When I first began to put together the puzzle of my sexuality, the revelation that I had a rare fetish touched off a cascade of feelings. It began with relief, as I had finally figured out why penis-in-vagina sex had never worked for me. Later there was fear, as I wondered whether my desires were even safe to carry out in real life. But after a few months, everything had settled into a baseline of pure frustration.
It turns out that I’m into feederism—a fetish that revolves around fat, overeating, and weight gain. Four years of high-school sex-ed left me woefully unprepared for the reality of having unusual sexual needs, and in the beginning, I was almost entirely alone while trying to figure out such basic things as how to find the porn or how exactly to go about realizing my fantasies. For many years, I didn’t even know what keywords to type into Google in order to find the kind of porn I dreamed about (“fat,” unsurprisingly, tends to lead more to diet tips than videos of good-looking men joyfully eating entire cakes). When my girlfriends got together to compare notes on their sex lives, what was normal to them was no help to me at all. Even when I finally discovered a group of people that I was comfortable talking about my fetish with, I was still the only person in a group of 30 that had these particular needs. To that end, here are some of the things I wish I’d known when I discovered I had a fetish:
1. If you can’t find porn you like, make your own. If you’ve spent any time on the Internet at all, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Rule 34: the idea that if it exists, there’s porn about it. But if you’re a newbie fetishist, you might be realizing that this rule doesn’t mean that there’s necessarily a lot of porn or that the porn is very well-constructed. I spent many years scouring feederism sites like Dimensions for good stories and, though there were some tales that I remember fondly even now, I quickly discovered that most of the fetish stuff wasn’t made for me. It was difficult to find porn where the woman wasn’t the object, as opposed to the person controlling the scene, and sometimes the language used to describe that woman’s body was downright insulting (“cow” or “hippo” was common). Later, I lucked out and found women-run communities that wrote pudgy fanfic based on the TV show “Supernatural,” but until then it was a long slog.
Thus, I developed a number of low-cost strategies to make it less likely that the stuff I used to get off was going to piss me off. I collected and re-purposed photos and stories about marvelous feasts, though the creator’s original intent may have been far from erotic. I critiqued the worst stuff I found on the Internet, and left comments on the stuff I loved to encourage people to write more. If there was a kink meme or suggestion board, I told people what I was looking for, and sometimes people would come out of the woodwork to chime in that they wanted this too.
I also tried my hand at creating my own porn, and would recommend that all budding fetishists try this at least once. If you can already write or draw, this advice is probably something that you’re already putting into practice. But if you can’t, there are lots of tools that can make it easier to create porn for your own private use. Regender is an easy way to take a story that you love for the scenario and switch the genders around, while Photoshop has made it easier than ever to alter photos to your liking (feederism porn has an entire “morph” genre, where photographs are stretched and smoothed into the exaggerated body types so beloved by the fetish). Another option is to find an independent artist who already does sexual content and commission them (Erosblog has a great guide on how to find and how to work with people you want to commission if you’ve never asked for a piece of kinky art before).
If the stuff you’re creating is an original work, or if you’re curating a sourced list of stories or pictures, I also recommend that you share your porn. Posting your stuff somewhere can help you find like-minded people, even if it might not seem like they exist at first. My friend Crosswords, frustrated with how dominant women were portrayed in femdom porn, started Beyond the Valley of the Femdoms, and through blogging on Tumblr was able to find around twenty fellow women who wanted to turn the male gaze on its head.
2. Seek your kind offline. The second biggest fetish challenge after finding rare porn is finding non-Internet people who will not only talk to you about your fetish, but also help make your most deep-seated fantasies come true.
Though your experience may be different, I haven’t had wonderful luck on fetish-specific dating sites. Due to the relative rarity of dominant women in my fetish, I was swamped by hundreds of ill-conceived messages simply because I was a girl in a traditionally “male” space. I also got the sadder, but still annoying style of message people send when they’re convinced that their fetish is so rare I’m the only person in the world who they could have sex with. For this reason I decided to bypass the web altogether, and meet with people for the first time in the so called “real world.” Though meatspace, feederism groups do exist, for several years the only ones I found were located in cities hundreds of miles from me, so I mostly managed this by going to munches.
Munches—plainclothes meetings in restaurants or other public settings for kinky people– can be deeply intimidating, but it helps if you think of them as having the same parameters as a speed dating event, a singles mixer at a bar, or the first meeting of a local knitting group. You’re just as likely to meet awkward, annoying, or creepy people as you are in a vanilla context, but there can also be cool people you can gossip with, and people who teach classes where you can learn more about kinky sex techniques. You can find a lot of guides on how to find a munch on the Internet, but this is a good place to start.
Being part of a munch also gave me a chance to simply practice talking about my fetish, which was invaluable for me later on. In the beginning, I was so terrified of being shamed that even casual talks had more in common with a discussion about a life-threatening illness than something that brought me pleasure. After years of answering questions, I’m now able to distill what turns me on down to a single sentence, and am confident that I can explain the appeal to even the most-vanilla of my partners.
Additionally, even though these discussions didn’t always lead to me finding someone who shared my fetish in every way, I also found a many interesting people who wanted to try something new because they liked me. After going on several dates with people whose online fetish list matched mine exactly, but who failed to kindle a spark in person, realizing that I didn’t have to check all the boxes in order to find someone to play with was extremely freeing.
3. Learn how to do the deed. Last but not least, even when you have created new porn, found a community, and gotten in touch with a curious play partner, when it comes down to doing the actual deed, you still might find yourself without a guide. This does, of course, pertain to the rarity of your fetish, but after five years in the capital-S BDSM Scene, I’ve seen everything from classes on sexy clown costuming to waterboarding, but nothing like an erotic eating class. So, as they say in the homeschooling forums, I created my own curriculum.
I found that as I talked with partners about their past experiences and did some cautious experimentation, I had to dial down my original fantasies to something more realistic. (For instance, people can’t really drink a gallon of milk in a sitting, or gain weight nearly as fast as they do in the weight-gain stories I used to read on Dimensions.) I ended up looking up medical texts on digestion, reading books like Mary Roach’s Gulp, and wandering around in the competitive eating forums to see if they had any kind of advice. Going to kinky classes even though they weren’t about feederism also helped, in that they gave me a framework for checking in with my partners, basic medical knowledge, and inspiration for items I’d need to have on hand in case of accidents.
I can’t tell you that following these steps will make your sex life perfect. Mine certainly isn’t. After years working my way through my sexuality, I still haven’t found more than a handful of people making my ideal porn, and my lovers don’t look anything like I originally imagined. But I realize that there aren’t any guarantees in vanilla relationships either. I find satisfaction in the thought that I’ve been able to excite people around the world with just my words, that I’ve had some incredibly hot sexual experiences that I’ll probably still be wanking away to when I’m 91, and that I can get myself to come with just a sequence of thoughts. How’s that for unconventional rewards?