Posts Tagged ‘body image’

Things Not To Do, A Personal List

07/09/2012 Leave a comment

I haven’t updated in a long time. Not because I haven’t been writing, but because I haven’t managed to finish anything. So instead of finishing a nice good post for this blog, please enjoy this list.

Things I learned not to do in relationships:

  • On the first mixed CD one makes a new partner (especially a female identified partner) don’t put Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls” on the mix. Yes, it might be a good song, but as new partners, people are less likely to know where their partners’ body image issues come up, and said partners are less likely to know when something isn’t filled with meaning.
  • People are not mind readers, if I want a person to know something, don’t keep thinking about it and getting upset that they don’t know anything about it.
  • People make mistakes, but repetitive mistakes are patterns, and don’t do patterns that are unhealthy. Like breaking up and getting back together over and over again.
  • Don’t cheat.
  • Don’t lie about cheating.
  • Don’t put up with a partner who abuses consent.
  • Don’t believe anyone who makes excuses about the abuse of consent.
  • Don’t be so careful around consent that nothing is ever initiated.
  • I learned to not talk the way I think. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t speak my mind, I’m saying that people think differently from each other, and myself, well I definitely think differently than a lot of people. I had to learn not to talk like I think, because the way I think makes absolutely no sense to anyone else. Mostly because I think in abstractions, more than three dimensions, and on the rare occasions it is in words, it is not in complete sentences.
  • Don’t forget to talk.
  • Don’t be afraid of labels.
  • Don’t be afraid of not having labels.
  • Don’t accept terrible sex. If I want my partner to do something different ASK for it.
  • Don’t assume worst intentions. This goes for everything from off-hand comments to serious conversations.
  • Don’t stay with someone who doesn’t care if they are triggering. Especially if they repeat this behavior after having told them that it is triggering.
  • Don’t judge their taste in movies, music, or books.
  • Don’t hesitate to kiss someone after dating them for over a month, let alone after six.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a move. And no, I’m not even referring to first moves here.
  • Don’t sugar coat personality traits. I’m a snarky ass individual. Many exes of mine found this out 1-3 months after the break up, instead of when we were getting to know each other. Not a good thing.
  • Don’t settle for something that’s completely unwanted. Example, don’t do monogamy when all I want is a poly relationship.
  • Don’t be a doormat.
  • Don’t let gender-slips slide.
  • Don’t let partners shame me for being in pain. Be it migraine, knees, or any other of my potential problems, no one has a right to make me feel like crap because of my health. Don’t put up with it.
  • Just because it’s hormonally based, doesn’t mean the emotion isn’t real. Don’t discount it, be it mine or a partner’s. Especially if I’ve managed to mess up my shots.
  • Don’t stay with someone who thinks I’m a psychopath.
  • If triggered and distant as a result, don’t forget to mention to a partner that something’s going on, even if it’s just to tell them that really, it isn’t their fault and I’m not about to break up with them.
  • Don’t try to make out while rolling r’s. It really is just a terrible plan.
  • Don’t bite down too hard. Don’t believe people when they claim they can take it if they haven’t had a bite from me before.
  • Don’t ignore my instincts. When my inner red flag bullshit alarms go off, they’re right. Listen to them dammit.
  • Don’t ignore friends saying “this is a terrible idea.” They’re right. They always are.
  • Don’t tell partners they’re being immature, no matter how true it is. Really, there just isn’t a way that word is going to be heard well.
  • Don’t put up with passive aggressive manipulation.
  • People have to be their own autonomous individuals (barring M/s type agreements.) So, if they say something is okay to do, believe them even if you doubt it. Even if that means the day after having a long conversation about how it wasn’t actually okay, even though they thought it was ahead of time, I have to treat people I date as emotionally responsible adults.
  • Don’t date people who aren’t emotionally responsible adults.
  • Don’t date people back to back for 5-6 months each on a continuing basis. No, really, not a good idea.
  • Don’t forget to laugh at the awkward, because there will always be awkward. And it’s damn funny.
  • Don’t date someone who can’t tell I have a sense of humor.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a baby dinosaur/puppy/dragon/cat/creature.
  • When making/buying or otherwise planning on giving a partner a gift for a holiday/birthday, don’t forget to actually give it to them. Preferably that year.

Not all of these I learned the hard way, but many of the ones that seem obvious or ridiculous are probably on the list because of experience.

