The following blog post was written by a student in Wellcelium’s Ignite! course. The questions and practices sections at the end of this post were developed by Wellcelium to support your exploration.

Dear body,

You are not me. And since you became sexually desirable, you seem to be less and less me. You are a sly thing whose most accessible power is your sexual capital. This makes friends and lovers frustrated that folks desire you and it frustrates me, too. The same thing used to happen before you were beautiful to others but it was because that part of me that’s so curious and friendly. Now those around me peg it on how I look which isn’t wrong but they never mention my friendliness or sharp wit.

And that’s the bottom line isn’t it… when it’s about you, it’s not about anything but you. I totally get why it’s frustrating for them. I try to be smaller sometimes because of it but your length makes you too visible everywhere we go.

The thing is, having sexual capital, even though it definitely gives me access to resources, doesn’t actually feel good to me, now. It feels fake because I didn’t always look like this and I won’t continue to. And because I’m so much weirder and embrace way more creep than you seem to communicate, often the wrong kinds of people assume I’m one of them. You look more normal than I feel but you are also how I choose, to some extent, to present myself. It’s a place of deep tension and confusion.

How can I take you more personally?

When we were working as a stripper, I learned that initial desire isn’t personal. Everyone is someone’s dream and someone’s yuck… it was never about the person desired, it was about the one desiring. So how can I take it personally when others have an opinion about how you look, now? They had an opinion when they didn’t like you, also. It doesn’t make a difference.

How can I take you more personally?

Especially when you’re always getting in my way. You’re relatively bad at basic things that most people my age seem able to do just fine. Like cleaning toxins out and building up muscles or flexibility. You aren’t strong or stretchy. Or maybe that’s my fault. You hold your mysteries tightly and your communication is confusing to the intellect. I so often don’t know how to help you!

Oh and that fucking race shit which is probably the underlying fetishization that’s made this whole muddy zone. How can I take pleasure in your fetishization when it’s the same tactic of dehumanisation that has killed so many of my people?

So, you almost never feel good from the inside and you don’t feel like me from the outside. How can I take you more personally?

I basically wish I didn’t need you or could just transform into hands for feeling and a mind for thinking and a soul for everything else. Okay, wait… maybe eyes also to watch the river run. Oh, I see where this is going… very sneaky, hands. I see what you’re writing me into.

Yes, okay, fine: ears to hear my lover’s voice and a mouth to taste and bite and sing are things I would still like. And breathing is a sensation I like, too. But not the other stuff—digestion and cleaning processes and sickness fighting and muscles aching and shoulders hunching and pecs pulling. Goodbye to shoulders, then! Or maybe just to feeling them from the inside. I do like their round boniness to touch from the outside. And a nose to smell trees and books with.

I want you and I don’t want you. I want parts of you but not the whole you as you are.

But here we are, together.

I guess we will have to figure out how to like each other.


(whether you like it or not)


Questions to Ask Yourself

What have I been told/witnessed/learned from family, culture/religion, and friends about being desirable?

Suggested Practice

Two Letters

  1. Write a straight-up letter to your body about what sucks. Really let it know what it “should” be like. Don’t be mean, but be super blunt and hon­est. Are there parts you’d like to get rid of? Write it.
  1. Write a love-letter to your body. Really admire your form, what you love about your body. Are there parts you love? Write it.