Is Small Beautiful?

4.17.2005

By Erik Piepenburg

And while the Mr. Bigs of the world seem to have the upper hand among gay men, Moore suggests that having a large penis might not be the magical key to happiness. 'Being the recipient of a big organ is not necessarily a comfortable proposition,' she cautions. (That may be true, but tell your average gay man he's too slender or too well-endowed and just try to count the tears he sheds.) She also points out that gay men's self-esteem is tied to their penis size much the same way women's identities correlate to the size of another sexualized body part. 'It's like a woman and her breasts. Women who fixate on their breasts will either think they're too big or small or the wrong shape,' she says. 'You can turn every way in the mirror, but it relates to a lack of self-confidence.'

But do women get as worked up about small penises? Silverstein believes women are being less than truthful when in studies they report not caring as much about penis size as do their male partners. 'If we could get women to give us honest answers, they would say they like bigger penises,' he says. Moore, however, says more of her female patients have expressed concern about their partner's penis being too large, not too small. (Maybe this is one arena where being average is an advantage.)

So what do you do if you feel you don't measure up? Many men simply avoid talking about the issue at all, preferring to let their partner make the discovery on their own and letting fate take its course in the sack. Others defuse the sting of being underendowed (as those with body weight issues do) through self-deprecating humor; Howard Stern regularly describes himself as being 'hung like a pimple.'

Many men with a small penis feel the only way they can be sexually attractive or compatible with other men is to become the best bottom they can be, under the assumption that their penis isn't sufficiently large enough to fit the role of a top. But Silverstein points out that when it comes to being penetrated, width, not length, is what does the stretching. Still, many men who are new to bottoming may find a small penis ideal. A cursory search on CraigsList.org found several postings from 'straight' or 'bi-curious' men asking to be with a man with a small penis. 'Attractive married couple (both straight) seeking a youngish-looking, smooth boy 25'small cock a plus,' read one. Chris says his versatility in the bedroom has nothing to do with size. 'I tend to be a bottom anyway, and I love it,' he says. 'Having a small dick didn't turn me into a bottom.'

Woodworth stresses that no matter what sexual role a man takes, his penis should be one piece of a larger sexual puzzle. He also dismisses attempts at penis enlargement, whether through pube trimming or surgery, as Band-Aids for a nonexistent wound. 'A guy with a small dick can be a hot sexual person because he can be,' he says. 'Everyone wants to feel they're attractive, whether they're in a back room or in a relationship for decades.' Those who love men who happen to have small penises can do their part too. 'It's not enough to say 'Be nice to your man because he's anxious about it.' It's not about being kind,' Woodworth says, coming back to one of his favorite themes. 'It has to do with being nonjudgmental.'

Maybe we're all asking the small penis question the wrong way. Perhaps 'What is small anyway?' should be spoken with a dismissive shrug, not an embarrassed whisper. Think of diamond rings or chocolate truffles, and remember: Good things do come in small packages.

(For more information on 'What Is Small Anyway?' e-mail [email protected])

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