth: E
Read the sixth: Callaigh
Read the seventh: Emily

slf is a 35 year old female who is bisexual and currently engaged. She blogs at Craving More and can be found on FetLife as slf

What size is your body?
I am currently a size ten to twelve depending on the manufacturer. Yikes, I don’t have a tape measure for inches, BUT i think i’m about 31 inches around the waist. (5’9, 155 lbs)

How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
I’m fairly comfortable. But i’ve gained 25 lbs over the last year and a bit, so it’s taking some getting used to. My clothes don’t fit right (squeezing in all the wrong places giving me the most lovely muffin top LOL). I feel much better WITH clothes on than off though…

How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
When i was younger, i was teased for being too skinny. I was about 117 lbs as a teen and people said i was “a carpenter’s dream. Flat as a board and easy to nail” (i was flat – but i wasn’t easy to nail LOL!) So i had a complex about not having curves. I didn’t feel ‘womanly’. Then, in an unhealthy relationship, i got to the weight i am at now, but because he was emotionally and physically vacant – i felt that my size must have something to do with it. I felt ‘fat’ (ridiculous, i know…). When that relationship ended, i dropped 25 lbs within 4 months (i was still eating, but i was MUCH more active). I felt amazing! But now and then a friend would ask, “Are you eating enough”… omg.. yes i am! I love food!! LOL BUT for the first time in my life, i was comfortable in my own skin. Then i met my current partner and we fell in love hard – and fast. Here we are almost two years later and i’m back to the weight i was before – when i thought i was ‘fat’ – but now i feel WOMANLY LOL It’s amazing how much your life circumstances can alter your perceptions of yourself, huh? lol. See, he loves me, wants me, needs me… and more importantly ~I~ love me!!

How important is sexuality to your life?
sexuality is incredibly important to my life. I am a VERY sexual person. I won’t just have sex with ANYONE to fulfill that need – but, i definitley feel like a plant without water when i am not having a sexy time in my life LOL

How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
When i was in my late teens (117 lbs) sex to me was an expression of love. I thought the two went hand in hand – so i was ‘looking for love in all the wrong places’ – i must have had a ~please fuck me over~ sign on my forehead….. (yikes, a string of losers there for a bit). Then i had a couple long term serious relationships. Keep in mind though, that i was an ugly duckling as a teen… men didn’t look at me twice. Apparently, as i progressed through my long term relationships, i blossomed (or so i hear) but i was unaware of the changes (and my partners certainly didn’t let me know they though i was ‘all that and a bag of chips’ lol. So, sure, we had sex – but, i was still equating it with love – so i didn’t know HOW to get ‘dirty’ with a partner. I WANTED to get dirty – but i didn’t know how. Didn’t know if i was ‘allowed’ to be this sweet loving woman and get dirty too LOL Then i was single after 9 years of a not-so-nice relationship. Suddenly POOF – i was sexual…. in a big big way. When i met my current partner, it wasn’t very long before both of us expressed how much we BOTH wanted to explore, but never felt safe doing that before. Well, we’re still exploring and loving every damn minute of it.

How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
Very comfortable. I have no issues talking about sex (as long as the person i’m talking with is ok hearing it lol). My friends often come to me for advice and tips about sex beause they know i’m just going to give it to them straight – and i won’t judge them or laugh at them. I’ve also been involved in some very interesting sexual adventures in the past 3 years involving public nudity (well, public in terms of a party), sexual acts with others present (participating or not), and playing around with clothing and photographs to sort of document this change in my outward sexuality. I’ve been having the time of my LIFE! I’m still shy about certain parts of my body.. but i’m constantly amazed at how i’m able to push those feelings down for the sake of enjoying the moment. That’s it too – enjoying the moment. I let far too many moments slip me by in the past because of one worry or fear or another. Not any more ;)

How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
hmmm… honestly, i think society is ok with it. Well, with seeing my particular brand of body as sexual. The body i have NOW i mean. Not the 117 body i had before.

Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?

