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What is Dimensions Online?

Dimensions Online began in 1994 as the web site of Dimensions Magazine, a size-positive lifestyle magazine that was published as a glossy print magazine between 1984 and 2004 and then morphed into this site and community. Despite its size and many offerings, the website is free for all, though donations certainly help to keep Dimensions going and growing.

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, as well as a size-positive community and forum for fat people and their admirers.

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 trademarks are 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."

General Dimensions Rules

These are the general Dimensions rules that apply across all boards. For information on any supplementary rules that apply to a particular forum, please read the associated forum sticky, found at the top of that forum.

1. Age:

  • No underage participation (i.e. under 18) permitted.
  • No sexual text or images to be posted that pertain to minors.
2. Forum Conduct:
  • No personal attacks and no name calling
  • No fat-hating, racial or homophobic slurs
  • No alteration of quotes
  • The use of secondary profiles to deceive or spam community members, or in order to circumvent administrative disciplinary action on the boards, is not allowed.
  • No 'full frontal' nudity or 'cover up' graphics. If further explanation is needed, please refer to this post by the Webmaster.
  • No repeatedly posting in ways that are contrary to the stated rules and intentions of purpose-specific boards, such as the BBW board or the Weight Board
3. Weight Loss Talk:
  • No promotion of diets, diet plans or surgeries for the specific goal of weight loss (Specifically what is not permitted (in regards to WLS talk) are comments of a "cheerleading" nature, i.e., tracking weight lost, goal weights, before and after pictures, suggesting of specific surgeries or doctors, etc. However, the discussion of experiences, procedures and outcomes associated with having had WLS is permitted on the WLS board ONLY)
4. Other:
  • No advocacy for, or promotion of, illegal activities
  • The general rules are intended to cover the majority of eventualities; however, any unique circumstances that call for administrative action will be handled at the discretion of the administrators and mods.

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, pictures, bulletin boards, chat rooms, 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.

Why does it say "You must be of legal age to view the Dimensions website?"

Because we decided early on that Dimensions is a website for adults. It is not pornographic and does not contain explicit stuff (we don't even allow a nipple showing in any pictures), but it is a website for adults. Please respect that.

My partner is losing weight! Is this the end of us?

Difficult question. FAs so happen to have a preference for a fat partner, with various desires and ideals. Our preference is often dismissed as superficial or just some fetish. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For whatever reason, we seem to be genetically wired in this particular way. If you're one of us, you know how strong and real this preference is, and what it means to you. That said, any real, lasting relationship is not possible without that which makes any relationship enduring and rewarding: love, mutual respect, tenderness, kindness, similar interests, similar pace of life, "chemistry," getting along, all the good stuff that makes us want and appreciate another human being very close to us in our lives. Now my advice is always to combine the two, the physical and the spiritual. Then you truly have the best of both worlds. If one side is missing, there is a much greater possibility of feeling unfulfilled. All that said, I'd say that a union that falls apart over weight loss would likely have fallen apart anyway. And one that is strong will survive it and thrive.

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 and Dimensions is not for the libidophobic, Dimensions is about size politics, acceptance, and mutual respect as much as it is about celebrating the larger figure.

I've tried to sign up, but it doesn't seem to work!

After you sign up, you should get an automatic email from the system with instructions on how and where to complete the registration. Sometimes those emails get nuked by spam filters. If you do not get such a confirmation email, do let us know. It is possible that your handle or email was automatically rejected by the system because it conflicted with the rules (all caps, insulting/inappropriate, too long, too generic, etc.). In that case, choose a different handle. Also, we regret that we can't accept hotmail and gmail addresses. Those are mainly used by the many hundreds of spammers and hucksters who are trying to get into Dimensions every day, and we had to disable them/ Thank the spammers for that.

What does the website offer?

A bit of everything. It is a huge website that you can literally spend weeks and months discovering. The forums contain almost two million posts. The libraries contain a large number of articles and columns from the print issue of Dimensions. The "Weight Room" contains well over a thousand fat fiction stories and there are many more in the library part of the forums. . There are a number of bulletin boards, some of which have several hundred new posts every day. There is a large (though infrequently updated and by now largely historic) links section. You can check up on events and parties as well as social groups in the Events section of the Dimensions Forums. The Dimensions store sells back issues of almost every issue ever printed, Dimensions and other videos, fat girl magazines, 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?

Something is added pretty much every day, and the forums are so active that there is always something new and interesting. 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.

Do I need to register and have a profile to post on a Forum?

