Don’t Want no Short Dick Man | Our Cultural Obsession with Penis Size

29thJun. × ’11

Photos by Armin Morbach, shot for German GQ

I wrote a piece on  our culture’s Penis Size Obsession for Alternet. Here, I pull out highlight some ideas, for pondering/discussion.

Measuerection.com is a small penis support forum that boasts over 10,000 members… A user named “Nubdick”, sums up the movement: ‘I’ve been ridiculed and made fun of by women so much that I’ve pretty much given up. it doesn’t help that the media is constantly barraging us with ‘Size DOES matter; – from music to TV shows and movies, even advertising.

Then there’s a porn-world where every man is over 8 inches. There’s the phenomenon of monster-cock porn, in which guys (wearing realistic sheaths) give the illusion that a penis can rest on your heart. And let’s not forget the e-mail spam that tells my vacant hotmail account, “Rachel, she knows you aren’t big enough.” Or the rigid male gender roles that prize stoicism, that discourage talk of emotions or inadequacies.

What I found was that many of the men  in small penis support groups actually had “normal” penises. A study by researchers at St. Peter’s Andrology Center followed men getting penile enlargement surgery and found that most had “normal” sized penises–and after the procedure, only 35 percent were satisfied with the results.

American culture sends a message about penis that is confused, at best. In light of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s dick-pic scandal, the broad strokes of “wangs are ugly” spread across the Internet, as though that’s just how women feel. The Washington Post even ran one of these sweeping editorials, with writer, Monica Hesse, musing all too predictably: “How about a picture of you, sweaty, cleaning out the storm drain? So sexy!” And before all this, the fist big laugh in this summer’s Blockbuster Bridesmaids come from the two main characters joking about how ugly and angry looking penises are.

In American mainstream culture, “wangs are ugly,” but unlike the Greeks who dealt with penis anxiety by preferring petite genitals, we want ours super-sized. Last year, a “kiss and tell all” account of how Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino had a “small penis” was passed around the Internet with zeal. Penis shaming, it seems, is culturally acceptable.

Along with the pressure to be “well endowed” is more policing of Western male beauty in general. The Calvin Klein ad staring down on men on the bus conveys the message that desirable men are hairless with perfectly formed abs, a great haircut, and a bulge in the pants. Not to mention he has to spend $40 on underwear.

According to Mark Simpson, a UK journalist and author who coined the term “metrosexual,” this pressure begins with porn: “Young men grow up watching almost infinite amounts of online porn in which the ‘star’ of the show is a large penis. And porn is really just the hardcore version of the increasingly visual culture that we’re now immersed in.”

Further, the popularity of hyper-realistic “amateur” porn presents a further conundrum (via GirlFriend videos or the “college” style porn that gained popularity with sites like Dare Dorm). This porn promises “real men”…who all just happen to have porn-size cocks. Boys are inundated with unhealthy images about size, without decent sex ed to counter these pernicious messages. They are rarely told how little size has to do with actual sexual pleasure.

As sex-positive feminism has spread across American culture, more women then ever are owning their desires. From the universal girl-culture anthem in Salt n’ Pepa’s rapping (“You’re a shotgun — bang! What’s up with that thang? I wanna know how does it hang?”) to a party for a new lady porn magazine I attended last weekend, where guys showed their dicks to get in the door. Later they were judged (by a bevy of straight females) in a “wet dick contest.”

According to Simpson: “Women are now much more demanding, more critical, and more fetishistic about their male partners than they were in the past. They’re still nothing like as critical as say gay men, but much more than, say their mothers. Women are now much more likely to expect the male body to offer them pleasure, physical and visual.” That’s great, but there is a potential for a dark side, as many women are increasingly also turning the tables to objectify men.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Some say penis obsession is a part of human nature. Evolutionary biologists theorize that evolution has selected for larger, bendier human penises, which can better scoop out the sperm of competitors, or implant sperm more deeply into a vagina. And that this shows in women’s preferences.

But humans are more than the sum of our biology. And the way we talk about men’s bodies and penises is socially settled. In the feminist realm of arguments about body image and unreal media representations of women, the answer often is: show us a wider range of bodies. That’s a great first step. But why not also address that real sexual pleasure and function can exist outside of fantasy? In this case, outside of the symbol of the penis.

This is just “the tip”. Read the whole essay here which also covers race, penis enlargement surgery and penis obsession in different cultures.

Is there a penis-size hysteria? When does celebrating male bodies and owning our desires become objectifying men? And is this objectification a bad thing?

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50 Comments

  1. Posted 2011-06-29 at 10:26 | Permalink

    Interesting article, Rachel. I’ve noticed with the men I date that they always make a comment about how big their penis is within minutes of my first seeing it. And they always know what the average male penis size is, and how their’s compares. I had never really thought much about the average penis size, but they always point it out to me. I think there is some shame involved in not having a huge penis, which is just ridiculous. I have small breasts, but don’t feel the need to tell them, “but they are only half a cup size smaller than average!” or whatever. Maybe it’s because breast size is visible all the time, while dick size is a surprise, but I always find it kind of sad that they feel the need to point this out.

  2. Posted 2011-06-29 at 10:36 | Permalink

    Yeah, I think the breast size thing is what we always want to correlate, and you are right the two are different, if for nothing else that breasts are visible.

    I also have small breasts and I do see my size reflected in media–in Kate Hudson, Alicia Keyes, Renee Zelwigger, Katherine Moenig, Mena Suvari, not to mention breasts depicted in fine art, which are not always ample. Even in porn, not all women have “large breasts”–look at Sasha Grey, the most popular porn star of our generation.

    Penises are more “hidden” then breasts, so we don’t know what the male celebs/role models are packing. They are also more hidden in Western art–whether it’s in film or fine art, male nudes (esp not ones with hard penises) are not as common as female nudes. And in porn, there seems to be one size only–XXL.

    And I am with you–guys do often make comments about size–but girls do too after a hook up, at least to each other. And I do notice in the hook up sphere that average often = small. At least, when my friends describe small, often it’s “normal” sized–not mircro or very under average.

    The other problem is that in America, we don’t have a good handle on what “average” really is. The most widely spread stats have been from Kinsey and a Lifestyles survey—both of which had men measure themselves and self report their size. As if we didn’t learn anything from those 7th grade teachers who let us grade our own papers. C’s become B’s and likewise, 5 becomes 6.

    This confusion on “what is average” I think shows in the obsession with average that you have seen in men, and certainly, I have seen this too.

  3. Jim
    Posted 2011-06-29 at 10:46 | Permalink

    “I also have small breasts and I do see my size reflected in media–in Kate Hudson, Alicia Keyes, Renee Zelwigger, Katherine Moenig, Mena Suvari, not to mention breasts depicted in fine art, which are not always ample. ”

    They are generally not ample. Amplitutde is in fact often stigmatized.

    There is a real gender split in the audiences. male-driected porn often shows a preference for bg size, but not always. Advertizing directed at women, the material that is oging to affect a girl’s or a woman’s self image, generally values petiteness in eveything over everything. There is no equivalnet split when it comes the discourse around penises.

