A few enjoy more casual sexual experiences, while others are happy in their committed relationships. But I didn’t have the confidence to go up to guys at bars. ’ And when I’d say no, they’d turn around and go, ‘Oh, well, you’re fat anyway.’ It’s so terrible."That’s so hard. And I did gain weight while we were together, and he didn’t care…"So he was the first man who acted right. They find plus women sexy, but they don’t want to say it out loud."And they lead with this in their messages? And I’m like, I’m not super concerned with it on a day-to-day basis, unless I have to put on clothes. I’m not on Fet Life where I’m actively looking for that.But all of them have dealt with one specific thing: their bodies being at the forefront of the dating conversation. And from speaking to other women, I know that that’s not a unique experience. He acted correctly, and because of the way we talk to plus women about their bodies, you feel like you need to give him credit. I don’t have to accept less than what I deserve because of my body."Laura Delarato, 30, Brooklyn Sex Educator & Branded Video Producer, Refinery29Talk to me a little about your dating ethos, as a plus-size woman who also identifies as queer. The rest of my day is filled with work or my interests. And my profile, or how I present when I walk into a bar, doesn’t scream, ‘I’m looking for someone to feed me food.’ Which, P.And to uncover just how different it can be to date as a plus-size person, we spoke to five women from across the country. Join as Refinery29 gives these women their own megaphone, doubling down on our commitment as allies, and partnering with them to catapult their powerful conversations into a true historic movement. I haven’t been plus-size my whole life, but I’ve always been overweight. I’ve been fed this idea that I’m not good enough, and that I have to give an ex-boyfriend credit for appreciating my body.Some date online, while others choose a more "traditional" route. #We Are The67Natalie Craig, 25, Chicago Plus-Size Fashion Blogger at Natalie in the City Are you currently single? Back then, my mentality was like, ‘I will just be lucky for anyone to love me.’ And now that’s kind of changed to where I feel like, ‘I’m worthy of love, no matter what.’ That’s just sort of been aided by these movements and being able to have my blog and being able to speak to so many women about accepting themselves at the size that they are."With that being said, I felt like dating was a little bit harder for me three years ago because of that mentality. I always had fun dating, and I’ve always been really happy being single. I’d have a guy text me and be like, ‘Do you want to meet up and have sex tonight? But he was the first man to tell me that I didn’t have to lose weight, that I could gain weight.As a straight-sized person, I sometimes get slut-shamed if I turn a guy down, but I don’t get body-shamed. Well, aside from my ex-boyfriend, who I met on Tinder and who wound up being pretty great."I feel like, in the time since I’ve been off Tinder, I’ve really gotten to a place where I’m more confident in myself, and that comes from the blog and these movements."How did you get to that place? I feel like this relationship that I was just in — he was the first boyfriend who never told me that I had to lose weight. When in reality, he just acted the way a good person should act."We prop up men who date differently-sized women as heroes, and they’ll pat themselves on the back. I follow Robbie and his wife Sarah, and I’ve loved them for a really long time. "I think for me, I’m hyper-aware of how language is used when it comes to talking about me and my body on dating sites, or when I’m at a bar, or wherever I meet another person. But the fetishization tends to come when people make assumptions about what plus-size women actually like. S., do not do, because I have a lot of food allergies."Aside from being plus, you also identify as queer.Having a stranger attack you for your body shape has to be so disheartening. Back then, it would really affect me, and I’d think, ‘Am all I good for is sex? ’ It felt like they thought they could say whatever they wanted to me because they didn’t see me as a person. Now I’ve got guys DMing me on Instagram asking to take me out on a date. Do you think that being in a relationship for three years helped or hindered that? Every other boyfriend would be like, ‘Damn, if you were to drop however much weight, you’d be a supermodel.’ Men have outwardly said that to me."That’s ridiculous. And it’s really sad and tough, because you also have your parents at home who question what you’re eating, or asking if you want to go to the gym. This last boyfriend, I really do have to give him credit. And when I saw the post, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so great! But we should not be putting men on a pedestal for liking curvy bodies. It’s very prevalent for plus-size women to constantly have their bodies be the forefront of the conversation for a lot of reasons. Like, I’ve gotten messages from men — it’s male-specific, biologic, cisgendered men — who want to feed me all the time. Do you feel like you’re more fetishized for one than the other? I feel like the BBW [Big Beautiful Woman] thing [gets more attention].
But plus women often have an entirely different experience with dating than women who are considered straight-size. "Before I got into this relationship, I’d just found the fat acceptance movement and body positivity.
He said: 'The stuff that you love from last year is still there, and the stuff that people thought maybe went off on tangents, we've looked at. I just thought season one was interesting to watch.
'There was never anything that I outright didn't like.
They just saw me as fat."Were the advances you got more sexual than romantic? I don’t know if that was because I was so young, and that’s just what was on people’s minds. I hope so many men see this.’ But then I started thinking, and I was like, ‘Wait. It’s problematic, but we have that internal war within ourselves."So when you asked me if it was the relationship that helped, my answer is no — it was myself. And I’ve had to face some ugly truths in this relationship about how I view myself and my work and what kind of love I accept and think I deserve. I look at myself in the mirror and I think, ‘You are beautiful. And I don’t categorize myself as BBW in any way, just because it is a category. But that gets brought up first — mainly because the queer thing only gets brought up if I mention it. If a man swipes on me, he tends to assume I’m straight.
That’s just kind of how it’s been in my experience.