I think these confessions are kind of weird, but I feel like giving my own. I'm 5'2 and about 240lb, I wear it like 180lb, but that's not comforting. I have an odd shape. My friend who is bigger than me wears a bikini and she looks gorgeous. I put on the same bikini in my size and just looked awful. You like bigger girls, but I feel like physically you'd prefer my friend to me. She wears her weight beautifully, and I just look kind of lumpy.
I’m really sick of being reduced to the public perception of my physical preference. There’s a huge range of things I find attractive mentally and physically in partners. There’s more than one kind of beauty. You don’t have to look like your friend to be attractive, and plenty of people might not find her attractive at all. Most of the girls I know who think they look “lumpy” or unattractive are fucking hot, and it doesn’t matter what I think anyway. I’m happy to help, but you shouldn’t base your self-worth on what others find attractive.
It's not true that there are no data on fat admirers other than their porn preferences. I can't include links in this, but google "Big beautiful women: the body size preferences of male fat admirers." I’m not the person who messaged you before, but you continue to not seem to recognize how your original article and your latest response to it are silencing women’s perspectives. You are trying to tell us we are not “right”: we should just see it your way and join your bandwagon. *Yawn*
This study asked for self-identified FAs’ body size preferences, it has no info on how many FAs there are in the world, unless you count the tally of 47 who participated. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that you linked me to this/didn’t know it existed/glad it does. Thank you.)
A woman who disagreed with my Deadspin piece wrote a dissenting response that I published through this blog. Could you give an example of what I’m not recognizing?
Not wanting to see it “my way” = not wanting to believe you can find people who prefer fat partners. There’s been a mistake if you think otherwise, possibly on my end.
"should i write about fat fetishes" flowchart: ↓ do you think a behavior is inherent to preferring fat bodies and not a reaction to societal stigma → if yes: do not write about “fat fetishes” → if no: ↓ do you think a preference for fat bodies should be referred to as a fetish → if yes: do not write about “fat fetishes” → if no: ↓ do you think “fetish” means “nonconsensual objectification” → if yes: do not write about “fat fetishes” → if no: you’re good to go, too bad you don’t exist
do you think using the term “fat” is more offensive than saying “overweight” → if yes: do not use a computer
Is it weird that craigslist has been the most successful website for me in terms of finding guys who specifically like fat women? I feel like the bbw-specific dating sites are poorly run and don't have as many users, and on okcupid it's hard to filter for FAs. I feel like craigslist has SUCH a sketchy reputation in general, though. Can we all just agree as a community that craigslist is ok when you're searching out this very specific kind of partner? Or am I the only one with craigslist hangups?
I met my best friend in the entire world from the Craigslist casual encounters section, along with a few other class acts, so I’ll definitely vouch for Craigslist. It’s certainly no worse than OKCupid or (ugh) POF, and a lot easier to game the system if you get the hang of it.
I honestly never thought that I'd find someone because of the way I look. I'm 5'10" and around 300lb. A year ago today, I met an amazing man who's become the love of my life. Last week, we went to look at engagement rings. I just wanted to let others who feel the way I did know that there are plenty of people out there who like heavy women and men. There is someone out there for you. It just might take a bit to find them :)
Just saw your article on the Louie episode. Feeling super invisible after reading it. I'm a real-life, 27 y/o, fat, heterosexual, woman who has never been on a date/kissed/etc. Just because FAs exist doesn't mean that every fat woman has the experience of being romantically pursued.
Every fat woman is capable of having the experience of being romantically pursued. The piece was written from an experienced person to the inexperienced, in no way was I trying to imply that there is something wrong or unusual about you for not having accumulated the 15+ years of experience that I have in navigating the fat dating community. Your experience is closer to most people’s than mine. My experience is not the usual, though it should be.
