Sex in Public: “My body is imperfect.”

{via, with my modifications}

the first time i considered the idea that my body could be imperfect i was 19.

i’m not sure that previously my body had been my FRIEND exactly, but more of an ally. (not one i particularly TRUSTED, but one that i was making the most of all the same, like a partner in a war). at any rate, it wasn’t my enemy. the attention my looks got may have been overwhelming but it was consistent. it opened doors & gave me certain freedom & allowances.

one of my lovers at the time was older, complicated, unavailable, arrogant & looking for a challenge & adventure. really, he was looking for someone to conquer. & i was looking for any excuse to not be vulnerable.

he asked me, after having sex, both of us naked, what i disliked about my body.


he told me everyone dislikes something (i knew this translated to every FEMALE). i also knew at that moment it was not ok to be satisfied with my body.

my body was the castle i hid all my flaws in. my overwhelming emotions, my complicated family history, my sadness, my intensity, my passion. my body was the thing i presented to the world that proved i had it all together. dislike it? it was my fortress. if it had cracks, everything would fall apart & spill out.

but clearly a response was appropriate. an answer expected… so i said ‘my thighs’ hoping that was sufficient.

he asked why.

‘i don’t know, they just never seemed to fit my body.’

i’m not sure how much truth was in that statement at the time, but my thighs have evolved into my enemy in the decade that has passed since that moment.

it was the first time i was prompted to examine, contemplate, IDENTIFY the flaws in my body.

the thought never even crossed my mind to ask what he didn’t like about his body. those rules don’t apply to men in the same way…

— Rene, San Franscisco


Sex in Public is an ongoing storytelling series devoted to uniting people through vulnerable & intimate admissions of sex & sexuality. 

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