Fear of Dating – a Man’s “Little Secret”
This is a guest post first published June 10, 2016 – Thanks CL.
This is the first part of a two-part series. It’s a story that needs to be told. In 2010, I’d noticed a disturbing pattern. Young men and teenage boys posted with excessive frequency on Q&A and anonymous exchange websites questions and comments indicating that penis-size insecurities were occupying inordinate amounts of their attention and mental energy, and that they allowed this persistent insecurity to rule their lives. These guys weren’t victims of Nature’s cruel shafting. For the most part, they were victims of their own fear and insecurity.
Mark Twain said: “I’m an old man, and I’ve known a great many troubles, and most of them never happened.” We concoct all kinds of terrible situations in our minds, and most of them never come to pass. Certainly, fear holding us back from taking life-and-death risks is useful to our survival. However, regret for holding back and not fully living life is far more painful and it lasts much longer than rejection.
Most of what’s wrong in the world I either don’t understand much about or I’m not in a position to do anything about it. This wasn’t one of those things. I understand fully. I’m now a middle-aged man. I’ve known since early childhood that my penis was unusually small. It still is. I entered the world of flirting, dating, sexual relationships, marriage, and I live today with a micropenis. That’s a medical term indicating only extremely small size, comprising the bottom one-half of one percent of the population with respect to size indicated by stretched or erect length. It indicates nothing about related malformations or functionality, and many of us have no other malformations and are completely functional, just small.
We could leave men with small penises to wallow in self-pity or self-doubt, tell them to just get over it, or assure them that size doesn’t matter. It’s a surprisingly persistent and longstanding insecurity for many, and that doesn’t just mean for men who are noticeably small. Penis-size insecurity is common among men who are average or above-average in size, and a mental health condition known as “small penis syndrome” is used to describe those for whom this insecurity affects their daily activities and lives in negative ways. There are aspects of dysmorphia for those who believe their genitals to be smaller than they really are, but a more general application to those preoccupied with negative thoughts about their penises standing in the way of the enjoyment of life.
This first article addresses getting over the hurdle of beginning to date, getting over the fear of that “little secret” being shared. The article that follows will highlight my progression to being able to use the unusual fact of the size of my penis as an erotic accelerant – to sexualize those old fears and insecurities and to use them to my advantage and to use them for mutual advantage and pleasure in sexual union.
I decided to write about this subject for the first time in 2010, because it was my belief that men, and particularly teenage boys, worried that their penises are too small should redirect that energy and effort to making themselves into the best people they can be and into making the world a better place for others. I still have that belief. My reason for offering this writing today is learning recently that some men refrain from dating or romantic relationships until they are now in their 30s, 40s, 50s, or beyond solely because of fear of humiliation or disappointing a partner in sex, because of a controlling fear that they’re unlovable and incapable of love, solely because they have small penises. Honestly, I find this shocking
“Why is it so small?”
If a man with a small penis can’t bear to hear a question like this, and if he could never bring himself to acknowledge that his penis is indeed small, let alone to disclose the fact before he and a partner are ripping each other’s clothes in the heat of passion for the first time, then he probably shouldn’t date.
At the same time, if he has no interest in a long-term relationship or having children, then perhaps dating isn’t for him either, regardless of penis size. It may be that the whole concept of dating is becoming irrelevant in a world of hanging out, sexting, and hooking up. Nevertheless, dating and marriage still exist, and they’re my points of view and reference. Arranged marriage is a whole other story, but it remains common in much of the world today; it’s part of my own family history; and men whose families will arrange marriages for them are no less concerned about penis size and pleasing a wife than are those of us for whom dating and mutual selection is the pathway to establishing long-term relationships. I’ll touch on arranged marriages perhaps in a later posting. I’ve received several messages from men who have read things I’ve written and contacted me about their own penis-size insecurities as their families are arranging marriages for them, or will be within a few years.
