So. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately.
Before I get into this, I will go ahead and say that this rant is specifically targeted at straight cis men. Let me also say that I am all for having standards regarding who you will or won’t date and who you you will and won’t fuck. Although I personally keep my standards for the latter relatively realistic, I’m not going to shade you solely for having some insurmountably high standards if you can swing it.
I see way too many dudes spending valuable tweeting time lamenting the fact that no one will fuck them, and then laying out these laundry lists of the qualities they expect a potential sex partner to have for them to be acceptable. Seriously, dudes, if no one is offering, what you will or won’t accept is irrelevant. You can sit back all day and talk about “chicks gotta have _______ for me to hit it” but if chicks who don’t have ______ aren’t even looking at you, it’s really just kind of sad that you sit there describing how you’re gonna be turning down all these invisible women. Especially when you, I, and your mama know damn well that if a chick who didn’t meet whatever bullshit standard you came up with acted even slightly interested in coming near your sexual organs you’d drop trou without thinking twice.
It’s funny, but it’s also really annoying and somewhat offensive because so often it’s rooted in some body snarking monkey shit. Whenever I see some marginal dudes squawking about their standards I think about a conversation Snarky’s Machine and I have regularly about “commensurate levels of attractiveness”. Basically, you can’t eat at the Four Seasons on a McDonalds budget. So why you think you, who I have not yet seen on the cover of GQ, are going to be able to pull a chick that belongs on the cover of Maxim, I don’t know. What I do know is that you’re gonna be living a long life full of not ever having sex. Ever.
For your reference, my previously referenced standards for sex partners are basically threefold: 1) you need to have a face that is attractive to me, 2) you need to smell good and have good hygiene, and 3) you need to be like, at least an inch taller than me including my hair. I’m 5’6″, by the way. This is anyone. And I’m attracted to a lot of faces you wouldn’t think one would be attracted to. Often it’s really about chemistry, and since I don’t do one-night stands but I’m down with being fuck buddies, it’s also about personality and am I cool with you being in my house long enough after we bone to maybe use my bathroom and have a glass of water after you get dressed.
It’s not really that if you relaxed your standards, women would flock to you in droves, because they probably wouldn’t. But it’s a bad look, especially when your criteria are so heavily based in fucked up societal beauty standards. Women sure as hell aren’t going to fuck you once they hear some of that ignorance coming out of your mouth. Or coming off your keyboard. Whatever.
But you know what, do you. You want to eliminate 70% of the fuckable population, fine. I ain’t mad, do your thing, papi. Maybe one day you’ll find your black unicorn, and you can both laugh at my ass for having sex all these years and not being celibate and saving myself for that mythical Tyson Beckford lookalike who’s deep into fat chicks.
My sexual coming-of-age took place in the 90s, the decade in which I spent the entirety of my teenage years. It was a time when blatantly sexual R&B/slow jams were really coming into their prime, and thus made up a large portion of what whet my aural appetite. It was also a time when I wore high heeled jelly sandals, miniskirts, low cut tops, and carried a box purse. But, we don’t need to explore my teenage hoochieness right now. Let’s just say I took the outfits in “Freak Like Me” way too personally.
So the other night I was tipsy on kombucha (because I’m an incredible lightweight) and my vagina was feeling a kind of way like it does when I ingest any amount of alcohol. I started messing around on Twitter, like I do pretty much every night (I’m @misstashafierce, FYI), and since I was already talking about the state of my vagina and how nothing was entering it that night, I decided to focus my frustrated sexual energies on going to YouTube and finding all the old 90s sex jams that I remembered being embarrassingly titillated by as a teen. After tweeting select freaky lyrics as I went through each video, I realized I really just needed to take y’all back in the day and share my favorites with you. Let’s break it down.
Freak Me – Silk (1992)
I was 12 when this came out, so my scandalization apparently started pre-teen. But let’s be real, I was thinking about this shit for a while prior to that. I mean, I think I was like, 10 when I found my mom’s Playgirl mag under her bed, which was simultaneously exciting and horrifying. I don’t think I ever saw this video at the time, but what really stands out for me now that I’m watching this, other than their horrible hair, is how super intense this dude in the striped shirt is about freaking me tonight. It looks like it’s causing him real physical pain. I’m thinking maybe he should wear something other than a mock turtleneck because it might be making it hard for him to sing.
Knockin’ Da Boots – H-Town (1993)
“New video by HAYCH-Town”. Damn British people.
First off, if we’re about to have sex and the dude gets undressed but seriously leaves on his boots, he’s lost already. So I hope Luc is joking about two boots coming together. Cross Colours is featured heavily in this video, or what looks like Cross Colours. I won’t front, I wore CXC back then, but since I don’t now, I can still shade from the future. And where are these guys singing from? A half torn down shanty next to an abandoned baseball field? Also, not digging on getting videotaped in a closet by dude who looks like Kid while being on a date/having sex with every other member of H-Town. Do they always date as a team? At some point he looks like he’s wiping a baseball bat off with a towel and I really don’t want to know where that’s been. And now every time I see that boot hanging I think of that Justin Timberlake/Andy Samberg video “3-Way (The Golden Rule)“.
