Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism

1st Edition

By Helen Hester, Caroline Walters


240 pages

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Hardback: 9781472432544
pub: 2015-06-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315581996
pub: 2016-03-09
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While fat sexual bodies are highly visible as vehicles for stigma, there has been a lack of scholarly research addressing this facet of contemporary body politics. Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism seeks to rectify this, bringing debates about fat sex into the academic arena and providing a much-needed critical space for voices from across the spectrum of theory and activism. It examines the intersection of fat, sex and sexuality within a contemporary cultural landscape that is openly hostile towards fat people and their perceived social and aesthetic transgressions. Acknowledging and engaging with some of the innovative work being done by artists, activists, and academics around the issue of fat sex, this collection both challenges preconceptions regarding fatness and sexuality, but also critiques and debates various aspects of the fat activist approach. It draws on a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, bringing together work from the UK, US, Europe, and Australia to offer a wide-ranging examination of the issues of size, sex, and sexuality. A cutting-edge exploration not only of fat sex, but of identity politics, neoliberalism and contemporary body activism in general, Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism will be of interest to scholars of sociology, cultural studies, geography, porn studies and literary studies working on questions of gender, sexuality and the body.


’Fat sex - what a wonderful topic! What a great addition to the scholarly discipline of fat studies, which has not focused much at all on theorizing fat sexuality. Women in particular are made to feel ashamed of their looks and body parts, so fat sex is a feminist issue. This anthology discusses the meaning of sexual pleasure in fat communities, integrating activism and scholarship - a great read.’ Esther Rothblum, San Diego State University, USA and editor of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society ’Fat Sex is essential reading for academics and activists, being both scholarly and accessible it makes a significant contribution to Fat Studies and Sexuality Studies. More importantly, it refuses to make the obese� anonymous, abstract and abject; this is a rare book where fat people speak autonomously and demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of their own lives.’ Charlotte Cooper, psychotherapist, UK ’There is much to recommend Fat Sex: its carefully considered arguments about fat theory and activism are characterized by a great deal of ideological variety, and it helpfully expands the conversation from its US-centered core. This text is essential for readers seeking to better understand the politics of fat representation and the representation of fat politics.’ Kathleen LeBesco, Marymount Manhattan College, USA

About the Authors

Helen Hester is Lecturer in Promotional Cultures at Middlesex University, UK and author of Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex. Caroline Walters is a research associate for BiUK (The UK Organisation for Research on Bisexuality).

About the Series

Gender, Bodies and Transformation

Gender, Bodies and Transformation
This series explores the intersection of two key themes in relation to scholarship on bodies: gender and transformation. Bodies are gendered via biology, culture, medicine and society, such that gender, so deeply and intimately connected to identity, is a crucial part of any thorough analysis of the body. At the same time, bodies are - and have always been - sites of transformation, whether through 'natural' processes such as pregnancy, illness and ageing, or the more eye-catching, 'unnatural' transformations of cosmetic surgery, violence, extreme bodybuilding or dieting, cross-species transplantation, elective amputation or tattooing. Interdisciplinary in scope and welcoming work from a range of approaches, including cultural and media studies, sociology, gender studies, feminist theory, phenomenology, queer studies and ethnography, Gender, Bodies and Transformation publishes scholarly examinations of contemporary cultural changes that are relevant to both gender and the transformation of bodies, whether in single bodies or between bodies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies