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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The long and short of it

    Jeremiah Simmonscolumnist
    Jeremiah Simmons
    columnist

    Suffice it to say, all men were not created equal. When it comes to measuring up – in inches, that is – some of us end up with the short end of the stick. Does size really matter? History paints a different picture from the present. In today’s society, we’ve created indices of potential penis size by observing the largeness of a man’s hands, the size of his feet or the length of his earlobes. Therein lies the problem: men and their penis wars, with everyone else getting caught between the crossfire.

    Why do most guys care anyway?

    In today’s
    society, we’ve
    created indices of potential penis size by observing the largeness of a man’s hands, the size of his feet or the length of his earlobes.

    In today’s mainstream culture, being well-endowed is considered a prized possession. Understanding that we live in a competitive society, endowment is perceived as a measure of masculinity and power for men. This endowment anxiety is then heightened by mass media in the form of TV shows like “”Sex In The City”” or through print media in Men’s Health and Cosmopolitan. Sure, health-lifestyle magazines provide you with information about various aspects of your health, but they are part of a profit-driven industry to convince you to buy products you don’t need because they reinforce insecurities you already believe about yourself – that you have a small penis and it makes you feel less than whole. This contemporary phenomenon was vastly different in the annals of history.

    History plays a major role in determining the ideal penis size. In the same sense that art depicts the condition of man through the ages, history and culture will determine the direction of the ideal penis size. David Friedman, author of “”A Mind of Its Own,”” writes that “”the penis has been deified, demonized, secularized, racialized, psychoanalyzed, politicized and, finally, medicalized,”” providing a cultural examination from the past to the present. He recounts how the ancient Greeks likened penis measurement to man’s proximity to “”divine power,”” the Romans likened it as an indicator of early strength, early Christianity likened it as a manifestation of the devil (“”sacred staff”” to “”demon rod””) and Renaissance citizens viewed it as anything from an “”agent of death”” to a “”blameless instrument of reproduction.”” In the modern age, the penis plays a role in human personality and race politics, and, to my delight, has found its way into academia and popular culture intrigue. So where does this leave us in today’s society?

    Big or small? Thin or wide? Curved or straight? Helmet or hood? With so many variations, there is literally a penis for every occasion and person out there. For some reason though, we’ve convinced ourselves that we need the biggest, baddest penis out on the market. For some, sure. For the rest of us, it is a trial-and-error process. Before we even know what size is best for us, we enter the arena like walking into an all-you-can-eat buffet – your eyes are bigger than your stomach. If you decide to go big, just make sure you have the square-footage so you don’t wreck the furniture. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than having painful or uncomfortable sex.

    Regardless of size, the penis is not just a jackhammer! Your aim is for sexual pleasure, not to collapse a lung or cause kidney failure. When people extol a man for understanding the “”motion in the ocean,”” they are spot on. I’ve had some of the greatest sex with my partner because we were in tune with each another. We shared the same fantasies and desires and we had a rockin’ good time. So fear not, my small-endowed brothers: fret not about the size of your boat and thou will master the waves.

    The problem with penis size is that it exists more in our heads than between our legs. The understanding that seems to be lost in this whole mess is that it is the understanding of your partner’s physical and emotional needs and desires that will ultimately improve your sexual relationship – rather than trying to alter the size of your penis.

    Jeremiah Simmons is a second-year public health graduate student. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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