Well Being

The Obsession With Penis Size Is Heartbreaking And Inescapable

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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