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Fat’s life: Another look inside the world of feederism

Online letter from Jill to ‘Dr. Feeder’: “I am a feedee from Boston in desperate need of a feeder. I have tried dieting and I know my mission is to be fat. I feel I can’t do it alone. I fantasize about meeting a dominant man who is a Feeder…How do I get fat on my own? What foods? Can you give me a sample daily diet?”

Response to Jill’s letter from ‘Dr. Feeder’: “See my article ‘How To Get Fat‘. The kinds of foods don’t matter so much. Eat what you enjoy the most, especially if it’s fattening. The more you enjoy overeating, the more you will overeat. A lot of variety is also important”.

In a previous blog on fat fetishism, I noted that the fetish also included ‘feederism’ and ‘gaining’ in which sexual arousal and gratification is stimulated through the person (referred to as the ‘feedee’) gaining body fat. Feederism is a practice carried out by many fat admirers within the context of their sexual relationships and is where the individuals concerned obtain sexual gratification from the encouraging and gaining of body fat through excessive food eating. Sexual gratification may also be facilitated and/or enhanced the eating behaviour itself, and/or from the feedee becoming fatter – known as ‘gaining’ – where either one or both individuals in the sexual relationship participate in activities that result in the gaining of excess body fat.

Since writing my previous article on the topic, I have briefly written about feederism in two of my academic papers on sexual paraphilias (one in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in relation to a case study I wrote on fart fetishism, and the other in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions on how the internet has facilitated scientific research into paraphilias – see ‘Further reading’ below). However, I was also interviewed for the Discovery Channel’s television programme Forbidden about American Gabi Jones from Colorado (aka ‘Gaining Gabi’) who appeared in the episode ‘Pleasure and Pain’.

At the time when the television programme was being recorded, Gabi weighed 490 pounds and her sole aim was to get even fatter and heavier (before she became a feedee she was 250 pounds). It is also her career and her thousands of online fans pay money who pay $20 a month to watch her eat as well as sending her food to eat (you can check out her online website here, but pleased be warned that it contains explicit sexual content). She also claims that she becomes sexually aroused when eating excessively.

When I indulge, I never rush. I take my time and treat all meals as very sexual experiences. I love being fat and the idea of getting large excites me…For as long as I remember, I always loved the idea of getting softer and being this piece of art that I am creating…My body is a work of art”.

She claims she does it to show that women can be empowered and that fat can be sexy. She’s also a campaigner for ‘fat acceptance’. However, the (US) National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is anti-feederism. The NAAFA exists “to help build a society in which people of every size are accepted with dignity and equality in all aspects of life” but has specifically noted in its manifesto that:

“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…That all bodies, of all sizes, are joyous and that individuals of all sizes can and should expect and demand respect from sexual partners for their bodies just as they are. That people of all sizes become empowered to demand respect for their bodies in the context of sexual relationships, without attempting to lose or gain weight in order to win a partner’s approval or attract or retain that partner’s desire”.

At the time she was interviewed, Gabi had two ‘feeders’ – one male (Kenyon, from Kansas, US) and one female (nicknamed ‘Hearts’, from Colorado). As the show’s production notes reported:

“Kenyon lives in a small town in Kansas…Gabi says that Kenyon has actually been a fan of hers since he was 12 or 13 [years old], he discovered her online. Gabi says that she wouldn’t have anything to do with him because he was not of age, but after [Kenyon’s 18th birthday she] accepted him into her life as her food slave. Kenyon says that he had fantasized for years about feeding her live in person…He is now totally devoted to Gabi and she is happy to have him as part of her ‘chosen family’ and hopes to move him out from Kansas to Colorado to live with her fulltime someday soon…Hearts makes sure that Gabi has all the food she could want and need. Gabi also feeds her. It’s not a sexual thing or anything – ‘we’re not lesbians, we’re just really close friends’ – but when they feed each other it’s ‘sexy and fun’. They met in college at the start of this year and haven’t left each other’s side since…Hearts is also gaining. Gabi got her into it one day when they were lying on her bed and Hearts noticed how soft Gabi’s tummy was. This made her decide she wanted to get fat too. Hearts is currently 201 pounds and her goal weight is 400 pounds…Gabi says there are two types of gainers – ‘feedees’ who’ll eat anything and ‘foodees’ who’ll eat only quality food, not junk. Gabi says she identifies more with a foodie”.

