Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: fat (Page 2 of 3)

Size & Sexuality

The Full Body Project by Leonard Nimoy
From The Full Body Project by Leonard Nimoy

I’ve been thinking a lot about size in general, both big and small and everywhere in between. Chicory (who I met face-to-face yesterday and is fantastic!) and I have been conversing about it, via email, comments, and in our meeting yesterday, and inspired by Thursday’s Child’s Sex and Intimacy Project I want to pose some questions to all of you.

Size acceptance is coming to be an issue I am passionate about. I’ve forever had the same hangups as, well, just about everyone in this culture. The same negative feelings towards my size. Though it’s important to distinguish between health and size, even though our society does not really view it that way. We are told that thin equals healthy and fat equals unhealthy, though I know plenty of thin people who eat much much worse than I do, and yet. But I digress.

The questions I want to pose have to do with the intersection of size and sexuality in your life. They may have no intersection at all, or you may have never thought of the intersection, but either way I want to hear about it. This may seem obvious, but the most interesting aspect, I believe, will be to see how everyone differs and what similarities there are, as well as being able to get a glimpse of the person within their answers.

Weight and size are touchy subjects in our culture, as is sexuality. Both have to do with the body and have moral judgments thrust upon them. Both are aspects of the self that are extremely personal and also that have strong cultural expectations and meanings. Both affect the way we present ourselves and think about ourselves.

The Size & Sexuality Study is a series of interviews highlighting real people’s answers to the questionnaire below. At the end of the posting of interviews (end date not known) I will post my own reactions to the study as well as my own answers, and how reading the feelings and thoughts of all these interesting and informative people has affected me over the space of the study.

Want to answer the questions? Fill out the questions below and send them to me: scarletsexgeek AT gmail DOT com

In order for these interviews to be what I would consider successful I need you to be completely honest. This is about real people talking honestly about their bodies and their sexuality, recognizing what society tells us about our bodies and recognizing how that affects our own ideas about how we should or should not act. If you wish you thought one way but really think another I want to hear that, not just what you wish you thought.

The focus of these questions are not just on large/fat/plus-sized women, I’m interested in answers from everyone of all sizes, all genders, all sexes, and so on. If you want to answer them, please do!

Feel free to skip any of the general info questions you are not comfortable answering, but please do answer all of the others. The more in-depth the answers the better, but in-depth and lengthy are not always the same thing (though they can be).

General Info
Name (what you’d like to be called):
Age:
Gender identity and presentation:
Sexual identity:
Relationship status:
Blog/Website (if you have one):

Publishing
Can I publish your answers on my blog?
If so, can I use your name or would you prefer to be anonymous?

Size & Sexuality
What size is your body (you can use dress/pant sizes, a general description, anything you’re comfortable with, though remember that not all terms mean the same thing to the same people.)?
How comfortable are you with your body both in general and your body size specifically?
How has your relation with and attitude toward your body and the size of your body changed over time?
How important is sexuality to your life?
How has your relation with and attitude toward your sexuality changed over time?
How comfortable are you with expressing yourself and your body sexually?
How comfortable is society with the idea of viewing your body as sexual?
Through answering these questions and/or thinking about your relation to your body and your sexuality, have you noticed any links or similarities between the two? If so, what?
Anything else you would like to add?

Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments or via email, but please don’t answer the questionnaire in the comments. sizeandsexuality AT gmail DOT com

Assumptions

I wrote the following in response to Sinclair’s post defining identity alignment assumptions, basically “the assumption that one’s identity categories align with what is either a stereotype or a dominant compulsory cultural norm.” I ended up writing more than I thought I would, and I have more to add so I thought I’d just convert it into a post on here.

There are many identity alignment assumptions that I struggle with, including the assumption that I’m straight because I’m with a cis-man, the assumption that I’m straight because my primary gender identity is femme, the assumption that my gender expression is traditionally feminine instead of femme, and the assumption that I’m unhealthy or somehow immoral because I’m fat. I’m sure there are more, of course, if I started really thinking about them, but these are the biggest that have been impacting my life lately, especially the first.

I’ve always embraced my difference, and not being visibly different (even moreso recently since I dyed my hair a normal color) is difficult for me in general. I find myself having a difficult time embracing the queer community in general because even though I’ve never been straight and never will be straight I am perceived as straight by many, including many within the queer community. Most people want others to be monosexual, it seems, it’s easier to quantify people that way.

