Shrunken Men, Giantesses, Nice Guys, and Toxic Masculinity

growing_vexes_and_interest_by_exuberantcurtain_db6z5ma-fullview

Image:  Growing Vexes and Interest by ExuberantCurtain


This post is proximally in reply to this comment by Aborigen, but it obviously is the result of many years of observation, rumination, self-recrimination, and determination. I cannot emphasize enough that these are my personal feelings and experiences, and the last thing I want is to assert that they are somehow generally representative of even most hetmale size fantasists, let alone everyone in the community. To be frank, this is more of a personal journal entry than a public comment, but over the years I have seen and heard things that resonate with my thoughts on these subjects, and so I’m going to digress all over the place in the hope that it might help someone somewhere deal with their own feelings and experiences.

My fascination with size differential started quite early, back when the only power-reversal that meant anything to me was tiny adults being menaced by giant children.  By the time I began to observe the roles society had assigned to the respective genders and wonder what my place among those roles might be, however, size fantasy for me largely became a reaction to and escape from a world I wanted to reject.

Both my parents were very smart, competent people.  My father was also quick to anger and physically and emotionally abusive.  My mother was excellent at “keeping up appearances,” and from this I learned that patriarchy means that men get to be selfish tyrants and women do what they have to in order to accommodate this.

In addition to social pressures, it seemed to me that sexual desire itself made boys and men behave monstrously.  I didn’t trust myself, and I despaired of ever knowing a girl who could or should trust me.  I was angry at the whole situation, and I was hostile toward any attempt to convince me that I was mistaken about any of this.  I certainly didn’t consider that girls might be struggling to reconcile their own feelings with others’ expectations.

I wasn’t diagnosed at the time, but I suspect I was already suffering from depression.  Captive to Anglo-American mythologies of self-sufficiency, I thought I was supposed to be able to “pull myself together” and “be the man” I ought to be, but I believed that to be impossible.  Like my mother, I was very good at presenting a normal personality and obscuring social deficits.  I had cripplingly low self-esteem, but I knew how to be witty and precocious in order to deflect anyone who might inquire too closely.  I learned how to charm teachers very early.

I wanted to live in a world where I could talk to girls without being threatening, where they could express themselves without worrying about what I (or anyone else) expected of them.  I wanted to be able to express my own sexual desire for girls without feeling shame.  I didn’t think these things were possible in the real world, but I imagined they might be possible were I the size of a mouse.

It’s clear to me now that size fantasy was a part of my imagination from the beginning, but the impact of my sexuality was intense and for many years it eclipsed all other aspects.  My family traumas and emotional development did not cause my size fantasies, but they certainly shaped them.

First and foremost, I repressed any hint of desire for M/f scenarios.  King Kong, Beauty and the Beast, every Deanna Lund handheld: banished as agents of the patriarchy.  At the same time, I recognized that the “classic” size fantasy films Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and The Incredible Shrinking Man were yowls of anxious masculinity, the former projecting male terror onto a rampaging giantess and the latter channeling male rage at a world changing beyond control.  Neither offered what I needed.  As an angsty adolescent, I was all-too-ready to embrace the notion that “Nobody understands me” and that I was alone in this world.

It’s noteworthy that there was no Internet during these years, and I reached the age of 27 before I discovered I wasn’t the only size perv on the planet.  I never even considered sharing these fantasies with others, and I never imagined that any girls would be interested in them.  This resulted in all my fantasy giantesses being my own constructs, either géantes fatale who punished me for my depravities or maternal figures who pitied me for my helplessness.

For better or worse, I knew these fantasies were directed at my personal issues and I never expected them to resonate with anyone else.  When I finally did encounter other size fantasists online, they were largely into cruel and destructive giantesses, and I suspect many of them came to size fantasy via a foot fetish.  I had no reason to believe that any of them were female.

After having spent so many years isolated with my particular issues and preferences, I could have decided that all these dudes with their stomping giantesses were “doing size fantasy wrong” and avoided the scene altogether.  But of course I was thirsty for any and all size content, particularly from mainstream content to which I had little exposure, so I lurked and scavenged what stuff did appeal to me.

More than anything, I wanted to hear from female microphiles.  I wanted a woman to tell me that she liked the idea of a tiny me.  This really would have been nothing less than absolution for all the bad feelings I harbored about myself.  Whether this hypothetical woman’s desires were gentle or cruel, it made no difference so long as they were her desires and not mine.  So powerful was this need of mine that I didn’t quite trust anyone who claimed to be female, because I was deathly afraid of being disappointed.  I’m less paranoid now, but when I hear about other male size fantasists giving women grief for failing to “prove” their gender identities, I remember how my needs once impeded my own courtesies.

