My Naked Truth? Well, truth hurts.

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Let me start this one off by making something very clear – the article in question is about a 59 year-old woman, I am a 27 year old man. Despite the age and gender gap there is something for everyone in this article, it’s a universal truth that people age and bodies change. The point of this article is not to try and dispute that, it’s something slightly different.
I’m not trying to shame bodies, I’m not trying to say older women aren’t attractive or that they shouldn’t be sexually active, not at all. I just think, for a situation that effects everyone at some point, there’s a disproportionate sense of victimhood running throughout this article. Again, not trying to downplay the anguish she might have felt, just that she’s not the only one, man or woman, to have been rejected due to her body, something that is entirely beyond her control.
One of my Facebook friends commented on an article that had been posted by one of her friends. Generally speaking, that’s how I find a good deal of stuff to write about, through friends of friends on Facebook. It’s a great way to find stuff that normally wouldn’t have made an appearance on my timeline, but it’s also frustrating as, most of the time, I’m not able to comment on them due to privacy settings. So, instead, I write about them on here and just hope that people get chance to read it.
For those regular readers who are expecting the usual anti-feminist slant to this article, prepare to be disappointed. Not that I’m recanting my ways or anything, just that I don’t want to see this through the myopic lens of feminism, I’m simply looking at it through the critical eyes of John Salmon. I want to understand this perspective, I want to see if there are any parallels between a 59 year-old woman and me, a 27 year-old man. I want to see if this particular situation is unique or if it’s one that’s shared by many, irrelevant of gender. Does feminism come into it in some way? Possibly, but that, for once, is not the point of this article.
As I’ve said, getting older is inevitable, but what happens when that natural process actually becomes a barrier to living the life you want to live? That’s the point made by Robin Korth in this article:
It’s probably a familiar story to a lot of women, your body changes as you get older, particularly after childbirth, things start to sag and drop, wrinkles appear, certain places are not as firm as they used to be. Korth lays herself bare in the article. Bravely, she strips naked in front of a mirror and scrutinises every imperfection, all for the purpose of writing this article. The reason she feels the need to write this article? A man told her he wasn’t turned on by her body.
Far be it for me to shame anyone else’s body, particularly when I recently wrote about my own struggles with my weight, but this article, for me, seems to straddle the line between ‘we should all learn to love our own bodies’ and ‘a man said something that made me feel horrible, poor me *tear*’.
Is it horrible when something you thought you had a connection with says something that you don’t like? Yes, I’m not trying to deny that. What I do find rather odd in the article is that Dave, the man who spurned her, is quite clear and honest about why he finds her body unattractive and yet Korth goes on to hypothesise an entirely different reason that she feels is accurate. It’s a contradiction that muddles the entire point of the article. It suggests she hasn’t actually listened to what he said, the brutal honesty with which he confronted her, and has instead created a reason that, possibly, spares her some pain, which goes against her reasons for writing the article in the first place.
This is how Korth describes herself in the second paragraph of the article:
I am a 59-year-old woman in great health and in good physical shape. I stand five-feet, nine-inches tall and weigh 135 pounds. I wear a size six in both jeans and panties, and my breasts are nowhere near my navel. In fact, they still struggle to make it full-up in a B-cup bra. My thighs are no longer velvet and my buttocks have dimples. My upper arms wobble a bit and my skin shows the marks of the sun. There is a softness around my waist that is no longer perfectly taut, and the pout of my abdomen attests to a c-section that took its bikini flatness — but gave me a son.
First of all, she’s an inch taller than me and about 100 pounds lighter. Not that that’s relevant in the long run, but I’m just trying to paint a comparative picture. I’m not going to dwell too much on comparing every part of our bodies, but it’s fair to say that, at 59, she appears to be in far better shape than me. What she’s describing is the natural process of aging. Not to get scientific but skin elasticity and all that rubbish take its toll, not to mention the C-section she tells us she went through to give birth. Point is, hers is not a unique situation. Not that that takes away from her feelings of discomfort or the fact she’s come to the realisation that she’s aged, it’s just meant to say that it’s a process everyone goes through.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that my knees and my back have problems after years of playing rugby. It happens, things change, as we get older there are more chances of us losing the body we, perhaps, once loved. I admire Korth for having the courage to stand naked in front of a mirror and really look at what her bodies like. At less than half her age it’s something I could never do.
So what’s the point of me highlighting that? Well, to me she sounds pretty sexy. I’ve always had a thing for older women, right back to my teens, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her description of her body doesn’t particularly gross me out. You should also know that there is quite a large market in porn for older women being fucked by younger men.
I’m not suggesting Robin Korth does porn, I’m just stating that, perhaps, letting this one bad experience cloud her judgement, particularly on men, says more about her willingness to become a victim than to highlight our fascination with beauty standards.
She then goes on to say this, and it’s where I think my initial problems with the article occur:
Why this brutal scrutiny of myself? It was time to counter the damage of my culture, my own soft-held fear and to pour warm love on my own soul. It was time to claim every mark and not-perfect inch of my own body — a body that had been called “too wrinkled” by a man who was fetched by my energy and my mind, but did not like the bare truth of me. His name was Dave and he was 55 years old.
I don’t have a problem with her learning to love all of her imperfections, I think that’s a positive step for anyone. I don’t like the idea that she subtly shames the man for his sexual preferences. It’s no secret that we live in a sexually charged age. Sexual freedom is at an unprecedented level right now, there are very few sex acts that people haven’t tried, to the point that even mainstream porn is becoming more extreme as it tries to stay relevant.
However, there still seems to be an undercurrent of anti-male shaming when it comes to sexuality. Sexual freedom for women is seen as a rite-of-passage almost, a way of shedding the veneer of purity and virginity and ‘embracing’ womanhood. Yes, there are still people who see promiscuous women as undesirable but, generally, when that happens the level of support given to those women far outstrips any support given to a man.
The problem I have with Korth is that she suggests that this Dave, who is only 4 years younger, is somehow less of a ‘real man’ by not finding her body attractive. Despite him being attracted to her mind and energy, he doesn’t feel the same way about her body. Korth treats this as if it’s some horrific act that has denigrated her, that has invalidated her entire existence, something that has hurt her so badly she feels the need to do a ‘brutal’ assessment of her own body.
