FA peerdom as a part of the FA experience

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Broseph

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I'm pretty new to DIMs and have been looking through old posts, hence the response to this ol' thread. I find this one great and totally true of my experience.

I've never had any FA friends and man would I have loved it, especially as a teenager. As others have mentioned--I felt like I was the only one out there into fat girls. I think there are some FA specific issues that non-FAs have a hard time relating to, even if they are good, supportive friends who aren't disgusted by what I like. For me, it would have been great to have had an FA uncle or friend, etc., who was already out and could give tips or just lend an ear.
 

landshark

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This is an interesting thread and kudos to you @Broseph for finding it and breathing new life into it. I see it’s a good 10 years old and I’d be curious the ages and relationship statuses of the guys who posted in this thread when it was new.

The reason I wonder that is I don’t share at all the need for FA friends. I mean I have a few here with whom I correspond from time to time, but I do not have any close personal friends who are FAs and I hadn’t thought about it at all until reading the early posts in this thread.

Now maybe that’s my demographic data: I’m 39 and have been married a while now. And the friends I have a re largely a result of my wife’s friendships. When I say say friends, I mean people I willingly choose to be around in my off time. I get along well with colleagues and sometimes we hang out, but it’s not quite the same as the friendship I have with people I meet because of my wife.

At no point have I ever lamented not having friends who liked what I like. And thinking back, while it was awkward “coming out” as an FA, I don’t ever recall wishing for a few FA friends. I do remember worrying about what people would think, but I didn’t take it so far as to wish some of my friends were also FAs (a term I wasn’t even familiar with at the time).

Interesting topic.
 
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Blockierer

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At no point have I ever lamented not having friends who liked what I like. And thinking back, while it was awkward “coming out” as an FA, I don’t ever recall wishing for a few FA friends. I do remember worrying about what people would think, but I didn’t take it so far as to wish some of my friends were also FAs (a term I wasn’t even familiar with at the time).
I agree with happily_married.
I think for men who are into fat women it's important to realise that there exist a lot men with the same preference.
That's the reason I like the term Fat Admirer. At 17 it was the first time I read this term (some NAAFA stuff in newspaper), so I could identify with it.
 

Shotha

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At no point have I ever lamented not having friends who liked what I like. And thinking back, while it was awkward “coming out” as an FA, I don’t ever recall wishing for a few FA friends. I do remember worrying about what people would think, but I didn’t take it so far as to wish some of my friends were also FAs (a term I wasn’t even familiar with at the time).
I can't say that I've ever lamented not having friends, who shared the same amorous tastes as me. However, when you start looking for a partner, you tend to meet other FA's. When I met my first other FA gay man, we instantly became friends and it was so nice to be able to say things like "I love John Candy" and get a reply like "So do I." I think it's hard to know what such camaraderie is like until you find it, but when you find it it's one of the most wonderful experiences in the world.
 

Emmy

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I'm pretty new to DIMs and have been looking through old posts, hence the response to this ol' thread. I find this one great and totally true of my experience.

I've never had any FA friends and man would I have loved it, especially as a teenager. As others have mentioned--I felt like I was the only one out there into fat girls. I think there are some FA specific issues that non-FAs have a hard time relating to, even if they are good, supportive friends who aren't disgusted by what I like. For me, it would have been great to have had an FA uncle or friend, etc., who was already out and could give tips or just lend an ear.
i have really never thought about this.. being on the chunky girl side of it! Howeverrr.. its a really good point you bring up! I cant imagine how out of place or different you guys must feel for liking someone ..outside the sports illustrated box. AND the teasing ><...... Once upon a time :p I was dating this kid [waiting for him outside his house] .. he got out of his friends car and shared with me "my friends want to know why im into chubby white girls..but i think they must of seen you from the side" no no, theres no perception issue here..im chunky! It would of been nice for him to just admit that he does like that about me! Then i think about the teasing though.. bleh
 

Shotha

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What do people think the social effect of this absence of peerdom has had/could have? Finally, if it is a problem, what could/should be done about it?
James, I just read your article again and have more thoughts about it. This is a topic that I often think about.

Lack of FA peers has quite serious social effects. As we find peers, who share our taste, we start to realize that we are not freaks and we feel more confident about being open about what we desire in a partner. Finding peers almost certainly helps FA's and FFA's to lead happy, fulfilling and self-confident lives. It also means that more fat people can enjoy sex, love and romance. When we liberate ourselves from the fear of what other people think of us, we liberate others at the same time.

As a gay man, I have long been concerned about the plight of women, who find themselves in marriages with gay men, who have married a women, because they are too scared to come out of the closet. It occurs to me that that must also be slim women, who are married to FA men, who long for a beautiful fat woman. Both of these groups of women are deprived of the right to know what it truly means to be loved. Of course, there are many permutations of these unfortunate scenarios. It demonstrates how important it is to live as the people that we truly are. If we don't, we make a mess of other people's lives as well as our own.

I believe that we have an ethical responsibility to live as we truly are. I just hope that arguments such as these help to give people the confidence to live as they want to.
 
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Tad

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I think anyone, but perhaps especially young men, can extrapolate too far from too little data, and proceed to believe their own bullshit. Peer groups can occasionally exasperate this, but for the most part they can help prevent some of the dumbest. Basically peers help call us on our BS, offer slightly different vantage points, provide some perspective that we haven't gained yet, etc.

Basically I think having an FA Peterson be accessible is apt to make life better for fat people, as well as saving FA some lost pride and dignity.
 

Shotha

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Formal peer groups provide some extra advantages. For example, a formal FA group would be able to organize events for themselves and fat people. But if you're going to go to the trouble of organizing a group for FA's, you may as well organize one for FA's and fat people. In the 1990's I organized such a group call the Cubs and Chasers Club of New Zealand (usually abbreviated to CCC). It was for fat gay men and their admirers. It was based on American models but adapted for New Zealand conditions. There are plenty of online groups like this for gay men, which work very well. These days it would be much easier to set up a local group for straight FA's and fat people, because all of the communication could be done through a Facebook group. And that is a possibility, which is well worth exploring.
 

Broseph

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i have really never thought about this.. being on the chunky girl side of it! Howeverrr.. its a really good point you bring up! I cant imagine how out of place or different you guys must feel for liking someone ..outside the sports illustrated box. AND the teasing ><...... Once upon a time :p I was dating this kid [waiting for him outside his house] .. he got out of his friends car and shared with me "my friends want to know why im into chubby white girls..but i think they must of seen you from the side" no no, theres no perception issue here..im chunky! It would of been nice for him to just admit that he does like that about me! Then i think about the teasing though.. bleh

Thanks for your note. It's funny--I always thought society was so shitty toward big girls (and guys, of course) that I felt like a dick for being embarrassed about my FAness--as if my own insecurity was somehow not big enough to warrant my attention or discussion. Another reason FA peerdom is a great idea!
 

Shotha

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One of the arguments that I've often used, when people make negative comments about my FA-ness, is that fat people are human beings with the same needs and feelings as everyone else. Those needs include sex, love and romance.
 

DragonFly

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My sweet man was a FA to the bone, he had one friend that would come into town and they would have a big deli lunch and go big lady watching at the train station. They compared notes on living with a SSBBW and he really liked the camaraderie.

The only other time that he interacted with other FAs was when the big women attended events and we all drug our spouses along. I know he had some laughs and there were lots of eye rolls about SSBBWs wanting to be cool, taking up the whole bed and other things only they could experience.

I would seriously suggest that the FA people that are talking about needing a support structure, to take it upon yourself to make it happen. You don’t have to be best buds but the married old-timers could really offer some help. I wish my guy was still around to share his adventures and misadventure with getting comfortable living with me! Would certainly help others.
 

