Health

5 Burning Questions About the Everyday Struggles of Fat Sex

Fat people have sex too. It should be obvious and it certainly shouldn't be shocking, but for some reason people freak out.

Remember when Gabourey Sidibe had a sex scene on the Fox drama "Empire" and everyone lost their minds?

After her character Becky had a sex scene with a boyfriend on the show people were fat-shaming her on social media.

It's a subject that people are quick to laugh about but not necessarily discuss. Out of almost 20 people ATTN: directly asked and in a general social media query, only three people wanted to talk about their weight, sex, and dating. However, these topics are important and they affect many people. More than one third of U.S. adults are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

People aren't avoiding the conversation from lack of experience.

To answer some burning questions about dating and sex as a big person, here are some people who live it every day.

1. Are there any common misunderstandings that people you date have about you?

Elaine Reszenski is a 28-year-old from the Boston area. She works in retail management and she's a big online dater. She's attracted to men and she said many guys have a thing for big women.

Elaine Reszenski

"There's lots of men who have a fetish for large women. No thank you! Or just 'How big are your boobs?' Again, no thank you!"

Also men online make assumptions about her health.

"From my dating profile stats, they may assume that I'm out of shape or that I don't live a healthy lifestyle. On the contrary, I consider myself pretty in shape and eat as healthy as possible. I've struggled with weight my whole life, but my size doesn't define who I am."

2. Have you dated or had sex with another big person in the past? How does that work?

Khellie Braxton is a 27-year-old DJ in Los Angeles. Braxton dates women and prefers to use non-gender specific pronouns for themself.

Khellie Braxton

"I have dated and had sex with other fat people. It's not much different. I've noticed that when I'm with other fat people, we are often more comfortable about our bodies in the naked stage sooner. I know I have less preoccupation with wondering whether or not this person will find me attractive. But truth be told no matter who I am with, I have to remember that if we've gotten to the point of taking clothes off, this person already knows I'm fat, and they are already DTF. So any insecurity I have is all in my head."

Braxton also wants you to know that skinny people aren't doing it any better.

"It's important to note that not being fat doesn't mean you are in any better shape than a fat person. And being fat doesn't mean you aren't in good shape or healthy. So like, there are fat folks out there doing hella flexible positions and flipping it, dipping it, and whipping it all over the place. And there are some brittle skinny folks out there that couldn't bend it like anyone for their life."

Reszenski feels differently about sex with other big people. She's very secure in her size and doesn't want to hear a man whine about his body.

"I gravitate towards average-size men. I don't want to hear a man complain about how he's insecure with his body. I'm a confident, curvy girl, and for a man not to be comfortable in his own skin is unattractive to me. I have dated a bigger person in the past, and he always wanted to try to be healthy. We were always on a diet, or going for walks, or trying to squeeze in a work out. It was nice at first. Someone with a similar goal in mind, we could hold each other accountable, but it became a drag! I want someone who encourages me to order a salad at dinner but will still let me eat ice cream."

3. Do you have any sex or dating rituals?

Theresa, 31, is from Saint Louis, Missouri. She didn't provide her last name, but she's one of the administrators of the Facebook group "Big Beautiful Women," a closed group that has more than 126,000 members to give support to larger women.

Big Beautiful Women

"We are dedicated to creating a comfortable community for Big Beautiful Women and their admirers," says the group's page.

Theresa said that stretching before you get it in is a key sex ritual.

"I think for sex rituals doing some stretches to limber those hip and back bones up let's the guy know that us big girls can do all the positions of the skinny girls."

Reszenski swears by Spanx on the first date.

"You feel squeezed in and smoothed out but, they really make you double think anything beyond a friendly goodnight kiss. I've also been self-conscious about what to order, or even if to eat, on the first few dates."

4. Have you ever felt that your weight has affected your ability to find a serious partner?

Braxton said that high school was a struggle and some people wouldn't date Braxton. However it's not an issue now.

"There are a lot of people that won't date me just because I'm fat. But I don't have too many problems finding partners these days. I am not straight though, and my circles are more open to different body types than mainstream society."

Theresa said that she thinks her weight affected her approach to dating in the past.

"I believe it affected my ability to find a partner because I had low self-esteem because of my weight and other things. I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin, so when guys talked to me and told me I was beautiful I didn't pay them no mind and didn't give them the time of day."

Reszenski said that men are interested in sex with a big woman, but not necessarily a relationship.

"My weight has absolutely affected my ability to find a partner. A lot of men have a perfect image of who they want to spend the rest of their life with. While someone on the curvier side might be fun for a night, week, or month, it doesn't seem to be what they picture their future wife to look like."

5. Do people sometimes make comments concerning weight that make you feel badly?

Braxton said that they recently had a tough experience with someone close in their life. Braxton was at a party in Palm Springs, California a few weeks ago, where they knew the DJ, and Braxton got on stage. Braxton didn't anticipate the conversation that would come next.

Khellie Braxton

"I grabbed the microphone and called out to the crowd. I was a little bit tipsy while on stage, but when I got off the people who I encountered gave me the impression that I was well received. The next day, my girlfriend and I were talking about the whole night and my image in general. She was saying that if I wanted to move up in the DJ or hosting world, I'd probably have to get in shape. I don't even disagree with her, but knowing how it is, and how I don't fit that idea is annoying and just not right. My being a smaller size and more palatable for the skinny masses is not going to make me a better DJ or host. But in entertainment and nightlife, looks are a real thing, especially if you don't have a lot of money to throw around. So I got caught up in my feelings."

Braxton said that the conversation pulled up memories and old insecurities.

"During all our discussions the part that stuck with me was hearing her say, 'I see how people look at you.' Up until that moment, I had almost forgotten. It all came rushing back. All the effort I put into not caring or acknowledging the looks was suddenly staring me right in the face."

Reszenski said that the men she meets online can be cruel to her when they meet IRL.

"I make sure to include full-body pictures so they're not caught off guard, but even still, I've had someone tell me on a date that they were surprised by my size. I've had a few messages exclaiming that I'd crush them if we ever had sex, that they'd suffocate under me. Some men idealize large women, but again I'm not a fetish. I'm a regular girl looking for a connection."

Theresa said that as a teenager she struggled with her body image and people's comments cut her deeply. However, as a women in her 30s, she appreciates her own beauty.

"As I got older and wiser I realized that I can't change the way people think of me, but I can change how I think of me. I woke up one day, looked in the mirror, and said, 'Girl, you beautiful.' It took a while to erase the negative thoughts people put in my head, but now I believe I'm beautiful no matter what size I am. I'm wise enough now to realize it's your heart that makes you a beautiful person not your pants or dress size."

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