Yes, I have LOL My body shape had less to do with my sexuality than one might imagine. I think that life conditions and mind-set at any given moment had much more to do with my sexuality than my body. I just wish i knew then what i know now – because i would have started having fun much earlier. (and age… time on this earth has a major part to play because it provided me with the experiences necessary to see all of this and to adapt accordingly lol)

Anything else you would like to add?
Just one point. I would be MUCH more happy with the size i am now (or any size for that matter) had my stomach not bore the brunt of having three children. The stretchmarks and the strethched skin look so much worse as my weight goes up. I see these amazing women of ALL sizes and the ONE thing i covet the most in them is their smoooooth stomach skin. My stomach’s ‘condition’ has proven to be the most difficult thing to deal with for me (i’m still not ‘over it’) LOL

Size & Sexuality Study – Callaigh

callaigh
Image provided by Callaigh

This is the sixth of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here.

Read the first: luna[KM]
Read the second: icecoldbath
Read the third: Nadia West
Read the fourth: Dee
Read the fifth: E

Callaigh is a 22 year old who describes herself as “about 98% female. I suppose technically I count as bigendered, as there is a small corner of my brain that identifies as male and likes to check women out, and would fuck them if I had the body to go with. (On the other hand, lesbian sex with a woman as a woman does absolutely nothing for me.) I don’t take particular steps to dress femininely on a regular basis, and have cross-dressed on occasion (and identified, internally at least, as male while en homme.) I don’t feel like I can really call myself bigendered, though, as that seems to exaggerate the presence of my animus — it’s nowhere near half and half, and I consider myself basically female with a little corner of separate, male identity.”

When asked to describe her sexual orientation she says: “[I am] quite heterosexual — both my female and male identities. :p (It took me a few years to figure out that I wasn’t bisexual, though, since I do find women attractive…just from a male point of view.)” Currently “I have a best-friend-I-sleep-with, whom I’ll call Dov here. We’re also currently sharing living quarters, a new experience for me.

Her writing can be read on darknestfantasyerotica.com under the name Callaigh, and she is on FetLife as callaigh_warbright.

What size is your body?
Well, heh, I am 5’6″ and shaped like a female dwarf in World of Warcraft — that’s what I tell most people, and that’s what I have as my “avatar” for this internet handle (attached). Saying that I’m about 250 lbs. can be misleading, since I not only have a large frame, but a not-insignificant amount of muscle, and I also carry my extra weight fairly evenly over my body. People often underestimate my weight by 20 or 30 lbs.; I myself have no concept of what a given weight on a given height looks like, really, so even though I know my numbers I prefer not to use them. I have also used terms to describe myself such as (often ironically) “Renaissance beauty” (I am very fair-skinned and decidedly curvy, but have dark hair and eyes) or “cuddly.” I make an awesome pillow. :)

How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
I generally feel like I’m pretty comfortable with my body. Most of my concerns about my size are practical ones rather than psychological ones: having a hard time being able to find clothing that fits well, not being able to fit my wide hips into some spaces easily (like opera house seats and armchairs,) being hard on shoes and on my joints, and health concerns like being prediabetic and prone to heart disease. Of course I have the occasional twinge of self-consciousness, but it’s less often over the size of my belly and hips than things like stretch marks or breast shape, or being knock-kneed. I actually have a bit of a problem, because I look in the mirror and see myself as looking pretty good, even when an oufit will later prove itself to be quite, quite unflattering. I think of myself as sexual and sexy, and usually feel that way when it’s appropriate, even if I don’t advertise it and tend to dress rather plainly/modestly most of the time. I just wish I had a more accurate body image so I could avoid some of the more egregious mistakes I’ve made in choosing clothing that doesn’t fit OR flatter. :P

How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
I joke that I’ve always been in the 99th percentile in everything, and my size is no exception. My mother is a physician, and so when I was growing up she would put me on her scale and measure my height, then pull out this giant green book of pediatric growth charts and show me where I was. By the end of elementary school, I was off the page — and I wasn’t even that overweight then. She used to warn me sternly that if I wasn’t careful, I wouldn’t be able to fit into “regular clothes” anymore and would have to shop in plus sizes. Well, I’m a pretty solid 20/22W now, so so much for that. :p I was also teased mercilessly as a child about my weight, called the Pillsbury Dough-girl (in part because I would yelp when poked in the stomach,) etc. Oddly enough, though, I somehow became determined not to care about my size or become obsessed with dieting and such, in part perhaps because I learned about eating disorders fairly early on, in another part because it was the fashionable thing to do and I had nothing but disdain for the fashionable for a long time, and probably also in part because when someone puts pressure on me about something, especially if it’s a goal I see as being very difficult to accomplish to begin with, I tend to respond with apathy — and my mother, the physician, did her best to impress upon me the dire consequences of obesity in every regard.

