In the spirit of keeping options open, I spent some of my weekend setting up an account on www.datingcurves.com (“where BBW’s meet their match”‘). This was my first time using an online dating site aimed at plus-sized folks – I’m unwilling to allow my body to be fetishized, and I’m afraid that that is what will happen if I meet someone through a site like this – but I’ve getting a little demoralized hearing my not-fat friends talk about the flood of messages they get on match.com or salon.com, while I’m getting just a couple here and there, so I decided to give it a go.
It’s a bit funny. I’ve written before about the dilemma of choosing a descriptor for my body, but I figured that a site aimed at “curves” would offer a some creative answers. Um, not so much. The choices were: “average,” “athletic,” “lean/slim,” “thin,” “swimmer’s build,” “a few extra pounds/curvy,” “muscular,” and “heavy.” Awesome. So many questions… say, for example, why do the “lean/slim/thin” people of the world need two categories? What the hell is a swimmer’s build (and why don’t other athletes get their own a categories? I demand a “fencer’s build” category!) ? What if you’re a lean athlete? Or a heavy swimmer?
(I did some research on which of these categories folks were using to describe themselves. Turns out, there are a lot of women calling themselves “heavy” – even when they look just a little bit bigger than the cultural ideal – and lots of men calling themselves “average” and “just a few extra pounds,” even when they are clearly very large. Huh. I went with “heavy,” because it’s the most honest, although it is definitely not a word that I would choose on my own.)
My ad has been up since Saturday, and since then I’ve gotten a dozen responses or so. All were in the form of a “wink”, not an email (for the uninitiated: most dating websites offer a pared-down free version that lets you browse but doesn’t allow you to send messages to other users; most also have a “wink” function where you can tell someone that you’re interested without writing them). Most came from men in other parts of the world. One was from a gorgeous dreadlocked man living in my city, but – alas- neither of us are members, so all we can do is “wink” forlornly at each other from across town.