Touch It – Monifah (1998)
I picked this video rather than the official video because the official didn’t have all the dirty words and these dirty words are VERY IMPORTANT. Plus I like her hair and outfit better in this one. And really, the video doesn’t matter–it’s the WORDS.
The important parts are when she says “I’ma show your body what your tongue is doing wrong”, and “This motion has got me wet like crazy/I want you more and more when you call my name and spank me”. In the actual song she also says “do you really wanna touch it/do you really want to FUCK with me tonight” which is also important but I couldn’t find that in any of the videos on YouTube. To understand why I spend 30 minutes trying to find the dirty version of this, let’s put this in the context of my sexual development. This song came out right as I started actually having sex. 2 years prior to this I had been introduced to my mentor, Lil’ Kim, and been taught the ways of the demanding of cunnilingus, which I implemented as soon as I began giving it up. That then led me to discover the joys of being “wet like crazy” while someone “calls my name and spanks me”. Basically. So since that message was heavily reinforced here, this song was on repeat for quite some time.
Freak Like Me – Adina Howard (1994)
Pretty much everyone I know loves this song. It’s got Adina in PVC tap shorts rolling around on what are probably supposed to be yellow satin sheets but what looks vaguely like a tarp, chicks droppin’ it like it’s hot in satin bathing suits with knee pads on, a few girls with those SWV fingernails, and the obligatory house party scene. There really ain’t no party like a West Coast party and that’s basically what would happen, down to doing the reverse cowgirl on top of a dude in a large drinking fountain. Or maybe that last part was just me, that one time.
Doin’ It – LL Cool J (1996)
Now, I had already wanted LL to help me with my vagina before this song, but when I heard these lyrics it turned into a primal need. The video cracks me up, though. Let me try to briefly recap my amusement for you:
0:08 Are you seriously at a party talking dirty to your girl in a huge crowd? 0:35 She’s getting out of her car, on the phone, and he’s muttering to himself. 0:36 Lip licking, always. 0:57 So the girl is laying in front of him, how is he still talking to her on the phone? 0:60 I can get with “I need a roughneck nigga mandingo in the sack who ain’t afraid to pull my hair and spank me from the back” though. 1:15 WHY IS HE IN THE WOMEN’S RESTROOM?? 1:40 I really don’t think they let food into those peep show booths. And having been in one, I don’t think it’s sanitary at-fucking-all to eat in there. In fact, I KNOW it’s not. 2:57 I am not rubbing up on a dude who would rather finish his Frostee than fuck with me.
I guess, LL. I’d still hit it, though.
Too Close – Next (1997)
When this came out I was 17, and believe it or not, it took me a while to realize EXACTLY what they were talking about. When I finally did, I spontaneously shouted “THIS IS ABOUT BONERS!” to the embarrassment of friends and bystanders.
After that I just marvelled at how sneaky they were. “Making it HARD for me! How clever! I feel a little poke comin’ through! This is genius!” I hear it now and I’m like, this was pretty thinly veiled and it’s kind of sad that despite how sex-focused I was I didn’t get it immediately.
Red Light Special – TLC (1994)
I love this video. Even all these years later it’s actually not corny, unlike most of the rest, so I’ll use this to bring us home.
Let me just say Left Eye is fucking adorable in this, while simultaneously being badass, as she did so well. I love the lyrics, like I could just sing this to a dude and it would pretty much sum up what we were about to do. “I’ll let you go further if you take the southern route”, “I like ’em attentive and I like ’em in control”… Except I don’t sing shit to dudes, so maybe I’d recite it or something. The one thing that annoys me is the guitar playing white dude with the hair. I’m trying to be in a sexy mood and his whole butt rocker gig there is ruining it.
I just wish more clothes had come off before Left Eye threw the damn table over.
That’s enough for now, I need to go change unders. Here’s a few runners-up I didn’t include because this is already hella long. If you can think of more I missed, let me know your favorite 90s sex jams in the comments.
I did a post on Bitch called “Unicorns, Better Head and Other Myths” in which I briefly brought up the commonly-held belief that fat girls are better at blowjobs. Namely because they have such low self-esteem that they’re grateful for the opportunity to get anywhere near a dick, so they get really good at it. This myth is recognizably heterosexist and cissexist in that it refers solely to fat girls’ relationships with cis men’s penises. But since that’s the common usage, I’m going to talk specifically about the act of giving a cis guy a blowjob.
Blowjobs and I have a complicated relationship, and that has a lot to do with me being fat. See, I’m good at giving blowjobs. Really good. I make men stutter, I produce euphoria that lasts hours after I finish swallowing, I learn quickly and I love doing it. I’ll go down in an instant if I like someone, not because I’m trying to get guys to like me or really do much more for them–it’s because I like doing it, it gives me pleasure. For me it’s not really something I’m doing for their benefit until I have more of an emotional relationship with them. In fact, I tend to hold back on going down on guys for a few dates when I’m interested in a relationship. I haven’t been as vocal as I’d like to be about my love of giving blowjobs because I’m fat, and when fat chicks go down on a cis guy, they’re doing it because they’re desperate. Or emotionally damaged. Or seeking male attention. Whatever the reason, it’s never a positive one and it’s always related to fat being something you have to overcome when dating. So I’m reluctant to go ahead and fulfill that stereotype. It’s like how I want to make sure my hair doesn’t smell so people don’t think all black women’s hair is dirty. You know?
