5 Times Kink Helped Me Love My Body

One of kink’s many magical qualities: you have to keep talking about it. All the time. There are no assumptions, no scripts, nothing for which consent is presupposed. At least, not the way I prefer to do it.

My first dominant fuckbuddy teaches me this. Our sext exchanges have consent conversations built right in. “I like restraining partners with chains,” he says. “I’m not a fan of being choked,” I say. “Teach me how to make you come with a toy,” he pleads. “I think I want to sit on your face,” I hypothesize.

I get good at asking for what I want. In the throes of subspace during my BDSM hookups, sometimes I lose my words, unable to form sentences longer than “Yes,” “No,” or “Harder” – but the more I try, the easier it gets. Though power exchange often leaves me literally gagged and silenced, it also makes me better at speaking up when I need to.

So after my fuckpal makes one too many vagina-shaming comments in my presence, I decide I don’t want to see him anymore. He’s not into period sex, he’s not into “excessive” wetness, he’s not into falling asleep next to me unshowered after sex – and while it’s fine for him to have his boundaries, it’s also fine for me to have mine. I want sex while I’m bleeding, wet, and/or dirty. My sexual menu just doesn’t feel complete without those things. A partner who can’t unabashedly adore my body in all its various weird states is not a partner I want to give myself over to.

So I tell him. “I don’t think I want to do sex/kink things with you anymore. I’d still like to be friends, though.”

He’s a little taken aback, but fine with it. My sigh of relief is immediately followed by a rush of pride: I identified an unmet need in my life and did something about it. I owned my desires and asserted them. And now I’ll no longer have to bang someone who makes me feel, in the smallest and saddest of ways, like my body is to be tolerated and not to be devoured.

I’m wearing nothing but lingerie in front of a crowd at a sex club. A photographer is snapping pictures. It’s terrifying – but I’m less scared than I thought I’d be, because a hot, brassy babe is bossing me around.

“Bend over and show the crowd your ass,” she barks. “There you go. Good girl. Doesn’t she have a great ass, folks?!”

The crowd bursts into applause, whoops, and yells of affirmation. Apparently they agree with her. I grin and laugh and blush and laugh some more.

I’m midway through a blowjob when my one-night stand starts to get antsy. “Come here,” he growls. My eyes flick upward, quizzical. Can’t I just… stay down here?

I climb up his body to kiss him. “No. Higher.” I straddle his belly. Is he really asking me to…? “Higher,” he commands again. Yep, I guess we’re doing this. I slide over his chest until my vulva is settled over his mouth. He wraps his big strong hands around my thighs and hips and pulls me toward him. My clit has no choice but to tangle with his tongue. I gasp and clutch at the headboard. Fuck, he’s good at that.

I’ve never sat on someone’s face on a first date before. Usually I date someone for months before I let them invite me onto their face. It’s just a lot: they get a mouthful and noseful of pussy, plus an eyeful of belly and underboob and double chin. I worry I’ll crush them with my chubby body, drown them in my juices, embarrass myself with unladylike sounds. I need to believe someone 100% wants me, in all my weird and overwhelming glory, before I’ll feel comfortable giving them that. This requires at least a few months of dating… or, apparently, a well-placed command from a one-off hookup.

See, when you command me to do something, I have to assume you want that thing. Maybe this is part of why I’m submissive: my irksome sexual anxiety insists I’m unattractive, unless and until someone cute is there to insist on the opposite. So, while “I love your body and find you gorgeous” is a highly effective line, “Come here and sit on my face immediately” achieves more-or-less the same purpose.

Sometimes there’s no time to worry about whether I’m “attractive enough,” because I’ve been given an order and I have to do what I’ve been told immediately. It’s important, after all, that I be a good girl.

We’re hours deep into our second date, lying on his bed in the hazy afternoon sun, stoned as fuck. The weed, as per usual, is working its magic: I am craving pain, knowing it will permute into pleasure. I turn to this boy I only met three days earlier and say, slyly: “I want you to spank me.”

I see his reaction in slow motion, because weed does that. He bites his lip, smirks, breaks into a grin. And then he says it: “With what?”

