There must be thousands of articles about women’s body images. TV shows constantly make reference to female self-image–mostly to the lack of a good one. I never hear about the male side of this. Do women believe that men don’t care about how women perceive them? Do they think that we believe that the only thing that matters is our penises? Every sitcom eventually includes jokes about tiny dicks. Occasionally, there are some lines about handsome men. Does it all boil down to penis size? That can’t be right. For one thing, a woman doesn’t get to discover how big or small it is until it’s too late to avoid interacting with it. Is body image something that is measured in the eyes of others?

If you believe TV and the popular press, men are attracted to a certain female body type. A woman who doesn’t possess it, has an uphill fight to attract a mate. If her boobs are too small or her ass isn’t the right shape, she won’t be able to meet Mr. Right. What about the guys? My body isn’t like the ones that women swoon over. My stomach is too big and my ass is too flat. When I was younger, I was a trim six-foot-2 180 lbs. I never thought of myself as handsome, but I had good luck with women.

I’ve always had good luck with women and I’ve never believed I was attractive to them. I was always amazed if a woman paid attention to me. I was very shy and expected rejection, so I never made the first move. Thinking back, I can’t understand how I ever managed to get laid. I did. I found Mrs. Lion on an Internet dating site. She included a picture of her face. I fell in love with her smile. That’s why I contacted her. I didn’t care about her body. I loved the wonderous happiness of that smile.

Wait! Aren’t I supposed to go for the perfect body? That idea never occurred to me. Of course, I respond to a great ass, but not to the point that I have to possess it. Her smile, her eyes are what capture me. I don’t know what captures her. I do know that when I look in the mirror I don’t particularly like what I see. That brings me to the big point of this post. If I don’t like my body, why do I publish pictures of it?

There are thousands of images of my naked body on this blog. I could have used pictures that I could get from other sources. Pictures of guys with bodies that I wish I could have. The majority of bloggers do this. I decided that if this is our journal, then the majority of images should be of me. I do use some pictures I get from online sources. Usually, they show things we never photographed. Sometimes I use them because I’m feeling particularly ugly and don’t want to repel you.

I’m not as self-conscious about penis or butt pictures. My cock looks pretty much like every other. The pictures are published to illustrate a point in a post. When you see my rear, it is usually to illustrate the result of a spanking or an anal activity. The fact that it is me is not the reason it’s published. The fact that it is me just underlines the personal nature of our blog.

All this introspection came up because one of the Twitter people I follow decided to publish a picture of her body even though she wasn’t all that confident about herself. She has a fine, sexy body. I couldn’t see anything about it that she could worry about. That got me thinking about my body. I realized that every time I’ve published more than a genital or rear closeup, I got a sort of humiliation feeling. I wasn’t proud of the image. I was embarrassed and got a little charge out of sharing. I should have felt proud.

I’m not at all sure what I can do to improve my self-image. I could lose fifty pounds. That would help. But my ass would still be flat and my skin would probably hang looser. I might look worse. Mrs. Lion says that she likes my body. I’m glad, but I don’t.

One of the hazards of writing a post here is that Mrs. Lion will read it and take it as my last word on a subject. For example, yesterday, she wrote (“Everything Old Is New Again“) that she would make a Sunday appointment for sexual activity. What I’m a little afraid to write is that I think it may be too late. I’m writing this late on Saturday afternoon. It is the third day after an orgasm. I can feel my interest in sex falling off today. By tomorrow it may feel like it is too much trouble.

What’s wrong with this is that Mrs. Lion will take the mildest negative response from me as a reason to withdraw and not even try. Here I am writing about losing interest. The odds are good that she won’t even try later or tomorrow. No matter how emphatically I say that the pump needs daily or every-other-day priming, there is always a reason it doesn’t happen. Then, I get to the point where my interest wanes, and Mrs. Lion disappears for a week or so.

The fact that sexual interest diminishes doesn’t change my desire to avoid this condition. I just don’t get it. I’m asking for less than a half-hour of lioness attention. We’ve both written about this subject for months. It doesn’t seem to matter. I’m in a sort of lose/lose situation. Every time I bring it up, a new reason for the problem emerges. Yesterday, Mrs. Lion said,

” When I moved over to snuggle, we picked a TV show to watch, and the rest is history. I let my hand wander a little bit, but nothing more. Why? I get sucked in when we start watching TV. I know we can pause it at any time. I look at the clock and think it’s too late, even though Lion’s been snoozing for a bit and sometimes that resets his ‘timer’.”

