A theory

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Mme.X Mme.X
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A theory

Well, I just finished a big project that I was working on (not the really big one that I ultimately want to finish, but a smaller yet difficult one that took two months of intense immersion), so I thought I'd take a break and visit MFS.  Lots happening!  In an effort to dodge the ad hominems and offer a new thread, I thought I'd ask a question that I've been thinking about for a while, and which the latest home page "story" once again prompted.

As you might have notice, tucked into the skinny guy posting on the home page, there is the fleeting reference to the fact that his obese wife is "scared of sexual relationships" and "obsessed with finding a female sexual partner."  He brushes this off saying, "but that's another issue."

Oh, is it?

My theory (and it really is idle and tentative and just being thrown out there) is that the fat spouses whose fat is negatively affecting their sex lives do not in fact want to sleep with their thin spouses.   There could be many reasons for it.  Our culture tends to look immediately to the 'gay' vs. 'straight' distinction, although I think that's a pretty limited way to look at things, and that sexual issues are way more complicated than that.  Anyhow, for whatever reason, I wonder to what extent fat is a buffer -- a literal, intentional, material, effective buffer.

Now obviously, it's also an addition and a habit.  It takes on a life of its own.  But why did that habit start?  It was a way of getting physical pleasure without having to engage another to get it.  Now whether that is because the available partner is not what one was looking for, or because sex itself is not what one was looking for, it doesn't matter.  The fat is a way of saying, "Go Away" (sexually).  The eating is a way of having sex alone.

The problem is, relationships are about a lot more than just sex, so even as this is happening, other parts of the relationship can be okay (child-rearing, conversation, co-ordinating a household, etc.), and the thin spouse (in many cases) cherishes all these other things while wondering how to "heal" the sexual part of the relationship.  But it might not be in the power of the thin spouse at all because the very thing that the thin spouse wants to "heal" is in fact working very well for the heavy spouse.

This is, of course, a bummer.  Because it means that no matter how beautiful, sexy, delightful, understanding, flexible, and available one tries to be, nothing will work.  And because the relationship never was just about sex in the first place, it's not just a matter of "walking away."  At least, for me it isn't.  There are just too many other things that are helpful or delightful to let me leave them all.  And another part of me wonders: was the writing on the wall there from the beginning, anyhow?  Didn't I have a clue then?  Wasn't it clear that I was the stronger force of sexual need even then?  And so now, I'm just supposed to say, oops?

There.  My thoughts for the day.  Hope you all (and I mean all) are having a good weekend.  All the best.
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
loveinaturtleshell loveinaturtleshell
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Re: A theory

It is hard work raising a family, making a living, having a social life...all that.   It wears a person out, and stamina is important for sexual desire.    Women seem to take on loads of problems, and they do way too much, and they overeat as a way of managing their anxiety --- soon the fat is there ---and it causes its own physical problems, not to mention many overweight people do not feel attractive.   My cousin had a problem with his wife -- she was very overweight, and he told us he was celibate for eight years!    My mom told him that he waited about seven and half years too long in divorcing her.   Now he has a lovely wife, she runs 10k races, and this marriage had made such a difference in him.   Eventually, it came out that his first wife had been sexually abused by her uncle, and a neighbor.   Did she acquire an armor of fat to avoid the trauma that sex must have caused her?   We don't know, but Madam X,  your comment about fat being used to avoid sex sounds very much what happened in his marriage.  

Food is always there, and easy.   Sex is not so easy, and for some people, they revisit abuse each time they engage in intercourse.    Some people do choose food instead of sex.    (I still think good sex beats a good meal though..sigh..)    LIATS
Midnight Man Midnight Man
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Re: A theory

I think there's definitely a truth to your theory.

My girlfriend was sexually abused as a child. She acknowledges that she began comfort-eating as a child because of this and that she still turns to food when depressed, anxious or stressed now she's an adult. We tend to go through sexual phases. There will be short periods of time where we have sex every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Then we may go for a week, two weeks or more without any sex at all. Neither of us can figure out exactly what leads to these sexual mood swings but I think she understands that it's almost certainly related to her size.

She doesn't seem to be in any form of denial as to the impact of her weight. She recently said that it's quite likely that we wouldn't be able to have children (she hasn't had a period for about two years). I frequently feel that she chooses food over sex and, more broadly, over our relationship.

She hasn't suggested it for a long time now but she has previously mentioned going for counselling to target her eating issues and weight and I've gently encouraged this. She's been for counselling before for depression and coping with the trauma of her abuse. I think there's definitely something to the 'comfort' of hiding behind the fat and being afraid to break out from it.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: A theory

Midnight Man wrote
There will be short periods of time where we have sex every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Then we may go for a week, two weeks or more without any sex at all.
Forgive me, but ... a whole two weeks without any sex at all??

How about, like, nine years?

I think my ideal would probably be two or three weeks in there with nothing, followed by a very sexy weekend.  Definitely not every day.  But that could be a gender thing... (?)
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
loveinaturtleshell loveinaturtleshell
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Re: A theory

In reply to this post by Midnight Man
 She recently said that it's quite likely that we wouldn't be able to have children (she hasn't had a period for about two years).

I think overweight women develop insulin resistance, and that leads to infertility.   Friend of mine had this, took fertility drugs, plus metformin (which is a med for diabetes), and when she lost about 20 lbs, she became pregnant...   Women need body fat to reproduce, but not a hell of alot.   Women who live in famine countries get pregnant, so tons of fat is not required, just some.   So your SO may get pregnant, but she needs to get skinnier.  

As for being without sex, I am now officially a member of The Celibacy Club.    I miss that part of the marriage, I will just admit it.    We recently went on vacation.   Partner was very irritable.   He ate huge amounts of food, and was angry at the small car I had rented bc he almost needed a crowbar to get in and out... tough...I fit nicely into the car, of course, and it was easy to handle, and I did all of the driving, except maybe 50 miles.   But I  hate his attitude....he was just a snot.    Every word he coated with sarcasm, and every movement of his was fatigued.   I wonder when the health crisis will hit.   I wonder if I need to see an attorney...get out before I get stuck taking care of huge sick man.  

However, this lesson learned: no more trips with him.   Ever.   And it seems sex is another activity that is lost forever.   Fat just takes.   Takes.    Destroys.   OK, rant over.... LIATS
Mr Blue Mr Blue
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Re: A theory

In reply to this post by Mme.X
'The eating is a way of having sex alone.'

You have floated this idea before, Mme.X, and I do heartily concur with it, though, as I have said before, I have reservations about what I would call the Origin Hypothesis: the notion that gluttony BEGINS as a way of avoiding sex.  Somewhere along the line, however, the glutton's intense carnal pleasure from eating morphs into sensual delight.  Witness my 450+ lb. wife disrobing in front of a table laden with rich foods prior to indulging in her nightly feast: virtually panting in anticipation, her (now) blubbery (but once pretty) face awash with glee; then tearing into the spread with abandon, shoveling in to her watery mouth with both hands, moaning and groaning and stuffing herself until she sits slumped onto the table hours later, finally sated and unable to move.  Who would deny that there is something orgasmic going on with the woman, though she still pretends we have a normal sex life?
Midnight Man Midnight Man
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Re: A theory

In reply to this post by Mme.X
Mme.X wrote
Midnight Man wrote
There will be short periods of time where we have sex every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Then we may go for a week, two weeks or more without any sex at all.
Forgive me, but ... a whole two weeks without any sex at all??

How about, like, nine years?

I think my ideal would probably be two or three weeks in there with nothing, followed by a very sexy weekend.  Definitely not every day.  But that could be a gender thing... (?)
I know my situation (at least when it comes to sex) isn't nearly as bad as others here. I probably exaggerated the frequency with which we actually do have sex. It's just that it's completely hot and cold. When she's in the mood, we might have sex several times over a the period of a few days but when she's not in the mood, all affection seems to cease entirely. We're an unmarried couple in our mid-twenties with no children and relatively little responsibility. We should be intimate, including having great regular sex, but her weight is a physical and mental barrier.
Midnight Man Midnight Man
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Re: A theory

In reply to this post by Mr Blue
Mr Blue wrote
'The eating is a way of having sex alone.'

You have floated this idea before, Mme.X, and I do heartily concur with it, though, as I have said before, I have reservations about what I would call the Origin Hypothesis: the notion that gluttony BEGINS as a way of avoiding sex.  Somewhere along the line, however, the glutton's intense carnal pleasure from eating morphs into sensual delight.  Witness my 450+ lb. wife disrobing in front of a table laden with rich foods prior to indulging in her nightly feast: virtually panting in anticipation, her (now) blubbery (but once pretty) face awash with glee; then tearing into the spread with abandon, shoveling in to her watery mouth with both hands, moaning and groaning and stuffing herself until she sits slumped onto the table hours later, finally sated and unable to move.  Who would deny that there is something orgasmic going on with the woman, though she still pretends we have a normal sex life?
I disagree that gluttony begins as a way of avoiding sex. However, I feel that it can become that. I believe that it starts as a pleasurable coping mechanism. For some, that's all it will ever be. They'll stuff their faces and enjoy that sensation. For others, seemingly your wife, it develops into something sexual. I see it as a spectrum.
Jess_x Jess_x
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Re: A theory

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I agree, im still overweight, i eat because it gives pleasure. It also gives me something to do. I gave up on men a while back after being treated like shit. I was about half a stone overweight and very, very skinny and was still called fat by my boyfriend and even other people and as far as i could see, i felt huge(although, looking back, i was tiny) so i started eating, sex wasnt that great, i was bored in the abusive relationship. I then got fatter, things got worse and i left him. I would say, big piece of advice to any male or female that is married or engaged or just in a relationship. Yes, look after your body, also look after your hair, your skin etc...i DETEST men who make no effort i.e dont cut their hair, dont wash/brush their teeth and still expect me to have a lovely body, new clothes, great hair etc. I would say, people certainly need to stop bashing fat people but at least try to understand them. If you're in a marriage and your lover is fat you start to resent them, right? thus, you sit calling them names, making remarks, laughing at them, refusing sex. I knew a perfect example. Skinny guy who sat drinking and smoking pot and a bigger lady. He would make comments, she would eat to comfort herself. Its about support. You need to approach the subject carefully and make it clear, you arent happy but that you love them and its about being healthy. Fat people mostly need to find the right time themselves. For me, this time is now, where i see myself eating crap and thinking, why am i doing this? Its also had a major affect on relationships and ive been single for near 5 years. Its been 6 months since i quit smoking and drinking alcohol, even that is easier than giving up food. Basically, if you are not willing to support your partner, leave. If you are, work through it. Get fit together, go to the gym, id be happy as shit if i had a guy willing to accompany me to the gym so we could work out together.A guy recently told me i was too fat for him yet he wasnt fit at all, no muscles, im stronger than him and fitter...i was like, seriously? Works both ways. If you're in a marriage and your partner is unfit and you arent either(take a good look in the mirror) sit down, have a frank discussion and get going to the gym in your spare time, get your shopping sorted out and ban junk food from the house. Make it fun, have more sex(its also a workout) and have  a laugh rather than sitting there bashing your fat partners.
Levon789 Levon789
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Re: A theory

In reply to this post by Mme.X
I found this very insightful and helpful.  Thanks.
Mme.X Mme.X
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Re: A theory

Thank you, Levon.  I found Jess's post heart-breaking, and thank you for posting.

I'm not on this site much - I have been focused on other things and stop in once in a blue moon.  But I send strong thoughts and best wishes to all.
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
WuKong WuKong
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Re: A theory

In reply to this post by Jess_x
Jess_x wrote
 If you're in a marriage and your lover is fat you start to resent them, right?
Right

 thus, you sit calling them names, making remarks, laughing at them, refusing sex.
Wrong
"Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live." -
  --  Socrates