Plus-size women get real about 'fat sex' and feeling confident in the bedroom

The founders of theCURVYcon, CeCe Olisa and Ch αstity Garner Valentine, sat down for a live episode of their podcast,  Cocktails and Confidence, on Saturday morning. (Photo: Getty Images)

The opening event of theCURVYcon’s second day featured the convention’s very own founders: curvy influencers Chαstity Garner Valentine and CeCe Olisa. Fashion bloggers turned friends, Valentine and Olisa were inspired to found the three-day convention in 2015 as a way to bring together brands, fashionistas, and influencers in order to — in their words— “chat curvy, shop curvy, and embrace curvy.”

After a laugh-inducing welcome from Ashley Nicole Black (Emmy Award-winning writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee), Valentine and Olisa took the stage to do a live episode of their popular podcast, Cocktails and Confidence. The duo’s most popular episode thus far is one called “I’m Still Fat Sis,” in which they unpack the dichotomy between self-love and wanting to be thinner. “Can you still be body positive and want to lose weight?” Olisa questions. “It’s a sensitive topic for all of us.”

Inspired by the open conversations that episode garnered, the pair decided to wade into an even more sensitive topic on Saturday: sex. Or, as Olisa says, “fat sex.” “We heard you loud and clear,” Olisa tells the audience. “Sometimes you need someone else to bring up the difficult thing you don’t want to talk about.” To tackle the topic, the two brought in Sarah Rae Vargas, an influencer and YouTuber who discusses it in detailed videos for her more than one million subscribers on YouTube.

“We still have the same questions [as non-curvy women], and we’re dealing with the same problems,” says Vargas, who says she herself struggled with the idea of being comfortable in the bedroom. “[But] transparency is so important. So many of us are going through the exact same thing, and the problem is not as big as our brains make it out to be.”

Vargas says step one of becoming comfortable sexually is bringing your insecurities into the light. “Any situation where you’re going to be intimate you need communication … sometimes I notice that the problems that women are going through are stemming from being too afraid to tell their long-term partner what the actual problem is,” she says. “I don’t not want to be naked in front of you; I don’t want to be naked in front of myself. And we need to deal with that first.”

Valentine asked what advice Vargas would give women who want to break down those barriers with their partner, and she suggested simply speaking the truth. “[You can say] my problem is not with me, it’s with us — I want to be more adventurous, I want to do more in the bedroom, but I’m afraid because I don’t want to be laughed at or I don’t want to look funny in that position,” says Vargas. “We can convince ourselves [the problem] doesn’t exist … but if you can open up and actually talk to your partner about it, it makes it so much easier. Because they’re there for a reason.”

Olisa echoed her thoughts. “That person is there for a reason — they’re there because they love you. People don’t show up for people they don’t want to show up for. So if someone is showing up for you in an intimate way, they want to be there. But if our relationship with ourselves is not in a good place, then it is a nonstarter,” says Olisa. “So I almost feel like talking about the partnership is part two, and talking about the partnership with ourselves is part one. Basically, solo sex [laughter].”

In all seriousness, Vargas suggested that women do get to know themselves — whether on an intimate level or spiritual one — before diving into a relationship. “Learn your body, accept who you are, because it makes the rest of your life so much easier,” says Vargas. “It makes getting dressed easier, it makes going out for that job or relationship easier, because you feel worth everything.”

In terms of building confidence sexually, Vargas suggested women start with lingerie. “Lingerie is fire on that body, all the time. You can take pictures for yourself, just wear it around. Whenever I mention it, people always get back to me and say they feel amazing,” she says. “I think that’s a huge motivating thing: The better you feel, the better you’re going to make someone else feel.”


Valentine chimed in about taking the lingerie a step further. “I feel like a little practice with angles never hurt anybody,” says Valentine. “We take photos for a living; we’ve done it for years, and I don’t know this personally, but I know that people practice angles [laughter]. So you know, practice angles so you know how you look your best.”

The discussion eventually turned to more practical questions — like which positions Vargas recommends (think: on top), what mattresses are best for curvy women, and how to fit sex into a busy schedule, but the women ending by talking about the need for better representation of curvy women being sexual onscreen.

‘When I did my last [theater] performance for grad school, they gave me a love song and made the person I was singing it to this tiny, short white man. I couldn’t understand why they did that,” says Olisa, who originally was studying to become an actress. “But then finally it hit me like, ‘Oh, a plus-size woman in love is still seen as a joke — like it’s only funny, it can’t be a real thing. And that’s when I started to realize, like, I will never be seen as the girl that gets the guy, the romantic version. So that’s what I’m always looking for in media when it comes to plus-size relationships: normalcy.”

Yahoo Lifestyle live-streamed theCURVYcon 2018. Check out our full coverage, here and catch another great moment, below: 

Read more about theCURVYcon 2018: