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Fat fetishism is the strong or exclusive sexual attraction to overweight or obese people. As well as traditional attraction, the topic also incorporates feederism and gaining, where sexual gratification is obtained via 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)
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".
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 RTE 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