How do you have sex with your husband if he has a big belly?

That may seem like a little out of the ordinary for a Reader Question of the Week, but it’s amazing how often I get it. Not to intentionally make a pun, but this is a big problem. When your husband is too fat, sex just often doesn’t work. Plus it’s hard to see him as attractive.

Reader Question: How do I have sex with my husband when he has a big belly?

One woman writes about her husband’s belly:

Reader Question

What should I do- my husband is something like over 40 pounds overweight but he thinks he is very athletic and hot and he does not see he has a very big belly. I have tried to focus to the things what I like about him but sometimes this thing just overwhelms me. And problem is also that he wants me to say that I like how he looks and that he is athletic and hot but I’m awful liar. What should I do? I love my husband but this thing is very difficult to me and I don’t know what should I do. I don’t understand how he can see himself so different than he is but also I know he has low self-esteem and I do want to honor and love him the way he is.

Another woman writes:

My husband is getting so fat that having sex is becoming almost impossible. Seriously, his stomach gets in the way! What am I supposed to do?

So, I’ve got to tell you, readers, usually when I’m tackling a problem I have in my head a series of things I’m going to suggest, and I can visualize the answer in my mind.

This one more or less has me stumped. I think that’s why I’ve never really answered it, in all my five years of doing reader questions. It’s not like I haven’t got the question; I get it all the time. But I look at it, and I just think, “Yeah, that’s really crappy,” and nothing really comes to me.

But I’ve got to say something, so let me give some rather technical sex advice, and then we’ll just get philosophical for a moment and deal with how you handle an overweight husband.

My Husband Has a Big Belly: So how do we have sex? Some thoughts on what sex positions work best, and how to address his weight issues.

Sex Positions that Work Better when Your Husband is Just Really Big

Even when I’m having sex there’s something I like doing even more, and that’s BREATHING. Breathing is a very good thing. I appreciate it a lot. And let’s face it: if your husband is too big, the missionary position just doesn’t work. First because you can’t breathe; and secondly because if his belly is too big, he likely won’t be able to achieve full penetration because his belly will get in the way.

So what do you do?

Think about it this way: If one has a big stomach, then the erect penis is likely going to rest right along the stomach. In some cases, the stomach could even protrude over the penis. So if sex is going to work, you’re going to have to do something that will angle the penis away from the stomach. That leaves standard missionary and often woman-from-behind not working particularly well.

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Try Woman on Top, Leaning Back Away from His Belly

I tend to like the woman-on-top positions if your husband is overly big, because it makes use of gravity. Not to be too unpleasant, but the fat can fall towards his sides rather than go straight up, and it will likely diminish quite a bit compared to when he’s on top or upright.

If you can then lean back towards his feet, this can work better, because the angle is quite different. I read too in some research I was doing (yes, I actually did some reading for this one) that one of the benefits is you can actually get some clitoral stimulation against his stomach, so that’s good, I guess.

Try Woman on Top, Facing His Feet.

This is a little bit different, but you climb on top and turn around. Again, the point is that he’s angled more down, and so there’s more room for you to move and get penetration.

Try You Lying Down While He Kneels

If he isn’t too big this can work better because if he stays kneeling upright during penetration, then he’s angled away from his stomach again.

The Reality of Excess Fat and Sex

Basically, too much fat is difficult when it comes to sex, and not just because things don’t work together as well. When men have bigger bellies, their testosterone levels also fall, which leads to a lower sex drive. And no matter what I can tell you about being attracted to the whole person rather than just his physical appearance, let’s get real. It’s just difficult to be attracted to your husband when he’s really overweight. It doesn’t mean you can’t have sex by focusing on the pleasure that he can give you (and he can give you pleasure!) and focusing on how much you love him, but that spark can definitely be gone.

But How Do You Get Your Husband to Lose Weight?

That’s a tough one, because you can’t control someone else and you can’t change anyone else’s behaviour. I do have some tips for helping a husband stay healthy here, and those are good. But I was talking to a woman recently who does all of those things and her husband still orders full sugar pop at restaurants and still buys his own Kraft Dinner and chips even though she never buys any of that.


I don’t think it’s okay to say to someone that you don’t find them attractive. I think that’s too much of an esteem killer and you can never take those words back.

But I do think it’s okay to say something like, “I want us to have so much fun together, and I enjoy sex with you, but your weight is really starting to impact our sex life. I don’t want that for us. Can we make some goals together?” And addressing the issue as being about health (not getting diabetes; not putting strain on your heart and your joints) is a better way to frame it than being about how you find him gross.

Honestly, though, maybe sex can be the incentive. I think a lot of men don’t realize they’re creeping up and up and up on the scale, but when their wife suddenly says, “we can’t do missionary anymore because I can’t breathe,” that can be the wake up call that they need.

I have a friend who promised her husband that if he lost 25 pounds she’d have sex everyday for a month. He lost the weight. She made it through most of the month before they both decided that it was okay to stop pushing things so much. So maybe that can be an incentive, if you can do it playfully. To manipulate, though, is never really a good idea. But if he’s wanting to lose weight anyway and recognizes the problem, and you promise something like that–that’s a different dynamic than if he denies there’s a problem or is really defensive about it.

But I really I don’t have any other brilliant thoughts.

I asked my now-married daughter what she thought last night as I was getting ready to write this, and she said, “just say to him, “you know what’s really sexy? Jogging! Jogging is sexy!” But somehow I think you need more than that, and quite frankly I don’t have it.

I’m hoping you all do.

What works to help a guy understand that he has to lose some weight? Let’s talk about it in the comments, because this is such a common problem, and there aren’t easy answers. 

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