I recently responded to a post on Twitter from @sapiotextual who was writing an article about being a sex worker while fat. Her article can be found here. https://tryst.link/blog/sex-working-while-fat-fatphobia/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
Also recently someone asked in a group chat I am in about how to speak to their daughter about body issues/size/shape in a way that was healthy and affirming. She was asking those of us who have/had issues with our bodies-what do we wish our parents had or hadn’t spoken to us about.
It got me thinking about how I use my fatness in my sex work and my sex work identity. To understand how I use my fatness in sex work, I have to look at how I use my fatness in life. I am someone who has always been fat, and I mean since a toddler. I have been chubby, fat, obese, heavy, thick, curvy, etc. at different points in my life. I have had different relationships with those words and what they represent for myself and for society as a whole. It is only in recent years that body acceptance has really become a thing and I have started thinking more about how it affects me and who I am/how I feel about myself.
I grew up being bullied for being fat, I tried very hard to pull my oversized body into as small a space as possible to not be a “bother” or “target” for others around me. I was shy, unsure of myself, felt huge amounts of unworthiness when it came to friends, boys, and good attention. This can be something extremely hard to move over/past in life as you become an adult. Realizing that you deserve the same happiness that other/thin people have is harder than you can imagine.
On Friends Monica says ”Back then, I thought that I would never, ever get the chance to go out with a Chip Matthews, and now he's called me up and asked me out. And the fat girl inside of me really wants to go. I...I owe her this. I never let her eat.”, when talking about going out with the high school stud as an adult. This shows 2 points: A) That our identities/self worth as a fat kid don’t leave when we are adults-whether in my case where I am a fat adult, or in Monica’s case where she loses the weight and is a skinny adult. B) Fat people are often the butt of jokes no matter how we look in TV/movie history. As our world becomes more and more politically correct, and we are more aware of how minorities being mocked on TV actually has an affect on people.
As is said often, representation matters, this doesn’t just mean seeing people that look like you, but also seeing people that look like you, treated the way you want to and deserve to be treated.
Sex work has actually been really great in helping me figure out my value as a fat person in a fat phobic world. It can be a slippery slope into simply being fetishized into parts, such as thick thighs, heavy bellies, saggy tits, big ass etc. More often than not, the guys who love a big woman love a certain type of big bodies or a certain part.
Realizing that me, in a fat body, whether parts or a whole can arouse, cause desire, and satisfy another humans needs is pretty amazing.
I create a lot of content around specific parts of my body and the beauty, sensuality, desirability, power, etc. that those parts represent. Another amazing part of sex work is following other fat sex workers to be inspired to see how they own their size, their parts, and their confidence. I realized early on as a sex worker that it is important to have a variety of others that you are looking at, by following a few fat sex workers it kept me from scrolling my time line and feeling like I didn’t belong. This variety has been amazing for me in accepting I have a place in this industry.
This has led to me having a stronger sense of confidence in my body as a whole. I dress to accentuate my curves, to show off the confidence I have with them. I regularly get compliments at the grocery story from other women who like my outfit-and I can see how they look at me that they wish they had that confidence. I get stared at by those that don’t say anything and I can tell if it is from a space of desire or a wish for that confidence, occasionally even a judgement of “how dare that fat human have confidence, she should know her place”.
I now own those words that I had mixed feelings about. I frequently use the words powerful, big, soft, curvy, thick, and fat, when describing my content or myself in ads. I think that by using these words so openly it helps my business in a few ways. I think for people that are searching for something specific, it can help them find me and my content. It also shows clients that I am not ashamed, I am even proud of how I look and how I can use my bigger than average body in ways of pleasure-either theirs or my own. Since I am being searched for by clients with these specific desires, I will always have a smaller client pool to pull from. However, these clients have a much higher return rate since I am so good at what I do.
Since I am what you would say is obese, significantly over weight, there is no hiding behind pics of any parts of me that may appear smaller than in real life. I am not chubby or a bit thick, I am fat and I own that, therefore I get clients who are looking for that specifically. As mentioned above they are looking for that in a fetishized way, which I do not mind in a professional capacity-I do not tolerate it in a relationship. I have a fair number of clients who are men that are ashamed of their desire for fat women. These are men who are naturally attracted to heavier women but they hide this from their friends, and often end up marrying a woman they think they are supposed to be attracted to (thin, etc). Then they are coming to see me to pay to have these needs and desires met. This can often lead to shame spirals around guilt for cheating on a partner, shame for who they are attracted to since society tells them it is wrong, etc.
As with any minority group within an industry, I do sometimes wish that thin sex workers could understand the extra layer of stuff that I, as a fat person, have to deal with. Thin is the “normal” in sex work, they will always have a bigger client pool to pull from and with that a higher privilege. Even if they have their own body image issue, they don’t have the extra issues that a fat phobic society adds on top of that. The variety of options for lingerie/costumes available to thin or average people is a dream for fat sex workers. Even things like the most common photo poses in sex work are VERY different on a body like mine compared to a thin person. It is difficult to find a photographer that will work with fat bodies, let alone one that knows how to pose, and shoot those bodies. Fixing a bra strap to look smooth instead of being sucked under a roll of back fat, using silhouettes or back lighting to accentuate the fullness of curves, etc. Then when it comes to editing, being able to communicate with the model on whether she wants to be photo-shopped, does she want her stretch marks smoothed over or left real, there can be a lot of assumptions made that can end up being more harmful than expected.
It takes a thick skin to be a sex worker in our world of judgement and stigma, it takes a thick skin to be a fat person, especially a confident one, in a fat phobic world. Can you imagine how thick that skin needs to be for someone who is both?
It’s understanding you are going to get every (uncreative) insult that you have been receiving since elementary school, on top of all the insults that you will get as sex workers. You need to understand you will be fetishized as parts more often than seen as an entire person. That even people who like fat bodies will only like a specific type of fat body-hourglass, fat bottomed, big tits/ass but flat stomach etc.
Every sex worker has their limits with what they like, what their body is capable of, what risks they are willing to take. With being a fat sex worker we have an extra level of teaching clients how we pleasure ourselves and how we can bring pleasure to them. Knowing what positions do and don’t work, body parts that are good or triggering to touch etc. There is no reason a fat person cannot sit on your face or do positions like riding/cowgirl, there just may need to be slight alterations based on how the bodies fit together. Don’t assume a fat woman doesn’t want to have her belly touched, don’t assume she does. Same as in any sexual experience, communicate your desires and interests so everyone involved can enjoy to the highest level.
I no longer try to hide my oversized body to avoid being a “bother” or “target”. I now show it off with pride and confidence, knowing I may just inspire someone else to own everything they have and feel damn good about it.
I have a big body and a big personality, there is plenty of room in this world for both!