Foreword: The Voluptuous Life
For the longest time, we have been told the lie that being thin equals being beautiful, happy, and desirable. And somewhere along the line, we have also been led to believe that fat people don't enjoy sex, or possibly that we are not worthy of enjoying sex.
The main purpose of my career and work as a model and adult performer has been to show the world that these fallacies, which have been hardwired into our way of thinking, are completely untrue. I have used my body and sexuality as tools to make a statement to the world that larger women are sexual creatures who can—and do—enjoy sex, and that they should explore and express their sexuality.
Another goal of my work has been to show other bigger women that we are valuable the way we are, in the skin that we currently occupy. It seems that women are constantly made to feel that we are not valuable unless we are thinner. Daily images and messages from the media, society, family, advertising, etc., are relentlessly sent our way, and it can be very tricky to avoid feeling "not good enough." As a fat woman who has been bigger my whole life, I know how hard it can be, but I also know these notions are untrue. True happiness comes from within, and not in the form of a smaller dress size or smaller number on the scale. There are people of all sizes who are happy, and there are people of all sizes who are unhappy.
I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to deliver my message, and I am grateful that my ideas have been able to reach the women I want them to reach. Nothing makes me feel more delighted than reading an email from a woman who says that seeing my work has helped her realize that she can be just as sexy as a woman half her size, or that she has started to feel more comfortable within her body while being intimate with a partner. I have cried tears of gratitude more than a few times, and reading these messages has often given me strength when the road has been bumpy.
Women enjoy sex. Fat women enjoy sex. I am one of those women and have had the extreme privilege of being able to explore and express my own sexuality within my work. I have been able to live out many fantasies while making an effort to send my message of body and size positivity. I am an exhibitionist by nature, and performing in adult films and posing for photographers and artists have allowed me to expand on my exhibitionism. I have been so lucky to have been able to broaden my sexuality by working with a diverse range of performers who represented a variety of races, gender identities, and levels of experience. With each shoot, I have learned from my partner and have been able to take away something new.
I think curvier women have become more visible than before, and that we now have stronger voices—ones that are being heard. As time has gone by, I've noticed women with a wide variety of body types, ethnicities, sexual identities, and personal styles being more expressive and completely in control of their sexuality. This change has not just been in porn, but in all forms of culture. I feel that now, more women are owning their curves and making sure their voices and opinions are heard when they feel disrespected or misrepresented.
This book is so great, because it very beautifully tells stories that cover a full spectrum of curvy women, and that show who we are in our sexuality. We are athletic, submissive, stylish, confident, and at times self-conscious. We are exhibitionists and sex workers—and so much more. We are worthy of worship. We take pleasure in our curves. We wear fine lingerie. And ultimately, we are in control.
In my opinion, confidence is what makes someone attractive. You have good sex when you feel good about yourself, regardless of your body size. The characters in Curvy Girls are enjoying every bit of their sexuality, and I enjoyed experiencing their sexuality, too.
~ April Flores
Introduction: Curves and Attitude
When I issued the call for submissions for Curvy Girls, I expected to see lots of stories about women like April Flores: bold, brash, out there; women who were proud to take up space, who were proud to lust and be lusted after, who took no prisoners, in or out of the bedroom.
I did get plenty of those, but what I also received en masse were stories where positive body image played a role. That state of mind was usually something the characters aspired to (and, with the help of a lover, often acquired) more than something they started out with.
I shouldn't have been surprised. Part of my inspiration for Curvy Girls was my own experience as a woman with some curves I like, and others I like a little bit less. Some days I am eager to flaunt them all, and other days, I'm all about Spanx and hiding my curves.
To expect us to ignore a culture that tells us that thin-thinner-thinnest is desirable is unrealistic. So what you'll see reflected here is precisely that process of coming to terms with our curves, of standing naked in front of a mirror or a window or another person and stripping ourselves of all the preconceived notions we may have of what sexy is.
