7 Ways Embracing My Fat Has Helped Me In The Bedroom

I have few vivid memories from high school — I often prefer to block out those allegedly formative years — but one of the clearest is of a friend and I discussing what it would be like to be fat in the bedroom. Neither of us had actually had sex yet — only flirtatious encounters and a handful of second base sessions. Our plus size bodies had always acted as self-deterrents: barriers we set for ourselves out of fear of disgusting potential partners and ourselves in the whole process. We knew sex was messy, and we both already felt messy enough.

The conversation is pretty sad to think back on. It was governed by ideas about the necessity of hiding our rotund bellies, minimizing the appearance of our love handles, and angling our faces in such a way that our double chins would be neatly concealed. We might have even brainstormed the best longwear foundations with which to cover our unsightly stretchies. It hadn't yet occurred to us that sex and intimacy would be a whole lot more enjoyable if we embraced our bodies, if we learned how to enjoy our fatness in such a way that an amorous consort would never think to question it.

Even though I don't think either of us ever tried the foundation trick, we did both have plenty of mediocre spins of the sexual ferris wheel. It took the discovery of the fat positive movement for me to start realizing that my fat body was never a problem — and that learning to welcome and embrace every jiggle would really help me out in the bedroom.

1. I Can Enjoy Being On Top

I know a lot of fat humans who think that being on top of a partner is something reserved for the light and petite. If their partner has a penis, some might even worry that their ~excess~ weight will be responsible for the dreaded penile fracture. Avoiding the cowgirl was a rule of thumb I abided by for quite some time precisely out of this fear, as well as that of anyone seeing the full girth of my stomach front-on.

If safety is your concern, it's probably worth realizing that the cowgirl has been dubbed one of the most dangerous sexual positions anyway, regardless of the weight of the person riding. Exercising caution when you're doing it is a safe bet in any capacity.

But if your concern is the possibility of a partner looking up and seeing a whole lot of VBO and double chin, try to keep in mind that A: They probably already know you're fat, and they clearly do not care (otherwise you wouldn't have reached this scene of potential nudity anyway). And B: There is nothing remotely unappealing about those body parts. Remember that your fattest bits are soft and squashy. They offer plenty of room for the person under you to dig their fingers into in totally erotic fashion. They are delicate and fleshy fun bits.

Plus, the weight of your belly will most likely mean that you can better push down onto the penis of your choosing, enabling utmost penetration.

2. I Learned That "Unflattering" Positions Are And Always Were A Myth

In a similar vein, there are other positions I know many self-identified fats avoid because of the "unflattering" trope: The one that — among many other falsities — says a person's utmost goal in the bedroom must be to appear as small as possible. These can include doggy style, side straddling, the bridge, the crab walk, or just about anything else that isn't standard missionary under a cozy blanket.

The thing is, limiting yourself to one sexual position is arguably a tragic display of forsaken potential. Sex is a weird, often complicated, but totally rewarding process if you allow and want it to be. And your body doesn't have to be a limitation.

Worried that your big booty will look even bigger in doggy style? Well, it might, but you can choose to revel in that. There's nothing wrong with having a large bottom — and in most pleasant, consensual sexual encounters with decent human beings, the person you're with should find enjoyment in your pleasure. So if you're owning the bigness of your derriere, they will, too.

Living in fear that the crab walk will elevate those love handles too closely to a partner's face? Let them grab onto said handles instead. There's a reason the somewhat tired expression "more cushion for the pushing" exists, after all.

3. I Discovered The Wonders Of Masturbation

I didn't properly masturbate until my early-to-mid 20s, and to be honest, I often wonder how much easier adolescence would have been if this had not been the case. For a huge chunk of my life, however, I just didn't think my body could give me any pleasure.

Being ashamed of the way my body appeared translated to a deep reluctance to touch or look at it. It was not something worthy of ecstasy: It was something to be hidden and avoided. So that's what I did; my eyes always averting elsewhere whenever I walked past a mirror or changed my clothes for the day.

The truth is, your body can probably give you a tremendous amount of pleasure, regardless of its size. The more I found beauty and sensuality in the fat bodies of others (sometimes simply by looking through images of fat, empowered people online), the more I realized I had yet to fully explore my own.

