Jack Spratt

Friday, December 19, 2008

Question

I'm an average-sized guy who happens to have a thing for plus-sized women. I spend a fair amount of time on-line pursuing erotic images of self-described "big girls." There's something so lush and fantastic about all of that female flesh! I've learned through painful experimentation that there's no point in my trying to be sexually satisfied by women who the larger culture calls "fat." My problem is this. How do I wean myself off the porn and start having more of a sex life in the real world? I've tried asking women I find attractive out on dates, and they are pretty hostile or skeptical. I understand that after having your self-esteem repeatedly attacked, it might be hard to believe a guy was genuinely interested. But I am!! I could be making a 3X-sized girl very happy, and vice versa.

Answer

Speaking as a fat person myself, I can tell you that we are all crazy. The larger culture constantly makes us feel less-than. We are told that we have no self-discipline, we must hate ourselves, we are ugly and sloppy and careless and offensive to look at. In our jobs, we face discrimination. In public, we get harassed and ridiculed. Loved ones tell us they are worried about our health. Doctors tell us to lose weight but have no helpful suggestions. Despite the fact that more and more Americans are "over-weight" (whatever that means), the media images of attractive women and men continue to get thinner and thinner. It's crazy-making, which is kinda where this paragraph began.

The second problem is that any group of people who are perceived as different get objectified and fetishized by other groups of people. There are foot fetishists, amputee fetishists, chubby chasers, tranny chasers, lovers of rough trade, so-called "rice queens," etc., etc., etc. (Our society isn't very kind to fetishists, either, so they get called some pretty nasty names.) This also makes different people wary of normal-seeming people who approach them. What's the catch? It can't possibly be a potentially positive experience. It's bound to fall apart and reveal something ugly at its core.Finally, if a minority group is discriminated against or oppressed, it tends to make people feel depressed. Depression is not good for the libido.

Fortunately, there is a movement for fat liberation. It's not very large, but more and more fat people are refusing to feel shitty about themselves. More and more women are saying, "I refuse to become bulimic or anorexic in order to be told I am beautiful." It's possible to eat a healthy diet, get exercise, and still look larger than the insurance companies' charts say you should be. Sometimes it's better to accept the way that you look and develop self-esteem despite all the crap you get than to spend an inordinate amount of time at the gym and constantly feel deprived by a starvation diet. Having said this, I do want to acknowledge that there is such a thing as compulsive over-eating. There are several problematic, addictive behaviors associated with food, whether that means consuming too much of it, denying oneself enough food, or eating and then voiding. These are physical diseases that affect many, many people. If you've got a compulsive relationship with food, you need to face it and get some help with it, but I still think it's important to challenge society's stereotypes about what is pretty or handsome and what is not.

This is the context within which you are trying to find true love and happiness. Good luck. You are going to need to be polite yet persistent. When you meet a woman you find appealing, tell her you'd really like to get to know her better. Ask her if she'd rather go out for coffee or have dinner with you. (This, you will notice, makes it more likely she will agree to see you, because you are not offering her the option of saying, "No." She can still say no if she wants to. But there's no reason why you should make it easy.)

If she does turn you down, send her a card later and let her know you were sorry to learn that this is not a good time to pursue a friendship with her. Make sure the card has your contact information. Let her know you still find her beautiful, intelligent, funny, and fascinating, and if she ever changes her mind, she can give you a call. If I am seriously smitten, I will go ahead and make a call a few months later and ask if her circumstances have changed. This is a diplomatic way to see if she's thought it over and perhaps regretted her decision.

Once you date or have a relationship with one big girl, however, the word will spread. You will become known as someone who is accepting of the plus-size body. If you continue to behave yourself and treat your female friends and lovers well, you will not get a bad reputation. Nobody wants to be viewed as a sex object just because they possess a single characteristic that's not within their control. Being objectified is not pleasant because the totality of who you are ignored. A fetishistic partner tends to focus only on a narrow bandwidth of your own emotions, needs, wants, responses, preferences, experiences, etc. It's a one-way relationship that can't develop into anything mutual.

Good luck. Allow me to send you a blessing of appearing full of potential pleasure while possessing little or no threat of harm. (Some girls do like a dash of danger, so let's not take all of the risk away.) Don't give up. Fat people may be crazy, but we're also a bunch of sex-crazed Furies. Once you get to us, we'll wear you out in bed. Here's hoping the girls will line up to sit on your lap and face.

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