This post is part of the #bodyhonesttruth series, where women share honest and raw stories of their relationship to their body, sharing the things that we often keep hidden. You can read more about this project here.
Let’s call him Alejandro.
10 or so years ago, he and I worked at different campuses of the same massage school, both as student coordinators.
He and I would talk on the phone occasionally. I have vague memories of it being flirty and me being twitterpated. These details must be true because we ended up on a date at a restaurant in Berkeley. I’m not sure that he and I had ever really spent much time in person together because as I sat across from him, I couldn’t get my body to stop shaking. As in, I could barely speak without my voice shaking because every cell of my body was ignited and turned on. I do remember the waiter asking for my order and Alejandro ordered for me, I couldn’t compose coherent thoughts.
As my mind fast forwarded on how I could get him back to my house without being a total and completely forward slut, we managed to get through dinner (Venus on Shattuck- great restaurant, although difficult to know if it was the food or the turn on). We then drove to Tilden park because HELLO you can’t immediately admit that all you want to do is have crazy sex with this person you just met an hour ago. Soon after Tilden, my inability to contain the energy in my body had broken the meter and we end up at my house.
I don’t remember many more details except that we did have sex. He was behind me. This detail will be important in a minute.
I imagine that in true form with men in my 20’s, I didn’t hear back from him for weeks and I obsessed about it. I don’t remember exactly but it’s safe to assume, because the #insecurity struggle was REAL as a chubby, unable-to-control-her-appetite-and-turn-on 29 year old.
I had, just a few months prior to Alejandro, OM’d for the first time- orgasmic meditation- the 15 minute sexuality based practice that gets you out of your head and into the subtle physical sensation in the body.
So when he did finally call, drunk, late at night, I (THANK ALL THE GODS) had just enough of the power of OM running through my veins to not completely crumble in his words.
The conversation, like our dinner, was a live wire of electricity- awkward, clumsy and shooting sparks, even as he began to insult me.
“Your shoulders….I mean, well, your shoulders were like linebacker shoulders.” His words hit me like a slap in the face, but the energy of his turn on was so loud, I knew what he was saying wasn’t ACTUALLY the problem. It strangely was a slap that almost felt good because the potency of his energy overwhelmed the bullshit of his words.
Had he ACTUALLY been bothered by my linebacker shoulders, he wouldn’t be calling me late at night to tell me all the ways I was wrong.
The truth, transmitted through that live wire of electricity, was that he was really uncomfortable with BEING TURNED ON BY my linebacker shoulders and, in turn, my unruly, full body.
You see, Alejandro himself was just a little soft around the edges. My best guess is that he needed the woman he was with to make up for his own perceived shortcomings and indulgences. Not only did I not do that, I was a direct insult and reminder of all those extra tamales his momma fed him, all that appetite of HIS that he was not able to control.
Let me remind you at this juncture that in my 20’s I could have won an award for most insecure girl on the block. Living in downtown Oakland, that was saying something. And yet, the wisdom of my soul rose up in this moment.
I was able to laugh the slap of his linebacker comment off, I knew what I had felt with him. You can’t make that shit up. I knew he himself was insecure, you can always spot what you are a mile away. I also had the tiniest glimmer of what was possible through OM and knew my body was well suited for it.
I told him as much. “Nah”, he said, “you just need to lose some weight. Then you’d be SUPER hot.”
The conversation ended. I never saw him again and within a year stopped working at that school to devote myself to the about to be a runaway phenomenon of OM.
This isn’t just my story or my #bodyhonesttruth.
This is the story of every woman whose body dares to live outside the lines of narrow, thin and appropriate. The story of every woman with an appetite- for sex, food,life, who simply has no useful tools to keep that beast contained.
It is not an easy road to walk, as my mother reminded me in junior high, to intimidate all the boys that come along. As a 13(maybe 14?) year old, I asked why no boys were interested in me. “You could have a boyfriend but you…..intimidate them.”
Yeah, my mom said that. It wasn’t the first time I had heard something similar. I had been told for many years past to be nicer, more lady like, more polite, less dramatic, on and on and on. For the record, I do still love my mother.
But again, that’s not just my story. That’s the story of every girl who has ever wondered what was wrong with her and was told how she should and could be different and then Ta-Da!! She too could be a thin, sweet, perfectly blond and white fairy princess.
It didn’t work out for me so well. And likely, if you’re still reading, it’s because it hasn’t worked for you, either.
I’d so much rather be a woman who has lived her life to the peripheral edges, in a big body (now 30 pounds heavier than when I had linebacker shoulders!!) with a big personality, a bigger heart and a life she regrets not one ounce of. THAT is the #bodyhonesttruth