or How to Love the Shape of Your Container

By Scott King

 

Somebody was at my apartment. We had had a nice time. It was time for him to go.

I was sitting on my favorite couch in a slimming pair of Calvins, waiting patiently while my new friend gathered his clothes and put himself back together. I was determined not to molest or fondle my phone, which was feet away and blowing up after at least half an hour’s worth of inattention.

 

It would be rude not to spend the last few minutes with my guest completely present. Once he had dotted his eyes and crossed his laces, he approached the sofa, stooped over, bent down and kissed me – deeply, sweetly, and briefly. He lingered.

 

“What is it about you?” he pondered. “You’re so hot.”

 

“I don’t know. What is it?”

 

My response was coy and insincere. I hadn’t yet learned how to take a compliment, and I wasn’t sure what was going on.

 

“It’s like … it’s like … you’re thick-waisted.”

 

Totally.

 

My bodhisattva of a lover exited stage Grindr, and I was left with the light bulb burning. The light bulb of an idea. The idea that I was attractive not despite my current physical form, but because of it.

 

Since I had quit smoking several years before, I had turned what was left of my baby fat into something more attractive and sinuous: muscle tone. But my Greek god status had stalled out a couple of years into my smoke-free training. I loved food and carbs as much as I loved remix albums, punk rock compilations, and going through the motions at the gym.

 

Though my body was in decent, healthy shape, and I felt attractive, the icy pangs of insecurity still hit whenever I looked at a young, queerbaiting pro wrestler’s Instagram. Sometimes I would go out to the club feeling fresh, but it would all fall apart when I was faced with the svelte titans of the dancefloor. That’s life. Or so I thought.

 

After my epiphany in Calvins, I realized that everyone has the potential to dislike themselves because of a physical flaw that keeps them from fulfilling their fantasy of being crowned Mr. Universal Sex Symbol Du Jour. But that’s bullshit. Goldie Hawn laments her skinny ankles, and Marilyn Monroe lived in terror that everyone would discover she was a fraud.

 

That brief, sunlit tryst in my apartment changed the way I looked at my body and my persona. I walked into rooms expecting people to be in awe of and intimidated by my thick-waisted figure. I was a man of substance. Of gravitas. Of import.

 

For the next six months, there was basically a waiting list to touch my penis. I’m not saying this to brag; I’m just saying this to say, knowing you are sexy is sexy. Even people whom I don’t think are sexy but who THINK they are sexy, are sexy.

 

I have to admit it. It’s like, damn boo, you ARE sexy. I hate you, and you’re ugly, but you’re sexy. Checkmate, gurl.

 

The thick-waisted compliment only lasted so long. I had to find other things, both inside and outside of myself, to bolster my confidence. It’s part of growth. It’s part of being alive. It’s part of interacting with a dynamic, modern, and fluid society.

 

It’s also fun.

 

Writing this piece makes me feel sexy. Being good at my other jobs makes me feel confident, sexy, and vital. Talking to strangers for no reason and with no ulterior motive makes me feel sexy. And alive.

 

Being alive is fabulous, so love the life and body, you’re in. It’s the only one you have. For now.