Academically, there have been an increasing number of papers published over the last few years. For instance, Dr. Lesley Terry and her colleagues have also published papers on feederism in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. The first was a case study (which I outlined in my previous blog), and more recently an interesting experiment that assessed individuals’ arousal to feederism compared to ‘normal’ sexual activity and neutral activity. A total of 30 volunteers (15 men and 15 women) were assessed using penile plethysmography (for the males) and vaginal photoplethysmography (for the females) – none of who were feeders or feedees. The paper reported that:

The volunteers were all shown sexual, neutral, and feeding still images while listening to audio recordings of sexual, neutral, and feeding stories. Participants did not genitally respond to feeding stimuli. However, both men and women subjectively rated feeding stimuli as more sexually arousing than neutral stimuli…the results of this study provide limited, but suggestive, evidence that feederism may be an exaggeration of a more normative pattern of subjective sexual arousal in response to feeding stimuli that exists in the general population.

Dr. Ariane Prohaska has published papers on feederism in such journals as the International Journal of Social Science Studies and Deviant Behavior. In one of her studies, she carried out a content analysis of feederism-related websites and examining feederism within heterosexual relationships. She concluded that feederism websites can take many forms such as groups, advice sites, personal ads, and pornography. The content analysis also revealed that the internet is a place where fat women can find a community of similar others to support them”. She also noted that although feedersim has been classified as a transgressive sexual behaviour, it “usually mimics patriarchal sex in the process”. She also claimed that at its extreme “feederism is an abusive behavior dangerous to the partner (usually the woman) who desires to gain weight as quickly as possible”. As highlighted in the case of Gabi above, Dr. Prohaska concludes that feederism is a communal behavior, but she also notes:

[W]hen it comes to feederism, men are still in control of the behavior and of how women are portrayed and treated as feedees. Although some of the websites discussed here may be advancing transgressive ideas about fat women as sexual beings, the objectification of women as sex objects is further perpetuated by these same websites. Bodies matter; normative ideas about fat women and heterosexual sex offline are perpetuated online. The internet is patriarchal as offline society. At its extreme, ideas about control over women involve manipulating their bodies using dangerous means, and the lines between consent and sexual assault are blurred. Consent is a difficult term to define in a culture where patriarchal values about sex have been internalized by members of society. Still, the internet has the potential to create loving, supportive communities for people of size rather than exploitative communities that mimic the offline world”.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioural Addiction, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Charles, K., & Palkowski, M. (2015). Feederism: Eating, Weight Gain, and Sexual Pleasure. Palgrave Macmillan.

Griffiths, M.D. (2012). The use of online methodologies in studying paraphilia: A review. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1, 143-150.

Griffiths, M.D. (2013). Eproctophilia in a young adult male: A case study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 1383-1386.

Haslam, D.W. (2014). Obesity and Sexuality. In Controversies in Obesity (pp. 45-51). London: Springer.

Kyrölä, K. (2011). Adults growing sideways: Feederist pornography and fantasies of infantilism. Lambda Nordica: Tidskrift om homosexualitet, 16(2-3), 128-158.

Monaghan, L. (2005). Big handsome men, bears, and others: Virtual constructions of ‘fat male embodiment’. Body and Society, 11, 81-111.

Murray, S. (2004). Locating aesthetics: Sexing the fat woman. Social Semiotics, 14, 237-247.

Prohaska, A. (2013). Feederism: Transgressive behavior or same old patriarchal sex? International Journal of Social Science Studies, 1(2), 104-112.

Prohaska, A. (2014). Help me get fat! Feederism as communal deviance on the internet. Deviant Behavior, 35(4), 263-274.

Swami, V. & Furnham, A. (2009). Big and beautiful: Attractiveness and health ratings of the female body by male ‘‘fat admirers’’. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 201-208.

Swami, V., & Tovee, M.J. (2006). The influence of body weight on the physical attractiveness preferences of feminist and non-feminist heterosexual women and lesbians. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 252-257.

Swami, V. & Tovee, M.J. (2009). Big beautiful women: the body size preferences of male fat admirers. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 89-96.

Terry, L. L., Suschinsky, K. D., Lalumiere, M. L., & Vasey, P. L. (2012). Feederism: an exaggeration of a normative mate selection preference? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(1), 249-260

Terry, L.L. & Vasey, P.L. (2011). Feederism in a woman. Archives of Sexial Behavior, 40, 639-645.

