Okay, some of you are already in your feels from the headline, I’m sure. Why “fat?” Why “women?” Why “sex?” Why not “Plus Sized People with Amazing Love Lives?”
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Fat: We have all sorts of euphemisms to describe people of size: plus-sized, pleasantly plump, big-boned, BBW, plush. And I don’t have an issue with that. But, how many euphemisms do we have and commonly use for tall people? Why is “tall” a neutral, if subjective, descriptor, and “fat” an insult? I want to reframe “fat” as an adjective free of judgment or shame. [Notice I said “reframe” not “reclaim,” since “fat” is a word rarely used against me in my adult life.]
Women: But doesn’t #AllFatMatter? Yes, fat people of all genders face discrimination, but fat shaming and sexism intersect in a very specific way. From the Notorious B.I.G [R.I.P. Christopher Wallace] to Tony Soprano [R.I.P. James Gandolfini], fat men are allowed a level of sexual agency in popular culture than fat women are not. The “fat guy with the thin wife” trope goes back at least to “The Honeymooners” and “The Flintstones” and all the way up to the television careers of Jim Belushi and Kevin James. But there’s no female equivalent that I’m aware of. The closest we’ve come is Rosanne, and her onscreen husband, John Goodman, was fat as well.
Sex: Well… sex is kinda my thing. You may have noticed. Besides, it’s very easy to abstract the love lives of marginalized people in ways that make us more comfortable. We can be fine with the idea of fat people, gay people, or old people, holding hands or having candle-light dinners, and still have a knee-jerk reaction to the thought of them fucking.
At this point you may be saying, okay, but where do you, a 5-foot-9 inch, 200-pound, cisgender male, get off creating a blog series about the sex lives of fat women? Well, here’s the thing. It really pisses me off when I know people exist, exist in great numbers, and our culture tries to erase them. I see fat women around me every day who totally own their sexuality. They are gay, straight, and bisexual. They are cisgender and transgender. They are partnered and unpartnered. They are monogamous, polyamorous, and open. For those who have partners, those partners are male, female, and non-binary. Some of their partners are skinny, some are muscular, some are also fat.
But to look at movies, television, and ads, you’d think these women didn’t exist. Fat women are often portrayed and asexual. When they are allowed to express sexual desire, it’s usually depicted as unsatisfied, or sated by eating. Fat women’s sexuality is often played for laughs.
So, my goal is to make a space here where fat women with amazing sex lives can speak for and represent themselves.
Hey, are you a fat woman with an amazing sex life who’s comfortable talking about it? Email me at davidwraith at yahoo dot com, with the subject line “Fat Women with Amazing Sex Lives.”