My Journey of Body Acceptance.

I’ve been trying to put words to this for a long time, at least a year, and honestly I’ve started and stopped more than any other writing I’ve ever done. I’ve been treading a line between trying to get my point across and not sounding whiney or judgemental, and because this topic is something you don’t hear about a lot, it’s been difficult, so I ask you to read on with an open mind.

There are a lot of things I was never taught about being a man as I grew up and matured. As a child I was raised by parents who were older than most, both chronologically, and mentally. My parents are Legit straight out of a 1950’s sitcom, innocent, judgemental and very strict. They use passive aggressive language and are constantly worried about “what others will think of us”. I was never close with my father. Even now as I am nearing my 40’s he still has no idea how to talk to me, and I am constantly compared to other men my age he associates with.

Which leads me to a recurring issue in my life – Body positivity.

Ever since I hit puberty I’ve been a big guy, I stopped growing at 5’9 and in high school I was a chubby 200lbs, where I stayed well into my mid 20’s. I didn’t do many sports other than martial arts, which was solely because I needed to stop getting beaten up. I was constantly compared to athletes and rich/popular kids, with the question: “don’t you want to be more like ‘so-and-so’?”. I grew up with undeveloped social skills and Poor nutrition, not from lack of money, but from food being used as “love”.

As I got older I started going to the gym after a health scare and managed to drop from 270 lbs to about 180, and then I contracted Bell’s Palsy and fell back into depression, and comfort food.

About this time, my girl and I made the choice to open our relationship up, So I did what I always do when something new happens in my life, I asked the advice of people I trusted who had knowledge of Poly and open relationships.

I talked to about 6 couples, people I trusted, and people I considered friends, and except for 1 pair, basically the advice I was given was “Well, the first thing and most important thing you need to do is lose some weight or no one will want you, if that’s not something you want to do, just be happy you have one person in your life that wants to touch your penis.”

Now, I have always struggled with Body image and self confidence because of my weight since the first time I asked out a girl and she laughed in my face and slapped me in front of half my graduating class. To say I was Crushed would be an understatement.

I’ve always Looked at my naked body with scorn and distaste, I fell into the trap of needing to look like a hollywood beefcake in order to attract partners, However I will say that I do understand some partners find my body type attractive, I love my girl, and she finds me sexy, and all of the other adjectives associated with it. At the time of our first date, I had no idea this would be the case though.

I digress.

Over the years I have been “trained” to expect rejection based on a multitude of things, from my body hair, to my weight, to my hobbies and interests. Because of this I always thought if I could just find that one insatiable slut (slut being used as a positive) that would just be forward enough with me I would end up becoming a completely different person. Self assured, confident, All of the things I perceive as problems would just change.

Let me tell you I was wrong.

When we opened our relationship, on top of the previously mentioned “advice”, I also read voraciously, and I think most would agree, in poly/open/swinging relationships a man definitely has a much harder time finding perspective partners, much more so in my case, as I had never successfully asked anyone out. Let me tell you, I got scared, Really scared, I thought I would lose my girl, who I love as much as I love breathing. My body image issues were what I pinned all my insecurities on, I again thought – if I could just get a 6 pack, or bigger biceps it would some how mask my lack of self confidence, or make up for (what I perceived as) sexual shortcomings.

I got Mad.

Anyone that tells you rage and spite aren’t great motivators hasn’t met me. I made a choice to get back in the gym, I caved and grew out my beard, and started working towards my “Perfect Physique”.

The rage and spite came from my own brain, and imagined perceptions, I thought my girl would find someone younger, more physically fit, bigger cock, better dressed, and I needed to worry about a female presenting partner providing things I had no chance of. On top of that I knew my social anxiety and body image issues would prevent me from approaching Attractive humans from a potential partner standpoint, so if I caught someones eye physically I hoped they would approach me, and I could not have to worry about initiating contact.

DO NOT DO THIS.

There are two Quotes that hold some value here before I continue that I would like to share:

“Always be happy, never be satisfied” – A vanilla friend

“Discipline always trumps motivation. Motivation is about emotion and too many times, we rely on emotion to raise our performance. Unfortunately, this can quickly wear you down and if you aren’t motivated, lead to lackluster or missed training sessions. Discipline doesn’t care how you feel, what the weather is or if you’ve had a bad day. Discipline will carry the strong. Discipline will drive success. Discipline doesn’t need a “hype” video or loud music.” – Jim Wendler.

