Dimensions Online
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What is Dimensions Online?

Dimensions Online is the web site of Dimensions Magazine, a size-positive lifestyle magazine that has been published for almost two decades. The website is free for all. You do not need to be a subscriber to the print version of Dimensions, though that would certainly help us to continue providing this site for free.

What do you mean by "size-positive"?

Dimensions originated as the newsletter of a "special interest group" of NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. NAAFA, which was founded in 1969, fights against the discrimination fat people are subjected to in our society. One special interest group was for men who actually prefer fat partners. Dimensions was created to be a newsletter and then magazine for those who love fat women.

What do all of those abbreviations mean?

Like most groups and sub-cultures, the size acceptance movement and Dimensions has its own set of special terms and abbreviations.
  • SA - "Size Acceptance" - a civil rights movement started in 1969 when NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was founded. The size acceptance movement seeks to eliminate discrimination against fat people in all areas of life and generally make life better for people of size.
  • FA - "Fat Admirer" - a term that describes a person who has a physical preference for a fat partner. This is not fetish, just a physical preference, like one for a tall blonde or an athletic red-head.
  • FFA - "Female Fat Admirer" - a female who has a preference for fat men.
  • BBW - "Big Beautiful Woman" - a term coined and trademarked in 1979 by the founders of the original BBW Magazine. The trademark is now owned by Dimensions Magazine and its parent company, the Aeon Publishing Group.
  • SSBBW - "Super-Size BBW" - an extra large BBW, generally over 350 pounds, though there are no specific weight limits.
  • BHM - "Big Handsome Male" - the male counterpart of the term "BBW."

Is Dimensions just for men?

Initially (as in 1983) it was. But almost since the beginning Dimensions has been a forum for both fat women and the people who find them attractive. For men, Dimensions is a place where they can talk and learn about their preference, and find lots of steamy fiction, picture, bulletin boards and plenty more. For women, it's a place where THEY, and not their skinny sisters, are the stars. It's a place where they can learn about their admirers and to see the beauty and attractiveness in their bodies.

Is Dimensions just a social thing?

It would seem that way, but it is much more. We've always viewed Dimensions as a size-activist place as well as a lifestyle place. While there is plenty of sexually oriented material, Dimensions is about size politics, acceptance, and mutual respect as much as it is about celebrating the larger figure.

What does the website offer?

A bit of everything. It is a huge website that you can literally spend weeks and months discovering. The libraries contain a large number of articles and columns from the print issue of Dimensions. The "Weight Room" contains almost a thousand fat fiction stories. There are a number of bulletin boards, some of which have between 150 and 200 new posts every day. There is a large (though infrequently updated) links section. You can check up on events and parties as well as social groups in the Events section. the Dimensions store sells subscriptions, back issues, videos, and other cool stuff. We have chat rooms, polls on current and interesting topics, and information and entertainment on just about anything that relates to large size.

How often is the site updated?

Pretty much every day, though you can't always tell. Dimensions Online is so large that we can spend hours working on a particular page or project and most people won't even notice. It's like a huge park where there's constant maintenance and construction, but it is so large that you hardly see it. We encourage you to explore and poke around; you're almost certain to find something new every time.

What bulletin board software do you use?

We use two different software packages and each has a number of boards. The main boards use the thread-based webbbs software that makes for lively discussion and debate. Traffic varies. At some time the "Main Board" had the most traffic and people got into heated debates. These days the "Weight Board" and the "Plus-Size Paysite Board" have the most traffic. I should mention that we do not judge the success of a board by how much traffic it has. Web boards have a life of their own. Sometimes they are very busy, then there are slow times. Gossip and fights for example, always make for lots of traffic. We do not encourage that. The other software package we use is the UBB system. Messages are listed sequentially there, and that makes it ideal for quieter discussion of special topics.

We are using two kinds of bulletin board software. WebBBS is thread-based and offers great immediacy. UBB is sequential and more sophisticated. It lends itself for more private discussions.

What are the different boards for?

The Main Board is for general discussion. That includes pretty much anything that is size or Dimensions-related. The Weight Board is more of an adult/fantasy style board where people can discuss their preferences and desires. The FFA/BHM board is for women who prefer big guys. The Plus-Size Paysite Board is a place for paysite owners and their customers. And the WLS Controvery board is for those who want to discuss that topic in a safe environment. We're not in favor of WLS, but since the topic comes up so often I'd rather have people discuss it in a safe place where they are neither trashed nor bombarded with recruitment efforts from WLS clinics.

How did the plus-size paysite board come about?

There was a time when the Weight Board saw more and more posts that were advertisements for plus-size paysites. Those posts weren't exactly spam as almost all came from within our community and many Weight Board visitors were interested in commercial plus-size sites without the usual crap and come-ons you find on sleazy porn sites. Still, those posts took over and became disruptive to the discussions on the Weight Board. We took a poll and considered the pros and cons, then decided to set up a separate board where paysite owners could announce their sites and engage in discussion of their sites. However, that board was not set up as just a place for free ads.

