Science

Vocab Lessons: Fat Sex

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Have you ever experienced “fat sex”? Kirstie Alley has. The actress, who recently lost 100 pounds, recently admitted she didn’t exactly lose weight for health reasons.

“I didn’t like the way I looked, and I didn’t want to have fat sex!” She told People Magazine in an interview.

Fat sex?

Is that just sex between two fat people?
Sex wherein one participant is fat?
Or does “fat sex” describe the actual experience?

A Google search of the term is elucidating, if awkward, especially if conducted in an office setting. Some people are really, really into fat sex (whatever it really is).

But aside from fetishism, is fat sex really different than, well, average-weight sex? Not in terms of libido or sexual performance, according to an article in Dimensions Magazine. Obese men and women are just as easily aroused, and just as sexually active (whether alone or with a partner) as their thinner counterparts. Fat isn’t stored in sexual organs, and these are just as functioning in a morbidly obese person as they are in someone who is extremely underweight. And when it comes to arousal, it’s people on diets who are more apt to face difficulties, not people who are fat.

But, logistically, it turns out there are some differences, and many extremely overweight people have to be resourceful when it comes to finding comfortable sexual positions. Still, with a few small tweaks, overweight people can participate in the same sexual positions as thin people. Fat sex=normal sex, with a few more pillows.

Sadly, the most prominent differentiator of sex at different weights isn’t the fat sex, but rather the lack thereof. Despite normally functioning libidos and sexual organs, people who are overweight face problems including a lack of opportunity, a history of rejection, and, (most deadly to a healthy sex life), negative body image.

According to one researcher:

“The concept of being sexually undesirable because of their weight figured strongly in the majority of the interviews I conducted with large women. Apart from agonizing experiences of rejection, I discovered a lowering of expectations. Women felt they were risking too much rejection by even contemplating a relationship with the sort of man they wanted…”

And fat men have it even worse.

“Despite changing social and sexual mores, men still are presumed to be the sexual initiators, and such fat men are inhibited from approaching woman by the fear of rejection. This reticence can lead to social and sexual isolation.”

So here we finally have our definition of fat sex: is isn’t a physical sensation, it isn’t a physiological effect, it isn’t mechanical. It’s merely that the pressure of society to look a certain way inhibits some overweight people (with perfectly functioning bodies!) from feeling like they’re even allowed to have a happy and enjoyable sex life.

So, Kirstie Alley is actually having the exact same kind of sex she was having 100 pounds ago. Except this time, with confidence.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had that imbued, at every weight?

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