The “fat girls give better head” stereotype is of course fatphobic but is also inherently slut-shaming because it’s representing being proficient at a sex act as something negative. And in a lot of people’s minds, being good at sex means you’ve had more, which equals slut/whore for women. It’s tied in to the stereotype of fat girls as “easy” (aka slutty) because they have low self-esteem, and not because they simply love sex. When you’re a fat girl you’re not allowed to have a lot of sex unless you’re desperately searching for attention. The sex-loving, confident fat girl is in this case invisible. Our sexuality is always complicated by the difference between our view of our own sexuality and society’s view of what fat sexuality should look like. Meaning, it should be either kept completely behind closed doors or fit within the framework of self-loathing and body hate that all fat women are expected to experience on a daily basis. This is why cultivating a sex-positive culture is necessarily important to fat/body acceptance, and why we have to make fat visible in sex-positive movements and spaces.
That is the reason I decided to stop worrying about fulfilling stereotypes and start making myself visible as a sex-loving, confident fat chick on my own terms. I’m not just talking about loving giving head, but also about owning my sexuality. That’s also pretty much the reason I started this blog, because I wanted to represent a different way of viewing fat women’s sexuality. This space is important to me, and I hope by being open about myself, I can encourage other fat girls who maybe haven’t yet to start down the path of owning their sexuality. Also, I like talking about sex.
Recently a new sex partner asked for my advice on how to deal with three women he was “seeing,” each of whom was interested in having a monogamous relationship with him. Being as how we had just had “no strings attached” sex, I asked him if he was really able to handle truly being monogamous. His reply was (as I expected) a sheepish “No.”
It came out that he was more interested in one of the women than he was in the other two, but that she also had commitment issues. So I suggested that he consider an open relationship, one in which he did all the “girlfriend” things with this woman, but which allowed for both of them to still have the option of sex with other people—provided that there was no emotional involvement.
This was an apparently novel idea for him, and he liked it. I explained that they would need to negotiate the ground rules of their relationship (for example, he was okay with her having sex with other men as long as she didn’t talk about it) and they would have to keep the lines of communication open. After he left, I wondered to myself: If we didn’t have the expectation that our “committed” partners would be able to fulfill all of our sexual needs, could we be free to simply enjoy the closeness and commitment of a relationship based on emotional instead of sexual fidelity?
Thick, curvy, voluptuous—nah. I’m a proud fat Black chick with no hangups about my size, and I have the nerve to expect a romantic interest to be comfortable with it. I learned a long time ago that I needed to love myself before anyone else was going to love me, so I’m perfectly happy being on my own if I can’t find a partner who accepts me as I am. But my past experience has borne out that it’s not impossible for a fat chick to get a date. Being sexy and fat isn’t as hard as some people would have you believe.
That said, society doesn’t exactly make it easy on fat women to develop healthy self-esteem. Even within the Black community, where fat is supposedly accepted so much more readily than in other cultures, fat women experience discrimination, disgust and ridicule. Fat might be more acceptable, but you have to be a certain kind of fat—padding in all the “right” places and none where it’s not desirable. Fat women with bodies that don’t fit the bill are either desexualized and Mammy-fied, or their sexuality is seen as a joke—take for example, Eddie Murphy’s Rasputia in “Norbit.” Black men dressing in fat woman drag and overpowering skinny men with their animalistic desire gets a lot of laughs because society has conditioned us to see fat female sexuality as something to be laughed at or disgusted by.
It’s high time we as Black people learn to collectively embrace a sex-positive worldview. What do I mean by sex-positive? Sex-positivity equals acceptance of differing sexual orientations, acceptance of varying gender identities and presentations, non-marginalization of sex acts that are consensual, and promotion of healthy sexuality. Sounds great, right? Yet too many of us allow fear, religion, and ignorance to get in the way of learning about and practicing sex-positivity.
A sex-positive philosophy could help foster solutions to many of the problems our community is facing today, such as teen pregnancy, STD infection rates, and rampant homophobia which forces queer folks to stay mum about their orientation. Trying futilely to promote abstinence until marriage or simply ignoring the fact that young people are going to have sex whether you teach them about safe sex/birth control or not wouldn’t be an issue if sexuality was openly discussed and not stigmatized. An understanding of gender trangression and unpacking of institutionalized transphobia could be achieved. “Alternative” lifestyles such as BDSM wouldn’t be taboo, but accepted as an expression of healthy sexuality. Folks wouldn’t have to wring their hands over who’s on the DL because the DL wouldn’t be necessary. This isn’t some utopian ideal. It’s a consequence of removing the barriers to talking frankly about non-heteronormative sexuality and promoting sex-positivity.