Tag Archives: exercise

The Future Of Beauty (In A World Where People Don’t Need To Exercise)

When I write one of my sexy novel, I work hard on it. I really put my heart and soul into it. There are other feelings I put into it, but those are only part of a much greater effort that doesn’t always manifest in my pants.

The work we put into something is what gives it meaning to us. Even the laziest slob will concede to that. If my novels just magically conjured themselves while I was asleep, that would be wonderfully convenient. However, I don’t think I would be as passionate about them if I didn’t actually put the work into making them.

I think the same concept applies to exercise and how we go about making ourselves beautiful. Throughout human history, there have been all sorts of elaborate, albeit bizarre rituals surrounding beauty and fitness. When I work out, whether it’s for my health or to look good at the beach, the effort I put into it helps add to the fulfillment I feel when I look in the mirror.

Take that work out of the equation and what does that change? That’s not a rhetorical question. That’s a serious inquiry because if we didn’t have to work so hard to get fit and beautiful, then are we going to approach fitness and beauty the same way? I believe we haven’t asked that question enough, but the answer is already out there.

When I mentioned recent research that promises drugs that allow users to enjoy the fruits of exercise without actually doing anything, I’m sure there were plenty of out-of-shape couch potatoes out there who got excited. I certainly wouldn’t blame them. The idea that we can all look like we spend two hours a day in the gym is pretty enticing.

Thin man flexing muscles in front of mirror reflecting figure of body builder : Stock Photo

However, that means that fit, toned body we all crave now would be much easier to get. You don’t really work for it. You just take a pill, sit back, and let science and biology do the rest. That kind of effort isn’t going to inspire much pride. Hell, that kind of effort is barely on par with brushing your teeth every day.

If that’s all it takes to look fit and slim in the future, then is being fit and slim really going to be considered beautiful? Standards of beauty have changed a lot over the course of history. Beauty is usually meant to confer a sense of health, strength, and vitality. It’s also a way for some people to set themselves apart in an exceptional way.

In a world where being fit is so common, would it really be considered that beautiful in a larger context? If everyone is beautiful, then is anyone truly beautiful? Doesn’t beauty require a certain variation that is difficult for most people to attain?

It’s akin to the inherent contradiction in thinking everyone is special. If you go by the dictionary definition of the word, the entire concept falls apart if you approach it that way. When everyone is unique in the same way, then they cease to be unique.

That raises another question that’s much harder to answer. In a world where everyone is fit and doesn’t need to exercise to incur its benefits, what will be considered beautiful? What will be considered sexy? As an aspiring erotica/romance writer, these kinds of questions are very serious.

Naturally, a world full of fit people with stronger bodies is going to be inherently sexier. Beauty standards aside, there’s a lot to be gained by having a society full of healthy individuals. Obesity has already been linked to sexual dysfunction. Increased exercise has also been linked to a higher sex drive. Regardless of whether or not that exercise comes in pill form, it’s going to affect our collective sex lives.

That means the concept of what is sexually attractive will gain even greater importance. If everyone around you looks like an extra in a softcore porn movie, then how do you decide which one you want to hook up with? Could this create a paradox of choice situation where find ourselves unable to determine who rouses our loins?

It’s impossible to know since we don’t live in that world. However, unlike our beauty-minded ancestors, other aspects of future technology will impact this effort. Tools like CRISPR and smart blood will allow people to modify and enhance their bodies in ways no amount of exercise ever could.

However, those advances are still a way off. Before we advance to that point, people may have to improvise. It may require that people develop more unique fetishes, of sorts, which I’ve speculated on before. If you think the stuff in “50 Shades Of Grey” or furry conventions are kinky, then you might have to hold your jaw up in the future.

Beyond the fetishes, the fashion industry will likely become an ongoing LSD trip in its effort to accommodate the inherent need to stand out in a world where everyone is fit. That’s because just being healthy won’t be enough. Like being a nice guy or not being a sleazy Hollywood mogul, that just won’t be enough to attract prospective lovers.

There’s only so much an aspiring erotica/romance writer can imagine. Even my kinky mind has its limits. Major technological advances, from antibiotics to contraception, have already had enormous impacts on our sex lives and how we go about forging romantic bonds. More advances are on the horizon. Some will hit harder than others.

That means there’s also a chance that there will be major drawbacks in a world where the benefits of exercise comes in pill form. Even if people are healthier and hornier, there may be large segments of society not equipped to handle that. It was a burning question in my book, “Skin Deep,” that did not get a complete answer. We probably won’t be able to answer that question until the technology arrives.

Whatever the case, for better or for worse, I will do my part to adapt my sexy stories accordingly. A world full of fit, healthy people is sure to change a great deal with respect to how we think of beauty, how we go about finding lovers, and how we make love.

