Best of P-Mag: Fat Sex: What Everyone Wants to Know but is Afraid to Ask

I’m fat, and I spent a lot of years trying to hide that (don’t know why; it’s not like I was fooling anyone). All that time believing I was less than or unworthy of love and affection has taken its toll, so this piece really resonated. Aside from the more, ahem, technical advice – and who can’t use that? – she makes a lot of good points about letting loose and enjoying yourself. No matter how big or small you are, it can’t hurt to hear that. – Liza


I’m a fat woman. I’m a fat woman who has had lots and lots of awesome sex almost exclusively with partners much smaller than myself. When I met my current partner a year ago, I was at my fattest, about 150 lbs heavier than he is, making our sex the most drastic in terms of size difference relative to my past partners. Most women I know would not be comfortable with that size difference, and in candid moments, friends have asked, “So, how does that work?” The short answer? It works just great and I love it. There are many misconceptions about how fat people have sex, especially when one partner is fat and the other isn’t. I’m here to explore that topic, specifically the issue of being a fat woman having sex with a smaller partner.” 

I know many women who would love to have sex with smaller partners but feel that it wouldn’t work mechanically, that two drastically different bodies couldn’t come together in a pleasurable way. Additionally, many women who do have smaller partners tell me they don’t totally enjoy sex because they feel self-conscious, embarrassed, or unfulfilled because they can’t “let go” during sex. This brings me to what I feel is one of the most important parts of enjoying sex as a fat woman:

You’ll need to overcome the idea that your partner doesn’t know how fat you are.

Your partner knows, and guess what? He or she wants to have sex with you. When I was a young chubbette, I remember trying to contort my body into more “flattering” positions while I was having sex, as if my partner didn’t notice my belly was getting paunchy. I’d arch my back, refuse to do positions that made me “feel fat,” and drape different parts of my body with a blanket or pillow to hide my increasingly chubby body. Sometimes that made me feel more at ease, but mostly it became tedious, distracted me from feeling sexy, and annoyed the crap out of my partner who just wanted to see his hot girlfriend naked. Once I became much larger than I’d been before, I simply refused to have the lights on during sex for the same reason – “He won’t know what my body looks like if I don’t show him.” Well, he totally knew how fat I was, and guess what? He still wanted to have sex with me, and what’s more, he loved having sex with me. It took me a long time to realize that my partners were having sex with me in part because of the way my body looks, not in spite of the way my body looks. It sounds simple, I know, but when you spend your whole life being told that fat bodies are not sexy, it takes some time to realize that sexiness isn’t that simple. This understanding is not something that happens overnight for most of us. Hell, it can take years. But, the sooner you learn (yes, learn) to feel sexy just the way you are, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy your sexuality more fully. Really, this goes for men and women of all sizes, not just fat women. You owe it to yourself and your partner to trust that he or she really desires you and to do the best you can to keep that in mind when you find you have a hard time letting go and really being seen during sex. As a good friend of mine put it:

“In our culture we have been taught to dread being able to pinch more than an inch and to be disgusted with our muffin tops. Even if we are thoroughly rad and feminist and above that sort of self-hating thinking, sometimes we don’t like what we see in the mirror, and sharing one’s body with another human being is an incredibly vulnerable act that can bring out our insecurities. But know this: the one place you should never, ever be ashamed of your body is during sex. That is the time to celebrate its capacity for giving and receiving pleasure. Instead of pulling away, enjoy it when your partner embraces your stomach or fondles it – soft voluptuous flesh can be a real turn-on. The way a woman’s form often holds its extra weight – around the belly, hips, thighs – is seen by many partners to be uniquely feminine and extremely erotic. The love handles you might hide under hoodies during the day should come out at night in all their glory.”

Getting started

You’re going to need a few things. First, get some big, firm pillows. Pillows are a fat girls best friend during sex. Next, find a firm, yet springy surface to do it on. Pillow top mattresses and memory foam tend to not be as easy to have sex on since you sink down into those surfaces instead of bouncing back. Next, get some decent water based lubricant, just in case. I’ve heard a lot about fat women having “big vaginas,” which honestly doesn’t make any sense at all. The vagina is inside of the body. That would be like saying that fat women have bigger kidneys just because they’re fat. It’s nonsense. What’s far more likely is that you may just encounter the opposite – a fat woman’s vagina can be hard enter, especially if it’s not properly lubricated. Fat women can have more padding around the vagina (on their mons pubis and labia) than a thin woman, creating a potentially tricky situation. If your partner tries to enter your vagina when it’s not sufficiently lubricated or doesn’t take the time to part the labia, there can be resistance. If you’re lubricated well and take care to spread apart the fat surrounding the vagina, you should be good to go.