It’s something I see on a regular basis, in fat it’s something that is evident in the comments section of a Facebook page this article was posted on (I’ll get to those later). When men tell women that they aren’t turned on by their bodies, it means the man is, somehow, telling her she’s not worth his time, that he holds unrealistic expectations of women. Simply put, men are shamed for their sexual preference, shamed because they don’t find a woman’s body attractive. In this case, Dave was honest about it, perhaps brutally so, but still, he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. If he’d made up some other bullshit excuse to protect her feelings, she’d still call him a douche when he turned out with a younger woman, when he’s honest about her not turning him on, it’s a demonstration of unrealistic body expectations. In this situation, men can’t win.
She then says this:
We met on a dating site. Dave was interesting, gentlemanly and bright. He held my hand and toured with me on long bicycle rides. He drove many miles to come to my door. He made meals for us both and ruffled my dog’s happy head. I was enticed and longed for the full knowing of this man. And so, we planned a weekend together. That’s when things got confusing, unspoken and just-not-quite there. We went to bed in a couple’s way — unclothed and touching — all parts near. Kisses were shared and sleep came in hugs. I attempted more intimacy throughout the weekend and was deterred each time.
There are two parts to this, the initial romance and then the sexual experience (or lack thereof) and it mirrors pretty much every relationship ever. First of all, the non-sexual stuff sounds quite nice and gentle, quite loving and, ultimately, like a rather vomit-inducing romantic novel. It’s all fairly standard stuff. The change is obviously when the more sexual stuff starts happening and, it’s fair to assume, this is where Dave realises all is not well.
The second half of the article deals with the fallout of Dave’s revelation that he found her body ‘too wrinkly’:
‘On Monday evening over the phone, I asked this man who had shared my bed for three nights running why we had not made love. “Your body is too wrinkly,” he said without a pause. “I have spoiled myself over the years with young women. I just can’t get excited with you. I love your energy and your laughter. I like your head and your heart. But, I just can’t deal with your body.”’
This is where, to me, the article takes on its greatest sense of victimhood. I understand why it might be painful for Korth to hear a man say that her body was too wrinkly, especially as he was only 4 years younger and had spent 3 nights naked in bed with her. However, this is where some of the more acceptable male shaming comes out. And by ‘acceptable’ I mean ‘acceptable by society’. You see, the responses this article has garnered seem to come out in defense of Robin by, unsurprisingly, shaming Dave. While Korth empties her soul about the horrors of being ‘body shamed’ her supporters, in order to try and support her, so exactly what she is trying to highlight in this article – they shame the body of the man. It would be shocking if it wasn’t so damn predictable. I said I wasn’t going to focus too much on feminism, but this is the impact feminism has on modern women. When we constantly shame men who express a sexual desire for younger women and find wrinkles unattractive we don’t celebrate their freedom of choice, we label them as unworthy of any attention. Why is it that Dave should be abused himself for stating, honestly, that he isn’t turned on by a wrinkly body?
There are two viewpoints that seem to come out, and both heap victim status on women, not just Korth herself: he was too honest, brutally honest some have said, he is objectifying young women and upholding unrealistic beauty standards.
He was too honest? This is a case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’. Like I mentioned earlier, if he gave a bullshit excuse and turned out with a younger woman then he would have been seen as equally a douche as he is here.
This is where the ‘special snowflake’ syndrome comes in. ‘I want you to be honest, but not so honest that I feel bad.’ Sorry, but that’s victimhood, that’s implying women are so weak that they can’t handle criticism. Let’s take a look at some of the things he said:
‘I asked him slowly and carefully if he found my body hard to look at. He said yes. “So, this means seeing me naked was troublesome to you?” I asked. He told me he had just looked away. And when the lights were out, he pretended my body was younger — that I was younger. My breath came deep and full as I processed this information. My face blazed as I felt embarrassed and shamed by memories of my easy nakedness with him in days just passed.’
Does that sound too harsh? Maybe, but at least he was being honest and, at the risk of sounding unsympathetic, she did ask. He told her ‘without a pause’ that her body was too wrinkly. It’s hard to figure this one out, would she rather he made up some excuse to excuse her pain? It’s a no-win situation, he’s honest with her here, told her he had imagined she was younger and yet she feels embarrassed and ashamed.
‘He spoke of special stockings and clothing that would “hide” my years. He blithely told me he loved “little black dresses” and strappy shoes. He said my hair was not long and flowing as he preferred, but that was okay because it was “cool looking.” I felt like a Barbie Doll on acid as I listened to this man. He was totally oblivious to the viciousness of his words.’
Again, another instance of male shaming. He proposes ideas that would help the physical side of the relationship yet she isn’t interested at all. She, again, claims victimhood, feels like a Barbie who is there to be dressed. This is the society we live in, a society where we are not allowed to criticise women’s bodies or suggest ways to make them more of a turn on. On the other hand, we live in a society where men are constantly being told to change their ways in order to make themselves ‘better’ for women. Men are constantly told how to be a ‘real man’, how to change everything they are in order to impress, and keep, a woman interested. Men are constantly told about how to treat women, that if they don’t treat them the right way then there can be no reasons for feeling aggrieved if they are cheated on.
This is something that we have come to accept, women must not change who they are, they must stay strong, they must stay independent, they must not let a man make any changes to them, while men must change everything about them in order to prove how ‘real’ they are and demonstrate their ability to treat women properly. This is the double standard of society, women are women and may live how they like, any form of criticism, whether it’s because they’re too stupid, too intelligent, too fat, too thin or any other superficial reason is a sign of misogyny and a clear danger sign that they should run from. Men, on the other hand, are supposed to just be happy that a woman has deemed them worthy enough, deemed them passable enough to drag them from the gutter and make them presentable to wider society. Don’t like your husband’s beer belly? Don’t like your boyfriend’s hairy back or, God forbid, don’t like the size of his penis? Well, if the man isn’t willing to do whatever necessary in order to change himself to meet your standards then just walk on by and leave him, leave him to return to the gutter where he belongs.
Because, there’s outrage when Dave tells a woman her body is too wrinkly, but where’s the outrage here:

and here:
So you’ll forgive me for feeling little sympathy for Robin Korth being told her body is too wrinkly when there is an entire Twitter account devoted to hating on short men. Both are dealing with natural things beyond one person’s control, yet one cause outrage and the other doesn’t. Tell me how that works?
As for objectification, this is ridiculous. Apparently, now a man simply telling a woman the kind of things he likes to see her wear is objectification:
‘He had turned me into an object to be dressed and positioned to provide satisfaction for his ideas of what female sexual perfection should be.’
Can anyone say victimhood? He’s suggesting ideas for ways in which their relationship can be improved and she immediately only sees the negative. Yeah sure, I can see why it might seem a bit harsh that he’s saying ‘why don’t you do this and I won’t find your body as bad’, but at least he’s trying to find ways to improve things. Again, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I also struggle with the idea that, for some reason, wanting the woman you want to be with to look good is some inherently negative thing.
I’d just like to share some of the comments directed at me by possible female suitors:
If you cut your hair, you’d be more attractive.
If you lost some weight you’d be more attractive.
If you were a bit taller you’d be more attractive.
If you weren’t ginger, I don’t really date ginger men.
Can I change the first two? Yes. Would I change them simply because a woman who I’d only recently began seeing asked? Probably not, but at the same time I wouldn’t run to the internet to whine about it because some woman asked me to lose weight in order to fit her ideas of ‘male sexual perfection’. If someone finds overweight people unattractive then you either make the steps to change or you find someone who does accept those traits. I could dye my hair (and have done in the past) but I don’t feel like I should change one of the fundamentals of my person just because someone else will find me more attractive.
But doesn’t that go against everything I’m writing here? No, I’m not suggesting that Korth should do everything suggested by Dave, just that the fact he’s suggesting them is not some all-evil attempt by the patriarchy to batter her into submission and promote unhealthy female sexual appearances. If she did decide to do them that’s completely her choice.
There is one comment from Dave that, I think, this whole article hinges on and, if looked at properly, can kind of make this whole situation understandable:
I have spoiled myself over the years with young women.
One point a lot of women were making in the comments was that the above quote was misogynistic and objectifying. It also goes back to Korth’s quote about ‘female sexual perfection’. Women claimed it promoted unrealistic body images, but the point is we are never told what those bodies looked like. There’s no consideration that, actually, these young women might not have the perfect ‘bikini bodies’ that a lot of women assume they have. There’s actually no mention at all of body types. And anyway, so what if he prefers younger women. Again, when older women target younger men there is no comparable outrage, in fact older women have their own label – cougar. Now, some people use it in a derogatory way, some in a positive way. But here’s the thing, do you want to know what older men who target younger women are called? Creeps. Or perverts. Older men targeting younger women is seen as something dirty, something creepy and worthy of our scorn.
I’ve done enough blogs on objectification to no longer give a shit about women complaining men judge women on their bodies. Everyone does it, it’s a natural thing to be turned on by the body of the person you love. Yet, for some reason, we still shame men when they reject women because they don’t find their bodies sexually pleasing. It’s almost like we’re motoring towards a society where men are not allowed to show even the slightest hint of preference when it comes to women. If you don’t like fat women then you’re a sexist piece of shit, etc, etc.
I’m not against what Korth says in this article. I applaud her for finding the inner strength to love her body in the face of rejection, warts and all. What I do have issues with is the implicit male shaming and the response to the article by commenters, particularly women. By trying to show support and solidarity for Korth in her journey men are shamed and downtrodden, generalised and criticised. In essence, in order to elevate women or, in this case, one woman’s level of self esteem, men are cast aside and forgotten.
This story was posted on this Facebook page:

