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Let It Go

January 1, 2014

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I'm a 34-year-old straight female. I am morbidly obese and have been for most of my life. I have never dated. I've been on a couple of dates, and only when I asked the guy out. From reading your columns and books, I am aware that some men are attracted to fat women. But since I never received any real sexual attention as a teen/twentysomething, I don't know how to deal with men in a sexual way or in a way that would develop into a relationship. I also think my (lack of) experience has caused me to become bitter toward men. How do I stop being bitter and learn how to develop a romantic relationship?

Fat And Bitter

Romantic and/or sexual relationships are something you learn by doing, FAB, so you'll have to start doing them—you'll have to start doing men—to learn how they're done. There are men out there who are into BBW, aka big beautiful women, but folks on Twitter recommended staying away from BBW-focused websites (which tend to be overrun by fetishists) and go with mainstream sites like OKCupid instead.

But maybe dating sites aren't the place to start.

"More important than worrying about finding people to date who love your size is making sure YOU love your size," says Jolene Parton, a fat dancer, sex worker, and activist. "Self-love can be the hardest thing in the world for a fat woman, but it's the best way to inspire others to love you and your body, FAB. Getting plugged into a fat-positive community might help you find friends and lovers who love the whole you. and are both great places to start."

So let's say you've learned to love your body and you're ready to date. What to do about the bitterness? Let it go. Resolve not to punish a man who expresses an interest in you now for failing to kick down your door a decade ago. And, yes, men suck, we really do. But you know what? Women can be sucky and shallow and judge people on appearances alone, too. (Ask any short guy.) But it might help you keep things in perspective—and let go of the bitterness—if you bear this in mind: We all have to make ourselves vulnerable to people we're attracted to, and sometimes those people respond by shitting all over us. Straight women shit on straight men, straight men shit on straight women, gay men shit on each other, lesbians shit on each other, bisexuals shit on everybody. All of us have had our hearts broken or, even worse, ignored, and every last one of us has cause to walk around feeling bitter about men, women, or both. Most people let it go, FAB, and you can, too.

One other bit of advice: Be open about being inexperienced. That will attract some guys and scare some others off. Good riddance to the ones it scares off, FAB, but don't assume that guys who are interested are necessarily nice guys. Some will be, of course, but some might be manipulators who want to take advantage of your inexperience or your perceived desperation. To help you sort the good ones from the bad ones, FAB, convene a small panel of friends to serve as your bullshit detectors. Your own bullshit detectors aren't gonna be good—they also don't develop until you start dating—so ask your panel to point out any red flags that you've missed. Good luck!

I'm a 30ish woman in a lovely GGG relationship with a man about my age. I'm submissive and masochistic; he's dominant and willing to inflict some pain. Neither of us has tons of BDSM experience, but we're enjoying each other. My question: My boyfriend is into belly punching. I'm happy to indulge him and have started to enjoy it. He likes it when I relax my abdominal muscles. Is this safe? What precautions should we take? Does the fact that I have an IUD factor in? And if I ever get pregnant, should we stop for the duration?

Belly Erects Long Lovely Youknowwhat

"There certainly are consensual boundaries that only the person and their partner can know how to navigate," says Dr. Leah Torres, an obstetrician/gynecologist with a special focus on family planning, "but I encourage safety first always."

And Dr. Torres sees danger in what you're doing, BELLY. "Abdominal muscles protect and hold our intestines, liver, spleen, pancreas, etc. in place, and there can be risk involved in blunt trauma such as punches in the abdomen, especially if the muscles are 'relaxed' and therefore not protective," says Dr. Torres. "For example, if someone has an infection like cytomegalovirus ('mono'), the spleen can be more susceptible to injury. Blunt trauma could cause splenic rupture and internal bleeding that could be life threatening. While that is uncommon, it is an example of how something that appears 'not dangerous' could become so given the right circumstances."

One precaution you could take? Stop relaxing your abdominal muscles and use them—use your tensed, flexed abdominal muscles—to protect your internal organs. "There is no risk to the IUD, as it is inside a very small uterus that is in the lower pelvis," says Dr. Torres. "But when someone is pregnant (!), I would recommend no belly punching—not under any circumstances!"

I'm a gay man of about 30, in a relationship with a great guy. But he seems to be "feminizing" me, and I hate it! I've spent the last decade in grad school. I stayed in shape—above average!—but there was no time for significant exercise. I've started working out hard, but the going is slow. I weigh about 20 pounds less than my boyfriend. I find that I simply can't match his level of aggression in bed. He has even joked a couple times about me being more "the woman" in our relationship—and I don't like that. However, quite frankly, it's not like I can toss him into bed and have my way with him. I want him to see me as another man in bed. It'll be another year or two before I really reach his level of athleticism. Any ideas in the meantime?

Not One To Feel Entirely Masculine

Just one, NOTFEM: Get over yourself.

Watching a man wring his hands about his fragile manliness—watching a man dissolve into a puddle of insecurity—hardly makes him seem more masculine. (And it doesn't make him seem more feminine. It just makes him look ridiculous.) And 20 pounds of muscle do not "make the man," any more than being the tosser as opposed to the tossee does. Being comfortable in your own skin makes you a man. No, scratch that. Being comfortable in your own skin makes you a person—a decent, tolerable, secure, and attractive person. (And a man who's passive in bed is still a man! Christ!)

If your boyfriend says something that annoys you ("You're the woman!"), tell him to knock it off. But your boyfriend could be "joking" about you being the passive one because he prefers it that way. If he would rather be the tosser, NOTFEM, you'll need to either find a different boyfriend or stop grounding your sense of masculinity in something so arbitrary as a game of who-tossed-who-farther and who-can-bench-press-what.

Jolene Parton burns up Twitter @jolenestarshine. Dr. Leah Torres regularly posts about women's health issues and smacks down antichoice trolls on Twitter @LeahNTorres and blogs at

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at

@fakedansavage on Twitter recommended


Comments (181) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment

Be careful - That's what killed Houdini!
(Look it up!)
Posted by straight, jacketed on January 23, 2014 at 3:50 AM · Report this
Calories in = calories out or fat cells. Quality doesn't factor into it. Actually pretty simple, not magic. Beans and rice are really cheap and healthy. Too boring for Americans though. Americans have more money than the rest of the world and overeat. Pretty simple really. You can mind fuck yourself all you want.
Posted by lmmmmmm on January 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM · Report this
@176: Thank you for sharing some helpful suggestions for FAB.
I fervently agree on the vital need to love oneself first (see @169).
One of my biggest challenges throughout my life has been to STOP
*!@#ing say "I'm sorry!"---when there was absolutely nothing to be
sorry for.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 10, 2014 at 1:59 PM · Report this
FAB: I'm madly in love with a large woman. I don't know what she weighs and don't care. I was initially attracted to her many wonderful qualities and I guess I wasn't put off by the weight because she wasn't. She has told me that she spent a lot of time in cold climates where everyone jumped into saunas and hot tubs nude and drunk and she developed a "don't give a shit" attitude about her (and others') physical appearance. If you don't like it, don't look. To me her confidence was an aphrodesiac. If you do find yourself romantically involved at some point I would also recommend lingerie and doggy style.
Posted by luckyguy on January 8, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@171 Married in MA: Thanks! As a Leo, I try to stay sunny. Vitamin D come get us!!
Hey---at my age, if I can't laugh or learn anymore, it's time to hang it up.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 8, 2014 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Helenka (also a Canuck) 176
I feared I'd left it too late to comment, but there are still others chiming in.

FAB, please ignore the trolls and those who are on a supposed health crusade. That's not why you wrote to Dan.

Being ignored has led you to become bitter toward men. That's not a good thing for two reasons beyond the fact that the bitterness may poison your future attempts. The first is physiological. When someone is experiencing strong negative emotions, the body releases cortisol which shuts down the fat-burning process. So, even if you were actively trying to lose weight, the going would be even more difficult.

The second is emotional. I'd hazard a guess that you're bitter not only toward men – but also toward your body ... as a distinct entity from your mind. You may feel that IT has betrayed you and sabotaged your hopes for romantic and sexual fulfillment. So this is where you're going to have to seize the reins and take control. If you can't get to love your body, then at least try to like it. And, yes, it's a lot easier to find outside validation first before you feel entitled to feel good about yourself. Still, you're going to have to find the inner toughness to try.

Though the mind may be the strongest sex organ, many people forget that the skin is the largest. Get in the habit of touching yourself. Sure, masturbation is valid, but I'm talking about other more prosaic parts. I've just stroked my cheek, then my forearm. My mind registered how soft my skin was and also how good it felt to be touched. Even if you're the only one doing the touching ATM, it's STILL valid. It counts. And it reinforces that you're responsive to touch. [It's also a handy check to see if you have rough, dry patches of skin.]

Speaking of touch, get a manicure and pedicure. Both rituals include a massage. And the big one, a real massage with a (male) masseur. Even though the setting is clinical and the behaviour coolly professional, it'll get you into the mindset of being touched by male hands.

Good grooming is a MUST, especially if you're a larger woman. And having pretty things to wear, including lingerie. It's not superficial to focus on the outside of your body. You're hoping to attract someone's attention, someone who will make the effort to get to know who you are on the inside.

The commenter above pointed out that not all cultures are uniformly dismissive of large women as worthy of desire. Find new places to hang out. If you have a unique talent, flaunt it. If you don't, then acquire one. If you're already set apart, make it work to your advantage.

If you can find a copy of it, watch "Sugarbaby", a fascinating German film by Percy Adlon. It's about a large, plain woman (with the additional bias against her because she works in a funeral home) who sets out to snag a cute, young man. The ultimate lesson there is that, even though it didn't last, she knew she was desirable and didn't let the setback stop her from trying again.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on January 8, 2014 at 5:19 AM · Report this
FAB - read Lesley Kinzel.
Posted by gnot on January 7, 2014 at 9:58 PM · Report this
At the risk of opening up a whole new can of worms, I will mention that some cultures are more accepting of fat women than others are. Im a fat woman (5'5", 220 pounds) who has been happily married for fifteen years to a sweet, sexy, totally normal man who just happens to like big soft tits and ass. We met salsa dancing- yes he's Latino. i was a little smaller then - about 180. But i was active an healthy and coordinated enough to shake it all night long. And there was no shortage of men who liked the way it looked shaking all over the dance floor. i dont want to generalize, but in my rawther considerable experience, the latin men are less likely to have the kind of strong negative reaction you often get from american men. Just something to think about - lots of our preferences are culturally mediated.
Posted by aimeeday1972 on January 7, 2014 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Afaik, only one person has boasted of their weight while talking about Fab.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM · Report this
mydriasis 172

Speaking as a naturally skinny person, I could not fucking agree more. I know my fast metabolism is the only thin between me and FAB. And I grew up around rich people so I know better than to think that it has anything to do with merit.

Posted by mydriasis on January 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM · Report this
@168 griz,

Whoa, I'm truly impressed you came out of that as sunny as you are. Hail and laud fair Grizelda!

Posted by Married in MA on January 6, 2014 at 3:11 PM · Report this
How about the advice that FAB really needs to hear? She's morbidly obese, and in order to improve her life, in and out of the bedroom, she should lose weight. "But that's hard!" people will say. Yes, it is. Most worthwhile endeavors are. But getting on the road to health will do FAB a lot more good than wasting her time looking for chubby-chasers online.
Posted by Commenter111 on January 6, 2014 at 2:43 PM · Report this
re @168: And no, my vast improvements in overall health and appearance over this past year do not necessarily make me any better than anyone else.
We're not all the same, and everyone's needs and situation are different.
Right spot on, Dan (and seconded by bxtorr19 @165) about needing to love yourself first!
The lifestyle changes I made for myself were necessary. If I don't take care of myself, who will?
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 6, 2014 at 12:30 PM · Report this
@160 mydriasis & @161 Married in MA::I'll second that.
Although I'm a recovered ex-sugar junkie who has had to completely relearn about incorporating healthy daily nutrition, it's not really so difficult for me. Getting diagnosed with Type II a year ago was one helluva wake-up call!

Before I go any further, I am NOT blasting FAB or anyone else out there who is overweight to dangerously obese. I have been there myself, and have struggled nearly all my life with my weight, health, and appearance. I am only sharing my experience.

I agree that the over-abundance of "cheap", processed foods is shamefully unhealthy, and that better options need to be available everywhere.

I'll add my admittedly long-winded two cents' worth:
This may sound like the situation in reverse out of Supersize Me, but one thing I have discovered over this past year is that, although my costs of food and healthcare are going up, I'm not experiencing repeated nightmarish trips to the ER anymore (from an accumulated carbonated beverage-induced kidney stone attack back in 2012, and among the damage done: $7,000 out-of-pocket despite individual health insurance in medical bills and dealing with profit lusting doctors who only wanted to help their pharmaceutical pals get rich by putting me on dangerous narcotic painkillers, a.k.a. Percocet, THEN refusing to feed me when I passed out from the overwhelming effects of the prescribed medications, to be told "You're anemic!" upon being forcibly starved to death while kept on observation because the idiotic medical staff feared that if I actually ate anything, I'd barf up a lung; THEN stupidly asking if I had driven to the hospital, surprised to learn that I wisely came by cab, knowing it was unsafe and illegal as fuck to drive under such impaired conditions!). Some fun, huh?

