Why We Need To See More Fat Women In Porn

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Plus-size sexuality shouldn’t be boxed into a category. A trans person is a person, not a category. A fat person is a person, not a category.

What images does the term “porn star” stir up in your mind? Some may think of blondes, some may think of big tits, and some may think of something more creative. But few think of someone who isn’t thin.

Sure, there are different types of porn out there, but there aren’t many different types of porn stars. If you do happen to be different, chances are you’re servicing a niche community. And while that itself isn’t problematic, the lack of representative bodies in mainstream porn certainly is.

April Flores is one of the most well known plus-size performers out there. In 2009, the two-time AVN award winner even had a sex toy molded after her vagina. It’s called the “Voluptuous Cyberskin Pussy,” and it’s been marketed as an “open ended love tunnel.”

This summer, Flores launched her own plus-size porn site, Fat Girl Fantasies. But there’s one thing you won’t see on the site: the term BBW. The phrase, which stands for Big Beautiful Woman, is a staple for most porn sites, a category exclusively designed for plus-size performers. It should also be noted that the plus-sized party is almost always a woman and that these women are almost entirely absent from other categories listed.

Studio collaborator Courtney Trouble of TROUBLEfilms tells AlterNet, “The name of the company is very telling. When you talk about ‘big beautiful women,’ the ‘beautiful’ is often in parentheses. They call us that because they have to reassure us that we’re beautiful. We don’t call porn stars, ‘porn beautiful stars.’ We don’t call women ‘normal beautiful women,’ or ‘small beautiful women.’ We don’t say that. It’s upsetting and it’s problematic even on the basis of what we’re referred to within the industry.”

Flores says, “There’s definitely more dialogue around body diversity and plus-sized people, but I think in media in general, fat is still taboo. Fat is one of those things that’s still OK to make fun of. I’m glad to challenge these stereotypes in porn.” She added, “There needs to be representation of a fat woman who is sexual and competent and happy, and enjoying her sexuality. I see that void, so Courtney and I are going to fill it.”

As the name suggests, Fat Girl Fantasies celebrates the fantasies of fat women, and those fantasies are varied. Fat women don’t always desire fat bodies, just as buff people don’t always desire buff bodies. Then again, sometimes they do. As one performer told AlterNet, “Plus-size people fuck all sorts of people.”

The site features a colorful cast of plus-sized women, like Cinnamon Maxxine, Kitty Stryker, Jade Rose, and more. But it also features standard-sized performers like Asia Akira, trans performers like James Darling and Chelsea Poe, and straight performers like Isiah Maxwell. Scour the web all you want, you’re not likely to run into such a diverse collection of pornographers anywhere else. It’s a multiracial, pansexual, gender-diverse porn haven. Try finding that on the tubes.

“We’re taking our own fantasies. We are fat girls and we are making porn starring fat girls for people who love fat girls. So elements of our own sexuality are absolutely in the scenes, and that’s something that the viewer will hopefully pick up on,” says Flores.

Trouble, who has been dubbed a “queer pornographer” in the past, opts not to assign that label to Fat Girl Fantasies. When asked what term best describes the company, she suggested something along the lines of “alternative porn.” She explained that queer scenes, while featured, exist right alongside straight scenes. Subcategorizing certain bodies into certain genres isn’t something the folks at Fat Girl Fantasies seem particularly interested in.

Flores says, “The company puts everyone on the same level. This is not a category. A trans person is a person, not a category. A fat person is a person, not a category.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having an appreciation for a certain aesthetic. Both Trouble and Flores admit that, often times, fat is fetishized. Trouble says, “Maybe these fantasies aren’t inherently problematic, maybe it’s the way they’re being sold and marketed that’s problematic. I think a lot of the discrimination can be found in the access.”

Perhaps porn companies should look into categorizing their material based on practice, not performers. Anal, for instance, refers to a specific sex act, not the size of those performing it. So why don’t we see more plus-size performers mixed in with their slimmer counterparts when perusing the genre?

Trouble explains, “April does porn to incite self-love in people her size or larger. She does porn in order to reach audiences where her image can be seen as an invitation to unlearn our socialized desire habits.”

When asked what it is about bigger women she finds attractive, Flores said, “Basic shit like ass and tits. I hate to be so stereotypical, but yeah, all those titties, all that ass. The bounce, the jiggle, the flesh. The softness.”

Bringing that “bounce,” that “jiggle,” into a celebrated sexual space is something Flores seems to do particularly well. Especially according to those sporting it.

She explained, “I think my biggest fan base is plus-sized women who look like me, who have bodies like me. I do have my share of male-identified people who like plus-sized women, but the majority, which makes me super happy, are women who say, ‘I’m happy to see someone who looks like me. I’m happy to see someone whose titties droop like mine.’ People crave to see themselves represented.”

So what’s the next step for Fat Girl Fantasies? For one, adding more bodies to the company. Flores says, “The goals for the company I think is to just continue to grow, and hopefully that influences how people view fat women and sexuality, and also how the media views a larger body.”

Porn film director and author Tristan Taormino recently started a social media campaign to get one of porn’s most famous names, James Deen, involved in Fat Girl Fantasies. Let’s see if he steps up to the challenge.

Carrie Weisman is an AlterNet staff writer who focuses on sex, relationships and culture. 

This originally appeared on Alternet. Republished here with permission.

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