I've been having sex for 25 years now, which I think makes me a bit of an expert - on my own sexuality, at least. My weight has fluctuated by over 100 pounds over the decades; I was about 150 lbs when I started having sex and have had it when I was 263 lbs and nine months pregnant. I've had sex with men who relished my fat body, men who secretly enjoyed it but were publicly embarrassed by it, and with those who could care less about my exterior appearance. All of them, though, would probably tell you that my confidence and comfort in my own skin was the sexiest thing about me.
Women, in general, are not supposed to be openly sexual. We are not supposed to talk about it, admit to having it, or say we enjoy it. It's a subject that becomes more taboo the older, grayer, more married, more motherly and fatter we get. We've grown up internalizing this message for so long - that our fat and aging bodies are not worthy of respect, adoration, positive attention or love. Especially as women, many of us have hated our desexualized bodies for so long that it's incredibly difficult to believe anyone else when they tell us otherwise. I've long been a very sexual person and the more body positive I've become the more confident I've felt in expressing that sexuality. So many things have helped along the way, including supportive and kind partners and following other fierce fat feminist sexy folks on social media and reading their stories. There have also been so many helpful fantastic feminist books written about it, including this one, this one, and this one.
It's no secret that I'm not a huge fatshionista - I'm thrifty and like a vintage find and have a quirky style. Truth be told, I like to wear as little clothing as possible, especially in the hot Idaho summer months and, ahem, when I'm gettin' busy. I've bought some cute lacy and flirty bras and panties in the past (and I've been known to rig up some DIY pasties out of HRC stickers on important election days), but it's always been more for myself - feeling like I've got a fun dirty little secret under my clothing. So when Curvy Girl Lingerie in San Jose, California - the only exclusively plus-sized lingerie boutique in the country - said they'd send me a box of several fancy things I immediately (but nervously) said YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
I'm honored to be fighting the good fight in size acceptance and self-love alongside the owner (and fellow member of my Boise Rad Fat Collective) Chrystal Bougon. She's been a business owner for the past ten years and also runs an online romance shop selling other tools and toys. Chrystal's Curvy Girl mantra is this: sexy is for every body. Sexy is NOT a size. All of us want to and deserve to feel sexy and relevant. So she's created a very safe place for women over size 12 to come and try on lingerie, sexy shoes, buy stocking and pick up some pretty panties or something fun for your lover - or yourself. She also sells much of her stock online and via her Facebook page, including this:
I'll start with my favorite, the Muva (or Natasha) Teddy or, as I like to call it, Take Me For A Roll In The Hay, er, Leaf Compost. It comes with removable garters to attach thigh-high stockings and is crotchless (one of those things is handier to me than the other). It fit like a dream, even though I do not have anywhere near the large and voluptuous breasts to fill out the top like the model on the box. I was excited to try the Kix'ie stockings with self-sticking elastic around the top. Admittedly, I haven't worn them all day yet, but they were comfy and stayed up for the entire photoshoot and the pattern feels a little naughty secretary to me. This was both my favorite and Dr. Brown's as well.
This one is called the Amnesia or, as I like to call it, Walking In A Winter Wonderland/Won't You Be My Neighbor? I was anxiously awaiting the snow to fall and was all set to grab my shovel and get to work on the sidewalk. All kidding aside, this hot pink number came out of the box like the size of one of Arlo's 2T tank tops I SHIT YOU NOT. I laughed as I pulled it over my head but it is way stretchy and comfy. Chrystal says it fits people from a size 12 to a 26 (I'm a 16)! I also cannot show you a full frontal view because, um, it's mostly mesh and not internet-friendly. It's fun and flirty and something I'd totally wear over my bikini to the pool or for this year's Cupid's Undie Run.
This one is called the Josephine Chemise, otherwise known at my house as She's My Cherry Pie.
(FELLOW CHILDREN OF THE 80s YOU'RE WELCOME.) I've never worn a cage bra/chemise before and it, along with the satin fabric and the black G-string underneath, made me feel super sexy. Too bad it was way too large for me (my breasts only filled like 3/4 of those cups and the back was pretty baggy, so it runs large (I wear a size 16 and this fits more like a 18/20, maybe even up to a 22). This one was probably the most true to my style and lingerie preference, as I'm a sucker for silky fabrics and animal print.
I've never treated myself to lingerie before, so what a fun honor to be asked by Curvy Girl Lingerie to try some out and share my experience. It's something I'll definitely do again. Chrystal and her crew are so down to earth, kind, and sex positive, I can't think of a better and more comfortable place to shop if you're plus-sized and interested in spicing things up. I think it's a super fun part of self-care and self-love to remember that you are, and can be, sexy at any size and in any way that feels good to you.