Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
I am a 19-year-old male with a 4.5-inch cock that has not grown since I was 12. My girlfriend says that it does not penetrate deeply enough. I have already lost two girlfriends because they said the sex wasn’t sensational enough. My doctor says I could have surgery, but my girlfriend says I should take pills. I would go with my doctor, but I don’t want to have them fuck up my cock.
—Cock Ain’t Penetrating
“I’m not sure how CAP is measuring,” says Alice Dreger, a faculty member of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Flaccid unstretched, flaccid stretched, sort of turned on, way turned on—all this matters in regards to length when you go to look at available stats.”
Dreger has worked as a patient advocate for people born with “different-than-average sex anatomies” for more than a decade (you can read more about her work at alicedreger.com). She took a spin as a guest expert in this space a few months ago and her advice for women with big clits was so good that I invited her back to offer some advice for men with small dicks. A word of warning, CAP, before we dive into your cock: Dreger invited a couple of additional guest experts to weigh in, so you need to pay attention to the quotation marks if you want to keep track of who’s telling you what.
“Assuming CAP is telling us that the biggest he gets is 4.5 inches,” says Dreger, “his penis is ‘totally within the range of normal,’ according to Dr. Kevin McVary, professor of urology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.”
So if your dick is in the “normal range,” why are girlfriends, docs, and spammers pushing surgery and pills on you?
“There are plenty of doctors and Internet charlatans (and some docs who are Internet charlatans) who will be happy to make CAP feel smaller still and offer him ‘enhancements,’ including a variety of surgeries,” says Dreger. To find out if any of these surgeries work, Dreger pored over PubMed, a government-run medical-literature index. “Your taxpayer dollars at work reveal shockingly little study of these procedures,” says Dreger. “Could this be true, I wondered? Are surgeons out there messing with guys’ stuff for nonmedical reasons and not keeping track of the outcomes?”
Yup, says Dr. McVary.
“When challenged to present outcomes publicly in international research forums—any type of objective outcome—these purveyors come up empty-handed,” says Dr. McVary. “They have never shown a benefit to a patient, even by any kind of quasi-academic means.”
There’s a very good reason docs doing these “enhancements” don’t ask, don’t tell, and don’t publish much about outcomes: Surveys of men who have had these surgeries show that most aren’t happy with the results. How unhappy are some guys? Well, earlier this year, a man pleaded guilty to a “weapons of mass destruction” charge for mailing a bomb to the surgeon who botched his penile-enlargement surgery. I’m not going to compound this poor guy’s misery by mentioning his name, but my inner 12-year-old obligates me to mention this detail: The bomb was mailed from Reamstown, Pa.
Just in case two guest experts and one angry small-dicked mail bomber aren’t enough to convince you that surgery is a dumb choice, CAP, Dreger lined up a third guest expert.
“It is foolish, risky surgery,” says Dr. Justine Schober, urologist at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa. “The same holds true for pills that supposedly increase length: useless at best, risky at worst.”
If surgery is foolish and pills are useless, what can you do?
“CAP’s girlfriend says his penis doesn’t penetrate deeply enough,” says Dreger. “CAP could try positions that let him get in deeper, or, better yet, he could take the time to figure out where his girlfriend’s ‘sweet spots’ are, because, according to the sexology literature, length matters less than location.” That means you need to retool your grind, CAP, not cut up your meat. “He could also be more creative and use techniques in addition to penis-vagina intercourse.”
You also need to stop viewing your dick as somehow fatal to your romantic prospects.
“Dr. Schober did a study of guys who had really small penises,” Dreger continues, “small enough to be described as ‘micropenises.’” And how do these men—men with dicks so small that doctors feel free to toss around an ego-shattering prefix like “micro” when discussing their dicks—do with the ladies? “This study found that they tend to have ‘close and long-lasting relationships’ with women,” Dreger says. And Dr. Schober says: “They often attribute partner sexual satisfaction… to their need to make extra effort, including nonpenetrating techniques.” One of the microdicked men in Dr. Schober’s study had a wife and a mistress. “So much for the theory that having a small member won’t get you a woman,” says Dreger.
Finally, in her research, Dreger ran across numerous articles about guys who tried to “self-enhance.” She was reluctant to share the “dumbshit stuff they tried,” lest it inspire small-dicked men out there to attempt similarly stupid stuff. “The docs reporting on trying to help them didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” was all she would say at first. When I assured Dreger that small-dicked readers of Savage Love have high self-esteem, great nonpenetrating technique, and more wives and mistresses than they can shake their micropenises at, she came through with one tragic example of self-enhancement: men injecting petroleum jelly directly into their penises.
“Nonsterile petroleum jelly,” Dreger adds. “Some of the guys ended up so scarred, surgeons had to basically cut up their penises and rebuild them. And a rebuilt transmission may function a lot like a new transmission, but the male organ is not a transmission.”—Dan
I met a kind, funny, attractive man. The problem is his penis is pretty small. I spent the past two years with a well-endowed ex, and it’s hard to be satisfied now that I’m not being “filled up.” How do I broach the subject of using toys without hurting his feelings? I want to bring my silicone friends into the bedroom!
—Canadian Craving More Cock
I wouldn’t advise you to pull open a junk drawer full of dick-shaped silicone friends, CCMC, as that will prompt your boyfriend to draw immediate and unflattering comparisons to his own junk. Instead, take a hard look at some of your boyfriend’s other body parts. He may not be able to give you that filled-up feeling with his dick, but I’ll bet he could with one or both of his forearms. (And, hey, most men have feet that are at least 10 inches long.) Done correctly—lots of lube, lots of time—fisting won’t hurt you. Done incorrectly—too little lube, too little time—and fisting could land you in the hospital, at the morgue, or on the Drudge Report. While there’s tons of good info on the Web about vaginal fisting (gotta love that vaginal-fisting entry on Wikipedia), I urge wannabe fisters to invest in a copy of A Hand in the Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting by Deborah Addington.
Oh, and those watches and wedding bands, beginning fisters? Remove ’em or lose ’em.
Dan Savage’s new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, is on sale now. Send your Savage Love questions to email@example.com.