October 2, 2003 1:33 PM   Subscribe

"Sweat-hogging" -- seeking out plus-size women for romantic encounters characterized by a remarkably virulent brand of hatred, cruelty, objectification and, it seems, not a little self-loathing. And I use the word "romantic" loosely. Anybody ever run across this pathology before? (via Romanesko)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders (45 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not too many hogs in Europe, eh?

Skinny girls for everyone.
posted by the fire you left me at 1:52 PM on October 2, 2003

A more sympathetic take: fat admirer.
posted by rcade at 1:56 PM on October 2, 2003

damnit rcade, i was just reaching for that link...


oh well, here's a list of more "voluptuous" celebrities that one might like to stop and admire, from the same site.
posted by lotsofno at 2:01 PM on October 2, 2003

Yeah, it's demeaning. But she still, at one point, almost confuses the concept of the wingman with "hogging". The wingman is a noble friend, who intercepts the best friend who's attached to the side of the girl you've got your eyes on. Rock on, wingman!
posted by tomorama at 2:02 PM on October 2, 2003

Conversations about fat people always go over so well here. I predict that this will be no exception. And may I just say that these pathetic little boys would never stand a chance with a real woman...big or not. The term is offensive, the behavior is offensive, the fact that there are women whose self esteem is so low because of a cosmetic issue that they would fuck these losers, is offensive.
posted by dejah420 at 2:07 PM on October 2, 2003

This sounds like an urban legend. I remember my college sociology teacher talking about the practice (which he called a "pig party"), but I've never heard a first-hand account.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:07 PM on October 2, 2003

Gah. "The problem is, sometimes they're really nice people." Yeah, No shit.

I know, I know - discussions of weight always end badly here on MeFi, but what boggles me (aside from the oh-so-classy images they chose to illustrate the article) is the vaguely aloof tone of the article - as though they were just talking about some harmless-yet-obscure flavor of sexual behavior. But that's not what this is - this is (at its worst) clearly fairly abusive behavior. I honestly fear for the women these men end up someday marrying. She gets pregnant, gains 15 pounds she can't lose, and suddenly she's a "hog"?

I wish I could understand what it is in our society that puts such high value on appearance and so little value on intellect and behavior.

also, on preview - why doesn't the spell checker recognize the word 'shit'?
posted by anastasiav at 2:08 PM on October 2, 2003

there are women whose self esteem is so low because of a cosmetic issue that they would fuck these losers

Yeah, but the women involved, I'm sure, don't know they're losers until its too late. I'm sure these guys lay on all their smarmy charm to achieve their goals, making sure that the target thinks they're really interested, if you know what I mean ...
posted by anastasiav at 2:13 PM on October 2, 2003

What these guys should realize is that there are plenty of pretty girls with at least as low self-esteem that are ripe for the picking.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:27 PM on October 2, 2003

Big girls. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm.
posted by vito90 at 2:47 PM on October 2, 2003

OK, now having read the piece...man that is some hateful shit going on there. The guys are just flat out loathsome. The saddest thing is how they are unable to come to grips with the fact that they are attracted to bigger women, and they demean them in order to provide a cover for themselves. They are the straight equivalent of the homophobic closet case.
posted by vito90 at 2:57 PM on October 2, 2003


That's depressing. I feel for the poor women who make the mistake of hooking with such vile horrible men. vito90 has it right to a certain degree - a few of the guys seem to be in denial about the fact that they're attracted to curvier women.

And what I also find alarming is that according to the stats they lay out, a woman of my size is a "hog". I don't think I'm fat. And judging by the looks I get from men on the street, most men don't either. So they're so fucked in the head about their desires, that even normal-sized women are targets for their appalling behavior. I just don't know how a person can become that twisted.
posted by echolalia67 at 3:18 PM on October 2, 2003

Diffrent strokes for diffrent folks.
posted by stbalbach at 3:30 PM on October 2, 2003

anastasiav, I believe the pictures of the article are of a 'man' in a pig mask. You know, a 'pig' as in "men are pigs." Geddit?
posted by wobh at 3:44 PM on October 2, 2003

That article made me hungry.
posted by sharksandwich at 4:02 PM on October 2, 2003

Morons. Personally, I like the big gals. But I didn't choose my wife because she was big. I chose her because we complemented each other well, and made a good couple. And because she's a great gal. The fact that she carries a bit of baggage around the waist is irrelevant(to me anyway, idiots like these have triggered her to be rather negative about it). Ultimately, anybody who makes relationship decisions based primarily on physical attributes is going to have a tough time finding good relationships. And is going to miss out on some rather cool people because they're too stupid to see past the packaging.

Anybody else notice that all these dumbasses seem to be single and in the late 20+ age group? Anybody else think maybe it's not just a coincidence? While they talk of good wife material, I'm thinking they don't sound like particularly good husband fare. Losers, all.
posted by ehintz at 4:04 PM on October 2, 2003

Wow, lots of hideousness going on there. These guys are losers.
posted by SisterHavana at 4:32 PM on October 2, 2003

Oh, I think I'm going to be sick. Absolutely revolting. As a fat woman, I can't even articulate how offensive I find their behavior and attitudes. I'm the size that they would find disgustingly huge--but I also don't think so little of myself that I'd give a total stranger a blowjob in a parking lot, either. My heart aches for every woman those assholes have violated.

As if fat women don't have enough to deal with. And as if they don't know they're being used. How could they not know?

(On preview--hey SH! I didn't know you were here!)
posted by eilatan at 4:41 PM on October 2, 2003

Read the ending?

Wow, lots of hideousness lying going on there. These guys are losers. True...boozers all.
But for certain men -- typically guys in their 20s and 30s, boozers all -- hogging tales are like their grandfathers' fishing stories: oft-repeated and always embellished. There's the one that got away. The one who capsized the boat. The biggest whale of all.

One universal truth: The boldest hogging stories always happened to someone else. The more savage the act, the better the chance that the guy telling the story didn't do it -- his buddy did. And the buddy, just as frequently, is impossible to track down.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:42 PM on October 2, 2003

stupidsexyFlanders, you almost had us hooked.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:43 PM on October 2, 2003

Idiots. When the big girls (or Big Beautiful Women as we admirers call them) get wise, they'll moveon to midgets and eventually the blind and feeble-minded.

Curvy gals, you can do better. Beware.
posted by jonmc at 4:44 PM on October 2, 2003

Missed page 3, guess you landed me, but the last line says it all; Rick takes a long swig of his beer. "That's the bottom line," he explains to the darkness. "That's hogging."
posted by thomcatspike at 4:53 PM on October 2, 2003

Gee, give me some mental mouthwash.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:32 PM on October 2, 2003

"You're not embarrassed getting shot down by them," Mark says. "You're not embarrassed when they leave."

And here is the key point. A large portion of society makes dating/sex related decisions based on this point. There are many men who prefer to date plain or 'unattractive' (in the commercial sense) girls, simply because they think that all attractive girls would shoot them down. Obviously this is a reflection on the self esteem of the pursuer, rather than the woman. So these guys have self esteem, and they treat women badly. But calling them all sorts of names isn't the answer, sending them out for therapy is.

On the flip side, one of the guys in the article makes it clear that he doesn't treat the women with respect at all. He doesn't try to act cute or charming. He throws insults at them, and they still come back for more. Self esteem issues all round, here.
posted by wackybrit at 6:45 PM on October 2, 2003

Eilatan: "How could they not know?"

Seems to me that, at least in the case where the women know what's going on and what to expect, this kind of thing shades into BDSM. Some people think they deserve to be degraded, and when they are degraded in a sexual context, they get off on it. Others get off on doing the degrading.

Also, these women are looking for, or at least willing to do, casual sex. Inevitably with casual sex comes ... problems. Sex should be all warm and loving and guilt-free and easy. In real life, it involves a lot of angst.

