I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about two things, shame and confidence. How they affect us, shape who we are, and direct our actions. How some people are crippled by shame or a lack of confidence, while others soar either because of or in spite of them.
I’ve always had a lot of body shame as a fat kid. I hate a lot of things about my body, mainly that it doesn’t fit into clothes like I want it to. I haven’t paid attention to it this past year, nor did I the year before that really. I plan on doing it this year, but saying that on December 31st seems like such a cliché that I’m going to stop saying it for now, lest I appear like one of those keener resolutioners instead of the lazy blogger who meant to write this post weeks ago.
The point I am trying to make here about my body is that it’s always affected how I go into interactions with new people. Instead of assuming that someone will like my body, I automatically assume that they won’t. My unspoken theory is that this will always bring me happiness and surprise should I find out that they do, but if I’m constantly painting myself with a negative brush than I’d have to date a LOT more new people if I’m relying solely on those surprises to erase the crap I’ve already painted.
Here are some things that I have learned about both shame and confidence;
- I can’t let my own feelings about my body stop me from enjoying myself with other people sexually. What a waste of so many beautiful moments that would be. Who am I to deny those that seem to enjoy my body and sexuality from experiencing them just because I cannot bear to get over myself?
- I have to trust myself that I’ve made GOOD choices in the people I put into my life. If one of those people decides to tell me something positive about myself, I cannot question it because doing so would suggest that I’ve made a bad choice by having them in my life and I deserve to think better of my actions than that.
Recently I connected with two new lovers, and one from my past, separately. I didn’t feel insecure going into any of these situations, which surprised me. Instead, I chose to take their messages of excitement and trust at face value because well, fuck, why would they say “Yes, you’re hot and I can’t wait to be nekkid with you.” (paraphrasing) if they didn’t actually want to? That would be pretty dumb, and I like to only hang out with smarties.
- I will be proud of my sexuality, whatever it is at the time, because it is mine. It’s the personal being that I have carved for myself and it is awesome. I make my own noises when I’m turned on or having an orgasm. I writhe and wriggle in my own ways. I have my own way to fuck, lick bits or talk dirty. I cannot be anyone else but myself and if someone wants to be with someone else, then they can go ahead and be with them instead.
Submission has undoubtedly made this one easier for me. When somebody tells you to do something that brings you outside of your comfort zone but you’re SO convinced that you have to do it, you are free. Even when I’m in the bedroom and not playing that role now, if someone asks me to do something when we’re being intimate, my brain reminds me again that if they didn’t want to see it, why would they ask for it? It’s almost more embarrassing to NOT do it.
Sure, I get it. Confidence and shame are not the simple beasts that I’m making them out to be. I’ve had complex relationships with the two of them my whole life that are somehow now becoming simple. For some people the idea of expressing themselves sexually leaves them frozen, whether it be from physical or emotional trauma in their past or other things. It’s not as though one can simply decide to move past shame or a lack of confidence, though we can try to make positive choices to love ourselves openly and honestly.
While I like to always think that my advice should be taken with a grain of salt, (unless you’re paying me to be your life coach, of course!), there are a few things that I believe with all my being and I want to share these with you now, in no particular order;
- No matter how much you put into your appearance, no matter how stunning or plain jane/joe you believe yourself to be, there will always be people out there who think you are the opposite, and that’s ok. Do you feel an attraction to everyone? No. Then stop thinking that you’ve failed because it works the same way for others. Make yourself feel good in a way that makes you happy, not for anyone else.
- You deserve to feel comfortable in whatever makes you feel comfortable. Meaning? If you like to have the lights off, embrace it. Maybe one day you’ll want to turn them on, and maybe you won’t. Instead of feeling shame about wanting to hide yourself, enjoy the anonymity of the darkness … or whatever it is you might get out of it. If you like the lights on? Flick that switch, honey!
Do you feel your best in sweat pants instead of going out clothes? The other way around? Then wear that because when you feel good, it shows on your face. And when that happiness shows on your face, it’s infectious.
- However you orgasm – or don’t – is a freaking beautiful thing. Whether you’re fast or slow, you grunt or squeal, it’s your body and it’s amazing. If everyone came the same way, life would be so boring. Some people have many orgasms, some take a long time for one and others have none. That’s just how we’re built, baby. Your vagina is perfect. Your cock is wonderful. Big, small, hairy, shaved, “classically shaped”, “abnormal”. It’s yours and it’s great.
- When you get turned on and your eyes roll back in your head, or you flail your arms around, or dig your nails into the bed or your partner’s back … it’s beautiful. Why? Because it’s what your body wants to do and that’s enough reason for it to be amazing.
- You deserve to feel good naked. You deserve to feel good clothed. You deserve privacy. You deserve love. You deserve the best touch you’ve ever felt. You deserve to not be touched if you don’t want to. You deserve to live confidently, without shame.
In 2013, I hope that you choose to love yourself with more ferocity than ever before and feel better about yourself than you ever have because you deserve to.