I’m A Ball Woman

I met up with 2 of my favorite people last week for a girls’ night. Six years ago, this would have involved low cut tops, tight pants, boozy nights out, and battle cries of “Let’s get slutty!!” reverberating off the walls. Now, it means we get together and order take-out, look at pictures of Melanie’s new baby, and Natasha turns into Martha Stewart and bakes decadent desserts. Like Bob Dylan said, the times they are a-changin’.

One thing that never changes though – the conversation always turns to sex. It seems inevitable when the 3 of us get together that we wind up in detailed conversation about the craziest shit. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank god Melanie isn’t one of those people who can only talk about her baby, and our conversations haven’t been toned down in any way. (Neither has she for that matter, and for that we are all grateful.)

But I digress – we were talking about sex.

Screw the stereotype that men talk about sex more than women or the antiquated idea of “locker room talk” – most of the women I know love to talk about their sex lives more than any of the men I know. And I have news for you, guys – we share detailed information with each other. Detailed. Information. We’re in the trust tree, and if you can’t talk to your best girlfriends about nipple clamps or sex-induced UTI’s  or what went wrong the last time you attempted anal, who CAN you talk to?

So I was asking about Melanie’s sex life after the baby and the conversation turned to our partners’ specific preferences. Melanie has never been lacking in the boob department, but now that she’s breastfeeding her cups runneth over. Like, a lot. They’re huge. And she was saying how her husband has always been “a boob man” and now that she puts Pamela Anderson to shame, he’s enjoying them even more. That’s his “thing” – the visual of her tits just does it for him.

This of course led into me sharing that it’s the reverse in my house. Gil appreciates my G cups, sure. They never want for attention. But he is “an ass man” through and through. He can’t get enough of my butt. And can I just say, there is plenty of it to go around. But for him, that’s the visual. That’s the thing that really revs his engine. I would even tell you that if I could get a silicone replica of my butt made for him to snuggle with (or whatever) when I’m gone, he would be all over it, pun definitely intended.

big butt apple

It got me thinking though, it’s so common for us women to categorize our male partners as either “ass men” or “boob men” because so many of them really have a distinct hot button, but there is no equivalent the other way around.

It’s not like Gil is sitting around with his friends saying, “Yeah man, Courtney appreciates my dick but she really can’t get enough of my balls. She’s totally a ball woman.”

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I AM a ball woman. But I’m also an ass woman, a lip woman, a tongue woman, a strong hands woman and a deep brown eyes woman. There is not one aspect of him that turns me on above everything else. It’s all a package deal.

When Natasha or Melanie are talking about their hottest sexual encounters, they’re not telling me things like, “Oh, I was in heaven with his balls just bouncing above my face. I almost came just looking at them.” I mean, good on ya if that’s what does it for you; whatever gets you to the big O is a win and not something I would judge – trust tree, remember? And the sight of our men does certainly turn us on. But I don’t think it’s the same for us in a visual sense when it comes to one specific body part, which is really interesting to me.

I know it’s different for every person and every couple, but it’s the term, “He’s a _____ man” that has become such common vernacular in our society. When Melanie tells me her husband is a boob man, I don’t bat an eye and I immediately understand what she’s talking about. If her husband turned to one of his friends and commented that she was totally a scrotum woman, I think he’d definitely get some very confused looks and a thorough grilling.

Some would definitely argue that it’s a sign of how much women are objectified and looked at as “things”, while the same is not really true of men. And I suppose I would agree with that to a certain extent. But for me, at the end of the day it is so nice to have a partner who is so vocally and physically expressive of his appreciation for my body, I don’t mind it one bit. I guess I don’t find that kind of objectification to be a problem if it’s coming from the person I love. Quite the opposite actually – I revel in it.

I’m fortunate enough to have a partner who is constantly telling me how beautiful I am, and how much he loves my body. One who walks into the kitchen just to grab my ass, or try to slide down my yoga pants if he can get away with it (he totally can). As someone who has really struggled with my weight over the last few years and who is still at odds with my own body and self-acceptance, I could not ask for anything more.

So maybe I should be objectifying HIM a little more, and start commenting more on how good his butt looks in his pants, or reaching over and giving his balls a little squeeze when no one’s watching and reminding him how much they drive me wild. If it’s as much of a confidence boost for him as it is for me, then shame on me for not doing more of it sooner.