Fat Sex Positions

Not all sexual positions work for fat people and that’s okay. Many positions are challenging for everyone except gymnasts, so don’t feel like it’s just about you being too fat to do them. Most people have trouble with those positions. Personally, I have little to no interest in doing gravity-defying positions, so that’s not a problem, but I do miss being able to spoon-fuck (my ass it simply too large for any penis, no matter how gigantic, to find it’s way into my vagina in that position). More than any advice I can give you about where to put pillows, it’s going to take communication with your partner to find positions that work well for you. You’re going to need to talk about your fat, move it around, try out different positions, knowing and accepting ahead of time that it may not work out. A sense of humor is especially helpful when you’re trying out new things! You don’t need to be embarrassed, and hopefully, you have a loving, communicative partner who won’t make you feel that way. I believe that as long as your partner is GGG, the two of you will be able to experiment in a productive, positive way. If your partner won’t communicate about your sex life? Well, I think that’s a whole other article, but for the moment, I will give you permission to go ahead and stop having sex with that person until they are willing and able to make sex enjoyable for you.

Here is how I modify three standard sexual positions to make them Fat Sex friendly.

Missionary

Depending on the size difference between you and your partner, missionary can be either no big deal or a bit of a challenge. A big belly and thick thighs can and DO get in the way during plain ol’ missionary; however, you can make missionary really work for you in a couple different ways. First, get those pillows out. Put a pillow under either the small of your back or right under your butt. Second, draw your knees up and pull your thighs toward your chest.

This will give your partner optimal thrusting room since this positioning moves your thighs out of the way and really opens the vagina up for deep penetration. Plus, these simple modifications on missionary allow you more room to really feel your partner thrust! When I was heavier I couldn’t reach past my belly to grab my partners butt while he was thrusting, which was a bummer. Once he began moving me around a bit, I found I could really get a hold on him and we both started having a really good time.

Being on Top

If you hear nothing else I’ve had to say, know this – you are not going to crush your partner if you get on top of him or her during sex. As Hanne Blank says in Big Big Love- A sex and relationship guide for people of size (and those who love them), “No, you aren’t going to crush, smother, suffocate, smash, or otherwise injure anyone you have sex with…even if you’re honest-to-god super duper fataroonie fatapalooza fat fattity fat. Really.” I officially give you permission right this moment to get on top of your partner and ride that penis or strap on until the cows come home. Now that we have that out of the way, here’s how to make it work. First, know you may need to move your fat around until it feels comfortable. When I was heavier, I’d have to literally pick my belly up and move it around. Same with my thighs. Don’t be afraid to do it! Bellies hang and thighs can swallow up a small partner, so repositioning is necessary in those instances. Second, put a pillow under your partner’s butt to elevate him or her higher. This makes it easier to really get down on it, so to speak. When you do this, evenly distribute your weight by planting your hands firmly on the bed instead of sitting straight up. This will give you lots of control.

 

Another issue many women have with being on top, other than the fear of crushing their partner, is mobility. I’m not going to lie, being a fat girl on top can be physically exhausting and awkward to figure out. If you find that you become tired, allow your partner to hold you still and do all the thrusting from below! That can be a really nice compromise and can maximize your time on top. Finally, once I figured out that thrusting down on my partner was actually easier because I was fat, a whole new world opened up! Easier? Yes, I said easier! You see, when you’ve got a really huge bottom, you can use the momentum and sheer force of your ass to thrust down on our partner. Kind of like this. Pop it, girl.

Doggie

Doggie is a favorite fat sex position because it gives your partner plenty of room to work with, plus the belly is out of the way. However, if you’re blessed with an especially large behind, as I am, you may find that even doggie can be a challenge. Personally, I do not find being on all-fours-doggie as easy as a modified doggie where you place your head lower than your behind, like this:

You can further modify doggie by laying down with a pillow under your belly like so-

This position props your butt up creating lots of space for penetration and it’s super comfortable! I highly recommend it.

What I’ve covered here isn’t all there is to fat sex. I highly recommend the book I’ve linked above: Big Big Love- A sex and relationship guide for people of size (and those who love them). I would also love to hear from the community here at Persephone. How have you made fat sex work for you? What is challenging about it? What do you enjoy about it? Surely I’m not the only fat woman who enjoys her sex life! Please feel free to share for those readers who are struggling with this issue.

