On deconstructing my body and how it informs my sex and sexuality
Being a body positive fat person can be really hard, in lots of different ways. It can be difficult to maintain self-love and composure when I’m reminded at just about any turn that this so much of this world is centered about the deliberate exclusion and attempted erasure of my body, or when people think my existence is a joke or a tragedy or to be hidden until proven suitable. But what I’m specifically talking about in this post is how my fatness has impacted my sex and sexuality. Most importantly: being fat and in gay male culture has arguably left me largely invisible as a dating or sexual prospect for most people I’m attracted to. Particularly being fat and not that hairy, or not hairy enough to fall into any bear subcategory (which, good, cus ew bear culture). It seems like most gay (and even queer) men desexualize me and treat me as if I’m asexual (and though I totally recognize and support asexuality as a valid identity, it can still hurt to have it projected on to me unwillingly). My experiences in gay male communities lead me to believe it is centered on only acknowledging the humanity of the people you wanna fuck, and therefore very few people recognized mine.
So, for these reasons I have never had a particularly active or even satisfying sex life (with other people). At this point I have essentially given up on trying to find another person to mutually connect with intellectually and emotionally in a romantic sense, as it truly seems to be unrealistic if not impossible. And while I recognize I might have a difficult personality or politics that might hinder these possibilities, I also recognize people give up on me entirely too quickly in ways they wouldn’t on someone with a more normative body.
So I have been actively trying to improve my sex life, with… interesting results? I hooked up with two people this week and they both reacted to my body in really different ways. It seems like half of the people I’ve been with have ignored my body completely and the other half have treated it as any other. But one of the people seemed to take the time to take it in and really enjoy it (which was really fun in ways I didn’t think it would be). What was even more interesting is that he had said he has lost a lot of weight and seemed self conscious about the stretch marks that ran down his arms and stomach, and comments like that always makes me project someone’s potential dissatisfaction with their body on to me, which made the situation really difficult to read. I really just wanted to kiss his scars and tell him they were beautiful but I didn’t, and maybe I should have. Still, he spent so much time doing what felt like admiring my body— just touching me and taking me in, and it was really nice.
But the other guy had a more apathetic reaction and later made a comment that I was maybe bigger than he liked, though he had earlier said he liked fat guys. (How fat is too fat? Apparently, me.) That experience was shitty but had very little effect on me because of how little I cared about him.
Something I think is really unsettling is how many people have asked me “what kind of guys do you like?” As if there is a sole template I’m attracted to and I’d dismiss anyone who strays from it outright? Is this usual? I’m not sure, but it strikes me as totally bizarre and limiting. Like, so many people are sexy in so many different ways, how can you ignore that? My attraction has always been varied and fluid (even moreso the more I deconstruct what I thought were my inherent attractions) and dependent upon how much I like a person’s personality (and that is, apparently, unusual, according to a conversation I had with my roommate tonight, and that explains a lot). So no one seems to believe me when I say “all kinds”, because I guess they don’t seem to recognize that this includes them or I wouldn’t be talking to them in such a setting.
So I have been thinking about how these experiences would have a totally different effect on me if I weren’t in the same place with my body. And in retrospect they have actually just made me feel more confident, sexy, uninhibited, and like an actualized sexual person (far too late imo). Because while I try to be really sex positive for the lives of other people, my experiences have led me to internalize a lot of bullshit and be really weird about my own sexuality, and these situations, I think, have helped me resolve some of those. They have fully allowed me to appreciate my body as fat and sexual, and also the experience of being with another fat person (which, let me just say, is really fucking sexy). I really recommend everyone try it.