Blown away: A beginner’s guide to inflation fetishes

In previous blogs I have briefly mentioned various forms of inflation fetishes. In my blogs on fat fetishes and alvinophilia (belly fetishism) I noted that some fat admirers encourage their sexual partners to engage in inflation activities (where individuals inflate their abdomen with air or liquid so their abdomen is distended). Belly inflation is part of the wider practice of body inflation, and involves the practice of inflating (or sometimes pretending to inflate) a part of one’s body typically for sexual gratification. For some, this may be connected with sexual arousal from the receiving of enemas (i.e., klismaphilia). According to a Wikipedia entry on fat fetishism:

“Inflation refers to the practice of inflating (typically with air or liquid), until the abdomen is distended, in such a way that it simulates a stuffing or bloating, but without food”.

In my blog on scrotal infusion I described the sexual practice in which fluid (usually saline solution) is injected into the scrotal sac as a way of making it balloon in size (which is why the practice is sometimes referred to as ‘ballooning’). A very similar practice is scrotal inflation in which air (or other gases) are injected into the scrotal sac. As I noted in my previous blog, both scrotal infusion and inflation are potentially dangerous, and individuals engaging in such acts are at risk of scrotal cellulitis, subcutaneous emphysema, Fournier’s gangrene (a type of necrotizing infection or gangrene usually affecting the perineum), and/or air embolism. As far as I am aware, there is no academic or clinical research on the practice although there are a number of websites dedicated to this practice (e.g., http://www.bodyinflation.org/). Here are a few online accounts I came across:

Extract 1: “Ever since I was pregnant, I constantly fantasized about having that big round belly again. I used to watch pregnant porn and try to push my belly out and rub it but obviously wasn’t the same. I recently came across inflation. I never heard of it before nor thought it was possible, and it turned me on so much. I just tried air inflation with a fish pump for the first time yesterday, and it was such an amazing feeling to have a hard tummy again. I rubbed it up and down it was amazing but it was a bit crampy at times. I loved the pressure, my tight belly…I know I’m going to have to practice at it more…I want to get to a point were my belly looks pregnant with out all the cramping…I haven’t been able to talk about this to any one nor my husband. I think he’d find it extremely weird”.

Extract 2: I have an inflation fetish myself. Every now and then – which is starting to become daily – I usually inflate my stomach with air or water. I occasionally chug [almost] a gallon of milk or water with salt in it – chugging too much water can be poisonous, so always put some salt in it to balance your electrolytes. I find it very arousing to get a rock-hard stomach and I want to continue to make my stomach bloat bigger and rounder, yet maintain my abs. It’s a fun challenge”.

Extract 3: “I have the same fetish. I’m a gay guy, and I prefer belly expansion in particular. I think this fetish is somehow tied to the weight gain fetish that the internet and media has exposed in recent years. I, too, have a weight gain fetish. However, I enjoy helping or watching a partner partake in weight gain, but not myself. Getting back on the subject, though I do enjoy inflating myself. Whether it be through bloating with water, air enemas, or water enemas. Water enemas have become my personal favorite method, plus they’re actually healthy and cleanse your colon. I have noticed a lot of people with similar fetishes though. Everyone has their own niche of what turns them on”.

Obviously I can’t verify the veracity of the claims made by these individuals but assuming they are true and accurate admissions, they demonstrate that inflation fetishes exist and that there appear to be overlaps with other sexual fetishes and sexual paraphilias (such as fat fetishes). However, we know nothing about the incidence, prevalence, and the development of the fetish. In one of the many online fetish lists, one of them on the Thumbpress website (’10 strange fetishes that don’t make sense’) said that one of the inflation fetishes (‘air pumping’) was “quite disturbing…perhaps as disturbing as klismaphilia” and involves pumping air into the anus to the point that it expands the belly. The website’s critique was the practice was “unhealthy, dangerous and ridiculous”. On another fetish list on the Cracked website (‘5 ridiculous [safe for work] fetishes’), the article notes that:

“[Inflation fetish] is kind of like the balloon fetish, but with a fun twist. Instead of blowing air into a party favor, you stick a bicycle pump inside your danger zone and inflate your own body until you feel like you’re going to burst. You get the farts for hours after you do it, and these guys talk about that like it’s a plus. Normal people get a stomachache after swallowing air and trying to burp, so we think it’s pretty easy to see what these guys are going through. Besides having massive online communities dedicated to the practice of filling tummies with air, there are also millions (OK, tens) of YouTube accounts whose sole purpose is to show videos of stomachs growing slightly larger”.

