Monday, 10 February 2014

The Body Confidence Crisis

I may have to stop using Twitter. Or at least stop following accounts that tweet and retweet endless pictures of the same woman. And never look at Tumblrs, is my advice.

She's not literally the same woman, that would be bizarre, even by internet standards. But the same archetype, the flat-bellied, shaven-havened 20-something.

I have always been a grumpy old ratbag about this sort of thing but recently I seem to have reached new levels of dislike for "perfect" bodies cluttering up my monitor. It is no coincidence, of course, that I feel particularly strongly about diversity in erotic imagery given that I currently feel about as far from the industry standard as I can be without actually growing a beard.

Let's see, when compared with generic "sexy" pics:
  • I have a belly. We've been through a lot together, my belly and I. It has faint silver lines upon it from when it had to accommodate my growing baby all those years ago. When I lie down you cannot see my pelvic bones jutting out but you can see a 3D version of the Malvern Hills, in flesh.
  • I have hair. The odd one or two have turned silver. I used to try to conform and shave off my pubic hair but, to be honest, I could never get that smooth effect seen so commonly in  erotica. I diligently read all the top tips on avoiding razor rash and ingrown hairs and my mons still looked like an ineptly plucked chicken. Then I thought, why am I wasting so much time and energy on this, the endless maintenance, putting my back out in a contorted effort to shave my own arsehole? Surely there is more to life than this? So I put down the razor and the hand mirror and decided that if any love interest of mine can't negotiate a bit of hair he's not the man for the job in the first place.
  • Which leads on to labia. I look at most of these photos and wonder where they are. It's like an endless array of fleshlight close-ups. Theirs all look like perfect pecan nuts and mine's like a badly packed kebab.
  • I have thighs, big ones.
  • Ditto bingo wings.
  • I am not dainty, I tower over most men and easily outweigh them.
  • I won't kneel.
Usually such differences don't bother me, I know that the reality for most of us is far removed from the carefully staged imagery we're presented with for entertainment purposes. Maybe I am at a sensitive age, maybe it's because I had my uterus removed last year and it left me wondering how my sexuality would be affected, if at all, maybe it's because I am looking at the wrong stuff in the wrong places, but I just seem to be particularly vulnerable to self doubt at the moment.

I am open to suggestions as to how to overcome this. In the meantime I'm off to try to find my own methods of feeling better about it all.


AnArtistExposed said...

Well the first thing to say is that these thoughts are also very familiar from my standpoint as an aging guy.

A couple of women on my Twitter timeline post lots of pictures of young, smooth, muscular and handsome guys. Yes - it would be great to have a body like that but then I never ever did. I shouldn't compare but I guess it would have been great to be so genetically blessed.

I still maintain that its the mind that keeps me interested. I think that a lively, open mind, the flash of lust in the eyes and the appreciation of a good meal (sharing my sex substitute of choice)all make my juices flow.

So yes - I'm having a vulnerable and self-doubting time as well. I hate getting older and all that goes with it but my mind soars these days and perhaps that is how I want people to appreciate me - and a pox on anyone who judges me on my husk!

Luka Sooxter said...

We have a lot in common! Yes, I, too, never had a body like those so often posted online, even when I was a teenager. I've always been tall and well-upholstered. It's not that I dislike my ageing body - in many ways it serves me better now than it ever did before - I just dislike that it doesn't have a place in current culture.

I don't understand the mindset. I do not post pictures of unfeasibly beautiful men on any of my online outlets. I do not swamp others with a deluge of glossy dicks and concrete abs. The sexiest men I have known are not body perfect, they are flawed, like me. They have charisma, manners, imagination and creativity. I prefer that to waxed bollocks, meself.

Giles English said...

As a man who actually LIKES women, I tend to agree. I'm also much more excited by erotic images of real-looking women. I think this is how I got into retro erotica, especially the Pre WWII stuff. My tumblr is full of flappers in a state of undress and nudist photos--woman of all shapes are represented, and that's how I like it.

As for suggestions - different eras like different female shapes. Find the one that fits yours and tinker with adopting elements of the style. Also, put a few pictures up around your bedroom.

Luka Sooxter said...

Giles, retro erotica is fascinating, isn't it? Dimpled thighs are de rigeur!

My era may be more that of the Venus of Willendorf. No tinkering needed :)