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.

And that’s about it.

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?

[Read the rest on Clutch Magazine.]

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.

[Read the rest on Clutch Magazine.]
[This article originally appeared on Zora & Alice.]

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.

Continue reading “The case for sex-positivity”