About three years ago, after a string of horrible relationships and even worse decisions, I got sober and quit dating for a while. Now, without the liquid courage I used to rely upon, I'm all in my head when it comes to sex. I get nervous. The girl who once had drunk sex in a public park now just picnics in them.
So instead of drinking, I've decided to explore fetishes. And it seems that when you embrace kink, amazing things start to happen. It only took one BDSM workshop (and writing about it online) before an ex-boyfriend asked me on a date, a stranger emailed me saying it would be his pleasure to be my human toilet, and a professional mistress messaged me on Twitter to offer me a private BDSM lesson for free.
Unfortunately, that wasn't exactly my cup of tea; I don't want to use anyone as a human toilet, at least not yet. So I decided to try something new, which I was introduced to at that BDSM workshop: macrophilia.
Macrophilia, or a giantess fetish, is a sexual fantasy that mostly involves submissive men getting off to the idea of being crushed or eaten alive by destructive, sky scraper–size women.
In it's infancy, the kink was controversial. Some giantesses would "crush" live animals: bugs, worms, lobsters, worse. This is now illegal for live vertebrates. Now, macrophiles get off mostly on internet videos and photo collages, distorting sizes with the help of Photoshop and heavy editing. Imagine, as one Reddit user explained, a "500-foot-tall Christina Hendricks rampaging through a crowded downtown city, pursuing any sexual activity her little giant heart desires."
The whole thing is a complete 180 from my relationship history, and maybe that's why it intrigued me. In my past, I've always dated aggressive, dominant men. I've been in relationships that were both emotionally and physically abusive. I've made myself small to make the big, powerful men in my life happy. If a kink kingdom exists where women are large and in charge—well, I figured it was worth a try.
In 2015, porn searches for "giantess" had grown more than any other term, according to Pornhub, up 1,091 percent from the year before. It might not be as mainstream as, say, bondage, but macrophilia is catching on.
It plays off familiar tenets of BDSM—female in control and woman as goddess. In a Reddit AMA thread, one man described the allure of macrophilia as "the ultimate expression of dominance, being reduced to nothing before the woman. Sometimes you're just a sex toy. Sometimes you're as much as nothing and just think about being crushed."
Sometimes we sexualize our personal pain, trauma, and frustrations in order to feel in control of them.
Another macrophile, who asked that I not use his name, told me, "I like to feel insignificant. I like the idea of a woman so powerful she could crush me and not realize. Being small makes that real."
Even though it's all fantasy—as in, this dude is never going to meet a 500-foot-tall woman—he said the internet allows him to indulge.
I reached out to a friend of mine who used to be a dominatrix in New York. She explained to me that most macrophiles she knows are "powerful guys—lawyers, Wall Street dudes. It's because their jobs are all about power and control, so when they want an escape, they want to feel the complete opposite of that." She concluded that sometimes we sexualize our personal pain, trauma, and frustrations in order to feel in control of them.
And I get that. I've always had issues with my self-esteem. I once sexted a guy, and his response was "you have a unique face," as if a Picasso painting had just sexted him. My poor self-image led me to that string of bad relationships where I tried to shrink away. Could sexualizing those insecurities put me back in control of them?
I decided to test the waters by uploading a few giantess videos to my Instagram and Snapchat. I went to a toy store to buy some miniature soldiers and plastic animals to step on for the videos. The old man at the register nodded at me. "Schools back in session, huh?" I wondered if he thought I was a teacher or a parent helping her child with a diorama. I decided to live in that fantasy, as opposed to the one where I'm 30 and filming myself crushing toy soldiers for the internet.
I uploaded a few videos of myself crushing the soldiers, using the hashtag #giantess. Collectively, the videos garnered a few thousand views and a few comments.
One female begged: "Please crush me with your feet!"
A guy wrote: "I would love to be at your mercy."
A woman, whose bio reads that she's the property/slave of another giantess, direct messaged me: "You're gorgeous." Another direct message: "Do more giantess."
One person offered some advice on how to improve future videos: "Change the camera angle to more of a POV view from the tiny men perspective."
I didn't feel much from stepping on plastic toys, but the attention was a turn on. I soon found myself poring over giantess-related forums on Reddit. I started responding to some of the macrophiles who had commented on my Instagram, asking them, "Did you like my video? Would you watch more if I posted them?" I keep telling myself I was doing it for an article, but was I? I'd found a group of people who wanted to worship me for doing something as small as stepping on a toy—and it felt amazing.
That same day, a promotional video (that was not giantess-related) I'd recorded months earlier for a company was released on Facebook. The comment section was scathing. Trolls called me an "ugly bitch." Others chimed in to say I am so dumb I should never be a mother. There was even a debate as to whether or not I was actually a man—though if I were, I expect they wouldn't be commenting on my appearance in the first place.
The real world can be harsh and judgmental, but as a giantess, I could escape all that. Here was a corner of the internet where I could be big, unabashed, and unapologetic. I could take up space, demand my own desires. And if someone else gets a good wank out of it, even better.
Follow Alison Segel on Twitter.