Some of the things I’ve said may not apply to you… but I thought y’all could appreciate them anyways. And now maybe that I’ve broken my lack of blogging streak again, I’ll manage to finish one of the damned myriad of other entries I’ve started.

A Lack of Words

03/10/2011 1 comment

I came across a poem recently, “How to Make Love to a Trans Person” and holy shit I decided to blog.

Because here’s the thing, from the first lines I got stuck on something I realized very deeply last summer at Floating World, and have not been able to get my head around since. I am incredibly disassociated from words describing my body.

I’m doing good at not dissociating from my body in general. Considering that it was my specialty in high school, that for years the main reason I self-injured was to simply be present, not dissociating is damn impressive. Going on T got me to be able to be present in my body in whole new ways. There are still plenty of things I hate about my body, there are still plenty of things that aren’t mine, but as I wrote before that this is my body is a huge step. But there are few words surrounding my body that I feel connect to my body.

Mostly, it is that I don’t think in words. Very few things relate directly to words in my head. The more complex, the more intricate, the more emotionally difficult the thought process is the more likely I am to think outside words. Needless to say, thoughts about my body fall into all three categories. When they are thoughts about the societally gendered parts of my body, it becomes a tangled mess leaving my throat to close up.

Last year at Floating World, I went to a class on FtM cock and ball torture. Suddenly, I was mentally thrust into a world completely disconnected from my thought process– the language of queer bodies. I was unprepared for being unprepared because hell, I spend my of my time in queer spaces. In high school, I went to a queer youth group, a gender youth group, and ran my school’s GSA. In college, I got even more involved. By the time floating world hit, I was a queer sex blogger. Suddenly facing my complete lack of connection to the words other people with similar identities was really difficult for me. To them, the words dick and cock was their own. In my head, it was just as separate from me as clit.

There is only one word I have ever really connected with a gendered part of my body: chest. Not breasts, tits, boobs, or man-boobs, none of them have ever felt like they were actually describing me. Certain expartners of mine might find this surprising because I never corrected their use of that language. No reason why they should know when I never told them. Except whenever referring to myself, it’s just my chest.

Cock is a specific term in my head, and it usually refers to a delightful strapped-on cock with colors ranging from flesh tones to violet. Ideally, green, but green cocks are annoyingly hard to find. Dick, not something related to my body. Clit, a semi-useful term in that technically accurate and not actually connected to me sort of way. And for that reason one I’ve used in this blog more than a few times. Describing other people’s bodies is fine. Describing my own… there aren’t words in my head.

My body is on my mind more these days than it used to be. Particularly, my hesitance to show my body to others. While I have various groups of my friends that have been in more than one orgy (you know who you are) and while I’ve now been involved in some manner with the public kink scene for over a year, in the last year I’ve had a total of one person outside of a relationship see me naked. Two counting relationships (which is actually rather amusing considering my history.) Romping around in my binder and boxers at play parties is pushing my limits, and some parties I don’t even do that much.

One on one, I can deal. I can deal with my own body, the juxtaposition created from spending a decade with estrogen coursing through my veins, and a bit over a year on testosterone. I can not think about it, just think about whatever activity I am so inclined to do. One on one, I can deal. Getting my mind to adapt to one new person at a time being allowed to see my body…

I’ve never really had the opportunity to play with multiple people I’m with whom already comfortable. Adjusting to someone new is entertaining, and rather scary when that idea is multiplied from person to people. It was hard enough pre-T, when someone would first touch my hip and they’d stiffen. They didn’t have to say anything for me to know, they were readjusting how they thought of me. Guys don’t have hips like I do. I’ve seen many incarnations, from nervous hesitation, to afraid, to simple curiosity about what makes me most comfortable. One on one, I can engage with whatever reaction happens. Confusion, nervousness, attraction, amusement… if it’s just one other person, there isn’t a problem. I can have that conversation. I don’t know if I could manage it with two people, and definitely not without fear.

The one time someone tried to make up a new word I rather violently reacted in a negative manner. Admittedly, the discussion was humiliation play, so it wasn’t supposed to be something I liked. The problem was it would have been a total turn off if the person had ever actually used it in play. As in, if they had said it, I would have ended the scene there. No aftercare, complete seperation from whatever happened. They didn’t take my lack of interest in this very well, which was their perogative but had me rolling my eyes. My body is not someone else’s to name. I have granted no one that power over me, and thus any naming of my body, my parts, is entirely mine.