Shotha

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I would seriously suggest that the FA people that are talking about needing a support structure, to take it upon yourself to make it happen.
I totally agree. My best friend and I used to pore over all the listings of Chubs and Chasers Clubs and Girth and Mirth Clubs, wishing that we could have one. We finally realize that we had to do it. So, we organized an inaugural meeting and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. It doesn't take much effort, especially these days.
 

landshark

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I totally agree. My best friend and I used to pore over all the listings of Chubs and Chasers Clubs and Girth and Mirth Clubs, wishing that we could have one. We finally realize that we had to do it. So, we organized an inaugural meeting and it was a wonderful experience for all of us. It doesn't take much effort, especially these days.
So true. I wonder how we ever organized anything before social media.
 
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We had to print out newsletters and envelopes, do envelop stuffing, put stamps on the envelops and take them all down to the post office.
Everything in the pre-internet days was word of mouth, newsletters, snail-mail, newspapers, magazines.....gosh, even writing this makes me feel old, but the reality is we couldn't just google it the way one can today. It was a journey of sorts to wade through the occasional newspaper article that made references to the BBW world that eventually lead me over the course of 2-3 years to Dimensions Magazine print edition around 1990. The magazine, of course, was a game changer for me and led me into the entire "scene" of bashes, conventions, etc. What an exciting time it was! While I know in today's world it only takes a swipe to meet singles, I think everyone should have had the opportunity to go to a party with 200-300 large folks and their admirers like I was able to back in the day. Good times and worth every hour of searching to find the treasure!
 

Shotha

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While I know in today's world it only takes a swipe to meet singles, I think everyone should have had the opportunity to go to a party with 200-300 large folks and their admirers like I was able to back in the day. Good times and worth every hour of searching to find the treasure!
It's easy to just look at the bad side of old times, like thinking you're the only, all of the hard work to get anything done, the difficulty in finding partners and like-minded friends. However, there was a great deal to be enjoyed in the older days, too. We used to meet real people rather than virtual people. Potentially good friends can be dismissed these days with a single keystroke, whereas in the pre-Internet era we met people face to face and made more friends. It's hard to find the camaraderie that we had in the old days. We used to stand by each other more than we do today. Our little chubs and chasers gatherings in Auckland NZ could only must 2 dozen people at the most but we still enjoyed a tremendous sense of belonging. It's that feeling of community, belonging and togetherness, which FA peerdom offers.
 

luckyfa

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There was a time when the internet was still in its infancy and I felt like being the only one who loves fat women. But I’ve never felt freakish or lonely with this preference. That has changed, thanks to the internet. This cuts both ways: Although I realised that I am not the only one, I became self-conscious about my preference at first and I thought that something was wrong with me (fetishism!). However, in IRL, I still feel like I am the only one, especially as our contrast is huge (my wife’s almost double my BMI). My wife‘s the fattest person I know personally. She weighs at least twice as much as most of her girllfriends.

Of course, I know quite a few people who have a bigger spouse but then, I don‘t know whether they‘re happy with their partner or not. Some women I know who have bigger husbands explicity don‘t like it, the men with bigger wives seem to be more accomodating. Still, those men are unlikely to label themselves as fat admirers. But I can‘t know.

Maybe it‘s also a definition or labeling problem. When did the term „fat admirer“ arise? Is it a brain child of the internet or was it coined prior to the advent of the internet? It was only after about 15 years into our relationship that I discovered the term „fat admirer“, thanks to the internet. I obviously was one before, but I didn‘t know that there was a term for it. Ignorance and innocence were bliss.

This gets me to the core of my long-winded musings: Could it be that the label creates more problems than it solves and that the desire to belong to a certain group based on a label is futile? I mean, what would I talk about with a hypothetical real-life FA friend? About our spouses‘ measurements? About the amounts of food they can eat? About our desires, hidden or obvious?
 

