Almost every man in our culture is concerned about the size of his penis.
I remember the scene vividly even though it was over 30 years ago. It way my first high school PE class. This was back in a time when we were FORCED to change before class and shower afterward. I remember PE because it’s where I (and I assume most men) learned about locker room behavior. I learned to secretly check out the other guys and compare their penises to mine. Every guy does it and we all hope we don’t get caught!
Every man, of any sexual orientation, checks out other naked men. Most of the time we’re looking for one thing and one thing only: how big is he compared to me? The thing many of us don’t realize is that this isn’t a fair comparison. When you’re looking at someone else you’re looking at a slight downward angle. When you’re looking at yourself you’re looking almost straight down. These aren’t the same angles; accordingly, you have a different perspective looking at yourself compared to looking at someone else. Keep that in mind the next time you sneak a look!
I’ve worked with men who have concerns about penis size. (No, not all of these men were concerned about their penis being too small – more on that later.) The thing to look at is does this part of your body give you pleasure. Does it feel good? Does it give your partner pleasure? In other words, rather than looking at the size of your penis, take a look at its function. Be happy that your penis makes you and your partner happy.
I’ve also worked with men who complain that their penis is too big. Many of these men find it difficult for others to see them as men; rather, their experience is that of a person attached to a large penis. Many of these men experience popularity but that popularity is only due to their penis – not to who these men are as people. One man recently told me, “I’d actually like for someone to see me and get to know me as a whole person – not just my penis.”
As long as we view our penis as separate from ourselves as men, we’ll continue to experience shame around this part of our body. When we look at this part of the body just like any other part of the body and see ourselves as an integrated, whole person the shame begins to go away.