9 Body Positive Lessons From Plus Size Porn Stars Like Kitty Stryker & April Flores

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To me, porn seems like it would be the last place to find any body positivity, but four plus size women are aiming to change that with their work. In conversation with Mic, several body positive porn stars delved into how they're seeking to change porn into an intersectional education on all things pleasure and plus size — and their work is nothing short of necessary, radical, and gorgeous.

Kitty Stryker, who self-identifies as a "fierce fat femme," told Mic that she wants to be "the kind of artist who makes you think while you jerk off." April Flores — who incidentally inspired Stryker to get into the alt porn scene in the first place — co-created the Fat Girl Fantasies website with plus size porn star favorite Courtney Trouble. There's also Kelly Shibari, plus size porn star and publicist as well as the first plus size woman to grace the cover of Penthouse Forum. And finally, Sofia Rose, the third most popular Big Beautiful Woman (BBW) porn star according to Pornhub searches.

These women represent a market that is finally getting more representation in porn: Content of, by, and for plus size women. For years, fat sexuality (and arguably fat female sexuality, especially) has been demonized. But now the big, beautiful women behind the search tag are paving the way in porn production for representation of women in a totally new and body positive light.

In the Mic feature, all four women explain why reclaiming and representing plus size sexuality is so important, and what exactly it is they're doing to help the cause. Here are just nine lessons we can take away from their radical and necessary work.

1. "There is a need for work that represents body diversity, and diversity in the whole broad sense of the word in porn."

April Flores sees the need not just for the extremes of bodies to be represented in porn — from the "typical" porn star straight to the BBW — but also the middle ground. What about in-betweenys? What about those who identify with more than one porn "category?" Flores was creating plus size porn before body positivity was a buzzword and her work definitely started a trend that has only grown momentum since.

2. "When you see a need for something, you produce it."

What I love about April Flores is that she didn't just campaign for more body positive porn: She went out and made it. Her entrepreneurial spirit has to be admired — not just for her business sense, but for her ability to provide a representation of diversity that many of us had never been able to see in porn prior to her work.

3. Plus size sexuality doesn't have to be limited to niche sites.

Not only did Kelly Shibari produce a plus size sex ed video — a tool that will undoubtedly help many plus size and non-plus size people looking for fun and innovative sex positions for plus size women — but she produced it for Wicked Pictures, a company that rarely uses plus size performers. Shibari doesn't just teach us how to have some really good fat sex, but proves that plus size sexuality doesn't need to be limited to niche or fetish sites. Instead, it should be shared on all porn platforms.

4. It's important to evolve past one label.

April Flores has made a conscious decision not to use the term "BBW" on Fat Girl Fantasies (which is kind of understandable when you consider the controversy that surrounds it, particularly in porn). Although some of us — myself included — are happy to reclaim BBW as a body positive term, Flores said she's hoping to make her site more inclusive of "all multiracial, pansexual, gender diverse, all this great stuff," instead of simply focusing on the BBW element.

5. There is more than one fat girl narrative.

The "desperation" trope is what many plus size women are sexually represented as repeatedly for the sake of a laugh track on a television program or pornographic entertainment. Although Stryker said she fears "being reduced to the trope of the hyper-sexual, sex-desperate fat chick," she isn't afraid to call for diverse representation of plus size sexuality, and not just in porn, either.

6. There's no need to fear the low-rise bikini.

Sofia Rose is unashamedly in love with her body, championing the idea that a fatkini doesn't have to be a high waisted bikini and preaching body positivity off screen as well as on. "I dress how I want, and I am not afraid to wear a skimpy bikini to the beach," she told Mic. I love that her confidence in her porn performances isn't a front and that she genuinely knows she's beautiful and shows off her body at all opportunities.

7. "I don't care who's looking or who is offended. People in general are attracted to confidence."

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Rose's IDGAF attitude is one that I wish I could apply to myself more often. She makes the point that people aren't just attracted to her because of her size or beauty, but because of her outgoing, fun personality — and the same is true for the rest of us. If you're plus size, it's can feel scary and disheartening to think (or be told) that someone will only be into you if they have a fat fetish. Regardless of sexuality, however, there's a whole lot more to sexiness than our bodies.

8. "People are beautiful at any size. [I want to show them] that sexy is defined by you and no one else."

Sofia Rose said this is the driving force behind her career. I particularly love this quote because it doesn't single out plus size women as beautiful. She noted that any size can be seen as beautiful, wonderful, and, of course, sexual.

9. Porn can help challenge beauty ideals.

Flores summed up the reasons behind all four women's hard work in the porn industry when she said, "We're able to challenge what is considered beautiful, and that's what I want to do with my work." By aiding in the visibility of all sizes and shapes of humans, their porn is helping the world understand that everyone can be sexy.

For more body positive, sex positive vibes, be sure to check out Mic's full feature, "Meet The Body Positive Porn Stars Busting Myths About Plus Size Sexuality."

There are as many different types of bodies out there as there are people, and representing this fact in porn might just help stop the unrealistic physical and sexual expectations placed upon women.

Images: BodaciousTV/YouTube