Don’t catfish: Be you.

I’ve wanted to write this post for some time.  I get lots of messages from men and women who think they aren’t attractive enough to date online or to date in general.  It breaks my heart because what I’m really hearing is that they are alone and hurting and I don’t wish that on anyone.  My hope is that everyone could come to the place of peace where I currently like to spend my time, it’s stress-free, attack-free, and it’s loving.  It believes that you are perfect just the way you are and that the only person for whom you need to change is you.  And only if you want to.

You don’t have to do this alone

I’ve written a lot about body image and how I see the equation of self-esteem.  I reject the idea that a person should be an island of self-support.  I need you, I need another living person to be my mirror because sometimes the voice in my head screams louder than anything.  It’s why I do Boobday.

A healthy balance is part reflection from others and part self-esteem.  The amounts of each depend on your needs.  On days when it feels rough, lean on those who think you’re desirous.  A lover, someone you sashay past on the street, the man behind the counter whose gaze lingers on your bosom, the Internet.  When you’re feelin’ like your booty is better than Beyoncé’s, you might not need to hear it from anyone else and can rock the sidewalk like it’s Paris Fashion Week.

My point is that we all struggle, even those of us who might seem like we have it all figured out.

I spent the first two-thirds of my life hating every inch of my body.  Too short, too hairy, lips too thin, shoulders not broad enough, arms too muscular, ass too big, tits too small (it was a thing once!), hips too narrow, on and on and on.

Occasionally, I’d have a respite and I’d see myself through the eyes of a man or my friends; my body did miraculous things like control 1200 lb animals or swim so fast it was like flying.  Eventually, it made another human being.  My breasts grew to twice their previous size and never left.  My muscles stretched, I filled out into a fully grown woman.  Unfortunately, my husband didn’t notice and he was adamant that my self-esteem issues weren’t his problem.  I was completely alone with my venomous self-loathing voice.

So, when my old friend Tony leered at me appreciatively that one summer night when my husband was away on business it turned my world upside down.  I had been living in a barren wasteland of self-hate and rejection.  “Damn, Hy,” he’d said huskily.  “Your hips…”  I hadn’t known my hips were nice.  Ever.

Six years later I have left the man who made me feel small and unimportant behind and have realized there is an entire lifetime of acceptance and love before me.  Men think I am beautiful.  They love my ass, my breasts, my curves, my face.  The old Hyacinth never heard this — or she was deaf to it, I’m not really sure — but I’m listening now.  Whether it’s actually true or not is beside the point.

The new Hyacinth chooses to trust the new men before her: they know what they like.  Who am I to question them?

Instead I rely upon their taste in me to guide my moves.  I decided very early on in my new single life that I would not be ashamed of what I looked like; I only wanted to attract the man who was attracted to me.

Celebrate your look

That meant being as descriptive as possible in online profiles.

I didn’t just say that I was height/weight proportionate.  I said I had rounded breasts and arms, looked like a farm girl, and even included my measurements.  I posted flattering pictures, yes, but I also posted a full body pic that I might not otherwise share because of my deeply rooted — and stubborn — insecurity that I am not really attractive.

[Side note: I have gone on hundreds of dates and only one man ever thought I had catfished him, though, frankly, I have no clue how since I had sent him multiple pics of me in all my regular, boring glory.  I think he was just a dumbass.]

Every man got what he wanted: ME.

I didn’t do the iceberg photo —  you know, the one where the camera is held high and you only see the face and a larger-than-implied body is obscured [beneath the water].

I didn’t hide behind coats.

I didn’t hide my curves.

I fielded a lot of questions about why I had pics of my tits and my response every time was, “It’s not of my tits, it’s of my figure.  I want to be up front about the way I look.  I’m not skinny or fit.  I like to call myself ‘softly athletic.'”

My friends who are less savvy when it comes to internet dating don’t seem to understand that the entire point is to attract people who find you hot to begin with.  Not to dupe them into digging your personality first.  That’s just not fair.

Yes, character is more important than the shape of a body, but so is honesty and ownership.  Own your body, be proud of it, rock the shit out of it!  You don’t want any one falling for a version of you you can’t provide later on in real life.

Believe the positive, ignore the hate

So often we hate our own bodies to the point we can’t believe that anyone else would find the greatest of pleasures in it, but it’s true: they can and they do.  Let go of the fear and welcome those who would worship you, just the way you are.  Tell that nasty inner voice of yours to shut the fuck up.

