I’m beginning to suspect that all of my appetites are connected. I suspect this because they all seem to have come rushing back at the same time. And that would be NOW.
A little over four years ago, I decided to go celibate and I’ve been that way until very recently. It’s true that, during that time, I had a couple of boyfriends about whom I cared a great deal. There was even some fooling around, but no sex. One didn’t really want me: I was just sort of a rebound. The other didn’t/doesn’t believe in sex before marriage.
I didn’t mind the time I spent without sex, because it was originally for a good cause and then in keeping with a commitment I made to someone I love(d) very much. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure how I feel about the concept of monogamy, but I believe very much in sticking to whatever “rules” participants decide will guide their relationship. Even without sex, I was a very happy, fulfilled person. So, none of this is about regret.
However, I have begun to suspect that the celibacy has affected me in other ways. For one, while I was suppressing my sexual appetite, my actual appetite kind of went away too. I can be quite the eater, but for those years I didn’t feel nearly the cravings or hunger that I did previously or that I have since. (Especially since.) The same is true for my other appetites: I wasn’t compelled to read as much or write as much or….you name it.
I’d guess that part of it was just the act of suppression itself. The various types of lack, therefore, were at least partly self-imposed. However, I think part of it was also a sort of dysfunction brought on by the relationships I mentioned earlier. Neither of the guys are bad guys and I don’t mean to imply that they are. It’s just, I think the relationships affected me more than I’d imagined… No, not more; just in a different way than I’d imagined.
“I just wanted to say to him: If its ok for you to rape me because I was dressed like a ‘slut/skank/ho/whore’; then is it ok for me to shoot/stab/maim/kill you because you are a male who looks threatening? Aren’t you asking for it?”
Seriously you guys walking round in big drunken groups, wearing tshirts that show off your muscles that could potentially pin me to a wall, being rowdy at the back of the almost empty 10.20pm bus and making the space around you feel less safe for anyone who is not a white cis man - if I pull out a knife and stab every last one of you “I’m entitled to every inch of space around me” fuckers it’s fine because you were totally asking for it because the way you’re acting and looking fits right into my ideas of a man who could potentially damage me or other women. What do you expect walking around acting like you could hurt someone at the drop of a hat? It’s your fault, I can’t help myself when I see a potential threat, it’s just nature. If you don’t want to be stabbed for looking threatening then cover up, wear something baggy to hide your muscular body, walk around by yourself so you’re less intimidating and keep your head down when I walk past so I don’t think you’re going to target me.
Marianne, I follow a lot of your stuff and I’ve read your book, but I don’t think I understand why the “love your body” rhetoric is problematic. If you have the time and inclination, could you please elaborate?
If you love your body, you’re more inclined to demand that others respect it and you.
Also, this argument presupposes there is only one kind of love—that of rainbows and kittens and paths without rocks. Love isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s a million little choices you make every day. It also isn’t simplistic or one dimensional. I love my family but sometimes hate what they do. Ditto to my body.
Loving your body doesn’t mean “hey, this is what you got, accept it and shut up.” It can mean “do what you need so that you can love your body.”
To say that one cannot struggle with their body or identity and also love themselves skeeves ME out.
“Twice in the last 24 hours I’ve been harassed on the street by men who felt that it was fine to catcall me, ask for my name, comment on my appearance and even try to grab at my tattoos without my permission. It makes my blood boil; I tell people about it and half the time I get told that I’m overreacting or being sensitive. I’ve had people tell me I’m cold, that claiming to be a feminist makes me unattractive (the logic behind that is dizzying at best), even that I’m a man-hater. Guys tell me to toughen up. Girls tell me to ignore it. Great. Y’know, I’m all for equal rights. The next time a woman pulls up next to me in her car and asks me my name and where I’m going, then tells me to smile for her only to loudly call me a bitch and threaten me before driving away when I don’t, I’ll be happy to place the blame on her. The next time a middle-aged woman sits next to me on the bus and flashes her vagina at me because she gets off on making me uncomfortable, I’ll be sure to take notes. Fair is fair.”—kate or die!
'Blurgendered' is my new term for when asked what my gender is and I'll abbreviate it “blurg.” I've named it after the band, Blur, not because I'm into them but because their song, Boys And Girls, pretty much nails how I feel about my gender.
girl who’s a boy who like boys to be girls who does boys like they’re girls who does girls like they’re boys
Or, you know, something like that. And, anyway, I’m non-binary and fluid, blurring the lines one way, then another—at least in how I feel about my gender.
Also, that’s how I feel when asked the gender question anyway…”blurg.”
For more about my quest to identify my gender, you can read this wall of text here.
I’ve been a part of the Size Acceptance and Fat Acceptance movements for quite a while and, on the whole, I believe in what they’re meant to accomplish. However, Fat Acceptance only seems to accept “good” fat…you know the fat people who are healthy and the fat people who are trying to be less fat. It treats people who want to gain weight/fat as outcasts and criminals. Size Acceptance, on the other hand, tends to be an either/or thing. If you’re for thin bodies, you put down fat ones. If you’re for fat bodies, you put down thin ones. Think of that whole “real women have….” meme.
So, I think I’m done with both labels. The messages are good, but get muddied. From now on, I’m all about Body Acceptance. Full Stop. Every body is a good body. No matter the size, shape, color, texture, or number of appendages, your body is a good body. If you accept it and love it, it will give you great joy. Also accept that bodies not like yours are capable of giving their owners just as much joy.
“One of my core beliefs is that spreading the word that women sometimes do want sex is crucial to explaining why it’s important to respect when women don’t want sex. If you think women always just tolerate sex, then forcing them to tolerate it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. And if you think women never really want to indulge fetishes, why would “no, I don’t want to indulge your fetishes” slow you down?”—The Pervocracy