    “Some say penis obsession is a part of human nature. Evolutionary biologists theorize that evolution has selected for larger, bendier human penises, which can better scoop out the sperm of competitors, or implant sperm more deeply into a vagina. And that this shows in women’s preferences.”

    So that argues for a bigger glans, not a bigger penis. And if the evo-psych stuff holds at all, it should predict for physical pleasure rather than some visual asesment. that would argue against circumcision. The argument appears not to be very convincing for it to be made very often.

  4. Posted 2011-06-29 at 10:48 | Permalink

    Also JUST read this–too relevant not to share. A woman sleeps with Quentin Tarantino and writes an Internet tell-all. HINT, she wants you to know his penis is short, fat and nub like: “Boys, those junior high pamphlets are lying when they say that all shapes and sizes are normal. Lying” then she gets all icked out by a toe fetish. I guess it’s supposed to be funny or something? But, SIGH.

    http://www.nerve.com/news/love-sex/womans-leaked-email-chronicles-her-kinky-toe-sucking-night-with-quentin-tarantino

    What do you think, shamey and judgey? Or is it just me?

  5. Posted 2011-06-29 at 10:56 | Permalink

    Jim, my line of thinking about it is close to yours. This theory was in one book about ev psych, but I’ve not seen it widely used. Here is what my friend Duana Welch, an evolutionary psychology professor had to say in a post about penis size obsession:

    “Perhaps ancient art showed huge male members because *men* assumed a large penis brought more children, in kind of a “the guy with the biggest dick wins” thought process.

    Or maybe men weren’t conscious of the connection…but perhaps there truly *is* such a connection, and Genes are (yet again) expressing their preference to be passed forward by manipulating human mating psychology.

    After all, men and women were not consciously aware that the waist-hip ratio of a woman was a good fertility indicator until the past decade or so via science…yet those are the most fertile women. Maybe the guy with the biggest dick does win, Genetically speaking. Ultimately, we just don’t know…yet.”

    She also says: “Sadly, 15% of self-judged “small” men even admit hiding their genitals during sex.”

    More here: http://www.lovesciencemedia.com/love-science-media/when-size-matters-penis-size-and-womens-satisfaction-1.html

    Curious on any further thoughts!

  6. Posted 2011-06-29 at 11:14 | Permalink

    I think tell-alls are really disgusting and ridiculous. If a guy did that he would be crucified for being the world’s biggest asshole, yet a woman does it and it’s funny? I don’t know why people try and find more and more ways to make each other feel bad.
    I guess I never really considered that men’s familiarity with other dicks comes mostly from porn, and how image-distorting that would be. I see woman’s naked bodies plastered all over everything, but if I had only really seen porn stars, my teenage self would certainly be confused.
    I’m also really interested in the shame around flaccid dicks. Where did this idea come from that if a guy can’t get it up all the time no matter what there is something wrong with him, or with his sex life, or with the woman. I have seen SO many TV jokes about a guy not being able to get a boner, but I have never heard a joke about a woman not being able to get aroused. Why is one thing more absurd and laughable than the other? As if not having heightened sexual arousal all the time is a serious problem. We’ve even made medication for it! Correct me if I am wrong, but I have yet to hear about medication that makes a woman wet for hours upon hours. The pressure on men is a little ridiculous.

  7. Cb
    Posted 2011-06-29 at 12:57 | Permalink

    I could never understand the supposed preference for larger penises. Speaking from experience, a large penis can be very painful, particularly during times of the month (there are cycles) when the vagina’s canal is shortened as it means the penis is more likely to bash the cervix. The only thing we really have to refer to though seems to be evolutionary psychology, which is unfortunate because it is all post-hoc, unfalsifiable theories about what might have gone on subconsciously for our ancestors millions of years a go (I can’t think of anything more difficult or even impossible to try and study in psychology than an event that is long long gone and was not even a conscious aspect of human behaviour).

    However, for the sake of conversation I’ll posit another theory; you may or may not have heard of the idea of a giraffe choosing the most ‘giraffiest’ giraffe as a mate, in other words, the giraffe chooses another giraffe with the longest neck possible because it is the best representation of what a giraffe is. Like, there’s no doubt that the beast with 4 huge long legs and a big long neck is another member of the same species. The idea is that similarly with men and women, we (overall) choose mates who are very representative of typical adult male and females, so for women, this would explain the seeming obsession with tiny waists, large hips and large breasts (there’s no doubting that a female with these features is a full grown woman), and for men, this would explain the seeming obsession with a large penis, or even a square jaw line, or a tall and muscular physique (there is no doubt that someone with these physical features is a full grown male).

    I don’t really know what small means in terms of a penis, how small is too small? Is smallness (relative to the average) even a problem? For example, does a small penis mean less reproductive ability? Small breasts certainly don’t mean less ability to produce milk in comparison to women with average size breasts or large breasts (in fact breast feeding with small breasts is significantly easier). If there are any studies out there showing that small penises are a reproductive disadvantage I would be very interested to know. However, given that there seems to be a lot of men out there who have small penises (or at least claim to), and evolutionary theory would state they should not have survived, then it would seem to me that it is not entirely necessary to have a large penis in order to successfully reproduce.

    Sorry this is long winded!! Just some thoughts. . .

  8. Emily
    Posted 2011-06-29 at 14:47 | Permalink

    I’ve often tied the size situation to the expectation of ‘performance’ that I’ve experienced/ seen others experience. As a pretty typical female, PiV intercourse (‘sex’) rarely (okay, never) brings me to orgasm on its own. There’s a great movement among the lovely sex-positive people (did you write about or was it violet blue? I mix all the sex+ bloggers up. I blame the RSS feed) about moving away from the heteronormative idea of ‘sex’ as a penis in a vagina and broadening the definition. A lot of feminists see this as embracing female sexuality, which is so often dependent on other activities that are not ‘sex’; e.g. oral sex, hand jobs, toys; to reach orgasm. Not to mention all the couples that are not heterosexual that have no interest in PiV sex.

    But I think (hope?) that changing that perspective on a large scale also would do a great deal toward lessening penis anxiety and the pressure on guys to ‘perform’ (what is this? a show? who’s watching?) . If PiV sex weren’t so intertwined with the coming-of-age mythos, or male power and prowess, would guys feel a lot better about their dicks?

    Because I want guys to like their dicks. I do! I like their dicks! And it seems only fair that they know it. But I can’t tell you how many times after I tell men I am sexually interested in/ active with that I don’t care how big their dick is that they respond with “you’re just saying that” or “uh-huh, sure. liar”. Even if we don’t have sex! We all have our body confidence issues, that’s pretty normal. But it seems like I don’t even get to give him the temporary relief from body anxiety that I receive when he tells me that I have a smokin’ hot body despite the fact that I am unhappy with my weight. And I would like to be able to reciprocate that, so hurry up and get with it, porn. XD

  9. Posted 2011-06-29 at 15:03 | Permalink

    Eliza,

    Yep, that is totally part of this double standard. Because women have been sexually repressed, it seems we think that part of owning our desires and sexuality is that we’d label sexist, if it were men. Either, we need to re-asses if these things are truly wrong/and sexist or also call the women wrong/sexist for doing them. And that goes back to the objectification question. When/how is objectification okay?