This explanation uses two reasons: The first is that I took a nap earlier. The second that a TV show was on. Mrs. Lion acknowledges that we can pause the TV at any time. She can also ask me if I’m in the mood after a nap. It doesn’t happen. I think that the real reason is that she is not interested. I’ve said it before, and I think it is true: Mrs. Lion considers sex for me as a chore. She likes to avoid chores (who doesn’t?). That’s why I think that I only get sexual attention after a week or so post-ejaculation.

This is a serious subject. It may not belong on our blog. I decided to write this post because I’m both sad and frustrated. I know from comments other men in my situation have made that it is common for sexual activity to cease when the wife loses interest. I’ve been lucky that I keep getting attention. It’s just that the attention becomes less and less frequent. Remember those restraints that Mrs. Lion wrote about? They’re still unused–just an example. By the way, she said she would make an appointment for Sunday sex. She hasn’t.

I tried to introduce the locking cock ring as a sort of reminder that sex is needed more than once every week or so. She locked it on, and it remained for five days without coming off. I developed a sore, and she removed it. I could go on and on. Didn’t a lioness mention instituting regular anal play? My point isn’t so much that she hasn’t followed through on any of this. It’s that distance is growing between us. The most obvious sign is a lack of intimacy. I’m discouraged, very discouraged. I’m considering not posting for a while.

Pretty much everything about writing is depressing. Publishing success doesn’t assure a happy life. Creative artists of all sorts are subject to this problem. The reason I’m affected this way isn’t too hard to understand. I spent over a year of my life writing a book. I have no idea if anyone but me thinks it’s any good. Mrs. Lion likes it, but she is strongly biased. I’ve sent out lots of letters to agents asking them to represent me. So far, no takers.

Yesterday I sent out about 40 requests for representation. All I can do now is wait. That’s not completely true. I’m continuing to find more agents to query. The only alternative is to self-publish. That is the route a lot of chastity and BDSM authors follow. FYI, my book is mainstream fiction. Self publishing is easy to do, thanks to Amazon. Selling self-published books is super tough and expensive. I don’t want to do that.

That’s enough whining for now. I just wanted to explain why my interest in sex isn’t very high right now. I’m feeling pretty low about writing. I think my next step is to start another book. Sexually, I’m happy that Mrs. Lion is willing to keep trying with me. Who knows? Maybe I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself and get turned on again.

Meanwhile, I’m doing what I can to succeed in writing. My odds of success are horrid, but I’ve beaten the odds before. Thanks for sticking with me.

April is winding down. We have a slightly different version of April showers here in the Northwest. The song goes, “April showers bring the flowers that bloom in May.” Here, it goes, “April Showers bring the May showers.” We don’t get a lot more rain than other places. It rains about the same here as it does in New York City. The difference is that it comes down harder and faster in New York. Our rain is usually drizzle and mist. It comes down nine months of the year.

Since Mrs. Lion and I are inside kitties, the rain rarely inconveniences us. The dark days sometimes affect our mood—we both like sunshine. My mood has been pretty dark. I’m having a crisis about my ability to write good fiction. I don’t think I’ve found my voice. I’m very close to giving up my attempt to be a novelist. I’m not sure what to do with my time if I do. I like to write, but I can’t see spending the rest of my life writing crap.

This latest crisis of confidence was brought on by faint praise from an editor I consulted to help me shape up my submission package for agents. Her first pass included a lot of helpful comments on how to sharpen my style and corrected some focus errors. After rewriting the book based on the feedback, I resubmitted my work. There were no editorial changes to the sample pages I submitted. I wrote and asked why she was silent. Her reply was, “I think you’ve gotten your opening pages as good as you can.”

There you go. She didn’t say that the pages were good, just good as I can make them. From an objective point of view, I think that means it isn’t good at all. I could write porn. I know that I can write hot sex scenes. There’s a very limited market for that. Also, it isn’t much fun to write. To make matters worse, there is enough free porn on the Internet to make selling anything nearly impossible.

My father used to tell me that I could do anything I set my mind to. My mother used to say that childless couples are the happiest. Dad was wrong. Mom was partially right. Anyway, I can probably learn to write more marketable fiction. It isn’t an art, after all. Writing is a craft. I did my undergrad work in business and, later, computer software. My master’s is in computer science. I haven’t had an English class since high school. It shows.

Maybe writing over a million words on this blog has helped me express myself. It hasn’t taught me how to build characters. I can tell a story, but I don’t seem able to make people love my characters. I think that failing shows up here. People like our reporting but don’t identify with us enough to start a two-way conversation in our comments. Visit Julie’s blog, for example. She almost always gets thirty or forty comments to each post. We usually get none, or on a good day, one.

I think it’s because I’m not a compelling character. If I can’t draw readers to myself, I have no chance of inventing characters they will love. I’m lucky that Mrs. Lion loves me. She must see something that the rest of the world doesn’t.