REVEALED: Sex therapist in Bill Cosby documentary who said men should be able to drug women and have sex with them says ‘fatphobia’ is racism, fitness trainers are Nazis and ‘diet culture is a form of assault’
- Sonalee Rashatwar, who bills himself as a ‘superfat queer bisexual non-binary therapist’, said date rape can be ‘sex positive’ in a recent Bill Cosby documentary
- The claims sparked an immediate backlash but the remarks by the therapist who specializes in ‘sexual trauma’ are not the first time he has courted controversy
- Rashatwar has called for the dismantling of Western civilization and argued kids should be taught sex education through the lens of ‘Black radical feminism’
A therapist who claims date rape can be ‘sex positive’ is touring American campuses claiming that ‘fatphobia’ is racist, fitness trainers are Nazis and Western civilization should be dismantled.
Sonalee Rashatwar, who bills himself as a ‘superfat queer bisexual non-binary therapist’, made the disturbing comments in the four-part series We Need to Talk about Cosby, which was shown for the first time in the UK on Sunday.
The Philadelphia-based therapist, who charges $200 an hour and is licensed in three states, suggested men who have a fetish about sex with unconscious partners should be able to pay women to be drugged to get their ‘kink out.’
The claims sparked an immediate backlash from viewers who demanded to know why the UK-taxpayer funded BBC was airing an apparent justification of Bill Cosby’s predatory behavior without challenge.
Rashatwar, who uses the pronouns ‘they/he’, states that he is an award-winning social worker and sex therapist who has worked with victims of sexual abuse as young as 13.
Sonalee Rashatwar in a recent Instagram post while on holiday in Italy
Recent Instagram posts from Rashatwar
His remarks in the documentary are not the first time he has courted controversy. Rashatwar’s strident proclamations, including that body mass index (BMI) is a tool to criminalize fat people, have been legitimized by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Vice magazine and now the British state broadcaster.
‘Maybe once a year I say something that makes white supremacists mad,’ he bragged in a recent interview.
Rashatwar, who graduated from Temple University in 2011, is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in ‘sexual trauma, diet trauma, racial or immigrant trauma.’
He offers his expertise over Zoom video call and charges $125 to $200 per session and hosts speaking events where tickets go for $40.
Rashatwar is dubbed ‘thefatsextherapist’ on Instagram where he has amassed a legion of more than 150,000 followers to whom he preaches his message, shares photos of food and his naked body.
‘I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,’ he told liberal arts students in a speech at St Olaf College in Minnesota in 2019.
The 34-year-old went on to claim that fitness contributed to the Christchurch terror attack and suggested that high blood pressure was more likely the result of criticism for being overweight rather than obesity itself.
‘I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor,’ he declared, as he claimed that the shooting was ‘a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body. Nazis really love this idea.’
Rashatwar argues that we should look critically at science which tells us being fat is unhealthy.
‘Is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?’ He asked.
‘I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body,’ Rashatwar added.
He traces ‘fatphobia’ to colonial brutality and how slaves were treated.
‘I love to talk about undoing Western civilization because it’s just so romantic to me,’ Rashatwar told the Inquirer in 2019.
A post shared by Sonalee (they-he) LCSW MEd (@thefatsextherapist)
An Instagram post by the therapist yesterday said: ‘BMI (body mass index) is a metric, a ruler, used to determine how to gatekeep a large fat person’s access to medicine, and pathways to fully and meaningfully integrate into society. The medical-industrial complex shows us the true motivation behind medicine is often eugenics’
In a post last week, Rashatwar stated: ‘Stop colluding with your client’s desire to shrink their bodies, hearts, minds, emotions, spirits, dreams, and imaginations. Intentional weightloss has a 95-97% failure rate and causes weight cycling, which can explain many negative health effects of fatness. Induced famine (dieting) creates metabolic dysregulation and stresses the body’
Rashatwar claims that the BMI is ‘eugenic medicine’ which was created by a white supremacist.
‘The BMI has been debunked time and time again and begs the question: when will we collectively demand the abolition of the BMI? How else do you see BMI used as a tool to criminalize fatness? Especially the fattest among us?’ He wrote in a recent Instagram post.
When he isn’t offering abstract social commentary, he gives more practical advice.
In a Vice feature titled ‘The Fat Person’s Guide to Facesitting’, Rashatwar provided instructions on how an obese person could sit on their partner’s face without suffocating them.
‘There should be ongoing communication,’ Rashatwar explains. ‘Not just in the form of, ”Can you breathe?’ but also, “Are you enjoying this?”‘
As part of his body and sex positive message he has boasted of belly-shaking one night stands and lonely evenings whispering to himself as if speaking to a cat.
‘I feel liberated when I have a wonderful, casual f*** from Tinder and I do not worry about how much my belly is shaking,’ he told one interviewer.
‘Liberation can feel like when my date cancels on me and I’m really disappointed, letting myself cry about it. Reminding myself that I’ve got really great sex toys that do the job well! When I do masterbate, I have a practice where I hug myself, kiss myself on the fattest part of both of my arms, and whisper really sweetly, “I love you Sonalee.”
‘I use a similar voice to speak to my cat. Those words remind me I have power over my own sexual pleasure. I have the ability to offer it to myself whenever I need it.’
Rashatwar says that he believes in teaching children about sex education through the lens of ‘Black radical feminism.’
‘I remember having energetic conversations in schools in 2013, seeing the rise of Black Lives Matter, existing in these sex ed learning spaces, and imaging how to infuse deep loyalty to racial justice into every part of my sex therapy practice,’ he told the Zoe Report in an interview last year.
It is not clear why Rashatwar was chosen to appear in We Need to Talk About Cosby, but his hugely successful internet presence might provide the answer.
‘I started being politicized by the internet when Facebook was big in 2010 to 2015. I found some really interesting discussions on politics on Facebook and started building large communities because of similar interests in fatphobia, racial equality, and more,’ he said.
‘Eventually, I gained a pretty large reach through reading other people’s work and following racial justice and fat radical activists teaching through things like memes.
‘When I started posting on Instagram, I built an audience through a lot of my existing connections.’
Cosby, once referred to as ‘America’s Dad’ in a career spanning decades, has admitted drugging women with sedatives such as Quaaludes.
Bill Cosby, 85, was convicted of the aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand in 2018. The judgment was overturned in 2021
He was jailed in 2018 for drugging and molesting a woman, then freed on a technicality in 2021. He is accused by around 60 women of rape and sexual assault in incidents dating back more than 50 years.
The four-part documentary series first aired in the US last year on Showtime. The remarks by Rashatwar come in the fourth episode.
He told the filmmakers: ‘If we actually grappled with the fact that sex negativity is what causes this type of behavior, then we could create a world, where in an idyllically sex positive world, someone is able to pay conscious women to come and be drugged so that I can get my kink out, my fetish on having sex with unconscious people. There’s a consensual way to do that.’
But the remarks sparked huge anger from viewers.
Co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, James Esses, posted the clip on social media, saying: ‘I feel sick. This is beyond atrocious.’
Former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies wrote on Twitter: ‘How is the BBC (or any credible tv station) giving airtime to this.’
Director of Big Brother Watch UK, Silkie Carlo, added: ‘Sex negativity causes this behaviour’?!?. This is rape apologism quickly followed by rape advocacy. How the hell did it end up on the BBC?!’
A BBC spokesman said: ‘We Need to Talk about Cosby is an acclaimed documentary series from W Kamau Bell which is a BBC acquisition.
‘This contributor provides broader cultural commentary on some of the topics raised alongside a wide range of other contributors.’
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