Lately, I have been emailing a lot with a man with a micropenis. Chris, a 53-year-old who works in financial services in Chicago, first wrote me in response to an article of mine on how women evaluate men’s junk. “Put bluntly, I have a micropenis,” this complete stranger revealed to me. “Think the size and shape of a sewing thimble soft, wine cork erect.” He continued, “My scrotum is sized to match, no tragedy, just unusual on a tall and fit adult man who appears normal and healthy in every other way.”
"No tragedy" is a common refrain of his, even as he compares his penis to that of a toddler or a hamster.
Of course, I had to start an email back-and-forth with Chris. I find men’s relationships with their penises fascinating. I’ve written about a man with two schlongs, one with none, another with the world’s largest member and then there’s the guy whose Johnson ejaculates uncontrollably 100 times day. It’s like a dirty Dr. Seuss book: One dick, two dicks, huge dick, no dick! An...
It was the first time Chris had talked in depth with someone about his micropenis and he had lots to say -- about losing his virginity, locker room ribbing and an ex-wife who left by telling him his penis was inadequate. I was struck by his utter lack of resentment and self-pity, even when talking about sexual rejection. Eventually, he offered to send me a photo of the subject of our discussion and I accepted. I received a full body shot of him wearing only an unbuttoned baseball jersey and an uneasy expression. His penis was just as he described it: “tiny but cute.”
When did you first realize that you had a micropenis?
I observed very clearly at age 6, while changing clothes in the locker room of a large municipal pool in connection with my first swimming lessons, that my penis was significantly smaller than those of the other boys my age. I had no idea at the time of the social and sexual implications that would arise later, but I knew that this was the most prominent physical sign of maleness, and I sensed that it was a bad thing for a boy to have a small one. At that point, I expected that I'd grow and catch up. The rest of me did grow, rather nicely, but not down there. My testicles descended enough at puberty for development and fertility, but my testes and scrotum remained very small. My penis remained, and still is today, the exact same size that it was when it looked so small on me when I was a little boy.
I realized at age 19 that I'd grown into the body of a nice-looking young man, that I was finished growing, and that my lack of penile growth was likely permanent. I knew that I had a significantly undersized penis, but I'd not yet heard the term "micropenis," nor considered it a medically treatable condition in any way. When I was 25 years of old, I was referred to a urologist for a non-STD infection that wasn't clearing up on its own. I didn't go to him for anything related to penis size and I didn't ask about it. As he examined me, he told me that I have a "micropenis." I'll always remember his exact words that followed as he pulled, rolled, and pinched my penis in the gloved fingers of one hand: "...formation unremarkable, function normal, dimensions infantile." That last word hung in the air.
He told me that my family pediatrician should have referred my parents to a pediatric endocrinologist or urologist, and that hormone treatments just before or at puberty sometimes are effective and should have been tried. He said that I was at least 10 years too late for that and what I had is all I would ever have down there. He considered it an unacceptable condition for an adolescent male not to have some conservative medical intervention and to face adulthood with a penis my size.
Did your parents have any awareness that you penis was abnormally small?
It was a different time. Today, I know that many parents panic if their son has a noticeably small penis, concerned that it will ruin his life. I don't think that my parents ever knew. They had five children, and probably never saw me naked after I could bathe and dress myself, probably somewhere around age 4. My father was a World War II U.S. Army veteran who had to fight his way across the Pacific and who had seen men standing next to him blown to bits or cut in half by shrapnel. I knew my penis was small, but I never told my father that I was concerned or tried to talk with him about it. I thought he'd consider it a frivolous concern, and he likely would have. There was no one I could talk with about it as a child, or until well into adulthood.
What did that first realization that you had a micropenis feel like?
The realization at age 6 was one of mild shame and I began hiding my nakedness from others' eyes as much as possible. The realization at age 19 that I was finished growing, and that my penis hadn't grown at all and likely wouldn't, came with some early and limited kind of acceptance.
Did other boys ever comment on it in the locker room?
Absolutely. I went to an all-male high school and we were required to swim nude in gym class. [Ed. note: Yes, this was a thing.] For four years, one week out of every four involved 50-minutes per day nude with random groupings of peers. We lined up to use the diving board, lined up waiting to use a lane, lined up for roll call -- large penises hanging down, medium penises at a downward angle, small penises pointed straight out and then there was me, practically an innie.
