Serious Questions About Feeders
by Mark Anderson

Judging by the increasing amount of feeder related articles, features, and fiction appearing in Dimensions, it seems that the magazine is moving towards an implicit suggestion that FAs are all feeders or have some interest in feeding. This notion makes me very uncomfortable and, although I can only speak for myself, I have also heard from several others both FAs and fat women who are equally distressed.

I believe that the majority of FAs (not all of whom subscribe to Dimensions) are not feeders and many do not even regard it as a fantasy. My heart goes out to new readers who have just received their first issue, and are as shocked as I was when I first learned of feeders. While I am not prepared to discount anyone's opinions or experiences, I must however express my concern.
Also, I would like to address the statement that Gary Hunter makes in his forum position "Feederphobia" that "Immobility, is not a goal, but a tolerable byproduct of this passion." Tolerable? On whose part? I would very much like to hear responses to that from super-sized women who are approaching, or who already are, immobile. This is a major concern for those I know who are super-sized, and the loss of personal physical freedom is, in my view, a very serious issue and not something frivolous to be given or taken away by anyone in pursuit of anothers erotic pleasure. And the term "byproduct," used to describe a person's immobiltiy, is degrading and compares a human being to something like an industrial process or machine. These attitudes really disturb me.

I don't know if the statistics that accompanied the article were part of the original copy, or were added later, but I think there are some issues there that need to be looked at. First of all, the percentages for "agree" and "strongly agree" in the results were merged. I'm not a stats expert, but I'm sure in doing that they no longer reflects a true representation of what the original results were. Secondly, the nature of the questions in the "Turn Ons" section of the 1989 FA survey dealt exclusively with weight related questions or food and eating. Is that all that turns FA's on? It would seem to me that section was unfairly represented in the survey and probably resulted in a false or higher number of responses in those areas. And thirdly, a five year old survey can hardly be accurate for today. So, maybe its time to do a new one.

Now, if one were to take the 1989 survey results, however flawed one might think they are, and apply the same methodology of combining percentages of results, you will notice the following. In the section on health issues, 53% of FAs expressed concern about the impact of fat on their partners health and 85% supported weight loss for health reasons. But, in the preferences section, 44% were not bothered by extreme or debilitating fatness, and 67% wanted their current partner to be fatter. With regard to the upper weight limit for a desired partner, 23.9% indicated 950+ lbs (i.e. no upper limit) while none of the respondents had a current partner of this weight or even close to it. In fact, the average lowest acceptable weight indicated for a partner at 211 lbs was much closer to the average actual weight of their current partner of 260 lbs. And then, finally, 47% admitted that they would pick a fatter woman to date even if the thinner woman had a better personality.

So, what does all this say? Are FAs really happy with their current partners as they are? What are the most important qualities they look for in a partner, and how much emphasis is put on how fat they are? Even when in a relationship, do FAs still fantasize about being with someone fatter? If so, why don't more FAs have a partner whose size accurately reflects their real preference? Are FAs torn between what they fantasize about and what they choose for themselves in reality?

And where does feeding fit into all this? Is the interest in weight gain based on wanting a bigger partner? What is the balance between fantasy and reality in the relationships of feeders and their partners? How is this established, and how is it maintained so as not to dominate or control the relationship? Does a feeder see a potential partner for who they are, or what they could be? Is there not the danger that the feedee is simply fitting into a pre-determined role as dictated by the fantasy of the feeder? How many feeders hide their interest in feeding from their partners until the relationship is established and then try and introduce it gradually, and how many are open about it right from the start?

In addition, I think there are some other key questions which need to be answered which are of great concern. How many of those who find themselves as the feedee in a relationship are doing it only to please their partner? How many of them, after being a feedee for however long, fear abandonment if they don't continue to play that role? How many feeder/feedee couples, ashamed of others knowing, withdraw into a "bubble" existence and as such allow themselves to be isolated from friends and family, thus paving the way for textbook co-dependency.

I do not doubt the existence and the importance of the feeding fantasy for many FAs, but I have strong reservations on how that fantasy is acted upon in real life. It seems to me that the number of would-be feeders are far greater than the number of potential feedees, and as such I have a hard time believing that a good deal of convincing and persuasion does not go on in the attempt to make this fantasy a reality. In my estimation, the type of "encouragement" offered by some feeders amounts to manipulation and coercion in varying degrees. More often than not, this behavior will probably go unchecked because it preys upon the fear and insecurities of the potential feedee. The sad truth of what transpires in many instances resembles operant psychological conditioning in a basic form: Love and affection as a reward for weight gain. Once this formula is put into action, the results can be devastating both emotionally and physically.

No doubt what I have described here is an extreme example, but I have heard of this happening on more than one occasion. Furthermore, some pro-weight gain fiction actively promotes deceit and deception as means to achieve an eventual weight gain of gigantic proportions. But, this is fiction right? And we all know the difference between fantasy and reality, or do we? Since 93% of all FA's who responded to the 1989 survey said they collect fat-magazines, videos and other fat-related items, I wonder how much influence this fiction has, and does it accurately reflect the mindset of a feeder?

I also understand that not all feeder/feedee relationships are the same, and it causes me to wonder about the definition of the terms "feeder" and "feedee" and what these words really represent. They would seem to have a different connotation depending on who you ask and that person's perception of the issue. Perhaps we need to be more specific in our definitions so that we understand what the meanings and intentions are behind the words. Also, there certainly are those couples who are happy and content with a mutual interest in the feeding aspect of their relationship which may or may not be based on weight gain. And we must bear in mind that food and eating have long been a part of our sensual being, and are often included in erotic interludes between many couples and not just feeders and their partners.

But when does this interest turn into an obsession, or controlling factor in the feeder's life and what effect does that have on them and those who become involved in intimate relationships with them? These are serious questions, and cannot be brushed aside under the guise of personal freedom or preference because they directly impact upon the physical and emotional well being of another person. And the whole question of consentuality on the part of the feedee comes into play here too. Is it really a choice of one's own free will or are there other internal or subconscious factors which come into play with regards to acceptance, self-esteem and maybe even deep rooted personal issues which might be better dealt with in counseling or therapy? I know that the feeding issue has always been something of a controversy and an emotionally charged subject filled with shades of grey. But, there are just too many unanswered questions about feeders and feeding which need to be explored so that everyone can know the full and complete truth. ß

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