I run a private Facebook group where self-described fat people gather to discuss issues relating to life in a fat body. For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about sex and relationships, and the conversation has been incredible.
We have discussed everything from when we feel our most sexy to our most embarrassing, hilarious sex moments. Many of us have shared our insecurities, and all of us have cheered one another on. We have even read one another’s painful stories of sexual assault.
When I brought up the idea of sharing our dialogue with a wider audience, everyone was fully on board. When the discussion turns to sex, we often feel left out. Our voices get lost sometimes in the millions of messages about how unacceptable our bodies are.
Television and movies portray our bodies as unappealing and less than ideal. On the internet, we take a lot of hits. Vomit emojis on our photos. DMs about our sexual desirability or lack thereof. It’s not uncommon to see things like “fat bitch” posted under a photo of a fat person just trying to live their life.
In real life, we hear the laughs, and we see the looks of disgust when we walk by. We hear people discussing fatness like fat is the worst thing you can be. We deal with concern trolls pretending they care about our health when they just don’t like the look of us.
Despite all the criticism and shame we get just for existing in a world designed for thin bodies, fat people are out here living the same lives as everyone else. We are straight, bi, gay, cis, trans, non-binary, asexual and every other possible expression of gender and sexuality. Our bodies and identities are as diverse as the souls they house, and so are our sexual experiences.
We fall in love and have emotionally fulfilling relationships.
We also have amazing sex.
Fat people weighed in on sex and relationships when you live in a fat body. Here is a glimpse of what some of us had to say.
1. We can’t stand all the myths and misconceptions about fat bodies and fat sex.
“The first misconception that comes to mind is that sex with a fat person is less enjoyable than sex with a thin person. Not only is it not true, it’s just one more way people demonize fat bodies and try to take away our value as sexual/romantic partners and our right to (consensually) touch and be touched for pleasure.” — Jocelyn B.
“I think people think that my standards for partners are lower, or that my standards SHOULD be lower because I should take whatever I can get.” — Maria S.
“When I was young, I heard some guys I knew joking that fat girls are easy because they are so desperate for attention that they will do almost anything (and anyone.) I think a lot of people carry those juvenile beliefs into adulthood.” — Carla G.
“We don’t smell. That’s ridiculous and not fat-specific! Any human being with poor hygiene could have an unpleasant odor, and anyone with good hygiene can smell just fine. Fat people are just people, and the same rules apply.” — Kara C.
2. Sex with us is not boring or cumbersome. Like, at all.
“My husband is easily able to move me around in bed. We don’t have to think about how heavy I might be, and we don’t have to make any adjustments to allow for my body. I know he’s never uncomfortable because if he was, he’d just pick me up and move me wherever he wanted me.” — Keira C.
“My partner is otherwise rather reserved, but he recently asked to bring a can of whipped cream into the bedroom. Seeing how thoroughly he enjoyed himself whilst having me for dessert was quite nice!” — Reagan S.
“My wife is genuinely in love with me — all of me. She’s introduced me to sexual experiences I had never tried before. Seeing her excitement because of my excitement is hot.” — Jamie L. S
3. We have no problem finding partners in person or online.
“About four and a half years ago, I put myself out there on some dating sites. There were plenty of creeps, but there were also some genuinely awesome people. My size never really became an issue. Long story short, I met my partner through an online dating site, and we’ve been together almost 4 years now.” — Sandra W.
“If I were single, I would absolutely be “in the game”! I’ve been fat the entire time I’ve been sexually active, and the longest I’ve gone without sex is probably 6 weeks. I’m sure I’d be on the prowl. I’ve never had any trouble finding sex partners.” — Consuela B.
4. Our partners aren’t exclusively attracted to fat bodies, but they also don’t wish we were thin.
“Some people believe if a fat person is in a relationship with a smaller person, it’s because the smaller person has an undisclosed fetish or exclusive attraction to a fat body, regardless of the person inside. That’s bullshit. Being attracted to us is not outside of the sexual norm. The idea that we wouldn’t be able to tell if our partners have an unhealthy obsession with fat people insinuates that we are constantly being played by people incapable of truly loving us, but we are too dumb or desperate to recognize it.” — Kelli G.
“My husband isn’t exclusively into fat women. He doesn’t care that I’m fat. He doesn’t prefer that I stay fat. My size just never matters at all. And it’s not just me. He rarely includes size in the equation when determining if he thinks a woman is beautiful or sexy. Size isn’t really on his list.” — Kristy G.
“My husband is primarily attracted to plus size women, and I know that. I took him into a plus-size store with me to shop for a dress for my sister’s wedding. He was red-faced and had his head down the whole time. He told me he was worried I’d catch him gawking at another woman. I had a good laugh about that.” — Leanna M.
5. We have all the same sexual experiences as everyone else — including the hilarious and embarrassing parts!
“We literally flipped our bed once. It was hilarious. The mattress just went head over ass!” — Nina R.
“We both fell asleep naked after sex. I was the little spoon. Out of nowhere, I ripped the BIGGEST FART EVER. I was mortified. OF COURSE, the fat girl is gonna rip one in bed. Ugh.” — Cassie C.
6. Sexual assault doesn’t have a size limit.
“I was 18, at a party. I was the biggest girl in my group of friends. He took me into a bathroom, alone. I told him no, but I couldn’t fight him off. He told me that as the fat girl at the party, he was doing me a favor by having sex with me. I wasn’t going to get this kind of attention from the other guys, so just shut up and take it. So, I did. Sexual assault isn’t size exclusive. Thin girls aren’t the only ones targeted by others for this type of abuse. We are all vulnerable to it. And none of us deserve this.” — C.C.
“I had just started dating my first serious boyfriend. He was much older than me. He put his hand under my shirt and bra. I immediately pushed him away. He was stronger than me and persisted, “assuring” me that he was okay with my body. But I wasn’t okay with him touching me under my clothes at all. This was the beginning of many incidents that he initiated and would then convince me were equally my doing.” — S.W.
“I met him at a festival. We texted for a few months, and when he was in my town again, he asked me to come to his hotel. I knew it was a bad idea, but I was also flattered that a man wanted my fat body. I felt as though I owed it to him to show up. So, I did. Suddenly, we were kissing, and he was naked and taking off my clothes. I was paralyzed with fear and didn’t know what to do. I kept saying it was too fast, and I didn’t think we should do this, but he just kept going. It wasn’t until the last few years that I realized that what happened was NOT my fault, that it wasn’t consensual, and it was wrong.” — M.H.
At the end of the week, I asked everyone to make one statement about sex in a fat body.
I couldn’t sum it up any better than this beautiful person did:
“My fat body isn’t hard to handle, here for you to fetishize, or begging for your attention or approval. I am worthy of respect, dignity, and love at all times; my body is too good for anyone who thinks less of it because of its size; and because I finally have that confidence, sex is more fulfilling, joyful, passionate, fun, and relaxing now than it ever was when I was thin.” — Jacqueline B.