When Melissa Fabello talks, sex is bound to come up. It’s her job. As a sexuality scholar and body acceptance activist, Melissa sees so clearly that diet culture, body image, and sexuality intersect in ways that contribute to bodies experiencing oppression.
One example is the lack of permission to bring our body pleasure and enjoy our sexual selves. From our basic human need to experience touch as a form of connection, to getting a nice massage, to the “Big O” when we struggle with our body image we are also likely to struggle with allowing ourselves to express desires and to feel pleasure through our bodies.
This is not a chat about “here’s what you need to do to have a normal sex life.” In fact, Melissa offers a very interesting answer to this reader question at the end of the show.
This conversation will help you understand that girls and women aren’t allowed to experience sexuality in positive ways and that impacts our body image. We discuss the “power dynamics” of subject vs object in our society and, perhaps more important, how you can have a conversation with your partner (or yourself!) in a safe, kind way that can help you grow your body confidence with your clothes on and clothes off.
Listen here to Episode 32 here:
An obvious heads up that this episode contains some adult themes and language.
Get to know Melissa
Melissa A. Fabello is a feminist writer, sexuality scholar, and body acceptance activist whose work focuses on the intersection of sexuality and eating disorders, striving toward eliminating size stigma, and bringing a more radical lens to the mainstream body positivity conversation. She currently works as the Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, the largest independent feminist media site in the world with an audience of several million. She is also a doctoral candidate in Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, where her research focus is how women with anorexia nervosa make meaning of their experiences with sensuality.