However, our collective libido is nothing if not adaptive. It’s a big reason why the human race is the dominant species on this planet. That, in and of itself, is a thing of beauty whose form will continue to evolve in sexier ways than we can possibly imagine.

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Making Exercise Obsolete (While Still Looking Sexy)

About nine years ago, I finally came to the realization that I was not as healthy, attractive, or fit as I wanted to be. I was weak, undersized, unassuming, and got winded just by walking around the block a few times. I had next to no sex appeal and hesitated to remove my shirt at the beach. Sadly, it wasn’t until five years ago that I got serious about getting healthy.

Why did it take so long for me to get my act together? It’s simple. That kind of health and sex appeal takes work. It takes a lot of work. To look like I do now, I go running for at least a half hour, six times a week. I go to the gym and lift weights at least twice a week. I also try to limit my sugar intake and drink plenty of water.

While the results have done wonders for my confidence and my sex appeal, it still took a lot of work. Most people, especially those who were die-hard couch potatoes like I was, are reluctant to do that kind of work. It’s strenuous, inconvenient, and downright uncomfortable at times. Go try running four miles in 102 degree weather to see why. Yes, I’ve done that. No, it’s not the most pleasant feeling in the world.

It’s a big reason why most diet and weight loss efforts fail. It’s also why most people tend to break their New Years Resolution to get healthy. Given the extent of the obesity epidemic, it shouldn’t take that much to motivate people into being healthier. However, the work it takes to get that kind of sex appeal is pretty significant, especially when you lack the genetics of a supermodel.

This is now the part where I get peoples’ hopes up about a sexier future, but have to temper them because we’re not quite there yet. However, in reflecting on how hard I worked to reach my current level of health and sex appeal, I think this is something that should give hope those who have given up at becoming sexy something.

For years, diet companies and bad infomercials have been looking for that magic diet pill. You’ve probably heard and/or fantasized about it to some extent. It’s that special pill that you take one a day, change nothing about your lifestyle, and still lose weight. It’s magic because, by and large, that’s literally what such a pill requires in order to work.

Many people claim to have discovered it. Dr. Oz has discovered it no fewer than 16 times. The fact that obesity is still a problem and people still need to exercise in order to lose weight and gain sex appeal shows just how bogus these products are. If you’re depressed now, please bear with me because there is some good news here.

That magic pill that Dr. Oz keeps failing to find might actually be possible, minus the magic. According to research conducted at Leiden University, in the Netherlands, it is possible for a pill that will not only help them lose weight, but mimic the effects of exercise. It basically means that you can get the equivalent of a two-hour workout and never leave your couch. It’s a lazy person’s ultimate dream.

How is that possible, though? How can it not rely on magic? Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you already know how much I belabor the inherent flaws in the human body. The human body, despite its beauty and sexiness, is kind of crude. It can easily be tricked, hacked, and hijacked like an old computer running Windows 95.

According to the research, the miracle drug involved, unoriginally called GW501516, basically tricks the body into doing the same thing it does when you actually exercise. As it turns out, there are all sorts of basic, but varied process that happen when you work out. Your heart rate goes up, your metabolism spikes, and your body basically stresses itself into burning energy, becoming fitter and sexier in the process.

Those same processes are, like I said, fairly crude. Exercise is just the reaction your body has. If a pill can induce that same reaction, then your body won’t know the difference. It doesn’t have to do the same workout as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It just has to react as though it did.

If it sounds like cheating, that’s because it is, from a biological perspective. Unlike professional athletes and certain World of Warcraft players, the only consequence is washboard abs, toned arms, and legs that can kick a soccer ball across the field. Biology is pretty lousy at punishing cheaters, especially when it helps them look sexier and survive.

Now, if you’re wondering why this miracle drug isn’t already making billions turning everyone into fitness models, there’s a damn good reason. The drug, in its current state, has some nasty side-effects, one of which is cancer. No matter how much you want those washboard abs, cancer isn’t worth paying that kind of price.

However, the fact that pill worked is a proof of concept. Finding ways to mitigate those side-effects, or remove them entirely, is simply a matter of refinement, research, and testing. Given that the weight loss market it worth $66 billion, rest assured there are plenty of incentives to get this drug right.

It’s promising, but still a ways off, as many of the other advancements I’ve mentioned tend to be. However, unlike major breakthroughs such as smart blood, this one is probably closer than most. Given the incentives and the scale of the obesity epidemic, it’s only a matter of time before someone turns this into a true magic bullet for obesity.

It also means that, when that time comes, it’ll be possible for more people to get in shape, get sexier, and stay that way without maintaining a ridiculous workout routine. I’m not going to lie. If I could just take a pill instead of running 15 miles a week, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Who among us wouldn’t?

