During one of those late night tell-all conversations that close friends have after drinking too much, a dude I’m really into said he has a feeding fetish. Specifically, he likes to be fed. I just don’t get it. I’m a gay man who hangs out with a lot of gay men. In my circle, we’re all very concerned with health and fitness. We count our macros. We work out at the gym. As a gay man, I’m having a hard time reconciling the idea that someone would intentionally do something as unhealthy as overeating, and potentially becoming overweight. Should I talk to my new crush about the potential dangers of this fetish? What should I say?

I’ll Have the Salad

Dear Salad,

For the folks who aren’t aware, feeding fetish (also known as feederism and gaining fetish) is deriving sexual arousal and/or pleasure from one partner feeding the other partner, with the implicit goal of weight gain. The intended weight gain varies from couple to couple, from a few pounds to 50 or more. Sometimes one partner (the feeder) will literally feed the other (the feedee), spooning food into their mouth. In other relationships, the feeder simply provides prepared food for the feedee to eat.

In our fitness-centered, youth-worshipping culture, this fetish may seem extreme. Why would anyone want to gain weight? And why would you want your partner to look fat? This goes against the grain of everything we’re taught about good looks, long term goals, New Year’s resolutions, feeling great, and being happy (™).

The thing is, unless your crush asked you to participate in some way, your opinion about feederism is irrelevant. Your concern may well be for him and his health. But check yourself, and ask yourself if your distaste might be rooted in our culture’s deeply entrenched fatphobia. We believe that being overweight is the same as being unhealthy. The reality is that health is much more complex than that. Size doesn’t dictate anyone’s ability to eat nutritious foods, move their bodies, take their meds, participate in great conversations, have wonderful relationships, and (most importantly) be healthy.

Adults who engage in fetishes are typically pretty well educated about the risks of their activities. When they consent to participate, they are weighing the potential negative outcomes against the pleasurable experience. Like all kinks and fetishes, it’s possible to take it too far. Sometimes folks will gain so much weight that other health problems are exacerbated, or their mobility is negatively impacted. Occasionally, you’ll learn about a feeder who is using food to control the feedee in abusive and non-consensual ways. But most of the time, consensual feederism is just one more type of kink that folks find sexy, sensual, and fulfilling. And that’s the most important thing.

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her a question at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.

About The Author

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Lucky Tomaszek, LM, CPM, is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee's only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, working to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders and orientations.