What are the rules for plus-size paysite board?

As stated in the prior section of this FAQ, the plus-size paysite board is NOT a place for free advertising. Instead, it is meant, just like Dimensions itself, to be a place where plus-size people and their admirers meet on some common interest. In this case, those who have a plus-size paysite may announce and discuss their site on the board (including links) IF they actively participate in the board with a) posts and general discussion, b) posting pictures on this board representative of what their paysite features, and c) address issues or problems that may be brought to their attention. Those interested in frequenting paysites, on the other hand, are encouraged (in addition to expressing their boundless admiration of all that abundant beauty) to describe their experiences, both good and bad, (and rate sites they belong to via our review and rating system) so that the board also works as a clearinghouse, rewarding those who do a good job and encouraging improvements where needed. As on all Dimensions boards, cantakerous behavior and personal attacks are frowned upon and transgressors may lose the privilege to post. The same goes for those who fail to respect these rules. And needless to say, this is not a place for solicitation and anything else that is illegal. Anything of that nature will immediately be removed and the transgressors expelled or reported. As for the nature of images allowed to be posted here, those familiar with the Dimensions philosophy hardly need guidelines. We celebrate abundant feminine curves and beauty and there are plenty of ways to accomplish that without resorting to explicity, which is frowned upon. Official rules were posted at the opening of the board: 1) All posts must be completely legal and cannot solicit/link to sites that provide illegal services. 2) Anyone posting here must contribute to the community via pics and participation in discussions.

Can you help me get rid of that idiot on a board?

That depends. If we're dealing with a troll or stalker, yes, we'll try to deal with them. If it's just a difference of opinions, you should hash that out amongst yourselves. While doing so remember a few basic truths: No one ever thinks s/he is wrong. Over the long run, even you are likely to be right about half the time and wrong the other half. Time heals all wounds. There are times when it makes no sense to engage in vendettas. These are only bulletin boards, little words on a computer screen, it is not the real world.

Do people get "banned" from boards?

That is a thorny issue. There are times when almost any public forum is threatened in one way or another by people who have their own agendas or refuse to play by the rules. But just like there are some generally accepted rules on how we behave in a restaurant, a theatre, a doctor's office, there are some rules on how we expect people to behave on our boards. If they do not respect those rules, they may get placed on a list of posters whose messages will be examined by a moderator before they go up. Unfortunately, that can affect innocent bystanders whose posts may also be affected. In rare cases someone is no longer welcome at this site at all. That only occurs when a person shows a complete disregard for the rules and does not react to repeated requests to stop offensive activity.

Hey, am I "banned"?

Sometimes people all of a sudden can't post to one of the boards anymore. There may be a message saying that a post will have to be approved by a moderator or something like that. Does that mean you're "banned"? Chances are that you know whether that's a possibility. Have you broken the rules? If not, you're either the innocent victim of a block against a real transgressor, or there is something in your email or Internet address that attracts the attention of the boards software. Example: the system tries to make sure that a poster has a legitimate IP address. If it doesn't find one, the post is automatically flagged. There are many reasons why an IP address cannot be resolved, and it may affect people who have done nothing wrong at all.

Why do I need a profile to post on a board?

First, what are profiles? They let you "register" the screen name you use for posting on a board. That way no one else can use your name. In a profile you can also tell people about yourself. In the past, profiles were not mandatory. We changed that in October of 2003, and profiles are now mandatory. To set up a profile, simply click on the "create profile" link and enter your information. The system will then send a password to the email address you entered.

But, but, isn't being fat unhealthy?

Some people are meant to be fat no matter how much they try to change their bodies through diets and other dubious means. It is well documented that dieting results in permanent weight loss only for very few people. For the rest it is an unpleasant and often dangerous regime whose negative health impacts can far exceed that of remaining at a natural higher weight. We certainly advocate a healthy lifestyle, but it is not always clear what that is, exactly. Every few years the "experts" come to new conclusions and what is "healthy" changes. We believe that people should be accepted for who and what they are, and that they can be sexually attractive at any weight.

But what about all that feeder and weight gain stuff?

That's a loaded topic for some people. The way we see it, everyone has sexual fantasies, and some of them are pretty strange and hard to understand for those who do not share them. There are some people who find the thought of a sexual partner gaining weight a turn on, and there are some who find the thought of getting fatter a sexual turn-on. It is imperative to realize that fantasies are just that, fantasies. There is a huge difference between fantasy and reality. We see nothing wrong with discussing fantasies and what goes on betwee consenting adults is no one's business but their own. However, please realize that opinions voiced by posters and chatters are their own and not those of Dimensions.