Years of lurking didn’t give much sense of solidarity with other size fantasists (except when I gave into self-pity), and I continued to feel bad about myself, my sexuality, and my kinks.  Toxic environments existed before the Internet, but with anonymity and the shameful nature of porn, online communities can encourage appalling behavior.  So many displays of certitude and indifference to others’ discomfort.  So quick to demean and dismiss differing perspectives.

This dynamic is amplified in kink spaces, because almost everyone is harboring grievances for being (or perceiving themselves as being) ostracized by mainstream society.  The solidarity achieved by finding others with the same (or similar) kinks can quickly devolve into petty tribalism, where the pain from feeling deprived is channeled into demanding that everyone conform to a narrow set of values.  Subscribing to a collective persecution complex gives members of the tribe the occasion and the validation to denounce dissenters as “not really” part of the tribe.

Years of thinking no one else shares your desires makes you ill-equipped to respond when you do find someone you can talk to about them.  When I first discovered the casual roleplaying scene on Size Tumblr, it felt a bit like being a kid turned loose in a candy store.  When offered the chance to have someone mirror back to you a fantasy that you had been secretly obsessing over for years, it is dismayingly easy to think of them as servants rather than fellow explorers.

When I hear about size roleplayers demanding that female size fantasists take on roles or engage in activities that they don’t care for, I suspect they have a rigid notion of how size fantasy is “supposed to be” and don’t want to listen to differing perspectives.  I, too, once had rather inflexible notions of what I needed size fantasy to be, but I never tried to browbeat anyone else into conforming to my views.

I’ve seen this pattern in other spaces that some boys and men feel should be exclusively theirs.  Comics nerds, sci-fi conventions, GamerGate.  But the closest parallel is the phenomenon of Nice Guys, dudes who think they’ve figured everyone else’s sexual strategies out and demand that girls and women should recognize and reward their awareness.

No one has a worse opinion of men than these guys.  I used to have a pretty poor opinion of men myself.  “You can’t expect us not to be selfish horndogs, so name your price and stick to it!”  People who are convinced that they are programmed to be selfish aren’t going to be very respectful of others’ beliefs and preferences.

I, too, once thought I knew what girls and women should want and demand from sexual relationships, and I resisted people who tried to show me other perspectives.  No one is served well by this.  I only ever started to feel better about myself and my sexuality when I listened to women and believed what they said about themselves and their sexualities.

When I hear about female size fantasists being harassed and told that their M/f fantasies are bad, sexist, and promoting rape, I suspect the harassers have a very simplistic view of women’s experiences, needs, and desires.  At the very least, they are refusing to listen to what women have to say.

Roleplaying is a group activity.  If you tell others how what their roles should be, you’re just demanding a personal performance for yourself for free.  Everyone should be having fun and getting their needs met.  If you think all size roleplayers who adopt female roles should be homicidal and demanding worship, you’re just projecting your needs onto someone else.

Worship-play is not something I have a lot of experience with, and I suspect this is mainly due to how that language makes dom-sub relationships so explicit. I understand that “bossy subs” are a known phenomenon in BDSM scenes, and tiny roleplayers who have a very fixed idea of how they should worship giants/giantesses (and how that worship should be received) sound like the same issue. Listening to everyone involved and not making assumptions is the key to making it work for everyone.

No matter how deprived you feel for having kinky desires, you aren’t entitled to have others service your personal fantasies.  Just because your fantasies involve giant women crushing tiny men doesn’t make it less disrespectful to impose them on women who aren’t interested.  Similarly, the fact that women are oppressed in our society should not preclude size fantasists from enjoying fantasies of tiny women in peril, even at the hands of giant men.

Size fantasy gets better when many different perspectives are expressed and heard.  Everyone comes to size fantasy by a different path, and some of us are still working through issues, both personal and social.  Take as much time and space as you need to think about what where your desires come from, and remember that everyone else is doing the same.

8 thoughts on “Shrunken Men, Giantesses, Nice Guys, and Toxic Masculinity

  1. This is an incredible message of positivity. It’s fascinating (as always) to listen to you explore your development and origin story. You own up to the questionable moments without celebrating them, they’re a fact of your history and part of what shaped who you are. It’s important to acknowledge, in contrast with a generation that bends over backward to avoid any near-miss with blame.