Long and short, the moral of my story: I will happily shell out extra $$$ to stock up on decent, organic GF / SF foods, stay fit, and increase my overall well-being than end up having to pay thousands in hospital bills after living on GMO crap offered "cheap"!
Boycott McDonald's and Wal*Mart if you possibly can; I swear their CEOs are in cahoots with Big Med.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 6, 2014 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Allen Gilliam 167
Naturally thin people who think being overweight is the result of nothing but self-indulgence and lack of self-control are self-flattering ignoramuses. They're like people born rich who think the poor are poor entirely because they're lazy.

They're ignorant of genetic differences and psychological causes of overeating.

People are always quick to believe anything that makes them feel superior to others, and slow to consider any facts that threaten to take away that self-esteem boost.
Posted by Allen Gilliam on January 6, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
nocutename 166
Also, what's "morbidly obese" mean? There's a medical definition, but I don't think that everyone is using it. different people have different personal definitions. And depending on bone structure and height, different weights look different on different people. FAB says she's morbidly obese and has never had anyone show romantic interest in her, which she's attributing to her weight (although there could be other reasons/factors as well). I assumed this meant she is at least 100 pounds overweight, according to my own personal definition and to the one offered by the University of Rochester, Highland Hospital Bariatric Surgery Center:

Morbid obesity is a serious health condition that can interfere with basic physical functions such as breathing or walking. Those who are morbidly obese are at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

Morbid obesity is diagnosed by determining Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is defined by the ratio of an individual’s height to his or her weight. Normal BMI ranges from 20-25. See BMI on back panel. An individual is considered morbidly obese if he or she is 100 pounds over his/her ideal body weight, has a BMI of 40 or more, or 35 or more and experiencing obesity-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

bxtorr19 @165 describes herself as having been morbidly obese and says she underwent "weight loss surgery," so her self-description would seem to fit, while CMS describes herself as "morbidly obese @135, and then says that she lost 50 lbs at one point, which I take to mean she was about 50-60 pounds overweight. This doesn't fit the definition. @144, she mentions being a size 18 at her heaviest, although she may have been heavier or be heavier still. Depending on how you carry weight, someone at size 18 is about between 40-50 pounds overweight--a pretty far cry from the morbid obesity definition above. People who have 40 pounds to lose often don't take the extreme measure of having surgery to lose that weight.

My point isn't to start an argument about how much over the ideal weight one needs to be to be officially described as "morbidly obese." And, by the way, what is ideal weight. Weight Watchers sets a goal range of 20 pounds with a healthy BMI (…) So there isn't one "ideal" or healthy weight for each height--there is a range.

If "ideal" weight in in the eye of the beholder and the holder, so seems to be the definition of "morbid obesity," as it's used by the general population. But there is a huge difference (pun not intended) between being 50 pounds overweight and 120 pounds overweight, and the dating pool correspondingly shrinks or is comprised of people with specific agendas accordingly. For the severely overweight, bxtorr19 @165 has some very good advice.

Posted by nocutename on January 6, 2014 at 8:31 AM · Report this
FAB, I was also a morbidly obese woman who had limited experiance(I had weight loss surgery a few months ago). Note the use of the word HAD. First Dan is correct, you must love you first before any man will love you. Second, the reason that most experts advise you to steer clear of BBW dating sites are plainly this, many of the men there are either preditory about sex or want you to support them finacially. I should know, I've encountered both. You also need to be careful about encounters with "feeders". These are men that get sexual satisfaction from watching you eat dangerous amounts of fatty/phallic shaped foods. I had one guy show up to a dinner date with a cake and a bucket of chicken to eat by myself. I was polite and ended the date early as I would never be able to meet his needs. I recommend finding BBW clubs and group meet ups so if someone is creeping you out you can leave. Also try your local ren faire community. The people there tend to see inner beauty before they look at the outside package. Good Luck! From a soon to be former fatty.
Posted by bxtorr19 on January 5, 2014 at 11:12 PM · Report this
I think the most important thing for FAB is to carefully consider and periodically update her success criteria.

Developing a romantic relationship is usually accomplished by failing to do just that, an awful lot, so FAB could be dooming herself to failure if everything short of that is "failure".

FAB wrote, "I've been on a couple of dates, and only when I asked the guy out", which I think is part of her issue. FAB should be celebrating that she's had moderate success asking guys out directly.

Not only is each attempt a personal win, but what you get in return, good or bad, is experience, which is what helps you do better in the future, and is something FAB severely lacks.

Have fun out there.
Posted by Just watch your mouth or I'll sit on you on January 5, 2014 at 10:33 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 163
On feeling like a desirable romantic partner: treat yourself like you are one. At the most superficial level, dress up. I’m going to brainstorm a list of ideas, but don’t try them out with the thought that you’ll out on nail polish and bingo! someone will fall in love with you. These are more exercises to get yourself out of a rut.

Get a really good bra. Whether your breasts are small or large, wear them as high as you can.

Look for pictures of fabulous fat women. Get Barbara Deckert’s “Sewing for Plus Sizes” for an alternative take on clothes and dressing. You might even get an outfit made — it will probably cost more than ready-to-wear (but less than you think, and it will fit.)

Experiment with performing femininity. Wear bright colours. Play with makeup. Get a manicure. Wear dangly jewellery — bangles and earrings. Wear cool shoes. If your hair is thinning, get a weave.

Experiment with performing masculinity. Wear dark colours. Bowling shirts. Guayaberas. Heavy rings, a big watch. Wear cool shoes and socks. Wear your hair short and shave patterns into it or spike it with gel.

Wear perfume.

Be noticeable. You’re already noticeable: learn to work it! Start small if you have to. Send the message to yourself and others that This Woman Is Valued. When you smile at people they should feel complimented.

Find a therapist you like and see them sometimes.

Cultivate a taste for activities in which men are overrepresented and make friends.

Talk to someone new every day. If you can’t think of anything to say to a stranger or even someone you know, give them a compliment.

The hard part is that even when you get good at all of this to the point of having fun with it, you’ll still be rejected. That’s tough, especially when you’ve been workng hard at putting yourself out there.

You know who else is in that situation? Salespeople. They deal with a lot of rejection, every single day. They still have to get up and put themselves out there because if they don’t make their numbers they lose their jobs. So do what they do. Get motivational CDs and play them when you’re driving or doing housework. Buy motivational books. (It’s ok if they’re for salespeople and that’s not your professional niche.) Get massages. Work out, whatever way makes most sense for you. Join the Church of Scientology. (No, not really.) The point is that rejection is hard for everyone and people who have to face a lot of it get support.

Then take breaks when you need to. Salespeople burn out but you don’t have to.
Posted by Alison Cummins on January 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 162
Keep in mind that most motivated people can lose 10% of their body weight and keep it off. Let’s assume that FAB has already done that, shall we? That way we can focus on her question.

(Losing more than 10% has a high risk of leading to rebound weight gain. Nobody wants that.)
Posted by Alison Cummins on January 5, 2014 at 7:27 PM · Report this
@160 mydriasis,

Amen sister!

Posted by Married in MA on January 5, 2014 at 6:58 PM · Report this
mydriasis 160
Eating healthy is like walking. If you learn it early and naturally it's effortless. But if it's not automatic, it's actually really fucking complicated.
Posted by mydriasis on January 5, 2014 at 5:44 PM · Report this
mydriasis 159

" A nutritionist who wanted to drop weight did so on a mostly candy diet, because he knew he wasn't going to just eat arugula."

Um.. exactly. A nutritionist.

A trained professional who specializes in understanding diet.

Education is another factor as well. Knowing how to eat healthy eludes most people (hence the popularity of fad diets) and it's even harder when you have additional constraints.

Not eating too much is a great idea - but it's easiest to do if you can eat smaller, more frequent meals/snacks. If you work a twelve hour shift with no breaks to eat, you try having willpower to apply portion control after that.

Yeah, canned vegetables exist but my understanding is that they're loaded with salt and don't taste all that fantastic. I don't really think canned vegetables are the deus ex machina for poverty-exacerbated obesity.

But that's just me.
Posted by mydriasis on January 5, 2014 at 5:43 PM · Report this
nocutename 158
@152: Thanks, EricaP for the recommendation. I hope FAB is reading this far down in the comments.

auntie grizelda: Yup, it can take a long time to get past a lifetime of acquired bitterness (whether it was acquired "legitimately" or not). I commend you for trying to undo 4 decades worth of damage.
Posted by nocutename on January 5, 2014 at 5:41 PM · Report this
nocutename 157
@156: True.
What's your point?

I was trying (@136, 138, and 141) to correct an impression that sissoucat, a French woman, has of Americans as rarely having access to fresh produce (@134).

Or was this just more piling on FAB?
Posted by nocutename on January 5, 2014 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Agreed that poverty affects our obesity rates, and people live in food deserts and so on. Assuming however that a person can only eat processed food, there are usually plenty of canned vegetables to work with AND even eating just at McDonalds, there is the magic option of... not eating too much. A nutritionist who wanted to drop weight did so on a mostly candy diet, because he knew he wasn't going to just eat arugula. The type of calories matter; calories themselves also matter.
Posted by yonush18 on January 5, 2014 at 5:08 PM · Report this
41>42 by far.
Posted by Everyman(the real one) on January 5, 2014 at 3:33 PM · Report this
@152 EricaP: Thanks for the helpful book recommendation! I'll look for it.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 5, 2014 at 3:23 PM · Report this
@148: nocutename: I am still working on alleviating over 4 decades of sibling and relative related bitterness and bullshit. So far, so good: I'm managing on my own to chuck most of it into the trash with the realization that it has more to do with bizarre hangups of those who made me miserable (so they could feel better about themselves?) than with me, personally. It's getting better, though: on some days I catch myself mimicking my oldest sister (waay too easy to do, especially in front of my bathroom mirror!) and can actually start laughing.
By the way: re; @146: Ignore it---he's trolling.
@151 Married in MA: You're so right!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 5, 2014 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Re moving past bitterness. My own recommendation is to read David Burns's Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, and work through the exercises. It's cheap and easy cognitive therapy ($4 used on Amazon), and it helped me a ton.
Posted by EricaP on January 5, 2014 at 2:57 PM · Report this
@149 Crinoline,

I wonder how many of responses to the LWs should begin with the boilerplate: "it is important to remember that, as adults, we're no longer in high school". By that I mean that, sometimes, people lose the herd mentality of attack the loner/weak, pull their collective heads out of their asses, and develop senses of compassion/empathy when they grow up.

Posted by Married in MA on January 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM · Report this
mydriasis 150

It's not that simple. How one processes their experiences has a lot to do with bitterness. A bitter person could have lots of good experiences but unless they interpret them in a way that challenges their mindset, they'll remain bitter. Even bad experiences can be interpreted in a way that challenges that mindset.

In other words: you don't need to find "that relationship" to get over bitterness. It's a lot of incredibly hard, challenging work - but it's not a catch 22.
Posted by mydriasis on January 5, 2014 at 8:11 AM · Report this
140-- True. When I skimmed over the whole column, I missed some of the suggestions offered.

148-- The only thing that stands a chance in overcoming bitterness is to replace old bad experiences with new better ones. That's whether you're talking about a bad time with teachers or classroom bullies, or a bad boss, or romantic rejection. It leads to something of a vicious circle because you have to not be bitter in order in order to find that relationship that will make you forget your bitterness.
Posted by Crinoline on January 5, 2014 at 7:55 AM · Report this
nocutename 148
@146: If Fab wants to really lose weight, she must give up most of her eating, give up her self-reward system.

FAB didn't ask for advice about losing weight. She may not have any interest in losing weight.

Here's what she did ask for advice about:

[S]ince I never received any real sexual attention as a teen/twentysomething, I don't know how to deal with men in a sexual way or in a way that would develop into a relationship. I also think my (lack of) experience has caused me to become bitter toward men. How do I stop being bitter and learn how to develop a romantic relationship?

FAB is going to have to let go of bitterness, which may be harder to do than to lose weight. Perhaps we can offer her some helpful suggestions about how to "stop being bitter," about a lifetime of romantic rejection and invisibility and also how to "develop a romantic relationship."
Posted by nocutename on January 5, 2014 at 7:41 AM · Report this
E [140],

Is serious personal injury ok in pursuit of the life style?

What difference does it make if you or I think BDSM shouldn't lead to serious injuries?

People voice their opinions here all the time. Are you asking me to quantify the change your or mine opinions on this subject will have?

Anyway, you have obliquely given your opinion-- you don't think it ok. You could have shared that with our novice Belly, and your experience would give it much more weight.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 5, 2014 at 6:28 AM · Report this

CMS's experience is not close to Fab. Fab has been fat practically all her life. She has not dipped down into the normal range. She has zero sexual experience with men. She blames her fatness. She is beginning to hate men. CMS seems well-adjusted.

If Fab wants to really lose weight, she must give up most of her eating, give up her self-reward system. Why should she look for a man, when she can easily feed her face?
Posted by Hunter78 on January 5, 2014 at 6:01 AM · Report this
@141 nocute,

That's interesting, the TJ's near us have the plastic wrapped produce, and decent loose produce. Whole Foods is relatively close to the norm in price, and a Wegmans is opening soon. Despite being on the ass end of the food pipeline, we suffer no deprivations.

