At my last doctor's appointment, my doctor had to take my weight for my pre-operative examination. I stepped on the scale, and it read 190 pounds.

Now, that might not sound like a lot to some of you, but as a 5'1" girl, skirting 200 pounds is a bit scary. To be entirely factual, I've gotten fat.

There's no reason why being fat should be a bad thing. I'm active (I walk 1+ hour every day, sometimes I bike), I'm in good health, and I can walk up many flights of stairs without losing my breath. I just have a bit of a sugar addiction, and yeah, maybe I could eat better. Overall, though, I consider myself fairly healthy.

Yet there are some days when I look at how my thighs have grown wider, how my tummy has expanded. Clothes I bought not even a year ago are getting a bit tight. (I'm not rich, and I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe every time I gain 10 pounds!) On days like this, I look at myself and I get a little bit upset, a little bit sad. Socially constructed messages around expectations of thinness and the idea that fat equals unhealthy and unattractive can creep inside my mind, despite how hard I've worked in the last few years to dismantle them.

And then I snap myself out of it and think: wait a minute. My body is strong. My body is acceptable, even desirable. My body is amazing. And it's all thanks to kink.

My Body Is Strong: Beatings and Pain

Ask any of my regular play partners: I can take a beating. When warmed up sufficiently well, I can ride a long impact play session and come out feeling quite amazing.

My body is strong. I love it for that. My body can take an hour and more of floggers, crops, canes, and paddles, not to mention bare hands and nails, and sometimes teeth. I can take pain, and I can process it, and I can survive it.

We spend our lives trying to avoid pain, but when you seek it, when you face it directly, you discover how strong you really are... both physically and mentally. Standing there and choosing, every second, to receive pain is an amazingly eye-opening experience that everyone should try at least once, even if they're not bottoms, subs, or even masochists. (Read: You Don't Have to Like All Types of Pain to Call Yourself a Masochist.)

My Body Is Acceptable and Desirable: Community and Lovers

My community is filled with bigger girls who get plenty of play and plenty of lovers. On the play floor of our monthly party, there are big bodies, small bodies, tall bodies, short bodies, wide bodies and narrow bodies too. There are all kinds of bodies.

Mine, no matter what it looks like, also gets to go on the play floor. Because there is no one right way to have a body. All bodies have a right to exist as they are. The kink community is an especially great place to discover this.

Then you meet people who love your body (and your mind too) and think it desirable. I have met at least one lover through the community, and he loves my body as it is. He is attracted to me not despite my body, but because of it. The same goes for my other lovers. Through them, I have learned that my body is not ugly or gross. Through them, I get to learn over and over again that my body is desirable and can me feel amazing, too.

My Body Is Amazing: Sex and Pleasure

Even though my body is big, it can still give me pleasure. Being fat doesn't negate my ability to enjoy giving and receiving sexual pleasure. My body might be fat, but it can still give me mind-blowing orgasms. My body might be fat, but I can still give great blow jobs.

My body might be fat, but it doesn't make me a non-sexual person. Just because I don't conform to typical beauty expectations doesn't make me less of a sexual being. My fat body exists for itself and deserves all the pleasures that a thin body can have. (Read: Worried About Weight? How to Have Spectacular Sex Anyway.)

I Love My Body

Society expects me to hate my body because there is lots of fatty tissue on it. I should hate myself because I'm a lazy slob, an unworthy person who can't even be thin. (By the way, I've never been thin. Even at 120 pounds I look curvy.)

To them I say: go stick yourself where the sun don't shine. My body is strong. I can take a beating. My body is desirable. Plenty of people love it. My body is amazing. I get tons of pleasure from it.

The kink community, especially when consciously sex-positive and body-positive, is a great space to learn that your body deserves to exist, and that thinness is not a price to pay for taking space in the world.

Slim bodies, fat bodies, tall bodies, short bodies, cis bodies, trans bodies: they are all worthy of love and respect. I have kink to thank for this powerful lesson. (Read: 6 Steps That'll Help You Love Love Love Your Naked Self.)