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Chubby chasers, fat admirers, whatever you want to call them– if you’ve been a part of the fat community for any length of time you’ve run into them. Hell, they’re even a thing outside of our little world, though more often as an object of ridicule for being bizarre enough to find our thunder thighs attractive. Some women are fine with this– they love the attention, and it must feel awesome to have someone idolize your body type after years, decades of being told it’s the worst thing you could possibly be.

Some of us have a problem with it. Some of us are really really skeeved out by the entire concept, and often times it can be difficult to communicate to people why this could possibly be. For me personally I have major issues with someone fetishizing my body. It’s reducing me and my body to something that exists solely to be pleasing to other people, a concept I find as insulting as the thought that I ought to lose weight for the same reason. This is not a feeling unique to the fat community — women’s bodies are fetishized for all kinds of things from their size to their ethnicity to their particular style of clothing.

I can’t speak for these other communities, but I can say that the thing that really grates my cheese about the majority of the chubby chasers I’ve run into is the entitled mindset. The attitude. The way they seem to think there’s no way you’ll say no because, c’mon, we all know no one else is gonna want you. Their dick is a magic wand and it’s probably the only one you’re ever going to get so you’d best work for it and be grateful. As if the looks we have to endure when we’re in a relationship are bad enough (what is s/he doing with that fatty? They could do so much better. At least she knows how to stuff her face if you know what I mean, amiright?), we really don’t need it from our potential partners too. Basically I don’t want someone who’s attracted to me because my body fits a particular fetish that they have. I want to be with someone who thinks I’m nice/awesome/hot and wants to have a great time with me. I think one of the key problems is a lot of people don’t get how you can find a fat body hot without it being some kind of off-the-wall fetish.

I picked up an amazing book when I was in New York City this past January called “Big Big Love.” In addition to having a lot of great sections as they relate to sex with fat folks (positions, how-to’s, and though the majority of it is hetero-centric it does have some pretty awesome sections about queer sex too) it has an entire section dedicated to Fat Admirers that I love to death. I went back and re-read it recently with the intention of pulling out a couple of quotes for a quick article, but I ended up transcribing an entire section of the chapter because I found it so goddamn relevant. Here are some of the key quotes:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you are assured of a lifetime supply of potential partners who most likely have been indoctrinated in the idea that no one will ever think them sexy or lovable or romantically interesting. Many of them have been stuck in a scarcity mentality for years, even decades, believing that they have a snowball’s chance in hell of finding someone who would want them. Some are willing to leap at any chance they get, and, no matter how much people like me tell them to keep their standards high and not to compromise too much, are so hungry for love and attention – and so afraid that you might be their only chance – that they’ll put up with a lot of crap and overlook a lot of things they oughtn’t, just to feel wanted.

This gives you and other fat admirers way more than your fair share of power.

You aren’t God’s special gift to humankind just because you are attracted to fat people. You’re attracted to fat people because they’re what you like: fatness is what gives you pleasure. Don’t pretend you’re bestowing some sort of noble kindness on people when really what you’re doing is getting your own personal freak on. You’re not doing anyone – least of all yourself – a favor by acting like your hard-on is some kind of charity scholarship. It’s arrogant, patronizing and ugly.

I really recommend giving the whole section a read, and honestly the whole book.  I get it, the subject of being attracted to fat people can be a really awkward in a society that basically calls us all lepers. Real talk: when I’m making out with a hot chick in a space where I can be seen I’m more afraid of being teased for being a fat chick than for being a lesbian. But be aware of what it is you want. Be careful to remember that this is a real actual person who isn’t obligated to fall all over themselves for you just because they’re fat and you want them.

My copy! I picked it up at the Museum of Sex. Which was also pretty amazing.

My copy! I picked it up at the Museum of Sex. Which was also pretty amazing.

And seriously, don’t be an asshole. Believe it or not being fat doesn’t mean I don’t have options, and the quickest way to make sure you’re not one of them is to start wielding power and privilege over my head.