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Since the conversation seems to be going around again, I thought I’d have my little say.

First, a couple of definitions. Technically, Fat Admirer just means someone who thinks fat people are sexy and/or beautiful and/or handsome, but it is much more usually used by straight cis thinner men who have a thing for cis fat women. There are certainly gay men who like fat gay men, but they generally have their own subcultures and terms around it, most notably Bears and Cubs. Lesbians don’t generally feel the need to describe themselves as Fat Admirers, even when they prefer fat women, although they’re generally just fine with saying they prefer fat women if they do. Fat people who prefer fat people, of any gender or orientation, generally don’t seem to use Fat Admirer to describe themselves, although I’ve heard a few fat straight men use it. I have never heard any trans people use the term Fat Admirer for themselves, although I’m sure there are some who do, so I can’t really comment. I have encountered straight cis men who are interested in fat trans women use it, but only ones who use the offensive term “tr*nny chaser” or some other equivalent for themselves as well. This usage makes it a far more specific term, one that is gendered and heteronormative, than it might at first appear.

Feedism, aka Feederism (although I understand some Feedees object to that term, since it puts all the focus and agency on the Feeders), is the fetish of feeding or being fed, usually with the goal of weight gain (Gainers, Gainerism) to greater or lesser degree. I’m told it can be used simply to mean getting erotic pleasure out of food, feeding someone or being fed, like feeding each other strawberries dipped in whipped cream for the sexiness of it, but I know a lot of people who are into that, and I’ve never heard any of them use the term to describe themselves. The way I see it used in actual kink communities is a) in conjunction with gainerism, and/or b) in conjunction with dom/sub play, with the feeder as dom and the feedee as sub. (Subs feeding doms usually comes under the heading of “service” instead of “feedism,” IME.)

I am both kinky and poly. I have a big ol’ toy collection, including many things for restraining people and hitting people. I hang out at the local kinky community center. The last time the women’s party there had a food orgy (rules: you cannot feed yourself, someone else must feed you), I brought a bunch of the food for it, because food is damn sexy. I think fat people are sexy, and most of my partners, past and present, are fat people. I am a big damn advocate of Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK (YKINMKBYKIOK).

People get to enjoy whatever consensual erotic activities between they like between consenting adults. People get to be attracted to whoever they are attracted to.

But who gets you hot and what gets you off does not excuse being an asshole.

Every minority group I can think of has some subset of the majority group that is attracted to them. And that’s just fine. What’s not fine is when those members of the majority group unconsensually objectify the members of the minority group, turning them into not people, but [insert group here] who have no other personality attributes and who exist only to be letched on by the “admirer” or “chaser”. It happens to black people, various Hispanic peoples, Native peoples, Asian and Asian-descended people, queer people, trans people, fat people, etc, etc, etc. And some members of each of those groups are into being objectified that way, and they should definitely hook up with the objectifiers and have some mutual fun if that’s what they want. But nonconsensual sexual objectification is nonconsensual sexual behavior, and it is bad. Do not come steal my personal photos for your wank collection without my permission or knowledge, it’s creepy and invasive and fucking nonconsensual. (And yes, I do definitely get hits here look for fat nude photos for wanking.) I am a human being, not your personal wank fodder.

And this is the fucking distinction. Do you see it? A lot of fatties — a lot of members of any minority group — do not want to be sexually objectified. People who objectify us without our permission are including us in their sex lives without our permission. There is nothing ok about that. On the other hand, having the hots for fatties is fine. Is, in fact, pretty awesome. Having the hots only for fatties and not skinnies is just peachy. Seeing a fatty walk into the room and getting wood or getting wet is even ok — as long as you continue to treat them like a human being, deserving of respect, possessing a many-faceted personality, and in every way your equal, until and unless they give you enthusiastic consent to treat them some other way.

You like to feed people who like to be fed? Awesome, have fun, go to town. You like to feed them in order to make them fatter, because that’s what gets you off? As long as they’re into it, too, woohoo, awesome! You go up to some moderately fat person and start telling them lasciviously how much you want to feed them and make them fatter, without having any idea how they feel about that? Fuck off and die, you creepy jackass. [Note: I have never actually heard of anyone doing this, ever, at all. Just trying to illustrate the distinction in a sharp and extreme way.]

I am into BDSM. I’m a switch. I like to tie people up, hurt them, and dominate them, and I also like to be tied up and hurt and dominated. Sometimes, I like to be tied up, hurt, and dominated by men. But when — as does happen to me about one time in three or four I’m in pansexual kinky spaces — a guy comes up to me and starts trying to dominate me without consent, or grabs my wrists and tries to restrain me, or assumes that I will want to play with him and acts like I’ve already consented to do so, or touches me sexually, or starts undressing me with his eyes or whatever, nonconsensually, then he has crossed the fucking line, and what he is doing is bad, and occasionally borders on or is actually sexual assault. (And yes, the same applies if a woman does the same thing. Never happened to me in kinky spaces, but it’s happened to some of my friends and partners.)

Being into fatties or feedism doesn’t excuse being an asshole. Being into fatties doesn’t mean fatties have to be into you. We are not lucky to have your personal admiration. Many of us don’t want to be objectified by you. Don’t act like an asshole.

Consent is the line between rape and sex. Consent is the line between S/M play and assault. And consent is the line between having the hots for fatties and being an asshole about it.

Consent has been a big thing in the kink community for a long time. When I was first getting into it in the mid-90s, people talked about BDSM being Safe, Sane, and Consensual (SSC). Now Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) is preferred by many. Notice what they both have in common? CONSENT. Informed consent, in particular. Both principles include the idea that all parties involved know what’s going on, and actively consent to it.

Look, there is definitely a problem with sexual conservatism in Fat Activism that contributes to Fat Admiration and Feedism not being accepted in FA circles. But there is also a very real problem with Fat Admirers and Feeders objectifying fatties without consent, and with Admirers being complete fucking assholes to fatties. We really are told that we’re lucky to have anyone think we’re sexy, so we owe Admirers our attention and sex. We really are told that Admirers are treated sooooooo badly for being into us, so we should give them kudos and cookies for admitting to liking us anyway, because we’re a dirty secret. We really are told that even though Admirers think we’re sexy, we’re not good enough to be girlfriends, only booty calls. Fat Admirers (and, partially by extension, and partially for other reasons, like, again, not all of us want to be objectified like that) aren’t widely accepted in FA circles because so many guys who call themselves fat admirers are fucking assholes to us.

Also, I do not fucking want to hear from any thin person who is dating a fat person or is into fat people about how fucking hard they have it, about how they’re judged for their preferences and dating choices. Fuck you. You’re coming in for a little bit of the fat hate we get full force and continually. If you want to ally with us and help fight fat hate, awesome, welcome to the fight, but don’t expect us to give you cookies for it, and don’t expect us to agree that you’ve got it soooooo haaaaaard. No. You don’t.

So. Just to be clear here: Fat Admirers in particular, and Feeders and Feedees to a lesser extent, need to get their act together as a group (or groups), and need to actively advocate for respect and equality for fat people, if they want to be accepted in FA circles. They need to do this within Admirer/Feedism circles as well as in society. And yes, definitely, FA needs to work on being more sex positive, including being positive about kinks and fetishes, but even if we do that, Admirers and Feeders will not be widely accepted unless they do the fucking work. Seriously.