Both of these Quotes are in the context of powerlifting/training, however I find a lot of that advice is relevant to much more.

If I wanted real, lasting change, I needed to be happy with my body – but not satisfied, because of that I needed long term discipline to effect real change. My motivation was exactly what I have detailed in the monolith that is this writing, but in order to be disciplined I needed a real tangible goal, (and honestly a less destructive and shallow one).

So that is where I am currently, I am learning to be happy with my body, and work on my long term aesthetic goals – I have managed to narrow it down. A six pack for me isn’t a realistic goal, I like burgers and scotch too much, I am not a nice person when I buckle down to eat/live like I would have to to achieve that. Instead My goal is to get a “Muscle Bear” look, and be physically strong enough to manhandle anyone I want. I’ve also started to try and stop placing my self worth on my physical and sexual appeal.

Now that you have read this, I offer some insight and advice. Men/male identifying humans are just as subject to body image issues as anyone else, but no one talks about it, it’s a form of weakness. We fall into the “social media” traps of perfection, and for some of us, it shakes us to the very core with no one to talk to or articulate our feelings to. There are many groups, websites and places to see this in action. We hurt, we have broken confidence because of it, and sometimes we need help building ourselves up.

Male Humans: Be who you are, be happy with how you look, and if you’re not – don’t change for the wrong reasons like I started, change because you WANT TO, if you try to change for others, you’re doomed to failure, and being trapped in an unhealthy spiral of pleasing people who do not know what a fucking rockstar you are. Do things that make you feel confident, don’t mistake others validation for confidence, it’s not, and not healthy.

Somewhere along the way I realized the things my girl said to me were my truth, not the lies my brain created trying to chase approval. All it takes is one person to see the things you don’t, and more often than not, you should listen to them, the positives they see are generally the truth.

Regards,

Syn

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For the Alliance – MMO’s and Kink Compersion.

Ever since I was young I’ve played video games, both competitively and recreationally. It’s just part of my life, who I am, and no small part of my self care.

One of the biggest online games I ever played was World of Warcraft (WoW), it’s a fantastic world with no shortage of things to do, from questing/leveling to Player versus Player, an in game economy, and the really big draw: Raiding.

Now when I started playing, I was coming over from a Player Vs. Player Driven MMO I was incredibly serious about – I was also very good at it. I tackled WoW with the same optimization fervor that I had in my previous game. I spent a whole day researching what Race to pick based on the Class I wanted to play to get the best synergy I could.

I started playing and leveling with a friend, and quickly realized the closer I got to the raiding and “end game” that I was woefully ignorant of mechanics, Gear and other things that set the “serious” players apart from the casuals. So I sought to inform myself, I read a lot, I did a lot of trial and error, and I sought out guilds (groups of players with a common purpose) with a heavy focus on raids and raiding. This is where I found my First guild: Advent Children. I met some of the oldest and longest Friends I ever had there – From Kithus the surly fucker from Boston, to Lecithin the (then) 14 year old girl who was one of the top players in the guild. These people and Samma (my mentor) basically elevated my knowledge, game play and became some of my closest friends. Over the years some left, some came back, and we found new people that shared similar goals.

This might seem an Odd thing to write about in a BDSM context, however, I have to admit as a I progressed in my years as a newbie, to a veteran raid leader, to part of a top 50 world progression guild. I learned a few life lessons too.

The Great part about MMO’s as well as communities is that you have so many people inhabiting the same spaces, however for different reasons. There’s PvP’ers, Raiders, achievement whores, Auctionhouse superstars, The list continues. As a raider I sort of stood apart from the rest of the community, My entire existence online was focused around my Role as a raid leader. Farming materials for raids, reading fight strategies and watching video’s, and showing up for 5 hour raid nights 5 times a week. Because of this I had very little in common with many casual players or other inhabitants of the game world. I rapidly out grew people I started playing with, along with members of other guilds on our server.

The Same can be said for the kink community. I want to explore, I want to do next level shit with others who want to do next level shit. Because of this, there are people I (or we) outgrow, or never connect with. This too, is OK. Social circles change, we progress around a different path, or simply take a different direction from those we were once close with.

