Amanda, of Feedee World, got pissed off with Fat Activism recently:
Marilyn Wann, aka the author of Fat? SO! and previously a member of the NAAFA board of directors, as just unfriended me on Facebook. Why? Because I told her I was a Feedee and that “[l]ong story short, life is very complicated. Especially when you try to be balance aspects of your life that conflict, Fat Acceptance, Fat Sexuality, Personal Choice etc.”
I just find it so hard to understand why the Fat Acceptance groups can’t ACCEPT us as well.
Though I think a lot of us are ultimately working towards the same things, acceptance between marginalized groups is still difficult. The past few months delving into the fat-o-sphere has led me to take a stab at some of the reasons why it’s so hard for fat acceptance advocates to just say “YKIOK, IJNMK”:
Taken as a whole, the fat acceptance movement appears to be sexually conservative. Most of the relationship questions have to deal with dating and marriage, and the questions relating to sex often have less to do with the fucking itself and more on the first steps of becoming self-loving enough to let someone see you with your clothes off.
As TR said in the comments on The Rotund’s post on fat and sex:
… I think it’s also sometimes hard for people to go there because it IS so ingrained that “no one will ever want you” – one of the most commonly played jokes on fat kids is setting them up to believe someone is romantically interested in them, after all.
That said, it seems really important to push past that.
While a focus on positive body image is needed in a culture with narrow standards of beauty, it also means that non-mainstream concepts of sex, including body modifications like feederism, are poorly understood in fat acceptance circles. I’ve yet to see concepts like RACK discussed on a fat acceptance blog (though if anyone has a link to correct me with, please send it along!) Even more problematic, there is a false hierarchy of “preference” vs. “fetish” when it comes to being attracted to fat: “fetishists” are often seen as scary, unable to have any attraction to their partner beyond the physical, while people with “preferences” are considered capable of feelings.
Sometimes people with a “fat fetish” are considered less problematic than feederists, even though it seems like the definitions should have at least some overlap. This has lead to pure facepalm moments in otherwise intelligent commentary, such as during The Fatcast’s two-part podcast on love, sex, and dating, titled Love and Other Indoor Sports. During both portions of the podcast, the hosts talk positively about being attracted specifically to fat, discuss the unfounded fears people often have of fetishists, and then turn around and exclude feederists from that category. The longest discussion of fat, preferences, and fetish comes around the 25 minute mark in part 2. The specific mention of feederism is around minute 34.
To be fair, I think very few people involved with all this commentary have a good idea of what “fetish” actually means: the concept is still being debated in many circles, and the medical definition and popular culture definitions of the word vary widely. I myself know only just enough to be dangerous.
The other side of the problem lies with the feederism/fat admiration community: lack of positive role models. I haven’t had much luck at all finding well-reasoned, properly spelled, or even decently written porn in the most well-known feederism/fat admiration groups, never mind the academic style arguments favored by social justice movements. Part of the reason why I started writing my own porn—and kept writing even after I found someone to play with—was that so much of what I found elsewhere just didn’t do it for me. So much seemed to be centered around a “white trash” ideal of a fat girl, or morphed the body fantastically when I like some realism even in my fantasy. And let’s not forget the prevalence of the male gaze: I’m still one of the few girls-who-feed-guys out there.
That said, here are some resources that I found eye-opening:
Alison Tyler’s story “Feeder” in Cleis Press’ erotic story collection She’s On Top: This short tale doesn’t refer to any part of Internet feederist culture except the title. Instead, it focuses on the sensuality of cooking, eating, and sex as shared by a suburban couple.
Men In Full: curated by a woman, this blog culls images from modern and classical art to celebrate the larger male form.
The Git Bigger Blog: despite its silly name, this is a well-written blog about one gay man’s quest to remake his body into his bearish ideal.
Gluttony & Lust: tooting my own horn, it’s true, but this post has done more “preference crossing” than any other thing I’ve written.