I was a nervous wreck the first time my internet boyfriend picked me up from the airport.
We met in late June and were deeply, madly in love by August 3rd (I checked my diary just to be sure). We made plans for me to spend the week with them in November, and in the meantime sent each other literally hundreds of selfies and videos. We followed each other on pretty much every social media account possible, and we video chatted every week.
In short, this person DEFINITELY knew what I looked like. But I was still nervous.
That’s the thing about growing up fat. A lifetime of people and media telling you that you’re unworthy, unlovable, unsexy… it sticks with you in spite of everything.
On that sunny November morning I waited for my boyfriend at the passenger pick up curb, anxiously tugging at my skirt and wondering if I should have worn something different, if I was going to look how they pictured me. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to go home.
But then I saw their car pull up, and within seconds I was being scooped up into a big bear hug.
We got settled into the car and they squeezed my thigh.
Later, they recalled what it was like seeing me in person for the first time.
“You were so much fatter than you looked in pictures,” they said.
My heart caught in my throat.
“I loved it,” they added. “It was so hot.”
Something I may have forgotten to mention: my boyfriend is a “fat admirer,” someone who has a strong preference for dating and having sex with fat people.
“It’s like one big boob”
In 2011 The Village Voice published an article plainly titled “Guys Who Like Fat Chicks“. I remember reading it and having an incredibly visceral reaction — I wanted people to like me for me, not because of my size. So I wrote about it.
I was super concerned about someone fetishizing my fatness, in large part because fetishes can be incredibly dehumanizing when they are non-consensual and also, frankly, because a small part of me still didn’t feel like my fatness could be genuinely sexy to someone. When you’re still working through unlearning decades of internalized fatphobia, it’s easy to be suspicious of someone who thinks your fat is hot.
I remember one fat admirer from the article explaining his attraction to women like me by saying our bodies were like “one big boob”. Totally dehumanizing, right?
So I vowed to stay away from fat admirers, and was perfectly content to have sex with people who loved my body but felt neutral about my fatness. Until I met my boyfriend.
Y’all, sex with fat admirers is different
Since opening up my relationship, I’ve had sex with at least three bonafide FAs. (Although none of them prefer that terminology because “it makes you sound like a creep”.)
My boyfriend was my first.
I’ll spare y’all the tawdry details because my mother reads this blog, but I’ll say this: sex with fat admirers is different.
For starters, it’s not just your boobs or butt playing center stage during sexy time. It’s your belly. Your thighs. Your upper arms. Your double chin! Things I had been taught to hate about myself for so long were suddenly being treated like the most precious and sensual parts of me.
I was caressed and kissed and worshipped from head to toe. And it’s not like that had never happened before — but it’s a whole new world when a simple belly squeeze is enough to render your partner weak in the knees.
Of course, I didn’t need this experience to teach me that I was beautiful or worthy or sexy or good. I had known that about myself for a long time.
But what I did learn, the stuff that truly changed how I experience sex now, is that it’s not just my brain or socially acceptable erogenous zones that are sexual or experiences pleasure. Turns out, my whole body is one big, fat erogenous zone.
Being fat is hot, y’all. The way my belly gently sways from side to side as I walk toward a partner is hot. Seeing someone look at my tummy, my arms, or my chubby fingers the way others look at my boobs is hot. Squeezing and jiggling and kissing my fattest parts is… you guessed it, hot. And it feels so. dang. good.
Oops, I guess I did get a little tawdry there.
My sex life has changed forever
So how have things changed, exactly?
For starters, I refuse to fuck anyone who isn’t super enthusiastic about my body. You don’t have to have a preference for fat partners, but you have to be into every part of me. I will no longer settle for sex with people who only wanna touch my more socially acceptable bits. Grab that fat tum! Kiss those dimpled and soft arms! Spend time with the parts of me I used to dream of cutting off my body, and focus on making them feel really, really good.
I even see myself a little differently now. I touch myself differently. I think about the ways that others see me and touch me and emulate that gleeful adoration.
I allow myself to be fully present during sex, to feel pleasure in places I was taught were bad or ugly or gross. To acknowledge and revel in the ways that every part of my body experiences pleasure when I have sex.
And, truthfully, I love other fat bodies more thoroughly. I delight in jiggly thighs and full, drooping bellies. The feeling of having my hands and other parts intimately wedged into the soft rolls of another fat person is nothing short of heavenly.
Fat bodies are soft. Fat bodies are strong. Fat bodies are delightfully thick and full, heavy and light at the same time. Fat bodies feel… nice. Good. Powerful. Sexy. Divine.
Fat bodies are hot as hell, and I’ll never, ever forget that.