Since You Asked: "Does Size Matter?"

By Cary Tennis

By Salon Staff
Published April 12, 2002 8:00PM (EDT)

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The correct answer to the guy concerned about size is: Unless he is a spectacularly lousy lay, she was. Sex is so many things that for a woman to have a Seinfeld-episode-type reaction to a man's size means that the project was not going all that well to begin with. So rather than examining himself in front of a mirror with a ruler, he needs to look at other things, including the bimbos he chooses to expose himself to. Maybe all men should have this "shortcoming," so they can think beyond the length of their dicks and learn what really turns women on. (How many, oh how many, think that since God gave them 9 inches, they don't have to do a damned thing beyond showing it off and sticking it in?)

-- Ardis Wade

I read today's letter about penis size and lack of confidence with great interest. I think I have some information that will gladden hearts, male and female, everywhere. But first let me say that I also went through a bit of self-doubt about my penis size when I was younger. My doubts might have arisen because I am one of those people whose penis doubles or even triples in size when erect. I believe that larger penises, when erect, don't gain as much length and bulk as smaller ones. So comparisons in the flaccid state can be unnerving. The erect size is the one that should be considered.

Yet is a giant joint really an advantage? One time I stepped into a sex shop and viewed part of a porno movie. A woman was performing fellatio on a guy who had an unusually big penis. Well, when I saw that she couldn't even get her mouth around his penis, I suddenly realized that I didn't envy him his extra large size at all. I like being able to put most of my penis into my lover's mouth.

Now to my story: I had bound my lover's arms with silk ties and blindfolded her; she lay submissively on the bed awaiting my next move. We had joked earlier about fruits and vegetables as sex aids and shopped together for suitable shapes and sizes. When she perused cucumbers I was interested to note that she selected the pickle type as most resembling my equipment. I actually felt the chosen cucumber was twice as long and twice as wide as my penis but respected her decision as some sort of misguided judgment or, at the least, outright flattery. (Years ago when she was part of a women's group and the women started discussing their boyfriends' penis sizes, my lover loyally proclaimed that "he's just my size.")

I nosed the cucumber around her vagina and finally began inserting it farther and farther. She, blindfolded and bound all the while, said it felt cold, not warm like a penis. But the most astonishing fact to emerge was our discovery that she couldn't tell how far in the cucumber was being pushed. She couldn't actually tell if just the small head of the cuke was in or if the very widest part was in. Nor could she tell if the cucumber was 3 inches in or 8 inches in. Later she clearly preferred one or two of my warm and soft fingers inside her and responded with much more enthusiasm to those skinny digits than she had to the giant vegetable penis doppelgdnger.

What really contributes to an exciting experience is how big the idea of sexual adventure is and how big the mental turn-on.

-- Michael Muller

Jeez, Cary, you really missed the boat with that guy whose insensitive, ignorant date said he was "too small" for her. What does too small mean? It probably means that she is one of these women who enjoy a sense of being filled up. Now if she was a lesbian and had that same feeling, what would she do? Well, she and her girlfriend would get their butts down to Good Vibrations, buy a nice assortment of dildos and vibrators in various shapes and sizes, and then go home and see which of the toys gives her the best feeling. Fun research, right? Probably lead to lots of intimate communication and a great sex life.

But if her partner is a guy, all of a sudden their entire sexual relationship falls into the standard heterosexual myth that "real men use their 8-inch dicks to fuck women and make the women come copiously." Which is bullshit.

Dicks (of any size) generally don't make women come. Tongues and fingers do. This guy needed some explicit and specific information about female physiology.

If he has had this problem with three girlfriends already, my guess is that he is a lousy lover. He's all hung up on fucking a woman with his dick, and naturally he is not satisfying her. And I'm also guessing that his girlfriends are too inexperienced to know what makes them come either. So he's all nervous about sex, and he is ignorant of female physiology, so his girlfriends don't enjoy sex with him, and now he was just unfortunate enough to run into a cruel, ignorant woman who really gave the guy a complex.

You had an obligation to fix him right up with what he really needs, some basic information about sex. He needs to learn where her clit is, learn to lick it (hey, man, I'm sorry if this is getting too graphic, but frankly, this is what the guy needed to hear), buy a nice big latex or gel dildo and see if his next girlfriend doesn't enjoy him a lot more. As for his latest woman, he's way better off without her.

I realize you do a relationship column instead of a sex column, but the gentleman needed some very specific advice about women's sexuality, not the usual platitudes about working things out with communication.

-- Anonymous

Salon Staff

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