Why you should care

Because if you need a totally unbiased, sensitive and nuanced opinion on something that deeply affects your connection to Eros, well, one out of three ain’t bad.

Disclaimer for people looking to get their own burning, itching, weeping problems solved: This is not medically functional advice!

EUGENE, SIR: When are you going to talk about penis size? Mine is average to small, but average means I am not alone, and so if most men are like me, why are we obsessed with this? Also, what’s your opinion of penis pumps? —Tiny Tim

DEAR Lil’ Richard: Why are “we” obsessed with this? Which “we” are ”we” talking about? I mean, I have to ask since the “we” that includes “me” is much more worried about the stock market than the cock market, but I can fully appreciate that bald men worry about hair and that fat men worry about skinny and you, mein lieber Freund, are worried about the size of your penis.

Because the reality of it is a man might forget his mother’s birthday, his anniversary or where he parked the car, but there isn’t a man alive now on God’s green earth who has not on at least one occasion laid his pride and glory, or at least his pride, on a ruler “just” to “see” how he measures up. And even with communal showers, no comparative study is comfortably completed without the input of the most affected portion of our survey grouping: the people we sleep with. So, good of you to ask, even if the fact that you ask indicates that you suspect what we know: Average might not feel so above average. And no one goes to bed wanting to have average sex anyway.

But here are some real metrics: According to a study published last year in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on the basis of a survey of about 1,661 men, the average American man’s penis is 5.6 inches, or 14.2 centimeters. Erect. Depending on what you’ve seen and where you’ve been, you’re either celebrating or crying now.

And here’s something else: Statistically speaking and according to the Journal of Crap That I Know, no matter what anyone says, no man is going to believe any of that feel-better-boy slop like “it’s not the meat, it’s the motion” or the equally trenchant “it’s not the ocean, it’s the motion” for the simple reason that no woman believes it. Hence your penis pump query.

And penis pumps do work to a certain degree. That might be good news for you and yours. But here’s the bad news: only when they’re on. Making them the functional equivalent of your man stretching his penis as far as it will go and saying to you, “Wow … look how big my penis is!”

The sad reality for some men is the inescapable fact that there’s not much that’s going to make half a foot a whole foot. So to quote Ian MacKaye, “You better be happy with what you’ve got; you’ll never get any more.” And for the refuseniks who toy with Mother Nature? Well, there’s this (read it while sitting down).

EUGENE, SIR: Maybe I’m too uptight, but I find the practice in porn of men giving anal sex to women then having them fellate the unwashed penis to be so nasty. I cannot imagine a woman I’ve ever dated liking that. If I shoved such a thing in their mouths, they would order every male they knew to kill me. — Chris in Denver

DEAR Silly Rabbit: First of all, a lot of sex falls under the purview of what William Burroughs called Naked Lunch — that “frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.” So, if a stranger says, “Kiss my ass,” you’re prone to umbrage. If your lover asks you to? Party time. Unless it comes in the midst of a discussion about the frequency with which you remove trash from the house without being asked. Then it might be more of the former and less of the latter.

But men sometimes do a strange proxy with their female lovers, so when you say as you do that “I cannot imagine a woman I’ve ever dated liking that,” what you really mean is “I cannot imagine ME liking that,” to which I might say: Get over yourself, baby. Sex is dirty and nasty, if done right, and you should not want to live in a universe where it was any other way. Because if it was any other way? It’d be called toothbrushing. Or dishwashing.

That being said, there is an issue involved with any anal play, and that very much involves the transmission of fecal matter from a place where you usually find it to a place where you don’t. But with a little bit of planning ahead, specifically presex enemas to reduce extant fecal matter, or just rubbing it clean, you can avoid the sometimes inevitable gut disturbances that come from it being dirty (E. coli and, in worst-case scenarios, STDs and parasites). But this would require talking about it. A kind of kink that is a bridge too far for many. Don’t be part of that too many.

Also, in parting, I should say this: If you’re going to be squeamish about kissing her afterward? The terrorists have already won.

EUGENE, SIR: Is 80 sex partners too many? Had that talk with the new lover last night. Still in shock. We are 29, by the way. — Ask and Told

DEAR Count Von Count: Well, too many for whom?

For your partner? Clearly not. For you? Clearly so. But it shouldn’t. Are you worried that it points to an inconstancy of character? Does the word “slut” flit through your mind with a certain frequency since last night? It shouldn’t. You ever hear that expression about seeing how sausage is made? Well, people are like that sausage. You’d probably be better off not knowing how we’re made, but the reality of it is that’s even looking at things the wrong way, since it’s my opinion that this is the kind of thing that enriches the tapestry and not makes it poorer.

Whatever your partner did to get to you should be celebrated like anything else that person’s moved through to get to you. Moreover, anyone pushing those kinds of numbers probably knows a few things about a few things, and if this is the “finally settling down” mode? Invite your lover to bring it on and get ready to learn a few things about a few things.

Cover Image by Kasia Meow

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