fun

Sometimes my partner compliments me by saying “you look good.” Sometimes it’s “you smell good” or “you feel good” or even “you taste good.”

And when I’m feeling playful, I may respond — with a twinkle in my eye and a half-smile — “I am good.” It’s easy to say because (even if this isn’t what he means) I feel like I’m a good person.

Occasionally he says “you look fun,” meaning that I look sensual and sexual and that I would be fun in bed.

This one tends to give me pause. I’m still not quite used to thinking about myself in that way.

And yet when he said this the other day, for the first time I immediately replied “I am fun.” Then I stopped for a moment to think about what I’d said.

You know what? I think I believe it now.

I am fun.

Dark Ages 13: Eventually Ed (again)

[“Dark Ages” is a series wherein I reconsider memories of boyfriends past through the lens of new knowledge and hope to make it worth my while (and not just a depressing trudge down memory lane) by learning something new about myself.]

 

I was spending part of the summer studying in another city. I met a second cousin and his family for the first time, and stayed at their place (and did my laundry) on weekends. There were two daughters, their ages flanking mine by a year on each side. I got on better with the younger one, and I hung out with her and her friends. One of them (Arcturus) and I argued rather a lot, which the group decided was a sign that the two of us were meant for each other.

Late one Saturday night, after we’d been out dancing and drinking, the others decided to make it happen, and in my groggy state I found myself agreeing to stay over with him. We swung past my cousin’s house to pick up my overnight stuff and then they dropped us off at Arcturus’ place. But I wasn’t and never had been interested in him; I’d agreed to the arrangement because I was too tired to think straight and speak my mind, which would have amounted to turning him down publicly. So I got into Arcturus’ bed, turned my back, and tried to get some sleep. Not the most restful night I’ve ever had, although it was spent absolutely chastely, without so much as a kiss. If he was surprised or disappointed, I never knew.

Ed and I had kept in touch through the summer and had a courtship of sorts, involving letters, phone calls, photo-booth photos and a mix-tape. We arranged that I would go visit him for a few days at the end of August, staying with him and his mom. I would fly there and, to save money, catch a ride home with some friends of mine. I was excited.

But when I arrived, I got a chilly reception, and it wasn’t just that the weather was unseasonably cold. When we spent time together he was withdrawn, and instead of conducting a torrid affair or (more likely, given our ages) dating somewhat awkwardly, I felt like I was there to visit his roommate who had forgotten about the arrangements and had gone on holidays without letting me know, and so he was stuck entertaining me. Eventually he confessed that, before I had come out (but, I suspect, after the plane ticket had been bought), he had already decided that he didn’t want a long-distance relationship.

So, rejection. And I was stuck in inhospitable territory for a few days until my friends could rescue me. Awkward, and painful.

why I post photos of myself

When I first started posting photos, I couldn’t really explain why I chose to do so except at a superficial level. I had an example in Hyacinth’s blog (the first sex blog I followed), and in particular the Boobday posts, in which other people submit their sexy (though not always bare) photos. Although I gave the matter a lot of thought, it wasn’t a particularly analytical process, which for me is unusual. I really didn’t know why I wanted to, just that I did. So I went ahead and started posting. It felt right and still does.

Now that I’ve been posting for a while, I have a little more insight into my motivations.

My body image has been somewhat out of sync with reality, and I definitely had self-esteem issues when I was younger, not all of which are completely healed. I tend to look for flaws in the mirror — but it seems that I look for beauty through the lens. And when I look for it, I start to find it. Without my ever having set about it deliberately, photography has become an exercise in mindfulness and gratitude for my body.

When I post the photos to my blog, I start to get a little bit of distance and see them more objectively. It’s even better when people comment, because they often draw my attention to things I didn’t notice or think of. I really enjoy getting those different perspectives.

I like to create and share beautiful images. I’ve always had an artistic eye but I’ve never had an outlet that I found so satisfying. I like line and form, proportion and balance, negative space. I like value contrast but not color contrast — I prefer black and white, and when working with color, I like an almost monochrome palette.

I’m also enjoying photography as a way of exploring my sensuality — on both sides of the camera.

Of course, it’s a bit of an ego stroke if someone finds me attractive. This, in conjunction with an internally motivated improvement of my opinion regarding my looks, which in turn is reinforced by my partner’s compliments, all act together with the result that I now actually feel sexy. I’ve never really felt that before — I never allowed myself to because of my (now defused) fear of sex. I feel like I’m now fully inhabiting my body in a way that I never have before.

Yet all of these things are things that I figured out after posting photos for the better part of 6 months. So what was the original motivation?

Simply that I wanted to, I think, and nothing more complex than that. But my understanding of that notion has deepened.

In an earlier draft of this post (which I’ve been trying to write for months), I wrote “I’m not an exhibitionist, but…” But then it was pointed out to me that posting the photos is a kind of exhibitionism. This simply hadn’t occurred to me; I didn’t identify with the term, which is sometimes defined as “a person who behaves in an extravagant way in order to attract attention.”  As a sensitive introvert, behaving extravagantly for attention is the polar opposite of how I behave. It can also be defined as public or semi-public exposure, and while I’m sharing the photos publicly, I’m taking them privately: I don’t want people’s eyes on me. I just wanted to put a few photos out there.

So, hi all. I’m Zoë and, I suppose, I’m a reclusive exhibitionist.

e[lust] #71

The Shingle Beach
Photo courtesy of The Shingle Beach

Welcome to Elust #71

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #72? Start with the rules, come back July 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Backyard Glory
Bra Wars
Versions of Ourselves

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Disabled characters: who do I write them for?
How Can You Think About Sex Right Now?

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Three

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

How We Started Swinging: Part 2
Notes to my younger self
I am what I am
O-O-O-OMG
Sometimes Submission Requires Standing Up
Tribe
I know how to fix a texting mistake.
Change Is A Four Letter Word
Zero to Sex Pot in 150 minutes
condoms

Erotic Non-Fiction

23 Minutes Of Play
Services Rendered
Depravity’s Communication
Sinful Sunday: The Reveal

Erotic Fiction

No Panties
A Woman’s Experience of Lust
Wicked Wednesday: Three
An Uncommon Case
Misused Petals
(portrait of) desire
Her Turn
A Day At The Beach

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Am I Jaded?
Fury Road’s Furiosa and femdom
Sub power, Domly Vulnerability
In Person I Found You Very Innocent…..
Still A Cherry Tree

Poetry

Catching Up: A Happy Horny Haiku
What You See

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Hey, Feminism? Your ugly is showing.
The Bigger Picture
Naive College Virgin Reads Penthouse Letters
Squirting is Not a Science
Missing “Story of O” scene discovered!

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