Does Size Really Matter? 'Vogue' Discusses the Virtues of a Small Penis

Last week Karley Sciortino of Slutever fame wrote a really fun and compelling argument on the virtues of a small penis in Vogue. Actually, the article made me feel like a bit of a choad, because the first time I encountered a small dick, I was sort of ungracious about it.

I don’t mean that I was overtly unkind — I didn’t laugh or wince or anything like that. But I also made a game-time decision to not do anything too serious with the guy, because, I don’t know, I was processing. Also, I was kind of drunk, so if I was going to put anything chicken wing sized in my mouth at that point, it was going to be an actual chicken wing.

Mind you, this episode also took place pretty early in my higher-ed experience, and I had just dipped my toe into the giant pool of boners known to parents and employers as “university.” My few hookups had hovered around or above the six-inch mark, and my ex-boyfriend’s package set — rather, was — a formidable bar. (I can’t decide if he will hate me more or less for telling the Internet that.) More importantly, though, I was years away from being able to understand the ways in which arbitrary physical markers, so designated by a white male elite, contribute to damaging gender norms, hegemony, and oppression. Mang, until junior year, I was just trying to eat some chicken wings.

I could go on for some time about how judging a guy for his junk is problematic, and yet doesn’t even remotely dent his privileged social location or the wider system of male privilege. But because pretty much no one gets off to thoughts of Foucault alone, let’s return to Sciortino’s piece, in which she recounts super-hot sex with an under-endowed dude. Like all good personal essays, hers made me think; like most good nerds, I felt obligated to interrogate the cultural bias for large penises — a bias that I guess I abstractly share, though I’m not proud of it.

So, the dude Sciortino describes in her essay was, in the eternal lyricism of Ja Rule, not cocky, but confident. In the bedroom, he exemplified all of the traits that we usually associate with masculinity, and thus, with a large penis: he was self-assured, dominant, and very sexual. It makes sense that Sciortino chose to emphasize those characteristics, although it’s troubling that she even feels the need to imply, “Hey, guys with small penises can be men-men, just like guys with big penises!”

I can’t really blame her for that, though, because that must be what’s running through my head when my eyes light up at the sight of five-dollar footlong — bingo, we got a real man here! Because otherwise, why would I be so certain that I have a pressing preference for big dicks when the sight of a penis alone does jack-shit for me? (It’s not that I don’t appreciate a dick pic; I do. It's just more like, “it’s the thought that counts” than, “LET ME SPRINT FOR MY VIBRATOR PROMPTLY.”)

An anaconda, if you will, tells the most sheeplike part of my brain that the fella I’m about to bone is all of the things that I’ve been taught to believe that a fella should be. This is a classic SOC 101 situation, and it’s ridiculous. First, because a big penis obviously promises none of these so-called masculine qualities, and second, who says I want a guy with predominantly these characteristics to begin with? I mean, dominant in bed, very sexual, fine. But I have yet to see a peen that screams, “good sense of humor, likes to watch Netflix, very cuddly, dish-doer.”

Psychologically, then, I like a big dick for all of the wrong reasons, and that makes me a jerk for balking at a none-too-massive member way back when. But what about the physical aspect? Liking the feel of something on the bigger side — that is something that's real. Well, here’s Sciortino’s description of penetration with this guy:

“…when it was inside, it kind of felt like nothing, but honestly a lot of dicks feel like nothing to me, unless they’re really big, at which point they often just become painful.”

OK, honestly, I don’t feel that way about vaginal sex. This is fine — Sciortino's perspective is one that many women share and, as she acknowledges, it’s a very person-to-person thing. While it’s true that vaginas aren’t really chock-full of nerve endings, there can also be something very pleasurable and comforting about feeling full during sex (although I shiver to think what Freud would have to say about that). Different strokes — tee hee — for different folks.

But Sciortino's real point, which demands our attention, is that intercourse is just one facet of the sexual prism. We’re socially instructed to view it as the be-all, end-all, but for many of us, it isn't really. Like, if one gives a beej as often as one has sex, wouldn't it make as much long-term sense to go for an oral-friendly four-incher over a gag-inducing schlong? It would, but it's hard to accept that because of the way our society fetishizes penetrative, vaginal sex.

I am far too lazy and far too content with my considerably more adult brain and my current boyfriend's genitalia to want to go back in time and reconsider that failed hookup. And, in the same way that I'll critique every TV show I watch (sexist! racist! antifeminist!), and then continue to glibly watch said TV show (vampires! hot vampires! getting it on!), I doubt that this fly-by-night analysis will impact my long-term sexual preferences. But if I become single again someday, and a dude with a smallish penis knows how to ravish my body and shares my Netflix tendencies? Yes, I would probably go for it. And then he and I will time-travel back to this moment to high-five Karley Sciortino.

Image: wwarby for Flickr