He’s got a fraction of your penis, and he’s married to a hot woman. What’s your excuse?
There is nothing quite so bizarre as calling an old guy friend, somebody you haven’t talked to in over a decade, and asking him to measure his penis.
“This seems weird,” Jim told me, even as he obliged my request. “This is seriously for a story you’re writing?”
I assured him that it was. Although I was vague about what exactly I was investigating. It didn’t seem like the right moment to start throwing around words like “micropenis.” His inch count would reveal whether I’d found the right guy.
It’s debatable whether any of this was an official Men’s Health assignment. Adam, our fearless web editor, would likely say things like “I don’t recall green-lighting that” and “Please stop Googling micropenises and get back to work.” And he would be right. But in my defense, this was a topic that wouldn’t go away, at least not in my corner of the Men’s Health office.
It had started at a website editorial meeting. Somebody—I swear it wasn’t me—brought up a recent New Girl episode, in which Zooey Deschanel’s character dates a guy with a micropenis. And it wasn’t just a fictional comedy invention. According to the show, a micropenis is reminiscent of a “ghoulish raisin,” an “anteater being born,” or “the letter ‘I’ floating around in a bowl full of alphabet soup.” But according to Dr. Leo Doumanian, a reconstruction surgeon at the USC Institute of Urology, a micropenis is “a 2.5 standard deviations smaller than the mean size of the adult human penis. If you are an adult and your erection is 2 inches, you qualify for a micropenis.” So… yes, in a way, it’s essentially a ghoulish raisin.
Needless to say, everybody in that particular editorial meeting immediately did some regrettable image searches on our respective computers, and found photos that we’ll never be able to unsee. Dr. Doumanian claims that only 0.6 to 1% of the male population have micropenises. Which, if you think about it, isn’t that bad. That’s just 1.5 million of the 151.4 million men living in the U.S. But it’s still shocking. It’s like finding out that there are 1.5 million sasquatches living in the U.S. You probably know a sasquatch and didn’t realize it!
Which is exactly what happened to me. We eventually opted against a micropenis story, if only because there didn’t seem to be anything to say on the subject that wasn’t depressing.
There’s been a lot of online chatter recently about micropenises, and the owners of said penises are usually painted as sad sack victims. A story published last week in New York Magazine claimed that men with micropenises “share common strands of despair” and “paralyzing fears of relationships and intimacy.” Vice ran a story titled “Being a Chef Made Me Forget I Have a Micropenis,” and a popular Reddit AMA hosted by a “35 year old man with a micropenis” made it very clear that his tiny dick has had “a detrimental affect on my life.”
Even Dr. Doumanian believes having a super-tiny penis is a recipe for sexual dysfunction. “Many men with a true micropenis will have difficulty with healthy sexual relationships because of their insecurity,” he told us. “Hence, no partner.”
Think about that. They have sexual dysfunction not because of their tiny dicks, but because of their own insecurities.
It didn’t hit me right away, but weeks after learning that micropenises are a thing that exists, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I know a guy with just such a condition.
I don’t make it a habit of knowing the penile lengths of my friends. But this was an exception. Back in the mid-1990s in Chicago, an old friend was getting married. Let’s call him “Jim” (because that’s his name). I was invited to the bachelor party, and there were strippers. At some point, the strippers pulled the groom-to-be onto the stage and pulled down his pants. Just some standard bachelor party hazing. We, his guy friends, hooted and laughed… and then we caught a glimpse of our friend’s penis.
You could have heard a pin drop. We stared unblinking, jaws agape, at Jim’s nether region, all wondering more or less the same thing: That’s not it, is it?
That was a long time ago: More than two decades. And ten years since I’ve even talked to Jim. I haven’t thought about him and his penis in years (which, really, is what you want in a guy friend.) But I’m suddenly compelled to call him out of the blue and ask the questions I never did back in our 20s.