I dunno. I'm not gonna pretend not to judge these dorks, in the privacy of my own mind. I judge them for lying about their own attractions, for lying to the women involved, for being cruel, for having stupid and counterproductive ways of interacting with women, and for pretending to standards they don't practice, which is the very definition of hypocrisy.

I'm not gonna pretend not to judge fat folks in the privacy of my own mind, either. Or drug users, or sex freaks, or the religiously or politically devout, or the mentally ill, or anyone else who lives in some manner that I from my perspective consider suboptimal. But I recognize that even if they could "help it", they are sovereign over their own minds and bodies. I have no right to stop them, no power to stop them, and except in moments of deep self-reflection combined with an unusual respect for my opinion, they are likely only to resent suggestions I give them to stop. So I almost always keep such opinions to myself.

Everyone judges each other all the time. But what we do about our judgements, and what we think we have the right to do about them, that's the questions.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2003

What a vicious bunch of hateful misogynists, and what an upsetting article. That was one of the very few MeFi links that has me seething with anger. I'd welcome the opportunity to clock those sons-a-bitches upside the head.

posted by five fresh fish at 6:52 PM on October 2, 2003

simply because they think that all attractive girls would shoot them down. Obviously this is a reflection on the self esteem of the pursuer, rather than the woman.

I'd call that slightly inaccurate... I get shot down all the time and 99% of those shootdowns are from the attractive ones. Such is the life of a 30-something in Hollywood ;)

On preview, women that ask for your number/e-mail address and then never call/mail, suck!
posted by starscream at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2003

Scott, a 30-year-old from Broadview Heights, met an obese woman at Knucklehead's in Parma on St. Patrick's Day. He'd been drinking since 8 a.m. They made out at the bar, then he took her home. The next morning, he made up an excuse to get her to leave; he actually circled the block in his car until she left. But when he ran into her two weeks later, they did it again. His friends gave him a hard time: "You went home with a hog."

His ready answer: "I got laid. What's your point?"

Jake, a 35-year-old bartender, had just broken up with his girlfriend when he met a big girl. Took her home. Got some. "The next day I was, like, how did this happen? Well, it just happens."

Bryan, 29, met his hog at karaoke night. One minute she was applauding his performance, the next they were singing a duet. Soon they were making music of their own in the parking lot. "I might see her again, I might not," he says, adding, "If I do, I hope none of my friends are there."

I think I find the article offensive - the men in it get to be men (even if they come across as pathetic and sadistic) but the women - who are not given voices - only get to be "hogs".

Well what do they think? Feel? Or are they just dehumanized and humiliated packages of quivering fat? - That's the impression I got from Sarah Fenske's piece.

Fenske squeezes out a limp justification of this: "Women aren't exactly clamoring to tell their side of the story. [ OK - did you talk to any women? Who? Names? ] Some may be oblivious to the way they're being discussed [ as in more socially dense than men? Really? ]; "hogging" is a term few women have even heard [ you might be surprised ]. Others, like the women at Chris's college, may be too embarrassed to tell even their closest friends [ this may be true ]. No woman wants to think of herself as a hog, much less let her girlfriends see her that way. The victims are silent." Puh leez..........woman have mouths. They get hurt and pissed off....they talk. What are they saying? Well you won't find out from Cleveland Scene.......
posted by troutfishing at 8:38 PM on October 2, 2003

Yes, troutfishing, she did talk to several women, who are named, as you would be aware had you in fact read the article.

Frankly, while the particulars differ, the underlying attitudes laid bare here don't seem to me that different from the mutual exploitation that underlies most of what passes for dating. But maybe I'm just bitter.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:44 PM on October 2, 2003

IshmaelGraves - Well, I found a woman's name and voice, on page 3, towards the very end of the piece. As far as a numeric textual count goes, that gives women what - 1/15th? 1/20th of the overall voice? It's not much.
posted by troutfishing at 9:39 PM on October 2, 2003

Troutfishing has a good point. Until I read your last two comments, I was mostly regarding this piece as a well-done piece of documentary. The topic seems so over the top that it barely merits considering. This is Jerry Springer stuff.

