The book is coherently organised into 6 parts.
Chapter 1 is an excellent essay introducing the territory. Inevitably and quite naturally it challenges and indeed demolishes the prevailing and all pervading cultural attitude toward fat people which is both misguided and cruel, and states the case for greater understanding as well as the utter normalcy of fat people having the same potential as anyone else for being fulfillingly sexually active. Her technique here is somewhat repetitive, but in an upwardly spiralling form - covering the same ground essentially but with each round reenforcing the case, arguing from comparison, metaphor and unassailable logic; a comprehensive polemic which should sow enlightenment among the ignorant and unconverted, and is sheer pleasure for the fat and fat related audience - the 'I'm OK You're OK' for the fat community.
Throughout, and properly so, she weaves between fat issues in general and sex issues specifically. So chapter 2 takes us around the total cultural and political fat scene, including special interest groups and minorities within a minority; thus the gay, bi and transgender worlds are surveyed extensively too. It ends with cross referencing all this with the internet; the net being a strong thread throughout the book, with good reason. Recently the development of the size acceptance movement and the development of the net seem to have progressed in tandem, and much of the cutting edge of size activism is unfolding on the net. The net listings in the resource guide at the end of the book are a portal goldmine in themselves.
In evolutionary terms, chapter 3 covers courtship - meeting and mating, flirting and dating, cuddling and coupling; with all the special features when people of size are involved. Hanne herself seems to be well versed in all this; she has also spoken with lots and lots of people and done a survey as part of her prep for the book, and she draws on all of these. Chances are that most readers in the singles scene will find their own bit to relate to. Here too the net looms large.
Chapter 4 returns to the individual - the painful experiences common to the unconventionally sized; the jibes, the rejection, the internalisation of the criticism; again, particularly in relation to their sexuality and their sexual experience. FAs are never very far from the action, and she helpfully tackles the peculiar phenomenon of the ambivalence of the fat woman, adored by her paramour, but nevertheless suspicious of his attraction, overtures and professions of adoration, shrinking at his touch, especially of her vulnerable parts, with insight and sympathy.
The next section is all about sexual health for fat people, from abuse through dysfunction to childbirth. Hanne is practical throughout the book and no less so here, with things like directories of fat friendly practitioners and 9 right-on questions to ask your gynaecologist before signing up with them.
Having read and inwardly digested all of the above, the final chapter is dessert - the juicy bit! How do fat people do it?! Essentially the same as everyone else, but with certain limitations, particular variations and lots of special possibilities! Hanne is totally unencumbered by cant or inhibition and her approach and her language are liberated and natural. Nowhere have I seen in a quality piece of writing such upfront and explicit exploration of things like the pleasures and varieties of fat frottage.
I found just two omissions in this encyclopaedic work. Somewhere she does refer to water and its magic powers of bestowing weightlessness and agility on the fat person; but she doesn't actually go on to discuss this in a sexual context - and never mind your mile high club, aqua-sex is quite extraordinary. The other omission for me was something about intimate language, pillow talk. Again, she does cover language, for example in the fairly obvious sense of language as repository of prejudice. Throughout the book, whatever the subject, she gives useful examples but rightly emphasizes that every individual can and should find their very own personal way of approaching and doing things; but she omits highlighting this in the potent area of language. It's a great thing to emerge from, or at least to supplement, the received language for referring to fat. For example - on the humourous side, my partner and I fell into the joke of moving from calling her roly poly to calling us roly and poly; more seriously, at an earlier, more sensitive stage of our relationship, I substituted the gentler word falling for the more negatively loaded hanging in my verbal rhapsodies; and it's wholly feasible to evolve a whole private language of love with its own vocabulary for body parts, fat attributes and terms of endearment in general.
"This review first appeared in Freesize, the UK magazine for size acceptance."