That being said, while the family was on vacation we went to a farmer's market (Tues & Sat mornings year round), and had a treat of the best stuff. Being a market for the locals and refugees from colder climes, the cost was very reasonable, and the quality superb. Good, fresh food doesn't have to cost dear, if it is available. (I may have mentioned that one of my "best things in the world" is an in season ripe tomato; my devotion to weight loss has increased my appreciation for all things edible raw.). But most of the urban centers have been neatly cut off from that possibility. If obesity is a manmade plague, it is debatable from whom it came.

@144 CMS,

I hope that FAB reads your comments, because your experience seems most relevant. As an aside, I do find my knees much less cranky, and my dangly bits more easily visible, now that I've lost the weight. Dare I say that, with my wife and family, losing weight has been enjoyable (my wife played a major role in putting weight upon us in the first place, seems only fair she had to help getting it off). As long as you're healthy and comfortable in your skin, life seems pretty good. And if you think you need help with food addiction, there are wonderful people all over the place that can help.

Posted by Married in MA on January 4, 2014 at 8:07 PM · Report this
@137: nocutename, I can't really put a finger on when or how things changed. I've always been heavy. Quality time with my dad was either a drive to Dairy Queen or a drive to the country to work on a property he wanted to develop. So, I ate, but I also did manual labor like mowing the grass, cutting brush, and once, digging fence post holes. But, I also spent more hours than not reading alone, because I didn't know how to relate to other people. Some times I think I could have easily ended up like a female Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, or a female version of "Captain Sweatpants" from the same show, if we want to be totally honest. In junior high I made ONE good friend that shared most of my interests, and that was probably the turning point. It wasn't until high school, and truly, college, that I found other people with similar interests. Thinning out some in high school helped, but I was still a size 14, and that inched to an 18 half way through college. I met my husband when I was thinner, but still over weight. Over the years, other men have made it clear that they would be willing to have a relationship, but I politely decline. These are generally men that don't have size issues, who realize a person is more than her appearance, and they are all sizes, but they all share similar interests as I do.
When asked, most of them said my smile attracted them, along with my passion for what I love.

So, my advice for FAB? Develop your interests, educate yourself, ignore what the a**holes say (it won't be easy), and live your life on your terms, even if there are constraints. Hold your head high. Be willing to laugh at yourself while finding the humor in almost any situation. Find groups of people who share the same interests; with the Internet, that can be pretty easy these days. You can do anything in your own style, even if in only small ways. Step outside your comfort zone. It doesn't have to be one giant leap, it can be a few small steps. Even if you fail, it's a learning experience. You can only learn by doing, but you can prepare by talking to other people, doing research, and formulating your own opinions and plans before the doing. Thomas Edison, who took 10,000 tries before making a functioning commercial electronic light bulb, said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I'll be honest, failing hurts, and can hurt horribly, but if Edison had stopped at 1,000 or 10,000 failures, there literally wouldn't be light at the end of the tunnel.
Posted by CMS on January 4, 2014 at 6:15 PM · Report this
nocutename 143
@mydriasis: To clarify, before I divorced, our family ate dinner together 7 nights a week. I theoretically have my kids (really only one kid at home now, as the other is off at college most of the year) 60% of the time, as per the custody agreement, though in practice, it's closer to 70% of the time. On the nights I have a child at home, we eat dinner together, no matter what. Sometimes when I'm broke and there's not much in the house, the menu can get a little odd, and sometimes we're eating food brought in, but we always sit down together for the meal, though with my work schedule and her practices for her sport or rehearsals, it can mean we eat rather late (it was even more complicated before my older kid went away).

I'm aware that it's not ubiquitous but I think if you look at the statistic you provided, it says that more than a third of families do it, which isn't insubstantial. I'd like to know what percentage of families make up the "most" in that quote and how many nights qualify as "most." If the significant majority of North American families eat dinner together 5 nights a week, and a substantial number eat together 6 nights a week, I think that's pretty good.

Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
mydriasis 142

Oh I know what you mean, although I obviously can't personally speak to America.

I will say though, as far as I know it is pretty uncommon for families to eat dinner together these days. My family didn't do it much when I was growing up but there's many reasons for that.

"Contrary to conventional wisdoms and hours of TV commercials, most families currently eat dinner together most nights of the week, and more than a third (34 percent) eat together seven nights a week, on average."

The wording's kind of vague but you're saying you do 7 nights a week which puts you firmly in the minority: 34%.
Posted by mydriasis on January 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this
nocutename 141
@139 (mydriasis): Yeah, I forgot to mention quality, which varies from crappy at the biggest chain, reasonable prices grocery store, to fantastic but unaffordable at the food porn emporiums unavailable to people with lower incomes. I won't buy my produce at the local Safeway, and Trader Joe's plastic wraps all the veggies and fruits and you can't choose them individually, so both those lower-priced options are out. The fancy store charges more for everything, but you can get anything, and when I'm pressed for time, I will go there for the one-stop shopping, but it's galling to know I'm paying more (and I'm not even talking about Whole Paycheck . . .. um, I mean Whole Foods, which is obscenely expensive). The great produce market I mentioned @138 doesn't have anything but produce. So to get what I need/want and not pay a fortune, I have to go to the wonderful produce market, either Trader Joe's or the Grocery Outlet for the biggest savings on non-produce items, and the fancy-ish grocery store for little things that aren't carried at less tony places. This takes up a huge amount of time, something people with low incomes, often working punishing hours, don't always have a lot of.

Still, I was trying to correct sissoucat's impression of Americans as never having access to fresh vegetables and fruit (or, for that matter, to sitting down and eating a real, home-cooked meal as a family), which it sounds like was her experience as an exchange student in Texas.

Although my family doesn't eat breakfast as an everybody-sit-down-together meal, and we're all out of the house for lunch on weekdays, we eat dinner together at the table nightly. Every dinner is cooked from scratch (I avoid processed foods as much as possible, and stupidly don't even buy pre-chopped vegetables. I spend a lot of time slicing and chopping!) and is as balanced and nutritious as I can make it. I don't know that my home is all that unusual.
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2014 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Crinoline @125, I did offer some dating advice @88. I'll add that daters will have an easier time if they evaluate whether they're a 3, a 6 or a 9, and flirt with people who are similarly attractive. (Your numbers shift if you're open to someone who fetishizes your particular type, among other similar adjustments.)

Hunter @128, what difference does it make if you or I think BDSM shouldn't lead to serious injuries? I'm also not a big fan of motorcycling, or football, but adult participants in those sports can learn about the risks and make their own decisions.
Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM · Report this
mydriasis 139


Also, it's not just whether there's a produce aisle but also the quality of the produce.

Speaking as a low-income person *waves* the grocery store up the street from me has really shitty produce to the point where I usually don't even bother getting produce from there. I make the ~20 minute walk to the slightly fancier grocery store where the produce is decent. Of course if I bought all of my groceries there I'd be spending way more money. So what do I do? Yes that's right folks, two separate trips, one for produce and one for everything else.

But I personally have a number of things working in my favour so I can do this:

- no kids in tow
- able-bodied/passably-fit
- free weekends (for the first time ever, yay!)
- safe city, comfortable walking at any hour

and that's just off the top of my head. These things are often not true for people in my income bracket, or people in general. And you know what? When I work a 13 hour shift and I'm exhausted I pick up fried chicken on the way home, I for sure don't add "make a nutritious meal" on top of my to-do list.

I'm so sick of people bullshitting like poverty doesn't make it exceedingly difficult to eat healthy.
Posted by mydriasis on January 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM · Report this
nocutename 138
@134, 136: I forgot to mention a few points:
Almost all grocery stores have a large produce aisle--any real, full sized grocery store has one. It's only "convenience store" markets--found in all neighborhoods, but mostly in low-income neighborhoods--that don't carry fresh fruit and vegetables. Many low-income neighborhoods have only convenient-store markets within walking distance or a reasonable bus ride (people in lower-income groups typically have more restricted access to cars).

Although fresh produce is widely available in middle-to-upper-class neighborhoods, it may be expensive, depending on a variety of factors. Organic is more expensive than produce grown conventionally. Fancy stores (like the Whole Foods I mentioned earlier, which I think of as "food porn") are often very expensive. Farmers' Markets would seem to be cheap, but depending on where they're located, can be the most expensive way to buy produce of all! However, there is almost always some store that sells affordable produce, so long as you live in an upper-middle class neighborhood or have a car to take you to one, There is a wonderful, very inexpensive produce market with a wide variety of wonderful and often exotic fruits and vegetables about a half mile from my house, and it's cheaper to shop there for produce than it is to shop at the large chain "lower priced" grocery store nearby, which offers considerably less variety in produce.
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM · Report this
nocutename 137
@135: Thanks, CMS for your valuable contribution. I think you're right. You are also in a great position to give dating advice to FAB. I think in her case, the (understandable) bitterness she has is her main impediment to a more successful romantic/dating life, but it's hard to just "get over" bitterness that's been accumulated by a long time of rejection. You obviously have a great attitude. Have you always enjoyed romantic/dating success, regardless of your weight? Did you meet your partner of 25 years when you were on the thinner or heavier side?

I think Crinoline was onto something when she said that people's dislike of or discrimination against fat people was rooted in their sense of sexual disgust. Plus the fact that being overweight is associated with no self-control and low or no impulse control, laziness, and overall filthiness. Just take a look at some of the comments here on this thread. But while you're right that people discriminate for all kinds of reasons, and realistically we'll probably never be able to stop either the human impulse to exclude or discriminate against someone (so long as we don't explicitly say why we're discriminating against them in employment situations), I think fat-shaming and weight discrimination is still socially acceptable in ways that other kinds of blatant discrimination isn't.
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
nocutename 136
@134: sissoucat, access to fresh fruit and vegetables depends on where you live, and is pretty closely correlated with income in general. That is to say that more affluent neighborhoods have far greater access to fresh produce, and more economically depressed neighborhoods have far less. I live in a neighborhood where I have at least 4 sources of fresh produce within easy walking distance (a mile and a half or under), and the behemoth fancy, expensive organic Shangri-La of grocery stores, Whole Foods, is coming to a location a few blocks away.

You'll also note that different socio-economic groups tend to have varying obesity rates, corresponding to their status. This may correlate with access to fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh meats, whole grains, etc. As a general rule, the upper and upper-middle classes have a lower obesity rate than lower-middle and lower class members. There is a strong connection.

There are also states that have more or less obese or fit inhabitants per capita. Colorado has the greatest number of thin or fit people in it, while Mississippi has the highest obesity rate per capita.

I don't know what you experienced in Austin regarding water vs. soda or whether you're talking about practices/prices in restaurants or markets, but tap water (not bottled, "still" water that flows from the faucet) in the USA is always served free at restaurants, and is usually poured without even being requested. Indeed, bottled, sparkling water may well be much more expensive than soda at a restaurant, and bottled water of any kind can be more expensive than soda (I think) when sold in the grocery store. There are some fancy, imported bottled waters--both sparkling (Perrier) and still (Fiji) that are very expensive.
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2014 at 12:47 PM · Report this
To Married in MA and Crinoline, thank you. I'm one of those morbidly obese people in a good relationship of over 25 years, and have a handful of "suitors" who would like to be in a relationship with me. I was over weight when I met my significant other, and the weight fluctuated over time, usually up with a few down periods. At one point I lost 50lbs to join the military. I'm currently double my weight of when I was my thinnest, and I've only been in the "target" weight for my height (and at the high end of that) for five years of my life. I'm still socially active, sexually active (and get great reviews in that department), have a good job, and take no prescription medications (no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol). I'm very ambulatory, no "scooters" for me, although foot issues make it difficult to be as mobile as I'd like. Those issues started 20 years ago when I was much, much thinner.

Here's the thing. Society makes fat people think that they are scum of the earth for no other reason than being fat, and makes them think that all of their problems would disappear if only they could get thin. As a child and teenager I remember crying on the floor because I thought if I just had the will power to stop eating, everything would be better. That's such BS, because everyone has those problems, no matter what size they are. I'm the same person I was, with the same problems, as when I was half my weight. The only thing easier about being thinner is that it's easier to find decent clothes, and employers are more likely to hire thinner people. I've met people with heart disease that have been active, never smoked, and been in their target weight their entire lives. So, you can't blame all health issues on obesity.

People will find a way to discriminate for all sorts of reasons, be it weight, height, race, religion, color (even various shades of the same color), economic status, location, education, the brand of clothing you wear, you name it. It seems that people tend to look at more at how someone else looks, rather than what they can contribute. I'm college educated, I've served my country, I do volunteer work, and I currently make cancer treatments. Do you think those patients that get those treatments give a rat's a** how I look? There are people out there that would look at me and think I should just die because I don't fit into their idea of acceptable, yet would they want me to disappear when they find out what I contribute? They'd never even bother to find out what I've done or can do, just by looking at me.
Posted by CMS on January 4, 2014 at 12:43 PM · Report this
sissoucat 134
@114 I remember shopping for groceries for the first time in Austin in the nineties, and being amazed at not finding the fruit/vegetable area in the supermarket (in my country every supermarket has a such an area, at least two rows wide).

The people who were hosting me explained that fruits and vegetable were expensive, and not easily found. For them, it was a real treat to have once a week a sitted dinner including fruits or vegetables that were not potatoes - while I had been raised with such sitted meals thrice a day.

Of course they'll be an epidemic of obesity if junk food is easier to buy and less expensive than healthy food !

