You Need Help: Is It Normal to Feel Sexy When You Gain Weight? (Yes)

by mey, vanessa & kaelyn


Q:

Is it a thing that gaining weight makes some people feel sexy? I’m not talking about feedee, I’m-skinny-but-want-to-gain-500-lbs mentality, though if that’s your thing, more power to you. I’ve just always been pretty slim naturally but have been fascinated and a little turned on by the idea of having a little fluffiness and curves. I currently weigh the most I have in my life by just a little bit (thank you, winter and holidays), and with the exception of maybe needing to invest in some bigger pants, I kind of like it and am curious about what a few more pounds would look like. I know I’m not totally crazy but I can’t seem to find anyone who has the same moderate level of interest as I do. I tried googling things like “gaining weight makes me feel sexy,” but the only results were shit like “how to still feel sexy after you’ve gained weight” and help forums about what to do if your boyfriend is no longer attracted to you, which made me feel really sorry for the world. Any ideas?

A:

Mey, Trans Editor

Honestly, I freaking love my curves and the way the weight of my body feels pressed up against someone else. I love that there’s so much of my body for my partners to touch and kiss and feel and be close to. I love that my ass is huge and that it cannot be ignored. Before I ever had sex, I hated that I was fat. It’s not something that is acceptable for women to be, especially if those women want to feel sexy. But now, I love it. Being big allows for so many things in the bedroom. I can have two partners lie on top of me at the same time. I can have marks left on my ass that other people could only dream of. My partners can grab whole handfuls of my body and I’ve still got more than they can handle. My body is so big and warm and soft that I can keep my girlfriend comfortable all night without a blanket. Like, there’s the Mary Lambert song, “She Keeps Me Warm,” that’s about me. And it’s about me because I’m fat.

A few months ago, I came up with the term Big Momma Bottom to describe myself when I’m not being a Bratty Bottom. The key word is “Big.” I like taking care of people and I like being taken care of and I like how being big fits into those narratives. I like the size of my body and the way I fill out my clothes and take up a whole mirror when I’m taking selfies. It makes me feel strong and beautiful and powerful. I am an elephant, a mountain, a force of nature. When it comes down to it, I really like having curves and I really like being fat. This is the best version of my body. Also, my favorite trope in gay fandoms right now is Big Femme/Little Butch, so if my size helps me be a part of that, that makes me like it even more.

I think that while “gaining weight makes me feel sexy” might not be “a thing” according to “google,” feeling comfortable in your body and having a body that you want to have, and that leading to you feeling sexy definitely is. Yeah, we’re taught that we shouldn’t want to gain weight, but also, everybody is different and every body is different and I’m really glad that you found a way to make your body feel it’s best. There’s nothing better than finding out the way you love your body the most, and you’ve done that. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad or weird because of it.

KaeLyn, Staff Writer

I love that you’re loving your curves and wanting more curves! I’m also super sad that the dominant narrative for women (even lesbian, bisexual and queer women) is that thin is the ideal body type. Against all odds, you’ve released yourself from the epic bullshit that is the diet-culture-loving, fat-shaming, self-worth-crushing heteropatriarchy. What I’m saying is that you’re an evolved human. I’m so happy for you!

I’m also the biggest I’ve ever been and the happiest I’ve ever been. It took me a while to get here and I still have days when I think, “If only I could move some of this fat from my double chin to my butt.” But then I think about how cute I am and draw a perfect cat eye and wiggle my belly chubbs and put on some clothes that feel good to me and move on. I’m with you that fat bodies are attractive and I also think that’s not normal — but only in the context of what the patriarchy imposes as our norms — so welcome to being not normal in a good way with me and Mey and Vanessa and lots of other queers! Queer and lesbian culture is all about intentionally fucking up the patriarchy by challenging what makes a person “attractive.”

I love a curvy partner who isn’t afraid to flaunt her curves or her cleavage or her chins or her butt or hips or whatever parts of her body she wants… or not! I’ve had thin partners and fat partners and I’ve gotta say that there’s something about the way my fat partners felt against my fat body that’s so soft and lovely and safe. There are no angles or hard points, just warmth and perfect smoosh, like we just fill each other all the way up.

Vanessa, Community Editor

The short answer to your question is YES! The longer answer to your question is HELL YES!

No, but seriously, I think it is definitely “a thing” that gaining weight makes some people feel sexy. As Mey and KaeLyn (and your original question) express, the patriarchy and the dominant narrative in our thin-obsessed society is to lose lose lose weight all the time, but that narrative is fatphobic and extremely tunnel-visioned and doesn’t take into account how different bodies and personalities and all facets of a human being exist in the world.

