Where My (Chubby, Butch) Girls At?

I write a lesbian sex blog\’a dirty, funny, and irreverent lesbian sex blog that sometimes aims to educate or enlighten people, but mostly aims to make readers horny. I have modeled much of my blogging style after blogs I’ve admired over the years, like early AfterEllen, Jezebel, Effing Dykes, Racialicious, and so on. To that end, I frequently post suggestive, sometimes downright pornographic, photos of lesbians or lesbian sex.

Or this:

Don’t mind us, we’re just fucking. (Courtesy: Elles Tumblr)

Where are the photos of a butch woman slyly taking off a chick’s panties? Or rolling around on the beach in butch lingerie? Where are the photos of two butch women in an erotic tug of war over the harness?

And if I thought finding photos of butches were difficult, I was in store for a real treat when I went on the hunt for chubby chicks.

Since the start of my blogging career, I have been a big fan of the fat acceptance and body-positive movements. (I mean, I’m no Kate Moss, so these movements are pertinent to me.) I wanted my blog to regularly represent as many different body types as possible. But guess what, folks? Photos of fat women who love other women (big or not) are virtually non-existent.

I am a big fan of Tumblr, otherwise known to me as the Wild West of the internet. I follow many Tumblrs whose sole purpose is to post naked photos of full-figured women. I scour those photos weekly, hoping each time that I will find a treasure chest of girl-on-girl action. Occasionally I find a photo to add to my “likes, but more often than not, I come away completely empty-handed.

So why is it that butch women and large women are left behind when it comes to soft-core erotic photography? Well, I can’t really be sure, and I’m positive there’s a PhD dissertation in this question somewhere, but what I can do is theorize.

I think in both cases we are looking at categories of women who are viewed by mainstream America as inherently unattractive. Anyone who has access to television, film and print media knows that a common narrative in America is fat=disgusting. And when fat women are portrayed as sexual beings, it is often for comedy or fetishizing.  Then apply these issues to another marginalized and fetishized group, like lesbians, and you really have a shitstorm. If pornography’s primary customer base is men, and the tradition of lesbian pornography has been to appeal to the straight male gaze, then the depiction of two fat women fucking is just not.gonna.happen.

The same could be said for butch women\’they are unappealing to the mainstream straight male gaze and are, therefore, useless in a money-making erotic business. And what if we add both together? Two large, butch women (maybe even of color!) taking turns spanking and fucking? Or how about engaged in sweet lovemaking? Well, I won’t hold my breath looking for that one.

I’m not convinced erotic photography of these marginalized groups doesn’t exist, but I am convinced you have to really be looking to find it, and that’s what I’m most upset by. I am really looking for it and I consistently have trouble finding it. I am the target audience for such a venture! If I can’t uncover a hidden bastion of soft-core erotica featuring these kinds of women, then there isn’t much hope of changing the mainstream perceptions of what is acceptable and (gasp!) normal, which, in the end, is what I really want to come of my life and my sex blog. A tall order, I know, but I’m giving it a shot, one photo at a time.

Airial Clark

As of May 2012, I will have completed my Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. Prior to attending graduate school, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2007 with a double major BA in English Literature and Anthropology while raising two young sons as a single parent. At Cal, I was President of the Student Parent Association. I am a regular contributor to the Sex Positive Photo Project of the SF Bay Area and Shades Magazine. I have presented my original research at multiple academic conferences and symposiums. I will be presenting my Master’s Thesis Study at the OpenSF Conference this June. I have trained with Community at Work to be a group facilitator and am fully committed to the participatory process of decision making.

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