Still, I thought the writer did a pretty good job of documenting it until I read troutfishing's comment and realized that a really good investigative documentarian would have sought the female perspective... perhaps accompanied the men on a hog... at least for the first part. Instead, all we have is hearsay. Bollix.
posted by squirrel at 10:27 PM on October 2, 2003

Tangentially, I'm looking at the F.A. link rcade posted, and I can't help but think that most of those women (especially Kate Winslet, Kate Dillon, and that Jane Monheit) are not even remotely fat, but are most definitely smokin' hot. It shouldn't require silly Freudian analysis, or excuses, to recognize this.

I really don't know who any of these guys are that are so supposedly hardcore about hipless skinny women, although a cursory read of Fark (where any "Boobies" post with a buxom or well-figured woman has catcalls of 'fattie', while any 12-year-old looking beanpole is described as 'hot') seems to suggest they're all morbidly obese adolescent male shut-ins.
posted by hincandenza at 12:08 AM on October 3, 2003

Lately, hincandenza, Fark posts featuring "12-year-old looking beanpoles" get just as much abuse of the "get her a sandwich" variety.

Basically, nothing pleases everybody, almost everything pleases somebody, and very few people realise that their own tastes are not the objective truth.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:22 AM on October 3, 2003

Yeah but what can you do....
posted by johnnyboy at 2:09 AM on October 3, 2003

Oh, so fat people are supposed to be defended now? I never can tell here. I thought they were evil and a sign of all that was to be hated about the Western world.
posted by jammer at 7:42 AM on October 3, 2003

Many guys claim the hog should be, and often is, grateful for their attentions. "Fat chicks never get laid, because no one wants to see 'em naked," Scott explains.

"They feel appreciative just because a guy will let them give him a blow job," adds his friend Justin.

"They understand their place," Rick says. "They know they're pigs. They don't get it like a normal girl could. They're desperate."

I'm having similar violent reactions to this article. And this doesn't surprise me one bit:

And many hoggers admit to having few female friends. They see women as alien creatures whose motives are suspect. It's only a small leap to rationalize their piggish behavior by insisting that women are just as bad.

How far of a leap is it from this kid of objectification to treating women like trash during consential sex acts to rape? To me this is more about severely stunted emotional growth and total lack of empathy for fellow human beings. Bunch of sociopaths.
posted by jennyb at 8:23 AM on October 3, 2003

Good gravy!

Rick has grown quiet. "In a certain sense, he has a point," he says. "It's fat women I usually masturbate to. Because they get me off. . . . I can't get Tyra Banks, nor do I want to. But there's something about violating this little pig that makes me happy."

Look for Ric in future issues of Serial Killer Quarterly.
posted by jennyb at 8:25 AM on October 3, 2003

realized that a really good investigative documentarian would have sought the female perspective... perhaps accompanied the men on a hog... at least for the first part. Instead, all we have is hearsay.

Well, the writer is female. I think that a female perspective is very present in the article. Had there been more females interviewed, you still would have had hearsay. Isn't reporting, by its very nature, hearsay? I was the subject of a news article last year and after reading it I can say very much it was hearsay.

As for her accompanying them on a hog, that was my only problem with the article. Sometimes it seemed liked she was there, watching, but she never comes out and says that so I thought that a little confusing. Was she there for any of it or not?

As for these jerkoffs, there's little hope for them, I think. They seem like a gaggle of morally repugnant social cripples. Has anyone heard broadcasts of the idiot manchild radio "celebrity"? I assume that, post-article, he attempted to take the piss, on-air. Anyone know?

Also, I found the mention of the lack of Hollywood/TV fare about the topic to be an interesting thread. Were either medium to attempt this topic, they'd undoubtedly go for comedy and make the guy come around at the end, whereas I think these clowns would make good subjects of a drama where they end life alone and unloved, which is probably closer to the way their real lives will end.
posted by dobbs at 9:30 AM on October 3, 2003

I get the impression that the writer herself finds a touch of humor in the topic. She's probably whippet-thin and deep down thinks that in some ways overweight girls deserve this treatment. (Notice her attitutde towards "Leather Pants.")

