Shrink rap: A beginner’s guide to microphilia

Microphilia appears to be an increasingly popular sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from a fascination with small (miniaturized) people and/or a sexual fantasy involving small (miniaturized) people. It is the opposite to macrophilia (i.e., deriving sexual pleasure and arousal from giants or giantesses) that I examined in a previous blog. Such fantasies appear to include the microphiles thinking of others shrinking in front of them (male or female, but shrinking women appears to be more popular based on the content I have looked at on dedicated websites). Alternatively, microphiles may fantasize about their sexual partner shrinking to an abnormal height while the microphiles themselves remain unchanged.

A small article on Wikifur claims that microphilia may be associated with masochism as opposed to sadism and also closely allied with other paraphilias such as vore [vorarephilia]”. The Urban Dictionary’s definition of microphilia claims that it is a fetish for unrealistically tiny people or the shrinking of” and that it is “popular in the furry fandom but not exclusive to [it]”. All of these alleged associations are anecdotally based as there has been no empirical research on microphilia whatsoever. As with macrophilia, the reason that this particular paraphilia appears to have increased massively over the last decade is because 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 microphiles gain their sexual gratification is placed and distributed online. There is a wide range of microphile artwork, photographs, and video on the internet. Applications such as Photoshop are widely used to create collages of fake miniaturized people.

The term ‘microphilia’ is rarely used amongst the microphilic community. They prefer to use the acronym ‘SW’ (shrinking women). I presume there is also an ‘SM’ (shrinking men) community out thee too but they probably don’t use the SM acronym as in sexual circles that is far more likely to be see  as meaning ‘sadomasochism’. Arguably one of the best online forums that cater for those into all things sexually miniature is The Minimizer website. The person that runs the site says of microphilia that:

“It is one of those secret fantasies that’s rarely discussed publicly, sort of like bondage or domination but far less known, probably because it is not something that can be realized in reality. Mostly it’s enjoyed through the imagination, on film or photos/drawings, via writing, or through roleplaying (typically with oversized clothes).

 Basically, the fantasy centers around women being reduced in size. Everyone seems to have their own favorite height. Personally, I like around three inches, where they fit neatly in the palm but aren’t so small you can’t appreciate them. Others like them smaller, but the majority seem to enjoy seeing women at Barbie doll height. This allows them to be used in a variety of sexual ways”.

He also claims that there’s no specific size that seems to be favoured by the SW community, and that in general SW fans “can appreciate a tiny lady at any height, simply for the fact that she’s really small”.

 The sexual fantasies of microphiles appear to be well thought out and elaborate including the specific ways of how the person is shrunk in the first place. Many of these methods appear to have been influenced by film and television portrayals of shrinking humans and (according to The Minimizer’s website include “shrink rays, strange radiation, magic spells or potions, collapsed space, teleportation gone awry, science experiments, [and] alien abduction”.

The Minimizer also claims that not all SW fans are men and that there is a significant minority of women who are microphiles (although he claims that this is more the case of women wanting to be miniaturized themselves for sexual pleasure rather than deriving sexual pleasure from seeing other miniaturized people. There are many facets and dimensions to microphilic sexual fantasies. For instance, there are ethnic preferences for the type of women that microphiles like to see shrunk (such as those who are sexually aroused by a miniature Japanese woman (known as a ‘koonago’).  There are differences in the shrinking process as to whether the woman’s clothes shrink along with the body or whether the woman shrinks and the clothes remain the same size (causing her to be suddenly naked).

There are those that like to help the women (so the SW fan becomes a ‘gentle giant’) but there are those who do the opposite and want to hurt the shrunken woman. Here, there are crossovers with other sexually paraphilic behaviours such as sadism and masochism (including verbal and sexual humiliation). For instance, some male microphilic fantasies involve sexual violence against shrunken women who they hold as a captive and/or prisoner. Here, the microphiles may also be sexually aroused by the fact that the shrunken women may be in a distressed psychological state (e.g., scared, frightened, horrified, in shock, etc.) as a result of being miniaturized. There also appear to be crossovers with those people who are into transformation fetishes (which I covered in a previous blog).

