300+ sexuality issues linked with weight loss [Note: Frank Discussion!]
This topic came up in the main 300+ numbered thread and several people thought it deserved its own thread, so here it is.
I have been thinking about this a lot, and I really don’t know where to start, plus part of me doesn’t want to talk about it, which makes me realize it is something that I do really need to address. There are a lot of factors here for me that are all jumbled together. I’ll start with the fact that somehow I got it into my head from a very young age that boys wouldn’t like me because I was fat. When I say young, I mean YOUNG. I had my first kiddie crush at the age of 5 and even then I thought that he wouldn’t like me because of my size. I think a large part of this came from my mother – either intentionally or unintentionally. The reason I think it was partly intentional was that I think she used the threat of unattractiveness as a motivator to get me to pay attention to my weight. There was of course all of the messages from the general media about what it means to be fat.
So out of this grew a feeling that it was shameful for me to have sexual thoughts about men. I wasn’t worthy of finding others attractive since I was unworthy of being found to be attractive. I was therefore couldn’t compute that someone might like me. They were either joking and playing a trick on me, or there was something wrong with them. What kind of normal guy would find me attractive? Going back to the shameful feelings about finding others attractive, I hid my feelings and tried to quell my desires. How did I do this? Mostly with food. When I was a teenager I also acted out a lot, especially in my dress and style. I “freakified” myself so that I had another legitimate excuse to push those things away. I didn’t try to look pretty – I tried to look weird.
Even in my recent relationship although I felt very comfortable being naked in front of my ex, I never felt free to express myself sexually. I couldn’t take myself seriously and be intense about what I wanted out of the relationship. Part of this had to do with my ex, but a lot of it was about me being able to let down my barriers and be vulnerable. I still have a wall of feeling that I don’t deserve to be sexual or that there is something wrong with me being so. This is a huge part of the barrier that I need to work with to get back that part of myself.
On another level I think I fear the abandonment of self control that giving into sexual desire can cause. Control is very wrapped up in my eating issues as well. Another example is that I have never been really out of control drunk. I have never let myself get to that point. Sure – in some ways this is a good thing, but I am realizing that I have a barrier to abandonment of being in control that limits what I can experience. Being in the unknown is really scary.
Another factor in all of this is how both I perceive and how I perceive society perceives feminine sexuality. When I think of the qualities that really define me as an individual, the things that stand out to me aren’t physical but mental and emotional. I have never wanted to be looked at by a man as a piece of meat. I want to be seen as a whole person. Somehow I feel that my fat protects me from the leering vulgarity of the world that encompasses Maxim and Playboy. It really bothers me how some women feel they have to writhe around in barely any clothing to be considered sexy. I watch a certain amount of MTV and it really gets to me to see all these videos with these women dressing in next to nothing and pandering to a male ego that wants a woman on each arm. I know that a lot of it is acting, but there is a certain amount of it that translates into popular culture. I want to be able to be beautiful and sexual without it being demeaned in that kind of a way. I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my health and wellbeing to shield myself from these things. I need to find another way of thinking about all of this.
Wow – there is so much here that I want to get out there and talk about with everyone. But enough rambling from me to start. Do you think your views on your sexuality play a part in both your top weight and/or things you need to deal with on your way back down?
86 pounds down, now for the next bit - fourth short term goal (back to 100 down):
I was never comfortable talking about this kinda stuff my parents always made it seem like anything sexual was evil and morally wrong. For a girl who was never brought up religiously I sure have my own version of that catholic guilt thing going on.
With Me its mostly at some point I became so uncomfortable that I just don't feel feminine anymore and Im sure that's effected my personality to a degree because Ive been technically obese since I was about 18.
I more worry about how attention will be delt with. I'm so used to NOT being the object of desire that any attention is going to be wildly uncomfortable.
Luckily I'm married and don't have to deal with relationship games.
Al for (ahem) "activity" still not comfortable talking about that out loud.
