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Paraphila is an umbrella term used to cover the family of philias. In sexology, it is sometimes more widely used to cover atypical sexual interests or deviances. While the word paraphilia may seem alien, the philias it encompasses may seem slightly familiar. Think fetishes and unusual desires and you're on the right track!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Can you be too fat for sex?

When it comes to fat sex, the questions are plentiful! For starters, what is it about the very idea of plus size sex that fills a star like Kirstie Alley with dread? Is is any different from 'normal' sex?

Who better to answer these questions than Hanne Blank, whose book "Big Big Love: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them)" just so happened to hit shelves this week. Salon spoke with Blank, editor of the fat-loving anthology "Zaftig: Well Rounded Erotica," about everything from sexual myths about the plus-sized to the erotic perks of fatness to bizarre fetishes like "feederism."

Defining the difference between fat admiration and fat fetishism, Hanne says: 

For me, I tend to stick pretty closely to a psychiatric definition of a sexual fetish, a paraphilia, which is basically that there is an object whose presence is synonymous with the ability to function sexually. People who have, for instance, a foot fetish may not be interested in having any kind of genital sex with a partner because the only thing that really works for them is feet. With fat fetishism, like any other fetish, it's a fairly small percentage of the population that really requires the presence of a fat body in order to function sexually. Whereas, people who are fat admirers can be anybody -- anybody could fall in love with or be attracted to somebody whose body happens to be fat.

And, according to Blank, fatter is undeniably sexier:

Sure. It's gonna be different for different people but there are a lot of people that I've talked to who actually feel sexier and more self-confident when they are bigger as opposed to when they are smaller. For some people, it's as simple as the fact that when you're fat, especially when you're fat to a certain degree, you know from the get-go that you're not going to fit into all of these idealized versions of what bodies are supposed to look like, and so you just stop letting that register on your radar. You can just concentrate on enjoying your body and enjoying your partner.

Another thing that comes up for a lot of people is that fat bodies are really sexy and sensual. There are a lot of textures and there's a lot of skin and surface area, and a lot of sensory nerves. Everything that you've got on a thin body you've just got more of on a fat body.

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