This week's Tale is something I wrote for Teenwire.com and is reprinted with permission. Teenwire is a website put out by the
wonderful folks at Planned Parenthood (an institution who has
confirmed my HIV negative status several times). The site is full of
great sex info for teens: advice, resources, and some fun little
articles like this one...
The Perils of Penis Measuring
Knowing where to measure from is the key to good penis
measuring. I was either a god or a gelding, and it all depended
on the measuring technique I used. Of course, admitting to
measuring your own penis isn't exactly the fastest way to make
friends in junior high. We all know that real men aren't concerned
about penis size, right? Heck no. We don't masturbate either.
Heh. There is a word for people who never stressed about the
size of their penis: "female."
In an informal poll of my friends, all of them measured their
penises during their formative years. Then again, each of them
also said they were in excess of 10 throbbing inches. So maybe
they're not the most reliable group. And I guess it goes to show
that penis-insecurity never fully goes away.
But it's never as bad as it was in junior high.
When I measured, I was either just below average or a porn-star
candidate, depending on if I measured from top or bottom. And
even though all my peers had laid rod to ruler, no one ever
discussed proper measuring technique. So how is a developing
young man to ease his penis-size fears?
Why, by stealing glances in the men's room, of course! Now this
is a very risky endeavor. Getting caught looking at your
classmates' genitalia tends to stir up the homophobia a bit. And
being labeled homosexual can be even more harsh a junior high
fate than being labeled a dick-measurer.
I perfected a crack-my-neck stretch that gave me a split second
peek at other man-units. I'd settle into my urinal, utter a manly
sigh, crack my neck, and glance over the partition. Results:
The main problem is that the perspective you get of another
guy's manhood that way is totally different than the view you get
of your own. Its side view vs. top view. You practically need
architectural drawings to figure out what they would look like side
by side. I tried to stand sideways next to a mirror to see my own
penile unit from the same angle I was collecting data from. There
are just too many variables: Pubic hair can obscure, Excessive
girth can give misleading proportions, and what if the member in
question has a curve to it?! Do you use pi or the Pythagorean
Besides, the big guys stand far enough away as to show it off,
while the small guys huddle into the porcelain. So much for the
So then, how does one get over penis-size insecurity? Truth? No
study of penis size will ever solve the dilemma. Eventually,
though, you find a partner. That person cares about you. They
like the freckles on your nose and the mole next to your navel.
And they like your penis, too. Maybe they'll even measure it as
part of some foreplay game. Only then, you'll realize that the
cliché is true: Size doesn't matter.
Of course, I wonder if I'd be saying that
if they'd let me measure from the bottom.