Where was I…
…oh, yeah. Having a really boring week. The only fun and exciting thing that happened this past week is fully vanilla and involves my family in a roundabout way, so I am not going to discuss it here. No Steve, due to him having his kids with him for spring break. So, rather than contrive something or another just for the sake of posting, I kept quiet. However, now I have something to say.
A couple of years ago, Alex Reynolds posted a brilliant piece about commenting on kinky photos. It’s worth a read, or a reread. After an experience I had this week, I’d like to add another point to it, if I may.
I’m going to state this up front, so I don’t get a bunch of defensive heat. I realize a lot of commenters mean well. Not all inappropriate comments come from dicks and wankers. In the following instance, I know that no one meant anything bad. This is merely a reminder to think very carefully about what you post to someone’s photo. Sometimes, even the most well-meaning remarks will come off as a critique.
I was feeling crappy last week, I admit it. It was yet another Steve-less week, I didn’t have anything interesting or fun to say, I felt lonely and frustrated. I wanted attention. Which is a recipe for trouble, because every time I deliberately seek attention, I end up getting the kind I don’t want.
It’s no secret that I have no compunction about posting pictures of my butt. Once in a while, I will post a naked picture. But overall, I’m self-conscious about showing my breasts. Not sure why, I just am. So I keep that to a minimum. Last Tuesday, on a whim, I took a few pictures in the bathroom after a shower. In one of them, I was looking intently into the camera, not smiling, and I thought the effect was kinda sexy/sultry. Plus I had my arms up, so my boobs looked perky and pretty. I messed around with the exposure, created a kind of arty effect, and I was actually quite pleased with the result. So I posted it on FetLife. Something different, I thought.
I got some “Loves” and a few nice comments. Then three different people expressed their thoughts… about my face. Apparently, I should have smiled.
A woman puts herself out there, bares her breasts, and you critique her facial expression??
The first comment didn’t bother me. The second one gave me pause. By the time the third one was posted, I was in tears. And completely down on myself.
“Yeah, Erica, see? This is what happens when you go attention-seeking. Give it up. Your day is over. You show your boobs and no one even looks — they just see your imperfect facial expression. You’re too damned old to pull off the sultry look. You just look tired and pissed off.” Yes, this is where my mind goes.
It didn’t help that at the same time, a lovely young woman, a friend of mine, posted a vanilla shot of her face. She looked beautiful… and she too was not smiling. She got several comments, all positive. Not one person said that she should smile.
Suddenly, the picture I had liked looked bad to me. My face looked angry and/or sad, not sexy. I felt foolish. And I took the photo down.
Yes, I’m hypersensitive. Yes, I probably overreacted. But come on. Again, and again and again and again, the point is: If you see a picture and want to say something nice, go right ahead. But if you don’t have something positive or uplifting or complimentary to say, then please don’t say anything. Just move on, and find a picture you do like. And when a woman makes herself vulnerable to you, takes a step out of her comfort zone, don’t tread on her ego. You have no idea how much your words can affect another person.
I’m embarrassed to admit how many tears I shed over this. I shared the photo with a couple of trusted friends who told me I shouldn’t pay attention to what anyone says, that I looked great and I should post for myself, not others. One friend commented that telling a woman she should smile is sexist. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, but he has a point. I mean, I don’t recall anyone ever commenting on a man’s picture that he’d look better if he smiled. Especially if he’s baring his chest at the time. Another person said I should put the picture back up. But I will not.
So, kids, that’s where I’m at this week. Hopefully next week will be better. I will see Steve again, get my head screwed back on straight, and life goes on. Meanwhile, I’m going to go hang out with the man who always thinks I’m beautiful and sexy. ♥
Have a great weekend, y’all.