Fat fetishism

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Fat fetishism is sexual attraction to overweight or obese people due to their weight and size.[1][2]

A variety of fat fetishism is feederism or gaining, where sexual gratification is obtained not from the fat itself but from the process of gaining, or helping others gain, body fat. Fat fetishism also incorporates stuffing and padding, whereas the focus of arousal is on the sensations and properties of a real or simulated gain.


Physical attraction of 47 male fat admirers (FA, in red) towards 10 female figures from the given BMI range, compared with a control group (CG, in blue)[3]

A 2009 study found that heterosexual male fat admirers preferred females that were clinically overweight and rated both overweight and obese women more positively than slighter individuals. The study also found that participants reacted positively to a much wider range of figures than a control group, even rating emaciated figures higher. It concludes "these findings suggest that an explanation for fat admiration may be that FAs are rejecting sociocultural norms of attractiveness".[3]

Gaining and feeding[edit]

Gainers and feedees are people who enjoy the fantasy or reality of gaining weight themselves. Encouragers and feeders enjoy the fantasy of helping someone else gain weight. Gainer and encourager are common labels among gay men, while both straight men and women as well as lesbian women often identify as feeders and feedees.[4] Gainers and feedees have a wide array of personal weight-gain goals--only 10 percent of gainers and 13 percent of feedees express interest in immobility as a fantasy or reality.[5][6]

While gaining and feeding are often considered fetishes, many within the gainer and feederism communities report viewing them more as a lifestyle, identity or sexual orientation.[4]

The gay gainer community grew out of the Girth & Mirth movement in the 70s. By 1988 there were gainer-specific newsletters and in 1992, the first gainer event, called EncourageCon, was held in New Hope, Pennsylvania. In 1996, GainRWeb launched, the first website dedicated to gay men into weight gain, ushering in the internet era.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Merkin, Daphne (22 August 2010). "The F Word". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Griffiths, Mark D. (30 June 2015). "The Fat Fetish, Explained". Psychology Today.
  3. ^ a b Swami, V.; Tovée, M. J. (2009). "Big Beautiful Women: The Body Size Preferences of Male Fat Admirers". Journal of Sex Research. 46 (1): 89–96. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/00224490802645302. PMID 19116865.
  4. ^ a b Bestard, Alyshia (September 2008). "Feederism: an exploratory study into the stigma of erotic weight gain". University of Waterloo Thesis Paper: 27–28. OCLC 650872028.
  5. ^ "Feabie". Feabie. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Grommr". Grommr. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  7. ^ Textor, Alex Robertson (July 1999). "Organization, Specialization, and Desires in the Big Men's Movement: Preliminary Research in the Study of Subculture-Formation" (PDF). International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies. 4 (3): 218–220. doi:10.1023/A:1023223013536. hdl:2027.42/44662.


  • Giovanelli, Dina and Natalie Peluso. 2006. "Feederism: a new sexual pleasure and subculture". Pp 309–314 in The Handbook of New Sexuality Studies. Edited by Steven Seidman. Oxford, UK: Routledge.
  • In the RTÉ TV series Katherine Lynch's Wonderwoman, one of the characters had a Polish boyfriend who chose a larger woman over her and she referred to him as a feeder by saying "I'd only landed myself with a bleeding feeder."
  • Kathleen LeBesco. 2004. Revolting Bodies?: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity. Univ of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-429-4
  • Don Kulick and Anne Meneley. 2005. Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession. ISBN 1-58542-386-6

External links[edit]