Body positivity is something that is on everyone’s lips at the moment, but there are still some things that haven’t been spoken about within the body positive sphere – or spoken about enough. Sex is not as much of a taboo as it used to be, in fact we’re all rather liberal where bedtime activities are concerned, but it’s not something that’s often discussed in terms of body image. So I’ve gathered a few of my bopo babes together (myself included) and in true Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe style – I present to you the Body Positive Sexploits of the Sexpert, the Recovered, the Pin-Up and the Lesbian.
Anytime I go to write about body positivity…I remind myself that I have to be careful. Advising someone about their own body is a tricky venture. Bodies are subjective. And sensitive. And different.
It can be really easy to say to someone: just think differently about your body! Or: stop thinking negatively and only think positively! But as we have come to find out…these things are a lot easier to say than to actually do. Cause the bottom line is, each person has a relationship to their own body and this relationship is usually a clusterfuck of both positive and negative feelings. Sometimes that clusterfuck is on the positive side and other times that clusterfuck is heavy on the negative.
And because we are made in a way that our relationship to our body reflects itself in the vulnerable moments of our lives, we learn very early on how tricky sex is going to be…both with ourselves and with others.
I mean if you think about it, there are very few other things that we do with ourselves or with others where our whole body is being used to illicit emotion, pleasure, connection, and communication. When we are having sex, we are exposing our body, we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, and we are learning how to be open.
And because sex becomes this place where we ultimately showcase our relationship to our body…we also see that if that relationship we have to our body is on the heavy negative side…the sex we have with ourselves or with others will reflect that.
In a lot of ways I think of sex like a mirror…
If you have a hard time looking into a mirror.
Chances are high that you are going to have a hard time with sex too.
So what do we do? Well. We have to begin to really stare at ourselves in the mirror. We have to begin to touch ourselves. To explore ourselves. To become comfortable to be “in our own skin”. We have to begin the work towards building a better relationship with our body so that when we want to be vulnerable with our partner/s, or ourselves we can be positive about the body that is being enjoyed.
My relationship with my body has always been complicated, and throwing sex into the mix just made things even more confusing.
My Anorexia kicked in at age 12 and I became sexually active at age 17, whilst I was in the lowest points of my battle… so unfortunately when I made my first adventures into the sexual world, I wasn’t exactly in a healthy place, physically or mentally. Although we never had sex, I felt my sexiest with my first real boyfriend whom I was with for 3 years. Our relationship fed my disorder and reinforced my belief that I was sexiest when I was disappearing. It was a strange dynamic because on one hand I’d look at myself in the mirror and burst into tears because all I could see was flaws… but at the same time, he was still constantly requesting nude photos from me. I felt hideous and unlovable and unworthy, but I complied. When that relationship ended, he told me that no one else would ever want or love me and I believed him. I was incredibly hurt and rebounded onto my 2nd boyfriend a mere 3 months later. He became my first sexual partner and at that point, I was at the very beginning of my recovery.
Although he’d known me for years and had known me at my lowest weight, I kept my recovery details secret from him and my eating disorder was something that we never discussed. I don’t think he realised the dark extent of my struggle. He consistently made derogatory comments about my body that made me feel awful and pushed me back into relapse multiple times. And although I restored my weight during my relationship with him, my mental health still had an awfully long way to go and I was still in quite a dark place. I tried to disguise this and put on a show; faked it like I was the most confident girl in the world. I went above and beyond to try and sexually please him because I felt like I had to compensate for my body being larger than it once was. He was awful at sex and made no attempt to ever give me any pleasure, but I felt flattered at least someone wanted me – something I felt sure would never happen again.
It took a hell of a lot of reflection and self-compassion and mental work to complete the mental component of my recovery and during those 5 years, I learned a lot about myself and my body. I learned that sex should be an act of give and take, that I’m personally not comfortable giving my body to someone that I feel no love for and that I need to be able to love myself and feel confident in myself above all else and regardless of whatever positive or negative remarks I might receive from others about my body. Thankfully, sex for me these days is an overwhelmingly positive experience. My fiancé is loving, supportive and respects that there will be moments of relapse where he needs to tread carefully around my body. There’s a dialogue of mutual respect and love and that’s what makes the experience enjoyable. I no longer feel like I have to act like an amateur porn star to compensate for my body – there’s nothing to compensate for – and I know that I’m at my sexiest when I feel good about myself.