It might very well make the very concept of exercise obsolete. Who would want to go to the gym or run every day if they didn’t have to? While that may upset gym owners, I think a fitter, healthier, sexier population is a price worth paying.

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Jack Fisher’s Beach Body Tips

It’s almost that time again. For kids who have been languishing in school or adults who have been cooped up indoors, the wait is almost over. Summer is almost here and that means the beaches are almost open. Just writing that puts a smile on my face and a tear of joy in my eye.

I doubt it’ll shock anyone that I love summer and I love the beach. What’s not to love? I’m a man who enjoys sleeping naked and appreciates nudity in general. Many swimsuits these days are basically akin to underwear anyways so being at the beach means you’re basically halfway there. It’s the closest you can come to enjoying nudity without breaking any indecent exposure laws.

Beyond the bikinis, as though an aspiring erotica/romance writer needs any more reasons, the beach has pretty much everything. The weather is warm, the food is good, and beach bars are always a fun place to hang out. There’s music, body surfing, and a general fuck-work-let’s-just-relax type attitude. No matter who you are, you’ll find something to enjoy at the beach.

I say this with an even bigger smile because in a couple days, I’m taking my first major vacation of 2017. With the arrival of the Memorial Day holiday, most of the pools and beaches all over the country will be open. For me, that’s basically my cue to get the hell out of my fancy suits, put on some swim trunks, and get to the beach. After being snowed in one time too many, I’m ready for some warmer, clothing-optional weather.

As such, I’m making the necessary preparations for my first beach trip of the year. For me, that doesn’t just mean stocking up on sun screen and washing my beach towels. It also means working out a little harder, getting into just the right shape for the summer. That way when I take my shirt off, I can be proud of what I’m showing the world.

Now, I don’t consider myself a real fitness junkie. I’m no body builder and I’m certainly no Olympian athlete. In fact, not long ago, I was about as health conscious as Homer Simpson on a donut bender. It wasn’t until about five years ago when I started shaming myself into being healthier.

Surprisingly enough, I learned that I really enjoyed working out. For some reason, getting all hot, sweaty, and sexy can be very rewarding for a man. Who knew? It may seem so obvious now, but I really had to push myself to reshape my body and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

I started small, going to some crappy gym that cost way too much, at least once a week. It wasn’t much, but it got me started. It triggered in me an unexpected feeling. I felt good about myself. I felt confident in my body and my abilities. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to begin a new process.

Fast forward a few years and I’m now a member of a much nicer gym. I go twice a week, doing a mix of weight training and cardio. I’m also an avid runner. I run at least 15 miles a week around my neighborhood. It doesn’t matter of it’s boiling hot outside or bone-chilling cold. I still do it and I still love it.

It was hard, stressful, and downright agonizing at times. I’d spent most of my life as the kid who dreaded gym class more than calculus. That’s not an easy mentality to escape, but I did it. I did it and I’m a better man because of it and not just because I look better in a speedo.

Now, I know it’s become politically incorrect these days to show off your beach body and preach the value of exercise. For some people, it’s a downright affront to their right to look the way they want, no matter how unhealthy it might be. I’m not here to start another debate on that issue. That’s one of those arguments that can never be won.

Instead, I’d like to just appreciate the joys of going to the beach and looking good while doing it. Summer is here and no matter what your political affiliation or predilection for outrage, a trip to the beach is something we can all enjoy.

So for those looking to hit the beach at any point this summer, I’d like to offer a few tips on getting that beach body you want. Please note, however, that I am an aspiring erotica/romance writer and not a fitness guru. I’m no more certified to give health advice than I am to fix a rocket. However, I can speak from experience though and, as my visible abs can attest, that experience does give me some insight.

Now, I get there are some out there who don’t care to get a “beach body” of any kind. They’d rather stay in whatever shape they’re in right now. That’s perfectly fine. You’re free to do that. For those who aren’t content with their current body shape, though, I’d like to help. I want to help everybody be and feel as sexy as possible. So here are my top tips for obtaining a beach body for the summer.


Tip #1: Look At Your Current Fitness Routine And Add ONE More Workout

It’s a common misconception that in order to get into great shape, you need to train like an Olympian and hire Brad Pitt’s personal trainer. That’s simply not the case. The human body is stubborn, but not that stubborn.

If you’re at all health conscious and you have a workout, then you’ve already completed the most important step. There are a lot of people out there who can’t even get that far. I know because, until a few years ago, I was one of them.

Having a regular workout is a great way to establish a base fitness level of sorts. If that workout helps maintain the body shape you want, then keep at it. If being cooped up all winter has made it harder to maintain that level, then add at least one additional workout on top of it. That’ll strain your body in just the right way.

By straining your body in that right way, you’ll get it burning some extra fat and building some extra muscle. Whether you wear a speedo or a bikini, every bit of sexiness counts, especially at the beach.