How important is sexuality to your life?
I’d say it’s pretty important. Perhaps oddly, my interest in it is largely intellectual, and dealing with where it intersects a lot of my other philosophical/psychological/biological interests, though I have been cognizant of the sexual aspects of my body since at least three years of age.

How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
It’s…been an interesting trip. When liking boys and going ga-ga over celebrities was fashionable, I didn’t want anything to do with it. I’ve always had a pragmatic, almost academic approach to relationships, and it didn’t make any sense for me to start dating when it wouldn’t mean anything. I had crushes, of course, after a point, but felt that it was just way too early for me to start anything physical, or even a serious emotional relationship. Even in high school I told my boyfriend (who wasn’t supposed to be my boyfriend — we were just supposed to be dating-as-in-going-on-dates) never to “kiss me with desire.” Of course, I was also coming off a three-year radical Catholicism spree in which I learned that oh by the way that thing you’ve been doing since you were three? Sin against God and your future spouse. Oops. Yeah, I gave myself a lot of grief over that before I just sort of got over it and gave up. There are still echoes of that idea that fantasizing about others is disrespectful — I don’t ever have long, drawn-out narrative fantasies, only brief kinesthetic flashes of desire — and I still have an abiding distaste for “real people” porn. (Finding Dov FUCKING SEXY when he’s just gotten out of the shower, though? Totally cool with me. I suspect he doesn’t mind either.)

One thing I do still find problematic is reconciling two kinds of innocence: innocence of knowledge and innocence of guilt.. I feel that in our society too often sexual experience, especially for women, equates to guilt: experienced women are soiled, marred, impure, and disposable, subject to everyone’s desire if they are subject to that of one person, even themselves (c.f. my paranoia about being found out for owning a dildo.) But I can’t pretend that I’m innocent of knowledge anymore, at least not to myself. (To my parents, and to those whose no business it is, well. That’s another thing entirely.) I boggled the other day that, in saying that Dov is a fantastic kisser, I realized I had six other people to compare him to. By some people’s standards, that makes me a slut.

But I haven’t done anything wrong. I still feel childlike, innocent and, yes, pure. And why shouldn’t I feel that way? I haven’t hurt anyone or done anything irresponsible or betrayed some essential nature of myself — quite the contrary. So I say that while I am not innocent of knowledge, and thank god for that — I have never valued naiveté, and did a lot of self-sexual-education before I ever was even considering a sexual relationship with someone — I am innocent of guilt. And I’m not going to let anyone else convince me otherwise.

How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
That very much depends on context. I still find that being seen as sexual by the body politic tends to invite unwanted attention and provoke unwarranted assumptions that I just don’t want to deal with, so I dress modestly and conduct myself demurely in general — and I just don’t think it would be in my nature to advertise my proclivities even if there weren’t any consequences. However, in certain contexts — with someone I’m involved with, obviously, or (to take one strange example) on the dance floor of a club, the usual order of things is not present and so I can be sexual and still be safe without worrying about losing respect. (One funny story about clubs, though: I’ve only been “clubbing” once, and took great glee in inverting the usual “booty dancing” protocol — I had boys dancing on my hips, my legs between theirs and my hand firm against the small of their backs, pulling their bodies against me: instead of presenting myself as an object of desire, which role I’ve never been comfortable accepting because it is too passive and too dependent one externals except in close relationships, and involves too much of a giving-over of power to the eyes of the beholder (hah!), I decided to let the boys come to me, myself remaining unabashed and confirmed in my own sexiness. And they did. :3 It was delicious.)