Half Iron Triathlete as of 7/2010
Training for Ironman Wisconsin!
This is an interesting topic. I know I have used my fat has a sheild to prevent emotional ties to people.
When it comes to men....I saw my Mom lose her identity when it came to having us kids and catering to our needs. I did not want to fall for some guy, have kids and lose myself. Fat is a great sheild against men, most of the time. It would always surprise me when someone saw past it and saw me.
I'm also a very private and am not a touchy feely person. I'd rather not touch someone or be touched by another (no hugs, thank you!).. not sure why I'm that way, but am. This also spills over into sexual relationships. It could be genetic (dad and nephew are functioning autistic) or could have other sources (like losing my identity). As I lose weight for my health, I am scared of the opposite sex! I think one day I might need to explore this more with a therapist. Right now, I'm not ready, but I know this issue is there!
Luckily I'm married and don't have to deal with relationship games.
You may be married and don't have to deal with the games but you will have to deal with the compliments.
To me the compliments have been a welcome thing. I am older and I don't mind someone 10 years younger than me finding me attractive. I too am very happily married.
As for the question. At my top weight I was very uncomfortable being touched sexually. I didn't feel attractive and didn't know why my husband would find me attractive. I wasn't 100 lbs overweight when we got married. But that was my own insecurities. As my weight has gone down my confidence has gone up. Also the time we spend in our bedroom and other parts of the house have gone up. I don't think it is my husband that has changed it is how I view myself as a sexual being. I didn't feel attractive before and with each 1 lb I lose I feel more attractive. Does that make sense?
We've been married 18 months now, and I still have problems with him telling me that he desires me. He literally chases me, and I just don't understand it. I have always had trouble with femininity when large. When smaller, I always felt much more feminine. Now I'm in the position of learning to feel feminine while still large. There are also issues in that we are both large, and I have some physical disabilities that limit my range of motion. I'm looking forward to losing weight so that we can do different things.
I don't think any issues I ever had were a result of being fat; I think they were a result of being tall. I reached 5'10" in the sixth grade. That'll make you feel like a cow pretty quickly. Nothing like being taller than your teachers when you're 12 to knock the crap out of your self-confidence.
The result was a lack of experience (not a total lack, thank you very much) and the resulting lack of confidence. I didn't really trust men except as friends; I still have many more male friends than female. Frankly they are a lot less trouble than women. Thankfully for me, when I met my husband there was such a comfort level with him that things have always been great. But I can see how if I hadn't met him that I could have gone on being single for the rest of my life.
Of course there was that time he went to grab my boob and got a fat roll instead. "Uh sweetie, the boob's a bit higher up." That wasn't embarassing at all....
WARNING - I'm not a terribly shy person so I'll try to be discrete but this may contain TMI!
I'm sure I've had my issues with being overweight and sex. I was already "the fat girl" in high school although now I'd love to be the size I was then. I was also the tallest girl in the class, about 5'10" and from a tiny town, only 17 people were in my senior class. I got asked out on a date only once in high school at 15 and my parent's said I couldn't date until 16. No date. My first real date was in college at 19 and bless him he really liked me! I didn't know how to act. I was a bit of a tease to be honest and I remember taking him home to meet my parents and not wanting to even touch him in front of them since I'd not dated and not had any boyfriends around them. I found out that visit that he was way more serious than I was and we broke up as a result - he was military and being shipped overseas and I think he may have been thinking marriage, I wasn't. I didn't really "date" after that but had my share of drunken gropes for lack of a better term. I kept my virginity until age 22 - in law school. Fact is, I was just kind of tired of waiting and so I slept with the first guy I dated there. After that, well, truth be told I was kind of a slut for several years. I'm not sure this had anything to do with my size, although I did think of it as making up for lost time. I took a great deal of pleasure in getting a guy that my skinny, pretty friend and roommate thought was hot. Of course, I was always a fairly firm size 16 to 18 to 20 back then, much smaller than I eventually became. I still thought of myself as fat and tried to lose weight, but never seriously. I've never considered myself a pretty woman, but the fact is anyone can have sex if they don't let those pesky morals get in the way - which was my view for a time. I also did have a few steady boyfriends in that time, two in particular I loved a lot, but somehow it never worked out.
