Guest Blogger BStu: “Differently Straight”

[I asked BStu to write something about being a Fat Admirer for me, and he came back with this bit of fabulousness. The copious emphasis is mine, everything else is his. You can read my thoughts on it over at Shakesville. Thanks, Brian!]

Contributed by BStu

My name is Brian and I think fat women are sexy.

They call men like me FAs: Fat Admirers. It’s the modern term for “chubby chaser”. I choose to date fat women. Not because I’m enlightened enough to “see past” their body. Not because I think everyone is beautiful. Not because I think fat women are nicer or sweeter, and certainly not “easier.” It is because I think fat women are hot.

This is a funny thing in our society. I mean, I’m a man attracted to women. Seems pretty mainstream to me, but somehow it isn’t. Sure, I’m straight but I’m “differently straight”. I’m not quite a part of the heterosexual hegemony. The physical ideal I’m supposed to adhere to just doesn’t do anything for me. The sexualized culture that caters to the traditionally straight male doesn’t cater to me. If anything, it mocks and abuses me. What turns me on is ridiculed and condemned in the harshest tones. The mere idea that someone like me could think the way I do is rarely even acknowledged and almost never tolerated. If a man like me even gets portrayed, he’s sick, a freak. In a fat hating society, it is simply unacceptable to actually aesthetically enjoy fat people.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not looking for pity here. Compared to fat people, FAs have it easy. Being open about being an FA is the easiest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. There is effectively no direct harassment I have to endure being an FA. I don’t get threatened or heckled if seen in public with a fat person. I can marry a fat woman in all 50 states. Still, it is different. Unnatural to some — and unwelcome even to most subjects of an FA’s admiration.

I was lucky growing up because most of the pressure to conform went so far over my head, I didn’t even know it was there. I was pretty debilitatingly naïve as a kid. Well, it would have been debilitating if I wasn’t too naïve to notice it. Oddly enough, I think this social flaw wound up benefiting me. I didn’t know enough to know that I wasn’t supposed to think fat girls were cute. I knew that I was different, sure. But I didn’t think this meant I had to hide it. I just thought it meant I was different. By the time I really grasped how unacceptable it was, it was too late. I didn’t respond by cowering in fear, but by challenging the standards. I taught myself about fat acceptance. About the politics behind the way fat people were treated. I was advocating for fat acceptance at 14. Instead of staying in a closet, I was outspoken and I’m profoundly grateful that I was.

Mind you, I wasn’t winning converts in high school. One of the toughest things about being an FA is the some of the harshest receptions you’ll get come from fat women. Fat hatred is so extraordinarily internalized by fat women in our culture, the idea of a guy thinking they were beautiful just couldn’t be reconciled. I mostly weathered this without falling into “Nice Guy” traps, thankfully. Still, a lot of FAs don’t. A lot of FAs keep hating themselves. They think its wrong to be attracted to fat women. They buy into the cultural hate as much as anyone. Others waste energy trying to be a “white knight” pretending they can undo years of social conditioning just by telling a woman that she’s beautiful. Or worse, they grow to think fat women owe them something for their affection. The truth, though, is that probably most FAs remain invisible, thanks to a culture that likes to keep them that way. They are afraid to open up until they are older and have grown too tired of hiding.

Being an FA isn’t something sick or demented. There are men who fetishize fat, sure, but that’s different from being an FA. Being an FA just means that you see a fat person and you think they are sexy. Some people think it is limiting to be an FA. Really? There is a range of probably 300lbs of what I’m really turned on by and plenty past that which I find quite aesthetically appealing in its own right. “Thin Admirers” like what? A range of 30lbs, tops? The thing is, a “Thin Admirer” isn’t anything. They don’t need to self-identify. No one could pick up on their attraction by observing who they date, because they keep to social expectations. They have the privilege of their preference being undetectable, while mine is evident to anyone who knows me. I can either hide and be invisible, or everyone is going to see right where I stand. Yet, it’s the men and women challenging the status quo who have to answer for their supposedly superficial preference. We’re the ones who are accused of limiting our options, while men interested only in thin women simply fade into the background.

For most FA’s, it’s just a preference. It’s just part of what we’re looking for in a romantic relationship. There is this idea that the choices fat women have are men who date them because of their size or despite of their size. Both options would suck if you ask me. Good thing being an FA isn’t either. I want to be with a fat woman, yes, but I’m looking for someone I am completely attracted to, mind and body. I’m not martyring myself by dating someone “even though” she is fat. I’m not debasing her by dating her just because she is fat. The attraction is inclusive of the physical attraction, neither because of nor in spite of it.

I don’t really know why I think fat women are beautiful. Its not like I sat down one day and did a list of pros and cons to come to the logical answer. I have a friend who is convinced all FA’s had some experience in their childhood that produced the preference, but I really can’t think of anything. I never had fat teachers, fat babysitters, even fat relatives. There were signs of where I was going as early as 7 years old, but once I got to puberty I was pretty solidly aware. There isn’t an answer to “why?” I just am. This is just how I’m wired. I tend to think that’s probably the case for most FAs. We just are.