So, things are named without words for the moment. It works for me, and until there are words that suit the names, people can continue using words that don’t offend me. I just have to stop expecting a connection to any word that isn’t a name I’ve granted to that part myself.


1 Year In

02/03/2011 2 comments

One year in, and I’m amazed at the difference T has made. My wrists are still small, but my neck has grown into a size that makes nice shirts more easy to find. My facial structure has changed dramatically, and my legs are a whole lot hairier… well all of me is. I’m growing a decent amount of facial hair, even if it isn’t enough to grow anything fun, it’s still enough that I really do need to shave more than once a week. I revel in the newfound fuzziness of my chest, the furriness of my stomach, and the muscle definition in my legs. I’m ecstatic, and without regrets.

It’s also obvious that there is a long way to go.

I want to be able to be comfortable in my body. A year ago, there was a degree to which no matter how I phrased it out loud, this body was not mine. That is the main thing T did, my situation went from dealing with “this body” to dealing with “my body” in my own head. Except, it is still really uncomfortable.

Sure, there are some things I could do fairly easily to help myself be more comfortable. Lifting weights would probably be the first thing on that list. I’m always more comfortable when I’m stronger, when I’ve got more muscle. But that doesn’t change that when I look in the mirror, my eyes are immediately drawn to the shadow on my shirt showing that I have a chest. A shadow that is difficult to detect for anyone else, looks massive to me. Everyone else thinks I bind so well, enough that I’ve had people be surprised to find out I have not yet had top surgery (though anyone who has seen me with my shirt off would definitely notice.) I see breasts. I see between them, to my new chest hair and I smile a nice big smile. Then I look again at my chest, and so long smile. These are mine, in that they are attached to me, in that I can feel them, but they aren’t mine in that they don’t feel like they belong, they don’t feel like they have anything to do with me.

It isn’t surprising, my biggest body issue that I could easily put a finger on has long been my chest. Especially since senior year of high school when they just grew so much more.

Broader shoulders helps in some ways, but they still are there, still staring at me, and anyone else who sees me shirtless (or rarely, binderless.) Surgery is a thought for the future, not even something being planned yet, let alone something to count on. So, I work on figuring out how to be more comfortable in this body I’ve got. Part of me really wants to try to grow to be okay with my chest. The rest of me responds in a fashion of “Fuck no.” Or points out the irony that would be, seeing as way back when C and I were dating, when I first explicitly told her that I’d ideally prefer to switch name and pronouns (this was definitely not a high point in our relationship, on either of our parts) and she reacted poorly, but had suggested I get top surgery earlier in the conversation. Hopefully that sentence makes enough sense. I want to be able to be comfortable enough to do things like go to The Floating World next summer, and be shirtless in the dungeon. I’d love to go to CampOut and go swimming completely topless. The first, possible. The second, technically possible but highly improbable.

Yes, going on testosterone has done awesome things. The acne is even getting more manageable. But I’ve got so much more still to think on, to process, and to learn to tolerate about my body. In the meanwhile, I’ll go back to squee-ing over my rough cheeks.

No Really, I Haven’t Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth

11/08/2010 1 comment

S and I broke up. For a lot of reasons, I’m not going to go through the details on my blog. I’ll be writing of other things, but yeah that is a lot of why I haven’t written recently. There are a few things about it that I’ll write, or reference, but don’t expect too much.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting a mini skirt. I first voiced this out loud to some friends I was visiting over Halloween weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn one. But part of me really likes the idea, even though I usually hate wearing skirts of any kind, or shorts, because I hate my legs touching skin on skin.

T has been going. Acne is still a constant battle. The hardest part for me is remembering to stay hydrated. My skin always has broken out drastically less when I’m thoroughly hydrated, and when I actually get pretty dehydrated my acne gets a lot worse. So, I’m trying to remember to drink more water. My kidneys are probably thanking my skin for getting me to do this more.

My voice has leveled out. It doesn’t shock people every time I see them with how much deeper it has gotten, and I feel like even my grandmother has started to get used to the sound of my deeper voice. No more cracking (yay!) and it definitely passes. I like how I sound. I like that I haven’t changed speech patterns at all, just my vocal range has shifted downwards… but it also shrank. I have a lot less control over my tone of voice, which is to be expected seeing as I have little practice with my new range, but I also have a many fewer options of tone. I’m not just deeper, my range has actually shrunk which makes my range of expression different. I’m not intentionally more monotone, I just end up fading out a lot quicker.