In a column I wrote about body image and sexuality, I mentioned tying up a lover and blindfolding him, and I confessed, "I got to be in control, not only in the BDSM sense, but in control of my body. I didn't feel as vulnerable as I often do when I'm naked with a lover." That is the spirit I was looking for in this book, but the flipside is also present: Many of the characters here (like many real-life women, and probably like many of you) have struggled with their bodies in various ways that have affected their sexuality —sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Ultimately, Curvy Girls is a celebratory book, and one that I hope will both arouse and educate. It's about discovering what it is we want in the bedroom (and other locations) just as much as it's about claiming those desires.
In many of the stories you're about to read, women come to a place where they can be that bold, brash vixen who struts her stuff only after grappling with the underbelly, if you will, of being curvy. Take, for example, Terese, who strips in front of her window for a voyeuristic neighbor in Arlette Brand's "See and Be Seen." Another example is Maya, in Nina Reyes's "Excuses." At first Maya feels uncertain—not just about posing sexily for a sexy photographer, but also about how she will be perceived by him. Yet once she gets into her groove, she finds distinct power—and arousal—in taking it all off: "I decide to up the stakes. I stand and undo my jeans. Despite my impatience, I pull them down slowly, like I'm unwrapping a gift for him." Her body is a gift—for her as well as for him.
Aside from body image and exhibitionism, another category of stories I received focused on corsets. And why wouldn't they? These daring instruments, once worn out of social necessity, have made a voluntary comeback as women realize the instant curves a corset can provide. The man who seduces a barmaid dressed in the clothing of yore in "Wenching," by Justine Elyot, spells out for our disbelieving narrator exactly what he likes about her looks: "Think of all the words associated with a bit of extra flesh. Generous. Ample. Voluptuous. Bountiful. Beautiful, sensual words. Contrast them with their opposites: Mean. Insufficient. Meager. Miserly."
Other authors took the word "curvy" and played with it. Instead of Kim Kardashian's ass or plus-size model Crystal Renn's curvaceousness, they channeled athletes and butches. These stories made me realize that while "curvy" is often a euphemism for "fat" (a word that's being reclaimed across the blogosphere and in real life), it can also be a way to describe women who don't fit the hourglass-figure mold, and who embrace their shapes in different ways.
As I write this, activist and plus-size provocateur Nancy Upton recently brought attention to the question of just what is sexy when she won, by popular vote, American Apparel's Next Big Thing modeling contest with a series of photos in which she posed erotically with a cherry pie in between her legs, for example, and while feasting on a whole chicken. The reaction to Upton's win—and the outcry when American Apparel took away her title because she was obviously spoofing their concept of hotness— shows that we don't just need more plus-size models. We need more plus-size role models. I hope you'll find in these pages some fictional ones who inspire you to become one.
The women in Curvy Girls do live up to the title's promise, yet they are much more than just their curves. They are brave, nervous, curious, pregnant, hungry, kinky, sexy. They get tattoos, spankings, dessert, and satisfaction. They aren't easily pinned down or grouped together, just as real-life women of a certain size don't think or act alike.
I hope you enjoy their adventures—and the spirit of playfulness, risk-taking, and lust that fuels them.
~ Rachel Kramer Bussel
BY SOMMER MARSDEN
"How are those working out for you?"
I looked up into his face, skin the color of a decadent espresso dark chocolate bar.
"Too tight," I admitted, handing him the box of stunning black leather boots that were not in my future. "I have runner's calves."
"Sit tight. I have just the thing for you then." He moved like an athlete, smooth and sure of himself. He was tall and lean and looked like a runner himself.
I didn't get long, stringy runner muscles when I got addicted to running. I got hard, chiseled muscles that showed through leggings—and, if they were tight enough, even jeans. This was fabulous for my health and self-esteem, but not so good for my dwindling boot possibilities.
"Let's try these." He sat on that weird slanted stool they supply for shoe-store employees and pulled out all the crap manufacturers insist on stuffing inside boots. The zipper sounded almost sensual, and I was surprised when a shiver of what felt like arousal shot through me.
I put my foot in as he guided. "It's never going to happen," I tried to say, but somehow, seeing his dark hand on the pale skin of my calf, I lost my voice, and it came out in a whisper.
"I bet it will. These are vented, and they happen to be damn near magical for women who—" he paused as the zipper came all the way up "—have the same problem as you." I was in the damn boots. It was nearly a miracle.
He repeated the ritual with the other boot, and before I knew it, I stood looking at myself in the mirror. Toned legs in nude stockings, a short black skirt, and boots that made me want to kick ass and take names.
"I'll take them." I searched his taut chest in its uniform-white button-down. "Chuck." The nametag was small, subtle, and gold-toned.
He gave a nod, and his grin touched something deep inside of me that inspired a sudden rush of lust. My cheeks went hot, and I shook my head. I was going gaga over a man just because he got my legs in some fine, fine boots.
"Follow me. I'll ring you up. And you should wear them out," he said. And for whatever reason, I decided to obey.
On the way to the register, I studied my calves surreptitiously in the short mirrors they peppered throughout the store. My calves looked magnificent, my knees toned, my legs spectacular. One hundred and seventy-one dollars and change. They were worth every penny. I handed Chuck my credit card.
He eyed the card, then looked up at me. "You should let me take you out in those, Sara," he said, cocking an eyebrow and then looking away.
I laughed. Chuck was cute, but he was thin and whiplike, and I feared I would break him should we do the deed . . . which we would. "Thanks, Chuck, but I—"
"Don't like my hair?" he said, grinning. His dark curly hair was cut close to his scalp, and the suggestion made me laugh.
"No. Not that."
"Like lighter men?"
"Red men?" he asked, cocking his head and handing me the slip to sign.
"Um . . . no."
I snorted and shook my head. "A pretty girl has been known to turn my head, but no."
"Shorter, taller, smarter, uglier?" He fired them off, one by one, and slid my old boots and receipt into a bag.
"Then what?" He handed me the bag and leaned on the counter.
"Bigger," I said. I leaned in close and said, "I like my men bigger. Bigger than me. I would be afraid I'd . . . snap you, Chuck."
"Never underestimate the power of a long, lean man," Chuck said, laughing. He didn't seem offended. He didn't even seem fazed. "Where can I pick you up? Six o'clock."
I almost said no. Almost.
"I'm at 320 Willow Oak Drive. It's over by—"
"I know where it is. Six o'clock," he said and touched my hand. "Wear the boots."
Then he was gone to answer the dinging bell over the front door. The ritzy shoe store got a lot of traffic from the local business parks, and at lunchtime, it was full of women with paychecks to spend and a penchant for fine leather shoes. And cute skinny men, I thought, taking my bag and hustling out.
He told me at dinner that he could keep up with me running . . . among other things. I doubted it. As lean and light as he was, I doubted he could keep up for the long haul. I managed not to maul him after dinner. I was demure and fetching in my boots as I kissed him good night, but then I tugged him by his thin red retro tie and said, "Meet me here at six. Wear your running shoes."
It was meant to echo his "wear the boots," but mine came out much more antagonistic and aggressive. His teeth flashed white in the low glow of my porch light. "Yes, ma'am." He kissed me then, and there was nothing meek about it.
I went to bed with my heart pounding as if I'd already run. I thought I'd never sleep, but I did.
He showed up bright and early wearing his running shoes, sweatpants (thank god, call me silly, but I hate a man in running tights), and a smile. "Ready," he said.
"You'll never keep up," I declared, pulling the front door shut.
He flanked me for the first mile, lagged just a touch for the second, and pulled ahead for the third. At the end, just to show me he could, he left me in his dust. He was lounging on my front steps when I turned the corner.
"Show off," I panted.
I let us in, feeling the pulse of my attraction keeping time with my pounding heart. I was wet between the legs, and it had nothing to do with running. I turned around to hand him his water, but he was right behind me, and the surprise of it made me slosh us both.
"Shit! I'm wet," I said, and then caught myself, my face blooming with even more heat—heat that had nothing to do with exertion.
"I hope so. Are you going to stop testing me now, Sara?" He dropped to his knees behind me and rubbed my calves, which were tight and flushed from running. I moaned.
"Nice," he laughed.
"Tight," I said, without thinking again.
"I bet you are," he said, chuckling. His lips found the backs of my leg, and I shivered.
I sighed and turned for him when he pulled my leggings down. His hands were amazingly dark on my rosy skin, his mouth incredibly warm. He licked the wetness from my hipbones and pressed his face to my pussy for a moment. Just an instant. I tried to pull back, realizing how sweaty I was, but then he held me fast, deceptively strong for his lean build.
"Stay still, Sara, we're both sweaty," he assured me and licked my clit until I was tugging at his shorn hair and panting like we were running again.
I came with a cry and a rush of fluid, and then strong Chuck was tugging me to the floor. "Condom?" he asked softly.
I shook my head.
"Don't be angry." He reached into the small key holder strapped to his shoe. "I was hopeful but not expectant." I laughed as the silver wrapper flashed gleefully in the sunny kitchen.
He pushed me back and lifted my legs, kissing my calves, and behind my knees, so that I jumped from the tickle. "You have the most amazing legs," he said, spreading my thighs.
"Big," I said.
"Manly." I had blurted out my biggest fear, and he laughed so hard it startled me.
"Too big?" I tried.
"Perfect." He kissed the very fragile skin where my thighs met my groin, and I shivered. "And the skin right here is the softest thing I've ever felt." He kissed it again.
Then he was sliding into me, and we had stopped arguing about him being too lean or my thighs being too big. He moved slowly, like we had all the time in the world, and I assumed we did. My skin, still slick from the run, slid against his. Somewhere along the way, we had peeled off the rest of our clothes.
"Put your hands up," he said.
I obeyed but felt the sting of not being able to hold onto him. His lips found my shoulder even as his hands, strong like the rest of him, clamped down on my wrists and held me fast. My back pressed to the cool linoleum floor, a shard of yellow sunlight streaking over the place where our skin met. He thrust deep, and my cunt gripped around him, his cock banging and nudging all the small bundles of nerves that needed it most.
I pushed my feet down hard onto the floor, thrusting up to meet him even, as he pinned my upper body flat with his. "Nice," he said in my ear, and all the little nerves in my neck and ear danced under his breath.
"Runner's calves," I grunted, moving again, taking him deeper.
"Strong," he said.
I nodded dumbly. I was cresting that wave of an approaching orgasm, that place where my body felt desperate for release, but my mind wasn't quite ready for it all to end.
He slowed, as if reading my thoughts. No going faster here. He shifted to a nice easy rhythm that let us both catch our breath—like running, when you give yourself a moment to catch up to your racing system.
Chuck rocked his lean hips from side to side ever so slightly. I felt the bony knobs of his hipbones rub across my more padded protrusions. My pussy, slick and ready, fluttered. I gasped, biting down on his earlobe so hard he hissed.
"Cheating," he said, and pushed my wrists harder. The sharp bite of pain from those small bones grinding together had my cunt tight and my skin slippery with fresh sweat.
"No, you're not," he said, bending his head enough to capture my nipple in his mouth. He moved his hands for just an instant, pinning me by the forearms now as his tongue toured the hard tip of my nipple, his teeth finding me and nipping me there hard enough to steal my breath.
I brought my legs up and wrapped them around his waist, tugging him in with my calves as I trapped him with my thighs. I clenched my pussy muscles and all of me was tight and demanding.
"Christ. Fuck." He puffed out each word as he drove into me deeper, giving up on teasing me. Giving up on a slow leisurely fuck.
"I'm going to come," I hissed. I thrust my hips up to meet him, pulled him with my legs. I fought against his strong hands, but he pinned me tight, even as I tugged him forward with my lower body.
"Shut up and kiss me," he growled.
I squeezed him once with my thighs and heard him exhale violently, and then, laughing, I kissed him, as requested. I let my legs relax, let him drive in at his own speed, let him rock those amazing hips once, twice, three times more, and then I came, whispering in his ear. I didn't even know what I was saying. Nonsense things, dirty things, filthy things, judging by the way he groaned.
He kissed me silent and went still for an instant, coming hard, yelling loud, gripping my arms with his long, cool fingers.