What about your chat rooms?

We've had chat rooms for years. They were initially installed by our former web mistress who used both Java chat software and rooms located at the BeSeen website. The Java software was never used much and we ditched it. BeSeen rooms started acting erratic and BeSeen shut down in August of 2002. As a result, we began experimenting with alternate software that's running on our own server. We installed two systems, one a relatively slow-paced HTML-based system which has some neat features: you can send secret messages to anyone in the room, you can set up a private room, and you can also create a personal profile and register your chatting nickname. We also installed an industrial-strength "streaming chat" system that is much faster, also allows private rooms, has profiles, is extremely configurable, and you can upload your picture so that people see who they are chatting with.

Is there guidance for the chat rooms?

Chat rooms are wonderful but they can also be quite confusing. That's why you should read our special chat guide, "Rules of Engagement -- The Thinking Person's Guide to Chat." We strongly recommend that you read it, even if you consider yourself a seasoned chatter (you might get a chuckle out of it).

What's the "Women we love" section about?

That section is sort of the reverse of all the "Before and After" features you see in diet magazines. While the general public thinks that all women look better thinner, many Dimensions readers and site visitors think the opposite is true. the "Women we love" section lists a number of celebrities that we'd love to see fatter. It is a very loosely organized section. Some "inductees' have fairly elaborate pages that have been sent to us by contributors. Other names have been submitted by site visitors. If you are interested in a specific person and have some "before and after" pictures, you're welcome to create a page and put it up in that section.

Why don't you have more free pictures?

We have quite a few, though they are not all in the same place. And plenty more are being posted on the Weight and Paysite boards by generous women who share their beauty with us. We used to have a pay-per-view "image mall" whith a selected number of superb high-resolution scans. We closed it when the First Virtual pay-per-view system closed down. It is conceivable that there will be a new image mall sometime soon.

What's the print magazine like?

It is a 64-page magazine full of stories, columns, features and pictorials. It's sort of a "Playboy" Magazine for those who prefer the fat figure, only Dimensions is geared not only to men but also to women who love to see their own body type featured in a national magazine. We used to publish an issue every other month, but these days it is much less frequently. That's in part because of the hugely increased cost of printing and mailing a paper magazine, and in part to having much less time these days. As a result, subscriptions to Dimensions are for a certain number of issues instead of for a year. All in all, we have published 88 issues of Dimensions so far. Some of them have become treasured collectors' items.

How come the fashion (or other) section is so out of date?

Some sections of the website are indeed out of date or have been neglected. That's because we simply haven't had the time to update them, because a volunteer who used to update them has left, because we simply forgot, or because we just don't have the resources to offer more on what remains a totally free site.

What happened to the personals?

Good question. The Dimensions print magazine used to have hundreds of personal ads in each issue, and during the mid-90s we also had a 900 number system with thousands of voice ads. The web changed everything. With personal ads free on thousands of websites, the cost and effort involved of running a personal ad program simply made it unfeasible. For a while we placed all print ads on the website, but haven't done so since our full-time webmistress left. We spent a lot of time looking into a variety of online personals systems, but for a long time didn't find one that was both easy to administer and can accommodate our special requirements.

What is the Dimensions Matching System (DMS)?

The personals wait, though is over now. Not only do we once again post the print ads from Dimensions Magazine online and forward old-fashioned letters, we also launched the Dimensions Matching System, or DMS. What is DMS? It's super way to bring compatible people together. We heavily modified the system to account for the special interests and needs of large people and their admirers. You enter all your personal data into DMS, then describe what you are looking for in a partner. The system then computes matches and you can contact them via private bulletin boards. The rest is up to you! And, oh, there is also a "Quick Search" function where you can enter certain criteria and the system will return all records that fulfill that criteria. You can then add those to your match list (whether they reply is up to them, of course.)

What's the "Fat Sims" section?

"The Sims" is a game where you can follow the lives of "Sims," little simulated people. The game has become a cult classic with millions playing it. Unfortunately, the Sims are all very skinny and at some point I felt compelled on spending an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to make fat Sims. As I got deper and deeper into it I found ways to make them anatomically correct, able to retain their fat bodies in all situations by creating entirely new body classes, and so on. It seemed very obvious at the time and I meticulously recorded all my findings in that section. At this point I don't remember much of the details.

Will the print magazine become available online?

We have been looking into ways of doing this for a couple of years. There is a section on the site that has parts of some issues available for free download in pdf form (i.e. you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files). In fact, the entire brand-new issue of Dmensions is on the site right now, but I won't tell you where ;-) It is quite possible that we will make online pdf subscriptions available. Those might well be interactive as pdf files can include web links. This means that you could click on even small images and link to the high res files on our server. Likewise, we could link voice files to images and do other fun stuff.

This FAQ is by no means complete. It is a work forever in progress that includes answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked.