See what I did there? I’m a word-girl genius? OK, maybe not but I bet that little word got your attention.
I was inspired to write about the subject of s-e-x and self esteem, as I’m getting super-excited about the fact Viva Voluptuous is a step closer to being unleashed on the world this week.
The story starts with the heroine being unceremoniously dumped by someone she wasn’t even sure fancied her in the first place, but she was nuts about. Yup, I know, we’ve all been there – who hasn’t rocked the Chardonnay and streaked mascara look over a dumb man? But I started off wanting to explore how being physically rejected, on top of the relentless “Fat women are disgusting and unattractive” shit we get from the media could affect someone who wasn’t the ideal body shape.
My heroine, Ellie, is feisty, and deals with feeling totally crap about herself in her own inimitable way (you’ll find out what happens when you read the book) but I hope I’ve kept it real and it makes people think. And laugh, obviously. I’ve tried not to make her the stereotype ditz, but she does have her moments. And of course, she’s not perfect, so she goes looking for a balm for her bruised ego in all the wrong places…but that’s as much as you’re getting…
I’ve dealt with similar lurve and sex situations more than once in the last five years, and in my experience, it doesn’t matter how body-confident I thought I was, when I was rejected by someone that way, I blamed the fact I was fat.
It’s a bit of a minefield, doing the dating thing as a big girl. I love men, some of my best mates in the whole world are boys, and I credit them for generally being lovely and great at removing large spiders, helping me move house and putting furniture together for me when I was a single-girl. But girlfriend, some men on dating sites are icky, take it from me.
If all you want is sex, it doesn’t matter if you’re fat at all. There are plenty of men out there who will line up to oblige. Some of them think they’re onto a winner because you’ll be desperate and needy (sod off) and some genuinely only fancy fat women, and want to have sex with as many as possible, which is fine, I guess. I dunno. I always felt a bit weird if I thought someone ONLY fancied fat women because to me it’s just the same as ONLY fancying skinny women, or only going out with women who look a certain way or have fake boobs, it’s reducing a woman to a mere body shape and I’ve always felt uneasy about that. But I guess some people just have a ‘type’. I just wanted to be liked for ‘me’ and not my heaving cleavage.
Whenever I’ve been rejected in the past, I would get all heartbroken and tell myself I needed to go on a diet because I wasn’t the ideal shape. It was like a default setting and it didn’t matter how hard I tried, or how many books I read, I still felt crappy. Fat and crappy. The first time it happened after I started dating again, I’d had six months of friends, male and female, and my Mum, building me back up from post-marriage break-up hell, and I was feeling the most confident I’d felt in YEARS. But when the first attempt at a boyfriend I’d had since I was 25 ended in Chardonnay, chocolate and streaked mascara, it didn’t matter who told me I was great and lovely and amazing, I still blamed being fat. He didn’t fancy me, and it was because I was fat. *sigh* Of course it was more complicated than that, but it just hit a nerve.
I was a dating newbie at the time and just needed to toughen the hell up. Over the years I was dating (on and off, sometimes I really couldn’t be bothered because the whole thing was a monumental pain in the ass) I met some nice guys that I just didn’t click with, some douche bags I don’t even want to talk about, and even had a bit of a fling with a toy boy. But I did come to realise that when it comes to sex and dating, you don’t have to be skinny to attract a man. It’s a myth. For every eejit that insulted me by asking “so are you really big then?” there was a genuinely nice guy who just wanted to go on a date with a woman and see what happened.
Then, of course, I met my fiancé, who couldn’t give a stuff about my size, and tells me all the time that I’m beautiful. What’s not to love about that? I remember not long after I moved in with him, I was tidying up and came across a skirt that had belonged to his ex. It was a size six. The woman was TINY. Just for a moment I felt a bit insecure…but it didn’t last long.
My dating journey taught me that some men only fancy skinny women, some men only fancy fat women and some love both. So when it comes to sex, dating and body image, the best way to be is just confident in who you are. And wear fabulous underwear…