It's a dick thing.
Men are emotionally invested in their penises and developing insecurity and stress over size isn't unusual. Women are exposed to a great deal of pressure in the looks department. In a country where being average makes a woman "plus-sized," we, as men, have no place worrying over a single part of our anatomy.
And yet we do. Why are we so concerned? We can't help it. The relationship a man has with his penis is a close one. It's rooted in years of trials, tribulations and sometimes, triumph.
But something happens around the time we become teenagers and think about concepts of manhood and behaving masculine. We find out that not every penis is equal and there is a measurement across all men that is considered normal or average.
Yes, the dreaded average. The word that puts everyone on a scale. In life, we are either average (normal and boring), below average (inferior) or above average (superior). In the competitive world of being a man, which part of the scale do you think we are hoping to fall on?
We grow up comparing ourselves to other men. We compare ourselves athletically, intellectually and socially. We battle in the conference room, for territory and for the hottest girl in the vicinity. We need the better car, television or even lawn mower.
And then there is the comparison of penis size. The moment we realize there are men out there smaller or bigger than us, it either messes with our heads or inflates our egos. Not all of us can be the superior male in this sense and all the work and money in the world won't help.
It's dumb and hard to explain. Society tells women how to look and tells men how to be and in being the man society wants, the issue somehow always boils down to size. Lord knows why that is. But I have three possibilities.
In the world of pornography, men are presented as being either big or small. No middle ground. If a man is above average, they get clearance to have sex on camera. If they're small (or even average), the involvement of humiliation is suggested to offer some entertainment value.
But if a man is like "break girls in half" big, they get their own category like a trophy set on top of the fireplace. Big isn't big enough, below average is degrading and average is inadequate.
Just about every guy in mainstream porn is hung to the knees or round as a soda can. It sets a standard for what women find desirable (supposedly). So if we aren't walking around with three legs, girls won't drop their panties to the floor in mere awe of our presence.
But why would any man compare himself to a pornstar? Well, what other comparison do we have? Friends don't let friends see their erections. Porn becomes the easiest way to make a comparison to an actual penis.
The problem is that the actual penis in question is more like a unicorn. We not only come to think that this is what women like, but that this is what other men are rocking. It's stupid. But when that is your exposure, a brain wired for competition can get twisted in a hurry.
2. Sexual encounters
Things I noticed as a former porn addict -- there is a moment when the man's pants are lowered and upon the visual of his member flopping out, there is an audible "oh my God" or "nice" by the woman. She's impressed and takes five seconds of run-time to celebrate.
Men love that positive reaction to the unveiling and not getting it messes with us a bit. It's sexual anxiety at its finest. We wonder if our partner is aroused by our package. And though women insist size doesn't matter to the degree we think it does, we refuse to believe it.
We hear it all the time: it's not the size that matters, but rather what one can do it. We're convinced we can't do much with it unless it's big enough.
Part of that thinking comes from the emphasis on penetration being "real sex." Penetration is what our built-in tool is made for. We're already a competitive bunch. The last thing we want is to lose out to a sex toy.
But this places a great deal of unnecessary attention on our penises and its penetrative function. This is an exclusive aspect of sex that we provide as men. We want to know we can come through on satisfying women through this means.
3. Connection between "manhood" and penis
Size isn't solely about physically being small. Size is also about feeling small.
Having a penis is the most basic definition of being a man. It's the part of our bodies we most identify with. So internally, there is pressure to look at our "manliness" through this scope. Our domination in the competitive field we have created is typically asserted in phallic terms.
We always need to know who's got the biggest dick in the boardroom. It's why every battle for superiority is called a "dick measuring contest." Every man driving a Ferrari must have SPS (Small Penis Syndrome).
We are always measuring ourselves against other men. That's the caveat with establishing what is "average." How is one supposed to feel when they find out they fall outside the range of what is considered normal?
There is far more to being a man than the size of one's penis. But we have this bad tendency of defining what kind of something we are in such simplistic terms.
I guess the biggest connection to our manhood is having the confidence to be comfortable with what we have been given. Why can't every guy exhibit that same level of assurance as someone enjoying physical superiority? Confidence is a mindset, not a body part.
Our penises define us biologically, but at times we take this one aspect of manhood and allow it to override everything else. You could shut down every porn site and stop marketing every sexual enhancer tomorrow. But until we redefine this mode of thinking, for some that insecurity will continue on.