Even when someone "cares about my health," what it often really comes down to is that they do not want to have sex with a fat person: "You can't make me want to fuck a fat person."
This is actually true. If you don't want to fuck me, I cannot force you to want to fuck me. And, indeed, I would not want to force you because that would be icky and gross and far too complicit in perpetuating rape culture for me to be into it. The thing that these folks don't seem to get? There are actually plenty of people who want to have sex with fatties.
But for some reason, fat sex seems to be the most threatening topic ever for a whole lot of people. Fat sex gets fetishized and turned into a taboo topic. Maybe that's why I'm so eager to talk about it all the time -- because fat sex is often just sex like anyone else may be having.
Recently, Bevin Branlandingham (who has one of my favorite last names to just kind of repeat because it's fun to say) posted 7 Ways To Be A Good Ally To Your Fat Lover -- including the fundamental concept that you are worthy of sexual pleasure in your body just the way it is right now, without any changes.
(I'd clarify that "sexual pleasure" is a highly variable and personal definition and some folks are not interested in it and that is also completely and totally rad. Because no one owes anyone anything just because some person has found them sexually desirable.)
One striking characteristic of a lot of fat sex conversations: how important it is to be conscious of and make an effort to combat your own internalized fat hate -- even if you are yourself fat! We're all soaking in it, after all. But there are also some practical things people can do that I wanted to bring up.
Ah, sex. Let's discuss.
Here's a thing I know: It really is very hard for a lot of fat people to own their own sexual identities. Part of the messaging fat people receive is one of desexualization. Fat sexual identity is denied to us.
Part of having a healthy and satisfying sex life as a fat person is learning to get over that. Which is so much harder than simply saying, "Get over it." If you're into partnered sex, you're doing it with SOMEONE, and that means you're taking a risk. Hopefully a small risk but a risk just the same. Here are some of the things that I have found to be successful when it comes to my own enjoyment of doing the deed.
Rule 1: Never have sex with someone who says mean things about your body.
They don't deserve to fuck you. Period. Unless you have a humiliation kink and have requested such negative commentary, anyone who says something mean about your body and then expects to have naked access to it should be denied. Yes, this means that sometimes you will turn down people you'd like to fuck. But do not reward anyone who thinks it is acceptable to insult the person they want to have sex with.
Note: I think this actually includes people you are married to. Because bodies change but if they can't handle that? You might need a new partner.
Rule 2: Practice being naked.
If you cannot be naked with yourself, it is probably going to be really hard to be naked with other people. It is totally okay to need to dip your toe into nakedness a little bit, but being comfortable enough to take off the T-shirt is going to improve your sex life. And not just because the T-shirt will be out of the way but because it's easier to have a good time when you feel comfortable.
Hang out in your living room naked (if you are able). Try sleeping naked! Clean in the nude -- wear some red lipstick while you are at it. Get comfortable with the way your body moves and shifts.
Rule 3: Speak up.
If you don't like something, tell your partner. The goal is for you both to have a grand time; you are not just there to serve as a tool for them to get off. (Again, unless you're into that sort of thing. Hey, it can be fun.) But the more ashamed we are to say we like certain things, the less likely we are to be in control of our own consensual sexual experiences.
And just talking about sex really can be kind of sexy. It builds the anticipation!
Fact: Talking about sex can also be really awkward. I'd say the only answer to this is to learn to embrace the awkward. It gets easier. And laughing about it together can be awesome.
Rule 4: Focus On How It Feels.
If you're feeling shaky about how a certain position would look to an outsider, remember that you are not performing for an audience (unless you actually happen to be doing so). How it looks doesn't actually matter -- because sex often looks ridiculous as hell. What matters is how it feels to you and your partner. And as long as both of you are feeling good, it really shouldn't matter if an observer would find it sexy.
If you need proof of this, watch some porn. Seriously, why do men in porn never take off their white socks?
Rule 5: Try New Things.
I'm a big believer in the idea that I won't know if I like something unless I've tried it a couple of times. Some of the most fun I've ever had has involved trying something I wasn't 100% convinced I was going to enjoy. You've got to try it with a partner or partners you trust, but ideally you aren't fucking anyone who won't stop if you change your mind about something anyway.
Because it's all right to not like something and ask to stop, too. But letting your insecurity about your body stop you from trying ANYTHING is going to limit your fun. Just go at your own pace.
But what, you might be wondering, can people who want to have sex with fat people do? How can you as a person who wants to get it on with a fatty improve your relationship and your chances? It's for the best that you've asked.
Don't Make It All About The Fat
This is where a lot of fat admirers, whether they claim the identity or not, fuck up immediately. A lot of fat people, particularly fat women, have a hard time believing that someone could be sexually attracted to them. If someone comes along and is then only sexually attracted to their fat, well, it comes across as creepy. Coming across as creepy does not (except in some subcultures) generally result in you getting laid.
Being attracted to fat bodies is awesome. But if your lover thinks they are a stand in for just ANY OLD FAT BODY, that's depersonalizing and not sexy (unless you're both into that). Make it personal -- if you love my fat belly, tell me you love MY fat belly and why.
Note: If you're with a person because you love that person and you are not sure about their fat, that is a valid thing for you to feel. But it's going to be tricky to navigate. Don't be afraid of touching your fat lover's body. Figure out what you love about the experience. Never, ever say, "I never thought I could enjoy sex with a fat person."
Don't Be Afraid To Ask What's Working -- And What Isn't
Some fat folks are hella bendy and some are not very flexible. If you're trying to pretzel around into a new position, ask your partner if it's working. Just as there are accommodations for fat bodies in yoga, there are accommodations for fat bodies in sex. Being open to those accommodations is only the first half of the process -- you've also got to talk to your partner to make sure those accommodations are effective.
You might also try talking to other fat people, too. No need to reinvent the wheel when someone has invented the Liberator wedge, y'all.
A lot of people (of all body types) are especially insecure when it comes to sex, but failure is totally an inherent part of the trial and error process. Not everything is going to work on the first attempt. You might need to try something entirely different but you might also just need to, for example, use the Liberator to help your partner angle their hips a little more. (Also, as confirmed via Twitter and experience, many fatties just need an assist getting their legs higher to achieve deeper penetration. Learn it, live it. If you like that sort of thing.)
Be Mindful Of Your Partner's Comfort Zones And Boundaries
I know I said I'm all for pushing boundaries. But that's when it comes to personal boundaries. Sex can be a pretty vulnerable time. Which means it is NOT the time for making other people do things they just aren't comfortable doing. (Generally speaking, no time is the time for that.) (If you're in agreement and have pre-negotiated things, that's a little different.) If your lover isn't comfortable with you grabbing their thighs, do not grab their thighs. That should be obvious.
At the same time, if your partner responds well to having their belly kissed, then go to town kissing their belly. This is one of those things that I always doubt really needs pointing out but then, yeah, it really needs pointing out. If you've never been with a fat person before, this is a good chance for you to get up close and personal, too.
Sex is a great big fat topic, of course, and there are always more things to discuss! What works for you and what advice do you have for folks with fat lovers? And I'd like to recommend, both for fatties and the people who fuck them, Hanne Blank's superlative source book "Big Big Love, Revised: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them)" -- it's a sexy sexy game changer.
Chat with Marianne who actually almost never talks about sex on Twitter: @TheRotund.