Craigslist Personals: Appearance Not Important

First, congratulations to Pearl for winning a copy of Can’t Get Enough!

appearance not important

“Huh, he’s a communist. . . . Look at this. ‘Exciting uninhibited woman seeks forward thinking comrade and appearance not important.’ . . . Appearance Not Important! This is unbelievable. Finally, this is an ideology I can embrace.”

I have responded to a lot of Craigslist ads and nothing makes me hit the back button faster than reading that looks don’t matter. This probably comes as a surprise to people who use this line, but I find the concept disgusting. I’m going to explain just why you should never, ever say that appearance isn’t important.

“Looks don’t matter” is utter bullshit.

Maybe appearance isn’t your primary criteria. Maybe you’re specifically looking for someone outside the conventional definition of beauty. Maybe you’re genuinely attracted to a wide range of bodies. None of that changes the fact that what someone looks like does influence how we choose our romantic and sexual partners. Give your potential partners credit for understanding basic human nature. Don’t attempt to manipulate someone with your opening line.

Bodies do matter.

looks don't matterWhen I’m looking for casual sex, I want a fun physical experience and my body is an integral to that experience. If you’re touching my body, I want you to enjoy every moment of it; I want you to value the body you are fucking. There is far more to my body than what I look like, but my appearance is a part of me and I love it. I expect the people I date and the people I fuck to appreciate it, and that includes my appearance.

Saying “appearance not important” is potentially unsafe.

If you don’t value my body enough to see me as physically attractive, do you value me enough to keep me safe via safer sex practices? Will you value me enough to respect my input on the experience I want to have? Can you value me enough to appreciate my efforts to give you pleasure, even if they deviate from your fantasy? As my date or my random, being physically attracted to me is one of the first things you can do to demonstrate your respect and good will. If you’re not attracted to me, show us both some respect by politely declining sex or a date with me.

It makes you sound desperate and unattractive.

Why doesn’t appearance matter to you? Regardless of your reasons, making a point of announcing it will make people wonder about you and it can easily lead to negative assumptions. Typically the more discerning you can afford to be, the more attractive you so if you don’t care about your partner’s appearance, you can’t be attractive. Or perhaps you have other undesirable qualities rendering so desperate for sex you’re willing to take anyone you can get. I realize that logic is flawed, but how much time do you spend reading and analyzing Craigslist ads? I spend just seconds on each ad and Craigslist personals are not the place to give people the benefit of the doubt. Immediately stating that looks don’t matter does not give you an advantage.

What to say instead

I assume that most people who say things like this do so with good intentions. Perhaps you want everyone feel comfortable contacting you. Maybe you’re just trying to avoid prematurely eliminating potential partners. Maybe you have a thing for women with low self-esteem. Whatever. Instead, give people the opportunity to be attractive. Put a positive spin on it and talk about what you like rather than acting like someone’s body isn’t important.

  • “I’m attracted to a wide variety of body types.”
  • “I appreciate that bodies are diverse and I find it easy to see beauty in everyone.”
  • “Your brain will make me love your body.”

How do you approach looks and appearance on Craigslist? Talk to me in the comments or on Twitter.

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