Saturday, December 8, 2012

This post is mostly not about sex

Since the relapse of my eating disorder, and during my attempt to actually recover this time, I have been in a weird place where the idea of having sex really grosses me out. I'm sure it's temporary, but as I'm learning to reform my associations and emotions on such basic things as eating food, I'm also discovering that I need to reform my thoughts and tendencies as it relates to dating and sex as well. 

This revelation came about after a chastisement over handling an intimate relationship rather callously, even though I had never meant any harm and didn't even realize that I, or the relationship, was as important to the other person as to warrant said chastisement. I realized, after a conversation with this person, that I take a really fucked up approach to sex, and that this is because of how I feel about my body and the deserve level associated with it. And that that dysfunction is to blame for my recent celibacy. 

I'm fat. I know that, I can't do anything about it, and intellectually I know that beautiful and sexy are not antonyms to fat, and that the people attracted to me are attracted to all of me including my fat. This idea blows my freaking mind right now, because how is that fucking possible?! Of course, there are also people who feel the same way Mable* does about my physical attractiveness: that I am pretty, despite the fat. 

In the past, I've approached sex and relationships from this viewpoint. I've always thought that the people I would get involved with did so despite my fat, that it was my eyes or personality or whatever, and these relationships would never work out for one reason or another (I guessed fat), and it would devastate me. In the recent past I had a partner who, for some reason, always felt it necessary to clarify that he didn't want to be my "boyfriend" right when we were getting intimate. The last time it happened, it really bothered me, (actually it still bothers me right now), but I didn't say anything, because that's the level of respect and love I felt I was due from that thin, attractive person.

My modus operandi in the past has been to be really casual about sexual relationships, until they get serious and then just go off the fucking deep end. Once is fine, twice is fun, but more than that I never have the tools to handle because I don't think I'm worth the investment of a regular affair. And, apart from The Emperor, I've never had a long term relationship, let alone a serious one. Most of my experience in dating has fallen along the lines of the example mentioned in the previous paragraph, and I don't know how to deal with people who are attracted to all of me, including my fat, including my neuroses, rather than in spite of them because I can only accept myself in spite of them.

"But Rachel, you said you were gonna talk about sex." Yeah, I know I said that, but my thoughts on the subject aren't quite as formed as I'd like them to be. The point is, for so long I have been laboring under the idea that in order to be worthy of any kind of actual love and affection, I needed to be thin; that my relationship with The Emperor is a fluke, and that I can't have other relationships that are equally fulfilling because there's something wrong with me.

Turns out I've been wrong this whole time. I don't think realizing that is going to make my emotionally-imposed celibacy abate any faster, but if I'm smart, I'll work this realization into the rest of them and begin forming better relationships that don't leave my partners feeling like the missed something or that I don't care about them.

*I named my eating disorder, remember?

No comments: