Fat Sex: The Naked Truth by Rebecca Jane Weinstein

Fat SexThis book had a lot of wasted potential. It definitely wasn’t the book I thought it would be.

Judging by the title, one might think this is some kind of lascivious indulgence, or possibly an expose of sorts. Neither is accurate. The book is introduced as a collection of vignettes of fat people who have come to accept their sexuality, and indeed have much satisfying sex.

In truth this book is little more than a platform for the author’s social crusade on fat justice. She obviously feels wronged by the world, and interposes with her commentary on the plight of fat people in modern society. Unfortunately, she interrupts the fascinating stories she presents in order to advance her cause.

If the book had an introductory chapter or two, and/or concluding chapters on the very real social issues fat people face in modern society, I would forgive the author. As is, I feel cheated out of a better book – the book that was actually advertised, you know, about fat sex. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so bitter if the title were changed, or just different. This book is not the naked truth about fat sex.

While reading the individuals’ stories, I got the impression that Weinstein hadn’t actually interviewed these people. It seemed like she had limited material to work with, almost as if she asked for stories to be submitted online or via email, and she just used what she could and extrapolated the rest of their stories.

Weinstein’s voice and opinions were distracting from the stories themselves. And some of those opinions were just insulting. She compared all “fat admirers” (her term for regular sized people who prefer fat sexual partners) to closeted gay people. She obviously took this opinion from one of her vignettes. One individual did compare his experience with that of closeted gay people. However, Weinstein strings out the references and connotations a little too far. She uses this comparison in all case studies of fat admirers. It felt forced in some instances.

Honestly, I started to yell at the book as I do the news on television. The news will often start a story, cut to an interview, and then halfway through cut to commentary before finishing the interview. This is infuriating to me. Why not just finish the interview? You can give all the commentary you want afterward. Grr! This same thing happened in the book. She’d start with a story, and just when it would start to get interesting she’d cut in with her social justice parade. It was sometimes relevant. Big emphasis on the sometimes. There were such long, unrelated diatribes that I sometimes even forgot the details of the person’s story. Weinstein lost my interest so thoroughly that I forgot what we were talking about in the first place.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. It’s poorly written, and in need of some serious editing. There are typos and grammatical errors throughout the book. How do books run through so many editing phases without these simple things getting caught and fixed before printing? There are much better written books on the social injustices of fat people. Health at Every Size is one of them. Read that book instead.

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Does the Size of My Book Make It Impressive?

“Wow, that book is huge! I’m impressed.”

I’m always perplexed by this kind of declaration. Are you impressed that I’m attempting to read a lengthy book? Does that mean that I must have lots of time or dedication? Or, is this a statement about my intelligence? Are you implying that I must be smart to attempt a book of such stature? Perhaps it’s more of a personal reflection on your part. Do large tomes intimidate you?

I’ve never understood the intimidation factor of lengthy novels. When I look at a lengthy novel (I’m thinking over 500 pages), I’m usually excited. I’m especially hungry for the novel if it’s by an author I adore. If it’s a favorite author, 500-800 pages (or more) might not seem like enough.

I’m thinking of the ever-thickening volumes of the Harry Potter series. The 7th book was over 700 pages, and I was still left aching for more. Some of that may have been the grief of series ending. But seriously, if there had been an extra 300 pages laying around for the Deathly Hallows, I would have gobbled them up as hungrily as I did the other 700 or so. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, fellow Potties. Oh, that’s not the correct term? Hmmm… Potterites? Wizards? Pott-heads? Wait, that last one seems off… *raises eyebrow*

Back to novel-size obsession, what is the deal? Seriously? Because I never quite understand the intent of the person making the observation, I never quite know how to respond – or even if a response is necessary. Most of the time it’s a complete stranger that’s making this exclamation, and so I can’t divine intent without some sort of telepathic ability.

Even if I know the person, I’m somehow vaguely offended by this statement. You’re impressed that I’m reading this book? So, you think I can’t handle a book of considerable size? Do I not seem up to the challenge? Is this even a challenge? Are you somehow proud of my reading habits? It just seems a bit condescending.

I’m probably ascribing malicious intent when none was actually intended. Whatever laugh-not-laugh and narrowed eyes I return to this declaration are usually received awkwardly. And yet, I still feel that you’re getting as good as your giving.

It’s possible that you want to talk about reading habits in general and that you’re not as much of a reader as I am. I accept that, and if that’s truly the intent of your conversation, please continue with a follow up line about your own reading habits. If your opener is about how impressed you are by my tome, you won’t get far.

In all probability you’re really trying to engage me in a conversation on reading based on my current book selection. I would love to talk with you about my book! Please, ask me questions about it. Where am I in the story? How do I like the characters? Have I read anything else by this author? Is this my genre of choice? All of these questions are acceptable and exciting, and they all engage me in the best kind of discussions. But, seriously, please refrain from expressing how impressed you are by how big the book is.