Body confidence: I think I (fleetingly) found it

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

We’re fucking in front of a mirror, with his hands on my hips and me face-on, tits jiggling and arms reaching behind me so I can hold the back of his head and neck and grip him tightly while he pounds it in. We both look really fucking good and for some reason I don’t feel the awkward-shameful nervousness I would usually feel to see my naked body this close. This jiggly. This… exposed. I think what I have today might be body confidence.

I don’t need to wonder if he notices, because after we’ve fucked he tells me this…

This is going to sound weird.


But when I was fucking you right then, in front of the mirror, I suddenly felt like I was fucking a real grown-up woman.

I know what you mean

I don’t mean that you weren’t a woman before. Just that there’s something different about you.

We chat about it, doing that post-match analysis thing where we tell each other the good bits about the fuck: which parts we liked best and which moves each of us was most proud of. We sip delicious cocktails from the Easy Social Cocktail company, which I am subtly mentioning because a very kind reader bought me a voucher and it turns out I am a massive slut for free booze. Please, if you’re a booze company, don’t try to one-up them by emailing hellogirlonthenet [at] gmail [dotcom] offering to send me more alcohol. 

Anyway. While enjoying the delicious cocktails, and discussing how fun our fuck was, we keep returning to that moment in front of the mirror – me with my arms outstretched and reaching behind me, him with his hands on my hips. Both of us fucking eagerly as we drank in the sight of ourselves and each other.

In the mirror.

In the light.

Open and exposed.

Skin lit by stark, bright lighting.

Heads held high. Flesh jiggling.

At that moment when he was fucking me, I was looking directly into the mirror: sometimes at his eyes, which is where my focus would usually be, and sometimes at his hands, which also draw attention.

But this time my gaze lingered elsewhere as well: on the way my tits jiggled with each stroke of the fuck. The way the light caught on my arms and stomach and neck. The messed-up, shaggy, just-fucked-but-could-go-some-more tousle of my hair. The sexy armpit hair that I’ve been carefully curating, and the muscles I’ve been nurturing over long, powerful, gimme-more-dopamine-please-God-gimme-gimme bike rides.

When I was fucking you right then, in front of the mirror, you looked like a real grown-up woman. I can’t work out what it was.

I can. 

What is it?


I will not always feel this way. Body confidence is hard to capture, and it’s far easier to beat yourself up when you don’t have it than it is to recognise and celebrate the times when you do. But I remember the last time I felt this way, and how long ago it was. And I’m sad for the me who forgot what it felt like, so I thought I’d remind her right now.

Body confidence isn’t something to chase for chasing’s sake. To show myself that I’m just as good as the really cool bloggers who take pictures for Sinful Sunday. It isn’t an obligation that I need to fulfil in order to be a Proper Sex Blogger: it’s a thing that makes me happy in its own right.

How I achieved (a little bit of) body confidence

Heads up: this section is going to talk a bit about weight loss/changing body shape/eating.

There are two things that have contributed to this newfound body confidence. The first is that I’ve been using my body more lately: cycling and moving and dancing and learning to hula hoop. Not to mention fucking, where I’m making conscious efforts not to hide or curl up or flip over onto my stomach for minimum jiggle. Those things give me a feel for what my body can do, and when I remember what my body does, I find I love it more. Like a burst of pride you get when you remember your friend’s promotion, or see how great their jokes are on Twitter – a little extra dash of joy that reminds you why you love them in the first place.

The second reason is more important, and I think has made more of a difference: every single day I make myself spend time in front of a mirror. Whether it’s flailing and rocking out to showtunes in front of the one in my kitchen or hula-hooping in my knickers by the full-length one in the bedroom. I’ve even been taking daily naked selfies for The ‘This Is What My Body Looks Like’ Project that I began a few months ago. I’ve been worried by just how intensely I panic at the idea of new people seeing my body, so I’ve been working on getting myself used to seeing it first.

There’s something in here too about changing body shape. I have, as a result of moving more (and having less money, and therefore no snacks in the house) lost a bit of weight. I don’t think it’s body-positive to say I like my body now that there’s less of it, but I do. It’s not so much the fact that it’s smaller as that I can understand – and become comfortable with – the natural shape of it. I always had in my head the idea that if I exercised enough I’d end up with an hourglass figure: narrow waist and curvy bum and delicate arms and legs, like a Disney princess. But that’s just not what I look like. It will never be what I look like. Dancing in front of the mirror I discover my natural body shape has broad shoulders, a flattish arse and almost no difference between my hips and my waist. I have few curves, but a fair bit of height and power. I can see where my muscles are, which utterly delights me. I don’t look like a Disney princess, I look like a rower. It comes as a revelation: I will never have an hourglass figure, but I can have this one right here.

Dipping my toe into the water of what I look like, I realise I’m quite happy with what I find. It’s not the greatest body in the world, by the standards I’ve been drilled in since I was born, but it’s the body of a ‘real, grown-up woman’, and above all it’s the one that belongs to me.

