Published: 02:31 EST, 2 October 2014 | Updated: 03:10 EST, 3 October 2014
Feeders and fetishes - the perils of online dating as a plus size lady
Taking the plunge and signing up to a dating website can be one of the most daunting acts in a single person's life.
But for single mother Verity Brown, the experience has almost put her off completely - because as a size 24, her figure has either deterred the right type of man, or attracted the wrong kind.
The 38-year-old from Birmingham has been approached by feeders, dominatrix-lovers and even men who are turned on by toilet habits.
Verity Brown, 38, had stopped dating online after regularly being told she's too overweight by dates
But while the stories have provided her friends with a constant stream of hilarious stories, it has ended up with the former beauty queen eventually dropping her search for a new partner completely.
Verity, who works as a self-employed recruiter, first subscribed to online dating with the website Plenty Of Fish in March of this year.
She said: 'I think because I had heard success stories from other people who had tried online dating that I thought I would give it a try, as I had nothing to lose.
'With work and being a single mum I am very busy and going out is not a luxury that you always have the option of.
Verity at the Miss Plus Size International beauty pageant in 2013, where she won the crown
'I was very honest about my size as I always have been, I have also lost a bit of weight in the last year, going from a size 30 to a size 24.
'So I thought, ok, I know big ladies aren't a lot of people's cup of tea but I feel very comfortable with myself and let's give it a go.'
Within the first 24 hours, Verity realised that online dating as a larger woman meant she attracted some very odd characters.
She said: 'I got quite a lot of interest, but once you start messaging, I realised that the majority of men just wanted a hook-up - they just wanted sex.
'Literally, within an hour of messaging they start asking what your favourite sexual position is, which is a bit disheartening.
'Also there were a huge amount of married men on there.
In the past six months, Verity has been attracted by several strange men with fetishes on dating websites because of her weight
'I had a guy who asked me if I wanted a cuckold relationship, which is when a man likes to watch his partner with other men.
'I also had someone ask me if I was interested in being his dominatrix.
'Nobody took it seriously, I even had one man who was a lorry driver who messaging me at 9pm at night, saying, "I'm in Birmingham."
'So I called his bluff and said, "Oh yeah, shall I come and meet you now ?" and he was like, "yeah," I said, "Get lost, it's not a hook up site."
'You start to think, 'Ok, I've had enough of this, I've had enough of the sex requests,' because you feel like no one is taking you seriously.'
After becoming frustrated with her lack of success, Verity left Plenty Of Fish and signed up to Match.com.
Verity never hid her size on dating websites, always stating that she is size 24, but men were still surprised at her body when they met up in person
But even more disappointing than the men with odd tastes and behaviour, were those who refused a second date because she was too big - even though she had made her size very clear.
She said: 'It was at Plentyoffish.com when it started that I was told, I think you're very beautiful and funny, you're very witty and intelligent but you're just a bit too big, you're not a size 12.
'But then I moved to Match.com and it just got worse.
'I think it was because I made a point of saying, 'You do know I'm a size 24?' but people say, "Well you don't look that big in your pictures," so that's a bit disheartening.
'I have had a few nice dates, but it never gets past the first one.
'I genuinely feel it's because of my weight - men do not like fat women.
'He'll say, 'You're really lovely but you're too big,' I'm not hiding my size before the date at all though, so it is really frustrating.'
As a last resort, she signed up to a plus size dating website, but that brought with it a whole new range of strange men who were specifically attracted to larger women and a size 24, Verity found she was almost too small for many.
Verity believes that our society will never be able to stop judging overweight people
She said: 'I do understand that although I am large myself, I wouldn't necessarily want to go out with a man who was really, really obese, so I can understand where some guys are coming from.
'But then when I went on the plus size dating website, I'm not big enough for some of these people - they'd say things like, 'Don't go losing any more weight.'
'Then there was this guy who was a feeder, he didn't use that term, but he would ask me things like what I had eaten that day and if I was hungry, it was just weird.
There was also a man who started talking to me quite explicitly and wanted to watch me poo. I was like, what?!
'And then there were lots of American men, which is all very flattering when you have lots of American men interested, but they are about eight or nine hours away.
Although she had no luck on the online dating front in Britain, Verity attracted several admirers from America
'Although I appreciate that people do have long distance relationships, that is just too far.'
Last year, Verity won the Miss Plus Size International 2013 beauty pageant, so says she has had buckets of confidence about her appearance, but she says her online dating experience has really knocked her confidence.
She has now sworn off these websites until she has lost weight, because she can't face any more rejection based on her size.
Verity is now attempting to lose more weight so that men can finally see past her figure to the personality underneath
She said: 'I've got to the point where I don't know if I can be bothered, I am not even considering dating now until I have lost some weight because I'm fed up of hearing that I'm not good enough.
A lot of people turn around and say that I'm lovely and really funny, etc, but unfortunately it's not enough.
'I'd love to have a relationship, but unfortunately my weight is putting men off.
'I think to myself that I have won a plus size beauty competition, so I can't be that bad.
'Also, I was married until we got divorced seven years ago and I was in another relationship until January of this year, so I know that some men can see past the weight.
'Unfortunately, as a society we're always going to have this perception of fat people at the end of the day.
'People will always think that if you're fat then you're lazy, you sit around all day and eat cake and don't work.
'Well I'm quite the opposite, but as an individual, if I want to have a relationship it's clear that I have to lose weight because that's what is putting men off.
'I know there are some men out there who don't mind big women, but my experiences since spring onwards have been extremely negative.
'You need to look at the bigger picture and the person inside.'
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