A beginner’s guide to macrophilia.
Posted Apr 09, 2015 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan
Macrophilia appears to be an increasingly popular sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from a fascination with giants and/or a sexual fantasy involving giants. Such fantasies may include the macrophiles themselves shrinking in front of a normal-sized person (male or female). Alternatively, macrophiles may fantasize about their sexual partner growing to an abnormal height while the macrophiles themselves remain unchanged.
The literal translation of macrophilia means a "lover of large" but in this context, it does not refer to those in the fat admiration community (i.e., people who are sexually attracted to very fat women) but specifically refers to individuals who are sexually attracted to people much taller than themselves (i.e., it is the height rather than width that is crucial). As the scale between small and tall is not generally found in real human life, almost all macrophilic behaviour is sexual fantasy.
The overwhelming majority of macrophiles are thought to be heterosexual males that are sexually attracted to female giantesses. However, even non-sexual scenarios involving giants can result in sexual stimulation. Each fantasy situation is different for every macrophile as the behaviour is fantasy-based. Even the preferred heights of the fantasy giants differ between individuals. For instance, some macrophiles have a preference for people only a few feet taller than themselves whereas others involve giants who are hundreds of feet high.
The reason that this particular paraphilia has increased massively over the last decade is that the Internet has played a crucial role in helping create and facilitate the paraphilia. Because the paraphilia is almost totally fantasy-based, much of the material from which macrophiles gain their sexual gratification is placed and distributed online.
There is a wide range of macrophile artwork, photographs, and video on the Internet. Applications such as Photoshop are widely used to create collages of fake giants. Photographs are also taken from low angles to make everything in the viewfinder (including people) seem much bigger. The Internet is also full of homemade camcorder films of people trampling and destroying model cities.
An online article by Tyrone Slothrop on “The Bible and Macrophilia” (on the Remnant of Giants website) examines the artwork of "He Thong," a well-known artist in the macrophile community.
“The phenomenon of macrophilia certainly demonstrates how wrong Edmund Burke was, in Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful (pp. 157-58), when he opined, ‘It is impossible to suppose a giant the object of love. When we let our imaginations loose in romance, the ideas we naturally annex to that size are those of tyranny, cruelty, injustice, and every thing horrid and abominable.’ He Thong’s macrophiliac art is combined with depictions of Goliath gathering slaves from his enemies, slave submission, and bondage — a common related paraphilia among a significant sector of macrophiles.”
Although most macrophilic behaviour is fantasy-based, there are some macrophiles who attempt to experience the fetish in real life by dating extraordinarily tall women (so-called "Amazons") even if they have to pay for the privilege to do so. For instance, it was reported that Mikayla Miles (who when wearing her fetish boots is nearly 7 feet in her fetish boots, and 6 feet 4 inches without the boots) provides private sessions with macrophiles to engage in behaviours such as trampling, domination, role play, and foot worship. Macrophiles can also meet their tall heroines at such gatherings as the annual Amazon Convention.
Macrophilia has also been associated with other sexual fetishes and paraphilias. The most noteworthy in this regard are:
Breast fetishism: This is a sexual fetish in which an individual derives sexual arousal from being pressed against, or placed in between, the breasts of a giant woman.
Dominance/submission: This is a sexual fetish in which an individual derives sexual pleasure being at the mercy of a giant, or from being in control of a tiny person.
Sadism/masochism: This is a sexual paraphilia in which an individual derives sexual pleasure from being physically harmed or even killed (in this case by a giant).
Vorarephilia: This is a sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from the idea of being eaten, eating another person, or observing this process. Although there are cases of real-life vorarephilia (that I wrote about in a previous blog), the behaviour is typically fantasy-based (e.g., fictional stories, fantasy art, fantasy videos, and bespoke video games).
Zoophilia: This is a sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual pleasure from sex with animals (in this case, the desire is to have sex with a giant animal that is given human characteristics (i.e., anthropomorphism). This also has some crossover with furries (those individuals—amongst other behaviours—like to dress as animals when having sex).
Crush fetishism: This is a sexual fetish in which an individual derives sexual arousal from being stepped or sat on by a giant person and is also a variant of sexual masochism. Crush fetishism has also been associated with formicophilia, a sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from insects. For instance, in the Journal Cultural Entomology, G.A. Pearson described the fetishistic behaviour where people get sexual pleasure from watching insects, worms, and spiders being squashed (particularly men watching women doing it). This also has macrophilic overtones.
