A young man recently wrote into advice columnist Pamela Stephenson Connolly at The Guardian seeking advice on a fetish that he fears will make others think he is a “disgusting freak.”
“I’m a gay man in my early 20s and, for as long as I can remember, my tastes have differed from the norm,” the letter begins. “I have a fetish for bigger guys and I’ve even wanted to gain weight myself to satisfy this.”
The letter continues: “I realize the stigma around obesity and its health implications, and my struggle with this has led me to hide myself away. I fear that others will see me as a disgusting freak.”
Of course, chubby chasing is nothing new. Lots of guys are attracted to heavier men and with good reason. A 2014 study found that guys with bigger bellies lasted an average of 7.3 minutes longer in the sack. And let’s not forget last summer’s “dad bod” phenomenon.
“Don’t let the zeitgeist spoil your pleasure,” Connolly, a psychotherapist who specialized in sexual disorders, replies. “You are fortunate that you do not need a ‘ripped’ partner in order to become aroused.”
“Body-worship is extremely common,” she continues. “It occurs in many forms, with a great deal of cultural variation, and is usually the result of tastes and triggers that begin to form quite normally in childhood. Despite the current fashion for preferring well-toned men, there are plenty of fleshier men around who would love to know that you desired them.”
Connolly goes on to say that being attracted bigger guys does not make a person a “disgusting freak.”
“Each of us has a unique design for arousal and sexual connection,” she concludes, “and yours is far from ‘freakish.’ Please yourself, and be proud.”