The year was 2005. A female friend was dating a guy that she liked, but ended up breaking up with him. Why? Because he was short. I called her an idiot for being so superficial, and wrote a post on my blog titled “What’s So Wrong with Dating Short Men?”
I was a newbie blogger at the time. I had no idea that a post could take off in unexpected ways. My tongue-in-cheek rant turned into an online forum for short men looking to express their frustration with women in the dating world. Six years and almost five hundred comments later, I still get at least two comments a week on this post.
This blog post also was my introduction to the concept of “branding,” even if I didn’t know what the term meant just yet. Readers were making assumptions about me based on my writing and my subject matter. I received emails from men applauding me for “coming out” as a short man.
When I attended the first BlogHer, several women were surprised when they met me.
“I thought you were going to be much shorter,” said The Redneck Mommy.
I didn’t understand why women assumed I was short. Did I sound like a short person in my comments?
It took me several months to figure it all out. A woman in the Midwest who I never met took a liking to me. She texted me, wanting to meet in a hotel. She confided that she preferred dating short men because they spent more time bringing her to orgasm.
“And short men like you can do things taller men cannot.”
My post was being read as a personal statement. Why else would I care about this subject unless I was a short man?
But I was a short man fraud. I’m really over six feet tall.
I turned to my childhood friend, Barry, for help. He’s always been shorter than me, and it never stopped him from meeting women.
I told him about the post and that some of the men in the comments seemed to considered me a leader in the short men community.
“Should I tell them the truth about my height?” I asked.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “You are doing an important service for the community. You are giving these men confidence. If they learned that you are really six feet tall, their world will come crumbling down. Stay short for them online. For short men everywhere. They need you.”
I took my friend’s advice, and for years, I have been a blogging version of Tootsie — a tall man acting like a short man online, and playing it better than an actual short man.
Last week, I was feeling isolated in the blogging community. I’m not a daddy blogger. I’m not a humorist. I have no niche. And then, like manna from heaven, I received an email that would change everything.
It came from a extremely popular, well-established online site that focuses on relationships and sexuality. Someone from this online magazine was impressed with one of my posts and wanted to do an exclusive interview with me.
I was thrilled by the offer. I had finally climbed the ladder of blogging success.
I emailed back, asking about the interview.
“What will the interview be about?” I wondered.
“”Sex Tips From a Short Man.”
Based on the your 2005 post “What’s So Wrong with Dating Short Men?,” we think you would be the PERFECT person to share sex tips with other short men.”
Yes, I have finally found my blogging niche. I am a short man.
Editor’s Note: I emailed them back and told them the truth — that I was really six feet tall. They haven’t returned my email.