I know that I have some assumptions I make as well, though I’ve noticed that my assumptions are different depending on my location. In Utah I tend to assume most people are mormons and straight, but elsewhere I don’t actually think about what religion or spiritual affiliation people might have, and I tend to assume more people I come across are queer. I do often link gender and sexuality assumptions together, such as assuming masculine females and feminine males are queer, but I also tend to assume general queerness rather than gay/straight binary assumptions.

Occasionally I will try to spend a day purposefully assuming the world is the inverse of what society tells us, that queers are the majority (or total) population, that assumed gender expression doesn’t actually denote the sex of the person, that everyone is polyamorous, and that people won’t automatically judge me by my size. It’s a refreshing and sometimes humbling exercise, though it’s often shattered quite quickly.

[End of the comment: start of the extra]

I actively work on my own assumptions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have them, though it’s hard for me to pinpoint them. I try to not make the same assumptions about others that I feel others make about me, but I know I do it, like assuming straightness instead of queerness.

These assumptions extend beyond people as well, to places. I find myself making assumptions about Seattle and others make assumptions about Salt Lake City due to the identity associations there. I’ve had people mention being surprised that there is a kink community here, a queer community, pagan and occult communities. People assume that SLC is just a mormon hub that doesn’t have any kind of diversity within it, though they’ve obviously not seen SLC Punk. People are surprised when they find out I live in Salt Lake City, though I don’t wholly blame them because I’m surprised that I live here.

I’m finding myself making the opposite assumptions about Seattle. I know a fair amount about the city itself, and have been reading up on it even more since we decided to move there. I’m excited about the communities there. I assume that it is going to be easier for me to find people I click with there. I assume that because it is more liberal that I won’t feel as shut-in as I do here. I don’t know if these assumptions are in any way correct, however, because I’m not counting on that other factor: me.

Side View Exposition (HNT)


Click for the larger version.

Since I figured you’ve all seen enough of my face lately…

Seriously, though, the reason why I posted this is because I hate my arms. I showed a flash of tit so that there would be something else to look at too, but the main focus is my upper arm and thigh.

I remember the moment I started hating my arms, I don’t remember exactly how old I was only that I was in high school. I was talking with my dad about buying clothes or something about clothes and he told me that he wouldn’t buy me any tank-tops because I shouldn’t show my arms off because they were fat. My dad said that, he whose body type I emulate and who is heavier than me. I just about died.

I still hear his tone when he said that to me, so nonchalant. I’m sure he didn’t mean to cause harm by it specifically, it was just something he felt the need to inform me of, as if I wasn’t already painfully aware of my fat body. He wasn’t trying to be mean, but he did make me overly self-conscious about my fat upper arms.

The more I think about my dad and all the things he’s said to me over the years in passing, all the little remarks, insisting I should sit in the front when five people are in the car because I’m the largest, little things that I’m sure he doesn’t mean to be hurtful but that are. The more I think about his attitude towards size in general I realize that he’s extremely fatphobic, and a lot of fat people are.

I guess it makes sense, and I shouldn’t be surprised by that realization, but I was the first time I had it. Pretty much everyone has some fatphobia in them, I know I still do, although I actively work against it. So here I am working against my fat arm phobia, by letting you all see it in all it’s large glory.

I blame/thank Bevin for helping me with the courage to post this, though it’s still taken me all day to actually do it. Back on my HNT two weeks ago I mentioned “I have a thing about showing my arms, especially my upper arms, I blame my dad for that, so I had to cover them up with something.” She responded to the post that “unearth[ing] your upper arms” is “crucial to fat activism” and I’ve been thinking a lot about that in the last two weeks, especially with my posting of The Adipositivity Project and looking at all the bold beautiful big sexy women who are uncovered there.

I’m still not where I want to be health-wise, and I still have that inner voice telling me to keep myself covered, but I need to get to a better emotional place before I have the motivation to do all that I want to, and this is a step toward that, so enjoy.

The Adipositivity Project

I only discovered The Adipositivity Project yesterday via Feministing, and I have been looking through the images ever since. They are absolutely gorgeous photographs of real women who are fat and proclaiming it proudly. Women who are sexy AND fat and who are trying to show that is not an oxymoron, even though society at large thinks it is. We sexy fat women know that we can be sexy, though sometimes it can be hard to know that, and sometimes we forget that, but through asserting ourselves as sexy beings we may be able to make others realize it as well. Size positivity is all about recognizing that fat people are people too, we are sexy and gorgeous and fat.

