I had a rapid growth spurt. I was a 6-foot-tall 11-year-old. This, and the fact I come from sporting stock, made me a natural rugby player. My school, which held achievement in sports higher than academic, took full advantage of this. In my instance, putting my body under intense strain whilst it was still developing did not end well. My back was fucked at 17.
The damage that was done has led to a lot of pain, MRI scans, physiotherapy, epidurals, way too much codeine, and a serious operation in my twenties. The operation helped, but as the years have gone on, I've shifted into a cycle of easy breezy summers, then the rest of the year it's aching at best, constant stabbing pain at worst. It's meant that, during the achy days, exercise can be tricky. I can't really go to the gym. I can't really go running. I can swim and cycle, but only when it's not flaring up. I try my best to be in shape, but the physical pain, and psychological fear of causing more pain can make it a tough prospect.
My body's in a constant state of piling on weight, then attempting to shift it whilst the weather is warm. I'm like a reverse bear (the animal), desperately trying to shift weight in summer before the first frost. (What I'd give to hibernate through winter and come out of a cave in spring, slender and ready for salmon).
I will never be ripped. I will never be skinny. Hell, I will probably never have the flat-ish stomach that I've craved all my life. I've made my peace with this, to an extent, but I haven't always been happy about it
Despite how others might have seen me, and despite what partners have told me, I haven't always loved my naked body. Sure, after some initial trepidation when undressing in front of a guy, once we were fucking, it was all good, but there was still a small voice saying 'cover up' once the cum had dried.
The thing is, I love beefy guys, and I find nothing hotter than a man who owns his own body. Fetish men come in all shapes and sizes and seeing guys my size or bigger owning their bodies and looking hot in their gear is a huge turn on. The first time I attended a fetish party I was in awe of the bigger guys I saw. I can't speak for how they felt on the inside, purely on how they carried themselves, and the way they did so inspired me. If they could be confident in gear, then maybe I could too…
Though the prospect of wearing skin-tight gear like rubber and Lycra filled me with dread (EVERYONE WILL SEE ME), I was emboldened to do so by the guys I saw on Recon and the scene. When the time came to gear up, the way the it felt on, the way I looked when I saw myself in the mirror, I felt fucking hot.
When I wear rubber, I just feel piggy. The sweat that pours out of me is liberating in its acceptance – you wear rubber, you're going to sweat. Sweat is something I would avoid at all costs, for fear of looking like the overweight sweaty guy. On a night out in a hot club you'd find me under a fan, outside in the smoking area or anywhere I could keep dry. Once I discovered rubber, though, and I embraced my sweating, sweat became fucking horny to me.
Rubber also has the benefit of looking good on any body type. The shine and geometry it adds to any form is alien and appealing. Also, if I'm being honest, I appreciate the cinching effect of the thick, tight material - especially when holding in my gut or streamlining my childbearing hips. When the mood is right, rubber allows me to let go of my hang ups and be the nasty little slut I am at heart.
Lycra came as a greater surprise, as you're even more exposed than you are in rubber, but when it's right I just can't get enough. Not all Lycra's for me, as some gear plays into my body fears and makes me feel like a dressed ham, but when it comes to cycling suits, well, fuck me, we have a winner. My cycling suit makes me feel like a superhero. It gives me confidence. When I'm wearing it, I'm good to go. It's not due to a lack of gear options why you'll often see me wearing it at a Recon party, it's because I love it, and I wearing it turns me on more than anything.
Fortunately, we live in a world where the message of loving your own body gets louder and louder every day. There's no longer one size or shape universally viewed as attractive. I wish I could apply this to myself, but I'm not quite there yet. I do still sometimes hate what I see in the mirror. Life is about finding ways around these huddles, though, and gear has helped me to do this. Life doesn't have to be focused on the pain.
What I'm saying is this, it's ok if you're unhappy with your body and you don't always love what you have, but maybe try to find something to use as a boost. As we're often told, confidence is viewed as one of the most attractive qualities, so if you maybe lack it, find yourself a crutch. Whether it's wearing gear, dressing up in drag or whatever, find a way that works for you to help you fake it till you make it.
This article can be found in Recon ISSUE_02, along with other articles, photography and artwork focused on fetish and kink. Available in fetish locations around the world now and online soon.