All of these parts of myself coexist in my body, a representation of evolution and migration and truth. My body carries within its frame beauty and agony, certainty and murkiness, loathing and love. And I’ve learned to accept it, as is. For so much of my life, I wished into the dark to be someone else, some elusive ideal that represented possibility and contentment. I was steadily reaching in the dark across a chasm that separated who I was and who I thought I should be. Somewhere along the way, I grew weary of grasping at possible selves, just out of reach. So I put my arms down and wrapped them around me.
—Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (Pg. 258)
(via Molten Soul)
You’ve got to have someone who loves your body. Who doesn’t define you, but sees you. Who loves what [they] see. Who you don’t have to struggle to be good enough for.
—Deb Caletti, The Secret Life of Prince Charming
I don’t know how to express how grateful I am to JJ for being this person for me. We’ve been together for almost three years and I’ve never heard him say a negative thing about my body. On the contrary, he seems to genuinely celebrate/relish in parts of me I typically try to minimize. One of the many reasons I love him.
In order to keep me available to myself, and able to concentrate my energies upon the challenges of those worlds through which I move, I must consider what my body means to me. I must also separate those external demands about how I look and feel to others, from what I really want for my own body, and how I feel to my selves.
Another important way in which the erotic connection functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy, in the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, harkening to its deepest rhythms so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, or examining an idea.
That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.
This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognized at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.
—Audre Lorde, The Uses of the Erotic
(via Things I’ve Learned from Being Open)
Spending good quality time together. This is not time where we’re sitting on our computers, basically in separate worlds but next to one another, but time where we’re actively engaging with one another, either having a conversation or doing an activity together, or even just snuggled up in bed not talking. Feeling like quality time is a thing that my partner enjoys, craves, desires, wants as much as possible of.
Touch. Touch is so valuable to me. I feel most connected to a partner when we are in physical contact, even if it’s just holding hands while we’re driving somewhere. JJ makes it very clear how much pleasure he derives simply from having his hands on my body, even from things as non-sexual as my cheeks. Sexual touch brings this to another level, especially when combined with verbal affection. Sex can be an amazing expression of love, and cuddles are just as important.
Attention. I’m giving attention separate emphasis from quality time, because attention can be given from afar. Gchatting during the day while we’re at work, or even when we’re spending time with other people, counts as attention-giving, but not as quality time. Undivided attention is very important to me. Listening to me, devoting your attention to me to the exclusion of everything else.
Affection. Saying we love one another, expressing gratitude for one another’s existence in our lives, saying things that we appreciate about one another, taking the time for kisses in the middle of life routines.
Future-Planning. Making decisions about a shared semi-distant future makes me feel secure, be those decisions about leases or vacations, etc. Even just speaking about the future as a thing we will exist as a unit in.
I am pro-abortion like I’m pro-knee-replacement and pro-chemotherapy and pro-cataract surgery. … Abortion is part of a set of tools that help women and men to form the families of their choosing. I believe that abortion care is a positive social good. I suspect that a lot of other people secretly believe the same thing. And I think it’s time we said so.
(via because i am a woman)
The first sentence of this quote was realllllllllly powerful to me.
We all run from the ugly. And the farther we run from it, the more we stigmatize it and the more power we give beauty. Our communities are obsessed with being beautiful and gorgeous and hot. What would it mean if we were ugly? What would it mean if we didn’t run from our own ugliness or each other’s? How do we take the sting out of “ugly?” What would it mean to acknowledge our ugliness for all it has given us, how it has shaped our brilliance and taught us about how we never want to make anyone else feel? What would it take for us to be able to risk being ugly, in whatever that means for us. What would happen if we stopped apologizing for our ugly, stopped being ashamed of it? What if we let go of being beautiful, stopped chasing “pretty,” stopped sucking in and shrinking and spending enormous amounts of money and time on things that don’t make us magnificent?”
(via Learning everyday…)
Me, at work: *stomach area feels kind of weird *
Me: *goes to bathroom *
Me: *wipes *
Me: *sees blood on tissue *
Me: WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?! AM I DYING?! *repeats emotions of first period in 4th grade *
Me: …Wait a minute. This is normal. This is a normal thing that happened to me monthly for upwards of 15 years. This stomachache is probably cramps.
Me: *digs around in desk until she finds a pad *
Me: *takes extra strength Tylenol *
Me, at home: *feels unbearably tired, passes out waiting for chicken to defrost to cook dinner *
Me: *reallllllllllllllllllllllllllly fucking hopes this isn’t gonna become a thing again *
GO HOME, MENSTRUAL CYCLE. NOBODY MISSED YOU.