Am I the fattest one here?

by Anna Sansom on July 29, 2013

danceWe are the first to arrive in the makeshift dance hall. I walk around the room looking at the wall hangings and the temporary altar that has been set up to remind us of the fundraiser we are here to support. A TreeSisters’ mission to reforest the tropics; and a 5 Rhythms dance event.

The dance leader arrives and starts the music: slow, soothing music to help us settle into the space and into our bodies. Soon the room is full of people swaying and gently moving to the music. We are invited to close our eyes and bring our awareness to our breath.

When I open my eyes again – now fully aware of my body from the soles of my feet, to the tips of my fingers, and all the places in-between – I look around at the others in the room.

Despite already being in a grounded and centred place within myself, one thought forces itself to the front of my brain:

“Am I the fattest one here?”

That thought is one that follows me around like a stray dog. It whimpers and whines at my heels, pawing at me, demanding attention.

“Am I the fattest one here?”

I look around the room at the incredible diversity of people who have come to share the space in dance. There’s a very thin man with a grey beard. There’s a woman in her 50s in a floaty dress. There’s a young woman with wild eyes, dressed in black leggings and a gold, crop top. And twenty or so others of various ages: tall, short, thin, curvy… all barefoot, all ready to dance.

I am the fattest one here.

We dance for two hours. We dance on our own; we dance in pairs; we dance in small groups; and we dance in one huge, twirling, clapping, shrieking group.

I dance with a man who smiles gently at me. I dance with a woman who beams at me. I dance with the woman with wild eyes who gets so close, and who moves so sensuously, I am mesmerised like a moth infatuated with the moon.

My body expresses every emotion, every sense, every longing, every need…

I am sweating. My calves are aching. My body keeps moving as long as the music keeps playing.

Then, gradually, we are stilled. And, finally, we come together in a circle, holding hands, looking around the group at the faces of those we have shared this sacred time with.

I am the fattest one here.

And it doesn’t matter.

I know that “am I the fattest?” actually means “am I worthy of being here?”

The answer is yes, and yes.


Dance is one way to express ourselves.

If you are interested in more ways to express your SEXUAL self, come and visit my other site The Ladygarden Project, empowering women to read, write and share erotica.


photo credit: Pat McDonald via photopin cc


I will not apologise for my body

by Anna Sansom on July 9, 2013

Yesterday I made a big mistake.

I was waiting in a coffee shop and I picked up a newspaper supplement lying on the counter. I turned to the first article: 10 Summer Fashion Mistakes to Avoid (unless you are Elle MacPherson).

I should have known better. The giveaway was in the title: back in her modelling heyday Elle MacPherson earned the one-dimensional nickname “the body” and the writer of this piece had obviously decided that a spot of body fascism was the perfect accompaniment to the  lovely summer that’s just arrived (here in the UK).

Through the red mist that descended I can remember some winning statements like: “no one with breasts over an A cup can wear a strapless maxi-dress” and if you’re over 30 you have to wear a bra at all times regardless of your size (because your breasts won’t – heaven forbid – be acceptably pert).

There was something in there about mortally offending people with “stubby armpits”, back fat and not being perfectly groomed.

The journalist cautioned that tankinis don’t make stomachs invisible and women should wear a support swimsuit on the beach instead – one that has strong panels to hold everything in.

And finally, she made the pronouncement that no one – except Elle “the body” MacPherson – can wear cut-off shorts. No-one!

I had to double-check: yes, it was Monday, I was reading The Times newspaper, and it’s 2013…

I’m shaking my head as I write this. I think I’m still in a state of disbelief that this kind of ‘journalism’ is seen as acceptable. After all, the basic message was: don’t insult us with your body – unless you are “the body”.

Eight hours and 28˚C later I was on the beach. I pulled on my two-piece swimsuit. My stomach was on full view. My dimpled thighs were exposed to the world. I hadn’t shaved my armpits.

I swam up and down the bay for 25 minutes. It was glorious. My body felt strong and the cool water was delicious on my hot skin.

how to get a beach body

There were a couple of young guys in the water. Some kids playing on an inflatable dinghy. An elegant older woman swimming breast stroke whilst wearing her fancy necklace and colourful swimsuit. There were people sitting on the beach: watching the sea, watching the swimmers, just soaking up the view.

When I got out of the water my body felt strong and sexy.

I pulled on my t-shirt over my bare breasts: they’re not pert, who cares?

I pulled on my shorts: they’re not cut-offs but I would still have worn them if they were.

I looked around the beach and saw all sorts of bodies: different ages, different shapes, different sizes. Each person had just as much right as the next to be on that beach, wearing what they wanted, enjoying the sea, and – most of all – enjoying their body.

36 hours earlier I’d been lying on the bed with my lover. The sun was streaming in on our naked bodies and everything was on full view. The same body that brought me so much joy and pleasure in bed had also brought me joy and pleasure in the sea. I see no distinction:  I have one body, I have one life, and I have one opportunity each and every day to decide to feel good in this body and this life.

Maxi dresses? Cut-offs? Control swimsuits? My life is so much bigger than any of that stuff.

Which reminds me of a wonderful quote by the oh-so talented, body inspiration artist, Elizabeth Patch:

“Women should be measured by the lives we lead, not by the size we wear!”


Libido – why it’s not “all that”!

May 11, 2013

Today’s post is borrowed from my other website (The Ladygarden Project). I’m on  a crusade to transform our relationships with our libidos! (And – unrelated – look how much my hair has grown…)   Please leave a comment to share your thoughts and experiences of sex drive and sexual desire…

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What are your favourite body parts?

April 26, 2013

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Nikki and Heather’s amazing blog Vagina Antics. They write witty, informed, embedded-in-reality posts about their sexual explorations, their relationships, and what it means to be a sexual woman, today, in the Western world. Their honesty and frankness are refreshing in a time when we are fed […]

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Beautiful bodies

April 20, 2013

Not all bodies are the same. There, I’ve said it. Something we all know and yet – if we believed the narrow range of representations in the media – something that sometimes can be hard to believe. Personally, I love the diversity of bodies! So I’m especially excited to come across this wonderful collection of […]

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Choosing sexy body confidence

March 31, 2013

I recently had the privilege of talking to women, aged 40 to 60, for an article about sex and ageing. I turn 40 this year and, as I’m sure many women do, I’ve recently started to think more about what’s happening to my body as I get older. There are the visible signs – like […]

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She’s young, she’s hot, and – my goodness – she talks a lot of sense!

March 2, 2013

I love Laci Green!  

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Sexy at any size (with clothes on)

February 18, 2013

Last weekend I was part of a fab teleclass hosted by Jenny of F*ck the Diets. We were talking about body image and clothes and, in her words, being able to walk down the street thinking “darn it girl, you’re one sexy mofo!” In amongst all this I confessed to owning a dress that – […]

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Big Big Love

February 10, 2013

Book recommendation Just in time for Valentine’s Day – but equally helpful all year round…   BIG BIG LOVE: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them) by Hanne Blank I love this book! It is wonderfully uplifting, affirming, sexy, and informative. It contains everything from pictures of innovative […]

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Your body deserves a loving touch

January 20, 2013

Earlier this week, as I was making a cup of tea, my partner came up to me and reached to give me a hug. As she did it, she lifted my jumper a little to make contact with my skin. I leapt away from her calling out “it tickles!” “I’m not trying to tickle you,” […]

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