My partner and I had both read Hy’s post I love big dicks and I cannot lie and got into an interesting discussion about why men react the way they do when a woman expresses a preference for a large cock. His work deals in part with gender and masculinity, so I encouraged him to write a comment to post on Hy’s blog, but it turned into a blog post all on its own! FYI, the “you” that it’s addressed to is women generally.
Zoë asked me to share my thoughts on the size preference issue, given that I seemed to have something to add that may be helpful or at least informative. I’ll try and parse my train of thought here in a way that gets to the point, which is that you are entitled to your preference and that no one should feel like they can, or should, try and convince you otherwise. You like what you like, and you know why you like it.
But, I know why you get stick over this, being a cock-owner myself.
Males first experience sexual pleasure and awareness when they figure out what that equipment between their legs can do when handled right. Boys start getting erections pretty young and they figure out what to do with them just as quickly. The result is that the first sense of sexual self is connected directly to those bits and they become, and often remain, a male’s sole focus of erotic attention. I joke with Zoë that women got all the really good sensation nerves, and got them all over the place but men got the cheap industrial ones and, to compensate, had them all installed in one place where they would get the most attention.
In homosocial settings (yeah, I’m going to sound a little academic here but it is how I understand it, so I apologize), penis size (real or imagined) is another source of potential ridicule, admiration, rivalry or whatever. We also know that, unlike just about every other feature of our bodies and behavior, except skin color or height, there is nothing we can do about how big or small, how thin or thick, our bits are. We can work out, dress well, whatever, but we can’t change penis size. And I can assure you, even the most unselfconscious man, who couldn’t care less about his weight or fashion sense, cares how other men or women think about his dick. What’s more, for our potential partners, our size is a complete secret before we are naked. You can’t judge (or determine the likely properties) of a cock based on its bearer, at least not with any certainty. Even then, for instance, I’m a ‘grower’ in that my flaccid size is significantly smaller than my aroused size, so in ordinary circumstances, there’s no way to know what’s under the hood, as it were.
And here is the point I want to make, and it’s just a point about men, and what they think about cocks and size-queens (so far as I am aware of it). We are told, mostly by other men, that size matters. We joke about it, we are ridiculed by other men about it, it’s one of the most common and effective insults, or compliments, men can make to other men. It’s part of a language of superiority, equality, rivalry, respect, disrespect, challenge, and acceptance. It’s also fantastically dysfunctional and counter-productive. Because…
When a potential sexual partner says “Size matters to me and you are the wrong size”, what we hear isn’t “We aren’t compatible”. We hear “You are inadequate, not just for me, but probably for everyone interested in cocks. I am judging you as a person of worth, based on your cock, and it is lacking.” It sounds like an affront to our identity, our sense of self. And while men can “joke”, cruelly, seriously, about this, as part of male-focused interactions, what they are doing is making judgments about other men, and ultimately we learn that cock size is a reflection of male value. In all of this we also develop the idea that it is our cocks, and our cocks alone, that please women and if our cocks aren’t big enough, we need to be rich, or we are worthless. (Think of the jokes about hot women and dumpy guys who must be either rich or hung because what else could possibly keep her?)
And that’s total bullshit. But it’s rare that men don’t feel something of that even if they reject it.
I have not suffered much of this experience myself, being an introvert who never participated in homosocial activities like team sports or whatever, where men have the opportunity to observe and make those judgments. That does not mean I am immune to it, even knowing how it works, and even in a relationship with a partner who has never once suggested that my cock is insufficient for her needs. [Ed. note: On the contrary, I observed (non-judgmentally) that it was surplus to needs.] I am still self-conscious about it (maybe she is just being polite!). See, it’s insidious!
Here is how it works. When I read Hy’s post, I could not suppress a feeling of vague and entirely pointless pride that I met her requirements. Why do I care? Because men are conditioned to care. They care so much that when we make the grade we feel validated and valued, and it supports our sense of self as sexual beings that can give pleasure and satisfaction, because we are often told that this is the only way we can give satisfaction. It makes us feel good, and I couldn’t help feeling good reading that myself (Yeah, Hy may actually like my cock! That’s fantastic!). And it makes us feel like that even if it’s totally fantasy (uh Zoë?… I’m sorry). And if we don’t make the mark, we are nothing; we understand it to mean that we don’t count, not just for you, but for all women.
It’s OK to care; no one, cock-owner or not, should ever make you feel like you are being selfish or shallow, because it isn’t selfish or shallow. The only reason why this creates the reaction it does, in men and women, is because men have been conditioned to believe that such a judgment is a deep insult to themselves and that while men are permitted to be shallow and cruel to each other in this way, you are not. And that’s still bullshit.
So it’s not you, it’s us.