xesce.net     03/07/08: My amazing sex diet

photo from april 2008

I am 42 years old. I haven't had sex in years. This photo was taken in April of this year, after approximately 10 weeks of exercise in preparation for my trip. (BMI: approximately 18.9) I am now back to my usual habits, but I wanted to have a record of the effort I put in. Many times in my life I have put in effort that has never been recorded, and when it slips away, it is like it never happened. Whenever I put in this kind of effort, there is the hope that it can somehow be shared, and sadness when I am not able to find someone to share it with.

I think that I wanted to deserve a sexual relationship. Even after exercise I realize that I do not have a body type that is currently sought after or considered ideal, but when I have done the best I can with what I have to work with, I can't help wishing that someone would be interested. I think in putting up photos I am trying to force myself to examine my psychosis. Hiding away from life as I usually do, I don't have regular social contact with others, and this is exacerbated by the increasing social isolation that can occur as one gets older. I think it's possible that in putting up such photos I make people uncomfortable. I don't think posting these particular photos on a website is going to help me get laid, or get anyone to express interest. Forcing this discomfort upon others is an example of how out of touch I am with how people usually communicate and relate to each other, perhaps. I have since gained weight, anyway. But, I have a need to document the effort, the desire for a sexual relationship, and my own peculiar dysfunction. Average people have sex, but I am somehow not connected to the world and life enough to find sexual or romantic relationships as I get older.

I realize now that I cannot continue to approach exercise in the ways I did when I was younger, and that it is a lot harder to get the weight to come off. This time I ran into a couple of problems that were probably a combination of cumulative abuse issues over the years (a lot of high impact aerobics in the past, dancing barefoot on concrete floors, running 8 km at a stretch when I hadn't given my body enough time to build up to that distance) and that I tried to increase exercise too rapidly in relation to my current age and fitness level. I was afraid I had experienced stress fracture in my heels, but they may have only been bruised. I stayed off them for 5 days, was careful not to do any high impact for a while after that, and have not had a problem since. However, during my trip I developed what I would consider to be a serious knee problem.

As for my nutritional health: approximately 7-8 weeks into my diet/exercise regime, I went to see a doctor. I had bloodwork done and was surprised by the results. All of my results were very good. There was not a single deficiency or problem. Egs, my iron levels were good, my calcium levels were good, I was taking in sufficient calories, I was well-hydrated, good kidney function, my cholesterol levels were good, my electrolites were all good, etc. While dieting.

My habits over the years have been extremely unhealthy, and I should not take my lack of problems so far for granted. Considering the years of bulimia and poor nutrition, the binge drinking, and depression, I could be a lot worse off, and it may be genetics that make it possible for my body to still bounce back quickly from abuse. However, it would be foolish to think that this good luck will continue indefinitely.

Also before my trip I went to a dentist for the first time since I was 15 years old. I did not have any damage to my enamel from the years of bulimia, and I did not have a single cavity. However, it did turn out that I have the beginning stage of gum disease, with a very small amount of bone loss so far. I am not in danger of losing teeth any time soon, but it did freak me out quite a bit to think about how I might have very bad breath (from the plaque buildup on teeth and under gums) and just not know it. I have had one cleaning so far, and will probably go through with further steps to take care of this. I have always brushed my teeth a lot, but now I floss regularly as well. For me, this is probably more about the breath issue than about the fear of losing teeth.

In preparing for such an ambitious trip, I think that I might have liked access to professional advice, to cosmetic procedures, a personal trainer, etc. I don't think I did so badly on my own. I had some trouble trying to find makeup colours that would work for me in daylight, I had hair issues that ultimately I could only solve with a hat (but I grew to actually like the hat as a personal statement), I had anxiety about my age, about my skin not being as tight as it was when I was younger, about how unphotogenic I am when out and walking around with all the security cams everywhere, but in the end I felt that I had done the best I could with what I had to work with.

I think that I might wish at this time to start cutting myself some slack with regards to the whole body/weight issue. I have a body that looks considerably different in size depending on the angles it is viewed from, and what clothes I wear, and I have a body that tends to look bigger than the size I wear. I would like to link photos to demonstrate what I mean. In photos taken on the same day (BMI: approximately 18-18.5), I can look healthy and fit in one, and considerably smaller, such that even my frame looks smaller and I look less muscular, in another. I think this duality has messed with my mind and with how people perceive me.

Back to... at this point I know I have tried hard many times in my life to focus, and make the most of my particular features. I have tried to compensate for the angles I look biggest from, and it always seems in order to do that I have to be very thin. It has been important for me in life to at least try to make the most of what I have, such that the idea of trying seems linked to the possibility of experiencing pleasure in life, or getting closer to deserving pleasure. I want to allow myself to stop judging myself so harshly. If I gain weight again, if I lose my level of fitness, I just don't want to go through it again, the feeling of failure and not deserving anything good. I know I have tried hard. It is just not natural for my body to be as thin as I want it to be, or I am not someone capable of the level of discipline and focus that would be necessary to sustain it. If I try to get fit again, I know I can't approach it in the old ways anyway - I risk injury. I am trying to assess myself realistically in this area.

Eating less food and exercising more has not in a very long time contributed to me finding meaningful relationships or having good sex, or even having sex at all. If I experience some pleasure in eating or reduction of stress in various kinds of overindulgence, perhaps I have to look at myself and at life realistically and try to accept pleasure where I find it. It is possible for me to live with very infrequent binge/purge behaviour if I allow my weight to increase. The b/p behaviour invariably returns after a period of focus, psychological if not technical deprivation, weight loss, intensive exercise. I am currently in the b/p phase, while gaining weight. I am also finding it harder to go outside at present. I don't want it to be this way this time. I don't want to keep hiding. I am not a model or a fitness role model, and it is just not realistic for me to try to live up to these standards.

After my trip, or even during my trip, my focus began to shift, and I began to see myself differently. I felt that it was ok to accept my hair and my style of dress, or if I gained weight again and lost fitness, things that I am so often preoccupied with. I think a very long time ago I somehow accepted the idea that I had no value as a person if I was not fit, or pretty. For most of my life I have not been fit, and I have never really been pretty. I am not photogenically pretty, except with very great effort to find the right angle and lighting. And sadly enough, it seems I have spent most of my life hiding from life and from cameras, the proof that I am not fit or pretty. I don't want to have to keep trying to live up to something it is ludicrous for me to try to live up to. I have learned to capture moments, aspects of the whole, with a camera, but I know very well that the majority of the moments of my life tell a different story.

I still like the idea of dressup, of costumes and dramatic makeup and hairstyles, role playing and trying new things, but in my daily reality, I don't want to feel I have to hide because I am not interesting, pretty or fit enough to live up to the images I create.

The photo on this page is perhaps a documentation of this year's effort, and at the same time a statement that I don't think I will put in this kind of effort again. I am glad that I tried, but I think it is time to try to move on to a new way of approaching my existence.

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