I’m smushed into the side of a leather couch in a ritzy hotel bar, my carefully curled hair deflating, as I make out with a guy I met at the roaring-’20s-themed party we’re here for. We are both very much ready to go back to my place when he stupidly says, “I’m really into girls on top. Do you think you’re athletic enough for that?” Oh, Brandon from New Orleans. You were so close to having an incredible night.
Thirteen years of thrilling, so-so, explosive, underwhelming, experimental sex have led me to one incontrovertible conclusion: There are major myths out there about sex with a person of size. I’d almost find it funny if these myths were only held by ridiculous people that I wouldn’t sleep with in any circumstance, but often I end up educating even the most aware of humans — potential partners, no less — on this topic. So let’s discuss. Ahead, learn some of the most common fat-sex misconceptions I’ve encountered, and why they’re complete B.S.
Fat People Will Break Their Partner
Ask yourself: Do you have pain receptors? Can you tell when uncomfortable twinges strike your body, and do they nudge you to reposition and reconfigure? If so, then this myth is an elementary fallacy that should already be crumpled up and thrown into the nearest fat-shaming bin. Partners of all sizes need to feel each other out to figure out what positions will be most comfortable, and body size should be exonerated from the ouches that may come from having consensual sex as long as you’re an adult with the capacity to understand when something hurts. After all, it doesn’t take any weight at all for a spry elbow to dig itself into some part of me hard enough that I need to (and do) vocalize my irritation. This is kind of just how sex works, you guys.
Fat People Have Body Limitations
Yes, of course fat people have body limitations — but so do thin people, and every single person on this earth (except Beyonce…I think we can all agree that she is capable of pretty much anything). This myth infuriates me, as it’s deeply rooted in the overarching mobility assumptions of larger bodies: that we have knee and back problems, that we’re too tired to walk around, to run, to get up, that we’re unable to fit into any space. Enough.
Truth be told, my knees are kind of a problem, but here’s why: They’ve been destroyed by years of basketball, soccer, roller derby, rugby, running, and being a New Yorker. So yes, of course I’m going to have problems being on my knees for too long of a time while having sex! I told someone this once while disrobing — an attempt to encourage her to share anything she wasn’t comfortable doing — when she looked at me and said, “Oh are you trying to lose weight to fix it?” Clothes back on, mood ruined, left immediately. No thanks, boo. My body (and your body) isn’t something to fix. It’s totally acceptable to stand at the periphery of one’s body margins and say, “This is my limit. Please respect that.”
Fat People Don’t Look Sexy Naked
I’m rolling my eyes at this as I type.
I’ve spent time on Tumblr and Instagram, and I’m telling you that there are plenty of super hot, naked plus-size, chubby, fat, glorious people out there completely destroying this notion. I scroll past the alluring product pages of Hips & Curves and Curvy Couture Intimates thinking about all the hot XL+ women these companies have outfitted with matching lace sets and plunging t-shirt bras — and just how many times I’ve bought a lacy pair just to snap a full-length photo that captures the lushness of full hips in lingerie. We’re out there, people — I have an entire iPhone camera roll to prove it.
Of course, attractiveness is subjective: Not everyone finds the same things beautiful. But to say that anyone in double digits sizing is just not sexy is obtuse and tells me that we haven’t been doing a great job at exposing large bodies as confident and erotic.
I rarely see my body type rendered in the media. In fact, though 67% of women in the U.S. are a size 14 or above, we’re only represented in 2% of the images we see (as you may know, that’s the infuriating impetus behind Refinery29’s 67% Project) — and of course that’s going to color the way we see (or don’t see) larger bodies. And when you don’t see yourself represented, you have a harder time finding that much-needed confidence that’s a key ingredient for sexiness.
Open your eyes to larger bodies. Actively seek them out and really look. Look to find acceptance in others but also acceptance for your own body. The more you look, the more you’ll find yourself less visually offended — and maybe even more turned on.
Fat People Feel Gross
I recently came across Roscoe Ramone’s stunning Instagram page, where I read this quote: “@ everyone who claims they would never sleep with a fat person. have you ever slept with a fat person? our entire body feels like an ass.” We can move on now, right? Cool thx bye.
Fat People Only Fuck Other Fat People
As I scroll through the mental rolodex of all the people I’ve slept with, I can confidently say that’s far from the truth. I’ll admit, I love a good plus-size romp with a super babely partner (may I please direct your attention to AORTA film’s super hot, artsy porn Full), but I’m not going to cut myself off from sleeping with someone who is thinner because our bodies don’t match up.
