The Obsession With Penis Size Is Heartbreaking And Inescapable

average penis sizeAn excerpt from God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman, available now from Soft Skull Press that was published on Slate taught me a number of things. One of those things is that I’m definitely buying that book. Another, that human penises, in relation to the human body, are big compared to other animal penises. Among many facts about penises, the big thing I learned from the excerpt is that the male relationship with the member is just as upsetting as Freud made it out to be. The way men feel about penis size is comparable to any other issue of body image. My heart breaks for dudes both big and small.

Here are 5 heartbreaking things I learned about men and their relationship to penis size:

  1. The obsession with dick size is very real, very deeply rooted and seemingly not going away. According to Hickman, “The most frequent question on all Internet Q-and-A sex sites continues to be, “Is size important?”
  2. A penis-haver is willing do weird stuff in order to see how their junk compares to the junk of other penis-havers.  There is a  ”downloadable chart of four outline drawings (“low average” to “extraordinarily large”) on the internet that a dude can print out and “use as a template against which to judge himself.” Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea. Printing out dick templates to use as a comparison tool is heartbreaking. Resting dicks on outline drawings of other dicks is not a productive way to spend time and only serves to make the dick’s owner feel weird.
  3. Men have a kooky idea of the average erection size and it’s probably porn’s fault. According to the Kinsey Institute, “many men…believe the average erection is 10 inches.” The images in media like porn can be harmful because they normalize fantasy and ballooned up versions of features like titties, booties and peckers. There’s smoke and mirrors and grooming and production and highly specific casting that makes schlongs look huge in porn. Just imagine if it were true that the average penis stood slightly below a foot– it would be a fucking nightmare and people that have sex with men would be waddling around sore all the time. The dicks that raised the average would be just tremendous.
  4. Dudes are not great at measuring their own wieners. A lot of size related data is kind of off. It’s been a problem for researchers from Kinsey to condom brands. The only large-scale study that did not rely on self-measurements and instead had volunteers have their boners measured by two nurses with measuring tapes, found that the average human penis measured about a half inch less than in self-reported studies. 5.8 inches versus 6.25 inches. It’s not heartbreaking that there is not standard way for a guy to measure his own junk, but heartbreaking that they feel the need to measure and give themselves a little boost because of #3 on this list.
  5. We cannot stop measuring peckers (for science): Apparently “between 2007 and 2010 at least 15 different studies were published, all of them hands-on.” I’m all for gathering data and studying the human bod, but hot damn, fifteen is a lot of studies.

In our culture that’s both raunchy and highly body conscious, it’s no wonder that we are unable to stop fixating on body parts, particularly sex organs. It’s shame that we compare, contrast and hope to be at least normal (whatever that means) all to our ego’s detriment.

via Slate//Image via Shutterstock

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    • BlissTina

      Penis size can be frustrating! An easy way to look visually bigger is the shave your pubic hair. My husband uses a Hair eRazor kit. He can’t stand having hair anymore!
      Bliss Tina

    • Chuck

      Women have some fault in this as well. Just like men with breast size. Porn wasn’t a majority until women started quoting their standard size as the norm. And those women over estimated their standard size. This is how 8-10 inches was thought to be average.

    • Asia Woodley

      I never understood why men had this obsession, its ridiculous. Are you going to go through life judging your “member”, of all the things in the world, to other members. I feel sad for them :(. I love my vagina!

      • Chuck

        No one really judge vagina like penises. Type in does size matters…automatic, it will refer you to penis size articles. Type in vagina size, and guess what…it will refer you to penis size. What surprising are the gender writing these articles. If you said men…wrong! I’ll give it a 60/40 split in favor of men, but women writers are catching up. I would love to see or hear research on vagina muscle…until that happens penis size will continue to be a topic of men and women ?

    • thurs

      I don’t believe this is driven by women at all. This is men being competitive with each other. If any man listened to and believed the vast majority of women- they would realize that bigger is not always better- there is a rule of diminishing returns.

