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My boyfriend is overweight and has a smaller penis: how can we make sex better?

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Pam asks:

Hello my new partner is Wonderful. He is everything I've wanted in a man. There is just one problem, the sex isn't great. He has a small penis and he is overweight. I am 135 and he is 250. I don't want this to be a problem and I know he is working on eating healthier and trying little to loose the weight. I am very scared to get intimate because I feel like he is either embarrassed or I might unconsciously make dissapointing gestures. In sex, who likes to be unsatisfied time after time. Can you give me helpful tips on love making?

Heather Corinna replies:

Sex doesn't have to be (and for most people to feel satisfied, really shouldn't be) only or solely about intercourse, and neither a smaller penis nor being of size means that sex has to be, or will be, unsatisfying for either partner.

My good friend and colleague Hanne Blank literally wrote the book on sex for people of size, or those with partners of size: Big, Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them. I'd strongly encourage you to pick it up for yourself and your partner.

Being of size ("overweight" is a really crummy term, since there is no one right weight for all people of all heights, and since it's genetically normal for many people to be the size they are, even when they are larger than others) doesn't have to limit sex in any way unless your overweight partner has health or mobility issues that need to be taken into account. A partner's size is generally totally irrelevant with activities like oral sex and manual sex, and with intercourse, it's often just a matter of finding the positions which work best for everyone. As a smaller person with a larger partner, for instance, you may find that it's best with intercourse to just choose positions where you don't have to bear your partner's weight, like being on top, or having your partner have intercourse with you from behind.

Too, there shouldn't be a problem with you expressing displeasure or disappointment when you're feeling it: no one should feel obligated in a sexual partnership to ONLY voice satisfied or positive feelings and never voice anything negative. Sex with any partner is always a learning process, and since no one is psychic, and we all differ, it's pretty unusual to have a partnership where both partners always somehow manage to satisfy the other, especially without any feedback on the matter. If this has been the dynamic so far, I'm willing to bet that the biggest reason sex hasn't been so great is that you aren't feeling able to honestly communicate with your partner, more than anything else. If that's the case, that has to change.

Certainly, we want to be sensitive in communicating about sex with our partners, and to speak to them with kindness and compassion, taking into account that sex makes all of us feel very vulnerable. But there's nothing wrong with saying, "Mmmm, that's not so great for me right now, can we try this?" or "Let's move into this position and try it this way," or "I didn't reach orgasm yet: can you tend to me with your mouth or fingers?" These sorts of things are things EVERY partner will generally say to one another with some regularity: there's no need to try and avoid this, and if you've a partner who can't handle that, then it's likely best to hold off on sex with them until they work more on their own esteem first.

Again, too, a smaller penis needn't be a problem. If the issue is that you prefer or enjoy deeper vaginal penetration during intercourse, your partner has fingers and hands -- even for women with male partners of average or larger size, plenty will still prefer or enjoy manual vaginal sex because it can be more targeted and specific. Changing up positions, as I've mentioned already, is also helpful -- with a partner with a smaller penis, you're going to want to choose positions where you have the most direct genital-to-genital contact, like being on top. But since sex isn't all about intercourse (and tends to get mighty boring pretty fast even for those who enjoy vaginal intercourse), and a large penis isn't required for....well, anything at all. You may even find that giving oral sex feels better than it might with a larger penis: every given body shape or size has its unique bonuses and challenges.

Lastly? I do hope that your partner's efforts with his weight are things he wants to do, for himself and his health. I also hope the both of you understand that there are a lot of fat, fit people out there -- body shape and size is largely determined by genetics, so if the efforts he is making in terms of eating right and getting exercise are most definitely of benefit to his health, but may or may not change his shape or size. If he's feeling uncomfortable with his size, you might want to be sure that he knows what he looks like and what size he is is okay with you, and if it isn't, and you love this person, I'd encourage you to figure out how to get okay with it, and remind yourself that people can be beautiful, vital and functional at every size. :)

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