Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Big Buts, Part Five: Fat Makes You Celibate

"But don't you want someone to love you? Aren't you afraid you'll be single your entire life? If you don't lose weight, then don't complain about not having sex!"

Actually, I want to tackle that last part first. I keep seeing accusations that people of the size positive community are "constantly whining that no one will have sex with them." I am completely baffled as to where they are getting this information, because I have yet to see it in any of the blogs or journals of the FA community. In fact, I can't think of a single fat friend of mine who has a problem getting laid. Most of them are happily married or in long term relationships. Some are partnered to fat people, some to thin people, and all combinations inbetween. In fact, I've been acquainted with at least three fat couples who have open relationships, and they do not lack for partners, thick and thin, with which to exercise that openness. I myself am married to a thin man, and we do not lack for a sex life (sorry, mom) (yes, my mom reads my blog).

Yesterday, I requested that readers shower me with comments and photos about their relationships. As of this writing, 21 different people shared their love stories with me. Considering I'm just a little wee blogger who doesn't have the large audience that Shapely Prose enjoys, I think that's a pretty good number--and I expect it to go up! Attraction is different for everyone, and, from what I've seen, it's rarely actually about fat or thin.

My mother's family has a considerable number of large people, from my grandfather, to his siblings, and all sorts of cousins and the like. Every fat person in that family who wants to be married is married, most of them with offspring (I opted out of that, myself). My mother actually takes after HER mom in being average sized, but there's quite a bit of fat in the family.

You see, not everyone finds fat people inherently unattractive. And we aren't sitting around crying into our Ben & Jerry's wondering why we can't get a date. I've personally never lacked for interested parties of all sizes and genders, and the only real obstacle a fat person has is their own anxiety and fear--which is usually the result of shallow, mean people telling us that no one will possibly want us, love us, or sleep with us unless we lose weight.

Given the climate in which fat singles must venture forth into the dating world, it's actually quite amazing that we manage to summon the courage to face potential cruelty and humiliation in order to find the special person that is a good match. Amazing, yes, but as hard as folks try and shoot us down before we've even thought about trying, we do it, and we get laid, loved, and married just as easily as thin people if we have the confidence to respond to signals from those who are interested.


TiredofBS said...

Hi. I'm 5 foot and 170 pounds. Size 16. Exhusband is 400 pounds.

Is strange about general perceptions of fat people. That we don't date. Don't get paid well. We're lazy, etc. At the same time, most mommy's strolling three children down a street are fat, and the skinny people are complaining about boyfriends in a gym.

But I am chubby. Wasn't always. Did have more male attention of the sort that leads to sex amid trash cans in alleys... but no more affection back then. Had about no work, back then, let alone anything high paying.

And ah, yeah, I preferred fat men because they're wayyyy superior in the sack. Just way superior in the way they move and... well, relate on that physical plain. The way they kiss and touch is just much different, despite "health benefits."

Will say this: My 400-pound husband did find a 200-pound girlfriend. Created a big wedge between us. And that weight prohibits him from moving much now, helping, much. That desire to over-indulge without forethought is a problem on many levels.

I'm chubby. I suppose I've got that hardiness all chubby people knew they had but doctors insisted they didn't have until recently, despite our general good health. I earn most of the money, do most of the work, and my exhusband still spends most of the money.

Fat is a byproduct of a tendency to overindulge without forethought. That's what it is. It DOES have advantages and ENORMOUS disadvantages. They might not be the disadvantages a thin person thinks they are. That's all.

My opinion, and I'm happy to hear others.

Heather said...

Fat is a byproduct of over-indulgence?

Wow. So, even though I have medical tests proving I was already anorexic, I'm fat because I eat too much?

Or am I misunderstanding?

AnnieMcPhee said...

So all this information about dieting being the number one cause of obesity, and it's still the byproduct of overindulgence? Is that all we've accomplished in perceptions? Have you been reading these blogs at all? What about shapely prose or Junk food science? I'm sorry, but it's just not true. And really, what's with the stereotyping? I've had partners who were fat and thin, and they varied person to person. Some had a wonderful touch, others did not. I can't say it was related to size whatsoever, except that in my own personal experience the ones who had the best way of touching for ME tended to be thin...not that that means anything overall. My husband is now chubby and I'm fat, and our marriage is fine. We're not celibate. It's so ridiculous that some people think fat people don't get laid - hah! Sure they do; they always did. Well, ok, it was always easier for a girl to get sex, fat or not, than a guy, but that was some time ago since I was in the singles market.

I'd like to hear what these "enormous disadvantages" are, actually. I was a skinny kid and I was weak, weak, weak. Never could do a thing in gym class, couldn't climb stairs without feeling faint, couldn't run or jump worth a shit even compared to the fattest kids, etc. So they can't be health advantages. What are they exactly? That society doesn't hate you obsessively if you're thin? Other than that I'm drawing a blank.

