Hogging (sexual practice)

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Hogging or "sweat hogging" refers to the practice of groups of men who target overweight or obese women, typically for sexual encounters. Unlike fat fetishists, men who participate in hogging are not necessarily sexually attracted to obese women's bodies; they aim to take advantage of a female's stereotypical low self-esteem or to derive amusement for themselves and their friends by engaging in sexual activities with women who are overweight.


The social practice can be undertaken as an individual or group activity, and often includes excessive alcohol consumption, emotional detachment, and degradation of the woman. Hogging does not always include sexual intercourse, and often other sexual activities are the end goal. Participation sometimes includes making bets among male peers, as well as humiliating the woman involved.[1]


The practice is commonly justified by the allegations that the targeted female has violated a gender norm (by being overweight), and is therefore herself a deviant. As such, her treatment is not victimization because she deserves it. Participants often believe that the female involved should be grateful for the attention.[2]

For their part, the males avoid being labeled as "deviants" by incorporating elements of conformity to persisting gender norms. For example, men may refute criticism for their actions by asserting that they received sexual favors, therefore excusing their behavior.[2] In this way, hogging is just one of many ways in which groups of young men achieve and maintain masculinity in their peer groups. In order to separate themselves from the stigmatization of being intimate with an undesirable partner, they often humiliate the women either in person of behind their back as they share stories with their friends.[3]

Additional justification for hogging includes denial of responsibility, diverting blame for their actions on alcohol consumption or lack of recent sexual relations. Some participants also claim that hogging is a form of appealing to higher loyalty, by sacrificing themselves for the amusement of their social circles, or diverting the attention of the overweight woman so that a friend can interact with her more attractive companion.[2] Many have few female friends, have little understanding of female motives, and cite the lack of options among potential sexual partners as a primary reason for hogging. Some individuals participate in hogging as an insulating behavior to avoid rejection from females that they are attracted to, but intimidated by.[1]


Hogging has been described as a form of misogyny, and as part of culturally-sanctioned abuse of women in the United States,[2] although the activity has also been observed in Australia.[3] Donna Jarrell, lecturer at Ohio State University and author of What Are You Looking At?: the First Fat Fiction Anthology, described hogging as a "sad" practice, saying that it reveals how "our attraction or our revulsion to fat has a lot to do with our culture". She commented that the fat stigma is so extreme that even men who are genuinely attracted to overweight women cannot admit or discuss their feelings.[1]

The practice has also been suggested as a manifestation of hypermasculinity, in which men who do not fit into normative expectations of manhood exhibit insecurity, defensiveness, and sexual aggression to make up for their incapacity to meet masculine standards. In this manner, hogging is described as a form os sexual predation in which sex is an activity of conquest, not intimacy.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Fenske, Sarah (2003-10-01). "Big Game Hunters". Cleveland Scene. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gailey, Jeannine; Prohaska, Ariane (2006), ""Knocking off a Fat Girl:" An Exploration of Hogging, Male Sexuality, and Neutralizations", Deviant Behavior 27 (1): 31–49 
  3. ^ a b c Marilyn D. McShane; Franklin P. Williams (1 January 2007). Youth Violence and Delinquency [Three Volumes]. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-08204-7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Prohaska, Ariane; Gailey, Jeannine (2009). "Fat Women as "Easy Targets: Achieving Masculinity Through Hogging"". In Rothblum, Esther; Solovay, Sondra. The Fat Studies Reader. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-7631-5.