February is the month for luuurve, but let’s face it – you might not be feeling it for any number of reasons. To bring you a shot of awesome, we’re proud to feature this guest blog by the inspiring babe Virgie Tovar – author, activist and expert on fat discrimination and body image. Virgie originated the hashtag #LoseHateNotWeight, and is currently piloting the lifechanging Babecamp. She’s guesting on the blog this month to share her story with the Lunaverse – about how she learned to love her awesome body and own her sexuality. Lots of love from all of us at Lunapads!
I want you to imagine me at 14: a chubby and supremely horny Mexican nerd wearing enormous off-trend glasses and cut-off shorts rolled allll the way up, watering the lawn while eating a popsicle. I was a burgeoning babe who didn’t know she was a total catch, and I spent most of my waking hours scheming about how to lose enough weight to get a boy to touch my boobs. I didn’t know it then but as a Taurus, I was ruled by Venus. I was a sexually frustrated Pentecostal Venutian stuck in a boring suburb with a bunch of fatphobic assholes.
At church I learned that sexual desire was a sin. I would lie in the bathtub often willing myself not to masturbate, and I would fail. Every time it happened I would become paralyzed with fear that the Baby Jesus had finally broken my coochie, then I would cry for an hour, pray for forgiveness and vow never ever to do that again.
At school I learned that boys didn’t like fat girls. They told me no one was ever going to touch me, date me, or love me until I lost weight. I wasn’t a delicate flower like other girls. I was big and strong.
My sexuality was fraught and confusing. Religion and fat shaming had made me too embarrassed to name my desire, and so I learned how to silence that part of me.
I started meeting dudes and found surprisingly that I didn’t have any trouble being touched, dated, or loved. Sex began to play a crucial role in healing my relationship to my fat body.
Many years later, my inner Venus got her first break. I was up late watching TV when a commercial for a telephone personals service came on. Did I want to talk to local singles? Fuck yes. I started meeting dudes and found surprisingly that I didn’t have any trouble being touched, dated, or loved. Sex began to play a crucial role in healing my relationship to my fat body. I can honestly say that without it, I can’t imagine having made the eventual decision to stop dieting and accept my destiny as a bad ass fat babe – fat rolls, stretch marks and all.
When I started having sex, I didn’t let anyone touch my belly or my back fat, corralling their hands to the parts of me that were less squishy or more universally desirable – there was a lot of breast and ankle touching. Beyond that, though, my sexual curiosity knew no bounds.
I felt like I had bypassed some kind of sacred rule, living in a secret world that I had been taught didn’t exist.
I felt like I had bypassed some kind of sacred rule, living in a secret world that I had been taught didn’t exist, and it was that fantastical sense that allowed me more room to experiment. I had no idea there were people who either had no size-related specifications (I would later come to label these people as “normal non-bigots”) or who preferred my bigness.
Once I met a guy who really liked wrestling with women. I liked that I was bigger and stronger than him. So we went for a walk to my old elementary school on a Sunday and tussled in the grass for about 2 hours. I totally won.
I went to grad school with someone who upon graduation shyly confessed his interest in me over coffee, and then later confessed his love of my belly. I liked the idea of him lusting after my belly. Why was it any different from someone liking me because I had a cute face or nice butt? So we had epic, athletic sex on the floor of his apartment. My tummy was the star of the show.
Nowadays I like it when my lovers touch and squeeze my belly while we eat chocolate-covered alfajores in bed. I love it when my jiggly thighs get grabbed. I need my lovers to recognize my fat body and name their desire for it. Sex feels, for the most part, like an exercise in the deepest kind of embodiment.
I want to be honest and say that not every single experience was borne of a total and loving acceptance of me and my body. I don’t always need that, honestly. More than that, these experiences worked for me and changed the way I saw myself. I no longer felt like someone who had to be accepted despite her body. I began to see my body as part of the totality of my desirability. And I began to see that I had been taught that other people’s sexual desire or curiosity about my body was culturally positioned as automatically strange and wrong, but it didn’t have to be that way. It could be whatever I wanted.
Every person – no matter what their size – deserves to have an amazing sex life on their own terms. Period.
For the person reading this and thinking “oh my gosh, that’s great for you, Virg, but that could never be me,” I’d like to say: I was you once! Every person – no matter what their size – deserves to have an amazing sex life on their own terms. Period. Bodies have inherent worth and beauty. So, spend some time watching media that portrays your body positively, get acquainted with your jiggly parts, spend a little extra time in the bathtub soaping up that part of you that you have a hard time loving, write a love letter to your back fat. Revel in the body you have right now because it’s wondrous and perfect and sexy.
Photo courtesy of Andria Lo. Check out her Insta right now.