I’m a 23 year old cisgender bisexual man and I haven’t had sex because I’m ashamed of my penis size. My penis size is considered below average (less that 5 inches), and for that reason I’m not very comfortable bringing it out.
With my partners I focus on pleasing them so that they’re distracted, but once they want to reciprocate, I find one excuse or another to get out of the situation. But recently I entered a committed relationship with this woman I really like and she’s expressed interest in having sex, and this weekend we’re meant to have a romantic getaway.
How can I approach this situation?
Bashful Isn’t Gratifying.
Our cultural obsession with penis size is profound. So profound in fact, that in 2016 Donald Trump defended his penis size on live TV, in the middle of a presidential debate. This is not even the first presidential penis we’ve been obsessed with, which shows just how strong the links are between penis size, masculinity, and power.
While those associations are all kinds of misogynistic and transphobic, it’s still easy to see how it’s led so many men to feel self-conscious about their size. I can imagine that it’s really hard for you to hear constant jokes and put-downs about penis size. It’s not surprising that this has made you feel so much shame about your body.
For the record though, there are lots of men with huge dicks who are both awful people and terrible in bed. There are also lots of people having incredible sex without any penis involved at all. I think that for most people, penis size is a relatively unimportant part of the hot sex equation.
Are there people who love having something large inside of them? Sure, but even lovers of large insertables can get their fill through many fingers or bigger toys.
Before your weekend getaway, I would recommend having a conversation with your new partner before you’re both naked. I don’t think you need to do this with every person you have sex with, and I don’t think you need to “confess” or apologize for the size of your penis.
I do think it’s important to share big sexual insecurities with our committed partners so that they have a chance to show up for us.
If you’re not sure how to bring it up, you could try something like: “I want to tell you that I’m a little insecure about the size of my penis. This has stopped me from having sex with other people, but I’m telling you because I really like you and want to go there with you. I’m hoping it won’t be a big deal, and that you’ll still be attracted to me/want to have sex with me/want to be in a relationship with me.”
Our preoccupation with penis makes us so unimaginative about all the possible ways that people can have good sex. I can’t say that no one will ever react badly about the size of your penis, but know that if they do, it has nothing to do with your ability to please someone sexually. Overall, being great in bed means communicating openly and caring about your partner’s pleasure.
And that’s great, because it sounds like you’re already doing those things with the people you’ve been with. I think most people would be thrilled to find those qualities in a lover.
Sam Whittle, sex educator and owner of Venus Envy