– “Doctor…I don’t want him to see my belly scars—I undress quickly and plunge in bed.”
Sandra X. is an old acquaintance of this page already. She’s the brave lady that decided to set up a painter’s atelier in Miami’s Wynwood section and has a boyfriend who’s 20 years younger. However, she can’t help feeling a little ashamed of the small striate that she has in her belly after having had two children, a common anatomical hallmark that post-partum women carry in earnest. Even for a daring lady like herself, who has defied many social conventions, she cannot detach herself completely from the ridiculously perfect image of women’s bodies that social media promotes.
Women have a much more integrated, holistic vision of their own bodies than men usually do. They can scan themselves quickly in the mirror and soon detect “something that’s not quite right.” It could be the color of their hair, the size of one of their breasts, the symmetry of their thighs, etc. As a result, they will try to conceal that supposedly “weak aesthetic feature” and worry about it. The hurried pace of modern life and the oftentimes erratic choice of sexual partners will enable those ladies to avoid the necessary sexual foreplay altogether and jump straight into “the business.”
Institutes like the “Body Positive” in Berkeley, California, have been teaching women for years how to accept their own bodies, defects included, and develop a positive social attitude. We already discussed in our previous article called “The Fat Girl” how the social pressure to conform to a certain idealized, trimmed version of the feminine body, which is a relatively recent enslaving tool of the patriarchal society to keep women at bay, can seriously harm those that don’t conform to it. A cowered, uninformed and diminished individual is much easier to manipulate for a tyranny’s oppression. The upcoming new film based on Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” is a testimony to that resilient truth.
Dr, Walter Ghedin, a Buenos Aires psychiatrist specializing in Sexology and a dear friend, said: “all the body can be an object of internalized critique and camouflaging. When the malaise progresses, it is impossible to remain open and free to engage in a sexual encounter. The experience of undressing together (a practice that is generally being dropped due to the daily haste), of touching ourselves, of allowing us the time to discover our bodies, becomes a feared event that must be avoided, recruiting the bed sheets and the bedroom darkness as our allies in the conceit.” He claims that our attention becomes fixated “in that thing” and distracts us from enjoying sex. Our anticipated anxiety about our “defect” makes us second guess our partner’s thinking as we feel that he/she/sie shares our obsession and does not speak out in order to avoid hurting us more. Unfortunately avoiding this touchy subject can only prolong the agony for the concerned partner.
What do you want me to say? Even though I have been overweight for many years already, I never gave it too much thinking at the time of sexual arousal…We, men, are definitely less complicated.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.