    And YES so much to your comment on flaccid peens! So much pressure, as you said, on men to be hard and ready, strangely, when studies show that most women aren’t getting off from PIV penetration. Curious about guy’s experiences with that one.

    CB, that’s never been shown to be a correlation, but as Duana Welch said in the quote above, it would make sense for ancient man to have falsely BELIEVED that bigger = more potent and fertile. Again though, this is guessing about ancient people living ages ago.

    Emily, Yes!! I have written about this, but Violet may have as well. I am so all about moving beyond PIV (penis in vagina) penetration as what we think of as sex. In my personal life, I have moved away from having PIV penetration as the “default” and it has opened the doors for much more creative, satisfying and intimate sex. When I find myself having PIV sex, I seem to be in this “get it over with” mindset that doesn’t happen if I am having other kinds of sex.

    When I was younger and single, I had a handful of partners that had problems with PIV penetration, due to erectile dysfunction etc. but it seemed it was so hard to talk about. I look back now and wish I could go back and have interesting, honest, hot sex with these guys who I really liked–without PIV. I hope us sex pos activists are working toward an understanding that PIV is’t “it” but having been partnered with these men and seeing how hard it is to even have these conversations, it seems we are a ways off :(

  10. Emily
    Posted 2011-06-29 at 15:48 | Permalink

    Hot sex is for everyone! Yay!

    I think it’s a difficult topic for a woman to broach because it is so personal and we’re so so socialized into seeing PiV as the pinnacle of the physical aspect of relationships. Which is so messed up, besides the reasons mentioned above. For instance, I don’t know if it’s just a me thing, but I know it’s a lot easier for me to have PiV sex with someone that it is for me to give them oral sex. I have to REALLY like you for you to earn a blowjob. Like, a lot.

    But if a guy brings up his (lack of) penis size or says something demeaning about himself, sometimes I take it as a challenge and go into “Oho, so you think I don’t like your penis?! Well let me prove you wrong!” mode. Which is a great mode, really, for all involved, I like to think….

  11. Posted 2011-06-29 at 17:34 | Permalink

    Fantastic piece. We need so, so, so much more of this in our culture.

  12. Posted 2011-06-29 at 17:39 | Permalink

    Emily, Getting personal here — I do want to worship the cock of the man I am with! And I did not learn how to appreciate and love penis from PiV sex. In fact, I even had penetrative sex w/ a guy BEFORE I performed oral on a guy, because I felt so removed from the penis/worried about doing it right/was scared of penis.

    It seems there is a lot to untangle there, curious if anyone else had similar experiences…

    Thanks so much Kate!!!

  13. Posted 2011-06-29 at 18:57 | Permalink

    Emily: awesome! I couldn’t agree with you more. PIV is old news, it’s time for everyone to actually explore sexuality and have fun, not just follow the same old routines. I would much rather be with a guy who likes to try stuff out and play around a bit than someone set on penetration every single time. I also wish people were more comfortable with not climaxing every single time. It starts to feel like everyone is just trying their fastest to get it over with, instead of just doing things that feel good and sharing in intimate moments.
    I agree with both you and Rachel about oral. It’s WAY more intimate than anything else, and also scarier (I think) because the girl actually has to perform. With PIV it’s just about looking hot enough to get a guy hard, but with blow and hand jobs the girl actually has to do something, and it’s a lot more pressure. I think that every guy really wants that attention and wants you to be into their dicks, but I don’t think anything in our culture or in our created sexual “role” prepares us to reciprocate desire and performance.

  14. Jim
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 09:56 | Permalink

    “But I can’t tell you how many times after I tell men I am sexually interested in/ active with that I don’t care how big their dick is that they respond with “you’re just saying that” or “uh-huh, sure. liar”. ”

    Emily, how frustrating this must be. This is the exact equivalent of the “Does this dress make me look fat ” situation. It sucks. Both of you, he and you, get trapped in this web neither of you made.

    ““Perhaps ancient art showed huge male members because *men* assumed a large penis brought more children, in kind of a “the guy with the biggest dick wins” thought process.”

    I don’t think it’s ever that direct when you are talking about mythology and symbolism. It may not have anything to do with reproduction at all, but with prowess in general. The lingam is a symbol of Shiva, and yet a major aspect of Shiva is the asexual aesthetic. I have read but don’t remember what the connection actually is.

  15. Emily
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 10:01 | Permalink

    “In fact, I even had penetrative sex w/ a guy BEFORE I performed oral on a guy, because I felt so removed from the penis/worried about doing it right/was scared of penis.”

    “and also scarier (I think) because the girl actually has to perform. With PIV it’s just about looking hot enough to get a guy hard, but with blow and hand jobs the girl actually has to do something, and it’s a lot more pressure. I think that every guy really wants that attention and wants you to be into their dicks”

    QFT

    Also, Rachel, I was the same way. I had PiV before even giving a handjob (wow, sad) because it required almost nothing out of me…except patience.

    Lastly. I like this statement: “I also wish people were more comfortable with not climaxing every single time. It starts to feel like everyone is just trying their fastest to get it over with” SO MUCH.

    THIS SO SO MUCH. Because it is so damn true. I can make myself orgasm faster, harder and more often than any guy I’ve been with. Yet, amazingly, I have not yet cloistered myself in my room with my vibrator, never to leave again and still hook up with guys. This is not out of any hope that one day one will giving me multifarious mind-blowing orgasms, but because I like boys and enjoy intimacy with them.

    Gosh darn this got long real quick. and vaguely off topic too. Oh wells! Love this blog Rachel! It’s great to have a forum in which to discuss these such things…..

  16. Posted 2011-06-30 at 11:28 | Permalink

    Emily & Eliza,

    I am just so glad we are talking about this! I once had a thought–if I could go back in time and give myself “the talk” what what I say?

    I decided that one of the most important things for my pubescent self to hear would be that sex is so, so, so much more then PIV–and that there is always room for negotiating, for finding middle ground in what each partner wants. It makes me sad that I didn’t know this, growing up.

    But it also hard to talk about to kids, too. Because we automatically go into, sex is more than PIV–it’s blowjobs, handjobs, yet it’s a little bit harder to explain that sex can also be spanking or restraints and blindfolds with caressing and tickling, or scissoring (no matter your partner’s gender.) I definitely think it would be great for kids to have access to this stuff (hey, kids, thigh-fucking! no pregnancies!) But people get so up in arms when we talk about PLEASURE in sex ed. It makes me sad to think that we are probably a long ways off from this. Well, maybe not on the West Coast. Thoughts?

    What would you guys say if you could go back in time and give yourself “the talk”?