From the Adipositivity Project website:

Adipose: Of or relating to fat.

Positivity: Characterized by or displaying acceptance or affirmation.

MISSION:

The Adipositivity Project aims to promote size acceptance, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather, through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that’s normally unseen.

The hope is to widen definitions of physical beauty. Literally.

The photographs here are close details of the fat female form, without the inclusion of faces. One reason for this is to coax observers into imagining they’re looking at the fat women in their own lives, ideally then accepting them as having aesthetic appeal which, for better or worse, often translates into more complete forms of acceptance.

The women you see in these images are educators, executives, mothers, musicians, professionals, performers, artists, activists, clerks, and writers. They are perhaps even the women you’ve clucked at on the subway, rolled your eyes at in the market, or joked about with your friends.

This is what they look like with their clothes off.

Some are showing you their bodies proudly. Others timidly. And some quite reluctantly. But they all share a determination in altering commonly accepted notions of a narrow and specific beauty ideal.

Identity Musings – Part 3

A follow-up post to Identity Musings – Part 1 and – Part 2, I highly recommend you reading those two first.

For a long time I wondered if I was just trying to make up an identity that isn’t necessary. If I was so transphilic maybe I was just making up an identity so that I wouldn’t be cisgendered. Is that the case? I still wonder that, but reading through Pomosexuals has helped me realize that I’m not the only female-assigned person to have this conflict inside of me, I’m not even the only female-assigned bi-/pan-sexual/queer person to love queer men and women and to have a boi personae as well as a femme personae, as also evidenced by The Leather Daddy and the Femme.

Still, that nagging fear that I’m just trying to not be cisgendered (not that there’s anything wrong with being cisgendered, but as I mentioned, I’m rather transphilic so it’s not as much a conscious desire not to be cisgendered, but one I wonder if I have internalized), that I’m trying to make more of something that’s inside of me and not exactly being true to it, that fear makes me doubt and question, and I hate it. I’m not sure how to prove to myself that this is the case, except to examine it, embrace it, and see how it feels.

I’ve said for years that my embraced drag queen identity was not just about all gender being drag, but also because I identify with a type of femininity that can not exactly be expressed by female-assigned people. It’s a queer over-the-top femininity that I love and identify with, it’s similar to femme but it’s not quite the same. Part of that identification, I think, is being “larger than life” or, larger than society tells women we are allowed to be. My fatness allows me to inhabit a space that non-fat women can’t (pun intended).

In addition to just being fat I’m also tall, about 5’10”, and have always been tall. I was 5’8″ by 7th grade, I’ve worn size 11 shoes also since 7th grade. I remember being proud of that, proud to wear my freak label, proud to be taller than most of the boys in my class, proud to be large and queer and strange and a freak. It was difficult at times, but I embraced and owned my queerness from an early age, because I knew that there wasn’t another way for me to be.

I identify with drag queens, but I also identify with femmes. It’s two different yet similar kinds of fem(me)ininity, and I try to inhabit them both at different times, perhaps that’s another personae I need to adopt a name for, to adequately seperate the differences so that I can analyze them easier, so that I can understand her better.

The truth is I have multiple personas within me, each with hir own voice, each needing recognition, and so I’m trying to recognize all of them, but it’s a long and dubious process. I’m not sure I’ll ever know all of them fully, but I have to try, otherwise I will be out of touch with myself. Each personae has different desires, and I fully intend to figure them all out.

The first step to analyzation is to recognize that which you are analyzing, right? Otherwise you aren’t able to analyze something you don’t know about. These “Identity Musings” posts have been about just that, going back to track the expansion and development of these identities in a new way, so that I am able to recognize these different aspects of myself and therefore come to a greater understanding of them. I have a more specifically queer related one on the way (since these have dealt mostly with gender).

Project LifeSize

Found here via Feministing. Above is the casting call (which ended at the end of July) and currently Project LifeSize has 13 videos (not counting the casting call), all of which I have watched. It is a wonderful display of real women sharing about their lives and experiences, and those of you who enjoy people or getting to know others online (which, I would assume, would be most of you) then I think you will enjoy it.

It has great potential, and is only in the second week of video productions, so you don’t have too many videos to catch up on. Here is a little info right from their YouTube channel page

…What is the point of Project Lifesize?…
When I was younger I didn’t have anyone in my corner telling me that I was beautiful, regardless of what the media or my peers told me. I wanted to create a dialogue about not just weight acceptance, but acceptance in general.