Tip #2: Tweak Your Diet For A Week To Emphasize Eggs, Chicken, And Fish

Working out is hard enough. Even hardcore fitness junkies will tell you that sticking to a diet is even harder. Let’s face it. We live in a world full of delicious, unhealthy food. You can’t go 100 feet in this world without running into a fast food restaurant, an ice cream shop, or something that reminds you how much you love chocolate.

It’s hard resisting all that sugary food. Contrary to what some gurus may tell you, you don’t have to abandon it completely. Even the muscle-bound Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doesn’t do that. In fact, he’s famous for his so-called “cheat days” where he gorges on those delicious, sugary foods and does it with a charisma that only he can match.

Keep that in mind as you tweak your diet in preparation for the beach. That doesn’t mean eating only cardboard and kale, though. For building muscle and burning fat, your primary sources of nourishment should come from protein-rich sources like eggs, chicken, and fish.

If possible, throw in some brown rice and use whole-grain bread as well. This will put your body into a fat-burning, calorie shredding mode. It’ll help build muscle and reduce fat deposits.

Also, if you’re going to drink anything, drink water or calorie-free soda. Stay away from energy drinks or fruit juice. If you need energy, just simple black coffee will do the trick.


Tip #3: Spend An Extra Half-Hour Out In The Sun Before You Hit The Beach

This isn’t so much a fitness tip as it is a tip to make your beach experience less painful. Now if you’re not the kind of person who gets sunburned easily, you can skip this. For others who are of a very pale complexion and burn easily, like me, skip this at your own peril.

There are two kinds of people in my family, those who tan without even trying and those who burn. I’m the latter. When you’re pale, it doesn’t take much for the sun to scorch your skin like burnt toast. Sometimes, applying sunscreen only goes so far. One year, I slathered myself in sunscreen, but still got burned on the tops of my feet where the lotion washed off. That was not a pleasant feeling.

Beyond sunscreen, just spending some extra time out in the sun, getting a base tan of sorts, will go a long way towards easing any burns. You don’t have to spend hours on end outside. Just spend a half-hour at most, getting some rays to add some color. Trust me. Nothing is more painful and less sexy than a full-body sunburn.


Tip #4: Get Extra Sleep In The Days Before You Go To The Beach

There’s so much to do and see at the beach. Between the bikinis and the beach bars, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to enjoy it all. What’s the point of going to the beach if you’re too tired or stressed to enjoy it?

This is where sleep comes in. It doesn’t just rejuvenate your mind and give you awkward boners in the morning. It’s very important to your health. A lack of sleep can negatively impact your weight and your overall fitness. That’s why waiting until you’re at the beach to catch up on sleep will cost you half your vacation.

To ensure you have the energy and vitality to enjoy the beach, try getting some extra sleep in the days leading up to your trip. This won’t just help with whatever fitness routine you’re doing. It’ll ensure you have the time and energy to maximize your beach-going experience. That means less time sleeping and more time soaking in the sun, drinking lemonade, and admiring the bikinis.


At the risk of overwhelming people on a topic that should be inherently relaxing, I’ll stop the list here. If you have your own system for enjoying the beach and it works for you, then don’t let me stop you. Go for it! Do what you know works for you. These are just tips for those looking for other ways to maximize their beach-going experience.

I’m already in the process of preparing. I’m already looking forward to that moment when I step on the beach, take off my shirt, and strut my manly stuff. If anyone out there can think of a better way to begin summer, I’d love to hear it.

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The Moments I Feel Sexy As A Man

People make a big fucking deal about it when a woman decides to be sexy. For reasons that our prudish, uneducated, superstitious ancestors have cursed us with, we’re immediately aghast when a woman dares show a significant amount of cleavage, mid-drift, or ass outlines. We’re still at an immature stage of our development as a civilization where the sight of a pair of tits is enough to stop traffic.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love and appreciate any and all women who decide to be sexy. I encourage every woman who reads this blog or my books to be as sexy as you damn well please. The world will be a better place because of it.

However, I’m also of the opinion that men can be sexy too. I’m also of the opinion that both genders have an equal right to be sexy. Whether you’re gay, straight, bi, or something else altogether, you should take some time to act, feel, or be sexy. You may not always have a lover to do it with, but sometimes just being sexy on your own is good enough.

For me, it kind of comes with the territory. When you’re constantly conjuring new plots for erotica/romance novels, you can’t help but get into a certain mindset. Since our caveman brains are so crude, it tends to be a side-effect of sorts. You contemplate sexy stories so you feel inclined to act sexy. It’s too damn logical.

For a man, I think it’s a bit harder to be sexy. We don’t have boobs and that immediately puts us at a disadvantage. However, we men do have assets. We do have quirks that make us feel like we’re James Bond in a speedo. They’re different for every man, but I’d like to share a few moments where I’m at my sexiest. If you don’t have a spare pair of panties handy, you may want to skip this.