I married my first husband, who I picked up in a bar and couldn't remember his name the next morning, mostly because he asked. I was 30 by then and didn't think anyone else would ever ask and he said and did all the right things. Of course, everything he said and did was a lie, but we knew each other all of about 5 months when we married so I didn't know that. I'd like to say I loved him, but the fact is when he would ask (and he did at times) "Why do you love me?" the only answer I had was "Because you love me." Truthfully, I didn't even like him much after I got to really know him. It lasted two years and he killed my credit, my trust in men and my self-esteem. I didn't date for three years after that.
My husband now is perfect for me, truly my soul-mate, and I was bigger than I am now when we married. He also has a weight problem and we happily ate our way up the scale in the first five years. Our sex life was always good, although at times infrequent. I know a lot of women who complain about that. Even though I've been very secure in my marriage and his love for me, at my highest weight I definitely felt like the lull in our "interludes" were because he no longer found me attractive. In retrospect, I suspect it was at least in part just the "honeymoon's over" part of marriage. Fact is you don't keep doing it every day or every weekend for that matter after you've been married a while, but at the time I definitely felt rejected and I stopped trying to initiate anything because if he turned me down I felt horrible about it and if he didn't I felt like it was pity sex...like he was doing it just to prove to me he loved me but not like he really wanted to. It was a pretty rough time in my head. I don't think he ever really knew that though. I didn't tell him, because I knew it was my issue really.
The worst part - please forgive me if this is TMI - was frankly the act itself became problematic. I had problems breathing, feeling like fat was squishing my neck and restricting my air if I was on the bottom and was too self-conscious to be on top. All in all, my lack of self confidence, my fear of rejection and frankly just not looking forward to the act itself other than as proof of his continued fidelity to me, made our love life a very minor part of our marriage for about a year.
Now on the up side, losing weight definitely does help. First, well things just work better when there's less in the way. Second, you all know that exercise builds stamina - it works for more than the elliptical. Third, and most important, I feel attractive again, so I believe I am more attractive as a result. And of course, he's lost weight too and while I don't know if he ever had the self-esteem issues I had, he seems much more confident himself in that area of our lives. We had a good marriage all along really, but my marriage is definitely stronger than ever.
Well, I am going to give the gay males perspective on weight loss and sexuality. If what I say is offensive, or TMI, then a mod can go ahead and delete this.
There are different arguments about gays either being born that way, or chose to be that way. I had normal crushes on girls in grade school. However, since I entered puberty really late, I would happen to notice other guys in the locker room, and felt inadequate. As I grew older, and piled on the weight, the only people that would show interest in me were men, especially "chubby chasers". Why would any girl want me? I'm so hideously fat!
I think my highest known weight was 550lbs. A couple times I weighed myself on a truck scale, and I *believe* I was told I weighed 550. That put me in immediate denial. I finally purchased a scale in December 05 and the scale said I weighed 510. At this point I was determined to lose the weight, not only because I was embarrassed at the 510 reading, but I was really fed up attracting the "chubby chaser" (which is a rare fetish, not too many takers!)
At 510lbs, I could not see my penis, the fat was covering it. When I rolled the fat outta the way, I was lucky to measure in at 3" erect (not lying). Since I have lost an incredible amount of weight, the fat (which at a 42" waist isn't major anymore) does not cover it, in fact even with the lose skin I am having, the lose skin doesn't even touch it. I am very proud to say that the penis is now a normal 6" erect, and when he comes out to play, I can see him without getting the binoculars out!