I feel an experiment coming on…

My Love/Hate Relationship With The Word “FAT”

I am fat. Objectively, this is true. I don’t live in some strange delusion where I don’t know this to be the case. I know it is, and I am taking steps to change it. Some days more than others, but it’s a process, and if you’ve never struggled with your weight, you don’t understand it’s about more than just “eating healthier” and “exercising more,” although those elements are both necessary.

There is a reason I gained the weight in the first place, and it’s more complicated than “I ate too much.” I mean, I totally did. I ate way too much and didn’t exercise nearly enough, but I have to really take a step back to understand all the reasons why and work on them.

Anyway, I accept the fact that I am fat. For now. So in a way, I embrace the word “fat” and love that there is a voice on the internet that is getting louder and louder every day; an army of women stepping up and owning who they are, no matter what size. Proudly rocking bikinis and crop tops and demanding a better selection of clothing for plus-size women. Women who refuse to let their size define them and who accept themselves for the people they are. These are women who have reclaimed the word “fat” and said “eff off” to those who would use it to try to make them feel “less than.”

To them, I tip my hat. I am wildly impressed with their confidence. And part of me embraces the adjective “fat.” It’s just a word, and words only mean what we allow them to. Case in point, my boyfriend tells me all the time how much he loves my “fat butt” and I know it’s a compliment because he can’t keep his hands off me. And I know my butt is “fat” and not “phat.” At first, it ruffled me a little – “fat” has always felt like a dirty word to me, and I was terrified of it in high school and college. So to have someone I love use it to describe me was initially a shock to my system. But now I really embrace it. He really does love my big ol’ butt, cellulite and all. He wouldn’t change a thing about it. He loves my body more than I do, and I’m trying to take a page from his book and embrace me, as I am, right now. So in a sense the word “fat” is helping me to accept myself, which is pretty awesome.

But on the flip side, I freaking hate it. It’s a word that has traditionally been used to put people down, belittle them, and act as a ridiculous excuse to pass judgement on someone’s worth as a person based on their size. And to those people, I say “go to hell.” Being fat does not define who I am as a person – it is a state of being that I happen to exist in right now.

I’m fat, sure. But I’m also funny, successful, happy, beautiful, kind, loving, clumsy, loud, opinionated and strong. If you ask anyone who knows me to describe me, I’m certain they would choose one of those adjectives before “fat.” And fat doesn’t trump any of the things on that list.

No matter who we are, we shouldn’t have to be defined by physical appearance. Unfortunately, that’s not the case – we ARE defined by physical appearance in so many ways, and not just regarding our weight. Our appearance is the first thing people notice when they look at us, and people DO form opinions. And some people will be unkind based on certain physical attributes. So we have to find ways to take ownership of those things, and find self-worth from within. To be kind to ourselves, even if people around us aren’t doing the same. Easier said than done.

I’m not stupid or delusional – I understand the health risks associated with obesity and the fact that no matter how hard we fight, there WILL be judgement passed on those who are overweight. I live in the real world – I understand these things. But as I’ve been reading more and more articles and fashion blogs from plus-size women practicing self-love and body acceptance (whether you’re a size 2 or size 22), I am inspired by them. By their confidence, their bravery, their style, their swagger, and their sexiness. But what I can’t understand is why so many people seem to have such a strong negative reaction to these women who are simply on a quest to love themselves even if they happen to be fat.

Fat is not an obstacle to happiness.

DSC00804

I can only speak for myself when I say that yes, I know I will feel better, more energetic and healthier when I lose some of the weight I’ve gained over the last couple years. But just losing that weight is not what is going to make me a happy and fulfilled human being. Accepting myself and those around me for who they are, travelling the world, saying “yes” to things that scare me, and spending time with friends and family are things that will contribute to my happiness. Loving my “fat butt” as much as my boyfriend does is a personal goal of mine. I’m gonna love my fat butt so hard.

Because you know what? I deserve unconditional love from myself. I am happy to love others unconditionally, and I understand what it means to do so. And I accept unconditional love from others. But unconditional love from myself?? That is a newer concept for me. And it means I need to love myself now, with extra weight, as much as I would if I were a size 6.

A very wise friend of mine said to me years ago, as I was having a meltdown over my weight before a night out in Vegas, “Court, we will never be here again. In this moment, right now. Be happy and enjoy the experiences in front of us. Weight is a temporary thing – you can always work to change that. But we can never get this moment or experience back.” He was right. I want a happy and amazing life RIGHT NOW. Not 75 pounds from now. I deserve happiness, at any weight.