    Jim, you are so right with this:

    “This is the exact equivalent of the ‘Does this dress make me look fat’ situation. It sucks. Both of you, he and you, get trapped in this web neither of you made.”

    It is impossible, and I wish I had more ideas on how to navigate this, other than just talking about the deeper laying feelings of inadequacies, etc. which gets into amateur armchair psychoanalyzing.

  17. Posted 2011-06-30 at 11:53 | Permalink

    I never had the talk, I learned everything from television, so I was basically terrified of all of it, since most depictions of blowjobs are about hookers (apparently in TV-land only hookers like to give head), and handjobs were done by sleezes. I remember learning that women could receive oral from the incredibly disturbing scene in the book Running with Scissors when he walks in a woman performing on his mom. Haha, so yeah, mostly just blind terror about anything that wasn’t PIV.
    BUT, if I had to go back, or if I ever am given the opportunity to give the talk to another girl, I would say just play. You can’t do anything wrong, don’t be afraid of not being good at it, and just play. Even if you “make a mistake,” the results can be so amusing it doesn’t matter, and often doing something you think is too weird turns out to be completely awesome. Explore every single part of your body, and every part of their body. Don’t rush anything, and don’t have any agendas. Just keep playing. And be super honest about everything that feels good to you, and everything that you want to do. If you are too afraid to say what you want, you are not ready to have sex.
    And also, be incredibly kind to your partner, and never say anything hurtful or slanderous, no matter how things end up. Sex is about kindness, it’s not a weapon.

  18. Jess
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 12:53 | Permalink

    Honestly, I think less is more when it comes to penis size . . . maybe it’s because I’ve had painful PiV in the past, but it’s been my experience that unless I’m wildly aroused, PiV isn’t always comfortable.

    & I love giving BJ’s . . . I love cocks. So it’s interesting to me – especially based on some painful PiV – that y’all were more willing to be penetrated than give a BJ, because I’ve been the opposite. I’m fascinated with seeing how cocks react to touch, which does mean that I like to see them get bigger & bigger because of how I’m loving them. But that doesn’t mean that I necessarily want cocks to be huge for me to like them.

    I do feel sad that so many men are shamed about their penis size, though. But opening the discussion is a start!

    xoxo

  19. BK
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 13:15 | Permalink

    As a man who is far from confident about his size, there is nothing that terrifies me more than women who obsess about large penises. And while I’d love to believe that most women simply don’t care about the size, my own personal experiences tell me otherwise. Every single woman I’ve talked to in real life wants a man with a porn penis. (I have no idea where the women who don’t care are…obviously nowhere around here.) And for some of these women, that’s the main thing they want in a man. And the sample size hasn’t been small. I was one of three guys in a women’s studies class a few years ago in which about 25 women all talked about the largest penis they’ve ever been with. It was awkward.

    This is why I can’t date. I’m so afraid of developing feelings for a woman only to get in bed with her for the first time and realize I don’t “have enough” for her. This happened to a friend of mine. I’m already shy and struggle with self-esteem, and if this happened to me, there’s no way I’d ever be able to bounce back.

    I would love a conversation about sex that didn’t include talk of penis size. I’ve never had a conversation with women about sex that didn’t include penis size. I’ve started to just group together the ideas “sex” and “penis size.” So, I think about penis size every time I think about sex. Honestly, I can’t even read or hear the word “size” without thinking of penis size. And while porn is something I use as a visual stimulant while masturbating, I absolutely feel like shit afterwards because the women in porn are obsessed with penis size, and I know I don’t have a big penis, so I think I’ll never be able to please a woman like that.

  20. Posted 2011-06-30 at 15:08 | Permalink

    I can personally say that my husband has a smaller than average penis and he gets very worked up about the size and always asks me if i am enjoying sex with him. I try to reassure him after all i have amazing sex with him and 80% of the time i have an orgasm…..That cant be said for past partners who had big cocks….i never had an orgasm with them. No matter how much i tell my husband this….its not enough. I think men with smaller than average cocks feel useless, which is total rubbish.

  21. Jim
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 15:09 | Permalink

    “It is impossible, and I wish I had more ideas on how to navigate this, other than just talking about the deeper laying feelings of inadequacies, etc. which gets into amateur armchair psychoanalyzing.”

    Yeah…… this is about clarity, and very often clarity is about timing. And if you are with someone who is not ready for it, maybe that’s just an incompatability, however temprorary that may be.

    “As a man who is far from confident about his size, there is nothing that terrifies me more than women who obsess about large penises. ”

    Maybe straight people have this to learn from gay men – “size queen” is an unflattering refernece to what is basically considered a sad fetish. It’s sad, and available for judgment, because it affects people beyound the person with the fetish. And maybe it’s marginally more important for straight men to learn this, since they have to deal with it more, obviously.

    And for a man in this situation, if he finds himslef with a sex partner who is this crass and insenstive and objectifying, maybe this is the time to go get that Little League baseball bat you never got rid of and say, with the sweetest smile you cna summon “Oh, I quite understand and respect your preference. See how thoughtful I was to get a a dildo especially for you…..”

    Me personally, shape matters a lot more, and I find that a lot of the really large ones are misshapen – weird downward bends, funny wide flaring in the middle – not a big deal, just not some kind of advantage. And me personally, faces matter more – and not the prettier the better by any means – and the guy’s bearing and chest and….. Not that I’m really on the market anymore much.

  22. Jim
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 15:18 | Permalink

    “I would love a conversation about sex that didn’t include talk of penis size. I’ve never had a conversation with women about sex that didn’t include penis size.”

    See how far you get turning the conversation to vagina size, but be sure to lead by complaining about all the loose fits you’ve had to endure. Because after all what determines that a penis is too small is a too big of a vagina. (Note: There’s no such thing either way!) Then get specific, in the same way that your previous disaster dates have gotten specific. Sauce for the goose.

    “This is why I can’t date. I’m so afraid of developing feelings for a woman only to get in bed with her for the first time and realize I don’t “have enough” for her. This happened to a friend of mine. ”

    The correct response is to end the session and throw that back into the pigsty.

  23. Jim
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 15:19 | Permalink

    BK, listen to Jess and Andrea. They are part of the sample too.

  24. BK
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 15:35 | Permalink

    I also get the feeling that girls are taught that large penises are the best. I’ve known female virgins who talk about penis size. I think the society teaches both men and women that larger penises are the better penises, and this damages both male and female sexuality. So, I don’t think it’s fixed simply by telling men not to be worried about size.

  25. Jim
    Posted 2011-06-30 at 16:54 | Permalink

    “So, I don’t think it’s fixed simply by telling men not to be worried about size.”

    Well, you have to start somewhere. If you leave something like this to other people, you can’t expect much change. You can push back. It won’t change anything overnight, but taking the initiatitve in and of itself is healing. You are quite entitled to call people on their shit, and to their faces. That’s how feminism got started. It did not somehow float down out of heaven and begin to work justice in the land.

