Last night, when my husband rolled into bed, he rolled straight over my thighs and couldn’t help caressing them as he went by. Once he tucked into the covers and spooned me, he once again ran his hands up my thighs to my waist and pulled me in closer.
“I love your ròugǎn,” he whispered to me, using the Chinese word (肉感) that means sexy and voluptuous.
Even though I always understood his Chinese perfectly, the idea of ròugǎn as a compliment once sounded absolutely foreign to me. The first character in the word, ròu (肉), is the same word used for meat and flesh. And that reminded me of how people in English might say, “She’s got a lot of meat on her bones,” but never in same sexy and sultry way as my husband.
You might call me an “average cut,” blessed with the sort of curves that men used to admire on their posters of Marilyn Monroe — but less so in this modern age of ultra-skinny models and overphotoshopped magazine pictures. Drowning in so many images that had nothing to do with a healthy and normal size, for years I struggled with fitting into all of the adjectives boyfriends dressed me up in — cute, pretty, sexy, beautiful.
But then along came John, who not only draped me in the same adjectives, but did so for for all of those jiggly-wiggly parts of myself that I believed didn’t apply — like my thighs, waist and hips. All this, from a svelte, smaller guy. And every time I used to grimace at the mirror, wishing my waist were a tad smaller, or that my thighs didn’t appear so thunderous, he would slide his arms around me with a smile and tell me I was perfect, that I didn’t need to lose any weight or fix a single thing.
Maybe that’s a surprise coming from a Chinese man like John. After all, many Chinese women still face incredible pressure to conform to impossible beauty standards. Is John just an outlier, or one in a growing group of men in China who love women exactly the way they are?
I don’t know, but I’ll never let John go. He’s helped me realize that my “meat” can be seriously sexy — and I can’t wait until he crawls into bed with me tonight. 😉
What do you think?
P.S.: In the same vein, you might also enjoy reading Jenna Cody’s recent article, where she describes herself as curvy and adds that many Taiwanese men complimented her looks and wished she didn’t have a husband.