The Jim I remember was a stark contrast to the current conventional wisdom about micropensies. Yes, he had a penis that could be easily mistaken for a clitoris. But he also had a series of increasingly hot girlfriends. And the woman he married—the reason for the bachelor party in which his diminutive manhood was exposed to all his guy friends—was (and I assume still is) staggeringly beautiful. She’s an actress, and once got hired on a movie as Gina Gershon’s stand-in.
There were several toasts at the wedding reception where Jim’s male friends asked, “I don’t know how you tricked her into marrying you, especially with such a tiny dick.” The crowd laughed, assuming it was a joke, but a minority of us—those who had seen with our own eyes exactly how tiny it actually was—were genuinely curious. How does a guy who’s hung like a silverback gorilla win the heart of a Gina Gershon look-a-like?
Maybe it’s a Men’s Health thing. You come to work here every day, and you see copies of our latest issue, with Noah Galloway on the cover, looking badass. Galloway, if you haven’t read already, is our Ultimate Men’s Health Guy. A war hero who lost an arm and leg in Iraq, and refused to let those losses define him.
Being reminded of Galloway every day does something to your brain. You start to see negative as positives. Galloway has half the limbs I do, and I’m pretty sure I have a lot to learn from him. So why not the guy with the micropenis and the hot wife?
That would’ve been a great cover story. “This guy’s got a dick that looks like a pencil eraser, and he still gets laid by beautiful women. What’s your excuse?”
The first order of business with Jim was making sure he did indeed have a micropenis. He didn’t want to do it on the phone, so he wrote me an email later with the details: 2.75 inches while erect. So, not exactly a micropenis, but close enough for our purposes. “I’m actually not lacking in girth whatsoever,” he wrote in the email. “The circumference of my penis is perfectly average. It’s length-wise that I’m challenged. And I’m pretty sure I’m on the large size of the micro community.”
When he was ready to talk, I called him in Los Angeles—where he works as a writer and filmmaker—and asked what he knows that the rest of us don’t.
Do Your Homework
“Orally pleasuring a partner is grade school,” Jim says. “When you can’t rely on what God gave you to hit the spot, you are morally and ethically obligated to hit the spot by any means necessary.” That means becoming a sort of Obi-Wan Kenobi for vaginas.
“You have to become an adept at the sexual arts and a laboratory scientist of the female anatomy,” he says. “You learn erogenous zones, secret lady glands, ancient Oriental techniques. As a micropenised, you have to be willing to be anything goes sexually. Leave your hang ups at the door.”
Focus On Your Short Game
Jim points out that lesbian couples are able to sexually satisfy each other and “they don’t have large ropy penises. I’m not saying the wife and I technically trib, but the first inch to two inches of a vagina are the most sensitive, so I’m hitting a sweet spot just by being me.”
Certain positions work better, he says, and some don’t work at all. “But with love and openness, experiment and a special pillow designed for the purpose, we do alright.”
Have Confidence, Not “Cockfidence”
“I’ve heard the ladies in my life complain time and again about lousy lovers with monster wangs, who think their over-sized junk is enough,” he says. “I call it cockfidence. The swinging weiner between their legs gives them swagger, and they start to think it’s all that matters.” When a guy can’t hide behind his penis to get attention, he needs to build self-confidence based on something besides genitals.
“In spite of being under-endowed, I’m a fairly confident guy,” Jim says. “Being able to make a woman laugh can go a long way. Or know how to really talk to them and engage with them and listen to them. You need some scaffolding to hold up your ego that isn’t a cock.”
Don’t Sweat the Size Queens
“There are some size queens out there, and we’re never going to be sexually compatible,” Jim says. “That may have as much to do with my tiny penis as it does for her cavernous vijayjay.” Not all genitals are created equal, and this applies to both men and women.
Don’t take it personally if you’re not enough for them. “Just because she needs an 800-pound elephant cock to please that walk-in closet of a vagina doesn’t mean you’re lacking in some way,” he says. “The right guy for her is out there, and so is the right girl for you.”
(This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in Men’s Health.)