Our current vBulletin forum system lets you view posts without registering, but you can only post or view pictures if you register.

What bulletin board software do you use?

Since 2005, we have been using vBulletin, with great success. Before that, Dimensions used a variety of different software packages. For a long time, the main boards used the thread-based WebBBS software that made for lively discussion and debate. Traffic has historically varied. At some time the "Main Board" had the most traffic and people got into heated debates there. These days, the "Lounge," the "Main Board" and the "Plus-Size Paysite Board" have the most traffic. We do not judge the success of a board by how much traffic it has, though we now often have over a thousand simulataneous users. In general, 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.

What are the different boards for?

The Main Board is for general discussion. That includes pretty much anything that is size or Dimensions-related. We added The Lounge just for general community fun, games, and off-topic stuff. And then Hyde Park for more heated discussion. 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. The Fashion board replaces the large fashion section we used to have in every issue of the magazine. "Hyde Park" was added for a while as a place for strong opinions. The Foodee board is for those who just love to discuss food. The Health board was added to discuss general health issues and those that may affect fat people. Age bracket boards were added to let people of the same age groups discuss topics of interest to them. 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. New forums may be added as needed.

What is the reputation system for?

The reputation system is a feature of the Dimensions forums. If you like what someone has to say, you can reward the poster for exceptional posts by "giving rep." Reputation points are earned each time someone leaves a positive comment for you. When you hover the cursor over the "cans," a label shows up. That label is also related to reputation points, although it uses different numerical values than the cans. If you want to see what the labels are, [URL="http://www.ruggedpcreview.com/images/dim_rep_labels.png"]click here[/URL]. Reputation adds up and shows up on the form of green and gold "cans" (and more). The number of "cans" is related to the number of reputation points a user has. As for the colors, the first five cans are dark green. You earn one for each 150 rep points. The next five cans are light green. You earn one for each 250 points. The next eight cans are golden. Each golden can costs 800 points. If you do the math, you can see that you max out after 8,400 points. That is when the cans are replaced by a big golden star, and the cans start over (in addition to the golden star). Reputation is to be given out only when it is due. The system limits how many people you can rep in a day, and how you have to spread reputation before it can be given again to the same person. The rep system is meant to be used to reward good posts; abusing it to leave negative or hate messages is strictly forbidden and may result in reprimands or temporary or permanent loss of posting privileges.

How did the plus-size paysite board come about?

Several years ago the Weight Board saw more and more posts that were advertisements for plus-size paysites instead of discussion. 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. Instead, it's a place where plus-size paysite owners can interact with their admirers.

What are the rules for the 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, 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, cantankerous 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 are:

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.
3) Pictures posted may not depict explicit sexual acts or activity, may not show genitalia, and may not show nipples. 4)No plugs for Yahoo Groups or personal site. The Plus-size Paysite Board is for those who have paysites. Please do not use it to advertise Yahoo (or other) groups or personal websites. That can be done in the Weight Board. 5) Turn off paysite link signatures when you post on another board. Some people use their signature to show links to their paysites. That is fine. However, if you have a sig with a paysite link, turn it off when you post on another board. At some point I hope we'll have multiple signatures or a way to automatically attach different sigs depending on the board we post. Until then, please observe this rule.

What can I use my forum user account signature for?

Historically, it's been a tradition to sign letters. Initially it was a courtesy and also validation that a letter indeed came from the one who claimed to send it. In email, "signatures" are often used to automatically add name, title, address, website, etc. In forums, "signatures" really aren't necessary, but for now we enabled them. You may, but don't have to, use a signature. If you do, use perhaps a witty line that describes yourself or means something to you. Signatures should never dominate posts, so large fonts, graphics and overt advertising are not allowed. Signature also must not be used for political propaganda. Overall, the goal of the Dimensions forum is not self-promotion or making other statements with a signature. We prefer to keep a standardized (and simple) signature format that does not distract from the flow of communication within the threads.

What can I use for an avatar?

Avatars are small pictures or icons that are often used online to represent a person. On our boards, we prefer that your avatar is a picture of you or something that represents you. Abusing avatars for political statements or advertising is not allowed.

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 or you should the "ignore" feature. 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.

How do I delete my account?

We don't delete accounts. Repeat: WE DO NOT DELETE ACCOUNTS. We also do not delete posts that are not in violation with posting rules.

Can I mention Dimensions on TV/radio/etc?

You must not mention/discuss Dimensions or provide the Dimensions URL in interviews or when on TV, radio or other media without explicit permission from Dimensions. Disregarding this rule will result in loss of participation privileges.

