There was a girl I used to date during my open marriage. One day when we were eating sushi at one of my favorite restaurants, she confessed to me that she was a “chubby chaser” when it came to men. Her fiance (a heavier guy) was fine with her dating me, and she said she thought Ex-Husband (also overweight) was hot and that she’d date him as well but that it made her fiance too insecure; he had a one penis policy. She went on to extol the virtues of the big dudes she’d been with, the personality traits they seemed to possess. I tried to actively listen but felt myself bristle uncomfortably. I worried what was coming next. And I was right.
“Who’d want a bony guy anyway? It’s not like Skeletor is any fun to cuddle with at night.”
Ah yes, the inevitable backlash. Precisely what I was afraid of. Thankfully, our miso soup arrived, saving me the awkward decision of what to say next.
“Geez,” my mom says on the phone. “What is it with you and big men?”
She’s responding to my revelation that Skyspook is a big guy. I remind her that my fiance in college was tall and lanky and that my ex-boyfriend K was emaciated; I often describe his body as “5 drumsticks stuck together.” I repeat my sentiment that I just don’t have a preference.
She brings up Ex-Husband and my ex-boyfriend in Cleveland, both bigger guys. And chimes in with what I’m already expecting, “Guys without a little meat to them are gross. Your dad’s a big guy, too. Maybe that’s where you get it.” She can’t seem to understand how I can enjoy body types all along the spectrum, that a vote for a member of one extreme doesn’t presuppose a vote against a member of the polar opposite.
I shudder every time a discussion promoting acceptance of larger size people turns into underweight model bashing. Can’t we just accept people of all sizes, even tiny ones?
When Skyspook and I started dating last year, he was literally twice my size. Every now and then, we’d get a strange look when we were out and about, a double take, and even our friends would comment obliquely to me on the mismatch, the discrepancy between our respective body sizes. I’d respond that yes, I was physically attracted to him, that he’s tall, dark, and handsome. He’s also physically the strongest person I’ve ever been involved with. He can lift me easily off the bed with only his legs when we’re fucking. The gym couldn’t measure his max weight press; there weren’t enough weights. He is brutal with bare-handed spanking and punching, ridiculous with a flogger or a cane in his hand. His weight, or overweight, is a non-issue, positive or negative.
But then just the other night, I met him in a dark hallway on my way back from brushing my teeth, and he wrapped his arms around me, and I realized how much smaller he’s gotten through his weight loss – losing 60 pounds over the last 9 months with 40 of those gone in just over a month, and I lost it inside. He didn’t feel like him. He felt like someone else. He sighed happily, sinking into the hug, and the sound of his voice broke through a bit of the strangeness, and I emotionally recognized him. But for the briefest of moments, I was lost.
After he joined me in the bedroom, I told him what had happened, timidly broached the topic, how bothered I was that I’d felt so weird in the hallway a few minutes earlier, that I felt like I was judging him by his shell, rather than who he was, and hypothesized that perhaps I also felt bigger in comparison as he shrank so quickly (I’m losing weight/size, too, but as I have 40 pounds left to go, and he has about 150, our speeds are very different). He laughed and held me, and we made love until there was no doubt as to either of us who the other one was.