Feel too fat to find great sex? Shut up and read these 3 things

too fat for sex


Thinking about dating after divorce and babies can be beyond daunting. After I stopped nursing (a blissful period during which my round hips narrowed, my small tits swelled, and my acne-prone skin cleared  and glowed), it has been all downhill for this bod. A newly poofy stomach, C-section scar and boobs that would not stop lactating — all while my thighs grew increasingly gooey.

But once out on the dating scene, I got over it quickly. That I don’t look like Heidi Klum or Kim Kardashian (that butt, I mean, really) has zero to do with my ability to find really amazing sex (keep reading) and love. And what your body has absolutely nothing to do with your ability find a man to adore your body during mind-blowing sex. No matter what said body may look like.

Don’t believe me?

Read these three things if you feel too fat for sex:

1. I’m Fat, Forty And Single And I’m Having No Problems Getting Laid All The Time

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Published on xoJane by a Canadian single mom, this was one of my most favoritest readings in the past year. The writer details how her obesity did not stand in the way of her post-breakup quest for lots of great sex — often with men who are classically handsome and successful and not fetishists. I suggest bookmarking it, printing it out, and reading it over and over. She writes:

I’m rather short and weigh almost precisely 300 lbs.  I wear size 28 clothing.  Unless you think such things are mutually exclusive, I would describe myself as reasonably pretty, in a natural, low-maintenance, naughty librarian kind of way.  I am fiercely intelligent, deeply hilarious, casually stylish, utterly unselfconscious and really, genuinely nice.  I am also an absolute riot in the sack.

She goes on to detail the amazing sex she’s had with all kinds of men, including:

One of the first men I met after the separation was someone I initially assumed was completely out of my league.  He is the absolute whole package — smart, successful, a hell of a nice guy, not to mention extremely handsome with the gym-perfected body of a Greek god.  The kind of guy who can pretty much have his pick of women.  To my surprise, he was incredibly into me, and continues to be to this day.  

We were lying in bed one night after some of the best sex of either of our lives and I asked him what it was that had attracted him to me in the first place.  I knew I wasn’t the type he always went for, so I was curious.  He just looked at me and shrugged and smiled and said “confidence is sexy.”  Those words were a touchstone for me.

The most common experience, however, is with “guys who are openminded to all kinds of sexiness.  They don’t have a physical ‘type and have enjoyed women of a variety of shapes and sizes.  To them, my sex appeal has more to do with my spirit of adventure and capacity for joyous abandon than the composition of my body.

Her favorite?

Those who find me really, really physically attractive and have no problem owning that desire.  Guys who love my softness.  Guys who massage my belly, who grab handfuls of my ass, who bury themselves between my breasts.  Guys who can’t get enough of every last inch of me.  To them, I am a revelation – an ample woman with no body shame who says sure, let’s have sex with the lights on.  

Have a read. Thank me later.



Not just because I love Amy Schumer and think you should watch way more of whatever she’s putting out, this one quote got all kinds of play, as does Amy, who looks little like what the media tells us we should, but is doubtless catching all kinds of dick because, well, she’s funny as shit, charming, feminist and edgy and, well, herself. Plus, I weigh about 160 lbs so when I heard that number my love for her swelled and may or may not have made my panties look like I blew my nose into them (joke credit: A. Schumer).

3. My last week

As I wrote, I spent most of August in Europe, and on one of the last days I had a wonderful evening with a hot, single Danish dad. I had a hunch the the night would be fun, but it turned out to be FANTASTIC, in part because there was just so much freaking chemistry that defies any OKCupid algorithms that tossed us together. Laughing and talking most of the night and through the next afternoon, over the breakfast he cooked and into the shower and back to bed again. Heartbreaking that it ended (though isn’t that inevitable ending part of why travel affairs are so intense?), it was one of those things. 

A big part of the experience was how much this man adored my body. My juicy booty that has attracted cat calls from black men since I was 15 and makes it nearly impossible to find jeans to fit? This white European man couldn’t get enough. Squishy thighs that I was pretty sure turned off a promising date a few years ago, as I wrote about here? Best thing that happened onto his sheets.

Ladies, that’s what I’m talking about.

This would be a less poignant story to share if it were anomalous, and in a way it was.

But in the past few years since becoming a single mom with a less-than perfect body, I have been seduced by men who are younger and hotter and fitter and more charming than me, some of them had me wondering, almost aloud: “Do you have eyeballs? That work?

They could in fact see me, and they liked what they saw, and usually, we had a pretty good time, and some I dated for a while. Because chemistry doesn’t have a whole lot to do with any 1 through 10 numbers that men and women assign each other, but rather a messy, sometimes delightful amalgamation of zillions of human characteristics — only  one of which is the physical bodies that we each occupy.

Case in point: The sexual chemistry with my Danish lover was white-hot because our intellectual, humor and world-view rapport was so intense. But as our librarian friends so acutely points out, sexual chemistry defies bodies, and often explanation, and has a whole lot more to do with confidence — confidence that it really doesn’t matter a whole lot about what you have going on under your Spanx.

Why you need to stop using your mom-body as an excuse not to have the sex you crave:

  1. See above. Sexual chemistry doesn’t have a whole lot to do with what you look like naked.
  2. Guys bodies go south as they age, too. Including that their dicks stop working. Which is really stressful for them.
  3. Men have been having sex with mothers since the dawn of time. You think you’re going to single-handedly stop the evolutionary cycle?
  4. Guys just don’t care as much you think they do. They just don’t.


22 thoughts on “Feel too fat to find great sex? Shut up and read these 3 things

  1. Hi Emma,
    I’m not in your core demographic at all (unless you count one very spoiled amphibian as a child…) but I’ve been following your writing for some time and you’ve inspired me as a work-at-home entrepreneur!

    With that said, holy crap does this post resonate with me. I LOVED that piece Christine Whelan did and have it bookmarked for whenever I’m feeling un-sexy. To put it bluntly, I’m a chunky alternative woman. I’m everything society says is unattractive. But I have zero problems with the fellas. I regularly have great sex with an attractive FWB. Scratch great, more like “the kind of sex that Eastern European countries have gone to war over”.

    Last year, I lost my horrible financial industry job and hadn’t had sex in years. The real actual confidence that came with pursuing my dreams as a game developer and writer gave me the boost I needed to start bluntly make the moves on guys I was interested in. More guys approached me than ever! I had to bust out laughing at all the fear-mongering I was reading about how dating and sex would be so awful at 29/30, and that your dating pool is a nuclear holocaust if you’re not model-thin…are you kidding me? My sex life is the best it’s ever been. I’m so much more comfortable in my own skin and am amazed at the attractive men who’ve worshiped my size 22 body.

    For crying out loud, I can’t go to these game dev conventions without getting hit on by a bunch of these guys who hardly predate AOL. I’m not questioning it. I’m just kicking back and enjoying it!

    1. OMG Rachel, your post is so awesome and made me laugh so hard …. ” can’t go to these game dev conventions without getting hit on by a bunch of these guys who hardly predate AOL.”

      THANK YOU for sharing. Women are messaging me similar stories privately, so I know this is something powerful … let’s start sharing!!

      PS WAY TO GO re: going off on your own. You inspired a post: “Feeling successful = being sexy.” Stay tuned.

      1. So glad to hear I inspired you in turn! :) I totally agree that feeling successful = being sexy. When I worked for other people then struggled to find another job, it had such an awful effect on my self-esteem that just magnified my own insecurities. I was so conditioned to rejection and shabby treatment, no wonder I never acted on what I wanted!

        Once I said, “Screw it, I’m DONE with this dumb industry!” and my new clients and students told me how much they valued my work and what I taught them…Hello sausage fest! I’m a far happier person and people notice, especially guys. Once that weight comes off your shoulders of having to conform to what society says is attractive, what it says you must do: oh, people notice. And I’m definitely macking it lately as I’m incredibly excited about building up my consulting business even more with a real web developer, a blog, and my upcoming books.

        I look forward to reading the next post!

  2. Yes, this resonates. More than you can know.

    I’m 48 and have had body image issues since I was in high school. It’s one thing to know they hold you back, it’s another to move past them. I freely admit the issues in my head are a far bigger issue than my side 14 body. It is a daily struggle. Yes, I’ve had great sex, but I also know my issues keep me at times from living the life I want and deserve. I don’t have necessarily have trouble attracting men, but I know my body issues cause me to put up walls that often limit it from being more or finding the kind of guy I want. So I continue to work on it.

    Oh, and ‘hello sausage fest”? You have to love that.

    1. Hi Carla,
      FWIW, I’m a bit younger (30) but dealt with similar issues all my life as well. A lot of it came from bullying I suffered both at school and home that I was seriously brainwashed to think there had to be something seriously wrong with a guy if he found me attractive: regardless of if I was a size 14 or 22. My first few experiences with men sadly confirmed this fearsome mental stranglehold.

      But then I went out in the world and saw that all kinds of women, many who were definitely thinner than me, even many I felt were far more attractive than me: they too had plenty of totally OFF guys be interested in them too. Sometimes it was apparent off the bat, other times it took a few dates or one-night stands to discover this. You know that phrase you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince? Well…I got a female toad and am happy she’ll stay a toad while I have plenty of fun dalliances with all the Mr. Wrongs. :) Most of who have torn my clothes off and thought the body I had hated so much was the greatest thing EVER. So I decided to stop questioning it and just start enjoying it: what if I got hit by a bus on the walk of shame home?!