Everything else is slow and so too is the spread of goosebumps over my entire body, from my shoulders down my arms and all down my back. His question outs him as a true kinkster, one experienced with impact play and potentially owning a collection of implements. But what really excites me about this question is the tone of voice in which he said it: dark, rough, and absolutely dripping with want. I can tell he cannot fucking wait until I’m over his lap. And I don’t want to wait, either.

“Your hand, please,” I reply, and hitch up my skirt.

I’ve always hated my butt. The jiggly cellulite, the amorphous shape. I grew up on a steady diet of SuicideGirls and vintage pinups, and coveted those perfect, round butts. Mine did not look like theirs.

I didn’t know, when I got pretty pink bows and the words “good girl” tattooed on my upper thighs, that they would unravel years’ worth of insecurities in one fell swoop. Overnight, I went from trying to orient my body so partners couldn’t see my butt during sex, to openly showing it off and asking gleefully, “Do you like my tattoos?!” It felt odd to go back and look at photos of my backside pre-tattoos – not only did I dislike how it looked, but it also simply didn’t seem like it was mine.

One summer evening, I’m hanging out in an upscale Toronto sex shop with my friend Taylor. He’s teaching an impact play class, and I am the demo bottom. After the introductory preamble, it comes time for me to get spanked. “Should I take my dress off now?” I ask, and Taylor nods. I pull my simple cotton dress off over my head, revealing a matching set of lingerie underneath, and bend over the shop’s grey sofa to show off my ass to the crowd. Taylor explains how to wield a paddle, and then demonstrates. I smile through my grimace of pain, because I know I can handle this.

“You looked so confident tonight,” my boyfriend tells me later when I’m tucked into his bed, “just wearing lingerie in front of all those people.” He’s running his hands all over me and it’s hard to focus on his words, but when I do clue in to what he’s said, I feel proud.

“It wasn’t hard,” I say with a nonchalant shrug. It would’ve been, five years ago, or even one year ago. It would’ve made me cringe and blush and doubt myself. But tonight it was easy. Because I love my body and don’t care if other people don’t.

Just as long as the people I’m dating/kissing/fucking think I’m hot. And judging by the way my boyfriend is groping my ass and nibbling my neck, I would say that he does.


This post was sponsored, and as always, all writing and opinions are my own!

I’m Fat & People Still Want to Fuck Me

Hey! This post deals with weight and body image stuff. If that’s tough or triggering for you, I encourage you to skip this post. I won’t be offended at all. You take care of you. ♥

chubby belly

In early 2014, I “embarked on a weight loss journey.” That’s how I phrased it. Because I was trying to be positive about it. I didn’t want it to be poisoned with all the self-hatred and patriarchal beauty standards I’d come to associate with weight loss.

But let’s face it: it was definitely about self-hatred and beauty. That became immediately clear when I noticed how much counting calories was sapping my emotional energy, and yet decided to keep doing it.

15139783471_798aa0785e_oI got down to the lowest weight I’d been in years, 150 pounds. On my 5’5″ frame, that put me into the BMI range called “normal,” rather than “overweight” – not that BMI is a terribly useful measure, but still, I was proud. Through hard work and focus and perseverance, I’d whipped my body into shape.

And I liked the way I looked. But no one wanted to fuck me.

Oh, maybe they did. I have no way of knowing. But certainly, my weight loss didn’t translate into any tangible sexual success for me, the way I had envisioned it might. My 3.5-year relationship came to an end right at the time that I hit my lowest weight, and we hadn’t had sex in months – and then, after we broke up, I was too shy and anxious to pursue sex with anyone else. So my vagina remained a no-fly zone.

12189697_10204235816849774_3570291086761898945_nOver the following year-and-a-bit, I lost motivation. It became too difficult to focus obsessively on calories on top of school, work, writing, and having a social life. I gained back all the weight and more. I’m now the fattest I’ve ever been, at 190 pounds. That’s frustrating, and makes me feel like a failure, and many a time I’ve looked into the mirror at my naked body and completely hated what I saw. But, weirdly: I’ve never received more sexual attention than I have in the past few months.

Please understand that I’m reporting this to you not with a braggy tone but with an incredulous one. There was a time when I deeply, honestly, truly believed that my weight was the barrier between me and romantic success. I saw some women in my communities who were fat and still socially successful, but I believed they had something fundamental that I did not: a pretty face, a fun personality, an “it factor” I just hadn’t been born with.