How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
Probably not very comfortable, haha! I’m curvy, but I’m nowhere near the “ideal” curviness that seems to be cropping up as the alternative proposed by size-positive groups. The ideal hasn’t been abolished; just moved — see the Dove ads, for one. For another, less idealistic example, I’ve noticed that “chubby” appreciation threads on 4chan (a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it passes the time upon occasion) mostly just have normal-sized women…with extremely large breasts. I’m proportional. On a smaller woman, my breasts would be a C-cup, though on me they’re a D because of the weirdness with the way bra sizes work. A girl who was rather slimmer than I (though still “chubby”) with proportionally larger breasts, posted pictures of herself and was told that she “really drew the short stick; your boobs are kinda small for a fat chick.” That said, society can go fuck itself, by and large, because I have had PLENTY of affirmation that there’s a good chunk of the population that thinks I’m damn hot. :p I don’t demand that the maximum number of people find me attractive; in fact, I think that would be a burden! That said, people who would find me attractive solely because I fit into a certain size category piss me off no matter what size they see as ideal. I am not a size. I’m not “a BBW” any more than I’m a 36-24-36. I’m me, dammit, not a collection of checkmarked traits. I don’t have a “type” (for men) — who I find attractive is largely based on how close I feel to them, how much solidarity and understanding exists between us. If someone finds me attractive just because I’m “their type,” I tend to view that attraction as ungenuine, and more likely to be debunked later when they recognize all the traits of mine that don’t fit their type. (Strangely enough, though…with women, I do have a general type, and a girl who fits it will literally turn my head. I like hips. A lot. Of course, there is the added layer that I don’t see myself as having very close relationships with other women, even friendships — I tend to get along better with guys — and due to the exigencies of biology, I don’t see myself ever pursuing a sexual relationship with a woman unless they come up with some way of body-swapping on demand so I can have the male body to suit the male part of my brain that likes to interrupt my train of thought when a hot girl walks by.)

Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?
Er. I suppose I take a pragmatic, accepting approach to both in a society that is rather fond of dealing with both in idealized, judgmental ways.

Size & Sexuality Study – Dee

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Curvaceous Dee herself, courtesy of Curvaceous Dee

This is the third of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here.

Read the first: Size & Sexuality Study – luna[KM]
Read the second: Size & Sexuality Study – icecoldbath
Read the third: Size & Sexuality Study – Nadia West

Dee is a 31 year old pansexual cis-female who is civilly unioned and with multiple partners. To many she is known via her blog as Curvaceous Dee.

What size is your body?
In New Zealand sizing I’m a 26 or XXXL. I think that in US sizing that’s a 22 or 24. My shape is more hour-glass than apple or pear – I have boobs and arse and thighs and belly, with a comparatively small waist. While I’m big, I’m big all over! I also weigh more than I appear to (I weigh over 140kg/300lb), and wear dress sizes larger than most people realise.

How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
I love my body, and my body size and shape. I’m very comfortable with how I look and how I feel.

How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
13 years ago I was much slimmer, and my size increased over a 2 year period. I spent four or five years unhappy with the changes and wanting to be slimmer again. It took me time to realise that a) this is my natural body shape (becoming vegetarian didn’t reduce it; exercising less thanks to migraines didn’t increase it), b) I’m not unhealthy at this size, and c) I look and feel great just the way I am! I’m fat, I’m sexy, and I’m damned happy that way.

How important is sexuality to your life?
Very!

How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
I’ve always been quite experimental. However, in the past eight or so years I’ve gone from identifying as heterosexual, to bicurious, to bisexual, and finally to pansexual. At the same time I moved from (mostly failed) monogamous relationships to (mostly successful) polyamorous ones; and also discovered my submissive desires.

How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
Very – and participating in Half-Nekkid Thursday over the past year and increased my comfortableness even more.

How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
Society in general? Fat and sexy seems anathema the majority of the time. However I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from partners over the past eight years; nothing but positive comments on my blog (and there’s been a lot of my body shown); and nothing but positive – or at least non-negative – responses from my local kink community.

Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?
The main link is that as I became more comfortable with myself – my body, my attractions, my desires – I became happier in my relationships.

