Back around 1997-98, my then girlfriend and her kids moved in with me. At the time she weighed about 175 lbs, thick, but not fat. Within a year, she’d gained almost 75 pounds, partly due to being on anti depressant medication, and part of it me, cooking lots of rich, fattening foods that she loved.
She loved my cooking, but she didn’t love the weight gain. Within a year, she’d gone from a size 16 to a size 22, and she was miserable. I on the other hand, LOVED the way she looked. I realized that while I was making all these calorie laden foods for her, I was still eating mostly vegetarian and macrobiotic.
I discovered the world of feederism.
“What’s that?” you ask? Well, for those outside of the fat community who are unaware by now, here’s what urbandictionary.com says that it is:
An underground sexual fetish which involves one partner (the feeder) feeding the other, both to obtain sexual arousal and to encourage weight gain in the feedee. Feederism can vary in nature, from a consensual act between two people who mutually appreciate a larger body type, to non-consensual abuse, which may involve force-feeding and bondage and is undertaken with the intention of fattening up the feedee to the point of immobility and total dependence. The weight gained can also vary froma few pounds to hundreds, whilst some feeder relationships are not undertaken with the purpose of weight gain at all but for the enjoyment of food in an intimate context.
I’m not certain that it’s considered “underground” anymore, especially after the practice was covered by The New Yourk Times, but also in mainstream websites like details.com. Of course, this topic is of major importance to sites like FantasyFeeder.com, and dimensionsmagazine.com, where feeding and weight gaining stories abound, glorifying the practice, and providing fantasy fodder for those who enjoy the practice.
Now of course, those who engage in the feederism would like you to think that it’s generally harmless. This was posted by a feedee in one of the forums concerning the criticisms that have been leveled at the practice:
Saying that feederism is about “glorification of clothing becoming too small, furniture breaking, not fitting into seats..” is akin to saying that dieting is about becoming anorexic.
Feederism is about a woman (or a man) being happy with their size and loving the feeling of being fat and eating exactly what they want to, with the full support of their partner. Being non-judgemental about people who are gaining weight (because the lifestyle they lead promotes that) is an essential part of size acceptance as much as being non-judgemental about people who are trying to lose weight (either through WLS or more conventional methods).
Yes indeed, the fantasy side of feederism is about immobility and growing big enough to burst out of clothing and struggle fitting into seats but this IS just a fantasy for most people who are into feederism. In reality it is more like a mutual appreciation of the sensualities of fat and food. My boyfriend is a feeder but he would not leave me if I lost weight and wanted to be smaller and I am a feedee and would still be a feedee if I lost 200 pounds. It’s about the food and the fat and the feeding and not necessarily the gaining of weight.
I guess lots of feeders and feedees expect the FA/SA community to be accepting of their lifestyle and not buy into stereotypes associated with it, as they know that the way fat is percieved in the world at large is stereotypical and mainly untrue. People in the size acceptance community know that a fat body does not go hand in hand with unhealthiness, uncleanliness and unintelligence, as society would have you believe. Feeders and feedees want to be accepted as people who like food and fat and not as inhuman monsters who want to make their partners immobile and completely control them or mindless idiots who allow their partner to use food to make them prisoners in their own bodies. As people in the FA world are open minded enough to realise that the media has gotten it wrong about fat people we hope that they are open minded enough to realise that the media portrayal of feederism is also incorrect.
A couple of points here.
First, the analogy of feederism is to immobility as dieting is to becoming anorexic is not a stretch. Fact is, lots of people diet to anorexic weights and measures, just like lots of those who engage in the practice of feederism make it about the massive weight gain. I suppose a better term might just be “weight extremism” for sexual purposes, as there are people who get equally off on anorexic bodies.
Point two, the “fantasy” portion of what she described doesn’t always remain a fantasy. All one has to do is go on to sites like YouTube and punch in key words like “belly stuffing” and weight gain to find videos like this:
Look at the caption right below the video – “First Day of Stuffing! Hoping to get much much bigger!”
I have no problem individually with anyone who desires to gain weight, even to the point of immobility, especially if their sexual desires are fulfilled in the process. I also have no issue with those who do the feeding, the enablers who get such pleasure as watching bodies expand, clothing get tighter to the point of ripping, getting off on each new pound, putting food into your “lover’s” mouth. Whatever floats your boat, provided there’s a mutuality of interest going on with both of you.
To return to my girlfriend back in 1997, when at 250 pounds, she became extremely uncomfortable with her weight, and woke me one night to tell me she HAD to get back to under 150 pounds to keep her sanity. As I said in a previous blog, I said that was cool, and rolled over and went back to sleep. The next day, she began to eat mostly vegetarian and macrobiotic along with me, and lost all of the weight. Ultimately the weight returned, and incredible enough, I was blamed for it, and she moved out.
The argument is often made that size acceptance can not move forward unless this practice is accepted within the size acceptance community. From the NAAFA website:
NAAFA supports an individual’s right to control all choices concerning his or her own body.
NAAFA opposes the practice of feeders, in which one partner in a sexual relationship
expects and encourages another partner to gain weight.
Marilyn Wann, who is one of the unofficial leaders of the size acceptance movement, has the following disclaimer on her Fat!So? website:
You are welcome here!
What’s not welcome here, not the least little bit…
fat = bad / thin = good beliefs
weight-based definitions of health
weight-loss goals and weight-loss methods
intentional weight-gain goals and feeder/gainer interests
So, why would these icons in the size acceptance movement be against other fat people???? I believe there are several reasons for it. First and foremeost, is presupposes (and I don’t disagree) that the people involved with intentional weight gain are dissatisfied somehow with their bodies as they are. If you can’t accept yourself as is, how can you expect others to accept you?
The “other” reason, which I believe is the more important one but the one that’s never acknowledged, is the unwillingness of size acceptance to allow what is viewed by them as a fetish to rise to the surface of the community as it continues to combat size prejudice and promote size acceptance.
The best analogy I can make is to take you back to 1945. Jackie Robinson, who was playing at the time for the Dodgers Montreal club, was called into the office of then owner Branch Rickey. Rickey was especially interested in making sure his eventual signee could withstand the inevitable racial abuse that would be directed at him. In a famous three-hour exchange on August 28, 1945, Rickey asked Robinson if he could face the racial animus without taking the bait and reacting angrily—a concern given Robinson’s prior arguments with law enforcement officials at PJC and in the military. Robinson was aghast: “Are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?” Rickey replied that he needed a Negro player “with guts enough not to fight back.” After obtaining a commitment from Robinson to “turn the other cheek” to racial antagonism, Rickey agreed to sign him to a contract.
Can you imagine if Jackie Robinson came to the big leagues in 1947, and caused all sorts of problems during the games he played in? He was taunted by many, physically harmed by some, yet he remained committed to his cause of showing that black athletes were above all the prejudice and preconceived notions that white people ha about them. I feel strongly that the last thing the size acceptance community needs at this point are a bunch of fetishists calling more attention to what represents a small portion of the ranks, but would continue to perpetuate the prejudices and feelings that the rest of the world has about fat people.
Let’s also go back to 1979. Director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) had begun to shoot a movie in New York City called Cruising, which starred Al Pacino. The premise of the movie was that Pacino play a NY cop who goes underground in the gay S&M scene to track down a serial killer. During the filming, the gay community protested, often interrupting the shooting of the movie, in an effort to delay, and hopefully cancel the project. Al Pacino said that he understood the protests but insisted that upon reading the screenplay he never at any point felt that the film was anti-gay. He said that the leather bars were “just a fragment of the gay community, the same way the Mafia is a fragment of Italian-American life,” referring to The Godfather, and that he would “never want to do anything to harm the gay community”
The problem was, those outside the gay community didn’t know that this was just a fragment. They thought everyone who was gay was like this.
On July 16, 1979, just before principal shooting began, columnist/activist Arthur Bell wrote in The Village Voice that Cruising “will negate years of positive movement work and may well send gays running back into the closets and precipitate heavy violence. . .I implore readers. . .to give Friedkin and his production crew a terrible time if you spot them in your neighborhood.”
By the way, two months after Cruising’s release a man armed with a sub-machine gun opened fire on patrons of the Ramrod — a bar prominently featured in the film — killing two and wounding twelve. Crimes against gays rose to an all time high after the release, and as Bell predicted it negated years of moving the gay acceptance agenda. To this day, older men in the gay community look back to that time as critical in their history.
Why am I saying all of this? Not because I think someone is going to walk into a fat social event or fat rights rally with a machine gun and take everyone down. What I AM saying is that every time a feeder or feedee opens their mouth in the media, claiming to be part of fat acceptance, they’re doing far more harm than good. It’s really hard to get people to understand what size acceptance is all about when you have people that are not accepting of their own bodies (and changing them for sexual purposes) putting themselves in the forefront, expecting the rest of the world to understand and accept them.
For what it’s worth, I accept you, just shut the hell up for a little while.