So, it was definitely surprising to me that I hit 190 pounds and now can’t even keep track of all the sexual and romantic propositions I receive. In fact, it kind of makes me angry that our culture told me this was impossible.

The notion of the “unfuckable fat woman” is a rampant one in our media and culture. A fat woman who has sexual desires – especially if she dares to act on those desires! – is often a punchline. As if it’s hilarious, shocking and ridiculous that someone so undesirable would view herself any other way. As if fat people can’t be gorgeous, hot, loveable and fuckable.

While weight gain was positively correlated with sexual attention for me, I’m definitely not trying to argue that correlation implies causation in this case. I don’t think people are more into me now because I’m fatter; I just think I’ve grown up a little, I’m more confident, less anxious. Paradoxically, while I don’t like my body these days, I’ve also learned that my body doesn’t define me as a person, so I like myself more overall. You’ve probably heard it thousands of times, but it really is true: confidence makes a person hotter. It’s an almost universal fact.

I’m also “putting myself out there” more than I ever was before. Anxiety kept me from attending events for a long time, and also made it difficult for me to stick with services like OkCupid and Tinder. Part of that anxiety was about my body: even though I wasn’t as fat then as I am now, I still worried that I’d look thinner/cuter in my photos online and that my matches would be disappointed when we met up in person. Now I know better – I post photos that show what my body really looks like and let the chips fall where they may. And you know what? A lot of people love my body!

There is something freeing, too, about the word “fat” itself. I avoided it for a long time, choosing words like “chubby” instead. I did this partly because I wasn’t technically “plus-size” (usually the cut-off is size 12-14, and I’ve only recently crossed that threshold) and didn’t want to claim that word without having actual experience being read as fat, and partly because the word scared me. I had internalized the message that “fat” is one of the worst things someone can call you.

As with many hurtful labels, though, if you claim one for yourself, it stings less when someone else slaps it on you. Recently some dickhead on the internet called me “fat and ugly” and it didn’t bother me at all – because I knew it was kinda true and I knew that was okay. Beauty is subjective, fat is fine, and just because that guy isn’t attracted to me doesn’t mean no one is. That seems like an obvious insight, maybe, but it helps me each and every time I remind myself of it.

I still have body anxiety sometimes. I think we all do. And I still deeply value the affirming comments I receive from sexual partners: “I love your body,” “You’re so beautiful,” “Your hips/stomach/thighs/butt is so sexy.” You can like your body and still need affirmation sometimes; that’s perfectly fine and normal. I have so much gratitude for partners who understand that – who know that my fat body is inherently valuable and desirable and valid but that I still appreciate being told that.

There may come a time in my future when I have the energy and the drive to work on weight loss again. I know I’d be healthier and happier at a lower weight, but I also know that right now, I just don’t have the time and emotional bandwidth to put myself through that process. But no matter how my body might change over the course of my lifetime, at least I know now that weight doesn’t affect my desirability as much as I feared it did. That’ll give me the confidence I need to live my life as a fat, openly sexual woman.

Permission to Be Gross: 7 Deeply Unsexy Confessions

Possibly the worst selfie I have ever taken.

I imagine it’s exhausting to be a flight attendant, or a car show model, or any other type of person who has to smile and be pleasant for hours at a time. Being that personable takes tons of energy, and I admire the work that goes into it.

In much the same way, working in the sex-positive field often comes with expectations that you will be “sexy” all the time. I feel a lot of pressure, in both my personal and my professional interactions, to put on a foxy façade even when I don’t feel so foxy.

While I love and admire women who are unafraid to be gross and strange – like Amy Poehler, who famously responded to a criticism of her “unladylike” comedy by snarling, “I don’t fucking care if you like it” – that’s just not me. I don’t have that kind of confidence, I guess. Feeling gross and unattractive makes me feel… well, gross and unattractive.

But I’d like to get more comfortable with that feeling, so that maybe it doesn’t bother me so much when it comes up in the future. So here are 7 very unsexy things about me, posted here with intense vulnerability and blushing and nail-biting but for good reasons. I encourage you to make your own list!