      And whether you’re a size 2 or a size 28, you deserve to your life to the fullest– however you define it! With or without a man. Reading size acceptance blogs and seeing how many women who looked more like me were enjoying rich full lives was a big help in recognizing this.

    2. Carla – here’s a secret. Size 0 or 2 women feel exactly the same. Maybe worse, since they have probably been told their whole lives they have amazing bodies. so when they fall short of their own wants/ expectations for love, dating and sex, they really internalize it because the world has told them it should be so easy for them to find it.

  3. We women overthink it! At fifty, I was approached by a 33-year-old hottie. My head is thinking, “no way!” It would have been easy to let denial and self-deprecation get in the way of having great sex. But I asked myself, “what would a man do?” Would he tell himself he wasn’t good enough? Would he worry about his belly? Hell no, he wouldn’t – he’d build himself up in his head into that guy who was absolutely worthy of hottie sex and pursue it! So I did, and I am. And it’s good. I know all my imperfections, and I know we all each know our own, we’ve reiterated them to ourselves hundreds, thousands of times. But we don’t have to tell the men, and most of the time they are not going to notice.

    1. So, SO true. I swear, women and men look into totally different mirrors. Women nitpick about every tiny perceived flaw, while a man could be in a three-day-old undershirt with a beer belly and a forest of nose hair but look in the mirror and think he’s Peter Steele (or Brad Pitt, for non-alternative types.)

      It’s quite simple really: if you are naked with a man and he’s got a boner and his hands all over you? He finds you sexy! Whoosh, Cosmo’s stock price just went down.

  4. I’m having the best sex of my life bc I have the 40-something confidence to let go of inhibitions and to ask for what I need. In my experience, that’s a giant turn-on for men. Jiggles and all!

  5. I must be dating the wrong guys! Since my divorce, I’ve gained 10lbs, moving me from a size 4 to a 6. The first guy I dated somewhat seriously re-entering the dating world asks me on a regular basis if I’m working out, limiting my calorie intake, etc. Based on this, I do feel that guys expect perfect bodies even at 40 and after having children.

    1. Yes you are dating the wrong man. Ask yourself what it is you are trying to achieve by dating someone like him? I tried for 24 years to gain acceptance from my husband thinking if I could just convince him I was worth something, everything would be ok. Many women repeat the same pattern without knowing because the wolf comes in different clothing.

  6. Oh thank God for you! I divorced my husband 2 years ago because he could never commit to loving me, punished me for everything I did as a teenager, made me feel like a horrible person no matter what I had achieved and neglected me. I did this for 24 years. It took me 8 years to finally leave but I did. It was the most freeing experience of my life.

    I met a man who is the love of my life. He loves every inch of me. I have 4 children, stretch marks, and I am not perfect. But I am beautiful, smart, silly, nerdy, funny, self driven and viscous in bed. He rubs my stomach and kisses every inch of me. He respects that I have children and appreciates the details of that accomplishment in my body. He also told me confidence is outrageously sexy. I too let him inspect every inch of me with the lights ON!!!

    1. I just love this — the past few men I’ve slept with have just adored my body and it is so wonderful after being with guys who do not. But it is no coincidence that I am more at peace with my physical imperfections as I attract men who are, too.

  7. I love this thread! I had THE best years of my life as divorced woman in my 40’s All the way up to 51. Then BAM. All that sexual energy just went away. MENOPAUSE… (and I know this isn’t true for all women but it was very true for me -and I struggled with it for sure (am I broken? what do other women do? etc!) But now I am taking my time before I go back into that world anew. I am very curious to find out what else is out there besides guys and dating. It turns out there is a lot!! Its liberating for sure. And no, I don’t miss it because 1) I will get back to it when I am ready (it will always be there ladies, I know 84 year old women who have torrid affairs and love to have sexy sex ) – and 2) guys still think I ‘have it’ so the thrill of feeling sexy is still right there front and center! I do think we humans thrive on feeling attractive…the secret is that to feel attractive we need to BE attractive (not pretty, young or skinny or whatever, just ATTRACTIVE there are many many ways for that to manifest). In so many ways the life lesson keeps on being the same…love the place you are in and the self that you are NOW. Always. Each time I lose a little something I gain a little something. I found out that don’t have to look very far to see what is gained, I just can’t give up once I notice something is lost. :)

  8. Finally!! Someone else is talking about female masturbation being empowering. Typically males figure out how to masturbate before becoming sexually active, but females are “taught” how to masturbate by their male partners after becoming sexually active. Our bits are quite different and if the people with “authority/experience” are people who only know what they like, it’s not about our pleasure. It’s such a great feeling to give someone else an orgasm, but OMG is it fantastic to give yourself one…or many…too!! Sex with men can be absolutely mind-blowing (so can sex with other women), but everything is taken to a different level when we know our bodies and what we like. And speak up!!

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