A guy I was dating recently admitted to me that he has watched porn. The topic came up because we were talking about things we've given up for Lent in the past. He said he gave up porn for Lent a few years ago after watching the movie "Don Juan". "Good for him," I thought, and then moved on. But that admission of his has come back to haunt me on several occasions.
One of those occasions was last night. I could feel in my body tension and anxiety, but wasn't completely sure why. Instead of ignoring it, I decided to dig in to see what it was. As I started peeling back the layers, I realized that it was anxiety about his porn admission and insecurities about my body.
If he's watched porn in the past, does he still watch it now?
Did he give it up completely starting in Lent, or did he go back to it after Lent was over?
What does he think of my body?
I can dress up nice enough and flatter my figure, but what if he were to see me in a bathing suit?
What would he think of the jiggly thighs, flappy arms, and belly pooch? The tummy that will always have extra skin no matter how many crunches I do?
My body will never be like a model's, super model or otherwise. I've gained and lost weight several times over the years. My skin may never shrink back. I have stretch marks. And on good days I can look in the mirror and say to myself, "I look damn good. I'm proud of how I look now." I feel comfortable in my own skin.
...But what does HE think? I feel afraid that he will compare my body to other women, porn stars, models, or even the girl at the next table. I feel afraid that I will always have this fear. Will I ever be comfortable enough in my own skin that I won't question what my man thinks of my body?
I cried a lot over these questions and fears last night. And today I read this article on Huffington post (read it here) that really resonated with some of the things I'd been thinking and feeling. Here's an excerpt: