When size matters too much

A young gay man's phallic fixation has driven him to risky promiscuity -- and he wants to understand why

Topics: Am I Normal?, Sex, Love and Sex,

When size matters too much (Credit: Hein Nouwens via Shutterstock)

I feel like I have nowhere to go and nobody to talk to about … my obsession with big dicks. It is too embarrassing and awkward to talk about with a therapist. But my obsession and drive for large penises seems to have a negative impact on my life and is affecting my decisions in a way that at times scares me.

I am a gay man, 24 years old. I have a slightly above average penis and have never had a single complaint — in fact, I’ve always been complimented, if anything — but, still, I feel small and insecure. At 14, I met an online friend of a similar age, who lived on the other side of the country. We used to have “cam sex” together as it was our only way at that time of exploring our sexuality. This e-friend had an 8-inch penis and I remember when I saw it for the first time, I felt extremely insecure and self-conscious. I would measure mine constantly, every day, hoping I would increase in size. I then began to think everybody but me was hung, and for years I just assumed, for some bizarre reason, that I should be ashamed or whatever for not being horse-hung. I became so obsessed that I even stole money from my parents at one time to gain membership access to online websites about how to increase your penis size and also buy penis enlargement pills.

Well, over the years, I’ve become very promiscuous. It didn’t matter really how the guy looked, the moment somebody told me at a club that so-and-so had a huge dick, I felt the need to steal them away into the bathroom and, you know, do my thing. It became something that drove me; I can’t watch porn without big dicks, I’ve broken up with boyfriends because I didn’t feel they were big enough, and even with my current boyfriend of several years, I end up cheating on him all the time to fulfill this urge of interacting with … big dicks. Interestingly, I’ve rarely engaged in penetrative sex and I prefer not to take these guys home with me. I’d rather just go with them to bathroom, blow them and then I’m done.



Despite the probably 100-plus men I’ve messed around with in my lifetime, only a handful of them I would qualify as being hung. I’ve put myself in extremely compromising — at times even dangerous — situations, just to see if I can fulfill this fantasy, yet all too often I’m disappointed. And then I’m left feeling disgusted and scared for myself. The promiscuity, as a result of this obsession, has led me to contracting numerous STDs over the years — luckily treatable ones, but still. I feel like it goes deeper than being a “size queen.” What the hell am I doing? I am almost scared of myself. How can a dick and size be this important to me that it’s driving me to go against my values and go behind my boyfriend’s back?

I feel trapped. I want out of this. Am I normal? How can I seek counseling!? Advice, input, anything please!

It’s fitting that your email first landed in my spam folder alongside advertisements for various penis enhancement products. I guess my filter couldn’t meaningfully differentiate your subject line, “I’m absolutely obsessed with big dick,” from “Satisfy all big cock lovers with Penis Enlarge Patch.” Luckily, though, I managed to pluck your message from the virtual pile of penis pumps and Viagra knockoffs. This should underscore something you surely already know: We live in a penis-obsessed culture.

It isn’t just gay men who worship the cock, either. Researchers have shown that big members captivate heterosexual men, too: Just look at the prevalence of the “big dick” genre on hetero porn hubs. Straight women’s erotic minds are generally less fixated on penis – they tend to be more satisfied with their partner’s size than their actual partner is with his own package — but we’ve all come across some variation on the sitcom skit where a woman emasculates a man by mocking his itty bitty penis, or the broken-record question of, “Does size really matter?” Hell, even lesbians engage in faux-phallus worship.

So, your object of fixation is hardly unusual. What’s concerning is that it makes you feel powerless. Joe Kort, a psychotherapist specializing in relationships and sexual health, particularly within the LGBT community, tells me: “A lot of therapists might say, ‘Oh, well, you’re a sex addict’ right away,” he says. But instead of just looking to stop the compulsivity itself, Kort suggests first asking yourself, “What does this mean; what am I really looking for?” He explains that through your search for big penises, you’re really telling a story about yourself: “There’s a narrative, a non-sexual narrative, that’s gotten eroticized.” He interprets kinks like dreams and suggests that big penises symbolize something meaningful for you.

Only you truly know what this personal narrative is, but he suggests, “It could be about adequacy – ‘the bigger you are, the more you can take care of me,’” he says. “I would want him to explore the messages he received about his body, penises, masculinity.” Silly as it may sound, Kort suggests asking yourself, “What do I want to do with the penis? What do I want the penis to do to me?” Other men in similar situations have come to him and made a connection to the fact “that they were emasculated by their mothers or fathers, that they didn’t fit in as a male in their family or their culture.” This is a common experience for gay men, of course. “We feel inadequate, we’ve been told we’re not men,” says Kort, who is a gay man himself. “That’s what this whole body builder stuff is about — gay men these days look like the bullies that used to beat me up in school.”

Your sense of being too small yourself is important too. Jeffrey Parsons, a psychology professor at Hunter College, has studied not only sexual risk-taking but also issues relating to gay men and penis size (this research drummed up quite a bit of controversy earlier this year). “Our own research has shown that gay men who believe their penis is below average have more psychosocial issues in terms of lower life satisfaction and increased stigma than gay men who think their penis is average or above average,” he says. “Many gay men wish that their penis was larger, even men who already think their penis is above average. Having a larger penis does seem to convey a sense of ‘status’ in many segments of the gay community.”

In terms of your current relationship, clinical sexologist Ian Kerner suggests that you “communicate and figure it out [with your partner], especially if the choice of monogamy and fidelity is still important.” If it is, you can always try to incorporate this interest into your relationship. “From sharing fantasies to watching porn and reading erotica that caters to this fantasy, to incorporating dildos and vibrators of larger sizes into sex play, the challenge is to use this fantasy as a way of expanding the relationship and finding creative compromises, especially if the issue is related to an attraction to larger penises more than a problem with partner sex related to size, which would also be manageable,” he says.

These are certainly issues you can try to sort through by yourself – and Kort recommends Jack Morin’s “The Erotic Mind” as a guide — but seeing a therapist could be a tremendous help. I know you say you’re too embarrassed to do so, but just consider two things: 1) No legitimate therapist is going to bat an eye at your exploits, and 2) You’ve already revealed your most shameful secret to several thousand Internet strangers.

Be good to yourself, friend.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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