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I wanted to be able to say that I'm like the hit N'sync song.. I'm “bi, bi, bi” but I couldn't think of a third way that I am bi. Anyway, I'm biracial and bisexual (though closer to the hetero side of the spectrum) and would like to one day be fluent in sign-language, which would make me bilingual. I am 26, identify as female and use she/her pronouns. 

Here is my story: 

Growing up, I was taught that “being sexy” was a social construct created (namely by men) to make women more appealing for their satisfaction.

Women who wear form-fitting dresses are sexy. 

Chocolate covered strawberries on painted red lips is sexy. 

Scantily clad people covered in sweat with a wildness in their eyes is sexy.
I was not.  

I liked wearing my dad's old flannels and large cargo shorts because I had lumps and bumps that didn't allow form-fitting clothing to lay the same way it did on the women in the magazines. I liked being goofy, weird and getting people to laugh. Also, I was very shy and socially awkward. Did I know how to be seductive? Could I learn? Was it even a possibility for me? 

The latter half of my teen years were dedicated to finding out. My virginity was taken from me around the age of 16. My mind was racing, but one thing kept circling around “Did I cause this? Did I seduce him so much that he literally needs this release? Would it be cruel of me to stop him now?” I was scared, but I was also excited because I was finally “sexy” enough for someone to desire my body... and it was kind of a rush. And soon after, this feeling of being desired became my drug. I signed onto dating apps and sent pictures to strangers to get my fix. I slept with men that I knew didn't have an emotional interest in me. I knew in the back of my mind that it wasn't what I really wanted. I'm inherently monogamous and want to find one person to give my affections and receive them in return.  

But it wasn't until a year ago that I decided that it was time for me to start my journey to find what I wanted. No more FWBs or denying how much I cared for someone. It was even more recently that I realized being sexy not strictly being sexual.  

I met Ben 4 months ago (as of the writing of this post) and he has already altered everything that I thought about myself and how relationships were going to work for me. He frequently reminds me that my goofiness is sexy. We can look into each others eyes, without a word spoken and I can feel my heart begin to race. Early in the morning, he'll wrap his arms around me and pull my body close to his (even though we'll both get overheated and sweaty in about 5 minutes). I find these things to be much sexier than any naked body. 

To be perfectly honest, I hoped that this shoot would help me find a sexiness in my appearance. Instead, I think it helped solidify that I never based my definition of what is sexy solely on appearances. 

People who are passionate (about anything) are sexy.
Finding a special connection with someone is sexy.
Being or working toward making yourself more comfortable with who you are is really fucking sexy. 

Now I can say, “I am sexy” and believe it.