One aspect of air pumping that should never be attempted is vaginal air pumping. On one sexual ‘agony aunt’ website (Go Ask Alice), one man asked whether blowing air into his girlfriend’s vagina could kill her. The response by ‘Alice’ asserted:

Yes, it’s a true but very rare occurrence. When air is blown or forced directly into a vagina – without allowing any air to escape – an air embolism (the abnormal presence of air in the cardiovascular system) could form, which can be fatal. Women who are more at risk for this unlikely possibility are those whose pelvic vessels are enlarged (meaning, increased blood supply to the vagina) due to a condition such as trauma and possibly pregnancy. So, if a very large amount of air were to be blown or forced into their vaginal canals, it’s possible that the air could enter their bloodstream, causing a blockage in a blood vessel. As a result, some of these women, perhaps including the pregnant women’s fetus, may experience complications. In extraordinary cases, some of these women (and the fetus) may die if the embolism travels to the heart or lungs”.

The lack of empirical research into inflation fetishes is either because they (i) are viewed by the academic and clinical communities as a trivial research topic, or (ii) have not (as yet) caused any problems among its adherents. If papers do end up being published it may be as a result of when things go horribly wrong (i.e., someone dying).

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Cipriano, A. (2009). 5 ridiculous (safe for work) fetishes. Cracked, March 17. Located at: http://www.cracked.com/article_17149_5-ridiculous-safe-work-fetishes.html

Encyclopedia Dramatica (2012). Fat furry. Located at: https://encyclopediadramatica.se/Fat_furry

Thumbpress (2011). 10 strange fetishes that don’t make sense. April 20. Located at: http://thumbpress.com/10-strange-fetishes-that-don’t-make-sense/

Wikipedia (2012). Body inflation. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_inflation

Wikipedia (2012). Fat fetishism. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_fetishism

Flat mates: A brief look at BBW squashing fetishes

While researching a previous blog on fat fetishes, I came across the practice of ‘gut flopping’. According to the online Urban Dictionary, gut flopping is “where a large bellied individual raises his or her stomach and allows it to drop upon his or her sexual partner in a way that creates a smack sound [and] is an act performed for sexual pleasure”. There is an infamous clip on the internet featuring gut flopping (which you can check out here if you are so inclined), but there is little written about it academically (or non-academically for that matter). However, one variant of this that appears to be very popular among a minority of men is ‘BBW squashing’ (i.e., men being squashed by one or more ‘big beautiful women’ for sexual pleasure) and also known as ‘crushing’ or ‘smashing’ by squashing enthusiasts. One such BBW (‘Massive Mocha’) appeared on Dr. Drew’s US television show in October 2011 talking about her experiences as someone who catered for men’s fetish to be sat on and squashed by very large women. ‘Massive Mocha’ revealed that men ask her to sit on them until they feel they are going to pass out from loss of breath.

According to the Squashing Fetish website, there are many variations of the fetish. Heterosexual squashing comprises very obese women squashing smaller (typically thin) men. Homosexual squashing comprises very obese men squashing much smaller men. For some, fantasizing about being squashed may satisfy the sexual fetish. This may include someone (weighing anything from 200 pounds to 600 pounds) sitting, standing, jumping, and/or crushing their face, belly and/or chest (resulting in the person being squashed squirming). The relationship (concerning control) is psychologically similar to the dominant and submissive in sexual sadism and sexual masochism. Being unable to breathe (or breathe properly) appears to be critical in the fetish and in that sense shares similarities with hypoxyphilia (i.e., autoerotic asphyxiation in which individuals derive sexual arousal and pleasure from the restriction of their oxygen supply).

Last year (May 22, 2012), Channel 4 (in the UK) screened Nick Betts’ documentary My Big Fat Fetish. One of the women interviewed at length in the show was BBW Reenaye Starr. She was interviewed by a British tabloid newspaper prior to the show being aired and was asked whether the physical contact associated with a squashing was seen as the ultimate prize by men who pay to be squashed by her. Starr was reported as saying:

“It depends. There are so many different kinds of ‘fat admirers’. Some men are not interested in squashing at all. Some men are just into big ladies looking cute. And then there are some into hardcore pornography who want to see big ladies having sex. It all depends on what your sub-fetish is – but to these men, being with a big woman in any capacity is their ultimate desire. [My] subscribers come from all over the world. But there is definitely a huge following in the UK…I personally – other than my husband – have two feeders who send me money for food online. They don’t physically feed me as they’re too far away but one is based in the US now so he does come in for squashings”

In an online article on BBW squashing (which looks as though it was written by BBW squashers themselves but I can’t be sure), it noted we may not be able to explain how being squashed can be sexy, but it is an important part of foreplay for those who have this kind of fetish”. The (anonymous) writer confirms my own view that BBW squashing is on the same spectrum as sexual behaviours such as sadomasochism, bondage, and domination “which means that in order to find sexual pleasure, one must feel pain from lack of oxygen, beating, among others”. The article also claims that BBW Squashing “is not as life-threatening as autoerotic asphyxiation since the man can tap the BBW anytime he feels that he’s close to passing out”. It claims that most BBWs engage in squashing for financial reasons and that their primary aim is “to concentrate on the sexual gratification of their clients…Others like Queen Raqui, it’s more like a sport in which she also earns money, without the pressure of having sex with her clients”. The article mainly concerns all the different types of ways that men can be squashed by BBWs.