Surprisingly, I really seem to like my newly coming in chest hair. Didn’t expect that. I was looking forward to darker and a lot more leg hair, and darkened arm hair. I’m still waiting for my facial hair to be something worth growing instead of just needing it shaved every few days. But chest hair? I mostly expected to feel neutral about it. Unexpectedly, I’m really liking it, and even looking forward to more. The genderfucker in me wants it darker and to wear my corset. Because honestly, I think it’d be damn hot.

I just started getting hungry again recently. After a few weeks of legitimately not being hungry and having to instill a pretty strict schedule to make sure I ate, I’m glad that it is back. It is strangely comforting, a sense of normalcy returning. Also, I just don’t like living that strictly to a schedule. I prefer being hungry all the time to messing up my schedule a bit and risk passing out from forgetting to eat.

I’ll be back to writing more often now.

Updates and Upgrades

09/27/2010 1 comment

Recent adventures have included my computer breaking. From my battery to my logic board (yes, computers have logic boards, and when they break the computer goes illogical) I have new parts and this is the most functional my computer has been since I got it almost three years ago. They also gave me a bunch of free upgrades in programs that I’d otherwise have to pay for, which was awesome.

Other adventures include tearing through novels like I haven’t since high school, and reading books on spirituality. No computer? I read. A lot.

And now it is back. So I’m back.

T is interesting. I’ve grown a lot. My feet jumped a size, or a size and a half. I’m a lot broader now, no longer so scrawny. As in, my shirt neck size went from 13 1/2 to 15 1/2, and my sleeve length got longer as well. On the upside, this means I fit into regular shirts now. My sideburns are starting to come in. I really do need to shave more than once a week now, though much of the time I’m still lazy and only do it about once a week.

Still endlessly hungry. Still have a kicked up sex drive. I’ve adjusted to the second, but the first is being a much larger problem than it should be.

But one of the most interesting changes for me throughout transition is that my reactions to pain has changed. The way I feel pain, when S bites me (or when my friend bites my arm and leaves a bruise for a few days) is completely different than before. Not just more or less, but an actual different sensation that is really hard to explain. Stingy pain hurts so much more, as well as very different. At the same time, despite the fact that I’m processing pain differently and needing to completely relearn my limits and thus am far more sensitive than I would be if I knew how things would feel, I’m still needing the pain just as much. But I also like causing pain. About two and a half years ago I realized that I couldn’t date someone who wouldn’t give me pain, and hooking up would be difficult. About a year ago, I realized I couldn’t date someone who couldn’t take pain, and hooking up would be even more difficult than the former. I like pain. Be it the bite marks on my arm, or the scratches on someone else’s back, pain is really important for me. Which makes being so unclear about my own reactions to pain really damn frustrating.

And not frustrating in the fun way either.

Eventually, I’ll figure out how things are working with my body.

Back With Thoughts On Compliments

08/07/2010 Leave a comment

I haven’t written in a week and a half, which is a long absence for me, and also missed two AwaAs. I’ve been good, but busy in my own way, and decided two things. One, I’m going to force myself to write in here regardless of level of busy, and two that I’m switching AwaA to every other week.

Life is a crazy thing. Lots of updates to come on things like my relationship with S, kinky thoughts, and of course, more on transition.

Because getting cat called and honked at by passing cars is not something I am particularly used to. I was walking down the street, to a free outdoor movie, and some guys in a passing car honked, waved, and shouted at me. Now, I was confused for a moment, looked behind me to see no one there. I figured they had to be waving at someone else. Or maybe they thought they knew me? Regardless, I returned to the phone conversation I was having. Then, walking back, I was eating falafel (mm, tasty) and some random guy I passed said “Hey, hoststuff.” Again, I looked around to see who he was talking to.

I eventually realized both times the people were talking/honking/waving at me. Which was really strange. I pass, so that meant they were doing that to someone they saw as a guy? Because for a second I wondered if I just didn’t pass, and then I looked down at myself… Even to my overly critical eye, (chest sticks out too much, god why are my hips so big, etc.) I knew I passed. And if I didn’t, then I certainly wasn’t the stereotype of a “girl” to be catcalled.

Because I’m used to people shouting shit like “Are you a boy or a girl?” or “What are you, harry potter freak?” (I used to look a lot like harry potter, at least, when my hair was shaggy, I had glasses, and I wore my trench coat.) I’m used to “Faggot” or “Dyke.” I’m used to insults, to assholes trying to shit on my one-person pride parade.