One: When I Lay In Bed Naked After A Long Hard Day

This one should come as no surprise to anyone who follows this blog. I sleep naked. I enjoy sleeping naked. I encourage everyone, male or female, to sleep naked if it’s an option to them.

It’s not just good for the body and the soul. Laying naked under the sheets, you feel like you’ve returned to a more primal state. You’ve completed the hunt. You’ve done your tribe proud for the day. Now, you celebrate by enjoying a well-deserved rest.

Two: When I Put On A Suit And Tie

As a kid, I didn’t like wearing fancy clothes. They were itchy, cumbersome, and my parents always got upset when I spilled hot sauce on it. That’s to be expected. When you’re a kid, you don’t think about being sexy. You just think about candy, cartoons, and avoiding homework.

As an adult, I’ve grown quite fond of men’s fashion. I’ve found that when I put on a suit, even if it’s a cheap suit I bought from Walmart, I feel pretty damn sexy. I stand in front of the mirror, look at myself, and think, “Damn! Now that’s a guy who will get shit done.”

It helps that I look damn good in a suit as well. I know this because others who aren’t relatives have told me as such. Women definitely appreciate it more. They treat you very differently when you walk into a restaurant wearing a suit compared to jeans and a T-shirt I haven’t washed in three weeks. It doesn’t just show you take care of yourself. It shows you want the world to know how goddamn sexy you are.

Three: When I Finish A Novel

This one is specific to me, an aspiring erotica/romance writer. It has nothing to do with my physical appearance. It doesn’t even have anything to do with what I’m wearing or not wearing. It’s just one of those powerful moments that is unique to me.

When I finished my first major book, “Skin Deep,” I felt like I could get a date with Jennifer Lawrence. I felt like I really accomplished something. I completed a piece of art that I put a lot of heart and soul into. I contributed to the world of sexiness by telling a damn sexy story. To say I had a little swagger in my step would’ve been a gross understatement.

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Four: When I’m Exercising Or Finish Exercising

I don’t think this needs much explanation. It actually wasn’t until my late 20s that I began exercising regularly. Before that, I had a pretty unhealthy, pretty unsexy lifestyle. I avoided exercise whenever I could. I ate like I was still in college.

I eventually realized that this was not a healthy way to live my life. As such, I began eating a little better and working out. At first, it was a chore. I did it only because I had to or because I basically pushed myself to do it. Well, it turns out there was another reward that I didn’t expect.

Getting all hot and sweat, pushing my body and muscles to their limit, makes me feel sexy as hell. It makes my muscles bulge. It makes my skin glow. It makes me feel energized, like I could wrestle a bear and sing Metallica songs every step of the way. I may be dirty, disheveled, and smelly, but I feel like I maximize my manliness.

Five: When I Win An Argument Against An Asshole

In general, I try to avoid meaningless arguments. I’ve learned over the years that some things just aren’t worth arguing about because some people have their heads too far up their asses to see they’re wrong. I’ve been among those people. I admit, I’ve been laughably wrong at times and that’s not a good feeling.

However, on those rare occasions when I know I’m right and there’s an asshole on the other end, I make it a point to expose the bullshit. When I do, I can’t help but feel a little extra swagger. We live in a world where truth and honesty are at a premium. That makes them precious to both men and women alike. Possessing something that is precious can be damn sexy. Just ask any man who has a Lamborghini.

These are just some of the moments where I’m at my most sexy. These are the moments in which women have the best chance at seeing just how great Jack Fisher can be as a man, a lover, an erotica/romance writer, and everything in between. These moments can be fleeting, but they’re worth pursuing and cherishing at every turn.

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How I Shamed Myself Into Being Healthier

There’s no way around it. Compared to all the characters in movies, TV shows, and comic books, we’re ugly as hell. We don’t take care of ourselves. We’re fat. We’re weak. We’re unmotivated. Despite all this, we still like to pretend we’re sexier than Jennifer Lawrence in a bikini sucking on a popsicle. It’s as unhealthy as it is delusional.

What I just wrote is not to be taken as motivation or a sales pitch. It’s not even directed towards any person or group in particular. In fact, what I just said is merely a reflection of the thoughts I once conveyed whenever I looked in a mirror, minus that part about Jennifer Lawrence. Just like I am with my writing, I am my own harshest critic when it comes to my body and health.

I shamed myself. I shamed myself a lot for a good chunk of my adult life. It wasn’t just about my looks either. I had a serious self-esteem issue growing up. It wasn’t because of anything my friends or family did. That’s for sure. I did it to myself and not for all the right reasons. I was fucking miserable. I hated myself. In the end, however, it helped me in a profound way.