I have been stunned and humbled at the beauty that has presented itself to me with this attitude, men that I find to be much more attractive than me.  *Men with incredible physiques have clung to my softness, to my imperfect and dimpled body.  They have plunged into me, suckled on my breasts, and begged to fuck me from behind just so he can see my flesh ripple as he slammed into me.  Every single thing I was taught to hate about my body growing up they have worshiped and I have loved every second of it.

Don’t let fear make your decisions

As pissed as I was that I got catfished, I understood — he was afraid I’d reject him — and he was up front about the ruse once I called him out on it.  Obviously, he didn’t believe his real image would have caught my eye and he might have been right, but he took that decision away from me.  Had he put a real photo up it’s possible that, coupled with his chill post, I might have responded anyway and the evening would have gone wildly different for the both of us.

I imagine there must have been some level of anxiety on his part about my reaction to finding him out.  Being honest with me would have paved a path of least resistance, he could have relaxed and just enjoyed the night and not devolved into such a whiny, stupidly-high twat.

This goes for all of us, both men and women.  Be you, be exactly the way you are and hold your head high.  I know it’s terrifying — I only post photos of myself that I deem flattering — but anyone vile enough to pass on nastiness to you is merely giving away their own shit selves: they’re not worth your time.   Lift your chin and move on.

Find it in you somehow, somewhere, to believe that there are people out there who can and will find you to be their catnip.  I refuse to believe that there is anyone on this planet who isn’t someone’s cup of tea.

This wonderful community of sex bloggers is proof of that.  To my knowledge no one looks like Cindy Crawford, and yet we all are loved and fucked, we’re talented and caring, we’re searching and hurting and everything in between.  We’re not summed up merely by what we look like, but we also own what we are.  We don’t hide.  We offer ourselves up to you and you choose to stick around or not.  So too is it with online dating and life in general.  We really only want the ones who think we’re great to be in our orbits.

Offer yourself up unapologetically and see what happens because you are beautiful, you are desirable and you are fuckable.

Repeat after me:  I am beautiful.  I am desirable.  I am fuckable.  I’m gonna do me.

No go out there and be you.  

And don’t catfish anyone!


[*Ed. note: I tweaked this section to be clear on my point that I don’t prefer hard bodied men, but that I find them to be much better looking than me and I’d never in a million years think I could land such a guy.  It speaks to my point to trust others’ tastes and to be confident in what you’ve got.]

51 thoughts on “Don’t catfish: Be you.

  1. Yes, yes, YES!!
    Oh Hy it’s so good to read this, you’ve got no idea!!
    I don’t have much time now, I’ll be back to comment later… when my broadband stops playing up maybe?
    Dawn D recently posted…AutumnMy Profile

  2. This post comes at a very apt time for me. I am in a long distance relationship, have been for over a year. So, sending pictures (and video) to each other is a huge part of our relationship, and, yes, our sex life. And my SO and I have been together many times. Enough for us to know if we find each other attractive. And we do; he does. He has told me how much he loves my body, in fact the first time we met face-to-face, we were going at it within minutes – the attraction is there. Yet, I still, after all this time, find myself hesitant to send pictures of myself, although I LOVE getting pictures of him. Why? When I know that he finds me attractive, sexy? My own hangups, born of a lifetime. But, I am trying, everyday, to believe in him, his taste, his honesty. It’s good to know you have gotten there, that I may indeed one day get there myself. Thank you.

  3. I agree with you: why hide behind someone else when you’re dating?
    I mean, you’re out there looking for someone who will love *you*, not merely the idea you have of what is lovable. Or the idea they have of it, for that matter.
    If they don’t like *you*, all of you, then whst’s the point?
    It’s different to not show yourself for fear of what others may think and actively lying to them. Because that’s what you’re doing when you use someone else’s picture, isn’t it?
    I don’t think I could ever sit in front of someone knowing they look at me knowing I tried to trick them into meeting me.
    Well… thanks for writing this! 🙂

    • And if all you’re looking for is sex… the person you’re meeting will probably feel played (rightfully so), and may not wish to go through! Anyway you look at it, you lose!
      At least that’s how I feel 😉
      Dawn D recently posted…AutumnMy Profile

  4. This is good Hy, really good. I throughly enjoyed this post. ( though I always do!) & thank you: I am beautiful. I am desirable. I am fuckable. I’m gonna do me. 🙂 xxx

  5. Miss HY,

    As an infrequent poster, but frequent reader: thank you.
    This is exactly what I need right now. I appreciate how open and honest you are about this stuff ans more people need to be willing to get on the self image struggle bus and try to find something beautiful about themselves.