I could go on about the unique experience of being an FA. Our sexual development is profoundly impacted by the conflicted cultural stimuli we receive, and I think a lot of it really hurts FAs — though the internet is changing things, hopefully for the better. I may be different, and I may have faced some unique challenges, but I’m honestly quite happy and confident with who I am. I really do think I’m lucky to be differently straight. I wouldn’t trade who I am for anything.

Posted in Fat

24 thoughts on “Guest Blogger BStu: “Differently Straight”

  1. Pingback: BStu on Being a Fat Admirer at Shakesville

  2. Great essay, Brian! I once asked my boyfriend, who has what he calls a “slight preference” for larger bodies, how he handled it when other guys gave him shit about his choice of partners. He simply shrugged and said he wouldn’t give guys like that the time of day. Then again, he’s from Oregon — even when people “give you shit” here, it tends to be nicer shit than it is on the East Coast (where I grew up).

    Only once have I seen a movie where a man stated a preference for larger bodies, and that was in Waiting to Exhale (1995) when Gregory Hines (who was, I gather, a FA IRL also, RIP Gregory) told Loretta Devine his late wife was a big woman and he liked them that way. Maybe it’s happened since then, but I haven’t seen it.

  3. It shows up a lot on TV, but pretty much always negatively in the end. Waiting to Exhale is a good example, as is “In and Out” which featured Matt Dillon coming out as an FA.

    I’ll tell you, too, I think I’ve only ever once had a negative reaction to my face about being an FA and it was hardly hostile. More dismissive. Some guys might tease, but that’s all it is. Very few people are going to really be upset about who a straight man has sex with.

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot about “In and Out.” I know I shouldn’t laugh hysterically when Shalom Harlow says, “I’m not ready yet! I still have to shower and vomit!” But I do. Sorry.

  5. Thanks for this wonderful post. I have to admit that it took me a long time to come to the realization that I could be attracted to anyone and to not put down, internally, anyone who was attracted to me.

  6. I’m 32 years old. I’ve been fat every single one of those years. I’ve been waiting almost all of those years to read or hear something exactly like this.

    I really had no idea that it was even possible for someone to think and feel that way. I believed that hoping it was possible was as much good as hoping to find a unicorn. (Truth be told, I had a little bit more faith in the unicorn.)

    Thank you for posting this. Thank Brian for writing it. Thank you.

  7. There was also a baseball movie (thus the reason I can’t remember what the hell it was), possibly school-level baseball, where one of the team members likes fat women. He takes a lot of razzing for it, but eventually stops hiding the women and says, in essence, “bite me” to the guys giving him grief.

    I so wish that I’d paid more attention to what the movie actually was. My brain is saying that Jason Bateman was in it, but my brain is frequently unreliable.

    Meowzer, my favorite line from In and Out is “Do me a favor and eat something. You look like a swizzle stick.”

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  9. “Summer Catch” with Freddie Prince, Jr.

    I have to admit, I’m a little taken aback that the concept of FA’s is so unknown to some people. I guess I just got used to it being a given that I didn’t really realize that it was something still very foreign. That’s really an eye-opener for me.

  10. I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with fetishizing fat. I wouldn’t break up with someone for being a foot fetishist. I would break up with a foot fetishist who ignored the rest of me, but I wouldn’t date anyone who ignored me anyway.

  11. ” If a man like me even gets portrayed, he’s sick, a freak.”

    What kind of society do we live in if this is the case? There are a lot of fat women out there who are simply marvelous. I have a lot of friends who consider themselves not just fat, but obese. I don’t want to generalise but usually people on the larger side have better sense of humor because they have to deal with snide comments a lot. So they develop the ability to poke fun at themselves and not take a lot of things seriously. Bottomline: they are more fun to be with and they have other things to talk about than body and all those superficial things. Fat women actually DO have something worth to say. I don’t know why men don’t see this and prefer to have mindless conversation with some other dolls! (Not that other women are brainless…hey, you get my point, right?)

    I work part time in a fashion store, and my favorite customer are always the fat women. They are more jovial, kinder and playful. If I were to service a Paris Hilton wannabe, I just feel like slapping them. They are snobbish, demanding and utterly nonsense at times.

  12. Mobius, did you even read the post? Or anything past the second sentence? Because I already brought that up. Thanks for playing, though.

    I think fat is too broad of a concept to really look at it as a fetish when the person isn’t ignoring the rest of the person. I don’t mean to seem anti-fetish because I am certain that many fetishes can be enjoyed in moderation and without objectifying someone. I’m not sure that applies to fat, though, as it is really a quite broad concept. Fetishes are usually quite specific, and I don’t feel like my fat attraction really qualifies. I think if it crosses over into being a fetish, its also crossing over into being a dehumanizing fixation. I just think “fat” is too big (excuse the pun) for a physical enjoyment of it to be defined as a fetish.

  13. I don’t really buy into the fat women are a better brand of woman idea, Mad Penguin. Plenty of thin women are fun to be around and have fabulously interesting things to say. I worry that crafting justifications for liking fat women around their personality superiority is just a way of deflecting social stigma instead of really challenging it. Fat people and thin people can both be great people. Some folks aren’t more broad in their physical attractions, others just prefer the physical appeal of fat people. That, alone, is fine. We don’t need to slam what we’re not attracted to in order to embrace what we attracted to. That’s a game played by “thin admirers” and I see no reason to keep it up. Fat people aren’t simply better. They are just fat. That’s okay, too.

  14. Sara,
    I always avoided the whole ‘BBW/FA’ world because the idea of the fetishes freaked me out so much. But a girlfriend of mine finally pushed me toward by reminding me that once you get them into bed, every man has got some weird little something or other (quirk or fetish or habit), and at least this way you knew something going in. That was helpful.
    But the other part of it, for me, was not wanting to be desired for what I least preferred about myself. Because, as keeps being said, it (being fat and all that means to us) as a way more far reaching thing than pretty much anything else. We all have feet, and how we feel about those feet has a small range; from neutral to don’t touch my feet. Some people wish their brown eyes were blue, or that they had less body hair. Fat goes waaay beyond all that, and so to have it fetishized, in my case, would require to give a lot more than perhaps I could deal with, at least conceptually. I think it’s because my fat is so deeply personal, I can’t just turn it over to ‘you’ for your objectified pleasure.
    Whoah, that was like a whole other blog.

  15. I’m like twilightriver. I have heard that there are men like you out there, but in my 35 years of thinking a boyfriend would be nice to have, I’ve never met one. It is nice to know that you’re out there, somewhere, and that I shouldn’t give up hope.

  16. Having read a lot about human evolution as social animals and reading many articles on brain development it’s easy to see why people want their to be a norm whether that’s a physical type or behavioral pattern.

    The brain prefers to think in more absolutes as it is busy deciding what is coming at it right NOW. Whether this is the reason we develop norms and try to enforce them, or it reinforces this behaviour is way beyond my levels of understanding. However, it is one of the reasons people have trouble embracing anything different.

    Even if such behavior has been very beneficial to our species over the long haul I think as a society and as individuals we benefit greatly by expanding our understanding of what is “normal”.

    I really applaud BStu for publishing this article and sharing his experiences as an FA. We can all learn from his experiences and perceptions whether fat, thin, male, female, plain straight/queer, etc., etc.

    People who keep their minds narrow and emotions stunted are missing out on many of the best parts of being human. Society and individuals benefit by become well rounded.

  17. 1. Preference should imply that it is something that you like, but in some cases not require. It’s a perk (PERK TO THE MAXIMUM! :P), and while some people “Require” that their partners be larger, the whole concept is a case by case thing. I’ve heard kink, requirement, preference, et cetera…
    I myself use preference because while I am an FA, I leave myself open to thinner women. To me the term is open-ended to the point that it can be like a preference/kink/requirement/et cetera, but it’s not loose to the point that it can be seen as a fetish.
    There’s nothing wrong with a making it a requirement. I think BStu is right in saying that an FA range is definitely a lot larger than the range of someone that prefers thinner women (Just one of many reasons why Fat Admiration is a good thing ^_^).
    2. This is my personal experience:
    I conditioned myself to prefer larger women. Not that it is wrong or anything, but the mind is very impressionable. Nature and Nurture both have effect, but I think sexual preference tends to tip more towards the world around us in most people than nature. I think the mind is put in a somewhat blank state in the beginning where outward stimuli make up things. That obviously doesn’t happen with everyone though. Obviously what BStu said about himself is true, and what I said about myself is also true.^_^

  18. Loved this. I think the notion of men who prefer fat women (or vice versa) being ‘freaks’ is just ludicrous. Fat is a neutral physical characteristic; it’s like getting on someone’s case for preferring blondes – or at least, it should be.

  19. This is it. This is the post that brought me into the FA world…I had googled something that now, months later, I am embarrased to even say. But it was something like, ‘do men like fat women”. Thank the universe for sending me here instead of anywhere else. I am also thankful that probably no one reads these way back then comments anymore :)

  20. Pingback: Fat Attraction, Part 2 « Waistlines

  21. I’ve recently come across the fact that FA’s exist. It’s my dream to find one who can love and appreciate me!

    I’m so refreshed to know that there is a “group” of men out there who acutally prefer a larger woman. As I’ve often said to my girlfriends and some men even, I may be larger than what TV ads and movies portray, but my skin is just as soft, my heart is just as big (if not bigger), my blood is just as warm, my eyes just as bright, and my love just as strong. So if someone out there is looking for true love, don’t count a larger women out. Some guys are really missing out. It’s the FA’s in this case, who are really wining the prize.

    Ann

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