Doing porn helped me love and respect my fat body

August 16 | Guest post by Chimaera Gray
Photo by Chimaera Gray
Photo by Chimaera Gray

Like many other people who are fat children who become fat teenagers before being fat adults, I learned from a young age that my body was "never meant to be desirable or sexy." Whether it was people fucking me in secret, to being ashamed to walk with me hand-in-hand in public, to asking me out on a date as a dare or a joke — these views on fat bodies were reinforced by my family, my peers, old partners, and the media.

But I'm not here to talk to you about how shitty society is to fat people, I am here to tell you how being a fat porn performer positively changed how I view my body, and its worthiness, sexiness, and desirability.

See, when I was a young adult I never imagined myself having sex — not even in my fantasies. My body just never featured at all. I was disembodied, or I imagined myself with a new, thin body. I just couldn't fantasize about having sex with someone while also making my fat body part of that sexual fantasy. I suffered a lot of dysphoria about my body, and how I inhabited it, how it looked and existed in the world — there was a strong disconnect between my brain and my body, especially in regards to sexuality.

It took years of work to slowly unpack and challenge all the social conditioning that made me believe I was unworthy, and to really bridge this connection between brain and body. I began critically thinking about the things I believed about my body, and what it was capable of. I got angry about furniture not being rated to hold my weight, or about being discriminated against by medical professionals. But the one thing I didn't shake was my belief that my body wasn't good enough for sex.

I believed my body couldn't be sexy or desirable. Fat bodies are never portrayed in the media as being sexy in a way which is positive or empowering, so there is simply very little representation for fat people as sexual beings.

In January I became a sex worker making indie amateur pornography. I took a deep breath, hit record, and filmed some videos of myself. It was difficult and confronting. It was even more confronting when I had to open the footage and watch it while editing it to make it suitable for release. I found myself tabbing out of the window, so embarrassed and ashamed to watch videos of myself masturbating because I felt bad about how I looked. Yet, with each video it got easier.

I made 10… 20… 30 videos. I edited them. I watched them from start to finish. I even kind of got turned on watching videos of myself. I sold the videos. I got compliments from my sex working peers, and also from my customers. My husband started taking photos of my naked body in various poses to use as promotional photo sets. I was surprised by the eager look on his face as he snapped photos of my body in every conceivable position, pose, point-of-view. He told me I was beautiful, and it was the first time I ever believed him.

I felt differently when I looked at my body in the mirror. I felt differently when I watched and edited my porn, or when I looked at my nude photos. I appreciated the way my breasts hung naturally, or the shimmer of my stretch marks, or the folds in my fat as I sat down. I even appreciated the way my body jiggled and quaked with each step I took. I felt differently about people seeing my nude body, and I felt differently about looking at my own nude body.

Doing sex work is hard for a lot of reasons, but I cannot deny the overwhelmingly positive affect it has had on me and my relationship to my body. I no longer feel disembodied, but absolutely present in myself and my body. I respect my body, and I demand respect from others when they speak about it. I am proud of my fat body, and its partially thanks to porn.

Thanks, porn. I owe ya one!

Join our community!

  1. Really awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also have always struggled with my body. I have always felt shame about myself and had issues with seeing myself as sexy, intelligent, desirable, etc. I've worked very hard to "own" my body and love it as it is… not as I think it "should" be or how I think others would prefer it to be. It is powerful and difficult to accept yourself for how you are (at least in my experience). I'm interested how you began thinking of doing sex work- was it specifically body loving empowerment? Oooh! I have about a million questions! Again, Thanks for sharing!!

    7 agree
    • Hi! I'm so glad you liked my post!

      I had a lot of friends already doing various forms of sex work, and I followed a lot of sex workers (esp fat ones doing porn!) on social media, so I was already turning it over in my mind for a long time before I started.

      I'd quit my day job and was working from home as a full time starving artist, and I thought it'd be a good way to earn some extra $$ as pocket money basically, my own money to use as I wish (I am financially supported by my husband) so I didn't lose my financial independence while waiting for this artist thing to kick into gear.

      Partially though, it's because I was pissed off there wasn't as much representation for fat bodies in porn. It's not fair that the porn I like to watch wasn't available with performers that looked like me, coming out of mainstream studios anyway. I was pissed off and determined to set myself on a path to make my own damn representation in this world!