Unfortunately for me, news of the size of my penis didn't stay in the swimming pool, nor within the walls of the school. The girls at our sister school all knew who the larger guys were, and they all had heard about me. There were nicknames with hand gestures and whispers and giggles at social and sporting events. It was universally known for three of my four years of high school that I had the smallest penis in the whole school. I was totally undatable.
Kids tease each other for all sorts of things and I wasn't the only one who got teased. In my case, though, it did go straight to the issue of physical sexual sufficiency and I never knew how or when someone might bring it up in front of others. For example, a guy refers to me as "Tiny Tim," and one of a group of girls says, if it isn't already clear from the context, "Why do you call him that?" No matter how it plays out, I'm about to turn red, go silent and have a group of peers laughing about my having an unusually small penis.
It was difficult, but we gain agency and control as we get older. Now, the only people who see me nude and learn this about me are the people I choose, the occasional medical procedure excepted.
How did having a micropenis impact your feelings about sex and becoming sexually active?
I was terrified. When I began to attract a new kind of attention from girls and began dating at age 16, I definitely wasn't pursuing sex in the way that my male friends were. I was terrified that passionate kissing would lead a date to slip her hand down the front of my pants or strip me for sex, and eventually that did happen. I was afraid that the bubble of excitement would burst when they learned my "little secret," and sometimes it did.
How did you lose your virginity?
I lost my virginity at age 17 and my girlfriend was also a virgin. Her friends had told her it would hurt the first time and my friends had generally described their first experiences with intercourse as being tight and uncomfortable, particularly for the girls. I guess I expected the same and I know that my girlfriend did. She didn't know that my penis was so small, and one night she initiated and I didn't back off that time.
It was a disappointing experience for both of us, as I slipped in and she didn't feel much. As happens with men who have small penises and don't know how to use them, I also slipped out frequently, which is not a woman's favorite thing. The condom kept slipping off also. Not knowing what else to do, sensing that she wasn't enjoying the experience at all and feeling pressure and mild panic, I lost my erection, and remained motionless on top of her, and in her, for what seemed like eternity, but was probably another 15 minutes. I knew that if either of us moved at all, my penis would slip out and I'd never get it back in.
I wasn't even sure that I was still in, but I didn't want to pull away from her hips anyway. She hadn't seen me yet and I was panicked that the first time she'd see me when I was small and soft -- thimble-size -- which is exactly what she saw when we did pull apart and dress. She didn't say anything about it right then, but she stared and her mouth hung open.
During a conversation shortly thereafter, at the restaurant where she and I worked part-time, we were talking with a group of her girlfriends, all waitresses, and one of them, talking to her, referred to me as "your man." She said: "He's not a man; he's just a little boy." They knew we were dating. There was silence for a few seconds and then my girlfriend began to laugh, and they all laughed. I thought I might vomit.
I learned to be very careful from then on, and I never chased women just to get them into bed.
When did you start telling partners ahead of time?
I didn't learn how to bring it up or make that essential disclosure until I was in my late-20s, when I began dating again after my first wife left me, having informed me that she had found an apartment and would be moving out, that we would be getting a divorce, that my penis was way too small to satisfy her sexual needs and that she had already begun dating other men.
The fact that my penis is so small is never quite as bad as the surprise of it, in a moment of passion and intimate discovery. As a couple complete that dance toward sex for the first time, a man shouldn't surprise a woman with a large open sore on his penis, and for mostly the same reasons, he shouldn't surprise her with a 2-inch erection either. Trust is the lifeblood of any relationship, and hoping to keep the lights off and that she won't notice that I'm hung like a toddler is a form of deception, or it's likely to be perceived that way, fairly so. Similarly, an acknowledgment from her of my small size is much better for me and for building trust than would telling me: "no, it's nice" or "it's a good size" with an expression of disappointment on her face and in her voice.
So how have you made the disclosure?
