Last night, the AC in our bedroom stopped working. After living in denial for about two hours (“it’s not that bad! I can sleep!”) we both decided to move out to the living room and sleep on the couch, where the AC is strong and healthy and, best of all, COOL.
Coupla things suck about this, though.
- It’s not our comfy, amazing bed. Seriously, I’m in-fucking-love with our bed. It’s the best bed ever.
- The “couch” we have is a futon. A well-loved (read: worn in) futon. Which is hell on both of our backs.
- Sleeping on “my side” meant I woke up in front of a flat screen TV. Which is basically a giant muted mirror. This may not seem like such a big deal until you take into account that I usually, especially in the summer, sleep nude. So I woke up, sat up, stretched the terrible pains out of my back and realized I was staring at my sitting, naked self.
What happened next was odd.
(Fuck, now I sound like clickbait. Anyway. It’s staying. Because it was fucking odd.)
I…didn’t hate the way I looked.
No. That’s not even fully accurate. I actually kind of liked the way I look.
This proceeded to blow my fucking mind.
See, my three biggest sources of bodily fear and shame are my chin, my breasts, and my stomach. My chin and stomach issues are wrapped up in something an ex-partner said to me years ago during a fight about how they couldn’t see beyond my “double chin and rolls of fat”. That was a deep enough cut, but the look in their eyes…the utter derision from someone who vowed to love me forever broke my heart that day. It meant that all my other qualities that they had professed to love (in front of friends and family, no less) were now completely meaningless compared to what they couldn’t see past. I was ugly to them and no amount of the intelligence or humor or kindness or anything else they had previously said they loved could stop that sheer disgust in their eyes.
I hate to admit that that crawled under my skin so far and for so many years, but there’s still a small part of me that gets terrified the first time someone I care about and want to be intimate with gets near my stomach or my breasts. My jackass brain starts hauling out the past and screams something like this:
REALLY?! You’re gonna let them touch you there? You’re going to keep the lights on and let them see all of you? I thought you wanted to continue to have them look at you with dancing, sultry eyes?
You know what’s going to happen, right? That look will change and suddenly they’ll be looking at you just like _____ did.
Sometimes the whole script doesn’t play out, and all I’m left with is a simple terror that the sexy eyes and the amazing energy that’s mixing with mine is just going to change immediately to that derision and then my heart sinks and my brain goes into protect mode. Which I fight, so I freeze.
Except I don’t want to do that because I want to fucking enjoy the time I’m having. I want to be able to surrender if it’s a kink scene. If it’s straight up sex, I want to fucking enjoy the hell out of it.
Because here’s a secret…once I get past that initial step, I adore sex and kink and y’know what, fuck EVERYTHING, I will be joyously, proudly naked.
But it takes some time to get there with a new partner. And since I don’t meet new partners all that often, I don’t get much practice getting out of that jackass part of my brain.
So back to me sitting there, not hating the way I looked, actually kind of liking the way I looked…and then…and THEN I TOOK A FUCKING PICTURE OF MYSELF. Full frontal, naked, sitting. I even liked the picture. Holy fuck.