Does Talking About My Big Penis Make Me a Dick?

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Not long before The Donald's Dick Debate, I texted a potential date that I was well endowed, to which he responded, "What an ass!" He then wrote, "Show me!"

Okay, it wasn't a date so much as it was a hookup, a Grindr/Scruff-type thing. But the dichotomy struck me as ironic. The guy, whom I'd never met, told me in our texts that he liked bottoming and was "very oral with the thick ones." I might have jumped the gun by listing a trait that is, in my experience, desired for both of those preferences, but the resulting message implied that I was an arrogant tool.

I'm guessing that if he'd written "Hung?" as men so often do these days, and I had responded "Yes," I wouldn't have been Jon Hamm-shamed.

The large penis has become the elephant trunk in the living room. Everyone knows it's there, everyone talks and gossips about it, and everyone knows that the man who possesses it is gauche if he creates the conversation.

There's a certain amount of correctness in that unwritten rule. No one likes the person who flaunts their (perceived) advantages. It's uncouth to talk about how much money you make, how many awards you've won, your amazing sex drive and sexual conquests.

That argument rides on the notion that being wealthy or winning awards or fucking a lot are accomplishments, and having a large penis is neither an accomplishment nor an indicator of anything other than you're male and your anatomy is larger than average.

It's really an argument about conceit, like the over-40 man who brags about his ability to eat anything he wants and retain a six-pack, or any guy who thinks his body is such perfection he can post a torso shot on Grindr and ask for a face pic in return.

Where people err on the cock-talk-block is when you factor in a gay world in which everything revolves around the penis. It's as big as day. In addition to the ubiquitous dick picks, there are dick-enhancing bathing suits, full-frontal movie and TV alerts (Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool and Ben Affleck' FF bits in Gone Girl were world-wide pop culture headlines), and a dick-Vine Tumblr world. Gay publications are obsessed with posting articles centered on size, and male, hung celebrities are American Idols, bulges enhanced to make them, like stars, larger than life.

Fitness models are never photographed in or out of clothes in a manner that would suggest they have average-size dicks. Nor do they need to; Photoshop has features that increase the length and girth of the penis. Porn has always been for the big at heart, and metaphors and symbolism are as prevalent as the phallic images witnessed daily. Try writing an article about penises without realizing you've inadvertently added about a dozen dick puns.

Big penises are, almost, the male equivalent of big breasts, which have shaped and, in many ways, defined female culture way before Frederick's of Hollywood opened in 1946. Big-breasted women are almost always considered more advantageous than their smaller-breasted counterparts--breast augmentation has been the most common cosmetic procedure for a decade--and pretty much anything on TV or in films or in magazines or at a cocktail party backs up that claim.

The main difference is that big breasts are obvious; it's difficult to hide them and most women don't. Many large-breasted women aren't thrilled about the problems that can ensue (objectification, the cliché that their breasts make them stupid, discomfort), but society has given them an extra bit of sexy. Like the butts of both sexes, if we're proud of them we show them off to no, er, end, and all are free to gaze and gawk. Men show off their penises too, but in a more private format. You'll see a lot of baskets at the beach or gym; far fewer at events where you receive gift baskets.

Yes, men have chests and are allowed to show them freely, but they don't have the same erotic, forbidden flavor as the female variety. One could argue that such a double standard is sexist, and that's a great debate. Women also have vaginas, the counterpart to the penis, but the celluloid world is not built on the Battle of the No Bulges.

Society is rapidly becoming male-body-centric, especially with the broader acceptance of homosexuality and the integration of straight men into a homoerotic sense of beauty. The penis is front and center in the mix, and there's no reason to hide it from view. Now that men can pick dates and hookups based on how big a penis is, along with every other physical trait, it's time for the cock to officially come out of the closet. The closest thing we've had to an mainstream dick discussion has been a movie that teased us with the title Magic Mike XXL and Michael Fassbender saying he doesn't like it when people talk about his penis, and then showing it off in publicity photo stills.

I don't advocate the well-endowed running around telling everyone in ear- or eye-shot that they've got a big one, or pulling it out of their pants upon introduction, in the same way that I don't advocate a guy with a perky butt-hole bending over on the street to show it off in full bloom. But there's no reason the dick shouldn't be shown off in clothes, or photographs, hard or flaccid, or brought up in conversation.

That's not to say size is what makes the penis attractive. Michelangelo certainly didn't care. Neither do I. Once the conversation starts, we can lift false notions about the importance of size, and move on to the myths and realities about the large penis. Maybe we'll finally realize it doesn't make you more of a man or a better lover or a more suitable president. I've never been a "size queen," a phrase that has eluded me, and I've never been the guy at the Bitch Brunch guessing at waiters' and boys' dick sizes. Maybe it's because I'm usually on top or because I'm more of an ass man. That's where my eye goes. Who knows. When asked about the upfront stuff, I usually say "shape matters."

I can also tell you that many men couldn't care less about how big a dick is, and many men I've dated either had no interest in my anatomy or, for other reasons besides length, didn't care for it. There are as many penis preferences as there are penis shapes. A boyfriend did once tell me he resented my larger size, so much so that it became a source of friction in our relationship. It's still difficult for me to wrap my head around his anger because I thought he was just about the most physically perfect man I'd ever met.

Now that I've become more open about talking about endowment, I've learned a lot about sex and desire and the perception of beauty. I've dated two men who have said they are obsessed with large dicks because they have average-size penises, and that it's something I can't understand. One told me he often thinks if he had a large penis all his other physical insecurities would be solved. Fair enough.

But I have plenty of physical insecurities, and often think, If only they were fixed.... I don't have much hair on my head, and look with envy upon those with tons. I have a big chest, but small arms, and am always working extra hard on the former. My friends with the opposite physicality say that, If only they had a big chest.... The list goes on. I also have a small butt, and one of my friend's favorite jokes is to ask me how I can possibly sit down with no ass. I've learned to laugh.

Gay men have always played up the parts of them they find attractive; their hair, their biceps, their six-packs, their legs, their butts. The penis should be no exception. As the expression goes, if you've got it, flaunt it. I now do so, without vain-shame, and the next man who tells me about his size fixation should be prepared for a big surprise. Whether or not that makes me a prick is up to you.