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.]