Anything else you would like to add?
These are fascinating questions, and I’m very curious to see what other have to say. And that FAT IS SEXY – especially mine :)

Size & Sexuality Study – Nadia West

adipositivity220
Number 156 from The Adipositivity Project

This is the third of many posts with answers to my Size & Sexuality Study questions within them. The responses have not been edited in any way. I hope you find them as interesting and informative as I have. I have gotten a huge number of responses already and I still want more! If you would like to answer these questions you can find more information on The Size & Sexuality Study here.

Read the first: Size & Sexuality Study – luna[KM]
Read the second: Size & Sexuality Study – icecoldbath

Nadia West is a mid 30s relatively femme woman who is bisexual and polyamorous with two men currently. She blogs at Diary of a Kinky Librarian and also twitters as Nadia West.

What size is your body?
women’s size 18, taller than average, chubby

How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
There seems to be two levels of how I look at my body – on one level, I feel fat and I know that socially I’m not considered attractive body-wise. I also should be healthier and in better shape. But on the other level I have no problem being naked at sex parties and whatnot – I’m really comfortable with my body in those situations. I think sexiness isn’t necessarily tied to what your body looks like.

How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
I’ve gotten generally more comfortable with it. I rarely get down on myself for being overweight like I used to – I figure I need to either accept it or do something about it. Feeling bad about myself won’t change things.

How important is sexuality to your life?
VERY!

How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
I keep getting more and more comfortable with my sexuality. I think I’m more comfortable seeking out what works for me than I was when I was younger.

How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
I’m pretty comfortable. Now that’s not to say that sometimes I don’t feel undesired compared to thinner women at swing clubs, but once I’m in a sexual situation I’m really comfortable and not worried about what my body looks like.

How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
Society wants to say that I’m fat and flabby and therefore unattractive and not sexual.

Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?
Certainly, feeling comfortable with your body will help you feel comfortable with your sexuality and vice versa. Once you accept your body as a source of pleasure it’s hard to hate it so much.

In 2009…

Like many others, I’m not a big fan of resolutions. Instead I prefer to set goals that may actually be attainable, or ones that aren’t just to see if I can do them. So…

In 2009 I want to:

Move to Seattle! – We’re 99.9% sure it will happen the weekend of the 16th of January, probably heading out of here the morning of the 17th.

Comment more. – There are so many wonderful blogs out there that I read, and many more that I’m sure I don’t, and I don’t comment most of the time, even sometimes if I feel like it. I know I love it when I get comments, so I want to spread the love around! I just need to start doing it.

Write more smut. – Something I keep telling myself I’m going to do, but end up failing at it. I’m not very secure in my smut-writing abilities, and to get better at it I really need to write more of it. Plus, you all seem to like it when I do.

Get a job (that I enjoy). – Somewhat self-explanatory. I’ve been out of work for five months now, and while it’s been kind of enjoyable (but also stressful to not have a job) I need to get one, and I think it’ll be easier to get one in Seattle. Looking at sex shops there but unsure if they’re hiring, also just about anywhere, there are lots more opportunities there.

Get healthier. – I was doing really well with going to the gym for a while there in 2008 after coming back from Juneau, but I’ve lapsed a bit on it. The apartment we’re (probably) moving in to has both a gym and a pool in the complex, so I’ll have no excuses not to work out. I’m not as focused on weight-loss as I am general health and wellbeing, feeling better and moving better, but I’m also not opposed to losing weight should that also occur.

Take more photographs. – My 365 portraits project will help with that, though I really want to take photos of others as well. I really enjoy portraits and pin-up type photos of others and want to do more of that in this year.

Figure out grad school. – Meaning, figure out what I want to get in Seattle before going to IASHS in San Fran. We’ll end up being in Seattle for a few years before going down there, and I think I want to get a Masters from UW but I’m not sure in what. Possibly creative writing. Maybe something else.

Do something sexual I’ve never done before. – Multiple partners, perhaps. Or a number of other things. Sex in public, maybe. I’m not sure. Something sexy that I haven’t done. I should make a list of things I haven’t done that I want to do too.