    I’m left wondering what kind of tools I’d have to acquire, say in therapy, to begin to scrutinize my own past and motivations to this level of detail. I envy this self-awareness and knowing. It’s humbling to watch someone take themselves apart and examine the pieces so well.

    And also? This only supports my conviction that politics are inextricable from size fantasy, which only calls for greater understanding rather than aversion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, my friend. I’m stuck thinking about this stuff no matter what, so I might as well exorcise some of it here. I just want everyone to be able to speak out for what they want and to be heard and to be validated.

      And yes, our values and beliefs will find expression in our fantasies. Else they would not hold any meaning for us.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I was born a giantess. I didn’t turn into one because of events that took place, or the influence of family members. The giantess seed in me was fed with fairy tales and the sparks of my own imagination as I hallucinated the existence of tiny people and imagined myself taller than my body. Gender roles were expressed contradictorily and traumatically. On one hand I was told I could be “anything I wanted to be”, and on the other hand I witnessed the dilapidation of human spirit in women in my family, the mothers of my friends, in my female friends, because of the way they were treated. I’m not going to get into how I was treated.

    Online, there’s little difference. There’s balancing who I am with what I need. Anyone and everyone has a story about how they are approached because of the expressions of what they like, and used for those expressions. The impulse to fill the void these impossible fantasies create compels many to say whatever they think the person at the other end wants to hear. I’ve experienced that often. It’s the price one pays for wanting to express this with others, and make it as real as it can possibly be through online connections.

    Eh, that has nothing to do with Fetish Ground Zero as you describe it, though. I fully support acceptance, and more than anything, refuse to align yourself with those that counter your views, in words or in BEHAVIOR. I’ve found that I’m often told what it’s imagined I want to hear, and that’s the part that sucks about being a woman here. I only hear the truth from my friends. The rest of everyone is telling me what they think I want to hear, so that—in response—I’ll serve as the size terminal they want me to be.

    It’s almost enough to drive me away. I’d go away if I was any smaller… but nah.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Whether this hypothetical woman’s desires were gentle or cruel, it made no difference so long as they were her desires and not mine. ” –I really feel you on this, even now. Not exclusively in the fetish, but more so there than in real life, and I didn’t even realize that that’s what was going on in my head until I was doing a roleplay with someone once… They brought up a new scenario in-scene and referred to my positive reaction in-scene as my “usual reluctance to acknowledge what I want,” and that kind of made me stop in my tracks. But that really resonates with almost all of my sexual desires–I don’t want to be the one who /wants/–I want to be the one who /pleases/. But at the same time, as you refer to here… when am I truly acting in their interests rather than mine? I think early on, I was performing for both parties but more so for myself, but now, I feel like I’m better able to balance; I think that understanding the kinds of wants and needs and interests in the community more has helped me to be better able to gauge what others are looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Arguably, that’s what fantasy is for, to look at a situation in different way and see what parts of your brain light up. One of the worst scripts we’ve inherited from society is that every encounter—most notably sexual encounters—must be zero-sum, someone is taking and someone is giving. It doesn’t have to be that way. Different people have different needs, and truly accepting that in others and in yourself allows everyone to enjoy their desires, performances, and pleasures.

      My key takeaway from roleplaying and reading about BDSM is how important communication is. This trope where two people “just know” what to do and automatically fall into their “natural” roles is so unhelfpul and the cause of so much grief. Negotiation is foreplay, whether online or IRL.

      When it comes to size fantasy, I feel like I’ve thought about my desires enough now that I can have them met without shame, but it took a while to get here. I don’t really think of myself as a “sizeshifter” so much as someone who wants to know others’ desires and respond accordingly, while also expressing my own desires and accepting their efforts to meet them. That’s all anyone wants: to be seen as we are.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking of the zero-sum idea, that totally makes me think of an episode of the YouTube series Sexplanations where they were talking about negotiation and what’s “fair” and used an orange as an example. You’d think being fair would be to split the orange in half to share between to people and that would be best and most equal, but maybe one person only wants the peel so they can use it to bake and they throw the rest away, where as the other person just wants to eat the fruit and throw the peel away? You have to communicate what it is you actually want among partners before you can know how to go about it in ways that work for everyone. (By the way, I am totally plugging that show–it is so great.)

    Liked by 1 person

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