THE PASSION STROLL...
a blog by author Ashavan Doyon
I write gay romances. Pictures of hot guys are something that get shared in those circles. Often these are models, and so it's not infrequent to see this on my screen first thing in the morning:
Hot, right? But it's also frustrating. I work and write in medium where I am virtually never represented, after having lived my life and grown up in an environment where I am, again, almost never represented. While no character is a perfect stand-in, most of us growing up have heroes that we can or want to emulate, to resemble, to aspire to be.
This guy with the perfect head of teased dirty blond hair and the hot tattoos and the smooth skin and the glorious abs... so often he is the guy I'm writing. Because romance is fantasy. In my head I always wanted to be that hot guy. The one that looks hot in just his underwear.
And that of course is where this comes from. Because I do shop for underwear online, and facebook somehow knows that. And it delivers this picture to me.
I don't have the heart to ban the picture in the way I've banned so much political talk from my feed. I like looking. I like dreaming. I like thinking about how hot dirty blond boy would feel skin to skin crawling up me to do unmentionable things. But it hurts. Why? Here's a hint. The picture above is edited to take out this:
It's a shame of course, because in my desperate desire to be that hot jock, I would, as I imagine many do, join that club. Aspire to be hot. Except that an XL in those undies is a size 36. That makes me a full 12 sizes larger than the LARGEST SIZE THEY HAVE. At my size I can't get sexy underwear. At my size I'm lucky to find underwear at all. There's plenty of shame in that.
A lot of people will go on about how it's all about will power and if I really wanted to blah blah blah. Sure.
For the record, at my heaviest I topped 420 pounds. Possibly more. That's where my industrial strength fatso scale tops out. In an effort to be sexy for my hubby, shortly after I asked him to marry me, I shaved the comb over and went on a full on no holds barred I was not going to fail this time diet. Successfully, as it happens. I lost at least 140 pounds, going to a low of 270. At this weight I was still, by doctors, considered morbidly obese. At this weight I also started showing the signs no person who loses weight wants to see... excess skin. The kind that won't go away even if you lose the weight gradually.
Mind you, my six foot five frame, at 270 pounds, still had a 44 inch waist. a full 8 sizes away from fitting into the largest size of sexy underwear offers. I kept the weight off for almost five years.
That bit about you get used to it, you feel better, you don't get hungry. That's all bullshit. For me? I was hungry all the time. I felt guilty if I ate a snack. I subsisted on tiny meals and exercised daily. My knees and back thanked me for the weight loss. The rest of my body waged a full on war. I was cold all the time. I felt weak, even though I exercised. I never developed a taste for the healthy foods I needed to eat, even though I tried an endless variety in an effort to maintain the weight I'd reached.
I've bucked the odds. A full 12 years after losing the weight, I'm still down 50ish pounds over my heaviest weight. But that means I've gained back a painful 100 pounds.
But I'm terrified of dieting. It never made me feel better, and even going through herculean lengths, I never even got close to my goal. Being able to buy XL undies and jeans at a regular store.
I despaired and I searched high and low for places that sell sexy undies in my size. Like everything else I wear, it IS possible to find such a thing, but the choices are extremely limited, and heinously expensive.
Almost every book I write talks about the underwear the hero wears. About how sexy it makes them look. I think that's because I know I'll never get to feel that for myself.
Don't forget to check out the ARDOR newsletter. The April issue is out and with it a prelude to the ongoing serial The One That Feels, presented here on the Passion Stroll.
It's been a little while coming, but it's finally here, Chapter 1 of The One That Feels. I'll be posting chapters twice monthly, once in the middle of the month and once at the end. (note, only the first three paragraphs appear in blog view, you need to click "Read More" at the bottom right for the full text of the chapter)
If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to check out the short prelude to the story "When Love is Gone" in April's issue of ARDOR.
The club was quiet. Not in the sense of noise, for the beat of the latest dance tunes echoed through the club in a throbbing beat I could feel in my bones, but in the sense that it was early yet, and the echo was bereft of the usual din of people trying desperately to be heard over the noise. I watched for a while as the club slowly filled. A waiter, his shirt deeply open to show his chest, weaved through the burgeoning crowd, his denim cut-offs barely constraining what was clearly a significant endowment, drink tray held alternately by his shoulder and high over-head.
The waiter was hot and moved in a pulse with the dance beat, gliding and dancing and grinding as he held the tray and weaved through the crowd. His butt was nicely rounded and familiar, and I watched it with the barest hint of a smile as he slipped through the crowd, twisting every so often in a way that displayed his abs through the gap in his open shirt. A glass filled with bills reflected the effect his body was having on those watching as he took orders and made his way to the bar.
Shortly he returned in my direction with a short Stoli and a Diet Coke and winked. I smiled at him and held up my glass as I saluted him with a brief nod and downed the soda. I had been wrong. He only looked twenty something… he hadn’t aged a day. He chuckled slightly and then sidled past a couple of twinks, letting the bare skin of his chest rub against their skin tight shirts as he slid by. He’d probably end up in bed with one of those two tonight. I sighed. I had had my chance long ago and squandered it.
In November I lost the younger of my pugs, Miss Piggy. We got Piggy from a shelter when she was three years old. We were feeling guilty that our other pug, Dulcy (who was also three at the time), was feeling lonely in the world, and we wanted a friend for her, since we both work during the day.
We applied through several rescue organizations, but we could tell from the applications and the questions that we got that we weren't being seriously considered. Among the demands of some of the rescue organizations was that someone be home 24 hours a day, that we have a fenced in yard (we have eagles where we live, so a fenced in yard would have been a deceptively safe thing, especially on a remote side street like the one we lived on). It was so frustrating knowing we could have given a puppy a good home and being so blithely passed over. It went on like this for months.
Then Piggy showed up on a rescue site. We took one look and knew we had to see her. The rescue organization wanted to see her interact with Dulcy, so we packed ourselves up and went down to see her. She was such skin and bones at the time, every rib showing. And her tail! Unlike Dulcy, who has a proper pug curl, Piggy's wagged. Actually her whole butt wagged. After meeting us and speaking with our vet, we were a go to adopt her. It was so exciting. Dulcy, ever the princess, was not amused.
While I don't doubt that Piggy loved us both, it's hard to deny that she was particularly attached to me. She got desperately unhappy and upset unless we were together in the same room. She didn't want to snuggle or cuddle as Dulcy does, but she insisted on being on a cozy blanket or pillow nearby. Piggy's breathing was loud even for a pug, as she had a deviated septum. So I grew eventually very used to the cozy and very loud snoring of my Piggy keeping me company.
I've struggled for some months writing without that sound. I miss my Piggy girl. So today I'm remembering her.
The picture is the very last picture we have of her, taken at the hospital before she passed.
Writer of the mysterious, fantastic, and the romantic. Sometimes sappy. Often angsty. Always searching for the sexy. Stories about men who love men.