Article Thumbnail

Don’t Call Sofia Rose a Fetish

A face-sitting-filled weekend in Florida with the adult world’s premier BBW star — whose stunning popularity is making the industry question its longest-held stereotype

The PlumperPass scene “Smoothies for Boobies” begins with Sofia Rose in hot pink workout pants and an aquamarine tank top while jogging alongside Miami’s Bayside Marketplace. Her outfit obviously accentuates the signature elements of her signature curves — massive 38K breasts, a sizable belly roll and an ample bubble butt. Through her semi-sheer sunglasses, Rose makes eye contact with Asante Stone, a tall, lean porn performer in a ribbed tank top. He says he’s never seen her around before, while she explains how she’s just moved to Miami before inviting him up to her new apartment for a smoothie. Soon, the duo is conspiring to add some new “exercises” to their “workout regimen” (namely: fucking). “Welcome to Miami,” Rose laughs as Stone slowly fondles her rolls. Eventually, she sits on his face, her ass cheeks engulfing his head.

Tags for the video include “big belly” and “belly play,” but Rose is best known by another label: “BBW,” the porn acronym for “big, beautiful woman.” The kind of BBW porn Rose shoots (and all BBW porn for that matter) is evidence of something plenty of fat people are already well aware of — people like to fuck us. Not just because of our pretty faces or great personalities either, but simply because of the size of our bodies.

View this post on Instagram

Part 10/15 #sofiarose I was wrong. My career was taking off but I was constantly faced with a tumultuous personal life. I ended up in jail two more times. I was going to trial and if I and one more issue like this I was facing a felony. In one of the instances where he attacked me while he was driving, he got out of the car and dragged me by my hair to the ground. When I stood up, I hit back so hard i broke his jaw. Another time in the middle of winter, on new years eve he pulled me out of the car after I had pulled over because he kept grabbing the wheel while I was driving. He dragged me out of the drivers seat. Kicked me onto the ice and wailed into me while I fought to just stand up on the slick thick ice. It lasted awhile, I kept standing and falling I had multiple lacerations on my hands wrists and arms. My knees covered in blood and gouged flesh dangling off my legs. I had bruises all over. The ice was covered in my blood. I was unable to defend myself at all never having a chance to stand on my own two feet. I don’t remember how I got home that night. I remember crying and trying not to wake my room mates or get blood all over the house. I could barely bend my right knee, every time I tried, it ripped and I was in excruciating pain. I waited two days and i finally went to a hospital, I was so scared because I knew I was going to have to explain this, and I didn’t want to go to jail again. I was in urgent care, the doctor asked and I said I fell on some ice. Which was only partially true. They told me the cuts on my hands had already begun to heal and would be okay. My knee had been trying to heal but wasn’t. The blood flow was gone and the skin was dead and dangling. They removed it, patched me up with some stitches and told me to keep clean and come back if I had a fever. I was not going to be able to shoot for awhile, I was pretty bruised up I would have scars, permanent reminders. The doctor knew I was lying. He asked me multiple times how it happened, he wasnt buying I slipped on some ice. his tone changed. He told me he had people there I could talk to if I was in danger. I was terrified no one would believe me, I wanted this to end.

A post shared by SofiaRose (@ilovesofiarose) on

It’s a realization that’s slowly allowed for the current mainstream beauty standard to at least recognize (and value) some degree of “thickness,” a trend that’s also helped elevate Rose to superstar status (and probably vice versa). And so, the same women who once liposuctioned their asses to appear as skinny as porn icons like Jenna Jameson are now transferring fat to their derrieres to appear as “thicc” as the 43-year-old Rose, with her 200,000 Twitter followers and 500,000 Instagram followers.

“My mom says, ‘These women are paying to look like us,” Rose tells me. “‘That’s why plastic surgeons have a job.’” (FWIW: Lizzo, the curvy pop/R&B musician famous for twerking and playing the flute at the same time, among other things, is appearing nude in this month’s issue of Playboy — only the second plus-size woman to do so in the magazine’s 65-year history.)

Not surprisingly, Rose is radiant in person, with glowing skin and curly eyelashes. When we meet, she’s wearing a tight camouflage-print T-shirt dress, her signature curves once again on display. We’re at the Italian restaurant in the lobby of our Miami hotel. A recent convert to veganism, she scoots away the butter plate as we share an order of fried zucchini. She’s back in Florida to shoot a new scene for PlumperPass, but also as part of her current U.S. tour. For modern-day sex workers, a “tour” is a way to parlay their fanbase into escorting clients, amassing a higher income by scheduling private “meet and greets” with fans. Each meet-up costs between $600 to $1,000, depending on the city. She will see two or three clients while in Miami, all of whom she will host in the hotel room provided by PlumperPass.

