Awesome! I'm Never Taking My Clothes Off Again!

MeJane said...

I have a question for the women who are overweight, but don't want to date someone who likes "big girls"--isn't it difficult to relax and enjoy sex with them, knowing that they don't like your kind of body? Personally, I know that I would feel totally self-conscious in that scenario and would probably be unable to get into it. How does that work? Are you able to turn off those issues during sex? Does it detract from the experience for you?

11:02 AM, April 10, 2006

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hello, and welcome to "We Have Issues," Volume 3.

so i was thinking over the weekend about something, sort of like what i was talking about below.
what do you want your partner's exes to look like?

do you want your partner's exes to be really pretty? how pretty? thin? how thin? ugly? how ugly?

(and i know there are LOTS of women out there who don't even want to KNOW what the exes look like. to that i say: good for them. pass me another photo album, please.)

it's an interesting question to me, and it's one to which i have no good answer. i mean, mostly i want the exes to be beautiful and thin and attractive, because i want to be thought of that way. you know, that i can hold my own among such a group.

on the other hand, how beautiful is too beautiful?

for example, i learned that one of my exes had dated (and been serious about/with) a few strippers. including one who is a modern-day pin-up girl.

at first, i was sort of like, "Wow! That's...that's kind of awesome! Those women are hot and he is attracted to me? I must be hot like that, too."

and then two seconds later i was like, "Wow! His last few girlfriends were SO HOT that people PAID MONEY to see their bodies. That's great for him. I am never taking my clothes off in his presence."

right. well, those were my knee-jerk reactions. i eventually settled somewhere in between. so to address MeJane's questions...
  • i think that sex and liking my body/being naked are two different things for me. i never got over thinking that the ex (above) would have preferred looking at a better body. i always wondered if, when i was naked and perhaps in compromising positions*, he was thinking negative thoughts about what he was seeing. i wonder that with every partner, though.

  • perhaps oddly, this does not stop me from getting naked. a lot. i hate wearing clothes,* frankly.

  • somehow, from somewhere, my sexual self-confidence wins out. see, i would never have sex with a man who didn't seem 100%, completely into having sex with me. there are probably guys who would consider having sex with me "settling" just to "get some" but i do not, as a rule, date those men. the guys i choose to be with demonstrate that they want me -- in fact, they leave no room for doubt. (if there is room for doubt, i do not engage. my insecurities are what they are.)

  • plus i know, KNOW some things about sex*:

    men enjoy sex with women who enjoy sex. the more i enjoy myself, the better the experience will be for both of us. men want to feel attractive, too. no one wants to be with a partner who behaves as though what's happening is wrong, bad, un-fun, or uncomfortable. if i were to hide myself or seem ashamed, the entire experience would be diminished. i do NOT want to be with someone who seems uncomfortable being with me, being seen by me, being touched by me -- i would feel rejected. i assume the same of my partner.
so i guess what i'm really saying is, yes. for the most part (there are always, always exceptions), i am able to turn off those issues during sex.

WHY? WHY does he find me attractive? i don't know! from a purely physical standpoint, i have no idea. WHY is he SO interested in having sex with me? i'm really not sure. could be lots of things that have nothing to do with what i look like, maybe.

but for some reason, when it comes to sex, if he says he wants me, and demonstrates that he wants me, who am i to argue? i have no reason not to believe him. i mean, he's not lying to me. so what if i don't understand?

we can worry about my body issues in the morning.

*dear family: i swear, i am making this up.


  1. "somehow, from somewhere, my sexual self-confidence wins out." It’s so refreshing to hear a woman say this. I for one think it’s ridiculous for women over a certain size to be considered sexually unattractive to everyone, it's just not the case. It’s one of those finer pleasures in life that everyone should be able to enjoy.

  2. k - you have been asking some really difficult questions these past couple of days. This one (from mejane) is really hitting home, however.

    Your answer to this one is so refreshing and well thought-out. You can't possibly be as self-concious as you say you are! :) (good for you!)

    my current boyfriend has an ex somewhere in his past that was a stripper. when i found out, i was immediately uncomfortable about it. I figured if he had been with her, why the hell would he want me?

    Turns out she was out of her mind.

    Mental stability? Apparently very sexy.

  3. my sister used to work for Nordstrom, in the bra and panty department. As happens when you work retail, she managed to amass quite a collection of underthingies. I made fun of the amount of money she spend on panties and she explained that she didn't feel comfortable getting undressed for sex with her fiance unless she was wearing a new sexy get-up.
    I was totally floored, my sister is 5'10" and weighs about 127 pounds, she is the epitome of what our society considers attractive, and yet, without new and "sexy" undergarments, she is uncomfortable being seen undressing.
    I think that being nervous about seen naked is not the exclusive territory of the overweight.
    I think the weirder thing for me is knowing that my partner can see my body from an angle I can't. Which leads to some curiosity about what they see.

  4. I want my s/o's exes to be much less attractive than me. I want to feel like the hottest thing they've ever had their hands on, and they're lucky to have me.

    Gots my own issues, really.

  5. I want my s/o's exes to be much less attractive than me. I want to feel like the hottest thing they've ever had their hands on, and they're lucky to have me.

    omg. whinger, thank you!! you have just explained to me WHY so many unattractive men end up with hot women!!! (i mean, assuming the unattractive man is not also rich or does not have a fantabulous personality.)

    it's the woman's insecurity!

    yay! i mean, not "yay" for women's insecurity, but yay for finally understanding this phenomenon.

  6. Love it. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  7. Oh God. I have so many of these same issues. I hate them.

  8. Kudos to all of you for your honesty. It's makes me sad, though, that so many women spend so much time comparing themselves to other women. We can be our own worst enemies. Worrying about exes is a waste of time and energy - and can lead to allowing the past to get in the way of the present. That, in turn, can eat away at self-esteem and ruin a relationship. It's bad enough when others make the inevitable comparisons. We certainly don't need to voluntarily lead the charge.

  9. and, I"ve loved you forever!

  10. wait! the anon above, is not the anon above him, I am the anon above, and I"ve
    loved you forever, because you are Kristy! and you know who Eliot is, and you sometime have crunchy boobs and you are one hott mama!
    Just sayin'...
    (and If I ever have sex again, with a person, i want it to be with you!)

  11. I have all the same questions you have asked, and many of the same issues. I cant possibly imagine him being attracted to me as much as he lets on to be. yet its been over 3 years and even though i have gradually gained even more weight (not much, but enough) our sex life and relationship keeps getting better and better.

    I have come to the conclusion that my boyfriend is partially insane. or i may have actually found one of those rare men who like curvy women and good personalities better than tight asses and busty chests. i'll take it either way.

  12. not to sound like a total ass kisser, but K, thank you for what you've written... and thanks to all the commenters on this post and the last one.

    i struggle with all of these issues all the time. and reading everyone else's thoughts -- and especially ish's comment on your last post -- has really been both heartening and heartbreaking.

  13. Just wanted to add this: I've been much more comfortable with my own body since I started having sex with women, because I've come to realize that skinny women are actually not that attractive to me! Sure, they look good in clothes-- but I don't want to have sex with them. They're just not luscious. So when I realized that I wouldn't want to have sex with the kind of woman that I'd always thought I should look like, it was kind of liberating. I finally accepted my oversized ass as something that might actually be a postive feature, instead of something to hide.

  14. K-- long time reader, first time caller. These last three posts have been wonderful to read, and remind me why I keep coming back here. No, I don't feel comfortable naked, yes, I have problems feeling "sexy" and relaxing into loving my partner, and I'm NOT terribly overweight. At all.
    I also had a crazy chain of emotions when I saw an ex's girlfriend: she was uuuuugly. (listen, I try to be as kind as possible, but....somehow when it comes to exes, ethics go out the window) First I was like "sweet! he moved down the ladder on her!" and then I was like "OH MY GOD -- he dates UGLY girls and therefore: I AM UGLY."
    What a load of crap. I think confidence is sexier than any bustline, waistline, thigh size....but its quite a leap from WANTING to believe that ---- to putting it into practice.