  • Face-Sitting: This position involves the man lying diagonally across a bed with his head at the corner of the bed. The BBW squasher (BBWS) then sits on the man’s head with the man’s face in the BBWS’s crotch. Some BBWSs may move or shake about to enhance the man’s pleasure.
  • Sixty-Nine (69): This position involves the man lying flat on the bed while the BBWS lies on top of him so that her face is in the man’s crotch and is facing his legs (and vice-versa). Either partner may stimulate each other’s genitals while in the 69 position.
  • Back-Lying: This position involves a man lying on his back with the BBWS sitting on him and crushing his chest and/or face.
  • Leg-Captivity: This position involves the BBWS wrapping the man’s head between her legs with the man facing either her crotch or her buttocks. The BBWS may completely suffocate the man in this position (and has to rely on the man to signal to her to let her know when to let go).
  • Riding Horse Man: This position (as might be expected from the name) involves the BBWS riding the man like a horse while he is on his front. This is said to increase the man’s sexual arousal.
  • Double Trouble: This is not a position as such but involves two BBWSs sitting on a man in any variation of the positions outlined above.

In a previous blog I examined both macrophilia (i.e., sexual pleasure and arousal from giants) and crush fetishes (i.e., sexual pleasure and arousal from crushing or being crushed), and there seems to be some psychological similarity between BBW squashing and these other sexual paraphilias and fetishes. For instance, some macrophiles date extraordinarily tall women (so called ‘Amazons’) even if they have to pay for the privilege to do so. For instance, Mikayla Miles (who when wearing her fetish boots nearly 7 feet in her fetish boots, and 6 feet 4 inches without the boots) provides private sessions with macrophiles to engage in behaviours such as trampling. This has a lot of resonance with BBW squashing. Research has been carried out into both sadomasochistic sexual activity and fat fetishes, but little on where they intersect. This would certainly be a fruitful area for further empirical investigation.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

All Experts (2009). Fetishism/BBW. September 16. Located at: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Fetishism-2835/2009/9/BBW-1.htm

Call Escort Girls (2012). BBW squashing. February 28. Located at: http://callescortgirls.com/bbw-squashing

Leigh, R. (2012). “I work with attractive women who love themselves – what could be more empowering than that?” My Big Fat Fetish’s Reenaye Starr on squashings and whether she feels exploited. Daily Mirror, May 22. Located at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/my-big-fat-fetish-bbw-model-844022

Monaghan, L. (2005). Big handsome men, bears, and others: Virtual constructions of ‘fat male embodiment’. Body and Society, 11, 81-111.

Murray, S. (2004). Locating aesthetics: Sexing the fat woman. Social Semiotics, 14, 237-247.

Swami, V. & Tovee, M.J. (2009). Big beautiful women: the body size preferences of male fat admirers. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 89-96.

Terry, L.L. & Vasey, P.L. (2011). Feederism in a woman. Archives of Sexial Behavior, 40, 639-645.

Called up for navel duty: A beginner’s guide to alvinophilia

Alvinophilia – according to Dr. Anil Aggrawal in his 2009 book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices – is a sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual pleasure and sexual arousal from the navel and bellies (although he refers to it as ‘alvinolagnia’). He also notes that:

“[Navel fetishism is] a strong attraction to the human navel (often called the belly button). Navel fetishists are sexually aroused by viewing, licking, tickling, sucking, sniffing, or kissing the navel of another person, or by having any of this activity done to their own navel by partner or to a lesser extent, by themselves. Some navel fetishists engage in outercourse (non-penetrative or dry sex as opposed to intercourse) involving the navel. Navel fetishism often co-exists with stomach fetishism”.

I have yet to come across a proper definition so for the purposes of this blog but some sources say it includes any sexual pleasure or arousal from any aspect of a belly or a navel (but this particular blog will just examine bellies as including navels will take me into the whole world of body piercing which I will leave for another blog).