She explains that 2019 will be her last year of touring before her partial retirement in 2020, which means she’s working overtime to handle as much business as possible in the meantime. “I’m more successful than ever, and it’s been that way for the last few years,” she says. “Plus, I’ve always said I wanted to leave this business on top.”

Rose also wants to leave it atop a serious stack of cash. “Money makes me wet,” she tells me, jokingly, but she genuinely gets off on her own earning potential as well. In early February, she decided she wanted to save $18,000. Now, two weeks into the month, she’s just $4,000 short of her goal.

Speaking of cash, before long, she spots her client at the bar and leaves to greet him. A 25-year-old drug dealer who became a quadriplegic after getting shot in the shoulder two years ago, he pays her whole rate even knowing that he won’t be able to have sex with her.

“I’m squishy, so he just kept squeezing me,” she later tells me.

* * * * *

The next morning, I find myself in the backseat of a black SUV belonging to a man named Clint, waiting for Rose to join us for the day’s shoot, a pastoral, barnyard scene that will begin with her feeding horses. Clint is a porn producer from Rochester, New York, who slightly resembles Big Pussy from The Sopranos. His official PlumperPass title is “chief marketing officer.” He learned about marketing while working in music promotion in the 1990s, touring with the Beastie Boys and pushing the classic Lil’ Kim album Hard Core (a synchronistic title) before entering the porn industry in 2003.

Clint produced the first hardcore scene Rose ever shot, as well as the majority of her scenes for PlumperPass, arguably the internet’s largest destination for BBW porn. “He likes to tell the story of how he had to court me for six years to get me in,” Rose teases as she takes her place in the front seat of the SUV. “I was a rude little bitch when he first contacted me in 2006 or 2007. I wasn’t doing hardcore at the time, but I got a lot of requests to do so, so I was annoyed.”

Back then, Rose had built a large following in Yahoo! groups such as “BBWs in Daisy Dukes,” which was an effective way to promote herself long before Instagram. (Rose spent years as a solo model and fetish clip producer before beginning to shoot hardcore.) Clint subscribed to these groups and wrote to her on behalf of PlumperPass. “She blocked me on Yahoo! Messenger for about a year. Then she unblocked me, only to block me again,” Clint says. “It was a no-pressure situation. I said, ‘My name’s Clinton, and if you decide to do it, fine. Here I am.’”

Eventually, Rose began her own website full of softcore photos, though she still never showed anything below the waist. “You could see between my legs, but I wouldn’t actually spread and show,” she explains. “I remember a pool shot where my bottoms were off, but [the photographer] was shooting between my thighs in a way where the shadows covered everything. Other times, I’d do a lot of hand-covering-the-crotch kind of thing.”

“I just didn’t feel comfortable showing it,” she continues. “I was very self-conscious of my body. I’m ethnic, my skin is dark and I didn’t like how my vagina looked because in porn everyone’s was so pink. All your life, you see bleached assholes, and you begin thinking everyone looks like that. Eventually, I realized a lot of women looked like me, and I began feeling more confident. I started to get more daring. Then I took the plunge and went all the way over to hardcore.”

Rose considers being “natural” the “premise” of being a BBW star. Thus, “every single stretch mark, bruise and pore was showing” when she first launched her pay site in 2007, an enterprise that quickly earned her $1,600 a week (monthly subscriptions were priced between $19.95 and $24.95). “I knew I was doing well because my roommate could barely get a $100 paycheck from doing the same thing,” she explains. “She was a curvy blonde from Portland, Oregon, with green eyes, and she could barely get a $100 check for doing the same thing. Someone told me, ‘That just shows where you are in a market saturated with white women.’”

Her whole story is different, too. In particular, Rose only started erotic modeling when she was 30, an antidote to her “situational depression.” She was sick of living a predictable, joyless life as an administrative assistant married to her high school sweetheart. “I woke up, and I was 30. I had a great job, married and was raising my daughter. But I was unhappy. I was bored. Nothing was exciting to me. I realized I’d spent a large part of my youth being whatever everyone expected from me and had no idea who I actually was,” she’s written about her road to porn stardom on Instagram. “I woke up one day. I asked [my husband] to move out. I quit my job at Frito-Lay corporate, cashed my 401k that had been building since I was 19 and pushed the ‘start’ button.”

