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Oh shit I’m a moped.

There’s a shitty old joke that fat chicks are like mopeds: fun to ride, but you wouldn’t want anyone to see you on one.

And indeed, I’ve heard fat women say that often there’ll be guys who want to fuck them…but not date them, not be seen in public with them, not let the world see that they’re attracted to someone who’s not thin.

I think I’m getting kinda the same treatment, but in the context of work.

On a whole bunch of different occasions, it’s the first time I’ve posed for a particular art class and the organizer comes up to me during a break to tell me “You have the most fantastic poses” or “you have such a great energy; your poses are so interesting and different from other people’s.” He (it’s always a he*) says this with a starstruck expression, and usually reiterates it several times during the course of the session. These dudes aren’t paying hollow compliments, is what I’m saying; they really do seem kind of…entranced. And they hire me again and again.

But it would seem that despite the artistic community giving lip service to diversity, the trendy body type for art models is: thin to the point of ribs and hipbones being clearly visible (I think of ballet dancers and gymnasts), small breasts, long hair, conventionally attractive face. I say this because when these art guys show off their drawings on their blogs or Facebook pages, or use one of their drawings to illustrate an ad for their life drawing night – guess what body type they choose to showcase, almost always?

And I’m really pretty tired of it. You think I’m so amazing and different from the rest of the models? Show your support of what I do by posting pics of me sometimes. Those drawings you post act as publicity for the models. At present I’m not getting any of that publicity; to someone who follows art blogs but doesn’t necessarily go to classes, I am functionally invisible. Meanwhile, other women – women who are not necessarily as good as I am, women who may not work nearly as often as I do – get their faces and bodies everywhere.

Funny story: there’s a Facebook page for the local arts community and some models were having a discussion recently about how pay rates really need to be raised soon. I mentioned that posing is actually really strenuous work and it’s not like the schools pay us benefits, so some of my pay goes toward Epsom salts/physiotherapy/chiropractors to keep my body functioning well enough to work, hence the need for a pay raise – gotta cover the cost of living and the cost of staying healthy, y’know? Another model – one of the slender ones whose drawings pop up everyfuckingwhere – chimed in to say yeah, it’s one thing if you only model now and then, but once you get up to 15-20 hours a week at this, it makes you really sore! Which is true. But I found the statement hilarious, for two reasons:

  1. She (a twentysomething year old athlete) was acting like 15-20 hours of posing in a week was almost more than a human body can bear, and I (a fortysomething year old with no background in athletic stuff at all) have done twice that amount pretty consistently. Okay, maybe when I say it’s “hilarious” that she said this, I really meant “validating.” I’m not crazy for feeling exhausted all the time to a point of nervous breakdown! Huzzah!
  2. By the number of drawings of this chick circulating online you would think she was just about the only female art model in my entire city, and now I knew that she was only just starting to score 20 hours of gigs (7-ish classes) a week. Innnnteresting.

No hate for the skinny chicks, by the way. I’m sure some of them are as good at the work as I am, albeit in a different way; the drawings they inspire are lovely. I’m not at all suggesting that thin women get work only because they’re thin (or that people with other body types only get work by being talented; there are a lot of places that’ll basically hire anyone willing to get naked and hold still. For real.). And part of drawing a body well is understanding the underlying structure, so it’s good to have models where you can actually see that there’s a skeleton in there.

But it’s important to see and understand fleshiness, too. And drawings of me are also lovely; I am soft and curvy and I project emotions when I pose, so a good drawing of me will have a feeling about it; it’s not just a rendering of a chick sitting still and being bored.

Hell, some drawings of me are even make me look conventionally attractive – I know how to work my angles. But even those images never see the light of day. And it’s weird and it’s frustrating and I’d like to get the same free publicity as the pretty girls kthx.

 

 

*By which I mean that most drawing classes around here seem to be run by men, but also when a woman runs one she does often post drawings of me.

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We all become our parents in the end.

I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before, but I had an epiphany a while back about my two cats.

My two cats are:

Bastardcat, the kitty I adopted seven(?) years ago, who is incredibly fearless and friendly. The rescue lady told me he’d probably hide under the bed for the first week I had him, but he was on the couch hanging out with me within ten minutes of me bringing him home. When he meets other cats, he comes right up to them to say hi. Even when I brought him to the vet with a severe lung infection, when I let him out of the carrier he was walking around inquisitively like “Where are we? What’s this? Who’s that guy? Hey, guy, what’s up? You gonna pet me?”

Dickface the Kitten is the companion I got for Bastardcat three years ago. She’s jumpy as fuck. When we first moved in with The Dandy and Dandette, Dickface hid in the bedroom closet pretty much 24/7 for a month, maybe longer. She was terrified of my vibrator. She was terrified of the ceiling fan when it was on. She bolts out of the room whenever anyone sneezes.