For me it's usually a two-stage process. Depending on the woman and the situation, I can hint as part of flirtation, like saying something indirect like referring to myself as "a little guy," or saying something about ancient Greek statues, or just directly say that I have a small penis, sometimes qualified with "very small." Before I learned how to bring this up, but after I learned that it was necessary, I'd sometimes try to include a swim in a date. It's certain we'd be checking each other out, and a pair of wet swim shorts doesn't tell the whole story, but it tells most of it, if a guy is hung like a horse, or hung, as I am, like a hamster.
The second stage occurs later and is necessary, because saying "small" to a woman is usually understood relative to previous partners or men she's otherwise seen nude. It's highly improbable that she's ever known a man, or even seen a picture of a man, with a penis my size. She's likely thinking of something like a roll of quarters, when I'm trying to tell her that we have half of a roll of nickels to work with down there.
How have your partners reacted?
No matter how tactful I try to be, or clear on the fact that it's an honest admission that I think I should share, a couple of women have taken offense. One went from romantic cuddling to saying in an unhappy voice: "You think I'm going to have sex with you now?" Another woman was offended that she thought I was suggesting that she was shallow and superficial.
The most common reactions with disclosure were very positive and honest, the best being: "Well, it's not ideal, but I'm sure we'll both find ways to have fun with it." Another favorite, as improbable as it may sound: "Our sexual organs are mismatched, but I'm sure you've found other ways to please your ladies." One woman told me at the moment of disclosure that she'd probably spank me for it. She said it teasingly and playfully, and I found the thought strangely arousing. Later, she did just that, had me strip and stand before her, and she spanked me for bringing her something so small to play with. We both loved it and that union was very creative in many ways. One disclosure led my new relationship partner to say, "Fine, I'll treat it like I would a clit." That thinking worked very well.
The most common reaction without disclosure was a look of concern and disappointment, along with the question, exact same words more than once: "Why is it so small?" Clearly, they were hoping I'd say it was about to pop out like a turkey timer. At that point, it was always my full erection, and the only answer I could offer was: "It just is." The breakdown in trust, and the diminished excitement at this turn of events, was always evident.
What is your personal life like now -- romantically and sexually?
I'm married for the second time, with two children -- conceived in the usual way -- now on the cusp of adulthood. I learned when single that dating co-workers would eventually lead to me being known around the office as the guy with the tiny penis, so I had sense not to do that more than once. Overall, I've had a romantically and sexually satisfying adult life, and I've pleased some women very well, and disappointed others who needed what I didn't have, what I couldn't do. At least one former girlfriend would probably consider me to be among her best lovers.
My wife and I are monogamous, and we have trust and good conversation. She's never been either thrilled or disgusted with the small size of my penis, but women give penises far less thought anyway than we men do. Sexually, we have our hot and cool periods, depending on what's going on in the rest of life, but the door is always open. One of us just has to walk through it and the other is on the other side ready to put down whatever book is in hand and to begin kissing, touching or telling me to "work that little penis."
Do you worry about or avoid urinating in public bathrooms with urinals?
I may be a bit of an outlier here, especially as a man with an undersized penis, but, for me, the relief of emptying a full bladder and relieving that pressure far outweighs the anxiety of being seen.
There is one exception: When I've been outside in the cold or exercising, or for a variety of other reasons, my penis retracts completely. When that happens, after I lower my zipper at the urinal, I have to manipulate my penis with my fingertips to get it to extend to the point at which it's long enough to clear my zipper opening and direct the stream of fluid. Otherwise, I could just begin urinating, but my fully retracted penis would send the stream in no particular or predictable direction; like a woman trying to use a urinal, the only predictive force or direction would be gravity. Consequently, it's always awkward for me when that happens, standing next to another man at a urinal, fumbling within my zipper opening, searching with my fingertips for my hidden and retracted penis, and trying to press the pubic pad and and stroke my penis a bit so that there's something to hold and point. A man's supposed to be able to find his penis without searching, and most can, but not always me.
How pleasurable is sex for you? Do you ever worry that you're missing out?
Sexual contact is very pleasurable for me, both the emotional intimacy and the physical sensations. Mostly, I like pleasing a partner. When it comes to vaginal penetrative intercourse, the lack of sensation and stimulation is mutual. Neither of us is ever going to have an orgasm that way, not without the additional use of fingers or other additional stimulation. The old line about a large-small mismatch being "like throwing a hotdog down a hallway" is true. The hallway doesn't feel much, of course, but neither does the hotdog.
