January 17th, 2011

BBB

On fat and sex

(This began as a letter to SI).
Dear Sociological Images Blog
(or should I write Dear Doctors?),

I've been a reader of your blog for some time after a fat activist website (Axis of Fat, I believe) linked to it. I love the idea and the execution of the blog, and am finally submitting something....

As you may have guessed, I am a Fatty McFatterson, and perfectly alright with it. I am a million and a half other awesome things as well, including a social work student. Spring semester is getting ready to go, and I thought I could spend a little bit of money on some nice clothes. I've been wanting a new purple teddie for a while, so I did what millions of Americans do when they want new clothes for low prices... I went to ebay.

The images attached to this email shows what I found when I went teddie shopping on ebay. I was confused at first when I clicked through to plus size intimates at the very few selection sections.


Bras
Camisoles and Camisole sets
Panties
Robes
Shapers
Sleepwear

Wait... what? None of these are teddies... or babydolls... or even garter belts! I have a decent selection of lingerie, and I know for a fact that such things exist in sizes flattering to me. What the heck ebay?

I decided to check and see what non-plus sized intimate apparel section options were, and found they had the following:


Bras and Bra sets
Breast forms, enhancers
Camisoles & Camisole sets
Corsets & Bustiers
Garter Belts
Mixed Intimate Items
Pajamas and Robes
Panties
Shapers
Slips
Teddies

Of course, my first instinct is to interpret this in the very negative manner. Fatties aren't seen as sexy or sexual... like elders and folks with disabilities, we're seen as asexual, where the idea of us having sex is uncomfortable and disgusting to many. My gut reaction is that ebay is reflecting or supporting this idea, to the detriment of the chubble population. As a BBW who is part of kinky folk community, I am massively irritated when I cannot find clothing appropriate to my lifestyle or fantasies without shilling out some massive costs, but I accept that as part of the capitalistic society I live in. However, when a website I regularly frequent for plus-sized purchases doesn't even give me the option of a corset... well, I am understandably ruffled. It's only coding, so I don't see any valid reason not to have the same categories for fatties as there are for "normal" women.

Second, it may be worth noting that the first things that show up are frumpy comfy sleepwear. It has it's place (heck, wearing it now!) but I deserve my sexy goodies just as much as the next lady. Somewhere here is the intersection of fat activism and sex positivity. The first is the radical idea that people ought not be judged strictly on the measure of their waist (chest, inseam, dress size). The second is the radical idea that sex is good and pleasing and people ought to do it without shame or guilt.

Maybe this will transform into a "Dear Ebay: stop guilting me out of good clothes", but it's my birthday today,////

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And what I wanted to say, and will say to you instead:
It's my birthday today, and I think I'm going to go spend some of it on a sex swing instead of arguing with the internet. Ciao!