Inside the world of 'Feederism': the sexual fetish where bigger is better
We're often assured that - when it comes to relationships - there's someone out there for everyone. It doesn't matter whether you're tall or short, if you're young or old, or even if you're one of those weirdos who likes pineapple on pizza: there will be someone who loves you for you.
However, some relationship dynamics are a lot more particular than others, with people seeking out potential partners who are willing to behave in a certain way in order to satisfy their romantic or sexual desires. Usually, these kinds of desires are categorized as fetishes, and they run the gamut of being strange or dangerous.
However, one of the weirdest and deadliest fetishes out there has to be "feederism".
As the name implies, feederism is a fetish involving those who love to feed others and, in turn, those who love to be fed. Feeders - to give them their preferred title - are people who take pleasure in providing food for their partners, watching them grow larger due to their extreme diets, and engaging in sexual contact with individuals who are considered dangerously obese. Feedees, on the other hand, enjoy being fed, putting on weight, and being admired for their size.
Needless to say, it's a fairly unconventional bond to share with someone.
In a documentary on TLC titled, "The Desire To Feed Your Partner: Feederism", couple Donna and Philippe explain what they find attractive about one another, and why they invest so much of their time and energy (and, presumably, grocery money) into making Donna as big as she can possibly be.
"You imagine where the fat's going to go, where the curves are going to go," Philippe said, explaining that seeing Donna putting on weight because of his actions was a huge turn on for him.
"He likes me to gain, I like to gain - it's a perfect match," Donna added.
The pair met on a dating website specifically set up for feeders and feedees to find one another, with Philippe claiming that he was drawn to Donna's huge stomach from the moment he saw her. Surprisingly, these sorts of sites attract a lot of popularity, with one dating platform - Feabie - having more than 100,000 people registered to find their fellow feeding fetishist.
What's more, for those who can't score themselves a feedee partner, there are websites on which feedees can showcase their lifestyles for feeders to enjoy. This involves sharing photos and videos of them eating, posing (sometimes nude), and generally doing all they can to maximize their size. Some extreme sites will also include material which shows "squashing" - an act in which a feedee (usually female) will sit, stand, or jump on a feeder (usually male) who gets off on the idea of being crushed by a half-ton human.
"Some consider this fetish to be part of BDSM," says Dr. Alexis Conason, a clinical psychologist. "Food is used as a means of control because the feeder is determining what the feedee puts into her body and how her body changes as a result of his actions."
Given the stigma against the practice, many feeders and feedees have come forward to justify their investment in what can only be described as voluntary obesity.
Nikki, a 717 lb woman from North Carolina, says she is "most definitely happy" to be the size that she is, and her fiance Justin is even happier. Over a period of six years, he has enabled her to put on 200 lb by buying and preparing extreme meals for her - something he does on a daily basis.
The couple engage in "feed sessions," which Nikki talks about in a manner similar to how one would describe a gym session or training routine. For her - and for Justin - eating isn't just something you do to stay alive or enjoy yourself, it's an imperative part of becoming as large as possible.
However, the "feed sessions" that feedees put themselves through are undeniably dangerous, with excessively obese people putting themselves at risk of organ problems, joint problems, cholesterol issues, and - ultimately - an early death.
And yet, that doesn't stop people idolizing the extreme lifestyle. In fact, on a "Feeder Fantasy" website, there's a whole section dedicated to encouraging people to get fatter.
"You want someone who will help you get dressed in the mornings when you can no longer bend over to pull up your skirt or pants," it says, "someone who will help you wash when you are too fat to fit in the bath or shower, and above all someone to cook and lovingly feed you when you are too heavy to get up from the couch."
For many feeding fetishists, the ultimate goal is to become immobile. This means that the feedee will be wholly and utterly dependent on their feeder, and will have to rely on them for all their food, hygiene, comfort and survival needs.
Some might consider this to be abuse, others might simply see it as an extreme fetish. Without a doubt, though, feederism is dangerous. Unfortunately, it seems that many people will be led to an early grave by this habit - and there's not a lot that can be done about it.