This is where I get graphic. One word will say it all. The more I lose, the hornier I get! My sexual appetite has increased ten-fold! I am getting more responses to my personal ads, men are noticing. I feel somewhat uncomfortable with all this lose skin, but then I also see it as a trophy. The only way to have this much lose skin is because you had to have lost the weight.
Amongst other things my self-confidence has improved. I am no longer camera shy, I am very out going
14+ page MySpace blog ebook. Also, be sure to check my Pics page, as this is my transformation over the yrs. Videos on frontpage
Sharon never fear posting here. Even if you were only 255 - I find it fun to say "only" looking at your tracker you were still looking to lose about 100. That makes you one of the family! Oh! And congrats on your lusty marriage. In mine, it's more quality than quantity....although both have picked up as the weight has come off.
Fresno - I think self-confidence is a huge boost to sex drive. The more confident and attractive you feel the more desire you have.
I should mention that while I said losing weight helps, it sure isn't an instant fix. I may not be as self-concious about my body at 226 lbs as I was at 328 lbs, but I still have issues and always have. My husband has never really gotten to see me naked much. I'm a lights-off girl for sure and always have been. I'm in my 40's now and although I'm nearly the same size now that I was in my slutty days I certainly don't have the body I had 20 years ago. I often do think about surgery to fix the saggy arms, legs, tummy and breasts. The only reason I don't start saving up is my husband is very much against plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons. So maybe my attitude toward my body has more effect than I've realized.
I'll definitely get in on this conversation because it has been on my mind a lot lately. I can safely say that I am a very sexual person, more than most people would expect. But here, close to my highest weight, I have found that I don't feel nearly as womanly or feminine as I once did, a bit genderless. And so, although the sexual feelings are still there, I am scared to death of actually having sex again.
Right now my boyfriend is off in the Army (and we've never had intercourse) so I feel a bit safe. But I will be seeing him in about 2 or 3 months and I don't want to feel this way. I know that I can be sexy at any size. I've never been skinny, always had cellulite, sagging breasts, extra tummy.....and men still found me incredibly sexy so my weight is not it. I know it has more to do with my attitude about my weight. I don't feel attractive and I'm working on figuring out how I can again.
I'll probably have more to add to this discussion later.
At my highest weight, men still found me sexy. Even the ones that don't normally go for BBW's. I truly believe that it all had (and has) to do with your ATTITUDE towards your own sexuality. I would say for me I am sexually confident more than I'm not. (Man if I could ONLY channel that attitude into my weight loss!!)
I also believe that any woman, regardless of size, can feel sexy without being trashy. You don't have to wear midriff tops or Daisy Dukes to be considered sexy. A decent length skirt that shows off the legs, a snug fitting pair of jeans that outlines a nice round derriere (sp?), or a nice top that hints at an ample bustline--all of these things work WONDERS!
I totally agree with NotTheCheat in regards to being looked at like a piece of meat. I want to be seen as so much more than my exterior.
As far as sexual expression goes...I know I express myself the best when I am with a partner I can relax with and trust. This may take time to find someone like this. In the meanwhile, getting comfortable with your own body through self-pleasure and self-exploration is a good idea. The more you can let yourself go when you are by yourself, the closer you'll be able to let yourself go with a partner.
One day at a time is more than just a saying.....
First goal: Back under 300!
Heather/Mods – Since I started this thread I will apologize if it is keeping you busy making sure that it doesn’t go too far for a public forum. It is hard to have a discussion like this and keep it PG-13!
Everyone – I want to thank you for your openness and honesty here. It isn’t an easy thing to talk about something that is often so taboo. Posting about this subject has been very cathartic for me. I have a lot of work to do in this area but I think I am starting to see a path.
Sharon – You are definitely welcome to post here. As long as people are sensitive on where we are coming from being in the 300+ range then all are welcome.