..Why aren’t there guys?…
Well, there were quite a few submissions to the casting call. If I could have had everyone on the channel I would have. We are open to brother or sister channels to join us.

……Why did you put out a call for only “beautiful and sexy” girls?…
I didn’t mean to infer that I was looking for only the “pretty” girls. I think that beautiful and sexy can be applied to all women and I don’t find physical beauty a necessity to meet those requirements. The girls on the channel were not chosen because they met a certain ideal of beauty. Their inner beauty jumped off the screen.
We can’t speak for everyone who has felt overlooked or unworthy of love and respect.
We can only hope you are moved enough to use your own voice.

So, go check out Project LifeSize! (P.S. I totally have a crush on one of the girls… not telling which. Can you guess?)

Size vs. Health

I came to a realization over this past weekend, in fact I came to many realizations, but this is the one I’m going to share with you today. I don’t usually talk about personal things that don’t relate directly to some aspect of my identity. Although this does relate to my fat identity, but in a different way than I would normally post about it (not sure if that makes sense). Basically, this is the kind of post I would usually reserve for LiveJournal and not for this blog, but it is something that I need to talk about, and something that I feel I should share on here.

I haven’t been taking care of my body well enough. I’m so focused on sex and sexuality but I have been ignoring the physical, which seems contradictory but somehow it still happened. I have been trying to live as a disembodied mind, seperate from my body while at the same time sexual and loving it… it hasn’t been working so well.

I’ve been signed up with a personal trainer since January and I’ve been going (though not going to the gym as often as I feel I should) but I haven’t lost that much weight or changed my body that much. I have been eating better (though not all that much better) and I haven’t been losing weight, and it’s time for me to change that. I have known this for a while, but there’s a difference between knowing something and realizing something.

This brings me to an interesting struggle. I love being fat, I love being a bbw, but I am currently unhealthy and that is a problem. There is a difference between being fat and being healthy, and I’m way past healthy. Four years ago I went from a size 24 to a size 14. I doubt I will ever be smaller than a size 14, and I’m more than okay with that. My body type doesn’t lend itself to being smaller, and a 14/16 is (I think) the most attractive and ideal body image for me. Currently I am back up to a size 26.

I am heavier than I have ever been in my life before this, I am uncomfortable and I teeter between being unhappy with my weight and being depressed. The strange thing is that while I can get depressed with being unhealthy I still love myself and my body, just not where it is right now. It seems like a paradox, and it kind of is, but it somehow works.

The main reason I am talking about this is because my health is something I’m dedicated to change, but I’m also talking about this because there is this crazy paradox within society. The emphasis should be on health rather than size, but it’s hard to seperate one from the other. Most people equate them when, in reality, they can be worlds apart. Skinny people can have just as many or more health issues than large people, but we don’t always think of that. However, in my current state I am unhealthy, and I realize this.

Dominus and I have talked about both of our health issues. Basically he is in the same situation as I am. If we could be disembodied consciousness’ (which could still have sex) we would, but then we’d also miss out on all the fun things that bodies can do. We have decided to start a new routine which includes not only bodily health but also spiritual health, something we have been putting off since we lost our temple. We are going to create a new temple for us to work within as well as incorporate yoga (vinyasa, pranayama, and kundalini), the five Tibetan rites, and Tai Chi into our normal routines. I am also thinking of taking up bellydancing again.

This will also change our sleeping and eating patterns (for the better, I’m hoping) and switch our usual meal-a-day together from dinner to breakfast, which I’m a big fan of. It is rather ambitious, but it’s necessary. I’ll sneak little updates into my posts.

My Queer Identity, Or: Problems of Visibility

Being part of the queer community has been something extremely important to me since I was in high school, though I came out in middle school. I have always been queer in one way or another. I was the fat kid growing up, always the largest in my class, always the one made fun of. I was the outcast. I embraced my queerness, my freakhood, by difference. I wanted to be different, it made me special. I enjoyed it, and I still do.

It was easier to be queer when I didn’t have a partner, or when I had a female partner. Now that I’m with a male, and specifically living with a male and being submissive to a male it is very difficult for me, and difficult to maintain my queerness when in many ways I look very heterosexual. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but for me it kind of is. I feel washed over, I feel like my queerness isn’t as easily recognized as I’d like it to be.