As Jeremy Biles notes in a 2004 essay on crush fetishists in Janus Head:
“Among the many obscure and bizarre sects of fetishism, few remain so perplexing or so underexamined as that of the ‘crush freaks.' At the cutting edge of the edgy world of sexual fetishistic practices, the crush freaks are notorious for their enthusiasm for witnessing the crushing death of insects and other, usually invertebrate, animals, such as arachnids, crustaceans, and worms. More specifically, crush freaks are sexually aroused by the sight of an insect exploded beneath the pressure of a human foot–usually, but not necessarily, a relatively large and beautiful female foot.”
It’s also been reported that maximum sexual excitement comes the more frightened the woman, and the larger the feet doing the squashing (which again has macrophilic overtones). In her 2000 book Deviant Desires, Katharine Gates contextualizes crush fetishes as a subset of both macrophilia and macrophilic podophilia (i.e., foot fetishism). This has led to the controversial posting of many so called "crush videos" online.
I haven’t come across a single academic paper that has been published on macrophilia although there has been some psychological speculation about the roots of macrophilia. The American St. Louis-based clinical psychologist Dr. Helen Friedman was reported as saying:
“[Macrophiles] are playing out some old, unresolved psychological issue. Maybe as a child they felt overwhelmed by a dominant mother, or a sadistic mother. Maybe they were abused. [Macrophilia] is not so much a fetish as a disassociation from reality. It’s part of an internal world. The macro’s submersion in fantasy [and] serves as a substitute for a more normalized approach to sex. Healthy sexuality is about personal intimacy. It’s about feeling good about yourself in a way that expresses caring, and feeling a connection to another person.”
However, most online accounts by macrophiles that I have read online don’t seem to match the psychological profile put forward by Dr. Friedman. One such man interviewed by Jon Bowen for the online Salon magazine (way back in 1999) said that as a child:
“I was turned on by ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ before I knew what the birds and the bees were all about. In the book, there’s a scene in the land of Brobdingnag where Gulliver gets intimate with one of the local giantesses – the enticingly named Glumdaclitch. I’ve fantasized about giantesses ever since. Like any fetish, if you don’t have it, you probably won’t get it."
Finally, there is one article I tracked down online by Dr. Samuel Ramses. He appears to talk knowledgeably about macrophilia although all of his assertions are made without reference to any academic source. For instance, he says:
“Macrophilia is a fairly widespread trait and is found in individuals of many different ethnic and social backgrounds. No common element has yet been found that can point to an environmental cause."
He makes a number of claims that appear intuitively plausible but without any supporting evidence. He claims macrophilia begins in very early childhood and that a sexual or pseudo-sexual response to giants is exhibited before physical puberty. Macrophiles are extremely shy and isolated, and believe that few share their desires.
The specific stimuli that elicit macrophilic sexual responses tend to fall into two broad categories, which are not mutually exclusive. They are summarized here as direct sexual situations and indirect sexual situations. Direct sexual stimuli involve situations in which sexual contact occurs between people where one person is at least twice as big as the other. Typical scenarios are said to include:
- Full-body contact of the macrophile with the penis of a male giant, or full-body insertion of the macrophile into the female giant’s vagina
- Oral contact in which the giant licks or swallows the macrophile
- Themacrophile being bathed in or being showered with the sexual fluids of a giant
- Masturbation and frotteurism by the macrophile rubbing their body against some portion of the giant’s body
Ramses claims that in macrophilia the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality is sometimes blurred as even macrophilic heterosexuals may find themselves attracted to the images of giants or tiny persons of the same sex, and vice-versa. Ramses also outlined the case of 30-year old white male, who since very early childhood had experienced sexual arousal (i.e., erections) whenever he watched films in which giant monsters destroyed towns and cities. The strongest sexual responses occurred when humans were being trampled to death. In adulthood, his macrophilic sexual fantasies included sadism, crush fetishes, and vorarephilia.
Dr. Ramses concluded that macrophilia is far from rare, as evidenced by the growing number of admitted macrophiles that have come forth in recent years. The number of macrophile websites certainly appears to support Ramses’ claim but—at present—there is next to nothing known empirically.
Biles, J. (2004). I, insect, or Bataille and the crush freaks. Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology and the Arts, 7(1), 115-131.
Gates, K. (2000). Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex. New York: RE/Search Publications.
Love, B. (1992). Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books.
Pearson, G.A. (1991). Insect fetish objects. Cultural Entomology Digest, 4, (November).