Confidence is a clownish performance, usually. I’m not into it. I won’t make myself seem more confident, to change how people react to me sexually.
Confidence makes me think of doctors. I don’t want a confident doctor–I want a smart, skilled doctor who knows how to tell the truth, especially when the truth is “I don’t know.”
Disability means I’ve struggled with countless doctors, so that’s the example that comes to mind. But I can also think of a lawyer in a suit, a business person who is used to getting what he wants. A conman who tries to convince everyone that he’s cool and in control, so they’ll trust him.
I want room for more kinds of people than one extroverted, skilled kind of person who glides through the world easily. I love awkward.
how people react to me sexually
How people react to me sexually is varied. I’m not good at flirting–I’m more likely to be cautious and warm, when I want to have sex with someone, learning about how they really are and if it’s a good idea to get close to them. Then I tell them directly.
Relationship-wise, I’m a catch. Attentive, brilliant, generous in bed and outside of bed. Beautiful, kind, very creative. Brave–happy to try new things and walk a self-created path.
I know how to love. Vulnerability comes easily. I’m skilled at honesty and communication. If you can handle my fatness, disability, wordiness, and that I’m happily married, you may be in luck.
I was pretty, as a girl. Pictures of me as a teenager–how sweet I was, beautiful! And I believed I was ugly! The world taught me that, so I presented as that–awkward, too much, not valid, to be ignored. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Make-up has no appeal, for me. I hated clothes, clothes shopping, shoes, and other packaging. Back then, I wasn’t good at costuming at all.
I spent years wearing only clothes my mom bought me, what she happened to find on sale. I’d look down at my body and notice every single article of clothing I was wearing was bought by her. The sale racks she visited were not kind to me. And nothing was sexually revealing.
I was not a snappy dresser, had no self-assuredness, and was fat–few people were interested in me. Well, that’s not true. I was always partnered.
But people weren’t hitting on me all the time. My hot women friends were fending off flirtation all day. I didn’t believe myself to be hot, so no one else did.
getting a reaction
Then something changed a few years ago. I bought a few dresses I liked. Then my mom died. Now I have to buy clothes.
I started wearing tank tops, this summer. Before that, I’d been so body shamed and anxious, tank tops were too risque. My mom had instilled that modesty in me, trying to protect me.
I notice people treat me differently, based on what I’m wearing. Anthropologically, I’m curious about that. The result can be subtle, but I notice.
It reminds me how high heels are shoes, but are also symbolic–high heels say “look at me,” that a woman welcomes being lusted for. High heels are a symbol in porn–the woman is desirable and interested. The sluttiness of that, almost. High heels communicate: Your boner is welcome here.
When I wear a dress, show cleavage, anything lacy, wear my hair down–people treat me differently. An extra half-second of eye contact, a man holding open the door and saying, “After you.” I spark the imagination, in a small way. Maybe I signal that I’m inviting that.
My friend who’s often drunk–I don’t like to see him, when I’m wearing a particular yellow dress. He gets too excited. The dress seems to encourage him, like high heels could. And when it’s not covid, I’m one of the few women in his life who he gets to touch, and I do hug him.
For most of my life, I battled the idea that clothes and other packaging mattered. I completely believed–what counts is what’s on the inside, and investing in appearances is a waste. Loving someone is what makes them beautiful to me, not physical attributes or products. I expected other people to be like me.
I still mostly feel like that. But I understand more that I live in the real world, not the world I would prefer. In this world, appearances are almost everything. Many people are buying an image–the packaging is what’s desired.
I’m not going to learn how to do makeup, since that’s not fun for me, or attempt other high-effort methods of catching someone’s eye. My dance card is kinda full, and I only want to be with people who are more into an inner world.
But an extra half-second of eye contact thrills me. If the clothing that elicits that is comfortable, I might wear it, and see what that feels like.
I’m fat enough that someone will usually lose social status by getting into a relationship with me. When I was a teenager, a popular boy wanted to get together with me and called what he wanted a secret relationship. He wanted to fuck me while continuing to date the blonde tennis playing homecoming queen.
There are hierarchies of desirability, according to a vague social standard, and fat people have low ranking. Assumptions are made about me, my body, my health, how I spend my time, how I got fat, my inner strength. I’m assumed to be lazy and unintelligent.
I used to think that relationship and sex were about desire, how well we connect with our interests and values, chemistry, and an excited spark of joy, from our specialties coming together. It seemed spiritual and mysterious–it is!
But there are also mundane parts that I find creepy, like social status, money, how family will think of this person, do they look the part.
I had a friend who I loved and wanted to be close to and have sex with. Sometimes I felt his desire for me also. Touching him was such a pleasure. I wanted his hugs never to end.
When covid started here, and we were socially distanced from him, once I hugged my spouse in front of this friend. The friend’s eyes had a look of longing almost to the point of panic. He intensely wanted in on the physical contact.
So it confused me when he didn’t respond to my overtures. I could sense his desire for me–I wasn’t making it up. The mixed messages made no sense to me.
But at some point I was online and saw a picture of his wife. I was shocked. She was a ten out of ten, on the hotness scale. She had all aspects going, including thin but curvy body, clothes, makeup, and high heels.
“Wow–my friend could never love me,” was my gut response to the photo. I realized he enjoyed the social status that came with being married to this superhot lady. She was a golden ticket to get him into places he would never be able to go, otherwise, as a less astoundingly attractive white man.
I eventually came to know that this friend was into money and the pretend safety of being rich. So his wife’s cachet was something he really wanted, so he could feel safer.
Right–he could never love me, or it would be in a stealthy way, like the high school asshole. His deep insecurity plus faith in money were more important to him than sex or love.
I’m easily misunderstood, and many differences make me less legible. People misread me all the time, and if there are ten difficult things about me, most people can’t handle that, especially for the first few meetings.
For example, my values are not mainstream–I’m anarchist, queer, non-monogamous, don’t have kids, don’t own or drive a car, don’t have a paid job. But I look like a mainstream, possibly-conservative person, so my values are initially misread. I have sensory sensitivities that disable me, but that’s often assumed to be over-particular selfish hypersensitive me-being-a-butt.
People see I’m fat and assume I have a weight problem–that I struggle to lose weight. I’ve been given weight loss tips and encouragement by strangers, which I’m always confused by, or I respond with subtle anger that the person giving the advice is too dense to register.
I’m fat, to be sure. But I don’t have a weight problem, and I’m not trying to lose weight. I love myself as I am and have no problem with the fatness of my body, besides being mistreated by medical professionals, airplane seats and restaurant booths being too small, and other people’s emotional baggage–how they project their pain about their own body image issues onto me.
Most people assume I hate myself, as they know no other way–a fat person is required to hate herself into a smaller version of herself. I say no to all of that, emphatically.
How do people react to you, sexually? Are you easy to understand? Do you get what you want, sexually?
My spouse gives me much of what I want sexually, including respectfully encouraging my freedom to roam, in what I desire and value. I’m always learning about who I am, what other people are really like, and new ways I can fit in the world, as I change and the world changes.
Feels good, to stay in motion. I like change, in how people react to me sexually, and in all ways Thank you for doing what you need to do, to keep yourself enlivened.