There is very little written – even anecdotally – about the psychology behind microphilia. The Minimizer gave his own personal insight and claimed:

“A psychologist would tell you that a fantasy about shrinking women down to tiny size suggests some kind of subconscious hatred of women or a desire to dominate them. This may be true, I wouldn’t know…It’s unfair to generalize in this way, of course, because not everyone has the same SW fantasy. While some would indeed enjoy humiliating a tiny woman in a variety of nasty ways, just as many would see a miniature girl as something to be protected and taken care of, and would do anything they could to help one if they found one. Does that show a desire for domination? I doubt it.

 It’s really not fair to psychoanalyze a SW fan anyway. Shrinking is not something that can happen in real life”.

Until there is some empirical research undertaken, we can only speculate as to the psychological motivations underlying microphilia. Given that microphilia and macrophilia appear to be the psychological and behavioural opposites of one another (or at either end of the same continuum), it’s easy to speculate that if macrophiles’ enjoy the behaviour for it’s dominating aspects, then microphiles will enjoy the behaviour for it’s submissive aspects.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

The Minimizer (2012). What’s this SW thing, anyway? Located at:

Wikifur (2012). Microphilia. Located at:

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 600 research papers, four books, over 130 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Mania, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This may be tmi, but this article struck a chord with me and I just feel like sharing something that I’ve honestly have never been able to tell anyone about. I hope you don’t mind, perhaps it will give you some insight into one of the more “rare” cases.

    I’m a female who has recently come to terms with her fetish of both micro and macrophilia, along with expansion, growth, and soft vore. I know where it started (The Indian in the Cupboard, Fern Gully, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids always fascinated me), but I don’t know why I have this fascination and I wish that there was more research on it so that I could understand myself better.

    My appreciation for both micro and macro stem from different sources. Microphiia is much more sexual for me, and in my imagination it is gratifying to both myself and the man. I am not into the “crushing” or harming of any kind. Macro is more about protection. I like reading stories where a man takes it upon himself to care for a tiny woman. Sometimes accidents happen and things get awkward but for the most part the man does his best to protect her.

    I don’t know if this implies anything about me. My other fetishes likely came as a result of my liking micro and macro, so I won’t go there.

    Are these fetishes okay? Do you think I could share these thoughts with my future husband one day, or would it freak him out? I’m a pretty reserved person so I think if anyone found this out about me they would be completely caught off guard. Are there just some things in our lives that we should keep secret forever?

    • I am a man who has come to terms with this fetish in much the same way as you have. While I exclusively enjoy being larger (the giant / macro), I have noticed that both males and females by and large want to be the smaller one.

      I think you should be open about this fetish with whoever you are with long-term. A good partner will help satisfy your desires no matter how strange they may be.

  2. Honestly most of the Microphile stuff I come across is giant women dominating shrunk men.

  3. All I can provide is anecdotal evidence only, but…
    I think you have just part of the picture, and while your macrophile post was excelent, this one is somehow lost on me. By definition I would be marked as microphile, while I consider myself macrophile. I don’t think microphilia is it’s own fetish, it’s more of a subset of macrophilia (like oral and anal vore are just vorephilia), they are the same thing, a size difference, domination-submission kind of thing. If you go by strict differences macrophilia would be the giant/ess rampaging through a normal sized world, while microphilia would be a shrunken person in a normal sized world. As I said, I’m no expert, but from personal view this is just a difference of perspective. So my guess why you’d think what you wrote after searching the web, has to do more with most people having similar view to mine. For example you could go to – as the name would suggest macro oriented site, and find out that most of the stories include shrunken people and ‘to them’ giant women. And they are giantesses, you’re just flipping the scales.