Confession: I do understand why this is something people would assume. Larger bodies constantly live on the margins of what we deem as acceptable or valuable, and sometimes it’s easier to get naked in front of someone with the same mental scuffles, to lessen the insecurities leading up to sex. I’ve done this and still sometimes have to remind myself that if I’m about to get naked in front of a thinner person they’re not going to gasp in my direction and say, “I had no idea that’s how big you were under those clothes!” Look, a potential sexual partner is aware of what you look like — there’s literally no reason not to be fully confident when you slip off your top for their viewing pleasure.
Fat People Will Sleep With Anybody Out Of Desperation
“You know you wanna” is a fragmented phrase said to me too many times by men both IRL and online, and it’s usually followed up with a “girl like you” footnote. A girl like me, aka fat. A girl like me, aka unattractive. A girl like me, aka unfuckable. Listen: The only thing I’m desperate for is to have impressions such as this die off.
Let me break this comment down for you: It means that I, a fat person, am considered not good enough to date, be seen with, court, chase after, fall for, or love. I’m nothing more than a fetish, which makes it okay for people to use me as an object to fuck because “I should be grateful for even getting that.” No, no, no, no, no until the goddamn end of time. And this problem will always lead back to representation (or the lack thereof) and how it has distorted the way we treat each other based on our assumed levels of value.
Dear Media, Please start showing plus-size people as people deserving of love, respect, value, and healthy sex lives and NOT always bogged down by health issues, negative self-esteem, and “funny, sexless fat friend” tropes.
A fat woman with zero problems getting the sex she wants / no issue turning away sex she doesn’t want.
You Can’t Find Fat People’s Bits
All right. This one. The assumption that our fat has circumvented the ability to reach our genitals. Yeah, sometimes I have to arch my back more or lie in a different angle for better access, but this is not solely a fat person thing. This, again, is an everybody thing. You can’t tell me that someone who is 6’2” doesn’t have trouble touching bits with someone that is 5’6”. It’s all about working with your body and your partner’s body to find the best angles — you’re going to find that you’re having a lot more fun and you’ll discover incredibly creative ways to have sex!
Hell, there are entire companies dedicated to making products that allow all bodies to be more comfortable during sex. Liberator has been in operation for more than 15 years, and their sex furniture is designed for everyone to bow and bend on a supportive firm cushion with a machine-washable cover. Genitalia access achieved! Their Wedge product is at the tippy-top of my must-have bedroom accessories as it doesn’t collapse like a pillow and stays in place even with the most aggressive rocking — oh, and it’s perfect for anyone who likes to read in bed.
My thing is always my belly and my butt. They’re round, they poke out, and they’re the sexiest parts of my body — a lot of touching happens on these two places. Because of this, I’m very aware that most sex toys I use must have a handle, as tiny, vibrating pocket rockets won’t give me the extension I need for toys to go where they need to go. The Vibratex Mystic Wand will always be my go-to as it has a handle and a silicone bulb that centralized the vibration; making it so that your hand doesn’t feel the buzzing. The same can be said for using penetrative toys. I opt for ones like the Tantus Silk Large with a longer stem so that I can play with depth and shallowness while still being able to hold onto the base for any kind of play.
Simply put, if you’re not willing to put in the work to properly access your partner, then I find this myth to be an unimaginative excuse for your bias.
Fat People Are Too Lazy To Have Sex
I’ll be damned if I’m going to let this pile of fat-shaming B.S. continue to live within the zeitgeist. People are allowed to be lazy. People are allowed to have a night off. People are allowed to not be into it. Large bodies shouldn’t be excluded from this and definitely shouldn’t be tethered to closed-minded assumptions if they want to have a lackadaisical moment. But on the flip side, you also shouldn’t be surprised when a plus-size partner really fucking goes for it.
Are you cute? Are you into me? Do both of us not have to be up early? Can I take a night off from doing work and personal projects? If the answer to all of the above is yes, then take off your pants, your skirt, your latex bodysuit (actually, keep that one on!) and let’s have some fun.
67% of U.S. women are plus-size. Join as Refinery29 gives these women their own megaphone, doubling down on our commitment as allies, and partnering with them to catapult their powerful conversations into a true historic movement. #WeAreThe67