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After a visit to Benidorm I’ve been talking about writing this post. My intention is to continue the conversation that has taken place over the years on the attitude to the body beautiful in the fetish scene. In everyday life, newspapers, magazines, fashion shows, advertising there has been discussion on body image.
I’m not sure the fetish community, one built on different sexual tastes fully acknowledges the issue. And we as members of that community need to tackle it. Body shaming isn’t done by a community, it is done by individuals and we all need to take responsibility for that.
One of the things I love about fetish is the diverse range of people it attracts. Personally, I love the bigger guys, extra weight and bulk is definitely a good thing for me. If I see someone who I don’t find attractive I don’t mock them, I don’t try and embarrass them, I don’t make jokes about them with my friends. I just move on.
Because we are constantly shown this barrage of “the perfect man” anyone who doesn’t fit that is all too often considered an acceptable butt of the joke.
I’ve tried to find some research into tastes – what type of body is most attractive, what do guys look for in another man. And so far, I haven’t been able to find any – most surveys just relate to sexual practices rather than tastes. However according to Channel 4’s Naked Attraction programme 70% of women prefer a guy with love hands etc then a toned athletic figure.
In one survey I did find 80% of respondents describe the gay community as very judgemental, and 65% feel pressure to look or act a certain way. Both figures sadden me.
This has probably been one of the hardest posts to write, not emotionally hard or anything like that. But hard to get it to come across without being a rant, without being judgemental. Hopefully I’ve achieved that – but it is such an emotive subject it’s really hard!
No one has the perfect body
When talking about bodies and physical attributes there is one thing we must first agree and understand. We all find different types attractive – from smooth twinks, through big burly hairy bears, from athletic to roid beasts, from short and skinny to tall and huge fat bellys. We all have porn body tastes. That is the type of guy and body we hunt out on Tumblr and in porn for the wank fantasy.
And there is also something else that while may not be universally true, it is true enough to generalise. No-one is completely happy with their own body.
We want to be taller, shorter, fatter, thinner, hairier (smoother can be dealt with easily), more ripped, bigger muscles, a different nose, smaller hands, better legs, a belly button that sticks in and not out. I’m sure everyone has something about their body they would wave the magic wand over to change.
And if no-one is completely happy with their body then surely there is no ‘perfect’ body?
Myself, I have a a belly showing, some muscle definition in the shoulders and arms, and legs and ass that show I do not skip leg day. But there is a layer of fat covering it I’d rather not have. But it’s my body, I’m working on it, and I really like it and love showing it off. Usually in fetish gear, but when I get the opportunity you can’t beat being naked! And you can’t beat others admiring and enjoying your body – because there are so many who love every different body shape and size!
It’s my body, wise Buddha
Having the confidence in your own body is quite hard, I go back to my earlier point about how everyone wants to improve theirs somehow, no matter how ‘perfect’ you as the voyeur perceive them. Something I didn’t mention in my list of body types and things people want to change are dicks. A few years ago, I had a weekend away to unwind and relax by myself at Hamilton Hall gay men’s naturist hotel in Bournemouth.
It was a perfect weekend – relaxing, sightseeing, and enjoying good food and conversation with the fellow residents. One of the appeals of staying here over other gay hotels in the town is the option to abandon the trappings of modern society – i.e. clothes. To be able to breakfast, lunch, dinner, have a coffee in the garden free and loose with everything out in the open. It’s very liberating – particularly being naked outdoors.
It was the first time I noticed something, pretty much everyone enjoyed being able to loose the underwear and spend the time cocks and arses out. But I would say a third of the guys would wear a t-shirt. They are more insecure about the bellies then their dicks.
And yes, I have been part of this group on many occasions! But now, maybe because of age, maybe because of my work, maybe because I learnt I’m never going to have a 6 pack, but now I accept and embrace my belly!
Remember buddha has a big belly and buddha is wise, and you bring wealth, luck and prosperity by rubbing his belly!
Marketing departments all follow one tribe
In the UK the primary fetish events listing paper / magazine is now probably ‘Dirty Boyz’, indeed you will usually find my escort advert in there. It’s a great read, but if you flick through it and check the adverts you will notice that most of them feature the same body type – athletic / muscular and either smooth skin or some groomed body hair.
XXL or other bear nights may go for some bigger guys or bears, but generally all the adverts confirm to that same gay stereo type – 6 pack, pecs, biceps, not too hairy, well-groomed etc.
The hard job for event promoters and advertisers is how to appeal to everyone’s tastes. You can’t, and so they fall back on the stereotypical looks. And only using such a narrow selection of models can also alienate people.
I have had clients who have told me they won’t book with certain escorts who promote themselves just on their body and looks – they would feel uncomfortable with them. They want to spend time with people who have a similar body and look. So are event promoters also alienating people in the same way?
Your body, and you’re sexy
As an escort it is part of my job to make you feel sexy, desired, the most attractive man or woman on the planet. That is irrespective of your age or appearance – I’m much more interested in hearing about your fantasy then your body.
The only times I really want to know about your body are when you want to try specific things – straight jacket, sleep sack, suspension harness etc. These are expensive items, and it’s hard to get ones that fit everyone! If you are lying inside a Sleepsack that is massively over size for you it’s not going to give the experience you are after.
Unfortunately, not all my fellow professionals feel the same. Too many clients have asked if I would see them because they are over a given age, or over weight. Indeed, I have seen adverts for escorts specifically specifying only their “type” should call to make a booking, or that certain body types will receive a discount.
An escort is the last person who should be doing any sort of body shaming like this!
MYOB: Mind Your Own Body
On a recent trip to the USA I saw Gabourey Sidibe interviewed on The View on ABC. She was talking about the phrase “Mind Your Own Body” that was the title of a chapter in her book.
It is a powerful message that everyone in the fetish community and wider gay community should remember!
We are constantly hit with advertising and promotion selling us the ‘perfect’ body, telling us what we should do to get it. Well you know what – fuck them! The perfect body doesn’t exist, we only have one body and don’t kill yourself chasing the unobtainable!
I have friends who can eat anything and never gain any weight or muscle – no matter how much they want. I have friends who look at Rolo and feel they have added a kilo of weight. Being fit and healthy comes in many body shapes and sizes. You may think someone looks anorexic or obese – but that could well be their natural body size.
Whatever you think of someone else’s body it is theirs, not yours to criticise or judge!
Finally, we are all responsible
In a very long winded wordy way I’m trying to say is that most of us want to change our bodies. But they are our bodies for us to judge – not anyone else’s!
If you don’t like my body, fine – I accept that, but that doesn’t give you any right to criticise, abuse me or mine or try and shame me … in any way.
We are a fetish community, we are tribes belonging to a minority. There aren’t many of us about! We are a community brought together by our interest and passion for gear, sex, kink and perversion – our differences are what makes us a community.
Body shaming, no matter how innocently it is meant, harms people and our community.
The gay press have a big part to play in this, as highlighted in this HuffPost article, as do event promoters and advertisers.
We can call out people who try and body shame us by making jokes about us to their friends because we have the audacity to sit in a bar in just pants.
We can refuse to support events that require you submit a photo / profile link first to ensure you fit their ideal of what is sexy.
We can also think about our own online presence … are these preferences, body shaming or worse?
Everyone has preferences for who they fuck, who they play with or who they date and marry. It’s what makes is human. We don’t know why we lust after other guys, we don’t know why we lust after certain body types. We just do … everyone does.
But we don’t have to be a dick about it!