Ratkity – That is interesting that you mention the aversion to touching issue. I had that BIG TIME when I was younger. I am still not much of a toucher, but I got over it a lot when I had a Brazilian friend awhile back who was very touchy (largely a cultural issue). I don’t know where my aversion to being touched came from. In fact, I remember at a not too old age (maybe around 10?) I started to forbid my parents to hug me. How weird is that?
Fresno – I have had issues with the fetish side of things too (which I won’t go into here) but it amounts to the same thing. It is the issue of someone valuing your physical attributes above anything else that really bothers me. I know that the physical matters – I won’t try and deny that – however, it shouldn’t get to the point where it matters more than the overall relationship.
I got to wondering last night how much of my issues really have to do with my size and how much are just issues. Sometimes I want to blame my size for all of my problems when really it is only a facet of the whole. I know that having these issues is not at all confined to those of us with serious weight issues. A lot of people have issues with their sexuality.
I think the biggest message that is being revealed for me here is that I need to discover my own definitions of sexuality and what that means to me, and then to work on having an attitude that I am unashamed of that being a vital part of my existence. I don’t mean in a flaunting kind of way, but in a deep down soul kind of way. I need to learn to be comfortable with myself, and that is going to be a learning and in some cases an unlearning process. I need to do this so that I don’t feel the need to hide behind my fat. I need to be able to let it go and to do that I need to be as comfortable as possibly with who I am. Part of me feels like I will feel very exposed if I don’t have the fat there to protect me and shield me from unwanted attention. I also need to learn how to deal with that attention in constructive ways. I cannot be held responsible for other peoples’ bad behavior. If someone is going to act like a pig, I am not going to be able to stop them. However, I can find clever ways to disregard it and get on with my own life.
86 pounds down, now for the next bit - fourth short term goal (back to 100 down):
My weight issues have always been present, and through junior high school I was the fat girl wearing a size 22 by 8th grade.
By 10th grade I had slimmed down to 16/18 and felt much better. However, it was a very small school (22 in my grade). The boys did not pay attention to me unless they wanted me pass a note/message along to one of my friends. This was a very difficult time.
I turned rebellious and found acceptance where I could. Usually with the wrong crowd, out partying every weekend. I lost my virginity young and based my happiness on how much attention I was getting.
Once out of school, I stayed around a size 18. I got a job that required traveling a lot to different cities. Once out of the small town, I found that there were PLENTY of men that could be interested in me!!
Still basing my happiness on having someone else pay attention to me, I had a very destructive time of my life.
Eventually I ended up pregnant. I was not ready. I fell apart when I found out. I was only 19. Depression led me back up and beyond my size 22s and I was 303 when I delivered my son. Looking back, I thank God that I have a healthy child, and was able to carry to term.
My post preg. weight brought out my PCOS with a fury and my husband decided he could no longer love me. Rather than work with me, he left me for another woman and I turned inward and to food.
Some of the things he said to me stick with me today and cause some of my self image problems that I am sure will take years of therapy to overcome.
Feeling unattractive, unwanted, unloved... I turned back to food.
About three years later I was able to diet down to a size 18 again (having reached a 26). Again, men took notice, and I found comfort in their arms.
I never felt self conscious at that size, as long as someone was paying attention to me, I was on top of the world.
That is one side of my issues.
The other side is now that I am back up and over 300#'s, I don't feel attractive anymore. My bf of 4+ years has loved me as I am from a size 18 back up to a 26. I used to be very free and adventurous behind closed doors.
Now I don't even want to do it because each time we do, I cannot help but feel sorry for him. I can't relax because I wonder what he is thinking.
This has caused many problems between us, but we are working thoough them, thankfully he is still supportive, even if not understanding all the time.
Another issue... I avoid people who knew me when I was smaller. I don't allow new people to get too close. I am afraid of being rejected.
Thanks for listening, I have to get back to work, but I'll chime in again soon.
Wow, this has been a long post. Thank you for bringing up this issue!!