And for a long time, I was in the habit of lauding Bastardcat for his bravery and playfully mocking Dickface for being a big scaredy.

But then one day I realized: Dickface hangs out with us in the living room now, and will even even nap on the living room floor with her belly exposed. She’ll remain on the bed now when my vibrator is on, and only run away if I thrust it toward her. She’ll lie on the bed when the ceiling fan is on. And I remembered that bravery doesn’t mean not being afraid of anything, it means being afraid of a thing but doing it anyway. Which means Bastardcat is not the brave one; Dickface is. And I’ve been mocking her for being a coward all these years.

I’ve been doing to Dickface the Kitten exactly what my mom always did to me.

My mom was forever making dismissive comments about how I couldn’t handle various things. Meanwhile, I was in fact suffering from anxiety so bad that dealing with people at all made me wanna barf, but I kept on going to school* and rarely called in sick. I got a part-time job in retail where I had to deal with customers. I moved out on my own at age nineteen. I moved to a new city where I only knew one person at age twenty-one. I was a fucking champion, if you look at what I accomplished in light of how difficult it all was for me. But my mom didn’t see that at all, just like I didn’t see it in Dickface.

I’m really glad cats don’t understand much English, so Dickface doesn’t fully know how I’ve been treating her. Still, though, I am committed to changing my narrative here. Now I make a point of telling Dickface what an amazing, brave girl she is, and that I know she can handle things. And I’ve stopped telling Bastardcat that he’s brave, because he’s not; arguably he’s reckless and jumps into shit without assessing risk first, really.

Dickface is able to do so many things that were once frightening to her. I am so proud of my brave girl. ❤

 

*Where I got bullied, by the way. So not just having to deal with people, but having to deal with people who would shove me out into the snow in my stocking feet and lock the door/grab my hand in shop class and hold it really close to the blade of the running bandsaw/sit next to me in math and covertly stab me in the hip with the compass from their geometry set/etc.

 

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Petgasms

Tonight The Dandy and I were hanging out talking and I casually mentioned to him that I’d really like it if he sometimes paid really focused attention to my body for a pretty long time. I said something like “I love that you’ll come wash me in the bathtub or rub moisturizer on me or give me a massage most of the time that I ask. And I totally get that I’m usually asking you to do this when you’re in the middle of doing something else, so it makes sense that you’d be distracted and wanting to get back to what you were doing. But every now and then I’d really love it if you picked a time to lavish attention on me where you’re not rushing or thinking about other things, and you can take your time and I can really, like, get lost in what you’re doing.”

He beamed at me (and maybe nodded? I can’t remember for sure) like he totally understood, which I hope means he’ll do it, but I’m still pretty battle-scarred from my ex husband acting understanding but then never doing the things I wanted, so I dunno.

The Dandy’s smile, come to think of it, was relaxed and genuine, whereas my ex would just look at me deadpan and nod at intervals (which I thought at the time was him taking me seriously but I guess was actually him doing the absolute minimum possible to indicate that he was listening so I’d shut up). So it’s probably different.

I’d still feel better if The Dandy had actually opened his face-hole and said something affirmative though.

But I’m proud of myself for mentioning it in a tactful way, at a good time, and not letting the issue fester for too long. And whether The Dandy remembers what I said and acts on it or not, it’s a good sign that he smiled at me in response instead of locking up and seeming angry as he sometimes does.

I feel cautiously optimistic about our relationship in general since I’ve realized that a) he’s a lot more emotionally intelligent than I thought and b) that sometimes he’ll have a knee-jerk reaction to me telling him an issue I have with him, but if I back off and let him ruminate a while, he’ll calm down and be able to talk.

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Epiphany

Oh by the way I’m just gonna start referring to myself as being on the autism spectrum, ’cause I’m really really fucking sure that I am. One day maybe I’ll get a doctor to confirm it, just for kicks. But right now I’m too busy/spoon-deficient.

Anyway.

It came up with The Dandy a while back that I usually can’t tell if someone’s kinda drunk or stoned. That’s weird to me because I’m great with body language, generally (which is why it took me so long to figure out I’m on the spectrum).

I just realized: it’s maybe not that I’m good with body language per se. It’s that I can sense emotions. This may be an intuitive thing or a smell or who knows what, rather than reading body language per se. Either way, though, “drunk” and “stoned” are not emotions. They’re not emotions and they don’t come with any specific body language (that I know of. Unless it’s to a point of serious impairment where someone’s stumbling and slurring). This is why I can’t pick up on it.

That was the first epiphany.