    “I think the society teaches both men and women that larger penises are the better penises, and this damages both male and female sexuality.”

    Society never changes on its own.

  26. Posted 2011-06-30 at 18:21 | Permalink

    BK, I feel for you. I think we are living in a totally warped culture about penis size.

    What you can do is understand that while there might be a cultural size obsession, most women are not getting off from penis–or penis alone.

    What would be smart is for ANY man, regardless of his size, is to talk to learn what gets his partner off–like how she masturbates–and apply it in the bedroom. It would would be smart to learn what gets your partner off in terms of fantasies. To ask playful but serious questions–is it this aspect of the fantasy? This aspect? It would be smart to talk about/try ways of having sex other than PiV (penis in vagina intercourse.) To be creative with it, playful, and focused on her pleasure as well as yours.

    BK, every woman on this thread is bursting at the seams to talk about the fact that for us, PiV isn’t all that. It seems to be a not spoken about truth amongst women, if I were you, I would use this knowledge to my advantage.

  27. Bre
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 12:30 | Permalink

    Back! Been a while.

    But what an interesting article to return to.

    Ironically enough, the few long-term sexual/romantic relationships I’ve had with men were both with guys with abnormally large penises- I lost my virginity to a guy who was 8 inches, and it was painful and miserable. Of course, it got better.

    The guy I fell in love with and my only longterm male relationship was a virgin who had no sexual experience beyond masturbating and watching porn- he had never even held hands with anyone before. He was, I shit you not, 10 inches. The most interesting part about it? The first time we had sex, he told me he was nervous beforehand because he didn’t know if he would be “big enough”. Apparently, the only frame of reference he’d ever had was porn. When I informed him that he was at least four and a half inches bigger than the average guy, his whole attitude changed.

    The sex was great, by the way.

    The one night stands I’ve had have all been with undersized guys- somewhere between 3 and 4 inches each time for some reason- and those were all pretty awful.

    My evidence would suggest bigger = better, but even despite that backup, I don’t believe that ideology for one minute.

    Size had nothing to do with it. Performance did. And the funny thing about it is, all of the so-so to straight up bad one night stands with smaller than average penises? They apologized profusely afterwards, saying they ‘knew it was bad’ and that they were sorry.

    So I have to wonder if maybe the idea of being told from the get go, “You’re inadequate” has something to do with poor performance. Low self-esteem, low expectations, not even trying to learn better because hey, everyone says you’re defunct so you might as well just get it and be grateful for it.

    Doesn’t explain 10 inch boy, who was amazing but had also had no experience or positive reinforcement, but I’m willing to say that might’ve been all me. :)

  28. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 14:03 | Permalink

    @Rachel:

    And YES so much to your comment on flaccid peens! So much pressure, as you said, on men to be hard and ready, strangely, when studies show that most women aren’t getting off from PIV penetration. Curious about guy’s experiences with that one.

    The “always hard and ready”, “small = shameful”, and “lasting forever” memes in our culture are all related, I think. They all have to do with the man’s ability to please his partner (though they each have other things going on as well). And the irony is that, depending on the woman, these things may have little or nothing to do with her pleasure. But still, a lot of the shame surrounding these memes is of a “you can’t please your woman!” type.

    As far as penis size goes, I think the problem is not the “bigger = better” bit, so much as the “small = worthless/shameful” bit. I don’t think these are actually inexorably linked. If I have a preference for a particular female body type, I can still choose my contexts for expressing it, and choose to express it in a way that does not shame women who have other body types. And I think the same is true about women talking about their preferences in penis size (which I have a sneaking suspicion are not totally uniform/monolithic, and this might become more obvious if we stopped equating small penis size with shame).

    Regarding intercourse and orgasms, I think more women are capable of orgasm from intercourse/vaginal stimulation than realize it, and I think this ties back to porn as well. In porn they often show guys banging faster and harder and harder and faster. So guys emulate this, because that is what they are “supposed” to do. But even for guys, I suspect this is not pleasurable. It certainly is not for me. After the first 20-30 seconds my penis goes numb from over-stimulation, and I suspect the same is true of many other guys. Therefore I suspect a lot of intercourse in our culture is being done in a way that is not particularly satisfying for either party, because both are trying to do it the way that they are “supposed” to, or that they believe is what their partner wants without really asking.

    With my current partner I made a conscious decision to slow down with intercourse. Not for her, but for me. Because I wanted to be able to actually enjoy it. I did what felt best for me. And it did feel great. I could actually feel and enjoy and savor the sensations. And a strange thing happened: for the first time in her life, my partner started having orgasms from intercourse. We talked about it, because I think both of us were curious what was going on, and she said that in the past guys had banged away hard and fast, and that she was pretty sure that is what made the difference. She had assumed in the past that she just didn’t orgasm from intercourse.

    (Having said all this, I still think there are substantial numbers of women that cannot orgasm vaginally, and even aside from that it should not become this “thing” that women are “supposed” to be able to do. But at the same time, I think the clitoris-centric discourse around female sexuality is starting to get to a point where it is actually robbing a lot of women of part of their sexuality, because they just assume that vaginal orgasms aren’t possible for them, and therefore they do not explore.)

    In any case, I think even among the fairly sexually educated, we still assume that harder+faster is what guys want to do. But in terms of what is actually physically pleasurable, I suspect a large number of guys are getting totally screwed (not in a good way) by “harder+faster” as well.

    Finally, on the “lasting for your partner” meme, this is actually the one that was most harmful for me, because it made my orgasms cease to belong to me, and instead belong to my partner. It is terrible to have so little ownership of that, and to link your own orgasms to strong feelings of failure. Instead of enjoying your orgasms, you hate them, because you think you are letting your partner down. It is very psychologically and emotionally corrosive.

  29. Posted 2011-07-1 at 15:35 | Permalink

    Xakudo, such an insightful comment! I think you are onto something with the types of penetration bit — and like most things it seems to boil down to more communication. The problem I find with communication with sex is that it’s frustrating because it’s hard to tell a man that he is going too fast/you can’t feel his penis/it doesn’t feel good/it’s not doing it for you. Men are sensitive to these issues, probably as sensitive as women are to body image issues, and even crouching it in sensitivity and kindness can ruin the moment.

    I think you also bring up such a good point in the whole “lasting longer” thing. So many of my partners have apologized for this, or visibly felt bad. I don’t understand the shaming with this one, because as so many of the girls have said here, sex is so much more than PIV intercourse, if the PIV doesn’t last that long, let’s move onto something else. And sex doesn’t always have to be an hour long affair, as well!

  30. BK
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 15:42 | Permalink

    I appreciate the positivity expressed in this article and these comments (and the entire blog in general), but I just can’t get past the idea that soooooo many women I know (and even ones I don’t know) express their love for large penises. If PiV isn’t all that, then what is it about huge cocks? Is it just the idea that the guy is packing 8 rock-hard inches of man-meat down below? Is that what’s so satisfying for women? Kind of like a status thing? Like how some rich men have trophy wives, so women regard the dick size of the dude she’s sleeping with as some sort of status symbol? Is it because she’ll be the envy of all her friends if her man has the biggest penis? My theory, unfortunately, is that the women commenting here are nothing like the women “out there.” I understand what porn has to gain from portraying large penises as the best, but what does Sex and the City have to gain from it? What do my female friends have to gain from it?

