- concerned predominantly or excessively with sex
- sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality
- excitingly appealing; glamorous
A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on the love seat in my living room watching TV when my husband came home from work. After throwing his bag down and offering maybe a sentence or two of small talk, he blurted out a question to me without sitting down first. It appeared he was a bit fired up about something.
“Would you give up sex for a year if it meant that you’d lose twenty pounds?”
“Of course,” I replied almost immediately.
He was astonished. “You WOULD?” For a whole year?”
“If it meant I’d lose twenty pounds, of course I would. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. I don’t need sex that badly.” I didn’t see the problem with my answer.
“You would really do that to me?” he protested.
“Well, I wouldn’t be doing it to you, I’d be doing it for you. Is that so wrong?”
“You’re sexy just the way you are! I couldn’t care less about you losing twenty pounds,” he exploded.
Dan went on to tell me that evidently I wasn’t the only one who would give up sex for skinniness. Fitness Magazine asked 2,400 women the exact same question that he asked me. They found that over half of the women surveyed would forgo sex for an entire year if it meant they’d be a bit slimmer. After talking it out a bit more, I realized that my husband was probably so passionate about our discussion because, if anyone, his self-love warrior wife should have seen right through this ridiculous inquiry.
But I fell for it. I failed.
And then I got pissed.
I can’t speak for all 2,400 of those women, but I can say that I came to my answer so quickly because at my current weight society doesn’t find me sexy. So, ergo, by proxy, over the years I have succumbed to the idea that I’m not sexy. If you hear a lie long enough, you eventually end up believing it. That conclusion hurt to come to; I desperately wanted to be sexy. But I’m not airbrushed. I have rolls in my stomach sometimes. My thighs rub together when I walk. My hair frizzes. And, according to the BMI scale, I’m overweight. All of these things are the antithesis of the female sex icons society idolizes. So that’s that, then. I’m not sexy. My body isn’t sexy.
When I don’t feel good about my body, the last thing I want to do is have sex. I don’t want to be naked, I certainly do not want anyone else’s eyes to fall victim to laying upon the giant monstrosity that is my body, and — DEAR GOD — I do not want to be touched. And since society has now convinced me that I’m not sexy, I guess that also means that I shouldn’t have sex even if I want to (or am encouraged to in order to maintain a healthy marriage) because sex is reserved for sexy people only. Naturally.
But! If I were to lose weight and shimmy my skinny way into the “sexy” ideal that society has impressed upon me, then I could finally earn the right to have sex. Only after becoming what society deems “sexy” would I be allowed to partake in the wondrous phenomenon that is sexual activity. Therefore, giving up sex for a year in order to slim down is what I’m supposed to want, right? I mean, it’s my own fault for being too chubby to be considered “sexy.”
Like I said, I can’t speak for the 51% of women who selected “yes” on the survey. But for me, this is why I ever so quickly jumped on the affirmative.
I envy men sometimes. I really do, mostly when it comes to sex. They don’t have to feel good about their bodies to have sex. They don’t have to do anything to have sex, really. Dan has been known to practically tackle me the moment I come home from work/a sweaty three-mile run/a church lock-in/jeans shopping/whatever without any context. He (along with the other men I’ve been with) is capable of going from zero to one hundred in ten seconds flat. It really seems as though he can become sexually aroused no matter the circumstances. Day. Night. If we have to be somewhere in fifteen minutes. If we don’t. If we’ve been fighting. If we’ve been watching Passion of the Christ. If I just tried on a pair of jeans at the mall that I thought were my size but evidently have shrunken since my last shopping trip and have thus become the catalyst to a mid-mall-meltdown. Whatever. If I’m breathing and still have girl parts, sex is an option.
But how could he possibly want me when I’m not even close to sexy? I mean, I need to lose like a hundred million pounds and put on layers upon layers of make up and shave everything and wear push-up lingerie and–
Wait, wait, wait. Lindsay. WAKE UP. What did he say at the beginning of this conversation?
“You’re sexy just the way you are!”
I texted my husband just now to find out what that means. How am I sexy just the way I am?
His answer: “Your eyes, your curves, your soft smooth skin, your laugh and smile, just everything about you.”
Everything about me. Everything. Even my thighs that touch. Even my tummy rolls. Even my naturally curly hair. Everything.
Suck it, society. Screw you and your dumb ideals. I don’t care what you say about me. I’m sexy and I don’t need to do anything to be so. You’re probably just scared to admit that a woman can be sexy just the way she is because that would destroy everything you stand for.
And that’s so unsexy.