It took me a while, but I finally figured out that I didn’t want a “They Do Wonderful Things with Thighs These Days” kind of love anymore.
It all started when we were on the phone one day and he said, “How would you feel about getting your breasts lifted?”
“I’m sorry, what?”
He thought it wouldn’t be much of a “procedure” and that maybe I would consider it.
“It’ll make you look younger.”
Looking back on it, why did I respond the way I did? I mean, I hadn’t known this guy all that long. Why did I even actually continue talking to him.
What could I have been thinking?
Okay. Maybe I wasn’t thinking. “Give yourself a break honey, you were lonely.”
How could I “explain” to him exactly what all was wrong with his request. Where would I begin?
How about with something like, “Uh, these are “my” breasts, not “yours” to make any suggestion to me about whatsoever.
Or how about, “I appreciate that you might want my breasts to “look younger,” but I don’t consider having “younger looking breasts” to be a particular goal of my own.”
Or how about, “You know what? Goodbye.”
Of course, by my not saying any of that or much of anything at all, what I did was allow him to think that I didn’t mind his little “suggestion” about such a little “procedure” and he took my silence to mean he could make others.
Such as, “Have you ever thought about having red hair?”
Or, “You know they do wonderful things with thighs these days?”
I was in bed with the man I’m married to now. The lights were dimmed, we were cuddling and he was petting me and holding me close to him.
“I’m so glad we’re the same age,” he said.
“Oh, my god, say that again,” I thought. His words were actually music to my ears. I wanted to hear more.
“What do you mean you’re glad we’re the same age?”
“I love holding your body,” he went on. “I love holding all that it has been and all that it is now.”
He loved how soft I was. He loved my pendulous breasts. He loved my skin. He loved that I “bubbled out” in places.
“I particularly like that you bubble out,” he said, grabbing one of those places where I happen to “bubble out” to demonstrate just how much he liked it.
This is a man who has entirely embraced my real, flesh and blood body, the one that mellows, changes and ages, that reveals a lifetime of pleasure and pain and that does more than merely “represent” me—but that is me.
This is a man who understands that my body tells my stories, holds my secrets, and reveals what I have grieved over, hoped for and dreamed about.
Looking back at the Get-Your-Boobs-Lifted Guy, I realize now that his rejection of my body exactly as it was, with its signs of wear and tear, it’s hollows and plump spots, it’s full expression of my personality, was an implicit rejection of me and that very personality.
What he was offering me was a conditional, “I’ll love you if/let’s airbrush out the flaws” kind of love, a love that didn’t have anything to do with me or who I was as a person but that had everything to do with him and the fantasies that existed in his head.
Sad to say, he wasn’t the only lover I’d known that had “ideas” about my appearance. One of them didn’t mind sharing his credo that “The woman should never weigh more than the man.” Another said he was sorry but he just couldn’t be with me because my “ass was too big”. And another was at the entire other end of the spectrum altogether claiming that it didn’t matter to him at all what I looked like, saying “I love you, not what you look like.”
Needless to say I am now reveling in the attention I get from my same-age-as-me-man, the one who realizes that my body is not something to be shaped or dyed or operated upon to suit his needs or desires. The one who also realizes that telling me that it doesn’t matter at all what I look like is akin to telling me that to some extent, I don’t exist.
Besides it would be a lie. It does matter to him what I look like.
What I look like is me. It’s all of me, and that’s what he loves.
All of me.
Exactly as I am.
(This article appeared in ElephantJournal.com in a different form and under a different title.)