1. While I mostly like the way my vag smells and tastes, certain foods affect it in kind of gross ways. Eating sushi – one of my favorite foods! – gives it that strong “fishy” flavor that 1990s hack stand-up comedians so often joked about. I avoid sushi before dates for this reason…

2. I have psoriasis, a hereditary skin condition. Lucky for me, mine is fairly mild. I have it on my scalp, ears, underarms, and a random spot in between my eyebrows (why?!). I use a couple of prescription creams and a tar-based shampoo to keep it under control, but sometimes I’m still flaky/itchy. It ain’t cute.

3. I have a tendency to obsess over people I get romantically and/or sexually involved with. I’m able to keep it under wraps for the most part, so these people typically don’t know I’m thinking about them a lot or looking at their social media pages on the daily, but internally it is a problem and I wish I could fixate less. I think it’s linked to my anxiety.

4. I used to be really sexually selfish and sometimes I still am. I like giving pleasure, but I often don’t unless specifically told/asked to, either because I’m too anxious to initiate it or it just doesn’t occur to me because I’m distracted by my own pleasure. I’m working on it! I want to give more BJs, y’all!

5. I strongly dislike my body most of the time, despite being an advocate of self-love and self-acceptance.

6. I don’t eat well enough or get enough exercise, and I make excuses about both of those things constantly.

7. Sometimes I worry that a lot of my submissive sexual identity actually just stems from sexual uncertainty and insecurity. When you’re paralyzed in fear and worried about what your bedfellow thinks of you, it can be easier to just give up control and let them boss you around; at least then you can feel like you’re “doing something right” instead of fucking up spectacularly.


Are there any “gross” or “unattractive” things about you that you’re too embarrassed to talk about? Want to share? It’s kinda cathartic, I promise…

5 Journal Prompts for Better Body Image

Journaling saves my life on a regular basis. It’s my solace, my safety net. It’s the primary way I manage my anxiety, track my moods, and process my experiences. Any time someone compliments me for “having my shit together,” being “productive” or “organized,” or just being “such a positive person,” I want to tell them that it’s mostly due to my journaling habit. My daily scrawls and scribbles in ruled Moleskine notebooks are the psychological glue that holds me together.

One of the cool things about journaling is that you can use it to explore any facet of your psyche. Suck at relationships? Write until you discover the root of the problem. Hate your job? Rant about it til you feel better, and then brainstorm solutions. Listless and depressed? Make gratitude lists until the corners of your mouth turn up.

By that token, I recently assigned myself some journaling “homework” because my body image needed a serious tune-up. I figured I’d share the prompts with you so you can do ’em yourself – and I’m also sharing my responses, to get your mental gears turning.


1. What parts of your body have people told you they love?

My most recent ex often told me he loved my hips, squishy and wide though they may be. He also thought I had a beautiful vulva. He liked my face with no makeup on, but could also appreciate the artistry of my beloved winged liner and bright lipsticks.

My FWB in high school used to rave about my inner labia: how pretty and pink they are, and how soft and smooth they felt on her tongue. She loved my long, curly hair, my hazel eyes, and my full pink lips. And she, too, complimented my hips any chance she got.

I used to fret a lot about my nose, because it’s HUGE – Jew genes ahoy! – but friends have often told me that it suits my face and lends “character” to my appearance. Okay then.

When Penny shot semi-nudes of me in Oregon, she told me she liked my smouldering facial expressions. Some of the commenters on that post had nice things to say about my curves, which felt like such a relief after all the internalized fat-hatred I’ve been cruelly inflicting on myself lately. I am chubby and that’s okay!


2. What parts of your body do you love?

My princess hair. My long eyelashes and soft full lips. My distinctive nose. My neck and collarbone. My boobs, especially now that I’ve gained weight and they’re bigger! The little dip where my belly meets my mons. My labia and clit hood. The backs of my knees (they’re cute, and ticklish!).


3. What can your body do really well?

It can stay in yoga poses for long minutes at a time, and stretch out deliciously. It’s well-versed in masturbation, orgasms and handjobs! I am a world-class snuggler. I can roll my stomach muscles like a belly dancer. I’ve been told I’m a good kisser. And what my dancing lacks in technical skill, it makes up for in sheer enthusiasm!