As always, you can submit all your vaginal and sexual health queries either anonymously at http://msvaginascience.tumblr.com/ask or not so anonymously at msvaginascience@gmail.com

 

” Fat sex is a very big issue (heh). Because my area of expertise is limited to sex with size difference as a female bodies woman with a vagina, I chose not to explore other areas of fat sex, such as the mechanics of two fat people having sex or trans fat sex for women without vaginas. I believe those issues are very important, but since I cannot speak to those experiences, I did not feel comfortable addressing them. I welcome all here with that experience to speak up and contribute if they feel comfortable.

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msvaginascience

Feminist, Mother, Lover, Fat Babe, Student and Case Worker Extraordinaire, serving high risk women and families in Seattle. My background is in Midwifery, Public Health Research, Sexual Education and Childbirth Education.

6 thoughts on “Best of P-Mag: Fat Sex: What Everyone Wants to Know but is Afraid to Ask”

  1. Hi. Thought I’d give a male perspective on this as perhaps it will contribute something you won’t get from what are primarily female comments.

    I post this at great risk of being instantly hated and flamed. Maybe. Certainly in some forums a man posting anything other than “I love fat women and them being fat creates no problems at all” is asking for trouble. But I’ll post honestly regardless, and of course do so in a way where I try to be sensitive and not incendiary.

    So, a man’s perspective on this (not a troll, not a flamebaiter, not a sexist, not a shallow chauvinist, none of those). Or at least one man’s perspective, I shall not claim to represent how every man feels about it.

    I have nothing against fat women. My girlfriend is fat. I love her and find her attractive. < NOTE THAT!!! It's important because what follows includes less flattering opinions of fat with regard to sex, and it would be a dis-service to myself and others for everything I say to be dismissed (as it has elsewhere on this topic – you can probably get the impression that has occurred since I'm being so cautious here).

    As the author of the post explains, sex with a girl that is very fat introduces complications. I find it refreshing for it to be admitted – elsewhere it is like everyone pretends to be in denial about it. And god forbid a man posts something about difficulties penetrating their fat wife/girlfriend and how it causes issues, because a million women and/or men that wish to appear a hero to the women will tear that poor guy a new one. Including assuming it's HIS fault for not having a large enough penis. Including telling him he's shallow and insensitive. Including telling him he's a lousy lover.

    But the fact is, a massive amount of fat on the thighs, butt, and pubic area, does make penetrating a very fat girl's vagina more difficult, and penetration will be to a lesser extent (regardless of penis size – and I speak as someone with an above average length and girth). And that difficulty in penetrating and lesser penetration can and does sometimes entail less satisfaction for both parties, more awkwardness in lovemaking, and detriment to the relationship because of it.

    Yes, there are some 'workarounds' as described here. Ways of modifying positions so they work. But that does not detract from some quite unfortunate facts (feel free to tell me they are opinions but I would maintain they are facts; the 'opinion' aspect of it for me only extends to whether or not the 'facts' are considered important or not, and I can certainly say that in my opinion they are, in my fat partner's opinion they are – she gets as frustrated as me when we attempt something more adventurous that turns out to be unviable because of her inhibiting fat):

    1) The range of positions that are viable is hugely restricted. As someone that has had sex with women that are both enormous and slender, and is currently in a relationship with someone very very very fat, I can say without any doubt that the number of viable positions and angles is massively restricted. That's a bad thing, regardless of how some might try to gloss over it or pretend it isn't important. A good range of positions and angles and activities is a valuable thing for variety, for sharing different sensations, for excitement, and for both parties to be able to maximally pleasure their partners in different ways. I honestly miss it.

    2) Sensation for both is naturally going to be lessened or challenged by penetration being restricted to a far more shallow depth than otherwise. I know that science tells us that the majority of a woman's sexual receptors are near the entrance of the vagina, that those receptors are more densely located within the first four inches or so (or first four centimetres depending on which anatomy article you read – regardless of the actual values, which will naturally vary between women, the concensus is that there are more receptors located in quite a shallow area of the vagina). However, I think it would be folly to suggest that only being able to get half or less of one's penis into a vagina, because it is hindered by so much fat around the entry point doesn't impact upon satisfaction. It certainly does for me. I like to be able to go in to the hilt, and women of more 'normal' size that allow for this have appreciated that too.

    3) Related to my first point, spontaneity is restricted when making love to a very fat lady (I'm not talking about a little fat, I'm talking very fat). Not just because the range of positions is restricted, but also because even with the remaining viable positions one is forced to engage in 'workaround' behaviours to accomplish decent penetration. In missionary, I enjoy as much as the next man lifting up my partner's legs and pushing them up towards her head for deeper penetration. But when missionary is *only* possible by doing that, it restricts things further than just negating the possibility of some positions – it renders even those remaining viable positions a small set of positions that have to be done in very precise ways, sometimes including (as the article describes) preparatory measures (such as placement of pillows/cushions). I hate to say it, but feel it needs saying: despite loving my current fat partner and finding her attractive and sexy, I miss the spontaneity of the sex I had with slimmer women, where I could confidently segue from one position to the next, both me and my partner shifting around into whatever position took our fancy in the moment, with greater variety and without having to pre-consider if it will be viable or if preparations need making to even attempt it.

