Why do gay men love big dicks? Everyone who is sexually interested in men, it seems, values a big dick. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that, when shown computer-generated images of male figures, women rated their attractiveness higher the larger the penis became. Not only that, but they looked at the endowed figures for significantly longer.
Gay men are no different. In fact, we may be worse. According to a survey by gay men’s health charity GMFA, one in five men have rejected a hookup because of their penis size. More concerning, eight percent said penis size influences their decision to wear a condom.
Small = Less Manly?
The research also produced some worrisome commentary. “Being small has always affected my confidence. I feel less manly,” Chris, 29 from London, said. “I have a preference for men to have something substantial, so I feel bad for others who might expect the same with me. I don’t feel body proud. I get very concerned wearing speedos.”
I then conducted a survey of my own via Twitter, asking if the size of a man’s penis is important. The result? 69 percent said size was no factor, where 31 percent said it was. I won’t lie, I wasn’t convinced. But this result was also reflected in the aforementioned GMFA survey, where 49 percent of gay men said size doesn’t matter and 36 percent said it does.
“It’s not a preeminent criteria, but should [a big dick] happen to be the case, then a very welcome bonus,” one Twitter voter responded. “I do enjoy sex and dick size does play a role in that. So a man’s cock size isn’t irrelevant, but on the list of things that I care about it is solidly last,” said another. Another said that as long as the guy is a good kisser and knows how to use the appendage, its size is no problem at all.
The Role Of Toxic Masculinity
“As gay men, we talk a lot about toxic masculinity as though we’re not part of the problem. Our society uses penis size as a proxy for masculinity — and thereby power, sexiness, security, confidence, and more,” Aaron Endré, one particularly passionate individual shares with me over email. “It’s a part of toxic masculinity that we conveniently overlook and continue to propagate.”
He’s not necessarily wrong. According to Joe Kort, sex and relationship therapist, there is a reality to the idea that it’s a dick-size-obsessed world, especially for the gays.
As an example, he shares that many of his queer clients tell him that when they seek hookups online, they will find men who are seven inches, but spend the night searching for someone who is eight inches. “My theory is that a large penis is being confused with strong masculinity, and that’s being confused with raw, erotic power,” he says. “In other words, the bigger the penis, the better the man, the better the sex.”
He responds, “Of course, this is absurd. I’ve had clients tell me they’ve been with men with bigger penises but who didn’t know how to please their lovers with them.”
Symbol of A Civilized Man
To speak further, I reached out to Jason Orne, queer sociologist and author of Boystown: Sex and Community in Chicago. He explains penis size used to be regarded quite differently. In the past, ancient Greeks used to value a small penis. It was regarded as symbolic of a more civilized man. Large penises, however, were considered barbaric and a sign that someone was ruled by their “animalistic passions.”
Orne argues some of this association remains today. “The person isn’t seen as more virile necessarily, but as more sexual than the average person,” he says, adding that, while big penises are valued, the man attached to them often is not. “Especially Brown and Black men that are treated by white men as dildos essentially,” he says. “They’re something to use to have sex with, but not someone they would let their parents meet.” Big dick fetishization is very real, and a subject I recently wrote about.
The Bigger The Better?
I asked Orne if he believes bottoms favor big dicks because taking one is regarded as some sort of accomplishment. He said yes. “I think this is about turning the historically feminized role of being penetrated into a masculine one,” he shares. “‘Look at this big f’ing dick I was able to take,’ ‘I endured it way longer than you could!’ Which is similar to the masculinity evident among fisters.”
As suggested earlier, the fascination with big dicks all boils down to toxic masculinity. It is a plague, and it is everywhere. When we tell men with nice cars they’re overcompensating. When we talk about guys having “big dick energy” because they’re casually confident. When we make broad assumptions about penis size by ethnicity. The yearning for a big dick (to possess one, or get fucked by one) comes from the same unflattering place.
“Upending toxic masculinity means deconstructing all of the harmful elements that all of us have propagated,” Endré shares. “Using a body part as a proxy or predictor for personality is no different than using race, sex, gender, orientation, economic status, or anything else. And that’s wrong.”