"I have never felt so sexy and attractive."

By Christina Oehler
October 17, 2019

Self-confidence can be achieved in many ways, and for some people, it takes the help of extra words of encouragement from others to truly appreciate their body size and shape. That support can come in some unconventional places.

Growing up, Regan (whose last name has been omitted for privacy reasons) says that it was hard to accept her body as it was. A size 16 for most of her adult life, she felt as though she would never be “exciting or arousing to men” because of that, she tells Health.

"I learned to disregard my body and to not really think about it, based on my experiences with people being attracted to me physically, even as early as elementary school and lasting past high school," she says. "It felt like, 'OK, no one is really pursuing me in this way, no one is really attracted to me.'"

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Regan explains that despite her intellect and outgoing personality, it depressed her to feel as if she had to change herself in order to be valued. But that all shifted when Regan turned 24.

“I started to challenge myself," she recalls. "Instead of saying, ‘I am not attractive to men because I don't look a certain way,’ I started asking, ‘Who are the men who are attracted to my body type, why, and how do I find them?’

Regan met her then-boyfriend, who she lost her virginity to and dated for 11 months. She said that this first experience with a guy opened the doors to more. She realized that men are attracted to her body type—and there were plenty of ways to find them.

So Regan began to explore Craigslist Personals, posting photos of herself in hopes of meeting up with men for casual dating and sex.

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“I remember posting a photo to the personals section of me from the side, wearing panties,” she says. “I thought, Maybe I can just show what I really look like and see if people will respond to me.”

Little did she know that her attempt to find a few of these men would result in an overwhelming response. In a single night, she received over 500 responses to her photo.

“I didn't think this happened to women like me. Everything that I've understood myself to be is now changing because look at how many people are interested in this,” she says. "I did it a few more times, sharing photos of myself, and the exact same thing would happen."

The comments Regan received boosted her confidence—and they led to her seeking out other outlets that might also help her view her body as beautiful and sexy. Regan created an account on Adult Friend Finder, an adult meetup site, to find casual hookups with men who appreciated her body type. She also started reading the comments on porn sites to see exactly what men found attractive about women with bodies like hers.

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"I would see a woman on a porn video who would look like me, and I would look to see what men are enjoying about her in the comments," says Regan. "That really just helps me think of myself differently. I'm not something that is seen as less than, I'm someone people desire terribly."

Regan knows that some people reading her story () might think that turning to these sites shows a lack of confidence. But she says with self-assurance and conviction that this isn’t the case with her. In fact, the sites and people she has met through them have helped her find body positivity in her own way.

In her , she offered a tip for anyone who wants to feel more body positivity themselves. "My advice for anyone is know what you like about your own body, and how people sexually attracted to your body type might view your body," she wrote. "Learn to put on the 'lens' of other people regarding what makes you attractive. It can change how you think of yourself, and it has given me a confidence I am so grateful for."

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