Tad

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Maybe it‘s also a definition or labeling problem. When did the term „fat admirer“ arise? Is it a brain child of the internet or was it coined prior to the advent of the internet? It was only after about 15 years into our relationship that I discovered the term „fat admirer“, thanks to the internet. I obviously was one before, but I didn‘t know that there was a term for it. Ignorance and innocence were bliss.

This gets me to the core of my long-winded musings: Could it be that the label creates more problems than it solves and that the desire to belong to a certain group based on a label is futile? I mean, what would I talk about with a hypothetical real-life FA friend? About our spouses‘ measurements? About the amounts of food they can eat? About our desires, hidden or obvious?
As to when did the term FA start, I don't know for sure but it was well before the world-wide-web was a thing; I met it in a back issue of men's magazine called BUF (focused on larger women) in, iirc, 1989. And I remember reading that Dimensions Magazine, the magazine that left us these forums, evolved out of the newsletter of the 'Fat Admirer's Special Interest Group' (FASIG) of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), and Dimensions Magazine was already adverting in that back-issue of BUF that I found, so I'm not quite sure how far back the NAAFA FASIG went, and in turn "FA" must have been an existing term without at least NAAFA circles before a group used it in their name. So I don't know exactly when it started being used, but I suspect at the latest the very early 80s.

Your last paragraph is a great point. From what I understand the FASIG didn't take off very well within NAAFA, and in all the long years of the Dimensions Forums (which date back to about '97) I can't recall any real FA grouping or fraternalism happening. Some of that could be the shame that a lot of FA learned about their preferences, but I think that more that "We are both attracted to fat people" just isn't enough in common to cement friendship or to found a social group, unless other common interests also are found.
 

Shotha

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This gets me to the core of my long-winded musings: Could it be that the label creates more problems than it solves and that the desire to belong to a certain group based on a label is futile? I mean, what would I talk about with a hypothetical real-life FA friend? About our spouses‘ measurements? About the amounts of food they can eat? About our desires, hidden or obvious?
I've said things about the advantages of having FA friends and acquaintances several times in this thread. I'm gay and so my experience has mainly been with gay groups catering to fat gay men and their admirers.

In the early 1990's I started a group called the Chubs and Chasers Club of New Zealand or CCC for short. It was based largely upon American models. I also became involved in various local bears' groups. People get many things out of such groups. The first thing is meeting their peers, so that suddenly they are no longer alone. We didn't talk about our partners' measurements or how much they can eat. We did talk about our desires and aspirations. We talked about our life stories. We talked about why we liked fat men. We talked about the film stars and other celebrities that we thought were good looking. It also gave people a place to start socializing and meeting friends and potential partners. We theorized about all of these things. But we didn't turn the men that we admired and loved as objects.

These days it's fashionable to dislike labels. What people really dislike is inappropriate labels. I've been happy to label myself as a chubby-chaser, chaser of fat admirer, because it has enabled me to engage with others in creating a social milieu for fat people and their admirers, and in trying to create a space for us in the wider world. If other people choose to think of themselves in other terms, we shouldn't pick fault with that. One thing that I've found is that by being honest about who I am, it stops people from using my identity to cause distress.
 

mathfa

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I do greatly wish that I could have a friend who is an FA. I don't have a ton of friends though, and in general have trouble making friends with other men, I find women easier to talk to I guess. So my sample size is not amazing. I've only ever known one FA in real life (although many others were likely so and just didn't talk about it), she had a fling with a friend of mine, and flirted with many of the other guys in the group, all of whom were big people. I found out when my friend said something about her being a flirt, to which I said that she had (thankfully) never shown interest in me, to which he replied I was not fat enough 😅

Discovering Dims five or so years ago was very helpful though. Seems like a lot of the FA material out there is very hardcore, and there's even a lot of ethically unsound stuff like the "candids" section of Curvage. *shudders*. Finding this community of regular, kind people who like big people was eye opening.
 

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