Why Having A Small Penis Is A Good Excuse For A Party
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It’s Saturday evening around 7pm, and after only one gin and tonic, I find myself surrounded by a handful of completely naked men. Some are young, some are old. Some are fat, some are thin. Some are dancing. One has an elaborate network of chains dangling from his goolies. But they all have one thing in common.
They all have small penises.
I’m at the Big Small Penis Party in East London, the first event staged to celebrate men whose cocks are smaller than average – that is, since you ask, shorter than five inches when in party mode. That’s right, there’s an actual conference for men not over-burdened by penis size, promising poetry, performance and piss-up, not to mention wine, women and song.
But wait, aren’t these men supposed to be embarrassed about this? Aren’t they supposed to hide away in shame and self-loathing? Surely getting drunk and striding around in their birthday suits is just not on?
Early arrivals hug the walls of the room, seemingly terrified of the space in front of the stage, empty except for Peter, a hirsute chap, naked but for a pair of Timberland boots and wielding a tin of small ginger biscuits shaped like dicks.
“Help yourself,” he says cheerfully, proffering the stash.
I take one and bite a testicle off. “That is really good…” I raise what remains of my phallic confection in toast.
Peter tells me they were made by poet Ant Smith, the party’s host.
Smith’s poem, Little Dick, detailing his anxieties over his physical shortcomings, was picked up in the national press (AskMen included), leading to other men from all over the world getting in touch with him to share their own stories of small penises.
Tonight Smith is not naked. He is wearing a tartan Mackintosh and a pork pie hat. I ambush him when he is outside having a smoke. He explains that although he is now the ambassador of this unlikely movement, it has only been in the last couple of years that he has been able to speak to his own wife of 17 years about how he feels: he spent much of their relationship hopping into bed with his pants on, only removing them once he was safely under the blankets.
I suggest that she must have known what size his penis was, blankets or no blankets?
“Yes, but as long as you are not talking about something you can pretend it’s not there,” he says.
However, I imagine it’s hard to luxuriate in a landscape of complete denial when other men openly laugh at the size of your knob in public urinals.
He readily admits his penis has shaped his personality and that he’d be an “arrogant bastard” if he were better endowed, so for that reason he wouldn’t change a thing.
Anyway, it’s not just men with small penises that worry about them. In fact, men who are average sized (between five and six inches when erect) are more likely to suffer from anxiety over their genitals. That’s a hell of a lot of worry for a hell of a lot of men.
This kind of image neurosis is typically considered a female issue: we’re always being told either directly or via the media that we are too fat or too thin or too hairy or too flat-bottomed. We are told we have man-hands or cankles. We pose like I’m A Little Tea Pot in photographs so no one will realise we have bingo wings. We agonise about whether one breast is bigger than the other, and will anyone notice if we are lying down? Lots of us will only have sex in a bra so our lovers won’t think we have saggy udders attached to our chests. We worry about whether what we have constitutes as “muff cabbage” or “beef curtains”.
The list is soul destroying. But for the most part, society thinks body shaming is something that only really affects women.