Thursday, March 26, 2009

"You're too fat to fuck"

No, that's not just an eye-catching title for this post, it is the first words of Judith Moore's brilliant memoir "Fat Girl." While plenty of the men I have pursued for sexual purposes in my disease found me perfectly acceptable for naughty chat, phone sex or even a roadside or office "servicing," they too have found me "too fat to fuck." Even more men, upon seeing my photograph, simply stopped talking, disappeared and pretended as if the online conversation never started. And while I might catch the attention of a few dozen men with my online antics, I've never been someone who would be picked up at a bar ... unless it was closing time and even the ugly fat girls get pretty then. A dear friend chose this week to disclose that while he had been sporting a hard on for me about a year ago, once he saw what I looked like he was "physically turned off by (my) weight." He told me this as if I weren't already keenly aware of why his attitude had shifted. We remained friends and value one another on a host of levels ... but the pain is no less.

My friend's disclosure prompted me to begin to write about something that has been calling to my writing fingers for a while now. For some time, maybe months, I have felt the need to write about and talk about the fact that for as long as I can remember I've been not just overweight, but obese -- to explore at some level how much I hate my body and at many levels myself.

Interestingly, it's far, far easier to share the shame of my sexual escapades than it is to talk about being fat. I suppose one reason is because in my addict mind, sex gives me significance. Obesity, while it is there for the world to see, strips away any significance I hope to have. Whether it is in a job, a friendship, or simply walking down the street, the first thing people notice about me is that I am fat. I carry my fat with me everywhere. Yet I hide its pain deep inside.

I'm the person for whom people have to think twice about which table to choose at a restaurant or even a dinner party to accomodate my fatness. I'm the person who has to ask for a "lap belt" when I ride on an airplane. I'm the enormous person in the room who is invisible.

And, psychology tells me that I am invisible because I want to be, that all my fat is "protecting me" from the things I fear most -- sexual attraction, intimacy, and transparency. I don't have to be anything else because I am fat. My therapist often tells me that my behaviors and choices are always serving me in some way. I suppose she is right, and at some level I can accept it, but I'm not sure I can dwell on it long enough to even absorb its truth, much less accept it.

So, at least I broke the ice in writing on this topic. I want to explore it more and hope to come back to it.

10 comments:

Hope said...

As someone who has struggled with weight/body image issues most of my adult life thank you for this. For me it's been a battle not to gain weight when things start going well....I've run back to the protective layers of extra weight when true intimacy/vulnerability is at hand.

Eli said...

Wow Rae, what a brave and important post this is. So glad you're "breaking the ice" here. I remember visiting my wife's second grade classroom many years ago and being disturbed by how early it starts: attractive, outgoing kids constantly got more attention from other kids than the odd or less social children. Worse, I noticed that unless I thought about it, I did the same thing. I guess it seems kind of obvious in retrospect, but I'm still haunted by that lesson.
Definitely talk more about this.

thegentlepath said...

I second that - what a brave post. Fat Girl is a great book. It's funny, I read that first sentence as too fat to do the f-ing rather than too fat to get f-ed.

I am really looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on this.

vicariousrising said...

You are very, very brave, Rae. Acknowledging your self-loathing and how it has contributed to your addictions has got to be incredibly painful and scary even as it begins to free you. I wish I could give you a hug.

MargauxMeade said...

Hugs, Rae, and kudos on your courage. You're a beautiful person, regardless of weight. And I have a feeling that the more you keep plugging away at recovery and work through how this ties in with the sex addiction, a healthier body image will follow. Keep speaking your truth--you're an inspiration!

Willow said...

One of my sisters is very overweight and has been on thyroid medication since a child. My dad was brutal. He used to make her do laps around the outside of the house. She still struggles with that pain today. Interestingly, she too has found comfort in men being sexual toward her.

You are brave (as always) to share this. I'm sure it will help you and many others as you go through your process.

Mark said...

Hey Rae, Every time I eat a meal, I am in a better mood than I was before. Similarly (not surprisingly!) with sex. I wonder if your sex and eating habits aren't (just) about your personality, but are actually self-medication for low mood? I wonder if there is an anti-depressant that can make people less needy of the highs of sex and food...

Down in Sunny San Diego said...

I identify with that feeling ... to fat to _____ (just fill in the blank). I remember when I was out on the prowl, having sex with so many guys I couldn't keep their names straight. I never had one of the guys look at me like I was not good enough to have sex with. Probably because I put myself out there openly so there weren't surprises. I never, ever had troubles finding anyone that wanted to have sex with me, at least online. But in real life, when looking for someone decent, far different story. Is it society or is it me? Hmm, never will be able to tell for sure. But for now, I get to take it one day at a time and continue working on me. Thank you for your honest posts ... I get so much out of all that you share.

Poppy dream said...

I read this Article. Interesting.......

Mary (MPJ) said...

Rae, I've had this up in my browser for weeks meaning to comment. It's such a powerful and honest post that I wanted to be able to say something special, but I'm still struck wordless. Thank you for sharing and big hugs to you.