  15. How much of this has to do with bi sexuality??

  16. Are you saying that a woman can be sexually uninhibited with a man that finds her attractive on so many levels other than just her body type/looks and that the complete package is what makes her so desireable?

    Surely you jest. Or maybe you are in France.

    Love your site and have thoroughly enjoyed reading my own issues all written out good and stuff.

  17. Come to Sunny Prestatyn’ by Philip Larkin... All the English majors will remember this one... She was to good for this life... maybe the brutes who ruined her were both male and female, afterall. (vs male only, media, porn).

  18. When I first saw one of my husband's exes, I had that thought, 'ooh, I am so much cuter than she is' and then when I saw another, um, she was beautiful. After looking at several exes and myself, I have found one thing in common.... big boobs. I don't think he looked up too much past the boob line. Thanks for taking the crazy voices out of my head and making them so eloquent!

  19. This has been an interesting conversation, all these issues about body and weight and sex and so on. Personally, I can't believe, from her pictures, that you see yourself as a "fat chick." I can understand on some level not wanting to be with a guy who is "into fat chicks," because essentially that's a question of letting yourself be fetishized. I can also understand how, in our culture, anyone who prefer women to be heavy would be thought of as a fetishist. But you're really NOT that heavy. You're pretty normal. And from what I can tell, pretty, period.

    I had some rather serious body issues that started to go away when I started doing a lot of figure drawing. I saw all sorts of bodies, heavy and thin, hairy and smooth, male and female. And, no, I won't say, as some people do, that I found them all beautiful in their own way. But I did find that I started judging by a different, broader criteria of beauty - a lovely curve, a grceful gesture, handsome proportions. And, yes, on the whole, heavier women were more beautiful naked. I did draw some people who were severely obese, and that was rather a different issue - the forms had become misshapen and the beauty was lost. But what you would call a "fat chick," what many would consider to be plump or heavy or whatever term you want to use - those women made the best models. (There were some fantastic skinny models as well, of course.) I decided to reinforce the lesson I was learning by making a collage in my bathroom of great nudes, and I'll tell you, the Western art canon is full of full-figured gals.

  20. You go girl! what a great post. Whinger mentioned it so I thought I'd pop over.

    You hit the nail on the head about men's enjoyment of sex. sure, everyone would ideally love to be in the sack with a physically perfect person but honestly, someone who is warm, enthusiastic and funny is the very best, regardless of their looks. Confidence, humour, and, may I say again, enthusiasm, are very, very sexy.

    People look so much better with no clothes and a gleam in their eye.


  21. Sex? What is that? I mean, I sort of remember it. Yup. I mean, Hi! I want to have issues about sex! I could do that! Sign me up! For the sex part. Ya'll know.


  22. I think something women forget is that men have their own slew of issues that rear up when they get naked; most of the time, while you're thinking "Oh, god, he just ran his hand over a particularly cringe-inducing area," he's thinking, "My pecs look small." And then, after that he's mostly thinking, "Naaaaaaked girl.... girl....naaaaked.... booobs..." and isn't thinking at all about your cellulite.

    Something I find myself doing is that, while forgiving a lot of physical imperfections in THEM, I don't seem to expect them to do the same with me. I seem to think someone is going to not have sex with me based on my chubby thighs even though I'm forgiving THEIR chubby thighs (or whatever their version of chubby thighs is).

    A person doesn't have to be perfect to be attractive... recently, I've been sleeping with someone who is, by all stereotypical standards, pretty perfect (he's a personal trainer). The first time we went out, I joked that I would never let him see my thighs and he said, "Oh christ- Look, let me be totally upfront... I like big breasts and I like a good butt on a woman. You have both of those things. Sometimes they come with chubby thighs, sometimes they don't, but baby- that is NOT what I am looking at. Just because I'm all muscley doesn't mean that's what I'm looking for in a girl, damn." And he went on to talk about my sparkling personality as well. So, he wins.

    I'm rambling. Anyway.


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