“either plain or grand; is it always or? is it never and?”
I’ve been wanting to write my thoughts on bodies and body image and types and attraction in some real, coherent manner for a while. Triggered by some of the things mentioned below, and Essin’ Em’s post on “chasers,” and just too much introspection. But i haven’t done it, so instead i’m just going to write it up in a messy, immediate, random manner just to get it down. I really hope it’s kind of clear, though.
I suppose what drives me crazy the most is this idea that there is one such thing as beauty. I, for one thing, think this is utter and complete bullshit, and that it is a profoundly detrimental view of the world.
On the other hand, i kind of think that it is closer to true for some people than for others. Of course, saying that beauty is different to different people is already throwing that premise out the window. But what i mean is that i think that what some people find attractive falls into a narrow range, whereas others’ are wider. And that i don’t fault; attraction’s funny like that, often can’t be helped (though it is often affected by society, etc.)
I have noticed recently that i pretty much have no “type” i’m attracted to at all. (I have a piece on that subject that i am having a hell of a time polishing up, but which i like and will post at some point, so i won’t go into it too much here.) But i did realize a long time ago that i have almost no interest in either women or men who are “conventionally” hot. And more recently that i am not really a very visual person, when it comes to what turns me on (perhaps related?). I mean, yes, i certainly like to look at people i think are sexy, but it’s not at the top of my list. I’d much rather touch, and i think the visual is, for me, a jumping off point – because thinking about someone is totally sexier than looking at them.
A total aside: because i started thinking about all this stuff again recently when we went to the strip club a few weeks back, here’s the rest of the details i wanted to share about that night. I think i failed to mention that two of us were in drag ’cause we went straight after the show. Moreover, i think we were passing, thanks to the way they light those sort of places – which is really funny. I was sitting between Jamie and Madam, who i have (…had?) a very flirtatious and occasionally sexual friendship with, and who didn’t know that i’d hooked up with Jamie the night before. I was flirting with Jamie, and talking to both of them, and of course we were all at least half watching the show, and occasionally Madam would pull me over by my tie and give me a little kiss or something. It was rather sexy, fun, flattering, and completely awkward.
But back to the point – i was thinking of that night because of everyone in the place, Madam and Jamie were the only ones i found hot. The fact that i know them has something to do with it. ‘Cause, though i’m not attracted to most of them, i think all of my friends are beautiful, and i think that happens because they’re my friends. It makes me think of the article Dylan posted: “Sometimes while I ride the subway I try to look at each person and imagine what they look like to someone who is totally in love with them.” I’ve been doing this on the bus, and it’s amazing and lovely (and fun) – and often the features i notice as not attractive are the same ones i think i would find intriguing and totally sexy if i were attracted to the person.
Then there’s size, which can’t really be avoided in discussing standards of beauty. But fuck that. I don’t have the energy to rehash all that “our culture is fucked up about this” stuff right now.
So i’m going to go personal, which is new and kind of uncomfortable. By general coincidence the last two girls i’ve had any sort of thing with (Jamie and Madam) are big. Also, both damn sexy (in near opposite ways, interestingly). Not because of or despite their size, just as well as.
Really, i hadn’t given this much thought ’till sometime last week. We were lying in bed, i was just kind of looking at her, she got all shy. Which i certainly understand, it always makes me self-conscious as hell (indeed, she’s taken to making fun of me about being so shy, which, you know, really helps). She said something about not being attractive because she’s fat, and it made me so incredibly sad, i just wanted to say “no! no no no,” and fix it (i don’t remember exactly what i did say, something related but perhaps more coherent). But. Some of it i think is not sexy. And i feel kind of terrible thinking that. Moreover, i feel terrible about agreeing with her because what she thinks about herself is more important that what i think, and i want to help her change her mind – be her affirmation, of sorts.
I realize the whole idea of having someone else buoy your ego is unpopular and has it’s definite problems; that you shouldn’t need some girl’s approval. But i’ve found personally that a) sometimes you just do, and b) sometimes if you’re given it, it sticks (what i really mean is that i have Jake to thank for the fact that i am comfortable in and confident about my body).
But none of that is the point. The point is that it doesn’t matter – it doesn’t matter at all if i think this or that thing isn’t sexy. I think she is sexy. And it’s her a whole i’m interested in.
Though sometimes i do dwell on the parts i find particularly hot.
“Moments In the Woods” – Into the Woods
*the picture is a new Threadless shirt that i think i’ll have to get sometime…i like it more each time i look at it.