    I think the most frustrating part of it for me is I have no way of changing attitudes about penis size. If I try to have a conversation with a female friend, and I tell her penis size isn’t that important, she won’t believe me. That’s like if Larry David were trying to convince me that Rogaine really works, I’d be fairly skeptical. I hate to put the responsibility on women (or gay/bisexual men) to change the perception of penis size, but I think they really need to speak up about it. There’s never an alternative view in society when it comes to this issue.

    Xakudo, I totally agree with what you said about harder and faster.

  31. Eilis
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 18:02 | Permalink

    Most of the comments on here seem to be broadly in line with what I have experienced….which is reassuring considering that a lot of popular culture makes us feel too…..fat, hairy, ugly, not big enough, not small enough etc.
    For me at least 90% of my orgasm is in my head so the physical characteristics of my partner are secondary. Most of it is emotional and stimulatory (oral, manual) Yes…while excited I do momentarily like the sensation of a large penis but mostly this actually distracts me from my orgasm.

  32. Christopher
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 21:20 | Permalink

    I have an average sized penis. I think it’s just right.
    I would honestly trade half of my size to have a “whole penis;” to have my foreskin back.

    Why is our culture obsessed with men having large penises while at the same time promoting and condoning, and practically requiring the cutting off of more than half of a man’s/boy’s penile skin? Shouldn’t the irony police come and arrest us all?

    I suspect that these two things are related – that although mutilated men claim to be satisfied with sex, deep down they really are not, and decide that the size of their penis is the source of their problem, not their lack of foreskin. (the most sensitive part of the penis)

  33. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 22:19 | Permalink

    @Rachel:

    What would you guys say if you could go back in time and give yourself “the talk”?

    1. You are not a sexual predator. You are not a sexual predator. You are NOT a sexual predator, no matter what culture or the people around you or anyone else tells you about men and women. Your sexuality is a positive, wonderful, beneficial thing. Your sexuality is a positive, wonderful, beneficial thing. It is NOT harmful or detrimental, except in circumstances which twist it, which you avoid anyway.

    2. Women like sex. And some women like sex with you.

    3. Sex is not nearly as scarce as you think it is, and you can/will learn to be attractive. So you don’t need to hold onto sexual opportunities with a death grip every time you get them. There will be others.

    4. Despite what society tells you, some women are damaging to have sex with. Be mindful.

    5. If a woman does not seem to value your sexuality very much, that is a fantastic reasons to never ever have sex with her. Your sexuality should be a gift to your partner just as much as her sexuality is a gift to you.

    6. You will be good at sex, because you care about your partner’s pleasure, and because you enjoy learning about sex and people. So stop worrying.

    7. Your pleasure matters too. And you should seek out women who agree.

  34. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-1 at 22:45 | Permalink

    @Christopher:
    I absolutely share your horror and sense of violation at having had by foreskin cut off without my consent. I think it is a horrible practice and a violation of human rights and it needs to stop. And I want my foreskin back, dammit. It is hard to express the sense of raw helplessness I feel over it. So rest assured that I can relate.

    Having said that, I do not think that penis size anxiety and circumcision are really related in the way that you are suggesting. But I do suspect that penis size anxiety and much of the resistance some men have to even considering that maybe their foreskin was important both stem from a similar place: fear of penile inadequacy.

    (the most sensitive part of the penis)

    The foreskin does have the highest concentration of nerve-endings, yes. But I think it is jumping to conclusions to imply that all men would consider it the most important or sensitive part as far as sexual pleasure goes.

    Due to many conversations I have had with many people (both men and women, including in Europe when I lived there), I have the strong impression that different men experience their penises differently, including their foreskin if they still have it. This should not really be that surprising, given that women experience their genitals differently. But I guess my point is this: some intact men say that their foreskin is awesome and really important to their sexual pleasure, and other intact men say they could not care less. I suspect both are telling the truth.

    But certainly it is a horrible practice to remove most of the nerve endings of the penis, especially from someone who cannot consent, and who cannot yet tell you if those nerve endings bring pleasure to them or not.

    In any case, I feel like this topic would be better served in another thread (Rachel?). But it is a very worthwhile topic, to be sure.

  35. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-2 at 00:18 | Permalink

    @Rachel:

    The problem I find with communication with sex is that it’s frustrating because it’s hard to tell a man that he is going too fast/you can’t feel his penis/it doesn’t feel good/it’s not doing it for you. Men are sensitive to these issues, probably as sensitive as women are to body image issues, and even crouching it in sensitivity and kindness can ruin the moment.

    Absolutely. It is quite the pickle, isn’t it? I myself have had experiences where I responded badly to feedback from partners–feedback that really was perfectly reasonable and well-spoken (sorry previous partners!).

    Hrm.

    Looking back on that, I really do not know if there was anything they could have done to make it better. And it was really my issue that I needed to work through myself (at least insofar as that personal context goes–in a larger social context, of course, it was not just my own isolated issue).

    Hrrrmmmm…

    Yeah… I think it is just one of those things that sucks, and that time and positive experiences eventually (hopefully) help to correct.

    Though perhaps one thing that would have helped to ease things for me would have been if my partners had generally focused more on how much they liked my more passive attributes. E.g. how hot I was and how much that turned them on, how much they loved just having access to my body and sex with me, how much they loved being able to touch me and be touched by me, etc. Making it clear that my sexual value to them did not hinge on my performance.

    I think a lot of the anxiety men experience over sexual performance is substantially worsened by the feeling that their performance is the only thing that is valuable about their sexuality.

  36. honeydoodles
    Posted 2011-07-2 at 00:35 | Permalink

    I remember the way I first learned that larger penises were considered better. When I was about 12, I was really worried that if I ever attempted (PIV) sex, the guy wouldn’t fit inside me! (Partly b/c I am a generally small woman who is attracted to some generally large guys.) When I told my mother this, she told me that I didn’t need to worry, and that a lot of people prefer larger penises. Hence, I’m pretty sure my preteen self was not possessed with an innate biological desire for a huge penis.

    Also, I totally agree with the idea that sex should not be all about orgasm.

  37. Posted 2011-07-2 at 09:21 | Permalink

    (Going to respond in three parts to make it easier to follow)

    Bre, it’s funny because a friend and I were just talking about the opposite–how in our experiences the smaller guys were better BECAUSE of performance. My ex was small but the sex was incredible, he was like the circus coming to town every time. Also, I had one long term partner with a porn sized penis–he never got me off, he didn’t even try. The friend I told this too said she’d experienced the same thing. “Why do the guys with big dicks think they don’t have to do anything?” she said.

    BK, big dick is totally a status thing, just like boob jobs are a status thing. I almost think each matter more in proving you are the most alpha to other men, or in the case of boob jobs, other women—not the opposite sex.