But “hotstuff” ?!

Part of me is flattered. I mean, sure it is always nice to know I still look good when I pass. Hell, gay guys finding me cute? Definitely a compliment. But shouting or saying stuff at me while I’m clearly tuning out the world, as in on my cell or eating a falafel wrap, is still being an asshole. My body is not yours to objectify, unless of course we’re in a scene and I’m in a mood to be an object and give my consent to such. But yeah, getting stuff shouted to me on from a car while I’m on my cell phone? Doesn’t matter that you see me as a guy not a girl, it’s still being an asshole. Why? Because you are interrupting me.

I’m all for compliments. I like giving them, and I’ve gotten better about taking them with grace. And know what? I’d actually be perfectly welcoming of someone walking up to me, and telling me honestly that they find me attractive. I mean hell, I met C when her friend walked up to me and said, “You see that girl over there? She’s been staring at you all night.” Another time someone said “I want your cute boy butt.” Neither of these times was I offended. The first left me stammering awkwardly and eventually engaging in a conversation with C. The second lead to a hookup that night. Forwardness is not a problem. Compliments are not a problem. The main difference? Situation.

Walking down the street while on my cell phone, I’m busy in another conversation. No, I have no interest in being hit on. While I’m walking down the street, eating falafel on my way home, I’m far more interested in food than any random person I passed who feels the need to make me feel like an object without my consent. It is situational, it is tone of voice, it is thinking before doing.

It is something I honestly didn’t expect to be dealing with again. Admittedly, the only time I dealt with it before was dressed up for Rocky in high school and running a few blocks from my car to the theater, and it was directed less at me than who I was with. Part of me assumed that with our cultural fucked-up-ness being very much cismen objectifying, I didn’t expect to be the objectified when I pass as a cisman.

Maybe that is its own form of internalized sexism. My mind is still so wrapped up in battling the internalized dialogue of “I’m a freak, who could ever want me,” that I’ve let something else slide.

Because it didn’t happen like I’ve watched it happen to my female-presenting friends. The guy just walked on, didn’t even turn around to watch me walk away eating my falafel. They just drove on after honking and waving and shouting. No follow up, no more harassment. And it mostly stuck out because it happened twice in one day. I was just wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. Nothing special. So part of me thinks I should just be grateful I look good.

But I know that isn’t right. Backhanded compliment of asshole-ness is not something I should be thankful for. Things I should be thankful for? Friends in the area who are awesome and invite me to stuff and thus make me be social. A really great and healthy relationship with S. Good phone calls with Q. Having my brother back safe from Israel. Somehow, being objectified without my consent just isn’t on that list.

Also, I am going to be on KinkOnTap tomorrow! Come join us in live at 8pm. There is a fabulous chatroom too, so it isn’t just listening, but interacting as well.

Current Pet Peeve of T

07/19/2010 Leave a comment

The first time through puberty I got incredibly lucky. I had great skin, from day one through the bitchy days of middle school and the angst-ridden days of high school. Acne was never a major problem, except sometimes on the backs of my arms. But my face? I rarely got zits. My back, never. So here is a demonic duck to express my frustration.

I knew that acne would come with T. I knew that, I had been told that, and naively thought because I got so lucky the first time through that it would be the same this time. S and C are probably shaking their heads, laughing at me, because even though I have been dealing the worst acne of my life, it isn’t that bad. I haven’t felt the need to go to the dermatologist, so long as I scrub my face a few times a day with acne wash, and every other day with a deeper exfoliant.

No, the pet peeve are zits just inside my nostril. They hurt. Moreover, I have pretty terrible allergies, and so every time I blow my nose, it hurts even more.

It drives me crazy. It annoys me endlessly, or at least until it goes away again. I know I’m lucky, I’ve never needed Accutane, and I still barely get break outs on my back. My arms have also been calm this time through, so that’s better than last time. I know I’m lucky but it is still driving me crazy. Because it isn’t angering, it is incredibly annoying, constant, and every time one goes away, within a week another one appears at my nostrils. Recurring, highly frustrating… yup, pet peeve of T.

Generally speaking, acne also makes shaving a pain in the ass. Or perhaps more accurately it is a pain in the face, as it makes cutting so much more likely. Shaving is difficult enough, but adding painful bumps I have to dodge just makes it worse. At least I have some whiskers to shave, right? Still…