      6 agree
  2. "My body just never featured at all. I was disembodied, or I imagined myself with a new, thin body."
    This is every fantasy I've ever had. I've never heard anyone else say it, and I'm glad to hear you say it. Thank you.

    10 agree
  3. This was a seriously awesome read! I especially love that your husband was an active supporter of this! I can't imagine how empowering it must feel! As a very sexual person married to a very non-sexual person, this is something I often fantasize about doing–just being sexual for my own enjoyment and for someone else!

    • Thanks! My husband has always strongly (and rightfully) believed our bodies belong to ourselves, and we need not justify our decisions about body autonomy to each other. He's pretty great (so am I lol) and he loves that I'm doing stuff that makes me happy and makes me feel accomplished.

      1 agrees
  4. Ironically enough, when I did indie porn for two years (on Southern Charms), I got a lot of comments along the lines of "if only you were a bit fatter" (from my fellow performers and also from my fans). I'm so glad it was a positive, freeing experience for you (and hopefully you made/make bank, too, as clearly luscious women's bodies are in demand in the porn industry)!

    • I don't work for mainstream studios (amateur indie atm) simply due to location (I live in a remote part of Australia), but there's not much work for me in mainstream studios anyway because I'm over their line of acceptability for body types (too far into BBW). I'm really enjoying seeing the work of more inclusive queer indie studios though, with representation for fat, poc, queer, trans people! It makes my heart go pitter-patter!

  5. I'm glad that you're happy. Personally though, I find it a bit sad that you could only love your body once you found out it was sexually pleasing to men. Can we not love ourselves outside of being sexually objectified?

    1 agrees
    • It has nothing to do with being objectified or making content for the consumption of men (some of my customers are women or non-binary!) or about the amount of money I made. It was about seeing myself on video and accepting what I saw there, loving what I saw, and having a new respect for myself. I am not exploited, I am very happy with my life and my work! As are many of the sex workers and porn performers I know.

      9 agree
    • Love ourselves? Sure. But this post was specifically addressing feeling sexy and desirable. It's kinda hard to feel sexy with out being sexual in some way.

      We shouldn't be viewed as JUST sexual objects, but we as people still ARE sexual objects and (unless you're asexual) we want to feel as successful at actualizing that part of ourselves as any other. There is nothing wrong with that.

      4 agree
  6. Thanks for this! I had a similar experience. I was a fat child, fat teenager, fat adult. I was told repeatedly (by family, media, etc) that I was never going to be desirable to anyone. Period. When I was 21 I met a man who changed my entire world view. He actually made it clear that he found my fat body extremely sexy. I still had a hard time accepting it. And then I started taking nude pictures of myself, and videos. My photos were accepted into an adult magazine (yes, I'm old enough that this was all before the internet took off) and I felt a rush of confidence. OMG, people actually DID want to look at me. I started doing more and it was amazing for me. It helped me find a confidence in myself that most people and traditional media didn't want me to have. Thanks porn!

    2 agree
    • That's awesome! I remember the adult magazines that took submissions, but I've never submitted to them myself ๐Ÿ™‚

      I'm so glad you enjoyed my writing, and that you can relate in a similar way!

      2 agree
  7. Can I first of all say how delighted I am with this post. Good for you! I am so happy that your view of your body has positively changed it gives hope to us gals who still struggle with it. My mum has been 'on a diet' and shaming me since I was a little girl. Only now in my late 30s am I starting to think I'm ok as I am. I still have wobbles but I'm so inspired by you. Thanks for sharing with us xx

    2 agree
    • Unfortunately for many of us we have our attitudes to our bodies (and the bodies of others) shaped for us in childhood by the adults around us. I was about 5 when I first remember it starting, and that baggage was carried with me for a long time.

      I have a really strong determination to never let a child, especially my own, hear negative talk about bodies from me. I can't change the mistakes my parents made with me, but I can choose to not make the same ones!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed my piece! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I'm just starting to explore getting into sex work (camming) to make some extra money while I'm in grad school. This post was inspirational for me in making me feel that I don't have to have the stereotypical 'ideal body type' to enjoy it and be enjoyed. Thank you! <3

    1 agrees
    • You're welcome!! If you do get into it, drop me a line (you can reach me through my WordPress or other social media) as I run a sex workers only forum for skill sharing. I know plenty of fat or BBW babes doing cam performing ๐Ÿ™‚ I won't lie, you have to hustle harder than a worker with less marginalisation, but you can hold you own with hard work!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.