THE PIN UP
Saying I have a thing for tall, lanky guys is like saying I have a thing for whiskey.
It’s more like an obsession.A never ending love affair.
The type of guy I go for has become so repetitive my girlfriends will actually spot a guy and say, Oh there’s Resa’s type.
I have a type.
I always wanted to be mysterious and spontaneous and adventurous when it comes to men.
Give me a tall, lanky, artsy guy and I will be following him on Instagram before he even knows my name.
I like what I like.
And the funny thing is, I am always bigger than my partner.
I’m a curvy, buxom pinup and I’m ever always drawn to the skinny nerds. Men in glasses have replaced men in suits as my kryptonite. Being voluptuous, and being drawn to thin men is definitely atypical as far as gender roles in relationships often go. Have you ever borrowed your partners pants and had them fit you perfectly? Have you ever been unable to borrow your partners pants because their ass is way smaller than yours? Well, that has always been my experience. But even though my thighs are always bigger than my lovers, my stomach always rounder, we have mad chemistry together. (Or we don’t and I kick them to the curb cuz really, life is too short for bad sex). And I have been fortunate enough to never encounter a lover who made me feel too big for him.
On the contrary, men get so excited when they find out how large my breasts actually are, bouncing around in their face. No man is ever gonna be like, hmm, I just don’t know, you’re a little bit larger than me, I don’t know if this will work. Men worship curves. And it’s important for us women to remember that. And often the scrawny guys I go for are self conscious of how thin they are. Can you imagine, girls?
Being embarrassed for being too skinny? But see chemistry and compatibility exist regardless of what physical norms you think you should possess or they possess.
When a lover is a good fit their type, like a puzzle piece, lines up in perfect synchronicity to yours.
And lucky for all the skinny guys out there, this curvy pinup bends over exclusively for you.
You lucky bastards.
I was always the covers-up-to-my-chin, not-taking-my-top-off, complete-darkness kind of lover, traits that I’ve no doubt any plus-sizer will recognise – what’s more, being insatiably attracted to women comes with its own set of hurdles to overcome. When you’re a young woman who has low self-esteem, the last thing you want to do is be in close proximity to another young woman who you think is gorgeous. But imagine the turmoil that you face when you really (really) want to see this woman in her birthday suit, but at the same time the last thing that you want to do is see her in all her glory. Given the negative stigma surrounding fat women and sex, we are told to compare ourselves to every other woman that we come across, and this doesn’t stop in the street.
Pre-body positivity, I’d always try my hardest to disguise my body – buying saucy underwear that was not to be removed under any circumstances used to be my go-to for bedroom comfort. I lived under the illusion that if my fat body was covered by something, my fatness would be disguised; but hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’ve since learnt that fatness cannot be hidden and, indeed, it shouldn’t be. Upon having this epiphany some time ago, I’ve learnt that body type is not a prerequisite to sexiness, but the way that you feel about your body is.
Women are conditioned to have low self-esteem, we are told that you can only be sexy if you fulfil a man’s idea of what sexiness is. Ha! Speaking from experience, since I’ve banished my body positive blues and embraced my body instead, I find that I feel more attractive than I ever have before. Learning to accept my fatness has given me the ability to move freely in the bedroom: I no longer grasp the covers to my chin, I no longer kill the moment by trying to hide my wobbly bits, I no longer keep the lights off all the time, I no longer flinch when someone touches my tummy or thick thighs. I have learnt, as a fat lesbian, that I do not need to compare myself to my lover, I just need to enjoy myself. I have found liberation from the mental chains that kept me believing that fat women couldn’t enjoy sex – we are just as worthy of having a satsifying sex life as the next person. And if someone can’t grant you the respect of that, then you need to take matters into your own hands… if you get my drift.