I think people who are attracted to fat partners are demented. Can I post on how demented they are and also on how bad it is to be fat?

Sorry, no go. Dimensions is a size-positive place where fat people and their admirers can get away from all the relentless attacks and mocking out there.

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. If, however, you already have multiple infractions and continue to break our community's rules, perhaps we have simply had enough. and encourage you to find a more appropriate outlet for bashing other people. No one likes a bully.

What is the infraction system?

It's a system that tallies the penalty points you incur for poor behavior on our boards. Offenses such as insulting other members, off-topic posting, rep system abuse, inappropriate language or insinuations, etc., each may result in an infraction that carries a point value, sort of like what insurance companies use for speeding tickets and such. If you exceed a certain total, you may lose your posting privileges as the system automatically gives you a time out to contemplate your evil deeds. The points eventually expire (usually after 14 days) and your posting privileges are reinstated when your point total drops below the threshold.

I just found a fat-basher website. Should I post on the board about it?

No! Unfortunately, there are any number of hate sites out there. Ignore them completely, do not give them any publicity, do not post links, do not discuss them in posts, and do not go there. Dimensions is a size-positive site, and we concentrate on the positive.

Can I reprint threads or posts from Dimensions somewhere else?

No, you can't. Whatever is posted at Dimensions is copyrighted material.

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.

So why is there a WLS forum?

There is significant pressure to coax fat people into having WLS (weight loss surgery) where the digestive tract is surgically modified so that patients can no longer eat normally. Dimensions does not endorse such a barbaric mutilation of the human body as it is a dangerous, inhuman, and often experimental procedure driven by surgeons' greed and the knowledge that the patient can and will be blamed once the weight comes back or health fails or both. The WLS forum at Dimensions serves as a size-positive venue for WLS issues. However, cheerleading is strictly prohibited as there are numerous websites out there for the discussion of WLS, and the WLS surgeons there will be thrilled to embrace and welcome both cheerleaders and new prospects.

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. In that respect, Dimensions stands for what we consider "Freedom of Fantasy," as long as same are, if pursued, sane, safe, and consentual. 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 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 had some neat features: you could send secret messages to anyone in the room, you could set up a private room, and you could also create a personal profile and register your chatting nickname. But it was a resource hog and so we closed it. 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. This has been the main chat system for several years now. It's obsolete now, too, but for now we're leaving it up and running.

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). We established several rooms in chat so that people with similar interests can gather for discussion. Moderators keep the rooms safe and pleasant enviornments, and they can answer questions. The main room is reserved for generic "BBW/FA" issues, others more for special interests. Rooms can be added or removed easily, so the types of rooms may change over time. People who wish to take a discussion private can do so. However, keep in mind that we did not make Dimensions chat available as a pickup place and we do not tolerate inappropriate behavior or deceit in the rooms. Anyone breaking the rules will lose chatting privileges.

Since Dimensions was created as a size-positive place for fat people and their admirer, one that pursues both activist and social goals, we expect chat to adhere to that philosophy as well. Chat is a place to talk, learn, meet with friends and make new ones, and discuss issues of interest. Numerous people have met in chat, then in person and ended up getting married. Many others have come to love Dimensions chat as a great place to hang out. That is terrific, and we will strictly enforce our rules so as to keep our chat rooms safe and positive and free of sexual predators, abusers and people misrepresenting themselves.

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

That (by now ancient historic) section began as 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 which, sadly, hasn't been updated in a while.

What's the status of the print magazine?

For many years Dimensions was 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 we have not published issues recently. 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. All in all, we have published 88 issues of Dimensions so far. Some of them have become treasured collectors' items. Back copies of almost all issues are still available. Should a print version become financially feasible again, we'll resume print. We also contemplate publishing high quality online periodicals of Dimensions, likely in PDF form. For that we'd need volunteer columnists, models, writers, and nother help.

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

Some sections of the old website are indeed way 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. However, the fashion section has been reborn as a discussion forum.

What happened to the personals?

Personals are so 20th century. :-) But a 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 vanished without a trace. 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)?

We also launched the Dimensions Matching System, or DMS, in 2002 as a 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.) Shockingly, the Dimensions Matching System, with ist 5,000 registered users, is absolutely free (we must be out of our minds). It is also totally out-of-date (but can actually still be lots of fun).

What's the "Fat Sims" section?

Another ancient 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, and our work does likely not apply to the many newer versions of The Sims.

Will the print magazine become available online?

As stated above, 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, a few of the final issues of the Dimensions print version are 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.

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