I have only come across one academic paper that makes a specific reference to ‘alvinophilia’ and that was a study led by Dr G. Scorolli (University of Bologna, Italy) on the relative prevalence of different fetishes using online fetish forum data. I have made reference to this study in previous blogs on paraphilias such as lactophilia, mysophilia, and stigmatophilia. It was estimated (very conservatively in the authors’ opinion), that their sample size comprised at least 5000 fetishists (but was likely to be a lot more). They reported that some of the sites featured references to belly and/or navel fetishes (3%). However, there was no further information as to whether the belly/navel fetish was connected to piercing, pregnancy, and/or belly inflation.

In a previous blog, I looked at fat fetishism. Obviously belly size is one of the most important aspects of a fat fetishist’s sexual focus. Many fat admirers are ‘feeders’ who deliberately over-feed their sexual partners (i.e., ‘feedees’) on their way to becoming a ‘big beautiful woman’ (BBW). Within the context of their sexual relationship, feeders obtain sexual gratification from the encouraging and gaining of body fat through excessive food eating. For many, it is the increasing stomach size that becomes the primary sexual focus. The bigger the stomach, the more sexually aroused the feeder becomes.

There are also fat fetishists who are turned on my ‘gut-flopping’. This involves masochistic elements involving female domination (“femdom”) and has to be seen to be believed. In an article on the world’s strangest fetishes, the Pop Crunch website reported:

“Femdom + masochism + BBW = gut flopping. A heavily obese woman comes up to you, usually on all fours, and drops her belly on you with full force. It combines the pain and control of your run of the mill dominatrix with the obsession and fetishization of fat that accompanies chubby chasers and feeders. The scariest thing about this fetish in particular, is the potential for damage. These ladies are large. Their stomachs are large. They’re hitting your back with a significant amount of speed and force, and you’re in a position where there’s not much support. Imagine someone dropping a bag of oranges on your back, while you’re in that position. Yeah…that’s all kinds of screwed up”.

It would also appear that another behaviour related to alvinophilia is pregnancy fetishism (i.e., maieusiophilia). In a previous blog I outlined the various attractions of maieusiophilia including belly size. Some maieusiophiles prefer an abdominal bump that is “just showing” whereas others – seemingly the majority of maieusiophiles – prefer “the bigger the better”). As I also noted in that article, for a small minority, the belly is so big that all thoughts are fantasy-based as the source of sexual arousal can become “a belly with a girl attached”. In fact, one online website (Bastion Works) claims that some maieusiophiles “have been known to enjoy the concept of stomachs grown to the size of vehicles, buildings, or even planets”. This would seem to indicate that there is a crossover with macrophilia (which I also examined in a previous blog).

There is also a related sexual fetish that involves belly inflation which I would argue is subsumed within alvinophilia. Belly inflation is also part of the wider practice of body inflation, and involves the practice of inflating (or sometimes pretending to inflate) a part of one’s body (in this case the belly), typically for sexual gratification. For some, this may be connected with sexual arousal from the receiving of enemas (i.e., klismaphilia). There are a number of websites dedicated to this practice such as the Body Inflation website. Here are a few online accounts I came across:

Extract 1: “Somewhere in my pre-teen years I became captivated with the look of full, pregnant-like bellies and began “experimenting” with large balloons under my shirt and pants. Then after noticing the female profile of very pregnant models wearing girdles and pantyhose in mail order catalogs, I got a girdle. One night I placed a large punching type balloon between it and my belly and started pumping up the balloon until it was incredibly huge. Needless to say I was really hooked now! Then I became curious about actually trying to inflate my belly; and so one night inserted the pump hose and soon I had my abdomen pumped up rock hard. Now I was even more hooked. Over the years I experimented with using water until today – some 40+ years later – I now regularly ‘fill-up’ with 2+ gallons of saline water, creating an incredible very pregnant looking profile. Why do I do it, well I guess it’s the incredible rush that I get every time!

Extract 2:I have an inflation fetish myself. Every now and then – which is starting to become daily – I usually inflate my stomach with air or water. I occasionally chug [almost] a gallon of milk or water with salt in it – chugging too much water can be poisonous, so always put some salt in it to balance your electrolytes. I find it very arousing to get a rock-hard stomach and I want to continue to make my stomach bloat bigger and rounder, yet maintain my abs. It’s a fun challenge”.

This next one makes a connection between fat fetishism, feeders, and belly inflation:

Extract 3: “I have the same fetish. I’m a gay guy, and I prefer belly expansion in particular. I think this fetish is somehow tied to the weight gain fetish that the internet and media has exposed in recent years. I, too, have a weight gain fetish. However, I enjoy helping or watching a partner partake in weight gain, but not myself. Getting back on the subject, though I do enjoy inflating myself. Whether it be through bloating with water, air enemas, or water enemas. Water enemas have become my personal favorite method, plus they’re actually healthy and cleanse your colon. I have noticed a lot of people with similar fetishes though. Everyone has their own niche of what turns them on”.