I’ve been asked the question: “Why is it so small?” more than once, with the same look of concern or disappointment and the same tone of voice, at this unexpected turn of events. It’s as if the present was unwrapped and found not to be what was on the wish list or even on the list of possibilities. Initially, I didn’t know how to respond. With time, I learned this and more.
Afraid of Being Dumped
If a man can’t bear the thought of being dumped for incompatibility in bed, in general, or because his penis is too small, in particular, then he probably shouldn’t date. One recent well-conducted study on women’s penis-size preferences included this finding: about one third of women who participated in the study had ended a relationship principally because their male partner’s penis size didn’t meet their expectations and preferences. This wasn’t only a matter of them being considered to be too small, but that was the reason three times as often as them being too large.
As one acquaintance said to me a few years ago, people get dumped for all kinds of reasons – too fat, too thin, too poor, or no sense of humor. Whether a rejection for penis size is superficial and shallow isn’t worth exploring. The broader issue is whether sex is enjoyable, and we like what we like. Most guys can understand how bad breath, a comb-over attempt to hid a bald head, or a large belly would be a turn-off. The only difference is that this one’s totally outside one’s control, but romantic sparks are rarely mutual and equal between two people. That’s life. Two much larger turn-offs identified by women in surveys are rudeness and dishonesty, and those are totally within our control.
I’ve been dumped because of it, more than once, and I didn’t mind one bit. I begrudge no one following her own desires and preferences.
We smaller guys also ought to think about what we’re doing in this world. One woman I dated told me that the sex would never work because she “doesn’t do well with small penises.” There wasn’t going to be another date between us. One former guy she’d dated had become angry when his small penis wasn’t pleasurable in vaginal penetrative intercourse. She’d asked him to change positions to try something to produce more stimulation and sensation, and he’d become angry and accused her of having an excessively large vagina. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but because of the way he’d treated her, that door was closed to me. I can’t blame her.
“Wait Until the Girls Hear about This!”
If a guy would find it soul-crushing to have an ex-girlfriend tell others, such as her girlfriends over drinks after a hard week of work, that he has an unusually small penis, then he should never get naked with a woman, and probably shouldn’t date. People tell stories about what’s unusual, and a man jumping into bed with her with a two-inch erection is likely something that’s going to get mentioned. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We tell stories about the events and experiences in our lives that are unusual. That’s what makes them interesting to others. Especially when alcohol is involved, people disclose personal details of their lives. There’s nothing wrong with that either, assuming you aren’t at a work gathering or having your church’s pastor over for dinner.
Instead of worrying that she’ll “out” you for having a small penis, make sure that you’ve behaved in such a way that she’ll also says that you’re a great guy in addition to disclosing your “little secret.” This also highlights a very good rule: never date co-workers or anyone else in a situation that will affect the important parts of your life in a negative way after a breakup. The simple fact is that all relationships have a beginning, and that almost all have an ending.
How Small is Small?
This is a matter of individual judgment and preference. It also isn’t very scientific. The most common measurement is erect length. The penis is, of course, three dimensional and irregularly shaped. The only true size is expressed in cubic inches or cubic centimeters, but almost no one does it that way. With a mop and a helper and some basic kitchen articles, one could do a water displacement test, and that might be fun, but also unnecessary, and you wouldn’t have anything to compare the result to. Even with regard to erect length or circumference, people argue about how to measure. It gets very silly very quickly.
I consider there to be a normal range, and anything outside that normal range to be either large or small. Adult male penis sizes follow a bell-shaped distribution when graphed, as almost any other measurable human attribute does, with the vast majority close to the average in the middle. In general, I’d say that one 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) or less in erect length is noticeably small, and one 7 inches (17.8 cm) or longer is noticeably large.
A couple of recent well-conducted studies have independently found the average erect length to be 5.2 inches (13.2 cm). That’s generally consistent with past findings, in less-well-conducted studies.