      • Chuck

        Go to website like “The Stir, Yahoo Shine, Your Tango” these are women site. Type in penis size…get back to me after reading those comments. Women play into this as well, now granted men play are larger role, but you will be surprise.

      • thurs

        But mass media sites- the people leaving these comments could be anyone- I just haven’t experienced any of my female friends ever complaining about a penis being too small. I think if you have a ‘micropenis’ it could obviously be an issue but otherwise- big is not necessarily better. I think it’s porn and insecurity and other weird man stuff. If the woman you are actually using your penis with likes it- then just accept it and ignore whatever weird media stuff.

      • Chuck

        These are women author…yes, bloggers could be anyone. Women authors….a man could not get away talking negative about women body parts.

      • thurs

        Ehhh.. men are allowed to as well. If someone’s vag is messed up, you can cop to it, My point is- who cares. Find a good fit and you’re ok- who cares what anyone else says?

      • Chuck

        My point, a man would catch a shit storm from women and some men. But in reverse…..silent. It’s not such as who cares, but why that is. Body shaming only applies to females for some reason. Educate me…send me a titles in the 2000′s about a man making negative connotation about a woman’s body. Not one those dungeon blogger site.

      • thurs

        I would suggest that women are more ‘used’ to being objectified- by both women and men and therefore it’s a foreign concept to think of men as being ‘body shamed’. Not to say it doesn’t happen but maybe even some of the conditioning that makes women realize everyone has an opinion on her body at the same time acts as a sort of shield against those opinions. Because we don’t admit we do it to men- they have no expectation or shield. Again, I have to say, I think most of this is still perpetuated by men, not women. At least the male body shaming. I don’t find a lot of women hating on chest hair or whatever.

      • Chuck

        Then you are shielded. There are many articles on men with facial hair, body hair, bald head, teeth, feet, legs, chest, arm, ….women either are blind to this or they use its happens to women all the time. Which I believe to be women and men…it is more men than women, yes. But women are not excluded!

      • Jeff_

        I agree sites you mention and about a thousand more…and they just love this topic.Talk about vile,sexist,misandry and slander there is no worse barb you can throw at a guy then the size thing…and they do it over and over and over again without blinking…slamming someone on race,sexuality,age etc and you are the biggest POS on earth.Slam a guy on his penis size,height and income and they justify it and celebrate it-female empowerment baby!!!! Thats waht it is….scum of the earth.

      • Manforthetimes

        Jeff – you couldn’t be more right. Call a woman fat or stupid and you’ll get fired and called a Misogynist make fun of a guy’s size and it’s laughs all around.

    • Jeff_

      What a load of crap you WOMEN cause these insecurities and problems.Your d!mn site (ONE OF MANY)throws up this topic CONSTANTLY and the bloggers sure as h1ll know
      it will hurt and cause detriment to males and you do it anyway.You disgust me.Oh and i love the men do it to women all the time BS—no wonder so many men off themselves these days.The fact of the matter is that yes WOMEN cause alot of it.And you know d!mn well that a guy cannot change his size,height etc and you slander us anyway.So go to
      h!ll….

    • Manforthetimes

      Rachel, it’s very nice to hear
      a woman actually have some empathy for this sensitive subject. Most women
      authors and opinion sharers simply tell us to shut up and get over it while
      they hope they don’t waste their time falling in love with a small dick-ed man.
      I don’t blame women for wanting a large
      penis, I really don’t. I understand completely.
      But women should remember this – whatever body issue you have can be changes by
      diet, exercise or surgery – men don’t have that luxury. I saw a COSMOPOLITAN article tilted 23 things
      “ALL Women Think About Penises” http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/advice/things-women-think-about-penises.
      The Author lists “I HOPE IT’S NOT SMALL” as the #2 though right after
      “Here we go…” whatever that means. So when we dont measure up we
      are inferior??