Another thing I learned in my time in WoW, is that people will hate your successes, not everyone mind you, but enough. Let them hate – we used to have a saying “Are you paying for my subscription? No? well when you are, you can tell me how to play”. Over the years I was accused of everything from cheating, to running illegal programs, to bribing people to “carry me along” with real world money…. For the most part, your haters know fuckall about you beyond the story they’ve made up in their heads about you. Do you, the people who want to do epic shit with you WILL find you or vice-versa. The ones who choose to pick at you from the shadows or whisper in ears are generally just unhappy, jealous or just plain incapable of compersion of any sort.

In the end We, as members of this bdsm collective, are all here to participate in the amusement park of activities available to all of us. We all share common problems, issues, and interests. However, we don’t all get to be porn-stars, hardcore BDSM “legends”, or Fetlebrities, what we do get to be is anything we desire, why not gravitate towards people who will help you along that path, or at the very least let others who are doing what they want the fuck alone as long as the behavior isn’t damaging.

Politics, Influence peddling, and snide remarks aren’t going to enrich the culture we inhabit, Compersion and focusing on your own growth and journey will. You just might get lucky enough to find a guild, tribe,family that shares your passion for improvement.

Regards,

Syn

Victim Support and Breaking Social Convention.

We talk a lot about predators and abusive/negative behaviors – how we should address them head on, how to support victims and how to deal with situations like this all the time. I often hear people touting the idea that we need to support victims of abuse, misgendering, racism and speak for those who do not (or cannot) defend themselves.

In Theory these are great ideas and sentiments and in a perfect world this is exactly what would happen too.

What I see more often than not is these people’s traumas and the events that caused them are used as a twisted form of social currency.

Before some people lose their shit, let me explain.

When I was raped many people chose not to believe my story, which, while horrible, isn’t relevant to where I’m going with this. What is Relevant is the people who “wanted” to believe me. I had ONE person who I confided in, they knew the whole truth because they made me feel that my anonymity would be protected, which I sorely needed at that time in my life. Now, when this person tried to warn others that my partner was abusive, a rapist, and frankly a shit human being, I sat and watched as people who were supposedly close to me make EVERY EXCUSE possible to not have to acknowledge that someone they know could possibly be these things.

I have been raped twice and sexually assaulted more times than I care to count, and the same bullshit keeps popping up even 15 to 20 years later. What this all boils down to is “I WANT to believe, but I don’t like the people the supposed victim trusted or associates with so I will instead tear down any form of warning I become aware of rather than swallowing my pride and ASKING.”

People wonder WHY we don’t call out a lot of predators, racists, and serial abusers – it boils down to something simple: fear.

When someone who is privy to information you are not comes forward regarding these despicable things, I am not saying to not think critically and question. I am not saying to blindly believe – that opens up the ability to weaponize being a fake victim. What I AM suggesting is that these people might not come forward themselves for a couple of reasons.

The reason I have seen most lately is that generally victims will find stronger people they trust to confide in. They feel safe that their anonymity will be protected by these trusted friends.

However, when you attack those people for spreading lies, crying wolf or otherwise publicly verbally attack them – how do you think the victim they are protecting feels? Safe to come forward? Safe to share? Safe to publicly denounce the behavior and the person(s) who turned them into victims?

All of this arbitrarily based on political and social disagreements between members of the community we all agree should be made safer.

How do you know they haven’t made a promise to not name the perpetrators? Instead we’ll cry “GOSSIP!” “DRAMA!” and all manner of other bullshit words which (inadvertent or not) creates an environment of victim shaming and fear. So they stay quiet, and the visible ones take the brunt of the vitriol, and the cycle starts again.

I will admit, I am not innocent in this either, I have done the exact thing I JUST wrote about, and didn’t even consider it abnormal, to me, it’s just the way things were. Which considering my own past, was a really shitty way of going about things simply because I wasn’t prepared to examine my own shitty behavior and thought processes.

What I am proposing we ALL consider, is the fact that warnings are just that – warnings, think critically, ask questions. HOWEVER do not fail to think critically or ask questions of people who are socially anathema to you. We don’t always have to be unified, but if people have the best interest of their respective communities at heart, then giving the benefit of the doubt costs nothing, and could potentially lead to victims feeling safer to share their stories at large, and come forward more readily.

Regards,

Syn.