This was an article published in my column, Sex, or Something Like It, in the March 2010 issue of The Lynchburg Current.
Luckily for me, I am not a guy. I say this because, as much pressure is constantly put on girls to fit into society’s idea of beauty, men have a bit of pressure on themselves as well, and it all rests on what they are packing.
In our culture, bigger is better. Think about the portion sizes we consume, and the size of Heidi Montag’s brand new breasts. In an ideal world, everyone would be happy with what they naturally have. However, this is not the case. If a woman is unhappy with herself and doesn’t have the desire or funding to go all Heidi, she can grab a push-up bra. This isn’t the case for guy’s most talked about body part. If they have been given the short end of the stick (literally), unless they want to put their little guy under the knife, all they can do is turn the lights off and hope the guy that came before them was even smaller.
So, what exactly is big when it comes to taking a trip down south? I ran a quick survey and asked the five girls I live with their estimates. Most of them thought average stands at around 6 inches, with big pushing 8. However, one argued that average was around 8 inches (I then proceeded to write down the names and numbers of all her previous hook-ups, just in case Ben breaks up with me). In actuality, the average male is about 5 inches, according to a study published in the September 1996 Journal of Urology, which was being conducted in order to counsel patients who were considering penile augmentation, also known as phalloplasty (ouch).
A lot of pressure is put on guys to perform, and I wouldn’t be surprised if half of them suffer from a bit of penis anxiety now and then. And while most women do care about the size of their partner, a study published in BMC Women’s Health showed that women are more concerned with width than length. This is most likely because all of our pleasure points are located within the first four inches of the vaginal canal, and as we placed the average male at around 5 inches, length is more of a mental preference than physical. In reality, it is the idea of a man with a long penis that is arousing to women, and something to be coveted in men. These super-sized genitalia are displayed in nearly all pornography, and I always wondered if it would actually take a female porn-star to be able to handle a vessel with a girth so substantial that it is almost comical. This got me thinking, does having an extra-large penis ever have its downfalls?
To get a male perspective, I interviewed an LC Junior who is well-known for the size of his soldier. Word has spread all around campus after his zipper came down and a post went up on the now non-existent Juicy Campus (good riddance). Despite having a sizable reputation, this LC student remains modest, and as a result prefers to be referred to as Herbie Hancock.
Upon my arrival at Herbie’s townhouse, he said nonchalantly “oh yeah, you’re here to talk about my dick.” No big deal there. He informed me that he didn’t know he was above average until he came to college, because before that the only erect penises he had seen aside from his own were in porn, and so he assumed that’s what everyone was stuffing into their jock-straps. It wasn’t until he became comfortable with his hall-mates freshman year (and began walking around naked) that he realized he had something to be proud of. “It finally started to click it was bigger than normal, and they weren’t just messing with me,” Hancock explained.
While it must be nice to receive all that positive attention, Hancock laments over some of the downfalls of being huge. He is now in a committed relationship, and as both of them have been tested for STDs , they have stopped using condoms (his girlfriend is on the pill- no little Herbies running around any time soon). “No matter what kind of condoms I got, they were so tight that they hurt, making it hard for me to keep an erection,” Hancock said. The best fit for him were Trojan XL’s, which were still slightly uncomfortable.
When Hancock was single, he tried a variety of different girls on for size, and in the process learned that certain girls were a better fit for him. “It’s not always a guarantee, but girls with certain body types have an easier time,” Hancock says, continuing on to lament over the fact that he has never been able to successfully hook up with an extremely petite girl. And no matter what girl Hancock is with, or how much lube they use, he needs to spend a lot of time on foreplay. “I really need to be patient, otherwise I might end up hurting her.” No quickies for him.
Hancock also brought up a very unusual issue during our interview. His girlfriend lives in Texas, and recently they were shopping online together (via Skype) for a vibrating penis ring. All of the models that interested Hancock stretched to a diameter of 1.5 inches. Hancock weighs in at 2.2. Holy freakin’ penis. “It was pretty much the biggest disappointment in my recent life.” Aww.
So girls, the next time you express your wish to be a guy so that you can pee standing up or start your day without looking in a mirror, think about the pressure put on them about size and performance. And guys, next time you see Hancock strutting around campus (with his junk taped to his leg) maybe you can abate your penis envy, as you still have the liberty to purchase the vibrating penis ring of your choosing and have sex without the assistance of half a bottle of lube.