Look, everyone has insecurities.
Just because someone is body positive, sex positive and fights for the rights of people to be who they are – regardless of anyone else’s hangups about who they are – doesn’t mean that they never feel insecure, ashamed or doubtful about their relationships.
What is different about how those of us who are fighting these fights is that we consider a few basic logical assumptions before we go freak out at someone with whom we have a relationship.
- Have we discussed the subject we’re insecure about with the person involved (preferably in a non-attacking/non-blaming way)?
- Could there be something going on in the other person’s life that could impact their involvement in whatever subject we’re insecure about?
- Is the situation you are insecure about something related to that little voice inside us that constantly criticizes us (i.e. is there something in your head saying you’re bad or wrong)?
- Is the issue related to something that makes you feel like an impostor or a fraud?
The questions could (and probably do) go on.
Please understand, I’m not trying to say that people like me are somehow better or superior to those who are different than we are. It’s just that we’re wired differently.
Often, someone who is an activist about something is a highly analytic person. We tend to want to know the “why & wherefore” behind those issues. That means not only that we analyze ourselves, but we analyze the culture and social norms behind certain behaviors. At least for those of us who believe in educating others, we work to have the ability to see other perspectives, and hopefully persuade the person with those perspectives to understand and see our own.
For me, it’s about reminding myself that I am NOT the center of the Universe. No matter how much in love two people are (regardless of whether they are monogamous or non-monogamous), there are times and situations when the other person is not going to be focusing solely on you. Hell, even as closely bound and codependent as my blood family is, there are times when we each focus on other people than just family.
This is called life. Nothing is ALWAYS about you. Especially when it comes to sex.
While I thoroughly enjoy sex, and have had enough desire and lust (not just “pre” sex, but after it as well) directed at me to know that I’m fairly accomplished at it, I still have my own issues about it. Even though only ONE man in the list of men I’ve been with has ever complained (and it was over 20 years ago now), it is THAT complaint that seems to come back to haunt me when I’m feeling insecure. And even though it was “ONLY” my ex who ever told me I was “too fat to be desirable,” it’s THAT critic demon that pops up when I’m feeling insecure.
The thing is, I have to – and do – remind myself that my current boyfriend is NOTHING like my ex, or that idiot from so long ago.
Sometimes I can do that on my own. Sometimes I have to discuss the matter with my boyfriend, just to get that demon to shut the hell up. And, I have to remember that my boyfriend is human too, and sometimes has his own insecurities. That’s a big challenge for some people – understanding that someone else, even someone we love, has their own problems and their own issues.