When my first serious relationship ended, I thought I would never get laid again. For more than a year, I didn't. I just figured that guys didn't like me, that I would embarrass myself if I approached them, and that sex was for pretty people and lucky people and you just don't get lucky that often. I would have said yes if someone suitable had dropped out of the sky and asked me for a roll in the hay, but I made no effort to drop out of anyone else's sky. From age 17 to 19 I was almost entirely celibate, and not terribly happy about it.
Then at age 19 I was out in the middle of Fuckin' Nowhere, Idaho, living in a shared motel room and working for food and a credit in an indie film, and on a whim I decided to post a craigslist "casual encounters" ad. I posted a very honest picture. I said I didn't care about age or looks or anything. I figured that way maybe I'd get at least one answer.
I was deluged. I didn't know that many people in Fuckin' Nowhere, Idaho even had Internet access, let alone were reading craigslist that night and wanted to fuck me. It was insane. I couldn't just get a man, I could choose a man. (For a night, of course, which changes the math considerably over wanting one to introduce to your friends and help you move furniture. But it was sex, not relationships, that pained me at that point in my life.)
I went to meet a guy who was quite a bit older than me, we had dinner, and then we went back to his place and humped like crazy bunnies. It was a little awkward--I wasn't very experienced at that time and there was more squirming around and humping than actual fucking--but it was also hot as fuck. The guy was entirely respectful and mostly sane and we had a good time and went our ways.
Somehow, that one skeevy encounter with some random middle-aged dude in the middle of nowhere turned my whole sex life around. Since then I haven't gone more than a matter of weeks without sex, but more importantly, since then I have (most of the time) believed I could get sex. That desirability isn't some objective thing I don't have--some people will desire me and some won't. Cock is always out there, and it's my decision whether I want it, not my good fortune to be awarded it.
I've gone back to craigslist a few times since--I've had a surprising number of experiences that were genuinely friendly rather than furtive, but the psycho factor is a little too high--but it wasn't really craigslist that opened my eyes, it was just a vehicle for discovering that men could want me. Maybe some girls know that just walking down the street (although probably not nearly as many as I would guess), but for me, it was a wonderful discovery. Skeezy Internet sex did wonders for my self-esteem and, in some ways, changed my life.
P.S.: I also got a response from one of my coworkers. Despite the fact that my face was completely visible in the photo, he didn't realize it was me. We never spoke of this.
P.P.S. : Okay, come to think of it, I think I actually had a bit of sex during my "almost entirely celibate" phase, like maybe actually a lot of sex considering Keith and CB and Danny and whatisface and that weird closet-case chick and her boyfriend... I was actually maybe not so celibate at all. But I maintain that it was still that craigslist experience that changed my attitude toward my own desirability.