Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A mass of contradictions

One thing that probably contributed to me getting obese in the first place is the fact that I've never been comfortable with using my body to attract people.

I've written before about my asexuality, and how I think that has affected my outlook on life. While it didn't make me eat my own body weight in chocolate, it stopped me having the sort of concern for my appearance that might make me consider what I was doing to myself. Doing this has made me realise that I'm not particularly an emotional eater or a junk food addict. I just didn't care enough about myself to eat stuff that was good for me rather than stuff that was easy. I never liked eating rubbish more than I liked eating healthy food, I just liked the ease of popping a pizza in the oven or cracking open some chocolate and wine.

I've always struggled with one question. Why would I want to make myself attractive when I don't want to use that attractiveness to attract men? Isn't it easier to just hide away smothered with lard, avoiding any difficult issues and not having to confront my demons? Why would I want to make myself pretty when making myself pretty could put me in situations that I didn't want to, and couldn't handle.

Last December I sorted things out in my head to some extent. I finally realised that I could be attractive for me, and that I didn't need to be scared about explaining myself if the situation arose. But I still had the doubts to some extent. What was the purpose of being attractive if I didn't want to use it?

That's why I've always focussed a lot on my health and on my fitness. Being able to run 10k in less than an hour (which, just to remind you, if you didn't pop by last week, I can do) was far more important to me in many ways than the prospect of getting to a size 12 (which is getting closer, but isn't quite happening yet). I wanted to do this for me rather than for other people. Of course dress sizes would be a measure of my progress, but more so I could measure my health than to allow me to use that power.

But now, I look at the pictures I posted the other day, or I look in the mirror, and I realise that I'm far prettier than I ever thought I'd be. I'm no supermodel exactly, but I actually look quite nice. For the first time ever I'm not ashamed to use my photo as an avatar on message boards and the like.

And that's where this post is leading. Last night I went back to the asexuality website that kicked this whole process of realisation off. I changed my avatar to use my photo as I'm so proud of it, and I replied to a couple of posts.

And got a private message. Oh yes, the photo has power.

It may go nowhere, the guy lives in London. But I also know from the place he contacted me that should we meet and should things go anywhere the big issue is out in the open, and he probably wants what I want in a physical sense out of a relationship. Cuddles rather than sex. Companionship rather than animal passion. There's nothing to tell as yet. I don't know whether it's a fizzler or a goer, and I don't know whether we'd get on. There's more to getting on with someone than just having a similar lack of sex drive. But it's not something I'm going to leave untried just yet.

But it still leaves me feeling very contradictory. I don't want to use my photo or my looks to attract people, yet I like it when I do. This is somewhere I've never been before and it's all uncharted territory. It could be interesting anyway.


Blogger Special Lady said...

I don't think these ideas are contraditions but a confirmation that you are human, people evolve, and you are simply exploring everything that comes your way.

4:16 AM  
Blogger K said...

No, I don't think it's a contradiction either - we all contain multitudes. Not everyone wants the same things out of life; we don't want the same things at every stage of our lives.

Cuddles and companionship are more important than animal passion to (I am sure) more of us than you'd think - possibly even most of us. You don't have to have wild passion to have love.

Anyway - whether or not this guy in London turns out to be a friend, or nothing, or something else - best of luck, and I hope that you'll find a level of companionship you're comfortable with and makes you happy, when you're ready for it.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Robert W said...

You shouldn't feel guilty wanting to look better, but you are right about how looking better can complicate things because you are attracting people for the most superficial of reasons.

Congrats on your dieting success.

4:30 PM  

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