It’s 2021, cuffing season is here and we don’t hide who we’re hooking up with! So that cute, chubby hottie you’ve been dating is coming over! Let’s get your space prepped for a sexy sleepover to make sure you and your date both have the best experience.
Treat this guide as a personal jumping-off point of what I’d appreciate if I were going to a hookup’s house. This is by no means an exhaustive list. If anything, I hope this inspires you to make your own checklist so you can get your needs met. If something doesn’t resonate with you, no problem! Don’t include it on your must-have list. I’d love to be inspired by what’s on yours. Here’s mine:
A Clean(ish) Space
This should seem obvious, but before anyone comes over, you should tidy up. Most people won’t want to lie on a pile of dirty clothes on your bed or step over a stack of empty pizza boxes to get to your couch.
Safer Sex Supplies
If you and your date plan to use safer sex barriers, have those ready to go. That means condoms, gloves, dental dams, lube — whatever you normally use. If this is a new partner, having latex and non-latex options is smart, since latex sensitivities are common.
If you have a kitchen, make sure it is neat and clean and stocked with something you can offer to a partner. Remember you’re the host and you’re trying to impress this person! There’s no need to prepare a five-course meal, but having a good snack selection can really make the night special. Depending on how casual the dating situation is, if you know their favorite snack, you can really earn some bonus points by having it ready for them. I personally keep my partner’s favorite drink in my fridge when I know they’re going to be coming over.
A Plus-Size Towel
The amenities don’t need to be the most expensive available — you’re not opening a spa, but you definitely want your guests to feel comfortable. If you’re not a fat person, you don’t know how annoying it is to get out of the shower and try to use a towel that doesn’t fit all the way around your body. Have an “oversized” towel available for your plus-sized sweetie that can accommodate their entire bodaciousness. That’s something that I know I would appreciate if I were showering at someone else’s house! You haven’t really lived until you’ve wrapped your body in a big fluffy towel after a shower. Trust me, even if you’re not fat, treat yourself to a big fluffy towel!
A Robe Or Shirt to Sleep In
Wanna really seal the deal? Get them a robe to luxuriate in after they shower at your place or offer a shirt they can sleep in. That shows you’re considerate and thought ahead for their comfort.
I recommend getting better lighting for all bedrooms and hookups no matter how casual. No one deserves to have sex under harsh overhead lighting, and this is particularly important for folks who live under the constant scrutiny of fatphobia. Investing in a nice lamp for softer lighting is great for helping to set the mood. If you want to take it to the next level, get a light bulb or strip lighting that changes colors — it can really help set the atmosphere.
Bonus Points: Liberator Positioning Pillows
The MVPs for any plus-size person who wants to work smarter and not harder and simply get into better, more comfortable sex positions are the Liberator positioning pillows. They come in a variety of shapes, so you can get anything from a small, heart-shaped pillow or positioning wedge to a full-size chaises and full-on sex furniture. My dream is to have a house fully furnished in discreet Liberator furniture because they’re firm, yet soft and comfortable, and the waterproof cases zip off for easy cleaning. They live at the intersection of design and function and offer more support than a traditional pillow.
Bonus Points: A Wand Vibrator
Wand vibrators are a cult classic for a reason, and they’re particularly great for plus-size bodies — their long handles allow them to get around bellies during sex and just give you a longer reach. Plus, wands are universal toys that can work on any genital configuration. You can get attachments that make your wand insertable for G-spot or P-spot stimulation. You can also use a stroker attachment for a penis or for anyone who wants a softer, more fluttery sensation. Just make sure that your attachment is designed to fit the type of wand you have! Most wands have silicone heads, so they can be sanitized between partners and shared safely if you happen to be hooking up with more than one person.
Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re prepared to make your sexy, curvy guests feel comfortable, considered and welcome. Make sure you have fun on your date, live in the moment and remember that your date is probably just as excited and nervous as you are!
*This article was updated to include additional information from the author in the introduction on November 15, 2021.
Hi there! Superfat, queer babe, fat educator, and critical body therapist here!
I’m incredibly disappointed that this article doesn’t talk at all about unpacking internalized queer fatphobia before hooking up with a fat babe- especially since it appears to be written from a thin perspective for a thin person looking to hook up with a fat babe. Im further disappointed that the article fails to mention anything about discussing accessibility with a fat partner! Before I hook up, I care way more about if I can piss at my partner’s place comfortably and safely than if they have flattering mood lighting.