and the comments were entirely predictable:

In order to help elevate Korth’s self esteem and inform her that she is not alone, these women routinely shame not only the average male but Dave as well, despite knowing absolutely nothing about him. In order to appease Korth’s body fears they denigrate and make assumptions about Dave’s body, despite knowing absolutely nothing about it.
This is the society we live in, where a woman recounting one unpleasant experience opens the door for a torrent of male shaming, their only crime being an admission that a 59 year old’s body did not turn them on. We are getting to the point where a man cannot even hold an unsavory opinion of a woman, let alone actually express it.
Were Dave’s words harsh? I suppose it depends who you ask. Was Korth right to shun him for making her feel bad? Yes, it’s her life, it’s her body, she can do with it what she wants. The problem I have is that Dave is taking the brunt of this abuse for simply being honest about his sexual preferences.
Not to be crude about Korth’s body, but if you’re used to eating high quality steak every night, you’re not going to be particularly happy when someone plonks a McDonalds hamburger in front of you.
A crude analogy I know, but at what point are we going to be able to say ‘sorry, I don’t eat McDonalds because I can get better elsewhere’ without being shamed for simply expressing an opinion.
Women are strong, independent and capable, yet until they can start taking criticism in the same way men are expected to then they are never going to break through the equality barrier. Yeah, bodies age and start to wrinkle, the tightness goes and we start to look old. Some people, like Dave, don’t find that attractive.

I feel for Korth, I really do, but she is not the only person, man or woman, to be rejected for her body. If the point of the article is simply ‘I had a bad experience, now I love my body’ then great, all power to you. If it’s to say ‘a man made nasty comments about my body, boo hoo give me sympathy’ well, then I guess it’s time for you to man up and join the club.

  1. ayamsirias says:

    How old was the man?

  2. ayamsirias says:

    That woman doesn’t need sympathy. She needs a dose of reality and I think she got it. Now she just needs lessons on how to deal with it.

  3. Zodak says:

    it isn’t just wrinkles. i’ve slept with girls in their 50s. there are also scars, varicose veins, bruises that never heal, spider veins & liver spots. & if she lost a lot of weight recently that skin does not get re-absorbed so it just hangs there. you need to have scented candlelight or just have the lights off.

    but this girl is a hypocrite. her entire hit piece is basically a way to tell men what we should do. but the unwritten thing we should do is simply not be honest with a girl about her shortcomings, ever.

    • johnsalmon86 says:

      When it comes to older women I don’t mind a few imperfections, I kind of expect it. I just find older women a bit more sensual and in control, sometimes younger women overdo it, older women just have a way of making me weak at the knees.

      But yeah, I don’t like the implicit shaming that comes with this article. If I wrote a similar article telling my fans that a woman said ‘you’re too fat’ the response would be massively different.

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