Suppose instead of "fat chicks", these guys made a practice of crusing for women in wheelchairs and calling it "Crip night". "Crips should be grateful for any attention." Somehow I don't think her attitude would be quite so lighthearted.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:22 AM on October 3, 2003

I grew up in a community small enough to expose me to this kind of mentality. Most men here and many women experienced people like this in high school. It doesn't really matter if these two characters are real people or a composite devised by the writer--the rendering is nonetheless real.

I recognize and support the perspectives of many fat advocates that have spoken here. Good points well made. But I would like to point out that this is more a male domination expression than it is a fat person disembodiment. Just as rape isn't about the sex but about the domination, "hogging" is not about the fatness per se, but the power over their victims that is expressed by the attackers.

Interestingly, these guys seem to require consent from their targets. They seem to revel in watching what they infer as a woman in a powerless position debase herself. In that sense, they can be seen as exploiting a loophole in our ethics-judicial system. Society, as a whole, and certainly the legal system, is willing to wait until they see blatant coercion before stepping in. Legally, I can see how this makes some sense, but ethically it's appalling.

I know that some of the comments here about "skinny beanpoles" have been intended to draw generally sound conclusions about our society's conformity mania. However, you should bear in mind that the issue you're rightly fighting transcends body size, so there's no need to mock anyone's body size or shape. There are a few "beanpoles" in my social circle, and although (and because) their group is more exploited by the media, they battle with unhappiness about their bodies just like everyone else.

By arguing that one group of women is "sexier" than another, you're adding wood to the fire that is boiling the hogger brew.
posted by squirrel at 10:25 AM on October 3, 2003

Has anyone heard broadcasts of the idiot manchild radio "celebrity"?

As a card-carrying man-child, I would like to say that we don't wish to be associated with these doody-heads.
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on October 3, 2003

this whole thing is so fucking lame, but what do we expect from the Cleveland free weekly paper, nuance? i did scavenge one gem, which thwarted the self-esteem tailspin -- "Who cares if you look fat, as long as you look good?" right on, little man.
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:04 AM on October 3, 2003

Gah.. Personally I prefer women with meat on their bones, but that's for the mechanics of physical lovemaking more than anything else. Thin girls leave bruises in really weird places that you find out about the next morning.. "ow! Oh that's when she elbowed me there.." Not a good scene.

This whole thing does sound like a bunch of fish tales. Truth is a woman (just as a man I reckon) is beautiful because of the overall package. I've met some skinny women who I found beautiful (and immediately took to the nearest Red Lobster cuz she looked way.. uhm, malnourished) and I've met some large women who are beautiful. And they're ready-made I mean ya don't have to plump them up at the Red Lobster.

Actually there's just no way of describing women in this thread without sounding like you're plucking feathers at a chicken factory.

Some individuals are beautiful, and if the overall package is great, the weight issue shouldn't be an issue, or rather if it is, it's not like, y'know, eye color. I mean you can do something about weight, but those chicks with the weird hazel eyes that stare back at you like that...? *shudder* disgusting!!
posted by ZachsMind at 11:35 AM on October 4, 2003

Also, I found the mention of the lack of Hollywood/TV fare about the topic to be an interesting thread.

There is one movie I can think of - "Dogfight" starring Lili Taylor and River Phoenix. It's not about "hogging" per se, but it addresses some of the abusive and cruel behaviour in the article.

In terms of being open about what type of body turns you on, I think this might be an area where women and gay men have it easier. Like that husky farmboy look? The lanky, lean type? How about the almost hairless guy? How about the totally hairy type? Other than a little teasing, women don't give each other a hard time about having a body type preference.
posted by echolalia67 at 5:22 PM on October 4, 2003

My physics teacher taught me that force equals mass times acceleration.

That's when I started dating fat women. You can't have force without mass, right, fellas?

Skinny women hate that joke. "What do fat women have that I don't have?"

Well, breasts, for one. Sorry, Olive Oyl, I have needs.
posted by basilwhite at 5:56 AM on October 6, 2003

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