    Eilis, “90% of my orgasm is in my head” Yes! This is the case for me as well, and I am sure other women. This is something else for guys to keep in mind–there are a lot of ways to make us come, and what gets us there is a mood, a fantasy, etc.

  38. Posted 2011-07-2 at 09:21 | Permalink

    Xakudo & Christopher, I am a huge anti circ, intactivist supporter. And from what I have seen from having these conversations online is that American men love to argue about circumcision, and in that debate many men defending circumcision, hate, hate talk of “personal damage”. I think Xakudo hit exactly on the “why”–because it feeds into this idea of sexual inadequacies that plague men, along with a rigid gender role that says “you cant be inadequate.” I find that whole thing very, very sad. And I think Xakudo is right about it being a person to person thing. Some men may love their foreskins, others dont see the fuss. Some circumcised men may experience a drying out/hardening of the glans as they age, others won’t. Even if you are circumcised though, and okay with your genitals as they are, how could you not see that cutting someone’s genitals without their consent is wrong?? Sorry, that was kind of a rant.

    Also, Xakudo I love your personal sex-ed messages. It’s funny, because I really struggled with the idea being a “sexual predator” when I started dating girls. I am not sure where this message came from–girl culture, media, aligning myself with the sexuality of men?

  39. Posted 2011-07-2 at 09:26 | Permalink

    Honeydoodles, I mean I am curious about actual vagina size. In The Kama Sutra, it is said that a women come in three vaginal sizes: Deer, Mare and Elephant and according to Kama Sutra these women are best fitted with their male counterparts who also come in three sizes: Hare, Bull, Horse.

    I don’t know any studies about ACTUAL vagina size off the top of my head (lemme know if you do) but what I personally know from myself and from the handful of women I’ve slept with is that the vagina stretches quite a bit. And that when women are at their most turned on, it’s like the food gates open, it suddenly opens up like a delicious warm sea. When this happens, I’ve often felt like I could easily fist a partner, but when this happens to me, I don’t suddenly want something larger, instead, everything, as long as it is hitting the right spots just feels wonderful. And of course, it’s the peak of sexual excitement!

  40. tuesday
    Posted 2011-07-2 at 12:41 | Permalink
  41. BK
    Posted 2011-07-2 at 15:07 | Permalink

    For me, penis size is just another one of my flaws. I grew up being shamed and ridiculed for how I look, and my small penis, even though a secret, is just another aspect of that. I know we have to play with the cards we’re dealt, but I just wish I’d had a couple aces up my sleep when I sat down at the table. I don’t have a hot body; I don’t have a handsome face; nobody has ever been physically attracted to me, and I don’t have a large penis, so I’m mostly worthless in a sexual situation. Going on sites that talk about sex is as close to having a sex life as I have or will ever have.

    I was bullied almost my entire life. I hit my growth spurt fairly late, but I hit it hard. And they stopped fucking with me for the most part. Until one day of my senior year of high school when a kid who’d bullied me since 3rd grade did it again, and I made an example of him in the parking lot. Deciding not to have sexual relationships with women (or anyone) is just another way for me to kick the bully’s ass. Nobody is going to hurt me because I don’t let them know I have a weakness.

  42. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-2 at 20:34 | Permalink

    @Rachel:

    I think Xakudo hit exactly on the “why”–because it feeds into this idea of sexual inadequacies that plague men, along with a rigid gender role that says “you cant be inadequate.”

    I should add that another thing that might play into this is emotional consequences, especially with regard to parents and doctors. If you decide/realize that your foreskin was important to you, it can be very damaging to those relationships. After I came out of the closet about circ, I barely spoke to my parents for two years, and I was quite close to them. Still feel uncomfortable around doctors, too.

    So I wonder if on some level some guys just don’t want to deal with shit, you know? Which is perfectly understandable. But also extremely unfortunate if they circ their kids because of it.

    It’s funny, because I really struggled with the idea being a “sexual predator” when I started dating girls. I am not sure where this message came from–girl culture, media, aligning myself with the sexuality of men?

    I know, right? It is as if seeking out sex with women somehow makes you a bad person. It is totally bizarre. Like, is actively pursuing a goal of sleeping with women actually problematic? I don’t think so. But certainly our culture seems to have that embedded in it somewhere.

    One of the really weird things about the whole slut/stud/virtuous/loser dichotomies is that even if you adhere to your prescribed gender role (woman=virgin, man=has a harem), you can still easily get vilified for it. E.g. “frigid” or a “bad guy” that “takes advantage” of women. This varies depending on the particular social circle, of course. But it is interesting nonetheless.

    @BK:
    It sounds like you have had a lot of nasty experiences, and have had to put up with and deal with a lot of grade-A assholes. I am so sorry for what you’ve been through, and I hope you find a way to carve out a good life for yourself.

    *big hugs*

  43. Vir Modestus
    Posted 2011-07-3 at 15:35 | Permalink

    The thing is, there are two sizes and two states involved when we talk about penis size: length and girth, erect and flaccid. I think these are important distinctions because a man can seem small when flaccid and that’s when he’s most likely to be seen by other men (if he’s straight). If he’s a “grower not a show-er” then that can cause insecurities right there. Most men (again, straight) don’t tend to see an erect penis except on the screen, and as discussed, those don’t tend to fall into the “average” end of the spectrum. Our society doesn’t give men — or women for that matter — many good opportunities compare and actually generate a realistic idea of what is “average” in size. The internet can hurt as well as help. “Amateur” porn hurts, sites like Erection Photos can help.

    Like so many of the men here, I focused my early experiences on PiV and felt that stamina and pounding were what counted. The best thing to happen to my sex life was falling for a bi woman. Her experiences with women helped push the role of PiV into a more healthy one: one option among many with all the other lovely things like oral and manual being just as important and not “foreplay.”

  44. Vir Modestus
    Posted 2011-07-3 at 22:18 | Permalink

    Looks like I copied the wrong link. Try this one: http://www.erectionphotos.com/frames_index.htm

  45. Emily
    Posted 2011-07-4 at 10:33 | Permalink

    I like that link! So many of my experiences in sex positivity have involved (re)training myself to move away from social norms (so often driven by porn) and more toward healthier, and more fun, acceptance of what is actually and honestly out there. Makes sexytimes a lot more satisfying…

  46. Posted 2011-07-4 at 15:50 | Permalink

    There is one plus to having a smaller than average penis; GIRLS (and some guys) tell me, who would you rather have fellatio with? A 10 inch coke can girthed Goliath, or a smaller 3, 4 or 5 inched ‘pocked rocket’ sized guy?

    Apparently I am average size or there a bouts… Not sure really 6 or 7 inches and to be honest I have never really checked other than through my wife who says ‘its plenty for her’… so, blah blah male pat on the back sort of, but more to the point; a friend who is considerably less well endowed than average, was, until his current girlfriend, always very self conscious about the size of his dick.

