Parts of My Body I Actually Like

Two photos of Morgan's feet, one of xir favourite body parts, taken from underneath

Like a lot of people – especially AFAB people, and double-especially disabled AFAB people – I have a difficult relationship with my body. There are plenty of parts of it that I dislike (like my nose and my midriff), or that I resent (like my easily-scarred skin that results from the fucky connective tissue I’ve got, and my slightly bowed legs, a reminder that I spent most of puberty deliberately malnourishing myself). Then there are parts of my body with which I can only ever form an uneasy and conditional truce, like my boobs, which only look cute (in my opinion) when my nipples are erect, or my butt, which looks good from certain angles (again, in my opinion). Ideally, I’d like to reach a point where I feel neutral or great about all of my body parts, but I’m just not there yet.I am, however, far enough into my body confidence/body not-hating journey that I can write a whole photo-heavy blog post about the parts of my body I’m feeling good about. I hope y’all will enjoy them as much as I do! (I also hope you’ll be forgiving about my photography. I only have a smartphone camera to work with, and I have the spatial awareness of a drunk toddler.)

 

EARS

A photo of Morgan's ear, which has two piercings in it and is very cute

My ears are, I think, dainty and little. Sometimes, when I’m flirting with someone, I’ll invite them to feel how soft the skin on my earlobes is, because it’s just insanely fucking soft (probably because connective tissue science things). They’re also unreasonably erogenous – nibbling on them, kissing around them, breathing into them and so on will reduce me to a puddle in moments. Plus, they’re great places to get piercings in, for those times when I sort of crave a new piercing but don’t want to commit to anything super visible.

 

FEET (Undersides)

Two photos of Morgan's feet, taken from underneath

I have mixed feelings about my feet as a whole, because I think I have weirdly long, skinny toes – but from underneath, you can’t really tell! All you can see is a delicately arched foot! They’re adorable! (Also, I like my feet from a practical perspective – they endure a lot of walking and stomping and being sat on when I cross my legs, and I appreciate their resilience as well as their cuteness.)

 

EYELASHES

Side-by-side closeups of Morgan's eye, one with a closed eye and one open. Xir eyelashes are thick, long and dark

So it turns out that it’s really tricky to photograph one’s own eyelashes, but I did my best. My eyelashes have always been long and dark, meaning that I have probably saved a fortune over the years in mascara (or eyelash extensions, or tinting, or whatever the kids are doing to their eyelashes these days).

 

THESE COOL MOLES THAT MAKE UP ORION’S BELT

An image of the side of Morgan's torso, showing three moles and also some sideboob. A purple line has been drawn to connect the dots and make Orion's Belt

Need I say more? (I will say more: Orion’s Belt is the first constellation I learned to reliably spot, and I think it’s extremely cool that I have it on my body. We’re all made up of stardust, and these moles remind me of that. They also remind me that I am a huge nerd.)

 

MOUTH & TEETH

Two shots of Morgan's mouth - one where xir mouth is closed, and one in which xe is smiling, so you can see xir teeth

I have nice lips. They do nice things to people sometimes. They’re soft and pretty and a good place to put lipstick. I also have cute front teeth, including remarkably sharp canines which help me get into packaging and destroy stim toys.

 

VULVA

Morgan's shaved vulva, with xir hands either side

I posted on Twitter about disliking my asymmetrical labia minora when I was younger, but now I regard the asymmetry as both natural and very cute. (I’m also fascinated by how it’s the left side that’s bigger, and my left boob is also my bigger boob. Is there a connection?) I’ve never seen a vulva I didn’t love, so maybe including mine in this list is something of a cop out, but I like its proportions and colouring and the fact that my clitoral hood is so protective of my clit.


This post feels weirdly vulnerable. As humans, and especially as marginalised humans, we’re taught not to brag about anything, especially not our bodies – but that’s bullshit, because human bodies are beautiful and we should be excited about the ones we live in!

How to Have Sex in a Body You Hate

Me, lying on my back, cupping my boobs a little so they look extra perky. I have a couple of wristbands on as well as a collar, and I'm white, slim-ish and, dare I say it, exceedingly cute.

In an ideal world, I would love my body.

We don’t live in an ideal world, though. Specifically, I live in a body which hurts a lot, and which is the site of both my trauma and my eating disorder. Very few people I know actually love their bodies, and quite a few actively dislike theirs – and I’m no exception. Instead of telling you to love your body (because I’m sure you’ve never considered that before /sarcasm), I thought I could give some tips as to how you can have sex even during those times you hate the body you live in.