One psychologist and sex therapist based in Los Angeles, California, has put it as simply as possible: “Average length is 5.2 inches; if yours is shorter than that, then you have a small penis.” I’ll add that, similarly, then if yours is that length or longer, then you’re average or above, and you should absolutely try to banish negative thoughts about size. Hell, having an exceptionally small one like mine doesn’t have to come with negative thoughts, but it’s easier said than done. It took me almost four decades to get over it.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose
Recent surveys and studies of women’s preferences have found that women prefer men with larger penises for adventurous sex, such as one-nighters, than they prefer for long-term romantic partners. The focus of this posting is dating, so I’ll mention disclosure in the context of dating. My own experience has been, through trial and experience, that it’s important for a man to disclose the fact of a significantly small penis before having sex for the first time. That’s a tricky business, fraught with pitfalls.
It can come off as an accusation that she’s shallow or superficial, and it may end a relationship not because his penis is small but because he’s blunt, crude, and thinks badly of her.
It can come off as a suggestion that she’s about to jump him right then and there, and that can also be quite bad depending on the circumstances. Even if she is thinking about having sex and wondering what she’ll find down there, that doesn’t mean she wants to hear him say that. Women are much less cock-centric then men are, and there is definitely some curiosity about unwrapping that package for the first time, but not nearly as much as a guy thinks. If sex is imminent, she’s likely also thinking about her own insecurities, and his killing the moment with a badly-delivered or badly-timed comment about the size of his penis may also kill a budding relationship.
If the goal is to explore common ground and romantic interest with a long-term relationship in mind, then my recommendation is not to mention it on the first date (probably not the second either) and not to have sex as part of those early dates.
How to Disclose
Unless she brings up in conversation the subject of penis size, and it’s highly unlikely that she will, the best disclosure is without using words. Include a swim in an early date. If there’s a mutual romantic spark, they’ll both be checking-out each other’s bodies, and wet swim shorts don’t tell the whole story, but she’ll definitely learn whether his flaccid penis is large, small, or in between. A swim is also a likely situation for two people to explore each other’s bodies with their hands more than otherwise. If she should reach for it, she’ll know.
There are lots of ways to do this. Just keep in mind that having a man lean over and whisper in her ear: “I have a small penis” may intrigue and arouse her, but that’s highly unlikely. It’s only experience and knowledge of the other person that will determine (still uncertainly) when the time is right and how to do it.
I wrote originally here that I found it disappointing that so many teenage boys and young men are so preoccupied with this. I was young once, of course, and I began dating at age 16. However, there were no nude selfies (boot-size mobile phones were still almost decade away), and people dated. I don’t claim to know much about popular culture and youthful communication today. I dated. I never hung out and hooked up. However, we haven’t changed as human beings all that much, and I hope that guys under 40 will find something of worth in this.
Is This about Dating or about Sex?
Well, if a guy enjoys the company of women and doesn’t want to have sex with them, or would never act on an impulse like that because of the situation (such as that she’s a co-worker, his best friend’s girlfriend, a first cousin, or a near infinite number of other reasons), then nothing in this posting applies.
I’m considering dating as a romantic activity and part of potential partner selection. The dictionary defines a date simply as an agreement for a man and a woman to meet at a certain time and place. I’m not writing here about a business meeting between a boss and a subordinate. I’m writing about situations in which sex isn’t out of the question. If sex is off the table, then penis size matters not one little bit, and it’s never going to be an issue.
If we’re talking about romantic dating, then size likely does matter. It matters in ways that one can learn only from living the experience, because it’s highly individual. My recommendation is for a guy to expect that it matters at least somewhat for sex, and having a significantly small penis is less than idea. He has to accept that without anger, without shame, and without bringing any penis-size preoccupation that he has into the bedroom. I can say with certainty that a man being angry, defensive, or paralyzed by fear because he has a small penis is going to be far more unattractive than the simple fact of his size.
I once looked Heavenward, shook my fist, and yelled: “Hey, you missed a spot down here!” I heard no reply, but in time I learned that the answer was that the small penis between my legs was a great gift and that I was supposed to go have some fun with it and enjoy life, without hurting anyone. It’s been a very enjoyable life.