‘I’m a Curvy Lady Who Likes Skinny Hipster Guys’

Dear Talia,

I’m a curvy lady who likes skinny Brooklyn hipster guys. I yearn for them, but they use me for sex — for relationships, they wind up with women as skinny as they are. Am I just addicted to pain? How can I change what I want?

-Yearning for Skinny Men

Dear Yearning,

There are men who look good on paper and who might even be good at conversation, but who you just don’t want to kiss, no matter how hard you try to.. I know. I’ve tried. I’ll happily tell you — or anyone — about it someday over too many drinks.

The desire to kiss someone is the best metric of attraction. Do you want to put your face near their face, smell the odd mix of lemon and laundry detergent and armpit and sweater, and look up to meet their eyes? It’s a prelude to any other warm, weird human Tetris you might want to try. Beanies and hipbones turn you on. You’ve considered joining DSA at least once for this reason alone. (I kind of hate that our borough is shorthand for an entire aesthetic, but I get it.)

You can’t really control what attracts you, so there’s not a lot of sense in trying.

The good news is you’ve found people who want to kiss you. You’re “curvy” — a euphemism for a weight some women would over-exercise, fast, and pay plastic surgeons to avoid. This hasn’t precluded you from getting laid. It never does: Many men want to fuck fat women, dream desperately about getting lost in gentle folds, want to be engulfed in curves, like to touch soft tummies. Some of them are the same men who are the cruelest to fat women in public. But the sex you have is the furtive kind, the text-after-10 p.m. kind, the kind where you’re already thinking about where your clothes are the minute you wake up.

This doesn’t mean that you haven’t had some tender moments in the dark with the Brooklyn hipster guys, who discard you in the morning in exchange for women who can eat in public without worrying about someone filming them and uploading it to YouTube. Maybe you’ve held hands over the sheets, or watched some Parks & Recreation together.

But when it comes to being seen with you, meeting your friends — and more importantly, you meeting theirs — they are nowhere to be found. What transpires between you, as tender and secret and good as it can be, is confined to midnight, and the artificial midnight of embarrassed secrecy.

You deserve someone who wants to kiss you in public. Not just at midnight, but at broad noon, when the light is blinding and his thin hands entwine with your fat hands on a public street. Someone who will gladly list you as their plus-one, who will tell his family about you, who will revel in your expansive self, body, and mind.

I won’t pretend it’s easy to date as a fat woman. I’ve done it — as I write this, I am living as an adult, single, fat woman — and there are all-too-many midnight men happy to nestle hotly against a fat body where there’s no one else to see. Some of them will disappear at daybreak. Feel free to use them for sex in turn — let yourself touch their jutting hip-bones, that torrid little dip of the iliac crest. Kiss their bearded lips. But hold yourself to just that. They’re cowards in daylight, and your search, as you yearn, is for someone who is courageous enough to love without shame or apology.

You believe your sexual desire — your fixation on thin men who adhere to a neo-bohemian aesthetic — and your desire to be loved and acknowledged without shame are incompatible. They’re not. Stubbornly seek someone who will love you as you are: all of you, the way you could smother a man in your thighs, and the dreams you have for your future, and the many and various pieces of you. You’ll find him.

Yours truly,


Have questions for Talia? E-mail deartalia@heyalma.com 📩


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