AN FAs VIEW
FAs (Fat Admirers) and their views, thoughts and issues
What is is like being an FA in today's society. What are the joys of living/being with an SSBBW. Are there drawbacks? Let us know at email@example.com.
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I’m not the kind of guy that usually goes into matters of sexuality, especially my own; but in this forum, I’m glad to share my personal experience with the hope that it may be of help to others navigating the ever difficult terrain of achieving and sustaining a good relationship. But for all readers, I also hope to draw attention to a greater issue of love and acceptance towards others and our own selves.
A funny thing happened on the way to adulthood: I discovered myself to be sexually attracted to fat women in a culture that idealizes thin women. As fate would have it, I came of age in Huntington Beach, California where southern California beach culture exalts thin women in bikinis at a time, in the 1980’s, when an especially ugly strain of disparagement was being directed towards fat women. Alongside the graffitti inscriptions of “Locals only” scrawled by territorial surfers, common at that time and place another slogan reigned: “No fat chicks.” And from this slogan, even uglier variations would appear: “Save the whales, harpoon a fat chick.”
To be certain, I find I can be attracted to women of all shapes, sizes, and colors; and attempting to nail down the mysteries of my sexual attraction is to enter into a quagmire of qualifications. That said, the women with whom I became engaged in sexual relationships, through dating in my single life and the woman that I would eventually marry, were consistently on the fat side, ranging from a plump 150 lbs. to a super size 480 lbs. Those on the higher end of the scale I met through functions sponsored by NAAFA, the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (formerly known as the National Association to Aid Fat Americans).
Coming to terms with one's sexual attraction going one way and the culture going the other, I could write a book about; and in fact I did, entitling the comic novel Out of Bounds, which has yet to be published. For this essay, however, I'll try to cut to the root of the issue: fat is stored energy, a survival trait, and sexual attraction is primal. While I'm attracted to shapely women like any heterosexual man, what truly stirs my desire toward a potential mate is a demonstrated capacity to store energy; and whether this storage of energy occurs metabolically or behaviorally is irrelevant. From one with a lean, athletic build, the type of guy that seemingly can ever eat and never put on weight, this attraction makes particular biological sense.
While the evolutionary explanation may not tackle all the mysteries of sexual attraction, I expect it to be the predominant explanation. But for myself, this process of making sense of the present through the lens of the primal past, in time, would interact with other influences to form a vision of cultural transformation towards a society of greater love and acceptance. One such influence, the poetry of Walt Whitman, set me on a course to pick up and advance that poet's vision of body and soul liberation in a democratic society. As Whitman asserts in the following line from “Song of Myself”:
I speak the password primeval....I give the sign of democracy
Through the circumstances of my personal life, the influences of Whitman, D.H. Lawrence, and others, I came to see how cultural ideals can act to suppress our spirits and occlude sympathetic love. A general theme of my writing can be described as the striving to rise above despair and the misanthropic impulse to attain a vision of hope and faith in our human nature. My contention is that the path to human salvation lies not by trying to live up to an individualistic ideal but through greater cultivation of that dynamic of our collective nature that can be described as both love or spirit.
In the culture I grew up in, under this tyranny of the ideal, among the teenage girls and young women there was a real fear and consequent shame of getting fat; and there's a dispiriting self-consciousness of looking or feeling fat. Such a poisonous atmosphere, of course, lends itself to a host of eating disorders and body image problems. Yet ironically, there was nothing more that stoked my passions of sexual desire than coming upon an attractive woman who ‘got fat’, so to speak, who succumbed to her passion of eating and storing energy. The sadder but wider girl for me, to put a twist on an old song.
The truth is, short of a famine – which is never any fun – it is the nature of some women to be stoked with a passion for eating and storing energy as it is in the nature of some men, like myself, to have their passions and sexual desires stoked in turn when in proximity of such women. When two such passions come together like a hand in a glove, to me, lends demonstrable evidence that however it may not translate well into the modern world, it is at home in the natural world.
Taking the concept of the natural world further, how beautiful it would be at home in our true nature, living in the spirit, full of love and acceptance; and how sad our lives suddenly appear yoked to this cultural ideal: herself ashamed and self-conscious of her passion and appearance, while he's ashamed and self-conscious of both her and his attraction. Though we may want others and our own selves to 'get over' these negative feelings, because of our culture and the fact that we're social beings, we can't help being conscious of how others perceive us. The playwright Neil LaBute wrote a play entitled Fat Pig that gives a sad but fair account of how outside forces can wreck an otherwise good relationship.
Yet, to be certain, there are steps that individuals can take towards greater acceptance and the alleviation of such negative feelings; and I believe, there are means to transform the culture. Through being intimate with women in a culture that perpetually asserts that they’re not attractive, I’ve seen how their spirits can bloom at times when this ideal is momentarily cast aside. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman in the spirit. Somehow we have to transform the culture to enable this spiritual bloom in all of us.
As it appears to me, our country is currently in a demoralized state due in part because of a lack of faith in our human nature. No one seems to live up to these ideals of reason, morality, or the propagation of media images. We can begin to restore faith in our nature by transforming the moral culture to focus greater attention in how we can contribute to a greater end and away from how we seem to compare to others or to an ideal.
Perhaps like no other group, the fat are subject to prejudice in the true sense of the word: they are pre-judged by appearance and often disparaged by those who know nothing about their genetic makeup, nothing about their personal histories and what they may have had to overcome, and nothing about their contributions to the workplace, family, community, country, or the myriad of causes that promote the greater good. The fat acceptance movement has had to contend with this ideal like no other group; consequently, they may be in a position to provide leadership in the overthrowing of these ideals in so far as they suppress the spirit and occlude sympathetic love.
To summarize, the recognition that our minds are in the cultural present while our bodies evolved in the primal past can lend itself to greater love and acceptance toward others and our selves. Yet neither do I discount the more spiritual sense that I am who I am for a purpose; and I would encourage in others not to discount that their own lives are imbued with a higher purpose. As I read the poetic genius as it reflects and projects the course of human evolution, it’s not about our pride in how we measure up to either an ideal or against others, but in the spiritual realization of how beautifully we can complement each other, from the sexual to the societal.
Written and submitted by FA and Poet Brad Hachten. Brad Hachten is a poet and writer living in southern California. More information about his writing and an expanded version of this essay can be found on his blog at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be reached at email@example.com.
|"I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders."
|"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~Martin Luther King Jr.