Fate said...


You could say I'm fat due to overindulgance... yes, I ate an increadible amount of food... but not all fat people I know do. My best friend has PCOS... on very little food she still is very fat. Several good friends of mine have adrenal or metabolic disorders which cause them to gain weight with little food.

But me? I ate a lot. A LOT... but WHY? Why did I eat? It turns out my extreme need to eat, and thus my fat is due to malnutrition. My body was broken due to eating gluten, found in so many healthy foods... for over 30 years. Because I was heavy, it was overlooked. I was heavy because I had plenty of food and could shove enough down my throat to eventually glean a little nutrition from it all... but it took 4x as much food as my body needed calorie wise to get half the nutrition it craved... so I was always hungry, never satiated and ate too much. Is that my fault? Maybe. Should Drs have looked past my fat and searched for the real problem from the beginning? Sure as hell.

When I was 8 and went from underweight to overweight almost overnight the medical community should have been looking for a 'why' insted of just putting me on a diet of boiled chicken, wheat bread and steamed greens. But they didn't. The nutritionist accused me of lying in my food journals and chided me for every no-no I had written down. An 8 year old who was NEVER allowed to eat candy or chocolate or pizza or mac and cheese... yeah, that worked out well. What did I learn?

I learned to start lying about food I did eat. I learned to hoard food and eat it in secret in great binges. I learned to be embarassed and apologetic about eating in public. I learned no one likes to see a fat girl eating and everyone will be critcal about it.

I learned I wasn't worth it, and so did starvation diets, and exteme diets, and always put the weight plus more back on.

Now, I'm not saying that you can't be overweight and healthy, but I'm also not saying that being extremely overweight is always healthy. When I was 335 pounds I was pre-diabetic soley due to my weight. My mother has many co-morbities directly related to her weight... weight she could never lose until... guess what? We found SHE has celiac disease too.

So... while overindulgance may be the obvious cause for some people who are vastly overweight, it's not normal or natural for a person to get there. I'm not talking even 100 lbs overweight... most people can support that with minimal health effects if they're over 5foot5 I think... but if your ex husband is 400 pounds maybe there are other factors... physical or emotional or both... contributing to the problem and to assume that 'overindulgance' is the root of all or even most obesity is simplifying the problem enormously and unrealistically.

BTW, when I went off gluten and addressed the candida overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome that accompanied it, I did start losing weight. I eat what I want when I want within guidelines... my WW group would say I eat way too much still, but they are into starvation where I, a six foot tall woman, am not. I've lost nearly 80 pounds in the last two years by simply healing and being well nurished and need to lose that much again to be 'normal'. If I dieted, I could get there in no time flat... but you know what? I don't hate being fat. Not at all. I hate not feeling well and for me any weight gain or stalling in weight loss seems to be my body not working right (which I'm betting will be true of a lot of 'fatties' out there) so I monitor it and go to WW meetings to help re-learn proper eating practices (I don't have cravings any more and sometimes don't know what to do to feed myself!) but... overall? I have NO co-morbidities right now... where many of my thin friends in their mid 30s are beginning to find high cholesterol and blood pressure and all sorts of other things because I exercise and I eat healthy foods and I take care of my body but they don't.

Dr. Diana Schwarzbein is my hero. She is an endochrinologist who has paved a new way of looking at food and healing the body with it. She says "You can't lose weight to be healthy, you have to be healthy to lose weight". That is my mantra. If someone can't lose weight then I am betting there's something wrong beyond the donuts.

So, the point of this whole thing is that through chronic illness I've learned one thing: don't assume. This is as true if you see a fat man with a donut as it is when you see someone who looks healthy park with a handicapped tag. You never know, so don't assume.

Fate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bekbek said...

The logic gap that always occurs to me whenever people say that you need to "lose some weight if you wanna get a date" is this: Why wouldn't you just hook up with another fat person? Oh, yeah, we're supposed to hate ourselves so much that we would never want to be with someone else of a similar size. I am convinced that a huge portion of "beauty" is a programmed response stretching back to childhood. Images are flashed at us from every side with the supporting message that "This is what beauty is." I have heard repeatedly the argument that "you'll never MAKE me be attracted to a fattie" as if that is what the size acceptance movement is about. My response to this is, no, you are content being attracted to who you've been told is attractive, with constant support from your peers. The real rebellion is recognizing the programming and questioning why you perceive beauty and attractiveness as you do.
Lastly, to throw my anecdata into the ring, I'm one of those in-betweeny's who has never been thin, and yet the only time I've every been celibate was through my own choice. And all of my boyfriends and lovers have been HAWT. (Even according to the more programmed populace.)