I think I quite like it really love it.


  • Faustian says:

    So this is a really interesting piece for me; one of my partners has started to work out *a lot* since lockdown and feels so much better for it. She’s dropped about 3 dress sizes, but you touch upon she doesn’t feel terribly body positive enjoying that new found confidence. It’s allowed her to mentally reframe things I loved in the first place though.

    It puts me in a strange place because she is more expressive about those feelings and that feeds my positive feelings; there’s such a positive feedback loop that we’re both enjoying but she’s expressed how it seems I enjoy her more now she looks as she does – when I feel the shift is mostly a mental one, one where I don’t have to worry about her previous insecurities.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I fully get this and I do think it’s really tricky to navigate. The ‘mental shift’ thing in particular struck a chord. I genuinely do think it’s hard for us to accurately work out what is feeding into feelings of bodily confidence – when I wrote this I initially didn’t include the para about losing weight because I didn’t think it was as significant as the other stuff, but then I realised it clearly *is* a part of it. As I take photos for the ‘This Is What My Body Looks Like’ Project (which could definitely do with a better name!) I realise I am making efforts to frame them/position myself in ways that make me look most conventionally hot (i.e. I’m sucking my stomach in, posing with arms up so my tits look perkier etc etc etc) and it takes conscious efforts to *not* do this, and actually do what the project is meant for: get me used to how my body looks in its natural state. SO. All that waffle is to say I fully get where you’re coming from, and also I think being wholly and totally body-positive, in the way we aspire to be (i.e. recognising all bodies as valid and good regardless of how close they are to a societally determined ‘ideal’) isn’t just difficult, it’s actually impossible. We’re having to slough off decades of conditioning in what we *should* and *shouldn’t* find attractive, and it’ll take generations to do that kind of work.

      I think what comes through from your comment, though, is something I’ve found myself: it’s far easier to ignore the conditioning when it’s *someone else’s* body. Seeing the beauty in someone else, regardless of how close they fit an ‘ideal’, is way easier than for ourselves, because I think so many of the bodily ideals we’re taught about have a moral tone to them. We don’t feel *shame* about other people’s bodies, but are encouraged to feel shame about our own, and shame is a powerful motivator. So yeah. Hmm. This is a long way of saying I see what you mean, and I don’t think there’s an easy solution other than to continue to be honest about how we feel, examine why we might be feeling that way, and try to correct in cases where we’re slipping into harmful patterns. When I was in a partnership, I’d have really loved for more specific physical compliments if I was feeling down on myself, and those might have motivated me to enjoy my body more at the time rather than exacerbating the cycle of shame and self-hate. I wrote this a while ago about this topic which explains it a bit better: But yeah, I know what you mean and it’s HARD and good luck to you both – I am glad you’re having fun together <3

  • Faustian says:

    The mental shift does lead to changes in behaviour, a bit more of that swagger and I guess that’s the loop I’m talking about.

    I liked the post you linked and if I stretch the analogy a little I think its a tank with different temperature inlets and valves. Some times we’re just in the space to let more in and believe the words that come our way (our own or others) or we just aren’t because the real world is complicated and things like mental health, how expected it was etc. play their part. And I know, I’m showing up my clear lack of plumbing knowledge stretching your analogy this badly…

    And I agree about the impossibility; the cutting is always easier than the healing and words that do the former are in abundance and come from everywhere even if well-meaning. No matter what shape you are or aspire to be someone will happily be there telling you why its the wrong one; be it because your not the conventional hourglass or *real* men prefer curves etc.

    The other/own distinction is an interesting one. It’s easier to get distracted by another and not eat your own thoughts whereas if you try to stare at someone else from 15 different angles you’re probably having a really bad time with that person! We are also biased towards or against people I guess? I know I’ve had plenty of people I thought were superficially attractive turn in to horrific monsters once they start speaking and I find it utterly bizarre someone can seem to be so much less physically attractive for being a cunt. I’m the kind of oddball who reflects on things in the moment sometimes and if you realise that its happening and catch it its a bizarre experience. Anyway, I’m rambling. I guess I meant that ourselves and our own thoughts can be a dangerous combo that others distract us from.

    Thanks for the response and your posts too, always a good read. :)

  • Fajolan says:

    Great capture of body confidence.
    Oh and personally I do think it makes sense to link “more body activity” with body positivity. More moving adds to more feeling your body.

  • Llencelyn says:

    Loved this!

  • fuzzy says:

    You write great smut, and you are an excellent story-teller. When you combine that energy and talent with the directness and nuanced thoughtfulness exhibited in this post what you end up with is a writer whose books I hope to be buying for a long time.

    You remind me a bit of Cheryl Strayed, at whose feet I worship as a writer.

    Thank you.

  • Lisa Stone says:

    Confidence in yourself and in your body makes it possible to relax and get more pleasure without complexing about your shortcomings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.