As we cruise past thickets of palm groves and other tropical farms in Clint’s truck, Rose’s mind wanders back to the upcoming shoot. “I had to order 10 bales of hay ahead of time for today,” Clint warns her. There will also be goats, steer, horses and a hog, or you know, the antithesis of the archetypal, minimal-Miami-apartment porn set.

“This is going to be the nastiest shoot ever,” Rose says, referring to the humidity, the stables and all that hay. Still, she’s committed to the work: “You’ll see this, but the fan will never see this. I would never let it show in my performance.”

* * * * *

The shooting location is part horse farm, part truckyard. For his part, Clint sees potential all over the place. There’s a bunch of rocks in front of a few tractors where he can shoot a completely different construction scene. Then there’s the trailer, where he envisions staging a nostalgia scene involving a woman in pink hair rollers smoking a cigarette. The trailer is also where Rose finds herself at the moment. She extracts a black baby tee from her suitcase, which serves as the scene’s wardrobe closet.

“No black, too slimming,” Clint says immediately.

“Some companies that shoot BBWs or plus-size have a model cover their belly or other parts of their figure, but that’s what we’re purposely making sure to capture,” he tells me. “That’s what the fan is into. He’s into the belly. He’s into the thighs. He’s into the big tits. He’s into the back rolls. That’s what makes a BBW lover.”

Basically, at PlumperPass, nobody cares if the camera adds 10 pounds. On the flip side, Clint refers to a past generation of porn executives as “gatekeepers” who prevented the proliferation of diversity in the industry. “Those guys thought they knew what fans wanted, but they didn’t. They shot the models they liked and assumed that was what the fans wanted, too. But a lot of these guys were older white men who didn’t know what was going on. For them, even when they did shoot BBWs, it was more about checking a box than really appreciating the women.”

Today, though, Clint says that not only are BBW bodies represented in porn more than ever before, they’re also exalted — or at least respected — by the people capturing them on film. “Excuse my language, but when I first started, there were ‘Chubby Chasers’ and ‘Fat Fuckers.’ They were degrading, low-quality, ‘feed-and-fuck’ her videos,” Clint explains. “We entered the industry with ‘Hot, Sexy Plumpers’ in 2003, which evolved into PlumperPass in 2007. We purposely tried to do things differently with our sites. We actually brought in hair and makeup and created sets.”

“We don’t play into BBWs being a fetish,” he continues. “The average dress size for an American woman is a 16. BBW isn’t a niche, it’s a genre. We shoot BBWs like we’d shoot any adult scene. We rarely shoot anything related to food, and only if the model requests it.”

Clint says this new approach to the BBW genre was intended for the benefit of the performers, but that it was also strategic in terms of sales and business development. By eliminating the inherently demeaning frameworks that previously dominated BBW porn, PlumperPass gave male fans a chance to make purchasing their favorite porn a more positive, less shameful experience. “Model-wise, we shoot anyone from 180 pounds to mid-300s,” Clint explains.

There is no fixed standard (or weight) for what designates each type of BBW performer from one another, but Rose says it has to do with both weight and proportions. In that way, it’s more of an eye test, where a SSBBW (or supersized BBW) constitutes the largest performers and a “plumper” (PlumperPass’ titular category) refers to curvy performers on the smaller side of the ledger. In fact, Rose intentionally gained weight at one point in her career to take herself from a plumper (carrying most of her weight in her curvy breasts and butt) to a BBW (carrying more weight in her tummy and arms, too).

Clint says “tweener” models, who are thicker than the average mainstream porn star, but not large enough to be considered a plumper, don’t do as well on PlumperPass. “I shot three big booty models recently in a volleyball scene. I thought it was going to do incredibly, but it didn’t do as well as I expected because the models were curvy, but not big enough. It wasn’t what the fans wanted,” Clint explains.

Last week, Pornhub released an update to “Big Beautiful Data,” its 2015 report about the BBW genre’s growth in popularity. According to the newest report, interest in BBW porn has remained steady since 2015, but hasn’t shown any major spikes in the last four years. (Back in the original report, “BBW” searches had increased 47 percent from May 2013 to August 2015.) That said, it’s most popular with xennials, which would seem to indicate that the spike is here to stay (if not spike again in the future). “Visitors between the ages of 35 to 44 are most interested in BBW, with popularity being 25 percent greater when compared to all other age groups,” the update reads.

For her part, Rose says her core demographic includes men even younger than that. For example, she has an upcoming overnight with a 19-year-old in New York who will pay for ten hours of her time. “There’s a lot of older men who have always appreciated a plus-sized woman, but now there’s this whole generation of young men who are in their 20s and a lot more open about their preference for BBW than ever before,” Rose explains. “My partner included.”

She met her current partner four years ago when he was 21. “His keyword searches are always ‘BBW,’ ‘mature,’ ‘big boobs,’ ‘big tits’ or ‘chubby,’” Rose says. “That’s the porn he’s looking for. He would type in ‘Latina and big butt,’ and I was always at the top of those results. That’s how he found me.”

As for her fans, she says they make her feel more like a goddess they worship than an object they’re curious about: “They genuinely enjoy my weight, my softness and the sensuality of my body.”

And so, Rose doesn’t feel particularly fetishized despite the pointedness of the BBW label. “These guys don’t think of me as a fetish,” she tells me. “They think of me as their ideal.”

* * * * *

Of course, “BBW” can be a controversial term among many fat women, including some body-positivity activists. “I hate the term mainly because it feels extremely fetishized,” explains 22-year-old La’Shaunae Steward, a plus-size model and artist with a huge following online. “I just don’t like that it’s used to ‘compliment’ a fat woman. You don’t see thin women with ‘beautiful thin woman’ in their Instagram captions or bios. Why do fat women literally have to label ourselves a fetishized term used mainly by men who fantasize about us?”

Steward is also critical of iterations of BBW porn that reinforce sexual stereotypes about fat women, namely “that we’re wetter, better at oral and work harder during sex because we’re desperate.” She adds, “I’m actually labeled as a ‘SSBBW,’ which is offensive because it’s me being fetishized for being much bigger than the ‘regular’ plus-sized woman. I often land on porn blogs and Instagram accounts dedicated to fetishizing women over a certain size.”

Still, Steward does enjoy BBW porn. She explains the contradiction thusly: “Both as a teenager and now, I’ve always been bullied by the guys in my school. Other girls would tell me I’d ‘die a virgin,’ because no one likes girls who are my size. So it’s a turn-on to see women who have the same body type as me getting what everyone says we can’t. It also shows me you don’t have to be embarrassed or afraid of your body in a sexual way. At 18, I remember being afraid to be on top of a guy even though he lifted me and put me there. Seeing women do things gracefully I’ve been afraid to do definitely is a huge reason why I’ll never hide during intercourse again.”

Rose says she receives many comments and messages from women who are inspired to get on top of their partners for the first time because of her scenes. She does, though, grow annoyed when people call her the “Ashley Graham of Porn,” because Graham doesn’t actually consider herself plus-size. “Why isn’t Chrissy Metz a face in the plus-size fashion industry?” Rose asks.

Steward has a theory: “When it comes to anything involving women over a size 18, the world isn’t ready. I talk about this almost everyday. I feel like the world is still very close-minded when it comes to actually including women over a size 18 in anything — whether it be the sex symbol in a film, on the cover of Vogue, in high-end fashion or the love interest on TV shows.”

* * * * *

As Rose feared, the heat on set is overwhelming. “Does this mean I’m licking sweaty balls today?” she wonders aloud.

But when she sees her scene partner, Sean Lawless (in the role of “new farm hand”), about to wipe his balls with a baby wipe, she asks him to stop: “I’d rather taste your sweat than a baby wipe.”

“My underboob sweat is gross,” she informs him next.

“I like it,” he says excitedly.

Like it or not, though, the process of having long, choreographed sex for the camera is greuling. It takes endurance, especially when outside and on top of hay. At one point, Rose has to pause to take an antihistamine because she’s breaking out into hay fever from all the hay.

After the “pop” is achieved, we ride back to the PlumperPass offices in Miami with Clint blasting “It’s All About the Benjamins,” rapping the Lil’ Kim verse and cooing its refrain: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” A banner of Rose hangs on the wall in the cavernous PlumperPass headquarters, right near a promotional plaque for Lil Kim’s album Hardcore. Clint’s business partners, the wife and adult son of his late business partner, do administrative work and edit video at their desks. Meanwhile, Rose washes off the dirt, hay and cum from the shoot in the shower in the office bathroom, which is also where her next scene will begin.

But even then, her day is far from over: When tonight’s second shoot wraps, she has plans for another meet-and-greet before bed. As she assures me, “Everyone will tell you that being fat isn’t desirable, but I’m making ridiculous amounts of money because I’m fat.”

Cover photos via PlumperPass