Given the lack of research into alvinophilia, online accounts such as the ones above are about all that academic theorizing has to go on. This is definitely an area that the research community would benefit from knowing more about.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Bastion Works (2012). Maieusiophilia. Located at: http://bastionworks.com/Mikipedia/index.php?title=Maieusiophilia

Gates, K. (1999). Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex. Juno Books.

Pop Crunch (2010). The 17 Most WTF Fetishes Imaginable. May 11. Located at: http://www.popcrunch.com/the-17-most-wtf-fetishes-imaginable/

Scorolli, C., Ghirlanda, S., Enquist, M., Zattoni, S. & Jannini, E.A. (2007). Relative prevalence of different fetishes. International Journal of Impotence Research, 19, 432-437.

Swami, V. & Tovee, M.J. (2009). Big beautiful women: the body size preferences of male fat admirers. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 89-96.

Terry, L.L. & Vasey, P.L. (2011). Feederism in a woman. Archives of Sexial Behavior, 40, 639-645.

Wikipedia (2012). Body inflation. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_inflation

Wikipedia (2012). Pregnancy fetishism. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_fetishism

Turn the eater on: Fat fetishes and feederism

Many years ago when I was just entering my teens (well, 1979 since you ask), I heard a song by Adam and the Ants called Fat Fun which at the time completely passed me by that it was all about fat fetishes. I should have guessed given that so many songs written by Adam Ant at the time were about fetishes and paraphilias (something that I have written about in an essays at length elsewhere (you can check them out in various places here and there).

Over the last few years, fat fetishism and fat admiration have come into more into the public domain through national press and television documentaries (I was interviewed by The Times on the topic back in June 2010)

Fat fetishists – mostly heterosexual and sometimes colloquially referred to as ‘chubby chasers’ – have an overwhelming (and often exclusive) sexual attraction towards very obese individuals of the opposite sex. (As a number of researchers point out, there is no widely held consensus in defining a fat admirer (FA), but the term is typically used in relation to individuals who find attractive someone considered clinically overweight). However, a recent paper by Dr Lee Monaghan (University of Limerick, Ireland) also noted and described aspects of the small gay fat admiration community through the use of qualitative data he collected online.

Fat fetishism also includes both ‘feederism’ and ‘gaining’ in which sexual arousal and gratification is stimulated through the person (referred to as the ‘feedee’) gaining body fat. Feederism is a practice carried out by many fat admirers within the context of their sexual relationships and is where the individuals concerned obtain sexual gratification from the encouraging and gaining of body fat through excessive food eating. Sexual gratification may also be facilitated and/or enhanced the eating behaviour itself, and/or from the feedee becoming fatter – known as ‘gaining’ – where either one or both individuals in the sexual relationship participate in activities that result in the gaining of excess body fat. This may not only involve eating more food but also engaging in sedentary activities that leave the feedee immobile. Some fat admirers may also derive pleasure from very specific parts of the body becoming fatter. A recent paper by Dr Lesley Terry and Dr Paul Vasey (both at the University of Lethbridge, Canada) in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, also claim that feedees are individuals who become sexually aroused by eating, being fed, and the idea or act of gaining weight.

Even if a fat admirer does not have direct sexual access to someone grossly overweight, there are other activities that fat admirers can encourage their sexual partners to engage in such as ‘padding’ (where individuals wear padded or layered clothing in a way that the person appears to have a distended abdomen) and inflation (where individuals inflate their abdomen with air or liquid so their abdomen is distended).

There has been a lot of psychological research showing that attractiveness of women is related to both low body mass index (BMI) and low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). However, there has been a great deal of debate the universality of the findings and there is a lot of research that body shape attractiveness is determined by other factors including cross-cultural differences and gender-role stereotyping. There has also been research on physical attractiveness among ‘subcultures’ such as those people with eating disorders or in relation to sexual orientation. For instance, a study by Dr Viren Swami (University of Westminster, UK) and Dr Martin Tovee (University of Newcastle, UK) found that lesbians appear to idealize a heavier body weight in a potential partner than do heterosexual women or men.