The most misunderstood thing about that piece (and I totally take responsibility for this, with a caveat for the fact I had less than 24 hours to get it up on the web—meaning I didn’t get to polish the segues from part to part and comprehensively explain why I brought certain things up as much as I’d like—that’s just How It Is) is the idea that it was a #notallmen rant. I was very happy with that Louie episode and Sarah Baker was incredible. I used it as a jumpoff point to discuss how those men do exist and that there’s a gap to be closed. Without question it is Our Own Fault as men who download fat porn or compartmentalize our true desires to the occasional weekend at a BBW bash (or fuck fat FWBs without letting our friends—or wives—know) that we are too cowardly/stupid/whatever to fight for visibility that would benefit both us and our partners. (I’m actually relieved that the episode didn’t touch FAs with a ten foot pole, as my sexuality has never in the history of televised media been played for anything but laughs or creepiness, and while I admire his efforts, Louis C.K. is far too body-negative for a representation to be safe in his hands)
I don’t view myself as anything other than a messenger because I am privy to knowledge that more fat people should have. Many people are grossed out by the idea of seeking out someone specifically physically attracted to their body type. That’s up to them. But fatophobia is so deeply embedded in our society that people (such as many of the commentors) react with flagrant disgust at the very idea of being presented with that knowledge, or in your case, taking from it that you’re being left out. You’re not. If you’re interested in finding out more about BBW culture and events and things completely designed to make you feel more visible in society, romantically and otherwise, I’m not sorry for presenting that option to you. I am sorry that my piece was worded hastily in a way that made you feel excluded. I’m interested in bridging the gaps between the enormous amount of fat-admiring straight men whom we have no other quantitative data on other than things like porn search statistics, and how different real life could be if they didn’t consign their objects of desire to the margins.
Nope. But this Wednesday at 1pm EST, the esteemed Laura Bogart and I will be guests on Colin McEnroe's WNPR show to realtalk some lady who wrote a “book” on “the detrimental impact of fat on sexual health and intimacy.” So there’s that!
This page makes me feel so pretty and accepting of myself, so thank you for that. I really wish I could find a guy to like me for me and not for sex because I'm so over that. I guess I just need patience.
Glad to help, though to be clear, no one should have to wait for self-acceptance.
do bashes have a high ratio of men to women? i'm worried that as the idea of "fat admirers" becomes more normalized, women will start attending bashes more, while the bash male population will plateau or drop.
Wouldn’t bashes become obsolete if fat admirers became normalized? WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO HIDE ANYMORE BROS
one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen had to wait til her 20s to realize “the warmth of the sun on your skin is unlike any feeling” in her first bikini summer.
That’s great that you’re working towards what will make you happier and comfortable in your skin. But no one’s trying to invalidate that for you, and your blog’s stated mission is to do that for others. Unfortunately you can’t consider yourself to be accepting of bodies if you do it selectively. Speaking of health and thin privilege, you might want to peep this study.
one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen had to wait til her 20s to realize “the warmth of the sun on your skin is unlike any feeling” in her first bikini summer.
Maybe some people just don’t feel comfortable wearing certain things? Even when I was smaller I didn’t want to wear bikinis. Also that’s body acceptance not fat acceptance.
But she is comfortable wearing it. If society didn’t suck, she might’ve discovered sooner that she’s capable of that comfort. Fat acceptance is body acceptance. We should accept all bodies. But fat women have had a particularly long and difficult struggle to get respect.
Come to Asheville North Carolina. All of you come too! Really awesome woman to woman support. The fellas seem to be open to women that are confident, regardless of physical appearance. Not a question... Much Love Nikki
I was there in the spring! You should start some size-positive gatherings there.
I have tried the online dating thing. I seem to only attract bed buddies as a 5'9 380lb female. Not that I don't appreciate the appreciation, I'm just over it. How do I more quickly weed out the hoe hoppers from the men that can have a conversation that doesn't solely consist of "show me your tits" ? I understand the obvious solution is to loose weight to appeal to a larger group, but to put it simply, I like me.
I’m glad you like you! The biggest thing you have to understand is that guys aren’t going to recuse themselves, so you’ll have to trust your own instincts, and question them in a way that isn’t so pointed it will scare them off but will still get you the information you need.
Also, when you do tip your hand, why not be frank? When they say something sexual out of nowhere, just say, “I’ve gotten really bored with NSA sex lately so it’s not really enjoyable for me to talk about that kind of stuff until I’ve established that you’re not going to ghost on me and that you’re interested in things about me besides my body. Can we have the conversation about you liking my tits three or four dates from now? I won’t be offended if you want to cut out, but please be honest with me (and yourself!) so we don’t waste each other’s time.” Something like that, shorter, more to the point and in your own voice. And hold him to it.
Obviously this is only for the guys worth responding to at all. Don’t bother if you don’t see there being a chance of them being what you actually want.
Hello Dan, Would you be available for a live ten minute telephone radio interview tonight at 6:35pm PT (9:35pm ET) on Talk 910am San Francisco with Gil Gross to discuss your article regarding what Louie got wrong about fat girls? It would be just yourself and Gil without opposing views or questions from listeners and a cell phone would be fine. Many thanks.
GUEST POST: A RESPONSE TO MY DEADSPIN PIECE ON LOUIE
Kate Rose is a sexual health advocate and educator in California.
It was like he handed me an alien object, like some oddly shaped component of a machine that I had no context for. I looked down at it as if I didn’t know what it was for a moment, and then suddenly remembered that often when one member of the human species wishes to show affection for the other, they would like to demonstrate publicly that they don’t mind being seen as associated through the touching of hands. I just started seeing this guy, and it wasn’t until he grabbed my hand on a short walk to the corner store and it shocked me that I realized how jaded I had become about trying to date as a fat chick.
This apparently still common mating behavior was featured as part of an episode of Louie, thematically centered around a fat waitress, Vanessa, who endures a constant rebuffing of her advances from the title character. Dan followed up this episode with very astute coverage of where the episode hit and where it missed, leaving me with really only one major quibble: his assertion that, “Vanessa would have far less trouble getting someone to hold her hand in real life.” In my own anecdotal experience this has not bore out to reality.
I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but dear god do I have a lot of data points to consider. I’ve been on dates with dozens of people in the last few months, many of them guys who transparently take me to only places they never go, guys who even after a fifth date would never want me to hang out with anyone they would call a friend, guys who say when I want to go to a cafe in our neighborhood, “We can’t go there, the staff will think that we’re together and ask me about it,” guys who even after saying, “I would cancel all of my other dates for you,” but wrench their hand away when I try to touch it across the table at brunch.
I’ve spent a long time working consciously to shed my weight-related shame, and every time this happens it’s like getting grabbed by the ankles and jerked sharply back down to earth. Even a friend who I once dated said, with more frankness than any intentional unkindness, “If I took you to this event with me, it would be this really sexual thing, you know? Like everyone would look at you with me and say, hey I know what he’s into.” Until he said that, it hadn’t occurred to me that I can’t just exist without being some kind of secondary signaling for the sexual proclivities of whatever man is standing in my orbit. Here I thought I was just going to have some champagne and canapes.
So maybe it’s more fair to say that I stand atop a pile of other people’s horseshit rather than my own soapbox when I have great skepticism for the idea that as Dan says, there are plenty of guys who would be perfectly willing to be publicly seen as with a fat girl. Yeah they exist, they thankfully often self-identify as FAs and go to bashes, but most of us are left to wade in the murky shallows of men who will actually go out with us at all, with very few opportunities to screen in advance if this also comes inclusive with a paralyzing fear of anyone else knowing that they would actually do so.
Before this guy grabbed my hand, it had been about 8 months since anyone had gripped said limb with affectionate intention in a public place. Oh sure, plenty had maybe touched my hands as a pit stop on the way to grope my ass on a dark street or to slide it up and across my back at a bar in an effort to proposition me for sex. I’ve found plenty of men who would at the drop of the hat stick their tongue in to my mouth in front of strangers, but it had been a dating eternity since anyone wanted to make the public gesture in front of God and the corner store owner and the mailman that hey I like this person and I like being near them, no qualifiers.
So when Vanessa says to Louie, “Have you ever held hands with a fat girl? Have you ever walked down the street in the light of day, holding hands, with a big girl like me?” it reached in to my insides, grabbed a big handful, twisted and pulled.
I know a lot of people are disappointed that this episode didn’t get more right, but frankly all it seemed to do was hold up a mirror to a world that for me almost never gets it right, a world still expects me to to bear the shame of men who want to date me and are scared that someone might laugh at them for it. If there are as Dan says, plenty of men who would disagree, generally speaking, I don’t know them. Vanessa doesn’t either, and her experience is not everyone’s but it is mine and no less a part of the big mosaic of experiences of dating while fat.
I do ever hope that holding my hand and other displays of public affection and acceptance become the new normal for me. But until then I appreciate Louie for showing some piece of the breadth of experience we have as fat chicks, and that sometimes it is equal parts wonderful and remarkable when a guy holds on and doesn’t let go.
I'm only 16 and I weigh about 220, obesity runs in my family. I am working on losing weight, I just started this week. I decided that it was time to stop making excuses and just work for what I want. I like this guy and he is quite tall, average weight. I don't want to wait a year to talk to him because I'll be slimmer then. How can I talk to him now and make him like me despite my weight? We talk sometimes, small convos, and he laughs at my jokes in class sometimes too.
What if he likes fat girls? I really can’t help you because I’ve never talked to anyone “despite their weight” before.
I seem to recall that you've recently realized you are attracted to skinnier women as well. How did you come to that realization?
It’s not so recent anymore. As I’ve gotten older and slept with more people who attracted me physically but didn’t stimulate me enough mentally, I’ve had some wonderful experiences with beauties who I wouldn’t have been able to fully appreciate when I hadn’t yet experienced enough of what I wanted in bed physically. So it was a combination of realizing I was being turned on by a wider (or skinnier heh) range of physical sizes and realizing my physical “ideal” (which was always pretty diverse as is) was not the be-all end-all of what I wanted sexually.
And in general as a maturity thing I think the older someone gets, the more they owe it to themselves to see what else in the world is capable of making them happy besides what they already know. As you get older/lonelier/more worried about mortality, you start worrying about what you’re missing out on. I was never ever the person who said “ewwww…skinny girls” but I’ve definitely learned to appreciate the look and feel and movement of body types that maybe weren’t the first thing I’d Google when horny.
For my first real feature story in ages, I spoke to St. Vincent, Latyrx, Tegan & Sara, Low Cut Connie, Yoko Ono, and Chuck Klosterman about tUnE-yArDs, who’ve just released Nikki Nack, my favorite album of 2014 so far.
1. tUnE-yArDs - Nikki Nack 2. Lily Allen - Sheezus 3. Wussy - Attica! 4. Shakira - Shakira 5. The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams 6. Sisyphus - Sisyphus 7. Withered Hand - New Gods 8. Young Thug & Bloody Jay - Black Portland 9. Tokyo Police Club - Forcefield 10. Toni Braxton & Babyface - Love, Marriage and Divorce 11. Tacocat - NVM 12. Homeboy Sandman - White Sands [EP] 13. Old 97’s - Most Messed Up 14. Pixies - EP-2 [EP] 15. Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans 16. Tweens - Tweens 17. Neneh Cherry - Naked Project 18. Miranda Lambert - Platinum 19. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues 20. Lykke Li - I Never Learn 21. Skrillex - Recess
dilemma: my boyfriend watches (afaik) exclusively ssbbw porn. i'm not fat. he says he loves me, loves my body and we have a ton of sex, but i'm worried he's a closeted FA. we're open with each other and i support whatever he enjoys on his own, but i don't want to get my heart broken if my body isn't his thing. is it reasonable to think he might like one thing in porn and something else in real life? is there a way to incorporate this interest into our sex life (without me gaining weight)?
It’s not unreasonable to assume that he likes more than one body type but if he ONLY watches porn of supersized girls it sounds like you should sit down and have a discussion with him. Ask why he has no interest in pursuing a supersized girl (or even broader, his fantasies) in real life. Ask if he would be interested in an open relationship to explore that interest and still be with you, or if he’d rather just be friends. Tell him you love him but you’re worried about emotionally investing in a future with someone who clearly has an unrequited sexual interest, and you want to know his thoughts on acting on it, and whether or not he wants you to be part of exploring it. It’s totally possible that he Just Loves You but like I said in that other recent question about a boyfriend’s porn, I think if you’ve been made this aware already of something he’s only interested in privately, you deserve to have your reasonable questions answered and you have the right to be on guard for your own sanity to prevent heartbreak later. If he’s never experienced a fat girl before, it’s hard for me to imagine depriving himself of that entirely when it’s almost exclusively his sexual preference when he’s alone.