If You Like Big Breasts You Like Fat Girls

About two years ago I was delivering a guest lecture to an auditorium filled with burgeoning sexuality scholars – or maybe just pervy undergrads who needed elective credits. It was a “Variations in Human Sexuality” course at San Francisco State University. I had been invited to discuss my identity as a breast fetishist, my book on the subject, and to ponder on the complexity of sexuality as evidenced by my own: how can a girl who is largely straight have such a singular obsession with something so thoroughly a feature of female anatomy?

As an aside, some would say my sexuality is not so complex or even unusual. “Sexual fluidity” or “heteroflexibility” are terms that have made the recent rounds in discussions of human sexuality. A psychoanalyst I’d met on a phone chatline for dating and sex (yes, of the TelePersonals variety) once told me that the girl child’s first experience of great pleasure is at the breast and therefore deeply homoerotic. He also theorized that I treated my clitoris like a penis and was able to metabolize this seeming contradiction (i.e. straight girl with boob love) by taking on a masculine alter ego during masturbation. But back to the matter at hand: fat girls and boobs.

After the lecture the professor and I were talking and a student joined us. We were walking down the hall of the social sciences building and he (the student) was going on excitedly about his own love of big breasts. I was already beginning to congratulate myself for possessing the object(s) of this young man’s desire when he said… “but I like really skinny girls with big, natural breasts. You know, like in anime.” My first response was some combination of incredulous laughter and ego deflation. A condascending “Good luck with that” was all that I managed to get out as I walked away.

The diametrical opposition of the desire for the “really skinny” and the large-breasted was so incredibly obvious to me. This desire struck me as odd, neurotic, counter-factual, akin to a child’s naive belief in Santa Claus and as ridiculous as people who spend their lives searching for yetis. Big breasts are indisputably, deeply and inescapably correlated with fat bodies. That is, fat girls have big breasts.. or would at least be the likeliest candidates. You would think that the US obsession with large breasts would create a de facto culture of fat positivity, but somehow that didn’t work out. Well, at least it didn’t work out like that exactly.

I’m a bit late in discussing a finding that came out earlier this year. The finding can be summarized by the title of an article on MSN.com: “News Flash: Lots of Guys Like Fat-Chick Porn.” From said article: “men search for images of overweight women three times more often than they search for images of skinny-minis.” This brings me back to another conversation I recently had with a table of ex-pats over some delicious Szechuan in Beijing. We were talking about my favorite subject: fat. The British guy across the table (a secret human rights activist risking life and limb in China) said something like “women in queer community tend to be 15% fatter than their heterosexual counterparts.” It reminded me of the many times I’ve had women (often fat women) straightforwardly (and guilelessly) ask me: “Do you think fat women are likelier to be lesbians?” In these moments I try to remind myself that this is the internalized oppression talking. I gave the British guy some very academic answer to his implied query, but later I thought: people on the outside of the mainstream don’t feel the same pressure to adhere to mainstream ideals that people within it do. So, rather than fatness creating lesbianism, lesbianism perhaps creates freedom from desiring thin bodies exclusively. I’m not implying that queer community is some magical land unaffected by sizeism… or racism or classism, now that we’re on the subject.

But if this article suggests that people are watching and presumably getting off to fat girls at an incredible rate, then why don’t we see something resembling commensurate rates of public displays of fat girl admiration? There are a thousand theories each with their own history lesson in the sociology of beauty, but I want to skip the history for now and focus on my theory: thinness is a social and sexual ideal; people who adhere to ideals get social/sexual capital; we live in a sexual economy based on capital; people who date or marry people with social capital get more social capital. the end. It’s sort of like, you have a dollar and I have a dollar and we both have some cultural and mutually agreed upon belief about what that dollar is worth and if I have more dollars then I can buy a hot tub. The more invested you are in the economy the more you crave the capital that the economy is dealing in.

What I find interesting is the way that breasts are capital in a sexual economy that seems to also value thinness. Hmm.. either someone is lying or people are very invested in finding magical creatures. It’s an economical conundrum, so to speak. As a woman who has always, always been some degree of fat (never below 170 pounds and now a 256 pound woman) and has had incredible success both romantically and sexually, I sense and see and feel the contradiction. In speaking with fat girls about their sexualities (and pondering on my own fat girl sexuality) I’ve stumbled upon a phenomenon: fat girls know that boobies are sexual capital and may choose to leverage their sexual capital as a way to soften the stigma of their fatness. Boobies can become a “free fat girl pass.” In the typical sexual economy, being in a relationship with a fat girl publicly is considered negative. You add big boobs to the mix and you may very well end up with a situation in which you’re pathologized as a “boob lover” rather than a “chubby chaser.” Boobs have these kinds of amazing powers to mix up economics!

