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I think the ultimate goal in any journey of body image is learning to be comfortable in your own skin. To not worry about how you look, so long as you are healthy and reasonably normal. And that's precisely what I am not. I can't find anything particularly wrong with me---I'm not hideously deformed, I'm only slightly "overweight", my penis is of completely average size... but somehow, I just don't like the way I look. I don't feel attractive. I don't feel sexy. I don't want to look at myself, and I can't blame other people for not wanting to look at me. Working out doesn't really help, because while it makes me look better (and as you note, it increases libido), it also forces me to compare myself to other men who can bench press 3 times what I can and whose pecs and biceps bulge far beyond mine. Also, increased libido is not nearly as fun when you are male (since it already started pretty damn high) and when you're not getting laid (which I am not). Actually the greatest comfort for me comes from trying to use my body image issues to identify with other people's (we might say) "brain image" issues---feeling that they aren't smart enough or creative enough---for these are feelings I have never had. In cognitive tasks I have always been superior, so matters of physique allow me to better understand what it feels like to be inferior.
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Jan 25, 2010