The Fat Person's Guide to Facesitting
“I used to be scared that I was going to literally kill someone...then I realized that if a man dies while his face is being sat on, he died doing what he loved.”
Rachel Matheson. Photo courtesy of subject
After years of exhilarating, underwhelming, and experimental fat sex, I have come to this conclusion: I love facesitting. For the uninitiated, facesitting is the act of sitting on a person’s face. To be frank, it’s one of the best orgasms I’ve ever had.
As a fat woman, I’ve experienced hang-ups about my naked body and sex. I questioned if I could even try something like facesitting. When I started having sex, I didn’t let anyone touch my belly—so the thought of wrapping my thighs around someone’s head and squatting down on them seemed like something for other people, not me. My insecurities stemmed from within. I would stare at my naked body in a mirror and ask myself: Am I too fat to try this specific sex act? Will I crush my partner?
I’m not the only fat woman to have experienced this fear. “I used to be scared that I was going to literally kill someone,” 28-year-old Toronto resident Rachel Matheson tells me. “Then I realized that if a man dies while his face is being sat on, he died doing what he loved.”
It took me a long time to get to a place where I realized my insecurities were in my head. I learned that people of all sizes can enjoy all forms of sex if you approach it right. But how to get out of your head, and enjoy facesitting for the first time?
It’s OK to feel anxious the first time
You have to be confident to try facesitting, but confidence can also come with practice. The first time Matheson tried it, she was so worried about how she looked and smelled that she lost sight of what was happening. But now she's a convert.
Anxiety about how your genitals smell and look affects women of all sizes and ages. But don’t let that fear take away from your wants, needs, and desires. Start looking at your naked body in the mirror and appreciating it, not just during sex but each and every single day.
Watch: How to Get Over Your Ex
Communicate verbally and non-verbally about your desires
Sex therapist Sonalee Rashatwar, who uses they/them pronouns, tells me that couples need to have explicit conversations about what verbal and non-verbal indicators display that the experience is pleasurable for the person on the bottom. If the person on top becomes too engrossed in the act, they may block the bottom partner's air supply. Rashatwar suggests the bottom partner tap on the top partner's thighs or arms, to let the person on top know if they need a little more air.
“There should be ongoing communication," Rashatwar explains. "Not just in the form of, 'Can you breathe?' but also, 'Are you enjoying this? Is this getting you off? Am I arousing you? What can I do to make this feel better? Are there toys we could be using? How could I have made this more pleasurable for you?'”
Couples should discuss what they specifically enjoy in advance. “Not all folks enjoy oral pleasure like clitoral stimulation and not all folks enjoy anal pleasure like rimming,” Rashatwar says. Get your desires out in the open before you climb on top, to ensure the experience is pleasurable for everyone.
Find techniques that work for your body
Facesitting can be challenging for some fat people, but Rashatwar has tips to make things easier. They suggest the bottom partner use a pillow to prop up their neck, so they have enough space to breathe and move their neck and arms throughout the act. If you have a memory foam bed at home, Rashatwar suggests moving to a firm ottoman, or the floor, as the memory foam could cause the two parties to sink into the bed and feel unstable.
A pillow under the bottom partner's neck also enables the person on top, who’s doing the facesitting, to have some support under their legs. This is great if they have knee problems. Ultimately, though, both parties should experiment until they find a facesitting position that works for them.
Listen to your body
Being a fat girl on top can be physically tiring. Listen to your body. If your quads start to hurt, or it doesn't feel comfortable, take a break and check in with yourself. I like to grab a glass of water, or go to the bathroom for some down time.
Facesitting puts you in control
No matter your size or weight, facesitting is a sex act where the focus is entirely on you: you get to be the one in control of the own sensation. “Facesitting is all about putting me in control of my own sexual pleasure and using someone else's body to get it,” explains 27-year-old Minerva Siegel, a disabled writer and model from Milwaukee. Siegel doesn’t facesit all the time; it’s something she has to be in the mood for. Siegel loves that when she does do it, she gets to be in control. “I can control the ways in which my body is stimulated, which can sometimes lead to a better sexual experience.”
As a fat person, you can feel disenfranchised from sexual pleasure. Studies show that fat people are sometimes stereotyped as being lazy, incompetent, and unattractive. Fat-shaming attitudes can have a serious impact on a person's ability feel confident sexually.
I speak from experience: it was only when I discovered the fat acceptance movement, through Tumblr and the works of authors like Virgie Tovar, than I realized that fat people like myself are sexually desirable agents in our own right. Fat people deserve all the pleasure in the world. But too often, we’re fetishized, made to feel ashamed of our bodies, or people assume that we're celibate. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
"My body is lush, plush, cozy, and comfy," Siegel says. "I deserve mind-blowing orgasms just as much as anyone else and—I make sure I get them.”
This article originally appeared on VICE US.