I just had another: when I was in high school, most of my friends were nerds and most of the “parties” I ever went to comprised me and some nerd-friends eating snacks and bantering; no booze or drugs*. But occasionally I did go to more mainstream parties where illicit substance use was happening. And it seemed to me, at the time, that those people always ended up lying around moaning “OMG I am sooooo fucked up right nowwwwwww” but they seemed perfectly normal to me, melodramatic languishing aside. I assumed that the stuff they drank or ingested or smoked wasn’t having much effect; I assumed that all the complaining was pretty much just posturing in order to look cool or something.

It has only just now occurred to me that those kids might in fact have actually been fucked up. How would I know?

So yeah. I’ve always been able to pick up on emotions, and I  never had to do some big conscious checklist of “Is the person doing X with their face? Are they doing Y with their arms? What’s their posture like?”** but for early stages of drunkenness I do need the internal checklist. And actually I’m not even sure what the checklist should have on it. So far I’ve got

  • Glassy eyes
  • Louder/more gregarious than usual
  • Less respectful of boundaries
  • Apologizes for breaking boundaries while continuing to break them, has no apparent sense of irony over this

The marijuana checklist I have so far is

  • Glassy eyes
  • Speaks kinda slowly, maybe

Is there anything else I’m missing?

 

*In fact, when I was at a nightclub years later and some chick asked me if I liked to “party,” I thought she meant “do you like hanging out with your friends and having fun and eating food?” and I was like “yeah!” because who the fuck wouldn’t, and only when she started listing all the drugs she had access to did I connect the dots: “Oh shit, is that what people have been meaning when they talked about ‘partying’? It’s a euphemism for drugs?!?” and I pretty much ran away because drugs have never been my thing. At all. But yeah…my idea of a “party” doesn’t inherently involve alcohol.

**When I was younger (like…from birth through high-schoolish?) I really hadn’t caught on to social conventions yet and there were lots of times when I was hanging out with other kids and said something that would make palpable waves of “OMGWTF?!?” emanate from the people around me. The reaction was completely obvious and readable to me  – but I had no idea what I’d said to provoke it. I’d start frantically saying all sorts of different things until I hit on the one that magically made the yucky vibes go away. That painful process of trial-and-error is how I taught myself to be somewhat socially competent.

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Love

Recently I asked The Dandy if he would miss it if I stopped saying “I love you.” He immediately and emphatically said yes.

I was like “But you seem to have a hard time saying the words, yourself.”

He said it just doesn’t occur to him to. Which doesn’t make sense to me. If he wants to hear the words on a regular basis and would notice if I stopped saying them, clearly the concept of saying “I love you” does occur to him. Like I don’t wanna use the word hypocrite here but…

I told him that I actually hold back on saying it a lot because I assumed he’d feel pressure to say it back and it’s clearly not easy for him to say. But I like being verbally expressive, so as long as he doesn’t perceive it as pressure…

“No, it’s fine,” The Dandy said.

“I mean, if I’m clearly in a super insecure mood or crying or something I hope you’ll say it back, but otherwise, it’s fine. Just keep on petting me to sleep most nights and the message will be clear enough.”

“Will do,” The Dandy said, beaming.

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hand job story

Had a nice time with The Dandy the other night while Dandette was at a friend’s birthday party.

I said that I kinda wanted to take advantage of us having the place to ourselves (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) but I was kind of too exhausted.

“Also, we already took advantage earlier today,” The Dandy said (Dandette was…somewhere earlier that day and The Dandy and I had all the sex).

“That’s why I’m exhausted,” I said, grinning (not entirely true. I’m also plagued with the cold from hell, still).

So I assumed sex would not be had that night, but The Dandy did that thing he does of flipping his penis out of his pajama pants and wiggling it to get my attention, and I’m pretty sure that’s intended to initiate stuff, not just so I can give it a squeeze and then go about my day.

I got curious about how (if there’s a reliable way at all) to give The Dandy the best possible orgasm. We talked about that for a while. To an extent he didn’t seem to really know. I have a feeling he and his previous partners never experimented much, and/or nobody ever asked him this question before. He did say that getting him almost to the point of oversensitivity but not past it was usually a good thing. I asked him some clarifying questions and basically we established that direct glans contact is the thing that’s good but prone to rapidly becoming too much, for him. Staying on the outside of the foreskin and rubbing it up and down is the default thing that won’t oversensitize him.

I ended up giving him a hand job in which I alternated 60 strokes of rapid, firm foreskin-rubbing with five (or fewer) slow, lubed strokes down his glans (I asked him if switching randomly or predictably would be better and he didn’t know so I tried for predictability). He rarely talks during sex and I don’t know why. Like I said ahead of time to let me know if I was stimulating his glans too much, and also to let me know when he was close to coming. He…did neither of those things. I was doing the lubed glans-stroking thing and he started flinching at every stroke and I quickly readjusted my grip and gently said “dude! If you’re not having fun you can tell me, you know!” And he just kind of chuckled awkwardly.

