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I tried taking nude selfies today for the first time in… six years maybe?

Dick pics don’t count here. Those are easy. There’s a reason dick pics are what flood the dating and hookup sites, because they’re easy to take. But let’s face it, unless you have a really charismatic penis, they’re not all that fun to look at most of the time. (And really, what the hell qualifies as “charismatic” in this case?) At least in my case, though I would certainly be interested in the guy’s package, I want to see a lot more than that. I don’t need a six-pack, but I’d like to be able to see that he takes care of himself. I understand keeping your face hidden, but give me a glimpse of whether you have a beard or not, or any interesting tattoos. Unless yours is the cock of a true hero (whatever that means), I highly doubt a dick pic will allow you to stand out in the sea of schlongs that is the internet.

Put that on the burner, I’ll get back to it in a second.

Since my return from my lengthy hiatus, I have resumed regular conversation with a couple of people who were around from the beginning of this little endeavor. They frequently remind me why I like this community so much. And this morning, as I got out of bed and threw on my gym shorts, I was struck by a sudden urge to show them what I look like. Unusual for me, since my first impulse here is to remain hidden and maintain anonymity. But I feel remarkably comfortable and safe talking to them, so I figured, why not?

So, I busted out the smart phone and set to taking pictures. Here’s what I learned.

1) Touch screens are a real pain in the ass for taking selfies. Especially if your phone has a flip cover. Seriously, how the hell do kids do it?

2) I really need to buy a full length body mirror.

3) I really hate my body.

Now, back to my earlier point.

For a lot of guys, dick pics are a way to hide the unpleasant truths of their bodies that they would like to conceal from others–love handles, stretch marks, scars, excessive body hair, and what have you–while still showing off their masculinity. It’s terribly unfair, and I could spend hours waxing philosophic on body shaming and loving yourself exactly as you are, but I won’t do that here. Suffice to say that we, and by we I mean both men and women, have been conditioned to believe that we are naturally unattractive. I try to coach people on this all the time, Ashley and Tina most often because neither has a very positive self-image, but I admit that I am particularly guilty of hating my body. At 32, I am not the svelte young gazelle I used to be.

Sure, I’m still fit. I lift regularly, I eat a primarily whole-foods vegetarian diet bordering on vegan, and I’m quite active. But my six pack is long gone and has been since I got married because who the hell has the time to maintain a six-pack in grad school. The excessive traveling I did prior to my return here caused me to gain between 5 and 10 pounds, which is now stubbornly sitting right below my navel and above my hips. A recent surgery has left me temporarily without hair while the wound heals, and the bald pate doesn’t jive with my beard. I have scarring in sensitive places. And to top it off, the winter was long and hard, so I am a much lighter shade of Caucasian than I would like to be, which makes stretch marks more noticeable. My body has been through a lot over the years, and I feel like it shows, and not in a good way.

I told you before, I only seem confident and put-together. Deep down, I am an absolute wreck.

So, I took about ten pictures. Only three of them are anything close to good. But I can’t bring myself to send them along because dear lord, I wouldn’t fuck me. I am surprised at my inability to take my own advice. I know that the flaws I see are incredibly superficial. Ashley insists I see them only because I know what I’m looking for, and Tina’s reaction to my appearance is always one of envy (“I wish I looked that fit.”). But I just don’t see it.

I would say that we need to be less concerned about what our bodies look like, and more concerned with what we can do with them. But that would be disingenuous of me. I’m a vain human being, and I want to look my best, not just for my wife and lover, and the few people I want to reveal myself to, but for myself. And I’m just not there anymore. I look at my body in the pictures, gym shorts pulled low, shirtless, tattoos showing, and I think, at one point, I looked a lot better than that.

I should really work on that.

Think I’ll hit the gym early.

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8 Comments

  1. On body positivity: I think it’s become an accepted part of the human experience. The vast majority of us hate our bodies, especially when we’re naked. I worry all the time about scars, about how pale I am, if the bloody slopes of my shoulders are feminine enough, if my beasts are shapely enough, If my eyebrows aren’t too bushy, etc.

    I do yoga every morning and have recently taken up kickboxing on top of a gym regimen to erase the weight I’ve gained in the last three years of my life (horrendous hours at work, school, boyfriend who didn’t touch me and in fact made me feel very unwanted). I moan and bitch all the time on my blog about how I miss my dancer’s body. I’m trying to accept that bodies change as we grow older. I try to accept the things I love about my body. I have tattoos now and I love those. I still have strong legs and I love those. After trying to strip the red out of my hair as a child, I love it now too.

    Our lovers can help, and do try to help, but unfortunately that feeling of gratification and self worth has to come from inside.

    On taking nude selfies: first tip.from me to you… if you have a smart phone, you might be able to voice command the picture. If I say “snap” mine takes a picture, so I don’t have to fidget for the button. I’ve never met someone who takes a perfect first, second, or third photo, so don’t worry about taking tons and deleting. Angles and light are your best friends if you’re feeling really self conscious.

    Xoxo

    • Oh Fatal. Sounds like we’re two peas in one neurotic pod. No matter how positive I try to be about my appearance, or how many compliments and extremely positive reactions I receive from lovers, all I see is someone who used to be a competitive kickboxer and who now just looks like a mildly active average person. It drives me absolutely crazy.

      …but I am rather proud of my man-parts.

      As for how to take selfies, however creative I may be, photography has never been one of my strengths. I don’t know the first thing about how to use lighting and angles to my advantage.

    • I feel like Hyacinth should do a “how to take a nude selfie” workshop for us sex bloggers or something.

      • Actually, I believe she might have made that post. Possibly. Because a lot of people were asking.

      • Yeah I remember seeing that. But I’m a poor student. 😉

      • Sounds like you need a bit of extra instruction 😛

      • I prefer hands-on tutorials with a practiced instructor and a good set of classmates. 😉

      • Colour me unsurprised 😉


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