These days, masturbating includes greater understanding and compassion towards my body. I can enjoy the fatness of my breasts alongside that of my belly or thighs or handles, teasing those parts of my figure as anyone slimmer than myself might enjoy. More mass just means more territory to graze and squeeze and love.

4. I Realized That It's OK To Tweak Certain Positions To Be More Comfortable For Everyone Involved

If I'm being totally honest, being a fat person might mean that, logistically, certain positions don't work as seamlessly as you might have hoped. Don't get discouraged, though. I've yet to hear from any sexually curious fatty of the world that any position is actually impossible. Some might just need to be molded ever-so-slightly.

For example, having very large thighs might mean that certain penis or strap-on-possessing partners can't get as deeply in-there as they might want to. This is not a reflection of anything you're doing wrong. I mean, the beauty of bodies is undoubtedly how different they can be from one another.

So instead of chastising your fat, try sticking a pillow or two underneath your butt. This will elevate your genitalia enough that any companion should have better access to it. And it'll also be way comfier on your backside, IMO.

5. I Can Better Vocalize What I Like/Don't Like

I legitimately dread to think of the many times something just wasn't working for me, but I held my tongue anyway, simply because I'd been conditioned to believe I should be grateful for any kind of attention. This could've been something as seemingly benign as a partner kissing too sloppily and uncomfortably drenching my face, or another not really knowing where my clitoris was and subsequently licking random bits of my labia.

Sexual encounters with people should never be restricted to the pleasure of one person, though. It's not your duty as a fat person to prioritize the appeasement of others as opposed to your own gratification. It's just not.

So try to vocalize your thoughts and preferences in the bedroom as best you can. It won't ruin the mood, and it shouldn't make the person(s) you're with question your affections for them. Instead, every party involved will hopefully have a better time. Sex is about discovering what works for everyone in the picture, so that each person can have the best time possible.

6. "Settling" Has Become A Thing Of The Past

Speaking of feeling "grateful" for attention, I know that in my own life, I was definitely taught by outside forces to believe that most people are simply uninterested in being with fatties. I was told that anyone who was interested in a fat person must be seriously troubled, or lacking in some sort of emotional, physical, or mental arena. And that if, by some miracle, I managed to find a slightly not-horrible human being who dug being with a fat chick, I must hold onto them forever and ever.

This is one of the biggest romantic lies to have ever existed.

My fat body was never a "problem" or a "character flaw" in need of repair. It was certainly never something that should mean I had to settle for an assaholic person, simply out of fear that no one else would ever look my way. The same is true for any other fat person — or otherwise othered human.

Similarly, settling for someone who is only "OK" with your body — or who "loves you in spite of your fatness" — is never something I'd particularly recommend. There are plenty of people who will adore your body precisely as it is, especially if you yourself love it, too.

7. I Can Be My Least Timid Self

I used to approach sex and relationships with the utmost caution. Every first touch, every garment shed, every lingering glance would be met with timidity. I didn't know how to enjoy my body and, as a result, I think I made some other people feel like they couldn't enjoy it, either. Like, if I didn't feel comfortable touching myself, how could anyone else feel comfortable touching me?

Embracing my fat means that I never worry about how certain angles make me look, how jiggly or not-jiggly a body part feels, how much cellulite is on my ass (a lot), or how many new stretch marks I've had pop in recent months. I know with every inch of my brain power that there are no flaws to be found in these things. And in approaching my figure with that kind of love, I truly think others have felt confident in doing the same.

So if ever you decide to jump onto someone, or place their hands on your side, or feel their fingers on your double chin, try to remember that there's no reason to squirm. Sex will sometimes be awkward — that's just the nature of the beast. But if you enjoy your fatness, others will, too. Your body never has to be a source of discomfort.

Images: Andrew Zaeh/ Bustle; Allison Gore/Bustle; Lucy Cartwright Photography/Marie Southard Ospina; Bry Crasch, Andrew Zaeh, Liz Minch, Claire J, Tina Gong/Bustle