"Nice," I said, once we could breathe again. "And I didn't break you."
"Told you," he said, his dark eyes studying my face. The morning sun danced across his clear, smooth skin.
"You lucked out."
He shook his head, then stood up and offered me a hand. I got up, and he pressed me to the counter—both of us still nude and hot from our coupling.
"I'll admit, you're strong." He bent and sucked my nipple into his mouth. His fingers found my pussy, slipped inside to test me already.
"I am strong," I said. "I needed your special secret boots just to fit my massive calves."
"Runner's calves," he said. "Sexy, strong, kick-ass calves."
"We need a shower."
"Don't make me trap you with my super strong thighs." I tugged him toward the bathroom upstairs, and he followed.
"Maybe in the shower," he said.
"Maybe." I took the steps ahead of him, and he stayed close behind, stroking the backs of my legs as I climbed, making the muscles dance.
"I will admit you have some strong thighs, too."
"Strong thighs. Sexy thighs. American thighs," he said, chuckling.
I tugged him into the bathroom and started the water.
"But you underestimated me," he said.
"I did. I admit it." I stepped in and Chuck was right behind me.
"Are you sorry?" he asked.
"I am sorry."
"Do you want to show me how sorry you are?"
We stepped under the spray, and I watched the water bead on his skin, his hair. His eyes were impossibly warm, his hands impossibly strong.
"Allow me to show my regret," I teased.
"I accept. Now, spread those thighs," he breathed, touching me.
"Runner's thighs," I said, and sighed when his fingers found me and slipped inside.
"Shut up." He kissed me, his hands moving between my American thighs while I braced myself with my runner's calves.
Before the Autumn Queen
BY ANGELA CAPERTON
Betsy tugged downward at her ironed blue blouse, closing up the peekaboo gap that had arisen between the second and third buttons. It was just a temporary fix for a continual problem, but she had long abandoned embarrassment about the issue. She did everything she could to maintain a professional, neat appearance, but she accepted that little could be done with the blouse. It was part of her docent's uniform, and she had stopped fretting about it. Besides, no one had complained—at least no one had said anything to her about it—and she always wore a camisole under the blouse, so it wasn't like she was flashing skin around the museum.
She'd been working at the museum for three years—first as a volunteer, then as a paid employee. Her docent's uniform consisted of a navy-blue, knee-length skirt or slacks; the problematic light-blue blouse; and a navy-blue jacket, which bore the museum's crest above the right breast, like a little advertisement designed to draw every eye toward the ever-present pucker between her blouse buttons.
She hated the uniform—hated the way it looked, hated the way it felt. But she overcame her hatred of her mandatory outerwear with the help of private sexy underwear. She'd made her first Soma and Torrid underwear purchases impulsively, out of complete rebellion. She'd spent a lot, and as a result had to endure minimal lunches for the rest of the month. After that, she carefully planned every sexy, silky purchase so that she could fully enjoy it.
She might be the victim of the Blue Pucker of Disgrace, but she rebelled deliciously by wearing silky panties and lacy bras that hugged her curves and flattered her full figure. The creamy satin against her skin, the web of lace over her hips—they restored her identity, helped her regain her femininity. Feeling beautiful was important in a place as full of beauty as the Freiberg Museum of Art, and Betsy's intimate garments were her secret badges of identification with the painted goddesses and iconic images of classic beauty.
She'd been working at the Freiberg only six months when the head curator assigned her to the Boyton wing, her favorite. It housed the nineteenth-century European paintings and associated art—a Rosetti, a Dicksee, and a Collier, among others. But the true treasure was the large collection of paintings by the foremost American pre-Raphaelite, Corso. When Miller Boyton donated his twelve Corso oils in 1980, the Freiberg, though a small museum, became a minor shrine in the art world.
Born in Boston in 1825, August Corso was the eldest son of a successful merchant. August's father proudly sent him to study art in England, and there, the young man fell under the spell of John Ruskin. He lived for a time with the Morrises, and (according to rumor) once challenged Rossetti to a duel over a model's favors.