One of these relatively unexplored ‘subcultures’ is the FA community. A study by Dr Viren Swami (by this time at the University of Liverpool, UK) and Professor Adrian Furnham (University College London, UK) and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (2009), examined the body weight WHR preferences of 56 heterosexual ‘fat admirers’. They claimed that the “relative scarcity of studies on the preferences of FAs can probably be traced back to the misperception that it is inconceivable that an individual could be attracted to obese others or that such a preference is somehow ‘’deviant’”. Unsurprisingly, their study – which was the first published on notions of attractiveness within the FA community – reported that FAs preferred heavyweight individuals and rated those individuals with high WHRs as the most attractive. The results predictably suggest that heterosexual male FAs hold very different ideals relating to attractiveness when compared with heterosexual men from the general population. Although some of the participants were fat themselves, there was no difference between these individuals and those FAs who were not overweight. The authors conclude that:

“It seems plausible that male FA is paraphilic in the sense of it being a non-mainstream sexual practice without necessarily implying dysfunction or deviance. For instance, it may be that hunger or food was involved in the behavioral imprinting of a fat fetish in early childhood, a hypothesis favored by some psychoanalysts…A related theory also based on the principles of behavioral imprinting argues that when young men masturbate, the objects that are frequently nearby at the time of masturbation become objects of arousal in the future. The individual is thus associating the object with sexual orgasm, and this may include either eroticized images of overweight individuals, food, and so on” (p.206).

It is also worth noting that in the Journal of Sex Research, Dr Swami repeated the study comparing FAs with a control group of non-FAs and found the same results. Despite these studies, there is still little empirical research on fat admirers and feederism. The recent paper by Dr Terry and Dr Vasey reported the case study of a 30-year old female feedee (‘Lisa’).

At the time of the study, Lisa was 30 years of age, married and Caucasian. She was recruited by the researchers from a feederism website (FantasyFeeder.com). By age 13 years (at 5 feet 11 inches tall) she was mildly preoccupied with her weight. She weighed 120-130 lbs and had BMI of 16-18 (i.e., underweight). However. Like many girls, she viewed herself as fat and became self-conscious about her hips, thighs, and belly. She claimed to experience sexual thoughts about weight gain and fat from a very young age. Because of her sexual fantasies about fat women during adolescence, she experienced some confusion about her sexual orientation (but deemed herself heterosexual).

As an adult, Lisa said she was still sexually aroused in response to fat women but that it was limited to visual images found on the internet. Her ideal website would be where there were several pictures of the same woman getting fatter over time (and which she would masturbate over). Lisa also fantasized about being forced to gain weight by a dominant male who would became sexually aroused by making her gain weight. She also reported that all of her orgasms involve fantasizing about some form of feederism and that sometimes all she needs to reach orgasm is to fantasize about being a little bit heavier. Although she has actively engaged in weight gain for a four-month period in 2008, she has never been in a feedee/feeder relationship (as she doesn’t want the negative health consequences of becoming extremely overweight). She also reported her sexual arousal had significantly declined after the weight gain period.

In their discussion of Lisa’s case, Terry and Vasey made the point that as with many paraphilias, her pattern of sexual arousal was characterized by intense and repetitive sexual urges, fantasies, and behaviours involving unusual activities (i.e., the intense focus on eroticizing body fat). Terry and Vasey also questioned whether Lisa’s behaviour represented a form of morphophilia (i.e., peak erotic focus on a particular body characteristic – in this case body fat). They also speculated that some of the behaviour was sexually masochistic and that this supported their view that feederism had paraphilic elements (although Lisa reported that masochistic behaviours generally repulsed her). As with any case study, it may not be representative of the entire feederism community. Terry and Vasey also assert that more research needs to consider if, and how, feederism is taxonomically distinct from the various forms of morphophilia.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Griffiths, M.D (1999). Adam Ant: sex and perversion for teenyboppers. Headpress: The Journal of Sex, Death and Religion, 19, 116-119.

Monaghan, L. (2005). Big handsome men, bears, and others: Virtual constructions of ‘fat male embodiment’. Body and Society, 11, 81-111.

Murray, S. (2004). Locating aesthetics: Sexing the fat woman. Social Semiotics, 14, 237-247.

Swami, V. & Furnham, A. (2009). Big and beautiful: Attractiveness and health ratings of the female body by male ‘‘fat admirers’’. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 201-208.

Swami, V., & Tovee, M.J. (2006). The influence of body weight on the physical attractiveness preferences of feminist and non-feminist heterosexual women and lesbians. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 252-257.

Swami, V. & Tovee, M.J. (2009). Big beautiful women: the body size preferences of male fat admirers. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 89-96.

Terry, L.L. & Vasey, P.L. (2011). Feederism in a woman. Archives of Sexial Behavior, 40, 639-645.