    4) There are generally, as is the case in this post and comments about it, expressions of how being very fat impacts upon the self-esteem and confidence of women in sexual situations. I do fully empathize with that. I went through a stage of being way above my personally preferred (for me) level of fatness and remember vividly how self-conscious I was about it and how it made me cautious and inhibited in my sexual exploits at the time. But I would like to add that being sexual with a very fat woman also impacts upon the self-esteem and confidence of their partner. Not just because the fat person's self-consciousness and air of discomfort and trepidation 'rubs off' on their partner (it can and does, I've experienced it from both sides), but also because all of what I describe in points 1 to 3 can contribute to the man feeling he is less of a man, less able to please his wife/girlfriend, less sexually proficient. I have fond memories (from sex with slimmer women) of feeling very empowered, of feeling as if I was 'good' at lovemaking, feelings that in part came from being able to be spontaneous, being able to be flexible and experimental and adventurous in bed, being able to try to satisfy my partners to the best of my abilities. That is sadly absent in situations where you basically have a handful of viable positions that all suffer from restrictions in motion, restrictions in the variation of those positions, and restrictions in the depth of penetration possible regardless of the workarounds. Ultimately, there is no getting away from the outcome that is a feeling of less spontaneity, less variety, and less satisfaction mutually. And that is upsetting for the man with a fat lady as much as it may be for the fat lady herself. I feel less of an accomplished lover, more clumsy, less 'adequate', because of the impact that my girlfriend being so fat has on our sex lives. I know generally on forums about this issue, a woman saying such receives sympathy and understanding whilst a man is generally met with hostile and snide comments about their 'obviously inadequate' penis or their 'obviously poor' technique – inverted commas used here to flag up what is assumed of men when they talk of having difficulties with sex with fat women. So I risk that by saying it, but I'm saying it anyway – her being so fat makes sex more difficult, restricted, less spontaneous, less varied, less satisfying (for both, though she tells me she is very satisfied – but I bet my arse I could satisfy her far more if she was way less fat), and makes *me* feel as if I am more clumsy, less proficient, less satisfying a partner (even though intellectually I know I am the same as I was with those other slimmer women, I simply cannot put in those kind of performances I did with them when I am with my current girlfriend – it really is simply a matter of her excessive fat getting in the way of us both; no, it isn't me being a year older or whatever, it really is 100% down to the difficulties we encounter in sex with my partner being so fat).

    So there's the truth as I see it. A woman being a certain level of 'fat' (and I'm referring to very fat here, not plump or rubinesque or even plain fat) entails sex is going to be (and I hate this term I'm using too, but sticking with honesty regardless) inferior to what it could be if the woman was less fat. No, I'm not being shallow. I'm not trying to argue that all women have an obligation to be Hollywood slim or that being fat is a crime. I'm not even saying I find fat women less sexy – I don't. I'm just talking about practical issues that arise when having sex with very very fat women (and I acknowledge that issues arise when the coin is flipped and it's the man that is very very fat).

    But whilst I know all of what I say is true and have thought about it at length, there is an area I am totally clueless about. And that is: what to do about it. Here are my options, which to me feel like a selection of different flavours of shit to choose from:

    a) End the relationship. Woah, hold your fire for a moment. I am not for a second saying that I think a woman being fat is a sound reason to leave them or love them any the less. Let me pre-empt assumptions of sexism or shallowness. Firstly, it is not 'because she is fat'. It is 'because sex is so utterly compromised for us both because of her being soooo fat'. Some could still say I am shallow for considering leaving someone because of poor sex, that sex isn't everything. I concede that and agree, it isn't everything. But it is important to me in a relationship, as a component. And it's a component that I am sadly unfulfilled with in my current relationship. Secondly, I'm not proposing that I will do this. I am listing it as an obvious option amongst what my options are in handling this. So, yes, don't shoot me down for listing it as an option. Please.

    b) Say and do nothing about it. Accept that the sexual aspect of my relationship is (and will likely remain to be, since she has shown no inclination toward losing any fat) inferior and that both of us will forever fail to reach our sexual potential together and that I will continue to feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied; and also accept the emotional/esteem consequences that has for me. That way might lead to problems down the road; as well intended as I might be, I fear I might grow to resent being in a relationship where I'm fundamentally not happy, and that could lead to the issue spilling over into other aspects of the relationship; at the very least, it would leave me unhappy.

