I mentioned before that I came across a thread on the Dimensions web site that didn’t quite go the way I expected it to. This thread was started in response to an article containing an unflattering portrayal of the “chubby chasers” the author met online when she weighed 360 lbs.

As I noted, it seems clear from her other statements that the author doesn’t actually think all FAs are creepy perverts. But my first reaction was, I still don’t like it when people insult groups of people who “everybody knows” are “weird” for a cheap laugh, and that’s kind of what the anecdotes in the article felt like to me. After all, the thinking might go, since FAs are a small minority and most people think they’re freaks anyway, you can toss off a blanket insult and call them “gnomes” without worrying about making too many people mad, so it makes a great easy one-liner. You know, give the people what they want, and what they want is to be reassured that they’re the normal ones and anyone kinky is a hopeless freak, especially if they are such a freak as to actually find a fat woman sexually attractive. Whew, those guys are just as bizarre as I always thought.

So anyway, I expected the resulting thread–which basically asked “I’m an FA–are we really all freaks in your opinion?” to express basically the same irritation. But I don’t think I understood (and I mean, if I thought I did, that was pretty damn complacent of me since before this weekend I’ve never spent a moment on the site in my life) some of the tensions that exist between the women and men who post at Dimensions. Or perhaps it’s simply tensions between people of either gender who go there to meet someone who is tolerant of a fat partner, versus those who go there to meet more overtly sexual needs. Many of the responses, in any case, were from fat women who were pretty negative on FAs. In their experience, I read over and over, many of the FAs they met fell more on the side of fetish-obsessed, sex-crazed, instant gratification types than men who really wanted to befriend, date, get to know, and fall in love with fat women.

The interesting thing to me was that I spent far more time on the site than I probably should have this weekend (when I tossed off a flip reference to feederism a few days ago, I never thought I would actually be reading about the topic in-depth in the near future, but anyway), and for the most part I wasn’t really seeing this attitude on the part of male members. Even areas apparently considered so over-the-top and niche that most readers actively steer clear, like the section of the forums on feederism and deliberate weight gain, seemed far more “normal” than I would have expected.

Although it was clear from reading that for some reason, the fantasy of coercing a partner into gaining vast amounts of weight is indeed sexually compelling to some people, most posters seemed well able to separate fantasy from reality and to recognize that fantasies of forced gaining enhanced their sex lives for whatever reason, but were not really necessary or good to act out in everyday life. The point was made to an extent I was comfortable with that feeding stories and fantasies, where people are sometimes force-fed so much that they become immobile, are not representative of what really goes on in a relationship where this fetish is played out. Like most fetishes, the fictionalization is far more extreme than the reality. I mean, personally, the fantasy of watching someone gain and gain (or gaining and gaining myself) is one of those kinks that I just can’t make myself understand on any level–not to say that makes it objectively disgusting, just that I don’t have any connection to it or understanding of what makes it a turn-on–so it’s not something that holds any appeal for me at all, fantasy or otherwise. I also recognize that the power dynamics in such a relationship could be really disturbing if it existed in real life (and consider the equally disturbing converse, a relationship where one partner starved the other–yikes). But as is my general belief, if two adults are into the concept on a fantasy level then no harm, no foul. And the boards seemed to be on this wavelength as well.

(As for tamer versions where you “play” at feederism by simply feeding your partner treats during sex and such, hell, frankly I could probably get behind that. I live in 21st-century diet-crazy America, and the idea of being able to eat exactly what I wanted and exactly how much of it I wanted, in an environment where nobody disapproved and in fact my partner actively approved, is such a compelling, relaxing thought that it probably wouldn’t be much of a leap to tie it into my sex life under different circumstances. You know, if I could also keep everyone else in this excellent nonexistent world from disapproving of my weight and food intake so I wouldn’t have to feel guilty after the sex was over either. ANYway.)

The other complaints the women had seemed to center around men who had an interest in physically engaging a partner’s fat folds during sex, and men who liked specifically fat-related dirty talk. Again, I don’t imagine either of those things would really do it for me (though with a partner who I was sure loved and cared for me and wasn’t just mocking or degrading my fat body, I could probably get into them), but I don’t see the idea as any more shockingly depraved than anything else.

Of course, it would be assy of me not to acknowledge that fat people are inherently no more kinky than thin people, so of course just because I don’t find these concepts that disturbing doesn’t mean that the next person doesn’t have a perfect right to find them disturbing or to prefer not to involve them in their sex life. Or that it isn’t probably frustrating to be looking for a fairly tame relationship and end up meeting mostly people who are looking for something weirder. Though along the same lines, I don’t see why FAs would on balance be any kinkier than other men either–I expect most single FAs are looking for connections, relationships, marriages, and great “normal-person” sex, they just would rather find these things with fat women than thin ones–so I’m not sure why the types of FAs the women were complaining about would be any more prevalent online than those with more vanilla tastes.

Anyway, like I said, I feel like I saw some of the “worst” aspects of the site and they didn’t really strike me as that bad, though of course there were exceptions and I didn’t see anywhere near the entire site. However, it is pretty fucking presumptuous of me to even be presenting my opinion on this matter because I have been married for almost 10 years (so, since really before the advent of online dating), have never sought or dated an FA largely because I didn’t really know they existed at the time I was looking, and have certainly never been to a NAAFA-type meetup, which can apparently be pretty meat-market (and I think at least some of the bad experiences the female commenters were relaying were actual in-person dates, which would be even more discouraging than running into a creep online). In any case I am definitely not now in the position of having to deal with all the frustrating, objectifying crap that I’m sure goes along with the dating experience whether you are on a niche site like Dimensions or a more mainstream dating site. So does anyone reading have any stories to share about their positive or negative experiences meeting FAs or making their way in the fat-specific dating community? I would be interested to hear your take in the comments.

One poster (Spanky) did have an awesome sum-up (as commenters discussed encountering men who view a woman as just an object rather than as a person first and foremost) that gave me the warm fuzzies and that I just had to quote here:

I only refer to women here as BBW because people here understand it. It too is a label. The women here are W-O-M-E-N, lovely women. Lovely shapes, brains, ideas, purposes, feelings, emotions, hair, eyes, butts, thoughts, humor, etc, etc.