Fat people have sex. Fat people have sex drives, partners, and desires, but popular culture rarely, if ever, shows fat people, especially fat women, having sex. Plus, women of size, like Gabourey Sidibe, are derided when they dare to perform in sex scenes.
For instance, social media users shredded Sidibe when her character, Becky, shot a "controversial" sex scene for "Empire. Meanwhile, Becky [is] getting it all," one woman tweeted. Variations of this tweet, including one that ended up on The Shade Room , went viral. Of course, this implies that Sidibe is less deserving of love than a smaller woman. The criticism feeds into the stereotype that fat women are undesirable, undersexed, and unworthy of pleasure.
This misconception bleeds into the ways that fat women see themselves. To combat these tropes about fat women and sex, here are five things I've learned from "doing it" that have revealed to me the power of my body: No position is too hard or too much. Fat women don't just have sex in the missionary position. Any position is fair game, even if it has to be modified.
Fat bodies, like mine, are flexible — and most importantly, capable. Recognizing what my plus-size body is capable of makes me confident in the bedroom and outside of it.
Being naked is freeing. I worried that the man — who knew what my body looked like in clothes — would be repulsed by what it looked like without clothing shielding my flaws. Most fat girls can relate to this scenario. Instead of enjoying the moment, many fat women are worried about how they'll look rather than what they're doing. Giving up those insecurities emboldened me in so many ways.
I now walk around my house naked. It's freeing to stop overthinking someone else's gaze and recognize that my own is the most important. There's nothing to fear about trying new things. Since we're so starved for attention, we'll do anything with anybody.
This stereotype often appears in popular culture, including a telling chapter in Mona Awad's book "13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. I refused to do many things sexually. Not only did this inhibit me from receiving pleasure, but it also made sex more awkward than it had to be.
Now, there's nothing wrong with having boundaries — every person having sex should have them. However, those boundaries shouldn't be rooted in social stigma about fat bodies. Undoing that thinking will also unleash your inner freak.
Asking for what I want took me further than being meek. Rather than asking for my partner to learn my body and deliver what's pleasurable, I would settle for letting him lead the way.
That passive approach to sex robbed me of pleasure. Being more vocal got me everything I wanted — and then some. Getting on top gives me confidence in my ability to be in control. In fact, being on top put me in control. It allowed me to control my orgasms. It also gave me confidence outside of the bedroom. That sense of power went with me from the bedroom to the office. It's an assertiveness that can't be understated. You might not see fat women having sex on TV, but it's happening every day.
Best of all, sex shows fat women that their bodies are limitless.