    It wasn’t till a decidedly drunken rant together a few years ago that he confessed that his girlfriend and he usually had oral sex; in fact 90% of the time. He said it was ‘the best’. She was always ‘enthusiastic’ about oral sex were his exact words. His girlfriend later confirmed this in a manner of speaking; and I have to admit that it left me decidedly jealous. Sex, shagging is great don’t get me wrong, but I challenge any girl out there to show me a guy who regularly refuses ‘enthusiastic fellatio’ from his partner. I love the word enthusiastic. My imagination fired up when he used that word in relation to his girlfriend.

    Girls, what would you rather? Intercourse or Cunnilingus twice a day?

    I can safely say that my friends dick size is the deciding factor when it comes to their oral sex life (he does give as good as he gets his girlfriend has confirmed).

    So, girls, do you want to have to regularly go down and almost choke on an all night Italian stallion Goliath, or would you rather comfortably take a 4 stroke pocket rocket in your mouth. If I was a girl, and I have thought about this as a heterosexual male, I would be taking the 4 stroke pocket rocket for my 69 with him any day. I can imagine it being rather easy to take the pocket rocket but I just don’t know how you could comfortably take a whole 10 inches between your lips.

    If if you want 3 or 4 orgasms with your partner every day (the do play with each other that often) then oral is the only way to go; and my friends small capacity, both in length, girth, and endurance, has landed him a hell of a sex life with his girlfriend. Intercourse is great, don’t get me wrong, but oral, in my book is better. I for one, am actually envious of him.

    It is one aspect of dick size that I think has been overlooked. But, then cock sucking is even more taboo in the media than most other sexual discussions.

    Thoughts anyone?

  47. Posted 2011-07-4 at 17:10 | Permalink

    Tuesday, I love that documentary!!! Everyone should watch it.

    BK, I think there could be soemthing freeing in seeing it a a flaw–I mean because everyone has flaws. So maybe the guy with the huge penis has some sort of facial disfigurement or maybe he doesn’t “get” art and music, or maybe he has anger issues, or whatever. We are all flawed, so what if you allowed this to be freeing, chalking penis size up to a flaw but then focusing on the things about you that are great. For instance, things I already know from your comments, like how smart and emotionally intelligent you are, or how logical you can be, or how cultured you are and how much you know about music (separate thread, but hey)

    Xakudo, I can’t help but to see that feminism has had a hand. After-all it is from feminist rhetoric that we get the “every man is a potential predator” idea. But I suppose the sexual repressed Christian part of society doesn’t help either. Thoughts?

    Vir M– Fuck yeah bi girls! Also, thanks for the link. There was a similar site about breasts and another about vaginas. All of human genitals are so varied and it’s really helpful to see how individual everyone is.

    Emily, Yes! I struggle with being pro-porn and seeing how porn so harms our ideas about sexuality. The thing is though that porn isn’t bad, but we need proper sex ed to boot.

    Peter- I am pretty sure this is what drives a lot of small penis fetishes. Being able to fit all of the penis/scrotum in one’s mouth seems to be the basis for small penis porn.

  48. Posted 2011-07-4 at 17:52 | Permalink

    Rabbit
    “Peter- I am pretty sure this is what drives a lot of small penis fetishes. Being able to fit all of the penis/scrotum in one’s mouth seems to be the basis for small penis porn.”

    I had no idea there was such a thing as Small Penis Porn…. I’m actually not that well versed with porn. I do think however that, whilst I am sure there is a valid place for porn in society; that its the attitudes towards it that have lead to some of the stereotypes surrounding sexuality.

    I know that in the 60′s (I think it was the 60′s but that was before my time) small breasts were considered much more sexually desirable that large breasts. It may have been a fad or trend, but I heard that minimizer bra’s were as much an essential item in a girls wardrobe as was a pair of undies. Again, I wasn’t there for that but it is an indication of how much stereotypes and fashion control peoples perceptions of themselves.

    Now, hope I’m not out of line here, but then again this is Rabbit White, so anyway, big boobs are great to look at, for a heterosexual guy anyway, but I love larger nipples. So, if it came to big boobs or hard nipples, then I would take hard nipples. Is this a track back to the male perception of ‘size matters’, well, maybe it is. But it doesn’t change the fact that I know I’m unlikely to find a girl (don’t get me wrong I am happily married) with double D cup breasts and nipples that still stick out an inch on a hot Australian day. It’s not going to happen. Female physiology sometimes just doesn’t mesh with the cold hard facts of social stereotypes. That is a fact and it goes just as much for guys as it does girls although women are subject to it than men, (not that women should even aspire to some male fetish like that anyway) but it goes to show, to a degree anyway, that, human sexual fetishes are driven more by fashion and social stigma than anything to do with the reality of human physiology.

  49. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-5 at 19:22 | Permalink

    @Rachel:

    Xakudo, I can’t help but to see that feminism has had a hand. After-all it is from feminist rhetoric that we get the “every man is a potential predator” idea. But I suppose the sexual repressed Christian part of society doesn’t help either. Thoughts?

    It pre-dates feminism, to be sure, and is a problem with our culture at large. I think it is quite irrational to hold feminism solely or even primarily responsible for it.

    But, absolutely, many prominent variants of feminism have a frustrating (and sometimes crazy-making) lack of self-awareness about the ways they reinforce it. Before I ever got into online feminism, I already had some of those feelings. But after I got into online feminism, those feelings multiplied 10x.

    There are feminisms out there that are far more self-aware, though. So it really depends. But in my experience they are not as widely represented online, nor as accepted by other online feminist spaces.

    The really ironic thing is that the highly gendered way that sexual predation is portrayed in our culture is often even harmful to women, not just to men. I know at least two women* that were sexually abused by other women as children (one by their female baby sitter, the other by their mother), and they are certainly not helped by notions that predatory sexual behavior is essentially something that men do to women.

    (* To be fair, I met one of them online in gender discourse spaces, so there is a lot of self-selection going on there. But the other I met in normal social circumstances in real life. I wonder if such women are more likely to open up to men than to other women, given their experiences.)

  50. Xakudo
    Posted 2011-07-6 at 20:23 | Permalink

    @Peter:

    [...]big boobs are great to look at, for a heterosexual guy anyway[...]

    Speak for yourself, man. ;-) I’m a het guy, and I prefer small breasts. I also think long torsos are super sexy, and I find long legs a tad off-putting. So… yeah, preferences vary even among guys.

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Rachel Rabbit Write put down some thoughts on our cultural obsession with penis size. [...]

  2. [...] Further, the popularity of hyper-realistic “amateur” porn presents a further conundrum (via GirlFriend videos or the “college” style porn that gained popularity with sites like Dare Dorm). This porn promises “real men”…who all just happen to have porn-size cocks. Boys are inundated with unhealthy images about size, without decent sex ed to counter these pernicious messages. They are rarely told how little size has to do with actual sexual pleasure. (Finish Here) [...]

  3. [...] “Penis shaming.” [Rachel Rabbit White] [...]