I love my fat body, and I love my partner’s fat body, and I think there is something very genuinely sexy about fat bodies because they’re fat, not in spite of it. I feel nervous writing this, like someone is going to pop out of the woodwork and shout “WHAT ABOUT THIN BODS BEING SEXY” but lez be real, we all hear about thin bods being sexy all the damn time. We get it! So I am here to say, loud and clear: fat bods are hella sexy.

And the other point, which requires some nuance to talk about so everyone hold your breath and your comments and walk with me in good faith down this path for a moment: wanting to gain weight to feel sexy and good and nice in your bod isn’t even really rooted in fat acceptance or fat love or body positivity specifically. Some folks are recovering from eating disorders and gaining a few pounds makes them feel like they’re making progress, some folks have been sick and lost weight and when they gain weight it’s a relief and helps them feel healthier, some folks just feel their bods are too thin and have a hard time putting on weight and when they do it is triumphant and exciting.

I think the idea that weight gain is always bad might be at the root of your question. The foundation of your question rests on the idea that folks couldn’t possibly be happy with weight gain, and are always aiming for weight loss. But weight gain and weight loss don’t even speak to the truth of what a fat body and what a thin body and what all the bodies in between look like.

The real question, maybe, is this: Is it okay that enjoying what my body looks like — rather than contorting myself to fit unrealistic, oppressive, patriarchal beauty standards — makes me feel sexy?

And my answer is the same as it was at the beginning. In short: yes. In long: HELL. YES.


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Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 575 articles for us.

24 Comments

  1. Yes! I’ve never been a very thin person, but I’ve had various levels of padding, and I tend to feel sexier, less anxious, and just generally happier when I’m on the thicker side. I like to imagine that there’s an evolutionary component – when I have a relatively high level of fat reserves, my body feels “safe” in sort of a primal way.

  2. I love all the advice and comments. I especially relate to Vanessa’s comment about the idea that weight gain is always assumed to be bad in our culture.

    When I was diagnosed with Celiac I weighed less than I did when I graduated high school and I felt scrawny. I was asymptomatic when diagnosed so I don’t know if I’d lost weight because of Celiac or because of stress / grad school / teaching full-time or a combin. But it really bothered me that years after my diagnosis, I hadn’t gained any weight even though I follow the gf diet very conscientiously.

    Pretty much everyone in my life tried to talk me out of wanting to gain a little weight / discounted my feelings of scrawniness. I learned quickly to not talk about it with most of my friends.

    And this year, 17 years after I was diagnosed, I’m back up to my HS weight! And I like it. Even though I had to buy new pants.

    I’m still a combination of bony parts and curvy parts but my bony parts are a little less pronounced and my curvy parts are a little more lush.

  3. YAY I love this! I have spent my entire life fat to varying degrees, while running half marathons, biking across small countries and doing leader-y things in the biking and hiking communities.

    I am also definitely a mama type and this really resonated with me: “I like taking care of people and I like being taken care of and I like how being big fits into those narratives.” I actually think this is the thing that has kept me in this big, strong body.

  4. From a queer with chronic illnesses who has major trouble keeping on weight: THANK YOU for seeing us. “Relief” is absolutely the right word for watching my collarbones fill in and not being so cold all the damn time.

    Side note: my doctor just told me I’ve gained 13 pounds in the last 6 months (I’m 5′ so this is significant). I haven’t been eating much differently or getting swole or consciously trying to gain weight, but coincidentally, that IS the period of time in which I left my abusive ex. I don’t even know where it is on my body (toes? skull?), because I look basically the same, but I feel better- less fragile. The things that used to aggravate my symptoms have a milder effect now. Obviously there are multiple factors in getting healthier, but I feel like my body is literally better insulated from threats.

    It’s amazing, how this socially stigmatized thing only occurs when I’m happy. I feel like my body is thanking me for treating it better and not subjecting it to constant anxiety. Maybe your body is appreciating you too!

  5. Really sorry… However i need to talk about what happened on Valentine’s Day for me… And I don’t see the perfect article to kvetch. I don’t have real life community yet… Getting to it… I am a polyamouros trans lesbian… My Wife has never come out as asexual, but there are ton of signs… And last night she told me that sex is never happening… it’s not a surprise, but I’m transitioning and full of emotions, and I’m kinda starting to feel sexy… And if I was monogamous I feel like maybe I would break up with her, but being the bundle of love that I am, I still love her… She’s been super supportive and everything… And I’m not dumping her…. I hurt though…. it’s this whole big hurt that reaches deep into my new and changing self… Sorry, I just… Needed to express this… Because I do feel terrible. I know I’ll forgive her eventually… For misleading me somewhat…. And for a very long time. Sorry if I put this in the wrong case.

  6. And not being whiny… This post is right on. Fat love is so important. Before hormones I was having a difficult time with my weight… After hormones I’m definitely really embracing fat love… The only thing I hate is that my stomach is bigger than my boobs… Makes it harder for the clothes I love… Truly we must learn to love ourselves.

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