Does Penis Size Matter? Why is it a Point of Shame or Pride for Men?

By: Ali Sakr

Before we actually get into anything, let’s, for a moment, acknowledge that speaking about this isn’t a taboo. Let’s acknowledge that feeling reflexively uncomfortable after reading the title, or just being deterred from the topic in general, is no indication that this isn’t a conversation we should be having, if not the very opposite. And above all, let’s acknowledge that this discomfort does not mean you’re doing anything “wrong”, because when it comes to literal generations growing up with insecurities and issues with body shaming that they don’t even understand, I think that’s enough of a reason for us to put aside this programmed fight-or-flight response we get when we read the word “penis” and actually try to figure out a solution. 

So, with that out of the way, let’s get to it.

We’ve all, in some way, experienced the phenomenon of men being shamed about penis sizes before. Be it a stereotypical jock trope in high school dramas, a dumb joke made when we were in high school, or something we’ve jokingly done ourselves. One could argue that this isn’t that much of a big deal – that it’s just stupid banter that doesn’t really mean anything, and in some sense, I do agree. This whole thing isn’t a big deal – the size of a guy’s dick, that is. To be as genuine and honest as possible, no one cares, so why is it that it’s become such a cultural staple to joke about it, to the point where many men grow up insecure? Because let’s remember that this is, at the end of the day, body shaming, and that’s just inexcusable, regardless of how “serious” you think it is. 

To actually unpack this, though, we’re going to need to take a bit of a deep dive, to really understand where this is stemming from, because you’d be surprised at how many toxic traits this one “joke” is enforcing at the same time, and how damaging and profoundly unnecessary it all is.

For starters, let’s address one very common misconception that many men have, and that’s the fact that having a larger penis automatically means that they’re going to have better sex which their partner will enjoy more. Now, we’ve already talked multiple times about how much of a bullshit notion this is (like we did here), but to keep it short, size doesn’t matter as much as we’re made to believe. We’ve largely got porn to thank for very skewed images on what real sex is like, and the lack of practically any proper sex-ed in the region isn’t helping either. Men grow up thinking that this is what all women prefer, and so they automatically begin viewing a larger penis as something to be proud of, and anything other than that to be a source of shame. But the thing is, is this even about women, or is entirely about men?

For one, we’ve got the fact that the societal norms we have to live with are so patriarchal that they’ve literally made female pleasure a male issue.  An issue that they’re not even asking the females in question about, but rather getting all of their false information from porn (which is probably unethical too).  It’s a whole shitshow combination of large egos, misinformation, and our favorite, the patriarchy. And that’s not even all; this whole issue of penis sizes, of pride and shame, it is in its entirety a male issue as well. We very rarely see women shaming men about their penis sizes – it’s almost always men doing it to each other.

And like, the thing is, I don’t even get how we are capable of finding pride or shame over something we absolutely have no control over. Who are you even proud of? Are you proud of yourself? Because I’ve got some news for you, buddy– you had literally nothing to do with the size of your dick. And if you’re proud of your genes, well you didn’t exactly choose them either. We somehow manage to find ways to relish and brood about things beyond our control, when these emotions are much more suited to be directed elsewhere. Like, how good of a person you are, for example, whether you’re a supportive friend, how kind you are to strangers, maybe even your achievements and how hard you work to get to your goals. You know, things that actually matter. And beyond all that too, we’ve still yet to answer the biggest question we’ve got here – why? 

What is the point of it in the end? It’s still a form of body shaming, it’s still toxic and yields no benefit whatsoever, so what’s the point? Maybe it’s just rooted in this insecurity that’s been prevailing throughout the generations; men might feel insecure about it themselves and hence turn to one of the only forms of defense they’ve been taught growing up – attacking others. Maybe it’s also rooted in this false notion that somehow penis size correlates to “masculinity” and that masculinity in this sense is some virtue you aim to accomplish. That the more of a man you are, the better, again helping cement toxic masculinity into our heads without us even noticing that it’s doing so. It’s all so destructive, both on a short and long term, yet we still do it and for what? Are we really out of things to joke about that we need to resort to body shaming?

And no, it’s not going to be easy to unlearn this, because that’s literally what we’ve grown up believing. It’s going to take a conscious effort, and honestly, that’s a good thing. How else are we supposed to actually change the things that we don’t agree with, if we’re not even willing to put in the slightest bit of effort to do so?

Besides, to quote a friend, everything is literally made up. If you’ve ever wondered why statues of Greek gods are always depicted with small penises, it’s because that’s what was culturally valued at the time. They saw large penises as a sign of foolishness, ugliness, and lust, whereas small penises were associated with rationality and being logical, which is what their culture viewed as more important. 

Now, I’m not saying I agree with the ancient Greeks in the relation between your penis size and how rational you are, but perhaps this can go to show how, again, this is all made up. It literally does not matter in the slightest what size a man’s penis is, because, again, no one cares. So, to end this off, I’d just like to leave you with a very small request. Before you decide to shame a guy about his penis size, stop yourself. Don’t be a dick.

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