I’m sort of an insecure mess. You may have noticed. Lol. With major life changes in this past year, more of those insecurities and doubts about myself have come to the surface with a vengeance. But they certainly aren’t new. These things have deep roots and can be quite difficult to shake. Throw in the complexities of TTWD and scene relationships and there’s a whole new layer to deal with.
When I first discovered the spanking scene a few years ago, one of my immediate concerns involved my own body image. I was trying to grasp the idea of putting myself in the vulnerable position of being spanked by someone which was a little intimidating to begin with. On top of that, I started being haunted by my own insecurities of how I look. I’m too fat. I’m too tall. What if I can’t even fit over someone’s lap to have the revered OTK experience? I’m not cute enough. What if nobody wants to play with me at all?
I’d love to say I don’t think about any of those things anymore, but that wouldn’t be true. I do, especially in new situations and having to meet new people. But the thoughts have faded a bit. When I attended my first spanking party I saw that the people were just regular people, like me. A range of ages, sizes, and types. I didn’t feel like I was on the outside looking in on a Cosmopolitan magazine. Have I wished that I was as pretty or as smart or as thin as someone else? Sometimes. But I fit in. We are all just people and I never felt judged. You’re always your harshest critic, as they say.
Shyness and social issues are a whole different layer for the self conscious being that is Lea. And regular me, too. There’s this quote I came across once. “People who don’t know me think I’m quiet. People who do know me wish I was.” Lol. That’s fitting. I’m very shy around new people. I don’t always know what to say and feel awkward and out of place or like I’m intruding into someone’s conversation.
The average person probably assumes that someone they don’t know well likes them alright or at worst is just indifferent. I tend to assume that people don’t like me unless they’ve outwardly indicated otherwise. And who goes around saying “Hey, I really like you!” Lol. Therefore, I assume a lot of people dislike me. Or I should say, my emotional brain thinks that. Rational brain can think about it and realize that people probably are indifferent or haven’t noticed me because I have never talked to them. I always joke that I’m the tallest invisible person ever. Good at blending into the background.
My one saving grace in retaining friends is that I’m at least fairly funny in my self-deprecation. A friend was talking about how someone was complaining that any time she liked a guy, he liked one of her friends and not her. I said, “Yeah, that’s in my book. It’s called My Life.” Everyone laughed and it became a running joke that when I’d say something whiny or mopey, I’d add “that’s in Chapter 5.” I really need to write this book. There’s a lot of material. Lol.
There are actually a lot of fairly introverted people in the spanking scene besides just me. It can be a bit of a struggle at first when two shy people are trying to have a conversation. Talk about awkward silences. I do much better online than I do in person. Thank God for the internet so we can at least get to know each other better before meeting.
In looking for compatible play partners, I’ve had really extensive conversations via email, IM, text, whatever. Then when we actually meet I tend to get really quiet. I am not the initiator. Would never survive as a top. (As if my hand didn’t already prove that.) In a few years of doing all this, I have never gotten any better about being the one doing the asking. I hate it. For one thing, when I’m in a certain mood and headspace I love the whole chase. I want the person to come get me. Having to go to them and ask “hey, will you spank me?” kind of kills that, as silly as it may seem. Am I capable of just saying what I want? Of course. But do I want to? Not always.
Being the initiator also opens me up for rejection, which has happened, and that’s never any fun. I know people say it happens to everyone and to just brush it off, but it can nag at me until I wonder what did I do or do they dislike me, blah, blah, blah. To those who usually do initiate things, bless you all. Seriously. TTWD kind of forces open the lines of communication, which is a good thing but definitely doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
A lot of my thinking on this topic came up recently after an unexpected and very long conversation with a friend. Various things were discussed like perceptions of how others feel about me and how my own perceptions affect how I may act towards others. It led to talk about relationships and friendships in the scene and feeling insecure about different things. How the closeness we feel with others in TTWD kind of skips preliminary steps an average friendship would take and therefore gives us a deeper bond but also leaves us more open to be hurt should things go wrong.
It was an enlightening conversation and quite an eye-opener to me personally that many of the feelings I expressed I am not alone in. I’m always amazed when someone I think is beautiful is worried about how they look, or someone who seems super popular expresses that they stress about people liking them. I’m equally amazed if I’m ever told that a person envies anything about me or my perceived relationships with others. I suppose it’s a case of the grass is always greener on the other side. Everyone feels insecure and self conscious at times. Some may just not show it as much as others.
Is that Schadenfreude? I don’t really enjoy that other people may feel insecure, but it does make me feel a bit more normal in my feelings about myself. I may not like everything about my body, but this is what I have. I may be shy, but once I actually talk to someone they could like me. I may never be the super popular one, but I have good friends. I might get rejected, but there are still plenty of people who do want to play with me. Perception. And if there’s someone out there reading this and thinking about your own insecurities, know that you are not alone.