I write this to all people who have those lingering fatphobic feelings, those attractions that don’t add up: if you like big boobs you like fat girls. It’s inescapable. No amount of number crunching or wishful thinking will make this untrue. Dissect your attractions, accept and then love them for what they are, de-invest in the bubble economy, and you’ll see that sexiness is all around you. The other day a cute man who fundamentally understood that he was attracted to my body – my belly, my skin, my big boobs, my jiggly thighs, my fat – asked me “How does it feel to know that your body is superior to other women’s?”

I replied that one gets used to it.

Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar is the author/editor of the upcoming fat positive anthology Hot &Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds an MA in Human Sexuality, is certified as a sex educator, and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book, Destination DD: Adventures of a Brest Fetishist with 40DDs. After teaching Female Sexuality at UC Berkeley she went onto host The Virgie Show (CBS Radio) from 2007-2008. When she’s not teaching sexuality seminars or shimmying as her burlesque alter ego, Dulce de Lecherous, she is creating content for her video blog: Virgie Tovar’s Guide to Fat Girl Living. Virgie has been featured on Playboy Radio and Women’s Entertainment Television. She lives in San Francisco.

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3 Responses

  1. Very thought provoking, edgy and sweet at the same time, and spot on.  I love that you called out the magical creature nature of the “skinny girl with natural big boobs” and I’d add to that that your straight-girl-with-a-breast-fetish status is NOT rare…. Like, who doesn’t love breasts?  I think we’re genetically programmed for it, and thye’re just plain lovely and comforting. 
    I was a long-time skinny girl who gained weight AND pushed my sexuality underground to ensure I’d be faithful after I met my husband.  I worked through that and regained my self-trust, at which point I could realize that being fat in no way diminished my hotness.  I did lose weight again after that, but viscerally understand now that no matter how much internalized weightism a woman has, she’s at least as sensual and desirable to real live people (if not to magazine ad casting agents) with more curves. 
    Thanks for calling it all out.  Let’s dismantle this “economy”!  Sexy at every size, inside and out.

  2. brittle_star says:

    Hmm.  I can’t say I agree with your premise, although I dearly wish that it was true.  These are the things I believe are true: 1) some people with fat bodies have big boobs; 2) some people with fat bodies don’t have big boobs; 3) some people like fat bodies with big boobs; 4) some people like fat bodies without big boobs;  5) some people like fat bodies and don’t care about boob size; 6) some people like big boobs and a thinner body.  In my experience, though, I don’t believe “if you like big boobs, you like fat bodies” is universally true.  See points 2, 4, 5 and 6 above.
    I’m a fat women with big boobs.  I started developing boobs in 5th grade.  By 7th grade, I was “smuggling grapefruit,” as they say (or, in actuality, they were more like two large sized navel oranges at that age; the grapefruits would develop later).  Along with my boobs, my body fat began to grow, especially in my mid-section.  As I grew and developed, my body shape became what it was destined to become due to genetic heritage: a body with broad shoulders, slimmer hips, a broad torso, big boobs, big tum, flat ass and slimmer thighs.  My body is not what most would call “proportional,” or “curvy.”  My boobs and belly are curved, but I don’t have echoing curves on my backside, or hip-width.
    Because of my less proportional body shape, I’ve had a harder time finding dates than some fat people.  I’ve encountered many guys on fat dating websites and “fat admirer” communities who are attracted to fat bodies with big boobs… as long as they’re proportional to the person’s hips or bum area.  They’re not as interested in a fat body with big boobs and tum, but not so much going on downstairs.

    That’s not to say that my boobs haven’t been sometimes useful in helping me find sexual partners.  For those who are visually attracted to big boobs, mine – like many others – will attract the eye.  But I’ve only found this to  be true in person, when I’ve been out at a dance club and wearing something more revealing.  On dating websites (both fat friendly and not), my full body pics have never drawn as much interest as people with more proportional fat bodies, or thinner bodies with big boobs.  And when I’m dressed more conservatively, my boobs rarely draw attention.  Apparently, if you put the appetizer on a plate in front of someone and they’re in the room, they’ll be much more inclined to sample the appetizer than they will if they can only look at pics of it on the menu and have to wait for it to arrive after they’ve ordered it.
    I personally know several women who naturally have thinner bodies and larger boobs and have observed their greater success in finding sexual partners, dates and lasting relationships, in comparison to mine.  I’ve seen the same happen, although with less frequency, to people with more proportional fat bodies, too.  I’ve yet to see it happen to the person who inhabits *this* fat body, though.  Which leads me to conclude that, while some people are attracted to fat bodies with big boobs, it’s certainly not a universally true statement for everyone.  And in my experience, more people are attracted to thinner bodies with big boobs than fat ones.  It sucks, and as I wrote above, I dearly wish the opposite were true.  But I’ve yet to see it be unproven.
     
     

  3. Diana says:

    Really enjoyed this piece and your writing style, so I hope to read more of your articles in the future. I have always been overweight until last year when I lost some weight for a short period of time. And guess what, my boobs got tiny, but never fear they returned with the weight 🙂 I Do have one question tho where are you pursuing your masters degree? I’m always looking for a great sexuality studies program.