    The reason I prefer shrinking is because (this is going to sound really stupid) it’s more down to Earth, realistic. I guess that’s why you’d find microphiles actually inventing ways for the shrinkees to exist, while giants just are, came from somewhere, no explanation needed, tho not exclusively, they are often results of some science experiments going wrong or such as well. But mainly, it offers more possibilities and scenarios. You have day to day objects to interact with, the people are more likely to wear clothes, for me namely socks and shoes and have at least a semi normal life. Which brings up the different personal perspective by which you see the world. While giants don’t fit and are alien to the normal sized people but hold the power over many, the perspective of a shrinkee is the opposite, they are the ones who don’t really fit the reality populated by normal sized people who have power over them.

    I had this fetish and some that could be associated with it, foot, vore fetish, masochism I guess, for as long as I remember. There were no particular movies either like the first post suggested. I would watch a series/movie and when in mood imagine myself shrunken somewhere in there. But I would be lying if I said I did not like movies with size difference, like monster movies, 98 Godzilla etc. They were hardly ever satisfying however.

    The only fetish that extended to my real life was foot fetish. Love me them cheesy feet and shoes, can’t help it, not high heels tho, never understood or liked them. This propagated itself quite early on, I believe as early as elementary school.

    When I properly discovered the internet at college, we had dial at home and just one pc, my interest expanded to furries as well. As to why, my explanation would be that anthros are androgynous, I love animation and anime/cartoon characters (used rule 34 before I even knew what internet is, mostly cartoon network) and they spice thing up with having animal characteristics, like paws, maws etc. I love deviations from time to time, fantasy characters like orcs with green skin, elfs with purple (WoW), Mystique (X-men) with blue skin, monsters and aliens. But still the main component for this with me is and always has been the domination and humiliation, being at the complete mercy of someone while still having free will, so that they need to force you. That’s why, despite me not being bi, I don’t mind couples or giants in the sexual fantasy, as long as they are not the hairy bears, that’s the androgynous part you see. And it has one more side effect, something I’m sure a lot of people after reading it would love to stab me in the eyes and bury me alive for. I love the idea of teen and kid macros. Maybe I’m just fooling myself, but the reasons I came up with as to why that is, are that kids are seen as powerless, in need of protection, and giving them such ultimate power and turning reality on it’s head is something that attracts me. Again they are more androgynous than adults (males tend to be more evil/psychopathic). They don’t have to necessarily behave rationally or morally and are more curious. More likely to wear sneakers and have smelly, but pretty feet.

    If someone managed to get here, I would like to assure them that what I’m talking about here the whole time is a sexual fetish, one that is not based in reality. It’s a pure fantasy, and as I said, the only extension to real life I have is a foot fetish, and vore, kind of, I suppose, seeing mushed food and open mouth swallowing just turns me on. In reality I’m not as extreme but mostly true to the fantasy, submissive (tho I despise and oppose self-proclaimed authorities that do not meet my standards), shy guy that wouldn’t willingly hurt anyone or anything for that matter, who’s interested exclusively in women. So if you’re wierded out by macro-micro philes, I understand it, it’s completely bonkers, but most of us know full well it’s just a wild imagination and are capable of functioning relatively normal, in real life.
    Microphilia being more associated with masochism than sadism does not necessarily have to be true. It really depends on the philiac themselves and your definition of the thing. For me it does, I imagine myself in the situation at hand, while other people might be just observers, deriving pleasure from watching someone get abused (bug crush fetish comes to mind). But I don’t know, they might be right, there might be more first than third perspective people. That’s why that research into paraphilias would be really handy. I agree, we need more, than none at all.
    I think you’re spot on, on the rise of macrophilia. I mean look at the ancient cultures. Romans and Greeks, Egyptians, Vikings and others, they all had giant-s/esses, macro serpents, dragons, dogs, cats … It is not some new phenomenon. There are just more people creating, sharing and consuming it, thanks to internet.
    Oh boy, sorry for the length🙂

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