Confused? That’s to be expected. Annoyed? Yeah, I have that effect on people. Anxious? Well, you should be because I’m about to get personal again. I’ve talked about sleeping naked. I’ve talked about my own circumcision. Those topics are bound to fill peoples’ heads with unpleasant imagery. I hope this time is little anecdote is a bit more pleasant.

This personal story is a follow-up, of sorts, to my post on body-shaming. I understand that what I wrote probably offended certain people because I took the unpopular position that there’s some kind of merit to shaming. Then again, the people who took offense to that probably get offended when someone points out the color of the sky so I’m not going to worry too much about those people.

Instead, I want craft a real-life example of how shaming can make us better ourselves. It’s not enough to just be happy with who you are, love yourself no matter what, and never acknowledge any flaws you may have. I think it’s an important lesson to learn because people make a big fucking deal of self-esteem these days and worry endlessly that kids and adults alike or suffering when they don’t have enough of it.

Like snake oil and diet pills, self-esteem is basically seen as this cure-all for every mental shortcoming. Chief among those shortcomings involves how we look. We shouldn’t shame each other for looking different, right? We should love ourselves and embrace our inner beauty, right? It’s the lesson that Lady Gaga has taught an entire generation.

First off, this lesson is bogus. Second, it’s extremely easy for Lady Gaga to love herself. Why? She looks like this.

It’s very easy to love yourself when you’re beautiful. Beauty like this is beauty you actually have to work at. You think Lady Gaga looks this way because she just loves herself? Hell no! She has to fucking work at it. She has to actually earn the right to look this good.

This is an important concept and one that more people need to learn. Beauty and health aren’t things that we can gain just by loving ourselves. Self-esteem does not help you lose weight, nor does it make your acne go away. A lack of self-esteem can make it even worse. I would know.

This is how my story played out. For most of my life, I wasn’t very attractive. That’s not to say I was ugly. I wasn’t short, fat, or deformed in any way. I was basically just average at best or below average at worst. I also wore dorky glasses and had a horrible acne problem that plagued me for most of my teenage years. I never felt attractive. I never felt sexy. I basically went out of my way to make myself more miserable for not looking good.

I admit I was probably much harsher on myself than I should’ve been. While I was in school, I knew people who actually did have health issues, be it their weight or their appearance. Harsh or not, it did mess me up. It didn’t make me very pleasant to be around, that’s for sure.

I certainly didn’t get a lot of attention from women either. Believe it or not, girls don’t find pudgy, pale, self-loathing guys with an acne problem attractive. This certainly did plenty to undermine my self-esteem even more, but looking back on it, I can hardly blame them. I can’t imagine I would’ve been a good partner for any woman during that time.

So what changed? It had to have changed. I wouldn’t have the energy or the self-esteem to share this story if I had remained this sad, dorky, overly-emo kid with an acne problem. So how exactly did I respond to all that self-shaming and self-loathing?

Well, for one thing, it ensured I didn’t ignore it. When my acne got really bad, I made it a point to go to a doctor and get actual medication to help treat it. Believe it or not, modern medicine does work. I was able to find a treatment for my acne that more-or-less solved the problem. So thanks modern medicine! That’s one issue solved.

Modern medicine helped me out again down the line. Remember those dorky glasses I mentioned? Well, they’re gone now. I don’t wear them because I got Lasik surgery on my eyes to fix them. I now see perfectly. I now have a face that is unhindered by acne or glasses. I like to think it’s a cute face. I’m not Ryan Gosling, but I’m no George Costanza either.

However, modern medicine could only do so much. Sometimes, you need a good kick in the ass to get yourself to change. I definitely got that when a close relative of mine suffered a serious heart attack. He didn’t die, but it was serious.

The fact that he was only in his 50s really concerned me because after that incident, I found out that there is a history of heart disease and cancer in my family. On top of that, I didn’t take care of myself. My meals consisted primarily of sugary cereal, cookies, greasy burgers, and pizza. My exercise regiment was restricted to walking up to the store to buy more junk food. I was playing a risky game of poker with the deck stacked against me.

Despite this very disconcerting knowledge, I was still reluctant to get off my ass. The caveman part of my brain just didn’t want to change. It was just too easy to keep doing what I was doing. Plus, I really like the taste of cookies and junk food.

In the end, I feel the shaming gave me the extra push that I needed. Seeing myself in the mirror every day and not liking what I saw motivated me to do something about it. On top of that, I love comic books, as I’ve made clear on this blog many times before. In case you’ve forgotten, Superman looks like this.

Look at those muscles. Look at those abs. Look at that raw masculine power. Is it an unrealistic ideal for men? Absolutely. Superman is, by his own nature, the embodiment of an ideal. However, just because something is unattainable doesn’t mean it’s worth striving for. That’s a lesson Superman himself preaches.