Sometimes even those who know my orientation do not credit it because of my current partner. I am forgotten about as queer, and it’s really something that hurts me when it comes from those close to me. I may be with a man, but that doesn’t mean I’m still not queer.

What comes into my queer identity? What makes it up? Kink and poly definitely inform my queerness, because they inform my sexuality and no aspect of my sexuality can be analyzed without the addition of all the other aspects. Really, no aspect of my sexuality can be analyzed without all other aspects of my identity taken into account, including gender and size, which is part of the reason why all those identities are subtitles to this blog, because it’s nearly impossible to understand me without understanding all those identities first.

It’s difficult to be femme gendered and partnered with a biologically male and masculine person and to still be labeled as queer. I can embrace the label all I want, and I can try to make that label known to the rest of the world, but that doesn’t always mean I will come off that way.

I can view the plus side of it, as it means I can walk in the heterosexual world and use terms like “partner” which is the primary way I refer to Master as to new people I meet, and which confuses people or makes people assume that my partner is female. This allows me to get into a dialogue about the term partner, about bi/pan/queer sexualities if I so choose.

Now, this is all well and good, and I do try to use it to my advantage as much as possible. I try to sneak in comments like “Just because I’m with a man doesn’t mean I’m straight” or “doesn’t mean I’m not queer.” There are ways that I can subtly influence those around me, but I often wonder if it is enough. If I constantly have to assert my identity, is it really worth it? But, then again, I have the same issue with my gender identity. Perhaps my identity fetish is just too advanced for easy identification.

I’ve read about similar experiences with other bi/pan/omni-sexuals and queers, and people with FtM lovers, and I know that I am not alone in this, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. I know that this problem will not change any time soon, but maybe I can figure out a better way to deal with it.

Fabulous Fat FemmeCast

Another wonderful femme resource found via Sinclair Sexsmith.

The FemmeCast is amazing, I’m listening to the third cast right now about fat femme self esteem. I absolutely love it. They just finished a segment about the Femme Conference which I still desperately want to go to! I wish I had money. Alas. If anyone out there needs a roommate I may be able to make it happen… I doubt it, though. Anyway, back to the cast info.

FemmeCast: The Queer Fat Femme Podcast Guide to Life is an audio newsmagazine for Queer Fat Femmes, Fatshionistas of all sexualities and Queers of all genders. Hosted by Bevin Branlandingham with a cadre of regular contributors, we’re discussing dating, fat fashion, social justice, friendships, sex, gender, tranny talk, culture, travel, community and feature new music by Queer artists. A whimsical This American Life meets a radical queer how-to novel with MTV generation timing, FemmeCast will keep listeners laughing, connected and inspired.

There is a lot of amazing information within this cast, and I can’t wait to listen to the other episodes. It has made me laugh and made me feel better about myself to hear all of these wonderful fat femmes and fat femme lovers talk about how awesome and fabulous it is to be/love a fat femme. I mean, how awesome is that? What would you rather listen to than something which will make you feel better about yourself?

Ode to FetLife

While most of you have probably encountered or signed up on FetLife already, I am long overdue on a post about it. I have mentioned it in a few other posts already, but not quite done a direct “why I love FetLife” post, and now that I am an Official FetLife Greeter (with a nifty green badge on my profile and everything), and very proud of that fact, it’s time!

I have been on alt.com. I have been on bondage, collarme, okcupid, and I’ve even been on adultfriendfinder, and FetLife is not one of those sites. It’s not a dating site. I mean, sure, it can be used for that if that is your intention, but it is so much more than that.

The brilliant thing (in my opinion) about FetLife is that it is so simple. Profiles, fetishes, groups… that’s really about all that it is comprised of (not to mention various ways to find others profiles and ads, but that’s beside the point). My absolutely favorite aspect of FetLife is the groups. They are simply wonderful and you can get insight into just about everything.

Right now, for example, I started fantastic discussion on the term “fat” over in BBW Submission about two hours ago, and already I’ve had many responses. I have three groups that I call my very own: BDSM Theory, Mental BDSM, and Versatility, and I love each one of them!

So, although most of you know about it already, this is just for that small pocket of the kink population which has not yet found FetLife, just in case there are some of you out there reading this who are not familiar with it (and I know there are at least a few of you). And, if you do end up joining (or if you have a profile already) you should make sure to add me as a friend user: scarletlotus.

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