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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The body beautiful

Today, I'm going to write about my body, my self and my submission and how the three are interconnected. I've been meaning to write a post about physicality and identity for a while but have merely succeeded in tying myself up in intellectual knots over socially-constructed gender, whether I'm wearing heels or not and sexual representations of women in the media. I've decided to take a big breath, a step back and go to the basics.

My body. I like my body. Some days I love it. Rarely, I hate it and it annoys me. It's not been an easy journey to be able to say that with any honesty. As a teenager I had on/off issues with eating and weight, which were fundamentally about personal control and anxiety over my place in the world. By managing my body, I gained greater control and confidence in myself and my ability to navigate the universe. These things are still true, I just now do them in different ways. Back then, the goal was to be thin. As thin as possible. To be invisible, would be ideal. And to have controlled myself into that invisibility - into silent absence. An erosion of my body, my self and my personality in other words.

Now, it's more about making my body "better", self improvement. I am my own project. Being healthier, stronger, fitter. Having smoother, softer skin. Minimizing fuzz. I accept that, on some level, I am still changing my natural body shape to suit certain conventional standards of beauty, but on the other, I am not. I am not trying to turn myself into a cookie-cutter expression of porn star proportions (I'd need a boob job for a start, and to grow my hair). I occasionally get comments about looking "boyish" which I quite like. My body is female and I love having breasts, a cunt, those smooth lines, but I also love muscle definition, strength, edges. Part of what I'm doing with my body is using it to become more like me and I am not especially feminine all of the time, so I like having a physicality that allows me to play with that. Play is important to me. Playing with my identity, playing with how others perceive me. We all express ourselves to the world using our bodies - how we move, talk, dress and behave all send our signals to others about ourselves. By acts like the Doll Project I can use my body to put on different identities, each of which allow me to play with others in different ways and, crucially, have a lot of fun.

There's also a lot about the enjoyment of my body - I love having smooth skin that is soft to touch, soft for others to touch. Keeping my cunt waxed is a good example - the hairlessness is an aesthetic I enjoy, partly because of the doll-like factor but also because it makes me feel chameleonic, able to play with and adopt different roles by adding them onto this blank slate palate. It also feels good - I have extra sensation, better feedback from my fingertips when masturbating, more awareness of my cunt and my desire. I'm wetter too, or have more appreciation of that wetness. My body and the shape I have made it into connects me to my own sexuality. And to my own submission.

My body is the first thing I offer up. My submission comes second. My self comes last. This isn't a hierarchy of importance or value, it's just how the process works for me. Moreover the three are not replacements for each other, but overlaid. The most basic interactions are at the level of the body. Touching. Feeling. Fucking. Pain. What a classical BDSM lexicon might call "bottoming", doing it for the sensation of the thing, not really for anything else. Responses garnered are my body's knee-jerk reactions to the physical input only. Getting deeper is better, which isn't just about racking up the impact, and in fact, in many instances that will just turn me off. Just pain is just pain. Without any connection between what is being done and why, there is very little to keep me interested if the situation is actually difficult. What I need at this level, is for someone to play with my brain, to interact with me directly, and not just my body. With that, you get submission.

When I submit, I begin to rely on you, in a capacity beyond physical care of my skin and bones and letting you into other bits of me. The parts of me that want to please, the parts of me that want to be better, that desire praise and support, or punishment and catharsis. This is the bread and butter of where I play, my body becomes a battleground of will, a presentation of beauty, a servant, a host, a channel for desire, a toy, a game. It opens up to so many more possibilities because of the new context in which it occurs. These stoke the fires of my synapses, increasing desire and engagement in the physical process. Because there is a reason, a goal, a greater will than satisfying physical pleasure, there's now psychological pleasure. And pressures too.

Finally, there's my self. My me.The real stuff that's warts and all. It's been a long time since I've engaged on this level and I'm still not really ready to, although I am beginning to feel as if I haven't entirely abandonned it as a possibility for the future. This is a life pursuit, a situation that needs love, commitment and mutual support to start to flourish.
Here we deal with genuine fears, gut wrenching desires. The stuff of hopes and dreams. Whereas submission consists of my body and mind acting in accord with constructed contexts of the moment, here, the contexts are real and ongoing. It's more than the physical interaction in which I make you come, you makes me come. More too, than the submission where I make myself happy by pleasing you, then going home and forgetting about it until the next time. In the final stage, the stage of the self, I'm always yours, there's a part of me that I've given over. Like my heart when I fall in love. With it comes everything and I make myself extremely vulnerable and open. By this stage, I'm not playing with my body any more and neither are you. We're making it real. And beautiful.


M said...

Hello again,

I like the analytical distinction between body/[role]/self. You seem most open about your body and very candid about your submission and kink mindset. I find your account very body positive which is so wonderful and also very mature as well.

You like your body and you have made it into what you express yourself to be and what you see yourself to be.

As a person who is struggling with body image, the one thing I want the most is for my physical presence to show the good of what's inside me; or conversely, choosing to disclose my (negative) aspects unwillingly through my physical persona. Control is everything. Having it perpetuates more positive attitudes; struggling for it creates a downward spiral.

I've heard all too often people say that it starts by loving yourself. That sounds a bit too lofty to be relevant (but likely nonetheless true).

You mention that the most difficult thing to address is 'the real you'. I used to think that I knew the real me. But what I thought it was, was me in a certain environment. I have since left that environment and now am left with the initial question unanswered.

After much introspection, Hume (Treatise Bk I, 1739)deemed that there was no self beyond a compound idea. The compound of who you enact yourself to be in activities, the sum of your experiences, biography, beliefs, attitudes, propositional facts, and intentions/projects.

I like your tripartite distinction because you place your 'self' (although a mysterious entity) within the context of your activity (submission, but there are doubtless other activities that define you) and the locus of your body. I like to think of those things as analogies. Your body is not exhaustative of 'you'; nor is your doll identity or other identities you choose to take up; but those analogies reveal different pictures of you, perhaps some of those pictures are consistent, some contrast, some even contradict. It seems the most we can get out of a sense of self are these kinds of snapshots of putting the self in locus of something else.

An interesting discussion of physiognomy could arise here but would be tangential. What can definately be said is that you definately embody a body-positive attitude that any card carrying feminist would be proud of :)

Kind Regards

electronic doll said...


Apologies in the delay in response, I've been meaning to send something back for a while but was trying to put together some coherent thoughts, given what you have shared with me.

I didn't become body positive overnight, in many ways the very control that gave me problems was the tool I used to make myself "better" - the main change was about decisions over what I wanted from my body and how I wanted to use it to navigate the world and express myself. The whole "love yourself" seems to me to be an unachievable challenge when one genuinely has problems with self and body - it's too great a leap.

What's more likely to happen is that you find things that you enjoy which take you out of yourself (this is what helped me) and having that break gave me the space to grow up a little and relax a bit in and of myself. Which really helped.