4. What cool things has your body accomplished in the past?

I’ve played tennis and badminton until my arms ached and a euphoric grin rose on my face. I’ve contorted into weird poses, strutted across stages, and done countless trust falls in the course of my work as a competitive improvisor and improv coach. I once canoed from downtown to Toronto Island and back again (all while singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”!). I’ve had up to 5 orgasms in a day, and given some stellar HJs and BJs in my time. I’ve exhausted my fingers and vocal cords performing music for hours on end. I’ve hauled IKEA furniture home, dragged a 50-pound suitcase all around Portland, and carried a lazy cat up our three flights of stairs a million times. Once, I punched a boy in the stomach when he was physically blocking my path and being a creepy dipshit.


5. What cool things will your body accomplish in the future?

I hope to do dozens of sun salutations in the park, surrounded by other yogis. I want to swim in Lake Bernard and tread water with pals while laughing so hard I cry.

I want to fuck on top of a grand piano, have anal sex with someone I love and trust, squirt in someone’s face, and experience subspace – not necessarily all in one session (although that would be impressive).

One day I want to get so deep into meditation that I have an out-of-body experience – not because I want to leave my body, but because I think it would make me appreciate it even more.

Ask These 3 Questions & You Might Fall In Love

Earlier this year, the New York Times wrote about 36 questions that strangers can supposedly ask each other, which will make them fall in love real quick. You alternate asking each other the questions until you’ve gone through all 36, and then you stare into each other’s eyes silently for four whole minutes. By the end of this process, you’re sure to feel more connected to the other person, if not full-on in love.

I was reminded of this article when I last went to Body Pride, because, in the midst of sharing all these intimate emotional details with one another, I started to feel like I was… kinda falling in love.

Those feelings haven’t particularly persevered, but then again, those aren’t people that I see very regularly. I think that if you developed a crush because of the deep and sudden intimacy fostered in environments like Body Pride, and then you kept spending time with the person on a semi-regular basis, those initial crush-y feelings would inevitably develop into something deeper.

My questions are different from the ones suggested in the NYT article, but they have the same aim. I think if you asked someone these questions, and really listened to their answers, some kind of magic would happen.

1. What are you passionate about?

I can’t imagine a sexier quality than enthusiasm. Everyone reaches their peak cuteness when they’re talking about something they find fascinating and exciting. It doesn’t matter if it’s fashion, photography, blogging, bowling, triathlons, trigonometry, web design or witchcraft: if it turns their crank, then watching them talk about it will be a delight.

True, a relationship might not have long-term legs if the other person’s passion bores you. But if you can’t get excited about the topic of their tirade, you can at least get excited about the way their eyes light up and a smile blooms across their face while they ramble at you about fancy stationery or rock operas or whatever.

2. What are you insecure about?

As a culture, we’re obsessed with the notion that confidence is attractive. And it’s true, it is. But that doesn’t mean insecurity is always a turn-off.

In fact, talking frankly about your insecurities requires confidence, or at least bravery. Whining about your least favorite body parts isn’t hot; projecting your own shit onto other people isn’t hot; refusing to take any risks in life because you hate yourself isn’t hot – but owning up to your issues? That’s hot. Especially if owning up to them makes you decide to actually do something about them.

In my life, I’ve only had maybe two or three really open, honest conversations with people about our mutual insecurities. And far from whiny or boring, it was revelatory. There is something incredibly powerful, for your own self-image and for your relationship, about discovering that other people have the same bullshit negative self-talk that you do. Like the NYT article says: “mutual vulnerability fosters closeness.”

3. What was the last thing that made you laugh really, really hard?

Occasionally someone will try to tell you a story or a joke, but they’ll start laughing so hard that they can’t even finish a sentence. Their face goes red, their voice gets hoarse, maybe some tears stream down their cheeks. They keep going back to the beginning of the sentence to try and get through it, but they just can’t, and it’s hilarious.

It’s also fucking adorable.

We all spend most of our time fairly stoic, moving through the world in a calm and orderly way, even if we’re total freaks and weirdos underneath. When you meet a new beau, it might take several dates – or even several months – before you really break through that crust of composure and get to the kooky good stuff underneath.

But if you ask them about the last time they laughed so hard they couldn’t breathe, and then they tell you that story… you’ll get a little preview of their zaniness. A glimpse of how it looks when they let loose, lose control, lose their shit. And that’s cute as fuck.

Bonus reading: Alexandra Franzen has some good lists of 100 questions to spark conversation and connection + 10 of the best first date questions ever.