For some, size, desire, shame and sex are a rat’s nest, hopelessly tangled together.
People who internalize anti-fat stereotypes — including the pervasive cultural belief that fat people are categorically unattractive or unlovable — are more likely to binge eat, as are survivors of sexual assault.
Their gingerly posed questions underscored my own quiet uncertainties and insecurities.
Like them, I had learned that bodies like mine were impossible to want.
Fat women with sexual appetites are made punchlines again and again and again.In their eyes, I wasn’t a new land to conquer, held no promise of the thrill of the hunt presented by thinner women.No, I would go willingly, grateful for their conquest.It was so strange, so foreign to feel held so completely. For one year, our relationship was unlike any I’d had, supercharged with desire and longing, a steady and comforting pressure.But the times I felt furthest from this love of ours were when M complimented my body.Any desire for my body had to be is never far behind.To be clear, fetishism isn’t necessarily pathological — fetishes can be as simple as consensual kinks, particularly intense attractions, or simple preferences.There’s no question that fat sexuality can be riddled with power imbalances and predatory behavior.But why is a healthy, natural attraction to fat bodies so difficult for us collectively to believe?I was unaccustomed to such intense attention, especially in a world that instructed partners of fat people to our bodies, as if our bodies were some external inconvenience. But M loved every part of mine, wanted to touch it all, wanted it forever.Over time, acquaintances would cautiously ask about M.