I do regret not being able to deliver more vaginal pleasure with my penis alone, but I understand that most women don't have orgasms from that kind of penetration alone. Still, it would be nice to deliver that gentle pressure against a woman's cervix and to stimulate the nerve endings around it, to give her a full feeling with my natural penis alone, but I can't. It's just part of life. I've never been anywhere near a woman's cervix. I can learn new languages, and I do pretty well in three of them, but I've never gotten very far with three others that I've tried: Japanese, Arabic and Greek. I'll never give a woman toe-curling screaming orgasms through penetrative intercourse alone and I'll probably never be fluent in Japanese. No tragedy there.
I tend to think that people who face what are seen as sexual deficiencies -- say, the man with no penis who recently did a Reddit AMA -- can offer some of the very best sex advice. What is yours?
I read your article and I found his positive attitude to be very similar to mine. My advice to men out there is to view sex as a spice of life, an element of a relationship based on trust and good conversation. When it comes to that sexual element, I've learned that indulging my own kinks and interests is a prize that a woman will gladly let me claim after I've satisfied her needs and wants well first. I enjoy long lovemaking and orgasms aren't everything, but I generally want to ensure that a woman has two before I seek to pursue one of my own. Alternatively, sometimes, the greatest sexual gift a man can give a woman at the end of a long and tiring day isn't a sexual marathon requiring extensive cleanup afterwards. It's to treat her kindly, to guide her to an orgasm in her favorite way and let her drift off to sleep immediately afterward, without having to worry about pleasing him physically right then. It's a gift I have enjoyed giving, and one that's been appreciated.
Do you watch porn much? How do you feel about the emphasis on big dicks?
I do enjoy porn for the same main reason other men do: masturbatory fantasy. I've lived in a world surrounded by men more generously endowed than I am and that may be why large-dick porn doesn't particularly appeal to me. It's my everyday reality. There are two places with active and advanced porn industries for consumption in the domestic market where men don't tend to be large. Russia is flooded with porn, and the men tend to be of all sizes, and without a size obsession like we have in the U.S. The other place is Japan, where most of the women are still unshaven and the men appearing often have penises that are quite small. There doesn't seem to be any penis-size stigma there.
The porn I most enjoy is Japanese porn, seeing an attractive woman squealing with delight while being dicked by a man with a small penis. I also enjoy, as strange as it may seem, porn featuring small penis humiliation and small penis teasing. It seems that I've sexualized some of life's early unpleasantness and now it's capable of generating great sexual energy for me. As a fantasy in porn or as sexual play with my wife, I enjoy it very much. We humans can sexualize any kind of fear or pain, and fear of rejection, of being judged sexually inadequate, of being told that my penis is too small, all can be used to harness sexual power, under the right circumstances.
Have you compensated for your micropenis in the bedroom in any ways?
I've found things that work for me, that compensate. I view vaginal penetrative intercourse as an appetizer or a dessert and never as a main course. I have 10 fingers and a tongue, a fit body and a creative mind, and I use them all. I experiment, respond to her pleasure signals and deny myself initially. Although exceptionally small, I can stay hard for hours when appropriate and have very good control over my ejaculation and release. Any man can do an Internet search for "sex positions for small penis" and find some very solid ideas.
Rather than insert my penis, it works much better if I hold my hard penis in my fingertips and rub her vulva with it. Giving attention to her clitoris, labia and vaginal opening, about all I can reach anyway, has worked very well. I've used penis extender sleeves to good effect. They eliminate all surface sensation for me, but I sense a squeezing that I would never otherwise feel during intercourse and I like that the motion is mine and my penis is inside of it, delivering deeper and more filling sensations than nature equipped me to do unassisted.
After a certain age, maybe mid-20s, women tend not to divulge too many details of their sex lives and partners' equipment to anyone other than very close friends, if anyone. However, men should expect that being extremely large, extremely small, curved at a very strange angle or otherwise highly remarkable sex is going to merit mention over drinks with the girls from time to time, at any age. Over a pitcher of margaritas, I always expected that women would say something about my highly unusual penis. Because it seemed inevitable, I wanted it to be accompanied by a satisfied smile, a faraway look and a comment like, "he's got a really little dick, but he sure knows how to use what he has."