1. Try to forgive yourself for not loving your body.

I know this is hard. When I catch myself feeling shitty about my body, my knee-jerk response is to say to myself, “Fucking stop it! You’re supposed to be body-positive! This simply will not do!”

In reality, this kind of thinking isn’t just unhelpful in your journey towards self-love – it directly undermines it. It’ll take a lot of work, but making the switch from the “Fucking stop it!” mentality to a more gentle pattern of thinking (along the lines of, “It’s okay that I feel like this, even if it doesn’t line up with my body-positive ideals. Everybody resents their body sometimes, especially in this awful diet culture we live in, and I’m not a bad person for falling prey to that,”) will cut short the cycle of self-criticism and free up your emotional energy for the task at hand: sex.

2. Spend more time being naked in non-sexual settings.

You’ve probably heard this one, but it bears repeating. Be naked, or half-naked, while you watch TV, while you cook, while you write blog posts – whenever you can manage it. Get used to the way your body really looks, rather than the way that it looks when you’re taking nudes, stretched or contorted or sucked in or freshly voided of pee. Spend more time around mirrors, while you’re at it, and get used to the way your face looks from unexpected angles. It’s going to be hard to feel great about everything you notice at first, so try making neutral statements, out loud or in your head, instead. “My face looks rounder from this angle,” “My tummy folds when I sit down,” and “My knees are kinda wonky,” are all entirely neutral observations to make. Try, if you can, thinking them in a gentle, neutral voice, and you’ll start to understand that your sexual partners view your body in a way that’s separated from value judgements. (Unless they’re judgemental bastards, in which case, tip 2b is, “Only fuck people who aren’t dickheads.”)

3. Wear things that make you feel cute!

I know that I literally just told you to spend more time being naked, but if sexytime is on the horizon and you haven’t magically repaired your relationship with your own nude form yet, I think it’s an okay short-term solution to wear something that boosts your confidence a little. The primary aim of this exercise isn’t necessarily to cover up (although, honestly, your comfort is more important than some externally-imposed ideals regarding body confidence), but to embolden you by making you feel like you’re putting your best foot forwards. Maybe for you, this means nothing but cat ears and a tail, or maybe it means a long, flowing, opaque nightgown. Whatever it is, the key thing is that you love it! Customising your body with clothing or jewelry can help you feel more in control of it and will draw your own attention to the cute things you’ve deliberately added to yourself, rather than the physical traits you perceive as “flaws”.

4. Voice your boundaries and your needs.

Sometimes, I will ask my partners not to touch my tummy. This is usually when I’ve had a fair bit to eat, or have eaten something that my body firmly disagrees with, and I’m a little bit bloated. Whilst I’d love to be able to embrace my body in every one of its states, I’m just not there yet – and that’s okay! (See tip #1.) Working through my trauma has taught me that there’s no point in knowingly setting off triggers when you’re not equipped to handle them – it only reinforces the stress response you experience, which will reinforce your negative feelings about your body. If you’re having a really bold, self-loving day, you could touch, examine, or ask your partner(s) to interact with an area that you’re usually self-conscious about, but you’re also well within your rights to say, “Actually, I feel a little negative/dysphoric/delicate/etc. about [body part] at the moment, so could you avoid touching it?”

Additionally, you can ask your partners to reassure you about your body. Try to steer clear from things like, “Tell me I’m not fat!” because those will reinforce to you the (entirely incorrect) idea that being fat is bad. Instead, say things like, “Can you tell me that you find my body attractive?” or, “I’d like some reassurance that my body looks nice today.” If you don’t have a partner on hand, you could ask a friend for a boost, or even try to give yourself one by listing all the parts of your body that you do like. You might find it reassuring to look at pictures of other people with bodies similar to yours – chances are, you’ll be able to see their beauty, and that might help you absorb the notion that you’re not so unattractive yourself.

Oh, and posting pictures of your body on the internet, especially if you’re not posing in such a way as to maximise your conformity to Westernized standards of beauty in said photos, can help boost your confidence as well. Like these photos of me, which feel even more vulnerable than that one photo of my entire cunt.

Me, a white, curvy, boob-owning person, twisting my body a little bit so that my back rolls are readily visibleMy curvy white butt, with little red lines across it from sitting still too longMe, a white and curvy boob-haver, sitting a little slouched so my tummy is squishy and foldy


 

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