    c) Encourage her (somehow, and at great risk of upsetting her and/or pushing her away and/or appearing to be controlling/shallow/unappreciative/an arsehole) to lose some fat. In her case, a LOT of fat. How to do that without causing upset is beyond me, not because I am totally clueless about sensitivity and consideration, but because she is already self-conscious about her fat, and is already a very sensitive person. I could make the focus of what I say about health concerns – she is certainly at very high additional risk to her health from her weight, and that does worry me, more so than the sexual issue. That would still cause upset, I know it would. And whilst it is certainly true that the health issues do concern me, it wouldn't be the whole truth if I limited what I said about it to that (since it wouldn't include reference to the impact that her being so fat has on our sex lives), and I do prefer to be honest in general. I could be fully honest, tell her that her being so fat worries me with regard to her health and also that I find its effects on our sex life an issue. That would certainly cause massive upset to us both, and I'd maybe lose her and leave her an emotional wreck in the process. I could gently encourage her to accompany me to the gym or swimming or running when I go. But at the same time as being very sensitive and self-conscious, she is also very intelligent – there is no way I can see that conversation going without her knowing exactly where it came from. And again, I generally prefer being totally honest and open with her. The more feminist and pro-autonomy part of me (I do have that side, honest!) even dislikes this idea because I question whether I have any right to try to ask for or even encourage a change in another person, let alone someone I love. But if I don't, I'm stuck with crappy option a) or crappy option b).

    So, which flavour of shit do I choose to serve upon my partner and I? Is there an answer? I don't know. Maybe one of you can advise from your perspective. But a conclusion from my situation and experiences that I would like to share with all the ladies that are very fat and reading this is this: do not assume, just because you can have workaround sex and have an understanding and considerate man that loves you for who you are, that your being fat is a non-issue for him. Depending on how fat you are, there is a chance that regardless of what you would like to think, that he is not only less satisfied with your sex lives than he has yet expressed, but that he is also affected by it in terms of his own self-esteem and confidence. Sex isn't everything. You being fat doesn't define everything about you. I know all these things to be true. But also true is that if the extent of your fatness is above a certain level (and that will vary for different couples) and it starts negatively impacting upon your sex lives, it can seriously compromise the relationship and your partner might be unhappy about it without saying a word (exhibit A is of course myself, doing a full Hamlet and to and fro-ing about what I should do about my situtation, sharing it anonymously with strangers in the hope that I can add a perspective that would otherwise be absent here). If you are so fat that your sex lives are compromised, do yourself, your man, and your relationship a favour: try to cut down some of that fat. If only my partner was doing that on her own initiative, we wouldn't now be facing me choosing a) b) or c) and us both (or at minimum, me) being unhappy.

    Additional caveats: yes I know plenty of men prefer larger women, yes I know there are plenty of fat women and fat men who have perfectly enjoyable sex lives, yes I know that people don't have the right to tell another what size they should be, yes I know some people find it somewhere between very hard and impossible to shift fat, yes I know sex isn't everything; notwithstanding all of that, I am certain that I am not the only man who is unhappy with the sexual consequences of how fat my partner is and its impact on our sex lives to the point where it is a major issue and one that I will be resolving one way or another quite soon (and without a happy ending I suspect).

    Roman, a man.

    1. PS: two clarifications:

      1) I’m talking about a level of fatness that is considerably beyond that of the lady shown in the pics in this article

      2) I want to stress I do appreciate what the article does in giving some useful tips for larger women to enjoy sex. I’m not arguing against it in any way, just adding a perspective to consider for cases of extreme fatness where it causes considerable problems in sexual engagement.

      Oh, and I’m not anti-fat. In case it’s not clear! :D

    2. First of all, let’s just get this out in the open: just because the commenters here are mostly female, does not mean that they ‘need’ a male perspective. Those are available on 98% of the places we encounter every day. Or, to put it another way: this article really wasn’t about you, but your comments are trying to turn it into something about you. Does that mean your concerns are not important? No, it means that there is a time and place for them, and this is not it. I’d encourage you to find a space that is about gender-neutral or male perspectives on this issue and share your input there. Again, this article is not that place, and not about you, and is detracting from an article that is about a woman’s perspective. Also, despite your constant attempts at disclaimers, you keep saying that you long for something else, that you have no options outside of PiV, that you’d either have to be a martyr or a victim or try and change someone to be with them – well then, they’re not right for you. It’s easy to see that if the excuse wasn’t size, it would be something else. They deserve better.

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