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Gaining: the bizarre and dangerous world of paid weight gain and sexual fetish.

Image: iStock.

We all know what it’s like to eat so much we feel uncomfortably full.

Although this is an occasional incidence for many of us, some people engage in this kind of eating behaviour for the sexual arousal of other people or themselves. It’s one aspect of a broader sexual fetish known as ‘feedism’ or ‘feederism’.

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Miss Eve, who describes herself as a non-explicit fetish model, is a member of the feedism community. The 21-year-old has a YouTube account full of videos that depict her gorging on high-calorie foods and drinks, to the point where she bloats, burps and hiccups. Some of her followers donate money towards this footage.

Miss Eve shares her weight gain on Tumblr and Youtube

This behaviour is known as 'stuffing' or 'gaining', and the aim is generally to put on weight — though not necessarily a lot of it.

As Vice Munchies reports, some people try 'gaining' individually, often with the encouragement of the online feeder community. Others engage in it within a relationship —one party is the 'feeder', who aids the 'feedee' in eating and gaining weight. Often there's a 'dominant-submissive' dynamic at play, but not always.

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The feedism community is quite active online. There are a number of websites, forums and subReddits dedicated to the topic, where people share their gaining experiences, including before-and-after images and footage or audio; and/or encourage the progress of others.

Some gainers, like Miss Eve (who also goes by 'Little Gainer Eve') and Reenaye Starr, make money from sharing their experiences.

Reenaye Starr appeared in the documentary 'My Big Fat Fetish'.

As with any sexual preference, every gainer or feeder/feedee's motivation is unique.

"I love eating very caloric, rich foods and I practically squeal with glee if I see the numbers on the scale climb. I like being called piggy, requested to oink and being accused of being gluttonous and lazy," an anonymous member of the feedism community explains on XOJane.

As Mic reports, Miss Eve began gaining with the encouragement of a former boyfriend. "There was something erotic about eating in front of him ... He'd make fun of me, call me a fatass, and I loved it," she recalls. (Post continues after gallery.)

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Other gainers don't enjoy being humiliated like that. "I prefer my feeder to be subservient to me. I want to be like Cleopatra, but in a bed full of food, brought to me by my many admirers," Reenaye Starr tells Mic.

Dr Gloria Brame, a sexologist who specialises in fetishes, says gaining and feedism isn't that different to other sexual fetishes or preferences.

“Many of us do risky things with our bodies, and nobody complains about it unless it involves sex. A lot of people feel they are at their most beautiful when they are fat. They like being Rubenesque, and it turns them on, too,” she tells Vocativ.

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Unsurprisingly, a lot of people — including health and psychology experts — struggle to understand this fetish.

This is largely because of the obvious health risks inherent in gaining weight in this way. As Mic notes, these risks include heart disease, joint problems, type 2 diabetes and breathing disorders.

Image via Little Gainer Eve
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Gainers are quick to argue they're not blind to the health impacts of their fetish. Some maintain otherwise healthy, active lifestyles, with regular medical checkups, and they make their decisions with an appreciation for what the risks may be. Generally speaking, the aim is not to gain so much weight they become immobile.

"I am fully aware of the risks I take by eating to excess, and I probably understand nutritional science a lot better than you do because of my sexual interest in it. I am, however, a fully grown woman who is capable of making decisions that are right for me," 'Anonymous' writes on XoJane.

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“We aren’t idiots. Gainers like myself go to the doctor like anyone else. I gain weight not by inhaling Twinkies, but by eating larger portions of the same foods anyone else eats,” Jenny, a gainer active on Reddit, tells Vocativ.

"We have a sexual urge to be fat, but we also have the common sense to listen to a doctor."

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