I finally got that message loud and clear. One day, I finally dragged my pudgy ass out of bed and to a gym at the local rec center. I convinced myself to go there by promising myself that I would soak in the hot tub after getting in a workout. It wasn’t much of a workout to begin with, but it was a start and that hot tub felt dam good.

From there, a new habit formed. I started going to the gym more regularly, once a week to start. I soon felt the urge to do more so I started going twice. I bought workout clothes. I looked up fitness tips online. I didn’t buy into any gimmicky weight-loss crap from late-night infomercials. I just ran, lifted, and sweated.

Flash forward a bit more and now I’m an avid runner. I go out running for at least 30 minutes a day or four miles, whichever comes first. I do weight-training twice a week and I don’t go light either. I grunt, I sweat, and I toil. After every workout, I look like I just swam in a pool of my own sweat loved every second of it. I’m not going to lie either. It makes me feel damn sexy.

On top of the exercise, I did tweak my diet. This was, by far, the hardest. I had to cut a lot of sugar out of my diet. That meant cutting soda completely and saving cookies for special occasions only. That was painful. It meant eating more protein, such as eggs and chicken. It meant eating less red meat. These changes were tough, but worth it.

Now I’m not saying I look like Superman. I don’t. I’m not saying I have Brad Pitt’s abs or Hugh Jackman’s ass. I don’t. However, I can say that I look a lot healthier and a lot more attractive than I did before I started working out. I don’t have as much body fat anymore. I can actually see my abs. I actually have good bicep now. It does work, people. You can work out, eat better, get healthier, and become more attractive.

None of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t shamed myself into action. If I had just done what Lady Gaga said and loved myself, I would be 25 pounds heavier and far less healthy than I am now. Working out and becoming more attractive gave me more confidence and energy. It made me better to be around. It also made me more attractive to women, which is certainly a nice bonus.

I get that there are still problems with body shaming. There are people whose biology simply doesn’t allow them to look the way they want. It’s a difficult issue. Hell, it was the primary topic of my book, “Skin Deep.”

Until science advances to a point where it can make everybody look like Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence, we need to push ourselves. We need to actually work at it if we want to be beautiful, healthy, and attractive. Just being content with who we are isn’t enough sometimes.

We need to shame each other to some extent to get our asses in gear and get healthier. It can be hard and downright demoralizing at times, but it’s worth doing. You feel better, happier, and sexier as a result.

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Re-framing Body Shaming

Shame on you. Shame on me. Shame on us for not being exactly how others want us to be. We should all be appalled with ourselves. How dare we not conform to societies expectations?

That last paragraph was pure sarcasm, by the way. It’s also an overly simplistic summation of shaming, that inglorious facet of society where we collectively decide to denigrate or denounce someone in a way that’ll make them feel terrible about themselves. It’s one of nature’s crudest instruments for shaping a social species. Being so crude, it’s absurdly easy to misuse.

There’s all sorts of shaming. There’s slut-shaming, fat-shaming, food-shaming, culture-shaming, gender-shaming, and probably some other form of shaming that’s being invented as we speak. Even in the era of the Internet, it’s hard to keep up with all these types of shaming. So for the purposes of keeping this post simple, I’m going to focus on one particular type of shaming: body shaming.

This type of shaming is relevant to me because, being an erotica/romance writer, I deal with a lot of bodies. In my stories, I have to describe bodies. I have to describe how they look and what they’re doing in a way that’s compelling, interesting, and sexy. If I can’t do that, then I can’t tell much of a story. Nobody’s panties will get wet if the story just involves two amorphous blobs rubbing together.

According Urban Dictionary, body shaming is simply defined as:

Shaming someone for their body type.

Pretty obvious, isn’t it? This is one of those concepts that really explains itself. It really shouldn’t be that complex, but like so many things in this world, we love to fuck it up in a way that completely skews the concept.

Body shaming is a big deal these days for reasons that have nothing to do with health and beauty. It, like other forms of shaming, have become tied into the anti-bullying movement that has grown rapidly in recent years. We no longer live in a world ripped from a bad 80s teen movie. It’s not cool to be a bully anymore. Bullies are now right up there with dead skunks and cow shit in terms of things we don’t want in our society anymore.

The stereotypical bully is often the first to laugh at someone’s body, be they fat, skinny, ugly, or deformed. They loudly proclaim that there must be something wrong with a person who allows themselves to get that fat or that ugly. They make someone feel guilty, depressed, or sad for being who they are and that’s just not cool.

Okay, now this is the part where I piss off the politically correct, overly emotional, obscenely sensitive crowd because I’m going to look at this issue in an unusual, unpopular way. Brace yourselves, prepare to send the hate mail, and hide in your safe space because I’m probably going to offend some people here. I’m not going to apologize ahead of time either. I’m just going to say what I feel needs to be said about this issue.

