by Karen Secord
(Karen is an Ottawa-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to several publications in the region. See our Article Archive for more of her ‘Food Fights’ posts. Karen is working on a book about her experiences with food, weight and relationships, and can be reached at email@example.com)
This is not a happy holiday story.
It’s not actually a holiday story at all.
But as I attempt to prepare myself for the onslot of pastry pushers and turkey tempters over the holidays, I remember it with soul-wrenching sadness — and more than a little bit of anger.
I met him online. He had an ad on Kijiji seeking a SSBBW. I was curious. What was his definition of a Super-Sized Big Beautiful Woman, and who exactly was this guy that wanted to meet her? With little forethought I messaged him and asked exactly that.
“Who are you and don’t you know that looking for a morbidly obese woman to take to dinner probably raises more than a few eyebrows?”
I was around 300 pounds then. He told me, through email, that I wasn’t big enough for him. I think he used the word “small.”
“You are too small for me,” he said. I liked the words, but I knew there had to be more.
And there was.
The woman he hoped to wine and dine would be in the 500-600 lb range, he explained. But the bigger the better.
He was waiting for me outside an upscale Indian restaurant on Somerset Street: a tall, well-dressed gentleman with a friendly, non-creepy demenour. Our initial conversation was polite and “normal”. We spoke about art and the theatre. He was going to Montreal to check out a new gallery the following day. A Federal government employee from Vancouver, he was in Ottawa for three weeks on work-related business.
The restaurant he chose is a buffet. I knew the building well. It’s where I first lived with my ex-husband. The coincidence shocked me momentarily; a detail that caused my senses to heighten. It was here that, without recognizing it, I had my first taste of the feeder/feedee experience. He shopped and cooked and served. I ate and showed gratitude and asked for more.
“So tell me,” I said, trying to moderate my feelings. “What attracts you to such large women?”
I should have anticipated the answer: sexual arousal. He, and many like him, he said, are sexually aroused by extrememly large women. Indeed, they feed these women in the hopes of making them bigger.
He has a fat fetish. He and many others. So many others that they assemble as a group for an annual convention. They discuss things like “tube feeding”.
“What you are doing is abuse,” I told him. “The feeder is abusing the feedee for their own gratifiction, sexual or otherwise.”
He begged to differ. It was obvious he had heard the argument before.
“It is simply a preference. It is no different than if I prefered a thin woman and insisted that she remain thin to have my ongoing affection.”
But feeding a woman in to immobility is criminal, I wanted to scream.
Instead, I tried to explain the feelings that come with obesity; the self-loathing, the need for affection and acceptance. “When you feed someone like this with the sole intention of increasing her size for your own pleasure you are likely killing her, both physically and emotionally,” I told him. “A woman double my size would not fit on this chair. She would have trouble getting in and out of the car. Where would she buy her clothes?
We parted amicably. I asked him to send links for his favourite “feeder” websites. He did. They made me cry.
So, today while remembering this strangest of meetings, I am also reminded that Christmas eating has nothing to do with physical nourishment. And I pledge to eat only what I need to fuel my body. I will eat thoughtfully — with mindfulness.
Because the true joy of the season is found in the company of family and friends. . . and ourselves.
Some images above are from http://chubby-bunnies.tumblr.com/post/8284616270/simmerdownchild-a-fat-woman-2008-by-liu & http://chubby-bunnies.tumblr.com/post/8294409789/its-too-hot-to-wear-pants-tonight-size-24-290