Fun fact: I’ve actually never watched Beetlejuice. I only know of it because of *intense popular culture* and memes, but I always knew that I wanted the famous monochrome striped suit that Beetlejuice (or Betelgeuse as Wikipedia keeps telling me) wore in the movie. Teamed with the bra, It’s such a fricking ‘MEWD’ am I rite? Looking like I’m gonna haunt someone’s house at 8pm then go and ruin a man’s life at 2am. Yass.
Anyhoo, if you haven’t guessed from the title (at this point I’m guessing you assumed I was talking about Beetlejuice right? Nope, things just got weird my friends), today I’m talking about le sex. Well, sexuality and fatness moreso.I’ve always been at a bit of a quandary when discussing sex and how it relates to me, to be honest.
I seem to be on two contrasting beams with this subject. I’m either extremely crass for the sake of *banter* (my previous musings, for example “Jason Momoa could get it all over his face” or “Jason Momoa has an excellent beard; it’ll be a shame if someone sat on it” or my personal favourite ” I want Jason Momoa to turn my mouth into a nursery“) or, I get extremely shy and feel somewhat weird about discussing that area of my life. Is it because I don’t carry a lot of experience in that area? Sure! Is it because I’m African and the thought of family members seeing or finding out anything I’ve said would chill me right down to the bone? Kinda?! But mostly, it’s because I’ve never really *seen* myself as someone who could be considered *sexy*. Even typing the word out makes me cringe tbh.
Being a sexy fat person vs. fetishisation
We all know that one of the many pitfalls of being plus size in society is the extreme fetishisation that can come with it. You only need to look on pornography sites or join an online dating website to find an influx of ‘BBW’ erotic scenes and photos, as well as links with other fetishes such as feederism and ‘squashing’ (in which men or women gain sexual pleasure from being sat on by larger fat women for long periods of time…normally on the face). I’ve also spoken before about the pressure that fat women face to constantly perform femininity in order to be seen as a woman worthy of desire. Accentuated hips, tucked in waist. Thighs, bums and boobs on show. The whole nines.
For myself and a lot of other plus size women I know, being fat and having any kind of sex appeal leads you straight into the fetishisation category from men a lot of the time. It’s made me incredibly doubtful of my own ‘sex appeal’ at times because I feel like I’m not deserving of being sexy, or sexual in the ‘normal, mainstream’ way that sexuality and sex appeal is normally defined. I feel perpetually confined to the extreme version of sexuality and that I will only appeal to that percentage of people who assign themselves to that particular fetish. Now, I want to be clear that I’m not fetish shaming in any way. You could even call me fetish-friendly. I’m pro-fetish if it doesn’t hurt anyone and both partners are on board. But I personally, am tired of being seen as one. I’m tired of being pigeonholed.
Social discrimination is absolutely harmful to those of us who are bigger and desire sex. Reinforcing the idea that someone couldn’t possibly be desirable unless the desiring partner is ‘diseased’ is a clear, strong message unnecessarily impacting those of us already more vulnerable to social discrimination.
Sexy = body privilege?
Another aspect of this that I briefly mentioned above, is that I’ve always felt that I do not deserve to feel sexy in myself, because of the way I was brought up and the images and content I was exposed to growing up. I was taught that sexy was only resigned for pretty, skinny blonde women who frolic around in their partners’ oversized white shirt with freshly tousled hair. I was taught that sexy meant being small and delicate. Sexy meant perfectly symmetrical breasts, a small waist and perfect legs. It meant having seductive eyes, a flat stomach and a curvy bum. It meant having every eye on you as you walk into a room. That’s what I associated sex appeal with.
Now that I’m at a point where I’m a bit more in love with my body, I now know that not to be true. I’ve taken some amazing photos of myself and I happen to think I look pretty awesome in a pair of lingerie tbh, but using the word sexy…? There’s still that mental block that refuses to budge, as in the back of my mind, I still equate it with ‘conventionally pretty’ and body privilege. Sexy is something that is external. It’s someone else’s perception of how to relate to others. It’s an easy and fast label, especially for plus size women, whose curves will probably be treated a different way to others.
It’s easier to call myself ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘hawt’, but sexy is a bit different. I think the fact that it’s quite an objective term puts a limit on how far you can self identify as it, as then you run the chance of people calling you ‘vain’ or ‘self obsessed’. Ultimately though…who cares? And don’t people always say that the confidence is the sexiest thing a person can have?
How to feel sexy
Everyone deserves to feel sexy. And feeling sexy means you are sexy because if you feel sexy, you exude confidence, and confidence is apparently the sexiest quality in the entire world. So! What can you do to get to that point?
Spend time naked or wearing pretty lingerie on your own. This is one of my top tips for growing in confidence if you find that your self esteem is dwindling. Get to know your body intimately. Look at its curves, cellulite, stretchmarks, hyperpigmentation and embrace it. Take photos of yourself looking amazing and keep them somewhere safe on your phone. Or, submit them on the new My Squiggle Instagram page I’ve created (shameless plug). You’ll probably feel silly and awkward at first, but it will become more natural over time. You don’t need to do it for hours, either! Just twenty minutes a day will do wonders.
Have sex with someone who likes the way you look. Look. I know it sounds obvious, but you won’t believe the amount of times I’ve heard fat women having sex with any old thing just for sex’s sake and feeling demoralised and insecure because the man couldn’t accept their bodies. I’ve heard that there are men out there that have preferences for bigger women sans the fetishisation aspect. Don’t ask me where bitch because I don’t know and I am also STILL.HUNTING. But! They are supposedly out there! Don’t forsake a sex move because you’re worried about the way a roll of fat on your back might look. Go for your the best sex you can have. Just because you weigh more, it doesn’t mean your body doesn’t work, trust me — it still does. Also, don’t be scared to get on top. If he dies, he dies. That was the risk he was willing to take tbh. *sips coffee*
Dress in a way that makes you feel sexy. This doesn’t necessarily mean getting your tits and bum out. It can be any outfit that makes you feel incredibly confident, whether it’s Mum jeans and a jumper, or a tea-dress, do you boo!