My problem with the current approach to bullying and body-shaming is that my brain just can’t work in such simplistic terms. The simple idea of, “All bullying is bad! All body-shaming is bad! Shame on all those who justify it!” just doesn’t work for me. My brain has a problem with accepting overly simple things that sound too good to be true. Maybe I’ve had one too many bad experiences with infomercials and Nigerian princes, but I just can’t look at this issue in the context of “always bad and always evil.”

Human beings just aren’t that simple. Humanity, in all its inglorious grandeur, is full of all sorts of complexities, both as individuals and as societies. These complexities are a big part of what makes us so interesting and entertaining. If aliens landed tomorrow, I’m sure they’d find something about humanity to laugh at.

With respect to body-shaming, I do think there is a context that sets it apart from traditional shaming. First and foremost, we have to understand that the very concept of shaming is important to our society. We can’t do a way with it, nor should we.

Shame, as ugly as it may be, serves an important purpose for social creatures like humans. You see, for most of human history, we didn’t have laws or message boards to punish or denigrate others for doing something socially unacceptable. We lived in small bands of tribes that roamed the land, looking for food and safe places to hump. Failure to do so means that both the individual and the tribe would suffer.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, for the politically correct crowd), humans come with some built-in biological wiring to keep people in line. If someone did something wrong, they would feel guilt about it and have an incentive not to do it again.

Shaming emerged as an extension of guilt, creating a system for an entire tribe to use to let someone know that they need to get their shit together. It was a way to motivate or incentivize them to do the right thing for themselves and others. It can be harsh, but it can work too. It can even be funny, as Family Guy regularly proves.

It’s a fact of life as a social species. We need shame because it’s built in. It’s hard-wired. It can’t be bribed, corrupted, or bought off. It’s a force that can affect the poorest among us and the richest among us. It is effectively the glue that incentivizes us to function in society. When laws and internet message boards fail, shame can pick up the slack.

So where does this leave body-shaming? First, let me make clear that there are degrees of shaming that have no excuse. If someone’s body is big, small, or misshapen in ways they cannot control, either by genetics or poverty, then that’s a gross misuse of shame. It’s true that human bodies have many variations and some are more prone to be fat, thin, or something in between. However, there is one little detail here that skews the context.

That detail is called obesity.

When I say obesity, I’m not just referring to fat people. I’m also referring to overly skinny people as well. They aren’t shamed quite as often, but it’s the same blunt instrument. It’s the same unjustified use of shame. It’s just being used in a way that isn’t consistent with the biological purpose of shame.

Here’s the issue that I know anti-shamers and obesity activists try to avoid. Obesity, like smoking, does have serious health risks. While it’s not nearly as bad as smoking, it does carry with it some health issues that aren’t exactly attractive. According to WebMD, these issues include:

It’s true that not everyone who is obese will have these problems, but the chances are greater and not everybody is willing to play those odds. Eating too much, having too much body-fat, and not getting enough exercise can be damaging, both to individuals and the society that incurs the cost of these health issues.

As a result, our crude biological wiring is going to step in whether we like it or not. When we see something unhealthy in society, we tend to do whatever we can to stop it, even if it means bullying and shaming. It’s true we go overboard at times. We’re human. We’re blunt instruments, not surgical tools. However, there often is some level of logic behind our actions.

It’s just not the kind of logic that will ever show up in an 80s teen movie. This is caveman logic, a term I use so often on this blog that I should probably trademark it. In the old hunter/gatherer days, the biological programming of which is still with us, the fat and unhealthy bodies incurred a burden on the tribe. If the person couldn’t see that, then shaming them was a way of getting them to shape up and get their ass in gear.

We’re not cavemen anymore, but we’re still stuck with their wiring. We need to accept that and there are some politically correct types who can’t seem to wrap their heads around it. They seem to think that human biology can be ignored or circumvented.

It’s the same faulty belief that has effectively doomed the Catholic Church’s crusade on premarital sex and masturbation. You can’t stop people from masturbating. You can’t stop them from shaming bodies either.

By the logic of our faulty human wiring, a tribe of healthy, fit men and women is a good thing. Being fit doesn’t necessarily mean that all the men have to look like Brad Pitt and all the women have to look like Kate Upton. The human body has all sorts of glorious variations, colors, and traits. Being healthy enhances every one of them.

Some people aren’t going to be motivated to pursue that level of health. Shaming is a way of getting their asses off the couch. Again, we do tend to go overboard with it, but it’s one of those unpleasant facets of society that has a legitimate biological function. So those who want to live in a world where nobody is shamed for how they look may as well wish that carrots taste like chocolate. It’s not going to happen.

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