As things got more heated, he started whispering things. He often does this when I’m getting him off. I didn’t want to throw him off his game by asking about it at that moment but after he came (the orgasm didn’t seem especially fantastic, btw, just average) I pointed out that he’d been doing it and said “I know that you fantasize in actual narratives with words and stuff rather than pictures, so is that you having your fantasy out loud?” he grinned sheepishly and said yeah.

A little later I asked him what words he has that are big arousal-triggers for him. I know there must be some. I’m assuming whatever mantra he whispers during hand jobs is chock-full of them. He said “I dunno” but sort of…coyly? And with a trace of defensiveness somehow?

“Oh, you totally know,” I said, grinning. “But I won’t push.”

“Sometimes my ‘I don’t know’ doesn’t really mean that I don’t know,” The Dandy said (why does he do that? Why does he repeat back basically what I just freaking said as if he’s teaching me something?)

“Yeah, no kidding. And if you’re not ready to share this stuff, you’re not ready. It’s cool. But if I knew the words that turn you on I’d probably say them to you, is my point.” And I dropped the subject. But boy, do I want to know what he’s thinking.

I don’t know why The Dandy relegates himself to mediocre sex. He never told me that his nipples are somewhat erogemous for him; I had to find that out through trial-and-error. He never told me that I can extend his orgasms during PIV by holding still for the first few seconds but then very slowly starting to thrust again  – I found that out by trial and error, too. Once I discovered these things and said something about them, he talked openly about them and it was clearly he’d known these things about himself for a while. But for some reason he chose not to tell me, just like he won’t tell me about his fantasies. I can understand about the fantasies seeming too personal or him being afraid I’ll laugh at him, but stuff like how to get him off effectively or that he likes his nipples played with but not for too long or it’s too much? Why would he keep that from me?

Oh, also, I confirmed with The Dandy a thing he’d said before – that hand jobs never used to work for him and now they do. I know that’s not me because he said blow jobs work for him now, too, and never used to, and those are Dandette’s department. His body is just changing what it likes, I think. Still, when he told me again that hand jobs work now and didn’t used to, I said “Tell me that’s totally because I’m so awesome at them, even though that’ll be a lie.”

The Dandy kind of smirked and rolled his eyes at me. Then, after a brief pause, he said “Maybe it’s that you actually ask me what I want instead of assuming that whatever worked for someone else will work for me.” …Oh. Maybe it is a little bit about me, then. 😀

 

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OMG.

Dandette and I caught The Dandy’s cold with a vengeance. I got it first – woke up with my throat so sore I couldn’t swallow and my voice pretty much gone. Dandette kindly brought me breakfast and went to the store for orange juice and then I slept for a while and woke up feeling a bit better. Then she got stricken down kind of suddenly, to a point where she came back from a smoke and told me she’d been having hallucinations down there.

Meanwhile, The Dandy is feeling mostly better and went to work today and then a social thing after.

Dandette called out to The Dandy (in her sick-voice that sounds like a goose being stepped on) asking if he could take the dog out and he balked. He was like “Ummmm I don’t really feel like it but I guess I could.” Are you fucking kidding me? He’s gonna make Dandette go down there when she’s sick as fuck because he’s all worn out from hanging out with his friends and doesn’t want his internet wind-down time interrupted? He’d even said earlier that night that Dandette was sicker with this cold than he’d been even at its peak. And yet.

I quietly told him that Dandette was sick to the point of hallucinating and the idea of her walking the dog right now kinda broke my heart so I’d do it if necessary, but given that I’m still smack in the middle of being pretty fiercely sick, myself, and about to embark on nine consecutive days of work (eight of which begin first thing in the morning), I’m trying to conserve my energy.

The Dandy waited til Dandette was actually at the door to intercept her and offer, and by that time the dog was already hyped up to go out (and The Dandy was in his underwear) so she felt there was no turning back. She said The Dandy could meet her downstairs if he wanted and to his (slight) credit he just put pants on and went and did that.

But Jesus Christ.

The Dandy is pretty awesome in a lot of ways but I swear he thinks he deserves to live in a clean house and eat food and have well-taken-care-of pets without having to do any of the work to achieve it whatsoever. I don’t know if it’s because he grew up in a pretty rich family and got waited on a lot or if he just takes the whole “Well, I pay your rent” thing way further with Dandette than I feel is appropriate, but yeah. He’ll barely do anything around the house and it drives me fuckin’ crazy.

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