Somebody sent me a message on Instagram and asked me if I would ever go as far as to write about dating with loose skin. It’s funny to write that down and read it back, solely because it seems like such a silly question on the surface, doesn’t it?
When someone asks you “how do you get around dating with loose skin?” the answer SHOULD be… you just do it. You put on your clothes and your shoes and grab your bag and call an Uber and go to the restaurant and order a drink and suddenly you’re on a date with loose skin. This is so humorous to me, because in retrospect it seems so simple. But honestly, it wasn’t. I don’t know if it would have been easier for a more mentally stable human being who didn’t feel like having extra skin made them less of a person (it doesn’t by the way). Dating with extra skin, though, was a HUGE challenge for me.
Maybe you’re thinking “what’s so hard about it? You’re wearing clothes… it’s covered up” but like, you’ve got to think ahead in these situations. Because, after the first date (sometimes). Or, after the Uber comes and you go to the bar or the restaurant in all of your clothes, if the date goes well, which you’re always hoping it does, and if you don’t have some deep rooted christian values that state only the person you marry will see your naked body, then it very well may happen that that night, this person will see your naked body if they’re lucky and if you let them.
It’s weird, because so many girls on their journeys have asked me “should I let the idea of loose skin deter me from weight-loss?” and I always have the exact same response: OH. MY. GOD. NEVER. LET. THAT. STOP. YOU. Honestly, I don’t even know if I portray a healthy message to anyone by relaying my thought process, because just because I went through it doesn’t mean it’s a healthy mindset. But, pre empty skin, it was full skin, and I was even more uncomfortable that way while dating because I was completely uncomfortable with myself in general. Because I was unhealthy, and always sweating, and couldn’t imagine any type of relationship with anyone because I barely had one with myself. I also was, at my heaviest, in a relationship with a man who never even saw me naked ONCE because I wouldn’t let him, I thought it would make him not love me. I could cry while I write this because I hate that I ever felt this way, and he must’ve hated to not be trusted, but it is what it is and that’s the way the cookie crumbles (or the lettuce wrap I guess in this case, cause we all know those damn things never stay in one piece).
I know I’m all over the place here. You’re probably like “I thought this was a post about dating with extra skin” and it is, but just let me wander because this is how I talk IRL. If reading this annoys you, you likely hate hanging out with me in person. But anyway, moving on. Back to dating with loose skin. I want to paint a picture in your head the way I was trying to do before I got side tracked:
I’m in my room about to go on… let’s call it a third date, you know, because I’m basically Virgin Mary. I choose my pants, I know which shoes I’m going to wear (because I don’t have that many shoes, I’m not a shoes girl) and now I have to choose a shirt to wear that I can keep on the whole night… and when I say the whole night, I mean the whole damn night. Something not too bulky, because if things head in the direction that they sometimes do when 2 twenty-somethings who dig each other sit down for multiple cocktails, I want it to not be weird in an intimate situation. I mean, you can’t have sex in a hoodie unless you’ve been dating for at least a year. It’s in the bible. I also would like, never wear a hoodie on a third date. And also, I used the word sex now so I can start using it okay? We’re all adults here, probably. If it’s winter, and I’m going for a long sleeved look, a tank top under will do. Is he gonna try and take it off? Of course, but we’ll get to that when we get to that.
Did I ever wish I could stand there as an empowered woman after a hell of a journey with 7 pounds of extra skin strapped to my abdomen as nothing but proof of years of hard work and determination and discipline and diligence? Of course. Did I wish I could rip my shirt off and swing it around my head like a lasso trying to capture a horse? OF COURSE. That lingo is so wrong, and can you IMAGINE if I did that on a date? I’m laughing right now at the thought, because if I did that I wouldn’t get laid anyway… maybe I should’ve tried it as a decoy. Did I want to explain the whole story in the midst of getting hot and heavy with someone who doesn’t need to hear any of this information? Maybe, but, that’s not a third date story. It’s also not something you can just toss in and quickly explain. Not if you’re me anyway.
So you go on the date, you have the drinks, one of you invites the other back to their house, you share an Uber and walk in and awkwardly meet their roommate (or not if they live alone, I’m just trying to paint a picture okay?) and then you go to the bedroom. For a lot of people, this means IT’S TIME TO HAVE SEX and that’s awesome! But for me, it it anxiety central. Is he gonna think it’s totally fucked to be with a girl who’s half dressed? You may be reading this thinking “screw that guy if he cares!!!!” figuratively, of course. And yes, if there was a guy who turned me away because I had a shirt on, or a guy who looked away in disgust when I took my shirt off and revealed the skin, then screw that guy. For real. But this wasn’t about them, it was about me.
Most of the time I could get around it. Long sleeved shirt comes off, fine. Jeans come off, fine. Here comes the tank top attempt (I should trademark that phrase and make t shirts, don’t steal it). “No that’s okay” - he obliges. Thank God. Things continue, he tries again, “no just leave it” - he obliges. Sometimes they let it go, sometimes they ask if you are sure you want to continue, some don’t like this at all. They think you don’t trust them, and what is sex without trust? This is the truth, and there’s nothing I can do about this. But third date territory isn’t “it’s not you it’s me” territory. It just isn’t.
Honestly, there’s not too much more to this. Again, I wish I used a more powerful move and ripped off my clothes in front of the man that I’ve chosen to share an intimate moment with and yell “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT BROTHER” (again, not something I’d say while I take my clothes off, but I’d definitely be thinking it). But I didn’t. I planned strategically and made sure no one could see what was going on underneath my clothes. You know that Shakira song that goes like “underneath your clothes there’s an endless story”? If I had to remix that song during that time in my life the lyrics would’ve gone like “underneath my clothes there’s nothing to see here thank you bye”.
Would you buy this remix on iTunes? Me neither. I honestly think my crippling self consciousness got in the way of a couple of relationships that may have had the potential to be a lot more than they became, but none of those matter to me because eventually I stumbled into the arms of an amazing man…. who I continued to have sex with, with my shirt on, until I had the skin removed. Again, no heroic ending here. I remember one time he straight up said to me “you know you can trust me right?” and I knew, but I wasn’t ready. I just wasn’t.
I like to joke around with my current boyfriend, because he knows all about my frivolous dating past (the perk of being friends before you’re dating, NOT). I like to remind him that, yeah maybe you’re not the first man I’ve been with. But, you’re the first man who’s ever seen me naked ever, and that’s something, right?
Every woman, every size… thin, big, medium, loose skin, stretch marks, hip bones, cellulite, whatever you see first when you really look at yourself that you don’t want anyone else to notice. The things that you love, the things that you don’t love. Every woman deserves to stand naked in front of a mirror, or a man, or a woman, a PERSON, and feel bliss. I wish it didn’t take me so long to get to this point, but being naked with the man you love should never feel like a privilege, but it does. I remember the first time I had sex naked, I was 25 years old, and I cried at the end because I had never felt skin on skin like that before in my life.
You know who you are, and you probably fucking hate that I’m broadcasting this to the world, but I’ll never forget the way that felt.
If you’re struggling in the dating world with extra skin, or your body in general, or even struggling through these issues with the person you're dating and trust with your whole heart, making them sit there and wonder why you don’t truly trust them, it’s all you babe. You do what YOU want to do about it. If you want to have sex with your shirt on then fucking do it. If you want be naked in all of your glory then fucking DO IT.
One of my best friends said it best, if you took your shirt off and a man turned you away… is that the man you want? No.
Of course not.