    My ex… she always would make feel ugly like the only thing I was useful for was to makw her feel desirous.

    Thanks Hy!

    • Thanks for delurking! I’m sorry you had a rough time in your past. I’m curious, though, we’re making you feel ugly and her using you to feel desirous connected? I hope you don’t think I’m saying we should use others!

  6. Thanks for this, Hy.

    While this easily reads as “primarily for women” (those who might liken themselves to you), I can see how it could just as easily apply to guys w body confidence / self esteem issues, too.

    As for catfishing, I’ve never done that; I’ve swapped pics out for others of myself I think might have greater appeal, yet I feel they’ve made little difference eg via Zoosk (I’m in UK; perhaps there’s a marked cultural difference even in taste in men).
    Confidence, they say, is sexy – and mine certainly ebbs n flows, waxes & wanes.. (No, I don’t wax.) :p
    I’m 6’2, slim, no beer gut, and hence a far cry from the “beautiful, fit” men you’ve entertained — and it’s just one of those things where even your example (being your preference) almost speaks for the majority of women, and parallels the simple reason that leading men in action movies are “always” buff.

    As much as “media” has put the “modelesque bikini bod” on a pedestal in the female realm, it has put the Max Muscles “ripped” bod on a pedestal in the male realm.

    Your own example shows that men can and do (learn to) appreciate women of all shapes & sizes (yet not today’s sadly skeletal walking clothes hangers); but one doesn’t see the opposite case evidenced anywhere near as much…
    I’m aware there are women out there who are attracted to “tall & slim guys”, but comparatively this number seems infinitesimally small against the plentiful guys who are attracted to curvier gals.. (Long Live the Hourglass!)

    So your Soldier wasn’t as “girthy” as *your* “average man” you’ve taken to bed, and you were pleasantly surprised, and this is great!
    In that, he reminds me of m… Well, my ex (we’re still friends, but I opted out of “with benefits” here) even recently told me that, of the various guys she’s been with, mine was “the most aesthetically pleasing”, whatever that means — I’m more than happy w what I’ve got, so didn’t feel the need to ask her to expand on the point..!

    I’ve often read about how many gals like a “bad boy”, and that old adage “nice guys finish last”, etc … LOL

    Ultimately, while I absolutely LOVE this post of yours, Hy, I’ve a feeling that the different dynamics within each “realm” (males vs females) leaves subtle but critical differences. Self esteem & confidence we can ALL have; and it may well be that guys are “less choosy” (ref reputation that many men “think with their cocks and not their brains”), but before the opportunity for “spark” or “chemistry”, there needs to be physical attraction, so as much as we would all prefer to believe that we put “personality first”, the caveman biology deeply embedded in our DNA means physical attraction “ALWAYS”* plays the first hand.

    This puts women with wider hips (and “golden ratio” height/width etc) to the top (again, size zero chicks lose out); but guys still practically “need” to be more bulky than slim – that “safety & comfort” factor – such that even in recent news the “dad bod” (guys w a bit of paunch / belly) is the “in thing”, along w this whole beard thing.. :p

    Where does this leave the slim guy with the naturally high metabolism?
    Guys: search “BonyToBeastly”.***
    (Slim, high-metab gals, they’ve recently added “BonyToBombshell”!)
    *** This is _not_ a “sales tactic”: I’m not associated at all, but I love the concept, being a slim guy. But, Hy, if this last offends, and you can edit posts pre-publish, feel free to remove it. It’s cool.

    Thanks again, Hyacinth.
    Great post, great positivity; I hope mine’s not too negative – just exploring the wider topic openly..! X

    • Chris, not negative at all! I guess I left out an important piece to that: I find those men to be better looking than me, not that they’re my preference! I love men of all shapes and sizes, but a guy who takes really great care of his body is a different kind of person than me and I’d never think he would go for someone like me. Which is my point: trust others’ tastes and don’t make assumptions based on your own insecurities.

      I’ve had sex and been attracted to tall men, short men, slender and muscled, hairy and hairless. Chemistry happens between all types!

    • Actually, and for what it’s worth, I don’t like overly muscular guys. Too bad as they are the only ones who could toss me around 😉
      But really, I think if all I had to go by was a picture, I would probably pick the skinny guy over the guy showing off his muscles. I prefer quiet confidence to a ‘look at me’ attitude, whether in muscle mass, clothes or accessories 🙂
      Dawn D recently posted…AutumnMy Profile

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