Get my drivers license. – I know, it’s crazy. I don’t have a license to drive and I never have. It’s just never happened, and although I’ve needed one it’s never been the right time. Plus, if I got one in Oregon or Utah it would disqualify me for the PFD from Alaska, so I never got one in the last four plus years living outside of Alaska because of that. I will get one in Washington.

Continue to learn and grow. – I think it’s nearly impossible not to do this one, really, but it’s something I want to highlight every year.

resohealthysec

14 Facts about Scarlet

This little meme has been going around the blogosphere for the last week or so, and although I usually pass on memes in this blog, there’s no way I can pass up an opportunity to talk about myself (do I ever? That’s what this blog is for, isn’t it?), plus I am susceptible to peer pressure. Anyway. I was actually tagged twice, once by Kyle of Butchtastic and the second time by The Butterfly Temptress (I think that’s all who tagged me… if you did and I missed it let me know?), so I’ll give you 14 instead of 7, just ’cause I can.

The Rules:
-Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
-Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog – some random, some weird.
-Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
-Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I currently have 31 piercings (eighteen in my ears, three in my nose, one in my tongue, two in my nipples, one VCH, and six inner labia), have retired four (two in my nipples–I had four at one time and LOVED them and miss them, a snug ear piercing, and a upper lobe ear piercing), and have plans for a few more.
  2. I have eight tattoos (a stylized heart on my left cleavage, a zodiac cancer symbol on the outer side of my right breast, a zodiac aries symbol behind my left ear, a heart-shaped padlock on my right wrist, a key with heart-shaped handle on my left wrist, a rendering of Bettie Page by Olivia on my right thigh, and Gil Elvgren’s pinup witch on my right calf) and plans for many many more.
  3. I always wear skirts or dresses, except when I go to the gym or am doing yoga. Part of this is because of my labia piercings, but also because I just don’t like pants very much.
  4. Similar to above, I never wear underwear unless I absolutely have to, and whenever I do wear underwear it’s always sexy-type underwear with lace or satin or ruffles and usually black, though sometimes red.
  5. I have only ever been on one roller coaster in my life, when I was in 5th grade or so(?), a blue one at Knotts Berry Farm that was basically just a loop that you went through both backwards and forwards. I used to hate roller coasters, but I think my opinion of them has changed and I would be down with going on them now.
  6. When I came out to my mother as bisexual she said “I thought you were a lesbian.”
  7. I have always been a cat person. The most amount of cats I’ve had at one time is nine, which is right now because our mama cat had kittens on the 24th of August, they will soon be leaving, though. The second highest number was seven (due to her last litter in April). Soon we will go down to just having two, maybe three if we keep a gray one from this litter.
  8. I used to dislike dogs for the most part and I absolutely did not want to have one, but lately I have been obsessed with the idea of having a Shiba Inu because they are amazingly adorable.
  9. I absolutely hate tomatoes and most tomato-based products including marinara sauce. When I get pizzas I prefer to get alfredo or pesto sauce or no sauce at all.
  10. I have not eaten red meat since I was 11. I have been a vegetarian since I was 15. I have never had pork, except for a bite of bacon at camp when I was very young, which I spit out because I thought it was gross. I did not become vegetarian for political reasons, but because I do not like meat. I do, however, love quorn chicken and insist it tastes like chicken, but not like murder.
  11. I have never broken any bone in my body, the closest I’ve come is I have sprained my ankle multiple times. I fell off the 15 feet high deck when I was younger and only had a minor concussion.
  12. Aside from annuals at Planned Parenthood I haven’t gone to a doctor since I was 5. My mother is a big fan of homeopathic remedies, and incidentally so am I.
  13. I have been trying to go to the gym every day since I got back from my vacation, I have been averaging about five times a week. I have been doing a half hour of cardio, a half hour of weights, and then an hour of cardio every day. I have gotten past the weight I was gaining and losing and am now just losing.
  14. I can balance things on my head, such as books, baskets, boxes, etc. and I can walk with them on, including up stairs, and sit with them without dropping them. Once I get back into belly dancing I want to work on balancing a sword on my head.

I’m tagging (people who I think haven’t been tagged yet):
Nadia West
Amber
Essin’ Em
And anyone else who hasn’t been tagged that wants to be!

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