Oh my God. Do you guys have sex? Do fat people even have sex at all? Does your husband even WANT to have sex with you? Can he even get an erection?
This one time, a producer of a popular evening news television program called me to request an interview — body positivity, et cetera. The fellow, we’ll just call him Bill, was nice enough, not at all abrasive, and seemed genuine. He didn’t chastise me for my supposed laziness, my poor eating habits or lack of discipline, my BMI of 31 (32?), my glaringly obvious double chin, the three packages of Spring Oreos in my cupboard. Bill said they were working on a feature story about fat women and relationships, and that the lovely Tess Holliday would be included in the feature as well — Me + Tess = MAGIC.
And then the real pitch started with him talking about my “skinny” husband, what’s it’s like to be a fat (and by association, unfortunate?) woman in a relationship with a thin man (apparently this is called a “mixed weight” relationship. RUDE.). The conversation ended with my saying I’ll be in touch — and then never being in touch.
He didn’t have to tell me what he was getting at. Shows that are founded on the premise of you have personal “problem,” and are, therefore, worthy of gawking at, are good for ratings. Especially when they involve love and/or vaginas.
A. Even though it is an anatomical truth that my husband is, in fact, smaller than me, it certainly doesn’t warrant an entire half-hour program devoted to its discussion.
B. The fact that anyone thinks that the love/sex habits of a fat woman and her skinny counterpart are television worthy only reinforces the perception that the life of a fat person is so obscure, so completely outlandish, that the world would need a docu-drama to understand it.
Hi World, there is nothing about me that is TV worthy, except I have five kids. That’s literally a sitcom.
(SPOILER ALERT: We are totally, painfully average.)
I’m not an exception. I’m not an anomaly. I don’t need a documentary detailing the normalcy that is my life. I don’t need to be told I should feel lucky to have a man that doesn’t care about my size. I don’t need to give television viewers a glimpse inside the house of the lady who “let herself go,” and the man who puts up with her.
The inevitability here is the world wants to know what’s happening inside our marriage. After the kids are in bed, and the dishes are cleaned up, and the laundry is folded, and I’ve eaten half a package of Oreos.
What about the SEX? Oh my God. Do you guys have sex? Do fat people even have sex at all? Does your husband even WANT to have sex with you? Can he even get an erection?
We have sex. We have it a lot. It is good.
I am bigger than him. This may bring up some questions: Can you be on top? If you are, do you crush him? If you do it doggy style, can he get over your giant bulbous ass? Can you even do it doggy? Do you need a crane? Can his penis find your vagina? Can YOU find your vagina? What is it LIKE to have sex when you are so FAT?
Well, it’s like…SEX. Heterosexual, cis-man, cis-woman intercourse. There is a penis and a vagina. The penis goes INSIDE the vagina and then there is some motion (usually in and out) and other stuff (kissing, etc.), and then orgasms happen. For BOTH PARTIES, even. We have sex in all the positions people have sex in. Except not with anything suspended, not because I’m too fat for sex hammocks, but because I am just straight terrified of heights. Sometimes I may have to move a thing out of the way (a giant boob, for example) but none of this impedes our sex life. It's not fat sex. It's just SEX. Human sex.
But wait, there’s more.
We have oral sex too! That’s where the mouth goes on the other person’s sex organ (i.e. penis/vagina). It’s possible that my vulva is fatter because my body is fatter. However, it is STILL a vulva. There is a clitoris — my husband actually knows where it is (which is more than I can say for a lot of other straight cis men). My clitoris still functions as it should, regardless of my fat thighs. I like oral sex — giving and receiving. I don’t feel a shroud of shame over my jiggling parts. I don’t feel so paralyzingly embarrassed that I can’t enjoy myself and find joy in him enjoying himself. My stomach roll may be in the way sometimes, but it's never in the way of a good time.
I’m smart. I’m funny. I can knit a whole sweater. I bake a badass cake.
He is smart. He is funny. He plays the drums and guitar. He makes the best coffee.
He is sexy.
I am also sexy. I feel sexy. I wear sexy, revealing lingerie. My body is not a source of shame for me — even though the world will tell me it is. I will not listen.
My husband and I are absolutely, madly in love. Neither of us qualifies or defines that love by our hair color or eye color or height or (surprise) weight. I weighed 125 pounds when we started dating. I was beyond just thin. I now weigh 210 pounds. I am beyond just curvy.
The subject of my size almost never comes up. No, really. I’m not lucky to have a man who loves me even though I am fat. I am lucky to have a man who is an awesome human being. He is not a fetishist. He doesn’t get a blue ribbon for loving me despite my body; he loves me both for my body and regardless of it.