Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 249–260 | Cite as

Feederism: An Exaggeration of a Normative Mate Selection Preference?

  • Lesley L. Terry
  • Kelly D. Suschinsky
  • Martin L. Lalumière
  • Paul L. Vasey
Original Paper


Quinsey and Lalumière (1995) suggested that some, if not most, paraphilias are exaggerated manifestations of more normative and functional mate selection preferences. The present study tested whether Feederism, a fat fetish focused on erotic eating, feeding, and gaining weight, is an exaggeration of a sexual arousal pattern commonly seen in the general population. Thirty participants (15 men and 15 women) recruited from the general population were assessed using penile plethysmography and vaginal photoplethysmography, respectively. None of the participants were self-identified Feeders or Feedees. Participants were shown sexual, neutral, and feeding still images while listening to audio recordings of sexual, neutral, and feeding stories. Participants did not genitally respond to feeding stimuli. However, both men and women subjectively rated feeding stimuli as more sexually arousing than neutral stimuli. We discuss the discordance between physiological and self-reported sexual arousal in the context of sex differences in sexual concordance and implications for future research.


Feederism Paraphilia Sexual arousal Vaginal photoplethysmography Penile plethysmography (phallometry) 



A version of this article was presented at the University of Lethbridge Workshop, The Puzzle of Sexual Orientation: What Is It and How Does It Work?, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, June 2010.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lesley L. Terry
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kelly D. Suschinsky
    • 1
  • Martin L. Lalumière
    • 1
  • Paul L. Vasey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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