The first time I met D, I had come to our mutual friend’s get-together straight from a luau at my aunt’s house. I was wearing a low-cut tank top over a bikini with a sarong and a straw hat. We sat around in the backyard talking about what most 19 year-olds fresh from their first year of college would: sex, drinking, roommates, and finally, our studies at our respective universities. D went to NYU, and since he was smart, funny, and a friend of a friend, I was more than happy to accept his invitation to meet up once we started the fall semester in the big apple. We joked about who would buy the drinks, and I smirked and promised that I could convince him to buy everyone in the bar a round– with the right shirt.

“I’m an ass man,” he retorted.

A few weeks later, we met up in the village. I wore something V-necked and lacy. He bought the drinks… and then we dated for 3 years. My secret? Squats, lunges, & a great pair of jeans. Pause for fitness tip: I guess I’m more or less hourglass shaped. I was lucky enough to get some hips to even out my shoulders– but I’ve got very little meat on my lower half, so I make a point to spend time doing strengthening & toning moves to sculpt a cute little ‘muscle butt’ which is the next best thing to one of those perfect grapefruit tushies pear-shaped women have, in my humble opinion.

But enough about that.

For some ironic reason, I have almost-exclusively dated “ass” men: guys who swear they’re not into breasts, but then end up being huge fans. So heres my theory– a guy might say he prefers curves on the bottom, but is he really going to find a girl shaped like Salma Hayek or Christina Hendricks unattractive? Doubtful. I think guys fit into two categories: Those who like curves, (on top, on the bottom, shapely legs or a tiny waist, a.k.a. 99% of women), and those who like that half-starved, 100 pounds soaking wet look. (I have yet to encounter the latter, but I’m told they exist.)

My experiences and conversations with men have taught me that all of the pressure we feel as women to be thinner, taller, and have a six-pack come not from men or their preferences but from the media’s distorted idea of what a woman should look like, and *here’s a shocker*- other women. Few of us have seen a woman who is 5’11” and a size 2 up close, without a ton of forgiving make-up and thousands of dollars of couture to cover up her sallow cheeks and protruding rib cage, but many of us hold ourselves up to the images fed to us in magazines and on television anyway, obsessing over the scale and trying desperately to squeeze our voluptuous bodies into the latest trends. I am by no means beyond this myself- despite the fact that every man I have ever spoken to about weight & body type has told me that my curves are HOT HOT HOT, I cry about the triangle bikinis, bandeau shirts and backless dresses I will never be able to pull off. Shopping is a pain until I accept the fact that I simply don’t fit into most shirts, and modify my choices to account for my exaggerated bosom. And I can’t run on the treadmill without a super-duper control-top sports bra with underwire, 4 hooks, and double-reinforced straps…

Now I’ve gone all girly and lost my train of thought. Where were we? Oh yes, types.

I asked a cute guy friend of mine to tell me his type, in the name of research for this post…

He said “female.”

Case closed.