So by any standard definition of the word, I am fat. But I do not solely identify myself that way, or even primarily identify myself that way. It’s just part of me right now, a person who is constantly evolving. And one of the elements of my evolution is my body. At the end of the day, this is the body I’m living in right now, so I have to accept it. I can work to improve it, but my worth cannot be tied to a number on the scale. My worth is determined by me, dammit.

Dear Vagina

Petals of Pink Roses on woman's body. Concept of Waxing. Bikini Zone

Dear Vagina,     

I hope we can find someone to just love us for US someday.

Love,

Courtney

Dear Courtney, 

Do it yourself. Seriously. We’re awesome.

PS: I’m cold.

Love,

Vagina

There is a weird mental block that happens to a lot of women when it comes to our vaginas on display, and I want to talk about it.

Most of us have, at some point or another, made the trek to the salon/spa/shady nail place with a backroom and a faded old curtain, to have some or all of our pubic hair ripped out with hot wax. As I type that sentence I can’t help but wonder what broke in our brains to think it was a good idea. That notwithstanding, many of us (myself included) went back, time after time for more of the same. That means a total stranger basically within inches of your lady garden, getting a fully unobstructed view of every last detail, making sure you are getting your $50-$100 worth of torture. And I do mean every last detail, as any woman who has gone through this can attest – they are THOROUGH and get you into positions you didn’t even think were possible for non-gymnasts.

But we happily oblige, letting Olga bodily flip us over on her table in a room with walls that don’t go to the ceiling, barking at us in Russian, grabbing our ankle and spreading us wide to get every last offending hair (true story). Seriously, after the first experience and mild mortification when you belatedly realize that a Brazilian means that OH MY GOD YES THEY ARE ACTUALLY WAXING MY ASSHOLE… SHOULD I SAY SOMETHING? IS THIS NORMAL? OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD, you get used to it. I used to have totally normal, pleasant conversations with my waxers (all female obviously) as they were pulling and stretching and spreading to do their job. It never occurred to me to be self-conscious at that point and there was a predictable routine, so it was essentially like getting my nails done.

And even if you’ve never subjected yourself to that experience, all women have had to hoist their feet up into the stirrups for a pelvic exam – it’s part of our coming of age I suppose, and you do get used to it.

On the flip side, at the same point in my life that I was going Brazilian on the regular, if someone I was dating had asked to just “look at it” and give my vag a full inspection in a well lit room – just looking – I would have been uncomfortable. And I explicitly remember a girlfriend of mine recounting that exact scenario. I remember her telling me how weird and self conscious she felt and me emphatically agreeing. And we’re not alone. I know this concept makes a lot of women uncomfortable. But WHY??

Why, after spending all that time spread eagle in the salon, was I at all self-conscious when a new boyfriend wanted to leave the lights on and visually drink it all in? I spent all this time and money on something I wanted to just hide under the covers? Where is the vagina-love?  I mean, I am no prude and have no objection to oral sex, but the idea of someone really looking that closely without DOING something… I guess I assumed they would be looking for imperfections. Because that was what I did to myself and to my body – look for the things that were wrong.

And that’s the crux of it I think, at least for me. I spent way too much time beating myself up, comparing myself to others, and wondering if I looked ok, that I couldn’t just be. I couldn’t love myself completely. It was different when it was just a stranger at a New York salon – who cares what they thought of me? Who cares if they were comparing my vagina to the one they’d seen an hour before? But with someone I cared about, someone I loved, it was scarier. Somehow, my twisted self-criticism had morphed into an unfair projection that my boyfriend would be doing the same: picking out what was wrong, or comparing me to others.

It took some time and a healthy relationship to drive home the point that in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. At the point that someone just wants to admire your body like that, and once you have that level of intimacy, they are THRILLED to be able to see all of you and love every inch, whether it’s waxed or not. We should embrace it. And give our vaginas (and our whole bodies for that matter) some unconditional love.

Men as a whole (at least the ones I know) are very visual creatures, and they relish the chance to enjoy all of you without self-conscious squirming or outright refusal for them to just be able to look. It is actually a very loving and erotic moment in a relationship when you let those insecurities go and literally lay yourself bare for them. Unless you’re having no strings attached one night stands with guys with a gyno fetish, in which case mazel tov and enjoy.