By the way, is water in the US restaurants still more expensive than sodas ? In my country every restaurant, if asked, has to provide drinking water (tap water) free of charge.
Posted by sissoucat on January 4, 2014 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Piece of Shit is back.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 4, 2014 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Cytomegalovirus isn't mono. That's a different bug, the Epstein-Barr virus.

CMV is not generally dangerous to people with functioning immune systems and people who are not fetuses.
Posted by Forlorn on January 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM · Report this
mydriasis 131
Prosperity, as in our McDonalds and sweet super drinks, has taken a swipe at humanity by way of the obesity epidemic. Fat follows rich as we see watching developing nations.

The obese are already self-indulgent. Eating is a primitive method to control the world and satisfy ones self. It is not a productive method. It is a trap they fell into.

Elderly white dudes: saying embarrassingly ignorant shit with an air of authority since antiquity.
Posted by mydriasis on January 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM · Report this
Yeah, most mono is EBV, but some is CMV. I wonder if she meant that CMV mono has a larger risk of spleenic rupture.... I dunno,
Posted by hud on January 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM · Report this
On the BELLY front,

I had a very intense physical exam once where the MD was palpitating(?) my internal organs, and (not surprisingly) it freakin' hurt. Is there a form of deep massage for the abdomen? Might that (safely) punch BELLY's ticket?

Posted by Married in MA on January 4, 2014 at 8:30 AM · Report this

led by good instincts?

You have to read between the lines. People often lie or misrepresent themselves. In 113 Belly may say, "I would obviously not let him be rough if I were pregnant." But in her letter she directly asked, "And if I ever get pregnant, should we stop for the duration?"

Belly is a Pleaser. In the moment she might well consent to damaging treatment. What the enthusiastic BDSMers here have not weighed in on is, "Is serious personal injury ok in pursuit of the life style?"
Posted by Hunter78 on January 4, 2014 at 6:26 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 127

You addressed her question beautifully. My observation that I smile and that people like that was not meant as advice, though perhaps it should have been.

So much of the rest... just piling on the baggage.
Posted by Alison Cummins on January 4, 2014 at 6:01 AM · Report this
Sandiai 126
@113, thanks for writing back and letting us know that you and your boyfriend are being led by good instincts.
Posted by Sandiai on January 4, 2014 at 5:22 AM · Report this
107- Cummins-- Nicely put. I like your summation that FAB is asking how to enter the dating pool with baggage. Now look over the column and see what advice there is.

You told her to smile. Others told her that chubby chasers were okay. I gave advice on becoming confident in non-dating arenas in the hopes that it could spill over into a dating one. And that's it. None of us can think of anything else to offer her. Is that because there really isn't any other advice?

I can think of a few morbidly obese women I've known over the years who were married in what seemed to me to be healthy relationships. I didn't ask what worked for them. I suppose none of them are regulars here.
Posted by Crinoline on January 4, 2014 at 2:33 AM · Report this
Still Thinking 124
Happy New Year Slog!
Belly - possible future problem - you can be pregnant without knowing it.
Re Notfem - I guess I look forward to a time when someone could write in asking "what does it mean, 'be the woman in the relationship?'"
Posted by Still Thinking on January 4, 2014 at 12:48 AM · Report this
@121 Hunter,

RE 2): That's the general idea ;-)

Posted by Married in MA on January 3, 2014 at 9:39 PM · Report this
Ah - a Jennings Award (or very nearly).
Posted by vennominon on January 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM · Report this

1) Labeling is useful.

2) I wish you well. But check your condition in a couple years.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM · Report this
@113 BELLY: Thanks for blogging in and clearing up some deep concerns many of us, myself included, had about you and your relationship with your boyfriend.
Have a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous 2014 and all the best,
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM · Report this
@113, BELLY, thanks for writing in to explain. Have you found other sexy activities to share together, or is the belly punching your main thing?
Posted by EricaP on January 3, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@112 Hunter,

And, for the record, I spent last year going from obese to merely overweight, with a side of binge eating. I may not have been lying on the couch crying because I was hungry, but there were certainly times when I felt like crying because I had to eat when I wasn't.

Posted by Married in MA on January 3, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
nocutename 117
@lolorhone: Hmm . . . no convenient halfway point. LACMA and the Getty in LA--the music scene in Austin--which will it be?
Posted by nocutename on January 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM · Report this
lolorhone 116
Allison Cummins @107:

Thank you.
Posted by lolorhone on January 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
lolorhone 115
nocutename @83: I live in LA. Ophian lives in Austin. So, two very different types of fun. :)
Posted by lolorhone on January 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
@112 Hunter,

Did you know that for the poorest people in some areas of the US, fresh produce and "healthy" foods are too expensive/unavailable? Fatty, mass produced crap food is cheap, and is designed to taste as good as possible for the cost, and it's outlets are everywhere.

"The Obese" are not unlike drinkers in a bar: some are responsible, some are out of control, and some are addicts of varying degrees. Trying to "blanket-splain" a population is just labeling.

Posted by Married in MA on January 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM · Report this
BELLY here! Just wanted to come to my poor bf's defense - I sent that letter without showing him first, and when he saw it he said "you're silly! I would never ever punch you in the belly if you were pregnant!"

And in my defense, sometimes our belly play is pretty gentle. I would obviously not let him be rough if I were pregnant. It's a new activity for me and I was curious about the safety issues. Thanks to Dan and Dr. Torres for their advice!
Posted by BELLY_LW on January 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Prosperity, as in our McDonalds and sweet super drinks, has taken a swipe at humanity by way of the obesity epidemic. Fat follows rich as we see watching developing nations.

The obese are already self-indulgent. Eating is a primitive method to control the world and satisfy ones self. It is not a productive method. It is a trap they fell into.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 3, 2014 at 8:55 AM · Report this
FAB: You should enjoy everything that life has to offer and you don't need anyone but you to tell you so. But as a person with a food addiction (my tagline is why drink when you can have french fries?) I think everyone can benefit from gaining an understanding of what drives them to the fridge or Dairy Queen. I'm now pre-diabetic and trying to control my eating but you don't understand addiction until you're lying on the couch crying because you're hungry and don't know what to eat.
Posted by DanLover on January 3, 2014 at 8:05 AM · Report this
Posted by Hunter78 on January 3, 2014 at 7:14 AM · Report this
98 and others in that vein-- There's a problem with telling fat people to be repulsed by themselves besides its obvious mean spiritedness: It doesn't work.

The logic underlying these comments goes: If I and the society tell fat people how horrible they are long enough, they'll become motivated to push that secret button we all have that will allow them to become magically thin. They just need sufficient self-hatred to do it. Okay, it's not a magic button, but without self-hatred, they won't find the willpower to diet and exercise which is all they need to become size 8s.

Sometimes the societal message is more subtle. In that one, it goes more like: Oh goodness, no, I'm not telling you you should hate yourself for being fat. I'm telling you you should hate yourself because being fat leads to diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and early death. So get busy! Push that magic thinness button.

The empirical evidence is against its working that way.

Willpower and discipline seem to work pretty well for the person who has put on a bit of weight as they approach their 50s. It works for weight gain that comes with having children. At least, there are examples of people who were a tad overweight (in the 20-30 pound range), who got on a good reduced calorie program, and who kept the weight off.

That's not the case for people who have been obese their whole lives. Theory says it should work. Evidence shows it does not.

Here's what does work or at least stands a chance: The fat person loves herself. That's the starting point. Through self love, he gives himself encouragement. She eats enough to stay healthy, strong, and--most importantly-- not hungry. Through self love, he's motivated to do fun enjoyable activities like walking in beautiful surroundings and swimming. Through self love, she thinks of herself as sexy and worthy of satisfying sexual relationships.

Will this work to help him lose weight? Maybe, but who cares? That's not the point.
Posted by Crinoline on January 3, 2014 at 3:15 AM · Report this
Dan's response to NOTFEM was bad. Telling a gay man that he is the woman in the relationship is equivalent to a man telling a woman in a heterosexual relationship that she has to do what he says because he is "the man", or that she needs to stay home barefoot and pregnant. Dan's response is that NOTFEM should get over it. In other words NOTFEM is feeling his boyfriend is emasculating him and Dan's response is that he should grow a pair. Yikes.
Posted by Yeah but no on January 3, 2014 at 12:35 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 107
I find this comment thread so fucking difficult to read because of all the “helpful” people who want to tell the self-identified morbidly obese woman that she’s fat, and that she should do something about it, and analyze why.

That’s not what she asked. She didn’t write in asking if it was a good idea to be fat or for handy-dandy weight-loss tips. She wrote in asking about entering the dating pool with baggage.

FAB knows she’s fat. If she wants to know how to lose weight, there is no shortage of opinions just waiting to be foisted on her. So shut up already. The disrespect and aggression are painful to me and I don’t even have her history.
Posted by Alison Cummins on January 2, 2014 at 11:16 PM · Report this
if you are extremely overweight (=obese) then first of all you need to lose weight.

not to become attractive to possible partners, but because your life will probably be shorter and less pleasant if you don't.

to lose weight:
1. eat less
2. eat better
3. be more physically active

....4. stop finding excuses for yourself.

Posted by nothingnewunderthesun on January 2, 2014 at 9:02 PM · Report this
Re: @9 & @11: My apologies to BELLY for not reading your letter to Dan more thoroughly the first time. I admit to giving FAB's letter more scrutiny initially. BDSM punching is okay for two consenting adults, provided that nobody ends up in the ER or the morgue. But I agree with all commenters for you to ditch your boyfriend if he punches you or even tries while you're pregnant (!?!?)
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 2, 2014 at 8:46 PM · Report this
@48 sissoucat: Happy New Year and thanks so much!! And all the very happiest, healthiest, safest, and money-trouble-free best to you , Dan, everyone at The Stranger, and to all our fellow Savage lovin' bloggers, too!

All the best in 2014 everybody!
We do have a blessed community here, and you're all extended family to me.

XO ~:)
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 2, 2014 at 8:31 PM · Report this

I have missed your commenting on Belly, as you are the Column's most prominent sub.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 2, 2014 at 7:23 PM · Report this

You do see obese women with men in public. Disportionately many of the men are similarly obese. When you see mixed couples, it's usually some ectomorph who stuck around after she mommied up-- you're past that.

There are treatments for severe obesity, but the chances for a long-term cure are small (20%?). So, your heterosexual future, if any, is with a fat man or a non-obese chubby-chaser.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 2, 2014 at 7:15 PM · Report this
This sentence sounds very defining to me: "I find that I simply can't match his level of aggression in bed." What does "keeping up" mean to NOTFEM? As far as I'm aware there is no aggression meter that both participants in sex must score at the minimum level in order for happy sexytimes to occur, so it really sounds like he views it as a competition rather than a cooperation. It sounds rather stressful, frankly. Maybe they ought to try going to bed relaxed and casual for a while instead of all rawr, and see if that helps.
Posted by Minyassa on January 2, 2014 at 6:51 PM · Report this
Violet_DaGrinder 100
Yeah, I know a lot of fellow fat chicks don't want to be "fetishized", per se, but... I love the idea of being with somebody who is not just tolerating my body type, but actually really into it. Don't we all want that?
Posted by Violet_DaGrinder on January 2, 2014 at 5:48 PM · Report this
@98 Do you love your idiocy?

Being fat is a symptom.

Like watering eyes, it can indicate all sorts of horrible underlying issues, but can also simply be the body reacting properly to the environment.

Recent findings indicate that BMI and other measures of fatness tend to not be as good at predicting negative health outcomes compared to simply checking for things people imply about fat people, like sloth or gluttony, that are actually well represented in those considered thin.

Much of your advice would be pretty good if you applied it to yourself.
Posted by Just watch your mouth or I'll sit on you on January 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM · Report this
"Love your size" when you're morbidly obese? Why not love your smoking or love your high cholesterol? Asinine advice from people who want to normalize a disease. Here's what I suggest: Love YOURSELF, accept YOURSELF, and EVERYONE should think about whether they're eating too much or the right things and whether they're getting enough exercise. Everyone should also not be a dick to or discriminate against obese people. But don't adore your reversible disease state / health risk. That's some deadly stupid advice coming from people who are hurt by their weight or people's reaction to it and are trying to normalize a serious problem. After watching obese people get diabetes, lose feet, lose independence, lose the ability to clean themselves, have heart attacks, etc etc etc all day long in the hospital I can promise you it's not something to celebrate.
Posted by yonush18 on January 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Um hi. Cytomegalovirus is not mono. Epstein Barr Virus is mono. Cheers.
Posted by maloo on January 2, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
kristinbell 96
Wow. Dan's post about FAB nearly brought a tear to my eye, because he was so kind and didn't try to fat shame her. Remind me to skip the comments in the future where all the fat shaming trolls hang out and try to make eveyhing about her supposed need to lose weight. Gah!!!
Posted by kristinbell on January 2, 2014 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Oh, FAB. I felt like I was reading something I could have written a year ago. I went on OKCupid for the express purpose of a quick hookup to cash in my v-card. I found a plethora of guys, some much younger, ready to take me out. It just so happens that I met my current SO on there. We have been together for over a year now. It's been a learning experience. Good luck to you.
Posted by formerFAB on January 2, 2014 at 2:36 PM · Report this
Ms Erica - I'm glad you're not claiming that, although others have before you. I remember reading some book thirty years ago by some therapist or other who related how his men's support group had acquired a gay member who'd caused some irritation by hitting on several of the other members. When the group focus turned to working on considering women as people, the therapist was surprised to see how growing to respect women made the gay member attracted to them (although in rather a sexist way, if memory served, which was rather strange). I always worried that something along those lines would be promoted as a Cure.
Posted by vennominon on January 2, 2014 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Hey, I have a very dear friend who is not only a chubby chaser, but is unbelievably, GQ fashion model hot. 6'2", dark hair, ICE blue eyes, cheekbones to die for. When we hang out, gorgeous women throw themselves at him.

He married -you guessed it, a lovely, VERY obese woman who he treats like an absolute queen.

Don't despair, not only can you have a man, you might find an absolute sweetheart who will make all your girlfriends jealous, too!
Posted by whencowsattack on January 2, 2014 at 2:29 PM · Report this
You need to be careful in ANY BDSM relationship. However, just because what you and your partner like does not flow with what society deems "normal sexual" behavior does not mean it is wrong.. Before you do anything you need to educate yourself, know everything you can about what you are doing ie: breath play, waxing, needle.. Ect... All play has precautions. You would be shocked at how many people actually like pain and by pain I mean some like a little and others like a lot. BDSM is NOT a bad thing.. No it may not be ok for you... But trust me more people are into it than not. Doctors, lawyers, police, teachers... Who you see just a co worker, may privately rock the world of some girl who calls him Daddy and wants nothing more than to please him.. Until you KNOW the lifestyle and what YOU like and the precautions you should take.. Be careful! Go slow! As a submissive I commit to one man. If he says jump... I jump its because I WANT to.. But I have live the lifestyle for 11 years off and on. Ask lots of questions.. Just because they like to inflict pain does not make them an abusive jerk.. I know the difference.. My ex husband was abusive.. My Dom inflicts enough pain to cause both of us pleasure. He IS NOT abusive to me.. Understand it before you judge it.
Posted by Firelily74 on January 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this
marymc 91
Yeah, some BBW online communities--as well as groups and events that happen face-to-face--attract some guys with fat fetishes. But as one of them said to me once, "I like women who weigh 250 lbs, or 350 lbs, or 450 lbs, or more. Some other guys only like women who weigh between 90 lbs. and 120 lbs. Now tell me again, who has the fetish?"

And there are fetishes, and there are fetishes. Another friend, who is VERY big-busted, told me this about her ex: "I think if I'd been able to detach my breasts and just leave them for him to play with, he would have been perfectly happy and probably wouldn't notice I'd left." But they're not all like that! FA's ("Fat Admirers") are attracted to fat women, but some of them are perfectly capable of having a multi-dimensional, respectful relationship with one...kind of like other men are able to have those relationships with hot women who aren't fat. You just have to assess for creepiness and respect, and proceed accordingly.

And FAB should know that she would encounter all stages of experience and ease with dating and relationships in the BBW world. A lot of people are like kids in a candy store, having just discovered that people DO find them attractive, after years of thinking no one ever would. Some of them make some bad decisions, and get hurt...just like most people when they first start dating (only a lot of fat people do it a decade or two later in life). And some people go to events and dance and party and maybe fuck around and have a good time with people who are nice to them and think they're gorgeous just the way they are. And some people meet somebody great (or even multiple somebodies) at these events and groups, and fall in love, and they live happily ever after I did.

Oh, and a note about terminology, for #22: "BBW" is a term that many people will use because it conveys a certain attitude about oneself, and because it makes a good search term for people who are looking for it. "Fat," as you've observed, does imply more of a political attitude. That's why I call myself fat--I WANT to attract the kind of people who are good with that, and to put off the ones like you who find it unattractive. Just sayin'.
Posted by marymc on January 2, 2014 at 1:48 PM · Report this
Calling BBW fans fetishists is a huge over-generalization of a large, disparate group. Not that Dan is doing that, but some of the commenters have. If you can only get off to a hugely huge lady shoving pizza in her mouth then yes you have a fetish but the majority of chubby chasers like myself just want to fuck women (like the majority of male humans) and in particular like more boobs/butts than is currently fashionable. I have dated skinny girls just fine but I prefer my plump, fit wife thank you very much.

If you avoid well adjusted zaftig-loving guys like me because you think it's a 'fetish' then you are only hurting yourself.

That said, the fat activist thing can be weird too. Physical fitness has huge rewards beyond social acceptance. There is no reason not to enjoy your body and love yourself as it is but that does not mean completely giving up on eating well and getting exercise. My wife and I are both overweight but we can also hike, bike, camp etc. Some of the FA stuff I hear seems to say suggesting exercise will make your life better is shaming somehow. Don't throw out the fitness baby with the body-image bathwater.
Posted by drjones on January 2, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
63-Now-- Thanks.

58-EricaP-- Yup, good point. The regulars here are some of the kindest bullshit detectors around. We'd make the panel for FAB, but in lieu of the easy availability of running a potential suitor by us, I'm still left with what to tell FAB. I think I've got it. Don't try to get him in front of your panel. Meet his.

It's comparatively easy to vet a guy to see if he's married or he's employed where he says he is or if he has an arrest record. It's much harder to find out if he's a nice guy who's genuinely interested in you or if he's someone who likes fucking over as many vulnerable women as possible.

You'll have better luck if you meet his friends. Look for evidence that he has a group of buddies he's been friends with for a long time. See if you like THEM. See if they hold your potential relationship in high esteem or if they think he's something of an asshole. Convene THAT panel. And good luck.
Posted by Crinoline on January 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
Mr. Ven @65, I didn't mean to suggest that treating women like people would improve his relationship with his bf. Two separate issues, in my view. For the latter problem, I would suggest the LW really consider whether he likes this "great guy" very much. Sounds like he thinks his bf is a jerk.

Crinoline @80,
>> For me, there were the men who wanted to have sex with me, and there were men who wanted to befriend me.>>

Presumably, the people in category 1 didn't interest you romantically. So leave them aside (or have casual sex if that's appealing).

Take the people in category 2, and flirt with them. Smile, as Alison said; maintain eye contact; touch their arm when you talk; let them see how fascinating you find them.

If that doesn't lead to reciprocal interest, then move on to someone else in category 2, until you find a mutual spark. (Added advice: stay in touch with people who didn't reciprocate; over the years some will become more interested.) This is all aimed at the generic you, not you personally, Crinoline.
Posted by EricaP on January 2, 2014 at 1:03 PM · Report this
I love your advice for FAB. Thanks, Dan!
Posted by VroomTanya on January 2, 2014 at 12:47 PM · Report this
santamonicatom 86
the belly punching woman needs to leave that man and get some psychiatric help. stat.
Posted by santamonicatom on January 2, 2014 at 12:45 PM · Report this
@63 While your comment is easily one of the best, I'd only like to add that she should be a better version of herself. Regardless of what she reads, studies or does in a very fundamental way she will always be herself. I know that you weren't suggesting otherwise, it's just this one part that seemed off.

"Think about what sort of man you'd like to be with-- not his looks, but what he's like.Then try to be the person that guy would want to be with."
Posted by Really Now... on January 2, 2014 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Allen Gilliam 84
@66: Dirtclustit, your dislike of me is caused by a misalignment of your spoofifiness energy. Send me $1000 by PayPal and I'll wave my hands and fix your energy fields.
Posted by Allen Gilliam on January 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM · Report this
nocutename 83
Ophian: Where do you live?
lolorhone: Where do you live?

Does either of you live in a city that's a lot of fun to visit?
Posted by nocutename on January 2, 2014 at 10:05 AM · Report this
@56. I imagine that most of your friends meet your significant others, if not your insignificant others. Just ask them to be honest about their reactions after that happens, instead of doing what a lot of friends do--try to find something nice or at least neutral to say about somebody they immediately don't like but know that you do.

When I was in college, a couple of friends and I had all gone out with the same girl, at various times, and we all remained friends with her afterwards. We had an opinion on absolutely *everybody*, male or female, that she dated after us. If she had asked, we could have spared her some heartbreak with Mr Emotionally Unavailable, and later with Ms Moving Van. But we felt like it was unfair to give her our honest peanut gallery reactions when she was in the first blush of infatuation...and, anyway, I guess we figured if we *really* knew what she needed in a mate, one of us would have given it to her.
Posted by quaff on January 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 81

For me it’s smiling. Apparently I have a great smile. People like turning it on.

A long time ago I read something by a lesbian about passing for straight in a work environment: “It’s easy. Just smile at the men, not the women.”
Posted by Alison Cummins on January 2, 2014 at 7:57 AM · Report this
In trying to figure out why we (meaning some elements in the larger society) come down harder on fat people than we do on other addicts like alcoholics and gamblers, I think we ignore something basic because we're ashamed of it. It has nothing to do with how easy or hard the addiction is to overcome. It has to do with how repulsed we are by someone when we think of them sexually. It's the same with why there's been so much hatred and persecution of gay people. If you were thinking logically, they'd note that gay people aren't hurting anyone and would leave them alone, not go on witch hunts. It's probably at the bottom of why we treat handicapped people like children. It's the only model we can up with that treats them kindly while not thinking of them in sexual terms.

With this in mind, could we reframe FAB's question while leaving out the morbid obesity thing? Imagine this question came in:

"I am a straight 34 year old female. For a lot of reasons having to do with lack of opportunity and other things, I've never been on a date. I have no sexual experience. I have a lot going for me, but constantly being friend zoned has left me bitter. How do I relate to men sexually? How do I get them to see me in a sexual way? How do I look for a real relationship?"

In my case, I honestly don't know what I did to get sexual attention. I imagine it was more than sitting there looking pretty, but I don't know. For me, there were the men who wanted to have sex with me, and there were men who wanted to befriend me. The problem was putting it together in one man for the relationship I wanted. So I'm interested in others' opinion on this.
Posted by Crinoline on January 2, 2014 at 6:30 AM · Report this
Happy New Year to everyone!
Posted by migrationist on January 2, 2014 at 3:47 AM · Report this
lolorhone 78
@27: Thank you!

@48: Happy New Year, my dear (and swoon yourself)! Much love to everyone you mentioned as well; there is a genuine community here and this past year would not have been nearly as good without you.

Finally, a shout-out to my internet husband Ophian. You've been deeply intelligent, funny, and sweet company as well as an expert flirt this year, mon chapeau rose. Before I die, I will make out with you. That's not a resolution; that's a promise. Happy New Year!
Posted by lolorhone on January 2, 2014 at 1:22 AM · Report this
@76 nocute,

In other words it's all a painful, frustrating mess that is usually misunderstood (at best) or attacked (at worst). It isn't surprising that FAB is angry at her lot.

Posted by Married in MA on January 2, 2014 at 12:18 AM · Report this
nocutename 76
@75 Married in MA: Well, bulimia may be an example of food addiction/behavior, but most bulimics aren't actually obese, are they?

It's true that someone can hide his/her unhealthy relationship to food, if s/he is bulimic, but I guess I was thinking of the point that addicts are treated with more contempt than obese people, and I was noting that not all addicts are identifiable, whereas it's impossible to "pass" as a thin person if one is obese.
Posted by nocutename on January 1, 2014 at 11:55 PM · Report this
@73 nocute,

It is with great sorrow I must mention bulimia, so not necessarily.

Posted by Married in MA on January 1, 2014 at 11:04 PM · Report this
@70 CMS,

Surely you're oversimplifying things a bit: It is every single waking minute of EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Best wishes in this New Year.

Posted by Married in MA on January 1, 2014 at 10:59 PM · Report this
nocutename 73
@72: And, Married in MA, someone can hide his/her drug/alcohol addiction, but it's impossible to hide obesity.
Posted by nocutename on January 1, 2014 at 10:56 PM · Report this
@54 mydriasis,

As a parallel commentary: Addiction is compulsive behavior, whether it involves external elements like alcohol or cigarettes, human interactions like sex or love, food, or Internet access. While moral failure(s) may go into their formation, some form of biological retraining/rewiring goes into getting out of them. While I'm hopelessly simplifying the reality, addiction is a compensatory feedback loop that at it's heart tries to cover (usually?) emotional damage. Correcting, or at least minimizing, the damage is required to defeat the loop (while not allowing new forms of compulsive behavior to arise). In using the terms I have, moral failings aren't really appropriate descriptions of the compulsive behavior, nor moral uprightness in overcoming them (but the release still feels miraculous).

I'd like to point out that food addiction, in particular, is a ferociously nasty problem. Imagine if AA was redesigned to maintain a couple of drinks a day; we have to eat!

Posted by Married in MA on January 1, 2014 at 10:49 PM · Report this
nocutename 71
Hmmm. After going back and re-reading NOTFEM;s letter, I think he himself has some issues with how he defines being a real man to himself, which seem to be tied to how much he weighs and how built he is (I've spent the last decade in grad school. I stayed in shape—above average!—but there was no time for significant exercise. I've started working out hard, but the going is slow.).

So he seems to feel that he's losing ground in the "who is a man" category. Or, in casting about for reasons to explain why his boyfriend "seems to be 'feminizing'" him, he's alighted on this one.

But it seems far more likely that both these guys equate being a bottom with being "the woman" and while the boyfriend may think NOTFEM is a true bottom, he may be a switch who wants the chance to top at least occasionally, while his boyfriend "earns" the right to top by physically overpowering NOTFEM. (Mr. Ven's scenario of JRM and HC arm wrestling for that privilege @42 seems right on the money.): I weigh about 20 pounds less than my boyfriend. I find that I simply can't match his level of aggression in bed. He has even joked a couple times about me being more "the woman" in our relationship—and I don't like that. However, quite frankly, it's not like I can toss him into bed and have my way with him.

It seems that NOTFEM would be happier if they were both switches and alternated top and bottom roles (I want him to see me as another man in bed), but the only way he sees this happening is if he can prove his status as a top through some sort of test of athleticism and strength (It'll be another year or two before I really reach his level of athleticism).

The whole relationship reminds me of a Grecco-Roman wrestling match, which NOTFEM is now asking Dan to referee.
Posted by nocutename on January 1, 2014 at 9:52 PM · Report this
For those here that think it's so easy to lose weight, have you considered the fact that food addiction is the only addiction that requires the affected to take the "drug" EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to survive? What if a smoker was told he HAD to smoke ONE cigarette a day in order to survive, but you don't want him to smoke more than one?
I've been obese for 37 of my 43 years. I can tell you honestly that it's not the "not eating" that's the problem, it's the fact that you HAVE to eat. I can easily go 24 hours without eating, and I'd happily go every day for the rest of my life without eating if I could. It's that first bite EVERY SINGLE DAY that's the problem.
Posted by CMS on January 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM · Report this
Um, apropos of nothing but aren't most cases of mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus? (Sorry, I guess I'm the science version of a grammar nazi.)
Posted by science chick on January 1, 2014 at 8:28 PM · Report this
For those coming down on FAB, have you considered that food addition is the only addition in which the affected HAS to take the "drug" EVERY SINGE DAY in order to survive? What if I told a smoker that he could have just one cigarette a day, but he MUST smoke that one in order to survive? How many smokers could do that?
Posted by CMS on January 1, 2014 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Ms Cute - I have no problem with people who warn me off having anything to do with them by spouting bigoted views - they're what I hold as a sort of equivalent to Mr Savage's people who Run Away Screaming from HIV+ or trans potential partners - good riddance to them.

It's the leftists who are penning the gloom & doom columns that same-sexer "intolerance" is directly responsible for the impending Republican pickups this year that will make 1994 and 2010 look pitiful who are depressing me. I just get cosmic vibrations of a ghastly sort of inner glee most of these columnists can't quite contain when they get to make us the scapegoats.
Posted by vennominon on January 1, 2014 at 8:17 PM · Report this
Dirtclustit 66
Thanks EricaP,

My comment wasn't directed at you, the timing was completely random. I hold absolutely no bitterness towards those who don't know me nor those whose hands may be tied.


If you ever spoke anything but ignorance, I might be insulted, but your complete misunderstanding of what is and is not science coupled with your astonishingly ignorant praise of it, makes me giggle.

thank you Allen Gilliam, I needed to smile on this First Day of the New Year
Posted by Dirtclustit on January 1, 2014 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Ms Erica - Valid, but perhaps a bit of a stretch; that would be Correlation rather than Causation. I can't quite see his realizing that he doesn't treat the women in his life as full people and even changing that fact suddenly making him okay with letting his boyfriend dictate roles to him. Not that there's anything wrong with his undertaking such an examination - many exclusive same-sexers harbour dismissive or even hostile attitudes towards other genders.

Ms Cute - I left out of the previous post the conclusion that, even if the conversation appears to go badly, LW can attempt what Strindberg saw as his refutation of A Doll's House and give BF what he wants not only in spades but in no-trumps as well. If it turns out that BF wants a "womanly" partner, it might not hurt for LW to spend a week or two being the biggest Lady he knows how (I have decided to use the L-word and the G-word this year in as gender-neutral a manner as possible). That could provide a cure for someone whose theory proved stronger than his practice.
Posted by vennominon on January 1, 2014 at 7:05 PM · Report this
nocutename 64
Mr.Ven: See, as per my post on the thread about women who want to be respected as equals but still want the "princess" treatment, we want it both ways: "I am not anybody's dear: I am a woman, and I demand to be respected for my opinions." and "I am but a weak and ignorant woman."
But I suppose we all want to have our cake and eat it, too.

Please, I beg you, don't think that the ramblings of a bigoted misogynistic, racist, homophobe means we are going into a cultural or legal backlash. If Utah, Utah can move forward, it means we'e making progress. There will always be the ignoramuses of the world, but they wield less and less power.
Posted by nocutename on January 1, 2014 at 7:04 PM · Report this
FAB says she doesn't know how to deal with men in a sexual way or in a way that would lead to a relationship. There are probably as many ways to deal with men sexually as there are men, but if you're looking for a place to start, my advice is to borrow from Dan's advice to a 15 year old boy. I have that column in front of me as I write this. I paraphrase.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but the way to attract any sexual attention is to become an interesting person in ways that have nothing to do with sex.

Get interested in something. Try new things. Become someone people want to be around because you know so much about horses or woodworking or growing azaleas. Have an opinion on what makes a great television sitcom. Take up knitting or refrigerator repair. Read. Know something about current events, and be prepared to talk about the news in a way that's intelligently opinionated without being stridently overbearing. Be great at your job. Be a good friend and a good listener. Become confident in a thousand non-sexual areas.

Think about what sort of man you'd like to be with-- not his looks, but what he's like. Then try to be the person that guy would want to be with.

Work out because it's fun, not because fat people are supposed to. Pay attention to good grooming because everyone has to, not because there's anything repulsive about you because of your weight. Wear stylish clothes in good repair that fit the size you are now. That's not too big because you think it makes you look slimmer and not too small because you mean to fit into those clothes shortly.

Masturbate, watch porn, read erotica, fantasize, or do whatever you like sexually by yourself so you have some idea of what you like when it comes time to share that with someone you're dating.

This sounds like I'm giving you a lot of work, and maybe I am, but the truth is that's the basic footwork that everyone has to do, even the lucky ones who have BMIs of 22 without any effort. Do this, and when you feel ready, start asking around to be fixed up with someone who might like to meet you.
Posted by Crinoline on January 1, 2014 at 7:01 PM · Report this
Ms Cute - Well, that's quite sound. Top Culture has much for which to answer.

As interesting as it might be to contemplate Messrs C and RM in the act of demonstrating the public school definition of majestic domination, I take the series as a sort of warning that it is best not to be too sanguine about winning. There's something almost post-orientational and modern about the Compton-Tallis liaison in the first season, and the flourishing of Mark Smeaton when the Boleyns are at their pinnacle, if not exactly what Suffolk means when he declines to join the Hertfords and his estranged wife in supporting the Reformed religion, at least coincides with the duke's lament for England's being merry then.

Most of all, though, I take as a strong warning the contrast between Katarina Cranmer's chiding her husband and Cromwell ("I am not anybody's dear: I am a woman, and I demand to be respected for my opinions.") and Katherine Parr's saving herself from execution a decade or so later ("I am but a weak and ignorant woman," or something to that effect). Society is quite capable of moving backwards, and I have seen people already anointing the same-sexers as the Scapegoats of the Midterm Elections, that big recent Duck flap being instanced as indicative of the upcoming Backlash.
Posted by vennominon on January 1, 2014 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Allen Gilliam 61
@59: Wow, drunk and/or tripping people seldom have the concentration to type up their ramblings. Usually you have to actually be in a drinking establishment to hear that quality of incoherency.
Posted by Allen Gilliam on January 1, 2014 at 6:12 PM · Report this
@Dirtclustit, I never understand what you're talking about, but it sounds like you're in some pain. Wishing you find some peace this new year...
Posted by EricaP on January 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM · Report this
Dirtclustit 59
words formed by adding one letter before or after Aussie (emboldened) and tossee or Dan the tosser:
m - meioses n - eosines p - poesies r - soirees

According to List. as in C.A.L , notfem, the absolute best you can do is figure out when to tell people to "fuck off" and when to just say
an author's favorite civil saying "For You!"

Which I have no idea what the meaning of such literary erudite, Luddite bullshit, luckily the 32 month war of 1812 wasn't fought for nuthin, so, notfem
the best advice for you is to know that anybody who treats you in a certain way --- to make you feel a certain way --- than criticizes you when you do (feel the way their treatment intended to invoke) get out of the relationship ASAP, and always remember why such a person no longer exists in your minds world, which means, not only do you dump the motherfucker, after you do that, as far as you're concerned, the stupid assholes doesn't even exist in your mind except to thank God and praise Jesus you aren't together with an author or journalist OR journoterrorist

You should feel free to be whoever you are or even whomever you desire to be, and anyone who tries to tell you different, do me the favor of telling them to "fuck off" for me in every possible straight forward and ambiguous way you can think of, I can't stress the "fuck off" thing enough, it is absolutely imperative to Peace on earth, which demands horrible will untoward men, so that there me be good will toward women
Posted by Dirtclustit on January 1, 2014 at 5:19 PM · Report this
nocutename @55, I agree with your points, but I would also want to encourage NOTFEM to think a little bit about his attitudes toward women and whether he's being decent toward the women in his life (the barrista, his female co-workers, his mother, etc.)... whether he's thinking of them as people first, and only incidentally as women.

Crinoline @56, maybe FAB could just come here and let the Slog commentariat decide which of her suitors are sane and which "have some serious issues with reality and stability in their own lives," as MameSnidely put it so well.

Happy 2014, everyone!
Posted by EricaP on January 1, 2014 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Dirtclustit 57
Happy New Year!

FAB, if you are a woman, you are better off being a lesbian, and the panel of friends is a great idea, however if it includes unethical surveillance and hacking computers I would say that sort of shit is a definite no no
Posted by Dirtclustit on January 1, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
"FAB, convene a small panel of friends to serve as your bullshit detectors. Your own bullshit detectors aren't going to be good-- they also don't develop until you start dating-- so ask your panel to point out any red flags you've missed."

I was nodding along with Dan's good advice about self love and gaining experience and letting go of bitterness until I got to the bit about that panel of friends. How many of us, fat or thin, at any age, popular or not, how many of us could convene such a panel?

I know I couldn't. Dan makes it sound as normal as going to school, like maybe there are a few odd folks who haven't, but the rest of us have. He makes it sound like there's something weird and pitiable about not having a panel who can give advice like that, like there are professional bullshit detectors running around glad to share their experience, like you can find such people anywhere.

I'm asking myself who would be on that panel at different stages of my life. I've certainly had friends, and some of them have been pretty smart and intuitive, but someone I could bring out to meet the guy I was considering dating so as to vet him? I can't think of one person who has the capability do such a thing much less be willing to. I'm trying to picture how this would work. He and I would be texting. I'd be ready to meet him for coffee, but before I confirm our date, I tell him that he has to meet my panel first and then we can proceed? This sounds like a bad made for t.v. movie. Or maybe the idea is that he and I would be dating a bit, and I convene my panel before sleeping with him. Please, Oh Great Dan, tell me how this works because I'm dying to know.
Posted by Crinoline on January 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM · Report this
nocutename 55
Thanks, sissoucat! I wish the same for you.

MameSnidely, some awfully interesting points you made @41. Food for thought, indeed, especially when it comes to how stable or balanced the person with the extreme kink or preference is.

Mr. Ven: thank you for the New Year's present of the image of Henry Cavil and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers reprising their Tudors roles with the ending you envisioned.

As far as NOTFEM's problem goes, I find true masculinity to be in the mind, attitude, and behavior of the holder as well as the beholder. In other words, NOTFEM can only be de-masculinized if he allows his boyfriend's treatment of him to take away his sense of masculinity. (Mr. Ven, I find this letter to be more worthy of comparison to Buck Angel and trans-masculinity than the first one, though I see the point of comparison there.)

NOTFEM, you're not a woman, you're a man. You're a man who doesn't like being feminized. So speak up and say so to your boyfriend. Waiting two years to build muscle is unnecessary and means you establish a more deeply-entrenched occupation of a role you don't want. So you need to have a conversation, and it should happen at a time when you're both clothed, sex isn't in the immediate offing, you're both calm and relaxed, and you two have plenty of time. Start by telling him that you don't feel like a woman, that you're not a woman, that you don't want to be seen or reacted to as a woman, and that it disturbs you that your boyfriend seems to want to make you into a woman.

It could be that your boyfriend has no idea how upset his "you're the woman" comments make you, and will simply stop making them, but that seems unlikely.

More likely, his comparing you to a woman has more to do with his own attitudes/feelings about sexuality than it does with you in any way being feminine. All the muscle/weight in the world won't address that, but some real introspection on his part may be a start. Does he need his boyfriend to somehow be a "woman" in order for him to be a "real" man?

There is a chance that the result of this conversation will mean that you two will break up, but if that's the case, then this relationship wasn't meant to be.

You are a man. You want to love a man who wants to be with a man. You want to be seen as the man you are. These are reasonable desires. If he can't provide you with them, you need to find someone else who can, not spend hours trying bulk up so you can wrestle him into agreement.

Good luck!
Posted by nocutename on January 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM · Report this
mydriasis 54
"People feel sorry for alcoholics and drug addicts, maybe, but not for the obese because they can't understand being unable to stop mindlessly eating. In this society, even the mildly overweight get huge scorn and put-downs, so those who are really fat haven't a chance. "

Um, I don't think it's that simple.
Yes, society has a hard time grasping food addiction and it does tend to slip into the "moral weakness" explanation borderline universally for over-eaters. But that viewpoint has hardly disappeared when it comes to drug addicts and while people feel quite socially righteous shitting on the overweight drug addicts are treated as subhuman in a way that isn't matched by fat-shaming. There are still plenty of people who are quite happy to say that drug addicts should die.

In other words, I think attitudes to drug addiction are more varied while overweight people get more consistent disdain, but drug addicts do get the worst of the worst and they are by no means out of the woods in terms of social standing.
Posted by mydriasis on January 1, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Obviously, the feminizing guy gets off on the role play in particular defining the top role in terms of traditional gender norms. If you want him, you're probably best off playing along and being the bottom so long as he understands that it's really just play. With the right guy, I'd find that really hot, but it doesn't sound like you do. So maybe you're just not sexually compatible enough and should move on.
Posted by Abmindprof on January 1, 2014 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Allen Gilliam 52
@47: X-rays, fractured vertebrae, and pinched nerves are western medicine. Chiropractors believe they can adjust magical energy fields. Just because you encountered crappy doctors and a chiropractor happened to be the first person who applied science-based medicine correctly doesn't mean the chiropractor's unfounded, supernatural beliefs are true.
Posted by Allen Gilliam on January 1, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this
mydriasis 51
Chiropractors are notorious among medical professionals for:…

Bottom line: anything beneficial chiropractors do can be done by a physiotherapist and/or RMT.

I don't let people I care about go to chiropractors.
Posted by mydriasis on January 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
sissoucat 50
@47 If X-rays are not western medecine, I don't know what is ?

Maybe your problem with "western medicine" is a problem with "quack American doctors who won't prescribe the right exams because American health system is stuck in the early 20th century where only rich people get medical care that should be standard practice".

Obamacare should improve that greatly, over the next years : another reason to be happy for the new year !
Posted by sissoucat on January 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Thanks Sissoucat :)
Posted by MameSnidely on January 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM · Report this
sissoucat 48
Happy New year Dan and family, and fellow Savage Lovers !

Special extra kisses for lolorhone (swoon), auntie grizelda (yay !), Married in MA, nocutename, vennominon (I finally read your seven veils comment : spot on), mydriasis, migrationist, Lissa, AFinch, EricaP, seandr (mraow), alguna rubia, avast2006, jujube80, fortunate, Ophian, er... I'm sure I'm forgetting several people I like, so sorry... and of course, Hunter78 !

I wish to all of you, to your beloved and to the ones who love you, a good health, no money troubles, and a sweet light year 2014 !

Posted by sissoucat on January 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
@44 -- hold yer horses there. I do believe that there is some serious quackery out there, but for the most part, my chiropractor has been a godsend. Case in point: I went to western doctors for years with numbness in my hands and random full-body spasms. I was put through a brutal number of tests looking for diabetes, lupus, MS, etc, and so forth. Some of them were horrible. I kept asking -- could this be due to a pinched nerve. And they kept telling me that no, it couldn't be that.

I was in agony for a month and finally woke up one morning feeling so bad that I gave in and went to a 'quack.' He took some x-rays (I'd asked my doc for these and not gotten any.) Sure enough, I had a pinched nerve and a fractured vertebrae that western medicine never found and never treated. Treated, I am much better and have lost weight because I can move again. Yippeee.
Posted by MameSnidely on January 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM · Report this
@41 LOL
Posted by Marrena on January 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM · Report this
howaboutlove 45
I feel like if you have to ask if you should have your partner stop punching your belly if you get pregnant, you shouldn't be getting pregnant in the first place.
Posted by howaboutlove on January 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Allen Gilliam 44
In comment 41, MameSnidely wrote: ...and ALSO go see a chiropractor or other holistic doctor -- they can find issues that western medicine can't or won't.

Have you ever considered that that's because these issues don't exist and alternative medicine is complete bullshit? Ya' think? Maybe?
Posted by Allen Gilliam on January 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Happy New Year!

Posted by Married in MA on January 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
This particular LW's fat issue seems tolerably similar to a trans issue. Given how Mr Savage came down so heavily pro-Mr Angel over the question of seeking out chasers, I'm almost surprised he's fairly neutral on this one, although I've no disagreement with his thinking that that isn't the immediate point of concern.

I do think that the Good Riddance Attitude towards people with dealbreakers is a bit harsh, although the many who do Run Away Screaming justify that. It may be helpful in the short term to denigrate people who choose to Part Respectfully With Regret, but in the long run I don't think it improves the world.

For the second letter, it's just fortunate they consulted an expert this early. As for the concluding question, LW should watch the second season of The Tudors, outsource with thanks, and be pleased that she will not be beheaded if she fails to produce a male heir.

As for Door Number Three, I almost have a feeling that the LW actually might have a good case if he weren't completely focusing on the wrong thing. I don't even recognize this version of how sex occurs, and can only refer to Mr Rhys Meyers and Mr Cavill arm wrestling, with the prize changing from staying at court to the winner getting to decide who does what to whom.

Mr Savage's first paragraph of response seems irreproachable. The second seems to fall into the trap of assuming there's only one MF in a couple. Just because the LW may earn a DYA doesn't mean that DTMFA can't also apply.

I'm not sure why Mr Savage seems to approve of BF's using "joking" to mask a genuine preference. It's hard to conceive of how the letter if written by the BF from the other side of this could be phrased to get a positive and empathetic response. Maybe if it's entirely related to who gets to do what to whom in bed that might be one thing, but even then it still feels as if there's an element of bullying about this that really only works for people who like that sort of thing. I strongly wish the letter had provided particulars that BF does X, Y and Z instead of focusing almost exclusively on LW's obsession with his own being smaller and less athletic.

I think I shall avoid the temptation to tell LW to "feminize" BF back, although that might be the most interesting course of action to see play out. Kill insects. Pay for things. Move heavy furniture. It's perhaps not the ideal, but one does know of couples who maintain a gender balance important to one or both parties by dividing up who gets which role under what circumstances instead of striving for equality across the board. (I personally knew the absolute poster couple for this, though I think it was put on them by appearances to some extent, as one was nearly a foot taller and had a more obvious athleticism, although the smaller one was better at most sports. They had a shared kink, and, contrary to appearances, the smaller of the two was almost always in the power role.)
Posted by vennominon on January 1, 2014 at 8:52 AM · Report this
I will preface this with: I think this post will be unpopular with a lot of people.

FAB -- I don't know if Dan pulled his punches or didn't pick up on a couple of things you said. Your letter seems worrisome, and this is why: You say you are fat and bitter in your tagline. Your letter has a lot of 'weasel' words that triggered some deja peau for me. I had (past tense) some friends with significant weight issues that could have said your letter to me, almost verbatim. The truth for them, and I suspect also for you, is that they weren't bitter, they were actively angry. Back then I tried to toe the party line and tell them that there would be the right person for them, someone that would love their body type and their sense of humor, etc. But the reality, which I was trying so hard NOT to see was that they wanted the conventionally beautiful people in their life to fall over and proclaim them the loveliest of the lovely, sexiest of the sexy, etc. They were bitter and angry because they thought that they had been denied for cruel reasons a better body and all the accolades that came with having that in life. The truth was that they hadn't been denied anything other than an exceptionally good ticket in the genetic lottery and they refused to take ownership of their own situation and make the best of what they had. Their anger fed the problem and it grew into a monster in their lives. That monster destroyed most of their good points (sense of humor, quick wit, etc) and left them even more bereft, even as they threw themselves at the dating pool with ferocity. They couldn't accept themselves, so they demanded others do it for them. It was a bad situation that spiraled out of control and sent them on a dramatic downward velocity.

In one case, the friend let it completely take over. Having doffed a few of his responsibilities off on society, all of his issues became someone else's fault. He slowly came to own none of his own problems -- and if you don't own problem, you can't fix it. In the other case, the friend got real, realized that losing weight was both healthier and more likely to be attractive to others and started cleaning up everything that was wrong with life. I'm happy to announce that a wedding is forthcoming.

Maybe that isn't you, but it's certainly the vibe I got from your letter. It could be that you are merely trending towards angry. That's scary and I don't think you want to do that. I think you should explore, either on your own or with the help of a therapist that you like (spend all the time you need finding one you click with) why you have body issues and why you are morbidly obese. Go to a doctor and have a thorough checkup and ALSO go see a chiropractor or other holistic doctor -- they can find issues that western medicine can't or won't. They often can help you with bad coping mechanisms (overeating, smoking, heavy drinking, etc) better than western medication. You really need to find out what's going on with your body. It could be nothing, it could be something, it could simply be a lot of little somethings that add up to a real roadblock. Even if you are always fluffy, if you exercise, eat better and take care of yourself, you'll like your body a lot more and feel better. Feeling physically better often means that you can start to feel sexy and desirable -- that is, you can accept yourself and start to see the upsides in yourself. That will clear out a lot of the bitterness you feel. Trust me, bitterness is a special kind of emotional weight to drag around.

But, moving on, let's say I'm mostly wrong and that you just have normal hangups, and because of what I saw happen to a friend, I'm freakin' out unnecessarily. Or let's say I'm right and you get some help and you find yourself on the dating scene with the same body but less bitterness. Either way, you are dating again in this scenario. I know other people are saying yae and naye on the matter of dating fetishists. I don't think you should, and I'll probably piss people off when I say why. But this is what I would say to a friend, so it's what I say to you:

While this isn't always true, I've found that most of the more extreme fetishists I've met have some serious issues with reality and stability in their own lives. A guy that really loves his women about 40-50 pounds over average tends to be a lot more stable and otherwise normal in life than a guy that wants his woman 100-150 pounds over average. A woman that likes to be tied up and paddled a couple times a month tends to have their life together compared to a woman that likes to be a 24/7 slave, bound and naked and at her master or mistress's whim. I don't know why this is, but it's what I keep encountering in my own life. It's not the kink a person has, per se, but the extent to which it impacts everything else in their life that seems to trigger a sort of landslide of issues. It's probably, in all reality, simply a matter of their life balance being out of whack. We'd probably find a guy that was obsessed with stocks to the point of checking them every few minutes to be similarly a bad partner, or someone that spent all their time and money on cosplay, to the point of not paying the rent equally out of whack. But what matters here is sex like, so we're talking about that.

To connect that thought to your situation, you say you are morbidly obese. That means that if you fall in with fetishists, you will be attracting the most extreme ones, and as I've already stated, the more extreme fetishists TEND towards being out of balance in their life. You might get lucky and find one that is extreme in the bedroom but otherwise pays the bills, takes care of themselves and carries on like normal folk, but I think it will be hard to do that. Your first relationship, especially since you missed out on a lot of experiences in your twenties, probably needs a better-than-normal chance of being with someone that is decent, hardworking and caring even if it doesn't work out in the long run. So I say stay away from fetish sites. They'll get you a lot of sex and shooting, but I don't think they will get you much in the way of foundation experiences.

Good luck!

Posted by MameSnidely on January 1, 2014 at 8:21 AM · Report this
addiemonroe 40
I really hope the title is a reference to Frozen.

Happy new year!
Posted by addiemonroe on January 1, 2014 at 7:40 AM · Report this
I know I'm going to sound like an asshole, but I think a distinction needs to be made. There are people who are just fat "naturally" for want of a better term. They could eat just broccoli, lentils, beans, and squash for the rest of their lives without ever losing any significant weight. Then there are people who get heavy due to health complications, medications and etc. who may or may not be able to maintain their previous weight. And finally there's the eaters.

So before we send the LW to a mock online fat camp, we should acknowledge that this is very probably something she's heard a couple hundred thousand times already which may or may not apply to her actual situation.
Posted by Really Now... on December 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
@32. Exactly. Food addiction is real and like most addictions is self-medicating the pain away. People feel sorry for alcoholics and drug addicts, maybe, but not for the obese because they can't understand being unable to stop mindlessly eating. In this society, even the mildly overweight get huge scorn and put-downs, so those who are really fat haven't a chance.
Posted by Bugnroolet on December 26, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Dirtclustit 37
Naafa seems legit, but nolose gets a definite " fuck off" vote from me
Posted by Dirtclustit on December 26, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Dirtclustit 36
There's no need to take shit from males FAB, straight or gay, the same as there's no reason to take shit from females gay or straight.

I wouldn't advise letting it go, but I can certainly understand if you don't have the strength to. I don't mind following the links and telling the authors to fuck off when appropriate, and it definitely seems appropriate as it has a very Kevinesque (don't know whether it is a she of a he so we'll just call assholes an "it")

Journalists just get that way for some fucked reason, but it's nothing you did FAB, perhaps they are just pissed off due to all the right wing bullshit rumors that get spread about them and misery loves company so it doesn't know what to do other than spread it around to those who look like their lacking,

if you really need to date a man, look in places other than journalists, because there isn't one male among them who isn't a lying POS asshole, so you might get a biased opinion posting here --- the hang out for some of the very assholes who give marginalized people a bad rap, it's not there fault and I don't think they do it on purpose all the time, many of them really are just that fucking stupid, such as feigning ignorance at statements similar to

"...when they are part they tend to be accepted wholesale. In the local group I've been to, there are maybe ten (out of ~50-60) people who are non-white and of those five or so are black. I've never seen anyone treat them with anything less than respect, I've seen them get physically involved with other people (and couples) with no discomfort on either part...."

now perhaps it's just me whose the bitter one, but when dipshits write shit like that and believe they were smooth enough to get away with it, ie, when you bring it to their attention they don't understand what you could possibly be talking about.

I know I wouldn't have a problem telling them to fuck off, but I guess the main point is to say something, speak up , and if they still pull the same the bullshit, if you'd like me to, I will gladly tell them to fuck off for you, the only thing I hate worse than males, is journalists.

so it shouldn't be any surprise the male journalists --- esp assholes that write that type of shit --- are not the "let it go" list, the only way to deal with journoterrorists is head on
Posted by Dirtclustit on December 26, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
NOTFEM things that his boyfriend would respect his masculinity more if he gained more muscle, but it just occurred to me that NOTFEM's boyfriend would probably be less attracted to him if he gained more muscle, might even dump him and head out looking for a more "womanly" guy.
Posted by DRF on December 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
mydriasis 34
"Now I can't remember is it ALWAYS punch your fetus or NEVER punch your fetus. I always get those two confused."
Posted by mydriasis on December 26, 2013 at 5:32 AM · Report this
Sandiai 33
@9, is it OK if he punches my developing fetus?!
Posted by Sandiai on December 26, 2013 at 12:40 AM · Report this
@28 - Morbid obesity is often a symptom/coping mechanism for emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and insecurity. I agree with Dan that the writer should focus, at least for now, on learning to be happy with herself.

Hopefully, improving her mental health will lead to a desire and comitment to improve her physical health. (And even if it doesn't, it's still better for her to be obese and happy than obese and unhappy.)
Posted by notfromvenus on December 25, 2013 at 11:04 PM · Report this
BELLY - As someone that does martial arts and gets hit in the stomach on the regular... if you're going to be doing this, get a chest protector. Google "martial arts chest guard" - you can get a tolerable one for under $40. You'll still feel an impact, but it'll protect your organs.
Posted by notfromvenus on December 25, 2013 at 10:55 PM · Report this
People don't have much control over their feelings, just over how they act on them.

And the obesity epidemic is because it's so easy to take control over one's weight.
Posted by migrationist on December 25, 2013 at 10:39 PM · Report this
mydriasis 29
"Listen, how we look and feel is one of the few things in life that we actually have control over"

.... you must be new.
Posted by mydriasis on December 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Dear FAB, I suppose losing some or all of that unhealthy weight is out of the question, right?

Listen, how we look and feel is one of the few things in life that we actually have control over, why is taking control of the way you look so difficult, especially if the way you live is life threatening (I mean, there is a reason they call it MORBID obesity, right?)?

The cause of your problem is your relationship with food, not the fact that the vast majority of men find obesity unattractive. Looking for a way around the problem by finding a cache of chubby chasers is not the right answer, getting yourself healthier and more attractive is.
Posted by RickFromTexas on December 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this

Good job on shutting up the troll!
Posted by Ashley Amber on December 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM · Report this

Who let Fred Phelps in here?
Posted by Ashley Amber on December 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
lolorhone 25
@23: Merry Christmas. A suggested New Year's Resolution for you: I will stop projecting my personal insecurities onto not only the gay man who writes this sex advice column but also the many people who write into it.

And if you're feeling very ambitious? I will ask the neighbor guy who blows me occasionally out on a real date next time.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!
Posted by lolorhone on December 25, 2013 at 5:46 AM · Report this
Corvus 24
@21 Snopes says probably not, a burst appendix from blunt trauma is highly unlikely. It is more likely the discomfort of the blows kept him from realizing his appendix was hurting too, until it was too late.…
Posted by Corvus on December 25, 2013 at 4:40 AM · Report this
23 Comment Pulled (Dick) Comment Policy
To repeat for BELLY, this is a risky thing. Some of the risks can be reduced, but there's always a chance of something going wrong. If that does happen, neither the hospital nor the police are likely to shrug it off just because the damage happened during fetish play.

To FAB, Dan's shy about saying this because of the hate mail that inevitable ensues every time he does, but someone needs to say it. Beauty is largely about the work you put in, and morbid obesity implies you're not putting in any work. Don't stress about pounds or waistline inches, but do pay attention to the effort you're putting in. Empty rhetoric about how you just need to love yourself and your body is a load of enabling BS.

Sidebar, when you do get into dating, try to avoid the word "fat" in your profile, and for the love of god avoid "BBW". Include at least one full body shot, and assume that men have both eyes and brains. Feeling the need to state it tells us that you're defensive about it and/or politicizing it. Neither of which is attractive.
Posted by ChiTodd on December 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM · Report this
The magician Harry Houdini died of an infection that resulted when a fan punched him in the gut without giving him a chance to first tense his abdominal muscles. He had already had the beginnings of appendicitis, and the punch ruptured his appendix and caused peritonitis. Take it easy with the gut punching.
Posted by MN on December 24, 2013 at 6:11 PM · Report this
I found my GF of four years on Craig's List.

My post title was "Seeking BBW hiking partner"

I don't think that I'm a fetishist, I love looking at all women, but big ones just make me go "Holy shit" a little bit more often.

I consider myself a nice guy, so does she.

Just jump.
Posted by SifuMark on December 24, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Longtime reader, never felt need to comment before but had to for this one: BELLY, pregnant or not you must NOT be taking a fist to the abdomen, especially when your BF is inexperienced and may not know his own strength nor how to pull his punches. This is varsity-level -- actually postdoctoral level -- stuff you're playing with here and potentially lifethreatening, and by your own admission you have no clue as to the risks involved. Completely relaxed, e.g., unconscious, intoxicated or really welltrained individuals are less likely to be injured than someone who is not relaxed but can still get a ruptured intestine from increased intraabdominal pressure if a gas bubble is in the right place during a sudden abdominal blow. Completely conditioned punchees like boxers dissipate the force of the blow by tensing their muscles and turning with the direction of the blow but still occasionally get liver or spleen lacerations and are prohibited from hitting below the belt. Granted these are not common events but they're not exactly vanishingly rare either. Regarding abdominal trauma during pregnancy, you can not only miscarry but die yourself due to bleeding from placenta previa. Please find some passtime other than gutslugging and learn more about health and safety before you think of becoming pregnant.
Posted by Former ER doc on December 24, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
On FAB and the subject of OKCupid vs. more specific fetish sites:

My boyfriend (also girlfriend, fuck yeah genderfluidity) and I have considered ourselves polyamorous in principle (though not in practice) for the 5 years we've been together, and in the past year I managed to let go of a lot of the hangups and insecurities I had about putting myself out there again and try dating other people.

My first thought was to go to Fetlife and post a personal as a BBW, thinking this was the best/only way to find an interested partner. Unfortunately that fizzled- there were some replies, but I wasn't particularly interested in any of them. I don't mind being fetishized, but the chemistry just wasn't there.

So I switched to OKCupid and have since been infinitely more successful. I'm dating a very sweet guy in addition to my boyfriend, and seeing a few others casually.

I think the reason I've had so much success is because I'm honest about my body type and about my interests. I have a recent full body photo in addition to face pics, my body type is listed as overweight (so that people who aren't interested can more easily filter me out), and I screen anyone I'm interested in by reading through their match questions for potential warning signs or triggers.. just like everyone else on OKCupid.

Don't be afraid to put yourself out there, FAB- just do so honestly and with as much confidence as you can muster. I'm not saying fetish sites can't work for you, but I am saying OKCupid CAN work for you.
Posted by Toox on December 24, 2013 at 7:16 AM · Report this
AFinch 17
@8 - Thanks!

I would emphasize that FAB should get over the bitterness part most of all. If you have contempt for men, they tend to not be into you. Being the opposite of bitter is as important as anything else. And if you have contempt for yourself, you're going to have a hard time not having contempt for someone who likes you. Good luck to you!
Posted by AFinch on December 24, 2013 at 5:02 AM · Report this
Belly Punching a sexual partner seems not only dangerous, but beyond a kink or fetish. Without being judgemental, I think they should seek professional help. IMHO.
And as for the guy feels he can't match his partners level of agression in bed and is being "Feminized" by his partner. Get over it, is horrible advice. Talk to your partner about it, ask him what he wants in a partner and tell him what you want in a partner. That would be a good place to start.
Posted by Cityboycountrylife on December 24, 2013 at 4:31 AM · Report this
@14 Wtf? You know people fetishize weird things, things that they would never condone in any other situation. So just because he get's turned on by punching his consenting girlfriend in the stomach doesn't mean he assaults people. Just like rape play doesn't translate into the person being a rapist or puppy play means...well anything...and etc. Hell, I've done some light choking. Lock me up and throw away the key before I become a strangler!
Posted by Really Now... on December 23, 2013 at 9:51 PM · Report this
any man who punches a girl in the belly is a rapist - woman beater in disguise. please, please get away from him! it will not end good. also, warn all those you know about this creep! what a f-ing loser.
Posted by rayray on December 23, 2013 at 9:30 PM · Report this
@13 I think it's more Dan was pointing competing with your boyfriend [who doesn't seem to know he's even in a competition] isn't the way to prove your masculinity.

I think a lot of his problems could be solved by opening his mouth. Wants to top? Tell the boyfriend. Wants to not be called the 'woman' in the relationship? Tell the boyfriend to knock it off.

All the weightlifting in the world won't compensate for a lack of communication.
Posted by msanonymous on December 23, 2013 at 8:46 PM · Report this
I'm not 100% on the advice to NOTFEM. While I agree with Mr. Savage's "It's more important to be a person than to be a man" position, that wasn't what NOTFEM asked about. He asked about how to be more masculine.

@10 What Ted said.
Posted by DRF on December 23, 2013 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Dan and @3 jujubee80: Excellent comments for FAB!
FAB: Having been borderline obese until recently, and changing my lifestyle for health-related reasons, I can certainly relate to your frustrations about dating and relationships. Hang in there, and just be yourself, FAB.
2013 has been an amazing wake-up call year of tremendous growth for me. I have been letting go of a LOT of accumulated shit from my past (about 45 years too much), and am now living a happier, healthier and saner lifestyle after chucking four decades of excess baggage and white noise.
Good luck, FAB, and all the best.

@9 mydriasis: Double yikes!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 23, 2013 at 8:22 PM · Report this
FAB needs to find a guy who's attracted to her but isn't embarrassed to be seen in public with her. It's not always the same thing!
Posted by Ted14 on December 23, 2013 at 8:05 PM · Report this
mydriasis 9
"And if I ever get pregnant, should we stop for the duration?"

Posted by mydriasis on December 23, 2013 at 7:50 PM · Report this
nocutename 8
This is next week's column. If you want the column dated Dec. 25, 2013, go the Savage Love Archives.
Posted by nocutename on December 23, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
I don't know what's wrong with dating somebody who fetishises your type. I have a friend who adores fat women. The fatter the better. It's an absolute fetish for him and he has landed himself a very large woman indeed.

He is a really nice guy and treats her very well indeed and they are deliriously happy together.
Posted by JJinAus on December 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM · Report this
@4&5, I wouldn't necessarily call chubby chasers fetishists; they have a preference for a certain body type, that's all. Dating larger men isn't exactly the solution either because *gasp* big people have preferences too. If, for the sake of argument, we were to assume that all men interested in large women are fetishists, that doesn't mean interacting with them would be damaging to a sexual newbie's self esteem. She needs to experience feeling desired, she needs to believe it is possible to be desired. Five years of therapy and I'm *finally* believing in my own allure. One thing that helped me was chatting with men on bdsm sites --getting perspective on what turns men on helped me accept and believe that I've got the goods. Maybe FAB would have a similar experience in speaking to men who lust after her type.
Posted by jujubee80 on December 23, 2013 at 6:32 PM · Report this
Also, her problem is easily solved by dating big guys. Of which there is not exactly a shortage.
Posted by gnot on December 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM · Report this
@2 except that most people don't like feeling creeped on. Would you recommend someone in a wheelchair start on a wheelchair fetishist site? BBW chasers aren't exactly rare, she'd definitely find them on OK-Cupid. Actual desire for that body type is not impossibly hard to find. At all. Being someone's fetish isn't generally conducive to good self-esteem, easily the opposite.
Posted by gnot on December 23, 2013 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Hey FAB, from one chubby chica to another: you can do it. You can love your body as it is, you can let someone else love it, and you can let go of bitterness. Definitely take Dan's advice but do consider some dating sites geared toward bigger people. Allow yourself to believe that the crap that holds you back is just that--crap; focus on identifying thought patterns that keep you from putting yourself out there and replace those nasty fuckers with thoughts that nurture. Everyone has dating troubles--not just the big girls--do don't let your weight be an excuse. Good luck and have fun in 2014!! Be safe out there :)
Posted by jujubee80 on December 23, 2013 at 5:52 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 2
I disagree with the advice to FAB to stay of dating sites for men who are self-confessed BBW lovers. For starters, what's wrong with having a sexual partner that is sexually attracted to your physical appearance?

On equal importance, she describes herself as morbidly obese (as opposed to chubby, or heavy-set). This is going to rule out the vast majority of potential matches. Of those remaining, how many are going to be genuinely sexually attracted to FAB?

Since it's her confidence that needs a boost first, I think she should start with the chubby chasers and experience genuine sexual desire before dipping her toe in the general dating pool which is going to be filled with far more rejection than acceptance.
Posted by Tim Horton on December 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM · Report this
What a wonderful surprise!
Posted by Buffy on December 23, 2013 at 4:33 PM · Report this

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