This article- and the imagery in it- dismisses the the real lived experience of fat oppression by ignoring these points as well as tokenizes and capitalizes off of the fat experience by making it about snacks and *aesthetics*. This is part of a larger routine at Autostraddle of centering thin and small fat bodies and experiences at the expense of fat folx.
The fact that this article and the graphic was removed from your Instagram where REAL dialogue and call outs where happing tells me that Autostraddle knows and is complicit in this violence against fat bodies. Enough with the blind support of the L Word and Dinah Shore- two entities which directly benefit from excluding fat bodies- and use that energy for some critical thinking and support of your fat queer community. ✌️
Hi there! I’m Autostraddle’s Sex & Dating Editor. This article was written by a writer who identifies as a fat person and it’s based on her own perspective and experience.
I see that and follow and support Carly’s amazing work! My feedback isn’t targeting the author but struggling with that this piece didn’t include some additional support/resources on unpacking fat biases when hooking up or ways to support fat accessibility during a hookup. That this article featured snacks so highly in the original photo thumbnail also felt belittling to the fat experience in general and the things this author carefully chose specifically. I can see that this article was intended to be lighthearted and money generating for AS and here’s nothing wrong with a light hearted piece bringing money to queer media, but that that AS doesn’t also have articles with those other pieces feels like a big blow in a pattern of AS not supporting fat-especially large fat- folks in the media that they highlight, voices supported, and events hosted.
Hi, I’m not the editor of this piece but I am the Editor-in-Chief here and also a fat person.
So, first I want to thank you for reading and commenting. I also wanted to address a few things:
I don’t want the ongoing assumption to be that the writer of this piece is a thin person (“it appears to be written from a thin perspective for a thin person looking to hook up with a fat babe”). We have made plans for and will be continuing to run a variety of Sex and Dating content that represents a range of bodies and experiences, these will include — such as this piece — writing specifically by fat people describing their own sex lives.
That also brings me to the second point I wanted to address immediately, which is that a lot of themes you’ve brought up here, specifically around internalized queer fatphobia and accessibility are also themes that will come up in these other pieces. I think we all understandably know that no one article can cover every topic at the same time. That’s one of the reasons we are looking to publish a collection of articles, over time, from a variety of fat perspectives. So that no one piece has to serve all people. I’m personally looking forward to it.
Though as an important aside specifically around fat accessibility — this article’s discussion of both the Magic Wand and the Liberator pillow are both widely and commonly used devices for accessible sex, even if not explicitly named as such here.
The last major thing I wanted to discuss was the pulling of this article from Instagram, because that was a decision that I was directly a part of, so I feel very comfortable addressing it.
We did not pull the piece from Instagram because “that’s where the real dialogue and call outs where happening.” We welcome dialogue. In fact, we have already rescheduled this piece to rerun later in the week on Instagram, because we think its important!
We also recognized that in our original caption and the original feature image (which was adjusted immediately after review), we did not best service this piece or give the author the framework she deserves to best showcase her intention and voice. We wanted to fix that, because that was our fault. And for that we apologize. We’re also reaching out to the author to apologize personally as well. But we don’t believe that the fault was with the author or this piece, but in editorial oversight that we should have been more careful in how we platformed the content across our social media.
But all of this said! I do very much appreciate your message. We are working very hard to better create a platform for a variety of queer voices and perspectives beyond as you said, a stereotypical, thin, white, cis presence that looms large in lesbian and queer communities — including in Autostraddle’s past. As a fat person in particular, I’m really really excited for our new articles and reimagining how I might also be having better sex. Thanks again.
I appreciate your feedback and love that conversations are happening here too!
I agree that one article can’t and shouldn’t capture all the amazing dating and intimacy experiences of fat folk and LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing that there’s plans to rehighlight this article on Instagram and plans for additional pieces from fat perspectives.
While I see that the author is a fat person, I meant that the article seems to be written almost like an advice column on how to better host a fat babe for a hook up. WHICH IS GREAT, and the products mentioned that aid in accessibility and centering fat pleasure are themselves revolutionary, I just hope that additional advice and suggestions might be given out along with products to purchase; perhaps in future articles?
Carmen, was so excited when your voice was added to AS and made editor-in-chief and have noticed a definite stride in the right direction. AS has had a legacy of deleting/closing comments when community members offer push back so I’m excited to hear your feedback about why the post was deleted and edited and it sounds like you made the best decision, especially for your author. Thank you for that insight.
I appreciate everything you’ve had to say and can’t wait to see other articles Autostraddle publishes centering fat-especially large fat- queer folks in the future.
Hey Elizabeth, that’s very fair! And I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to engage across this comment thread and your various feedback.
I’m also looking forward to the pieces that Ro has been planning, and for the future of our coverage in general. I’m looking forward to a standalone piece about internalized fatphobia in hook ups (it’s something we’ve talked about in various advice columns over the years — but to the best of my knowledge, not in a standalone piece, and you are right it’s way past time). I also definitely can see where that could have been helpful for this piece in a broader context, though I believe the author was intentionally as you said “going for something lighthearted.”
I also appreciate you understanding where we are coming from with Instagram, I can’t speak to all of AS’ past but I’m definitely not unaware of the hurt there and completely get why it comes back up. There are a lot of places where we are earning back trust. I get that.
I’m excited to have this piece back up on IG! We pre-schedule our Instagram a few days out ahead, and we have some holidays coverage we need to get out on the grid, but this will go back in the first open slot.
Thanks again, I really do appreciate it.
I saw “Snacks” and stopped reading, to be honest.
I don’t usually be all up in the comments but here I am today.
Now what we COULD really get into here is the politics of gatekeeping fatness with some of what is in the above comment.
But I’m not interested in going there at this moment — I think a lot of the times what readers fail to realize is that often folks are writing/speaking from their own experiences — and also that maybe other experiences about this topic are also currently being written on.
It is also abundantly clear when a comment is made without someone doing the work of looking up who wrote it.
Perhaps you do have a different experience, perhaps you do find things far more important than those mentioned here by the writer, however, what we won’t do is negate their needs, wants, or experiences simply because it doesn’t match up to your own.
Also, Also, if what was happening in the IG comments is what is to be considered “REAL Dialogue” — comments by mostly very thin privileged folks —then phew chile do we have a long way to go.
Also, Also, Also — A fan/AC/open windows cos’ babes if we are getting into it and things get heavy and hot, ain’t no way in the world I’m going to keep letting you touch up on me without some type of cool air flow present. <3
First, I appreciate your feedback and the chance to talk about fatness in this community. It feels incredibly that any kind of conversation is happening!
I’m not gatekeeping fatness- as a superfat person I’m used to needing to defend my body/body of knowledge before making statements. Fatness itself is a spectrum experience where small fats have access to privileges, opportunities, and experiences that larger fats- especially super and infinifats- simply do not. As our size increases, our subject to size based oppression directly increases. Fatphobia in the queer community is insidious and routinely swept under the rug though and I think its worth examining this article in the body of AS’s work and past behavior.
I’m familiar with Carly’s work/ advocacy and can appreciate that this piece was intended lightheartedly and to generate revenue for Autostraddle since it has liniked products. Which is totally legit and itself worthy and needed content! From a personal perspective, I DO want the things the writer mentioned AND I want the writer (and Autostraddle) to use their position in the queer world as queer media producers to also facilitate deeper conversations about hooking up with fat babes. I would love to support the author’s continued and expanded work for AS and other media outlets. I would love to see LOTS of diverse, amazing fat voices at Autostraddle highlighted!
This piece wasn’t written in a vacuum. I have not seen any deeper critical think pieces about what it means to unpack fat biases when hooking up with fat people or making spaces more accessible for fat bodies (granted, I haven’t read every article AS has published so maybe this piece is out there and I’m missing it) and that there’s this light hearted and money-generating piece without OTHER pieces about supporting fat partners feels problematic. I know AS has made strides in recent years, but this still feels like a deficit.
And you’re right about your Real Dialogue critique. For sure there was a crap ton of thin whites taking up spaces like thin whites do and certainly the comments section needed to be moderated to ensure that fat voice were being heard. Deleting the post felt like AS business as usual- when comments and critique has been deleted in the past about A-Camp or AS’s support of the L Word or Dinah Shore- and halting the potential for deeper conversation and structural change.
Elizabeth I really appreciate this commentary and dialogue and I definitely don’t want to prohibit from continuing, at all!
I just want to briefly point out that Autostraddle never deleted posts about A Camp, we allowed those comments to continue across our Instagram in designated spaces and posts (I will also say that this was also before I took over as EIC, which is only relevant in context to what I’m going to say next). We also haven’t covered Dinah Shore since 2018 — long before I took over as EIC, and I can say that now that I am EIC I have zero intention of us ever covering it in the future, because while a variety of people and bodies enjoy Dinah, I agree with you that it does perpetuate a lot of the same conversations around thiness and whiteness and cisness in our communities. Last thing is that while we do a lot of L Word coverage, we have also been vocal in our critique of its focus on thin white and light skinned bodies. That’s only been more true in our recent coverage.
We are a small staff doing our best to run social media around our full and part time jobs of running this website, I agree that in an ideal world we would have someone available to monitor our IG comment section full time to make sure that we are uplifting specific voices, but that’s not the reality of amount of hours we have in a day. We are reposting the piece, as I mentioned above, because we do think its important and also that we didn’t do a better job servicing it on our Instagram. That’s why we pulled it, along with the notice that the majority of the people commenting were thin white people — as you’ve acknowledged, not to sweep it under the rug.
Anyway please do continue the conversation! I just want to be clear about where AS has worked to enact change over the last few years and the work of our current crew — including all three editors who have engaged in this thread — has done and will continue to do, to make those changes.
I can’t really speak to how Autostraddle did coverage before 2018, because I was not an editor here. But I can speak to the work we are trying to do now and the ways we’re hoping to create change.
Just chiming in to say that I think you’re doing a tremendous job as EIC, Carmen. I spend way more time here than I ever have in the past, and that’s down to you and the editorial voice Autostraddle has matured into under your stewardship.
Ps. Love what you have to say about fan/ac!
Not the sexiest addition to this list, but fat friendly furniture is very helpful! (No arms, sturdy)
Also I appreciate the change in cover images for this one, yall. The previous one felt a little like playing into the stereotype that fat people are constantly eating.
Yesss!! Give us the low-down on furniture sturdiness, the bathroom situation, and number of stairs before we get back to your place! Maybe its better if we host!
Yes, and that includes noting the size of your bed and how sturdy the bed frame is!
I’m fat, and honestly I would die if I was gonna hook up with someone and they started trying to reassure me about how strong their bedframe or toilet seat was. No thank you.
some of the charges that have been noted in the comments above seem to repeat a contrary narrative to what i’ve noticed – specifically that AS staff have closed down discussions and deleted criticizing posts.
in the 4+ years i’ve been reading a majority of posts here, i’ve not seen that. i have witnessed staff engage with dissenting and even combative opinions respectfully and with detail, as has been done for this post.
i recall that in previous charges of this nature, the accusing party was actually deleting responses from AS staff to those charges when posted to a different site, forcing the editors to respond here. i can imagine there are sides in that issue who each have a narrative, but looking at what AS has done since, i feel pretty confident that instead of closing down dissent, they examine it and absorb what is healthy.
the few times i’ve seen posts removed from pieces with contentious topics, it’s been pretty explicit that those were removed for violating the comment policy, backed up by several community members tagging and asking for moderation.
perhaps i’ve missed something, but if so, my points above accurately characterize recent operation for the site. it seems fair to note that.
appreciate the thoughtful discourse, and look forward to the growth it hopefully inspires. peace to everybody.
I really appreciate the important and insightful discussion so far. The Fatness tag has a good variety of more serious and more light-hearted pieces in it I think: https://www.autostraddle.com/tag/fatness/
Thank you all <3
I really liked this article, thanks ! The thoughtfulness made me feel appreciated. And I liked the tone, a night of fun and connection.
Looking forward to more !
This comment is a reflection on various comments and topics brought up in the comments here. It is not addressed to only one person and not accusing any specific person of believing a certain thing or not. I wasn’t sure how to organize this comment, and I’m not getting paid to make this comment and make it organized, so it’s just a collection of thoughts.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for bringing up the difference between the experiences and oppression faced by smaller fat people compared to superfats and infinifats. Autostraddle has posted some great content about fatness through the past few years. And, I definitely think Autostraddle can grow more in this area and I am glad there are editors here reading the comments and engaging in discussion.
Here is a blog post that discusses the “gatekeeping fatness” idea. https://fluffykittenparty.com/2021/06/01/fategories-understanding-smallfat-fragility-the-fat-spectrum/ I don’t think it’s a perfect post (and perfectionism itself is not a good goal anyway, but that’s a conversation for another day). And, it could be a useful 101 for people reading these comments who have never heard of “superfat.”
Reflections on the “from a fat perspective” concerns: *Identity* does not inherently guarantee anything about *politics/political analysis/political framework.* So just because someone is fat doesn’t mean they have a deep knowledge/framework/praxis with regard to fat politics, systemic anti-fatness, sizeism, etc. Whether Autostraddle should publish pieces about fatness that a) are not grounded in a robust political framework and/or b) do not explicitly acknowledge systemic anti-fatness is another question. I think there is a time and place for various levels of seriousness and various levels of analysis. I am glad to hear there are more pieces and perspectives on the way. That said, even as a lighthearted piece, this article did leave out key things with regard to creating an accessible and comfortable date for superfat people, as other commenters mentioned. And I think even lighthearted pieces on Autostraddle should still center or at least include the most marginalized, especially if they are framed as a “to do list” for others (as this article says, “here’s what you’ll need”) rather than as “this is what I personally like for my own fat body.”
Finally, it’s important to always remember the intersections of fatness and other identities. Anti-Blackness and anti-fatness are deeply intertwined. Moving through the world as a fat Black person is different than as a fat white person. Of course there are also many other intersections that are important such as disability, age, class, gender identity, etc.
Here are two great books on this topic:
Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings
Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da’Shaun L. Harrison
In conclusion, I hope many of us want the same things – to end systemic oppression against and create liberation for fat people, Black people, Indigenous people, Asian people, Latine people, people of color, disabled people, queer people, trans people, poor people, children and elders, etc. How to do that is the question. There are many ways to move toward liberation, we will not all agree on the correct paths, and we will make mistakes. And it’s important we keep trying.
Also, it would be awesome if Autostraddle got a Fat Subject Editor. I know many of you editors are fat but I mean someone who is an expert on fat politics who could be a subject editor for pieces that discuss fatness. It is concerning to me that this article went through at least one editor before it was posted. A good Fat Subject Editor would catch the lack of superfat accessibility tips, the original photo choice, and the Snacks part of the article (which, if included, should clarify that all humans need snacks, not just fat people).
A Disability Subject Editor would also be great.
Maybe those can be goals for your next fundraiser.
+1 to this comment. It would be a fantastic addition.
“*Identity* does not inherently guarantee anything about *politics/political analysis/political framework.*”
THIS, YES, THANK YOU.
I was a bit baffled by this article. Most things seem like good things for any sexual encounter, like safer sex supplies, snacks/hydration/general aftercare stuff, and ‘ambiance’. Which, on one hand is like ‘sex with fat people is normal and you know what to do’. But on the other hand, there are different considerations.
The liberator furniture and magic wand are good things to know about, but I wished for more. Why not link to the strap stuff from last week and how the spare parts harness (I think?) was best for bigger bodies and why? Is dildo length a consideration because you’re dealing with more flesh so it makes the overall dildo ‘shorter’ for insertion? Sweating is a probably even more of a thing, so how do you make the space more comfortable? Should you have extra towels around? Are there certain positions that might be more helpful? Tips for dealing with big FUPAs or vulvas that mean clits and holes are more hidden and need to be thought about who is doing the spreading (or are there devices that might help)? Are there special considerations for say bondage or other forms of play?
I will say though that having a huge bath towel is a game changer and I don’t know why it took me so long to find one! Actually being able to wrap yourself up in cozy warmness is fantastic and would totally up your aftercare game.
Hi, trekkie_19! Stay tuned for more content on Autostraddle that highlights fat bodies & sex. We have writers covering sex positions for fat folks and sex toys that work best for fat bodies in the coming months!
I look forward to more fat dyke content on AS! Thanks for writing this article, Carly!