Small Penis Jokes Need To Stop

[Image description: A zucchini and a tape measure.]

This post won a 2022 Category Award for Nonfiction on Molly’s Daily Kiss!

content notes and warnings: Discussions of fatphobia, penis shaming, and other body negativity; discussions of trans issues and intersex issues; mentions of kinks including humiliation kinks; um…talking a lot about penises; cycling through several slang and non-slang terms for penises.

  • Some “hip” “naughty” true confession article reads, “I went back to his place and he undressed, and I could barely see it! I made my excuses and left.”
  • A tricked out car vrooms by with its music pounding. “So sorry about your tiny dick!”
  • A mocking caricature of a political figure is revealed, purely so everyone can laugh at how small they made his penis.
  • Your mom’s friend posts a picture of a wine glass that says “of course bigger is better…who wants a small glass of wine?”

Culturally, jokes about small dicks are everywhere. Judgment about small dicks is everywhere! Whether it’s overt, or a bit of wink wink innuendo, we have a weird culture about penises, and I really think it’s about time it stops.

Before I continue, let me tell you that technically I have no horse in this race. My penis is made of silicone and I hardly ever wear it, and my sex life does not include me interacting with any human penises at all. But I hang around a lot of sex-positive spaces, and it baffles me that still, in the year of our lord 2022, it’s still acceptable (and humorous) to shame people for something they literally have no control over.

I will also tell you that I am not pure of heart here; I’m sure I’ve laughed in recent years at someone commenting flippantly that guy in the big truck is compensating blah blah blah. I’m not proud of that, but I’m not exactly immune to cultural narratives and bad habits to unlearn either. But we’re done with these jokes.

Here is a list of reasons why we, as a culture, can and should do so much better.

Size Doesn’t Matter (In Bed)

Here are some factors that make for excellent sex: attraction, kindness, communication, willingness to try new things, respecting each other’s boundaries.

None of those things are Literal, Actual Dick Size, and I can promise you that a bigger schlong does not automatically make its owner excel in the other categories. Conversely, a small penis does not curse the owner somehow. Like…given how often this trope is associated with cis women, let me make something very clear: most people with vulvas don’t get off from penetration alone. Most people with vulvas require clitoral stimulation, regardless of the size of the dick involved, because the clit…is on…the outside. (Also, for some folks? A large dick is going to be painful or at least uncomfortable. Let’s not forget that, either.)

“But I still like the feeling of a big dick! I like how it reaches my prostate/G-spot/A-spot/cervix/soul.” Yeah? Is that literally, like, the only thing you want in a sexual encounter? Like, leaving aside the value of fingers and mouths as sexual tools, to say nothing of glorious things like dirty talk skills, kink orientation, personal values…do you really only think a penis of x dimensions will do it for you? May I interest you in the concept of sex toys? You could look at my dildo reviews if you’re so inclined. There are some pretty hefty ones! And a really cool thing about most people is that, if you think they’re sexy and you’d like to enjoy sexual activities with them, you can in fact use a sex toy while they’re in the room. Sometimes they can even hold it for you! Wow.

“No, no, a big dildo will make them insecure!” Yeah, because we’ve got this stupid cultural narrative about the size of their flesh-and-blood penis being all that matters! Having a sexual encounter that includes sex toys is not somehow less valid than one that just includes bodies, and frankly, it’s fun. (If you’re a person with a penis and you’re worried about being replaced by a dildo, consider what aspects you bring to the relationship in addition to your penis. If you can’t think of any, they may be better off without you, but odds are, they like you for reasons other than just your dick.)

Obviously you can have sex with who you want and seek the body parts you want…but let’s leave alone the idea that a big phallus is the one and only key to satisfaction, because for most people, that ain’t how it works.

Body Positivity

The body positivity movement has done some great things. So many people are confident in the size and shape of their body who, many years ago, might not have been. But…can we stop acting like the body positive movement ends at the idea that, hey, fat chicks can be hot too (provided they’re still pretty, with nice hair, good makeup, and well-dressed or naked)?

First of all: body positivity should not just be about who can or can’t be considered attractive, because being attractive isn’t the be all and end all. The truth of it is, or should be, that there is no wrong way to have a body. If you’re fat, great! Be fat. If you’re the “wrong” kind of fat, where you’re not curvy and flouncing around in plus-sized lingerie? That’s fine, too! If you’re disabled, if you don’t shave your legs, if your nose is big, if you don’t have teeth? You still have a right to exist in public and in private, and you still have a right to love yourself or, if you’d rather not, at least to be kind to yourself. That isn’t to say you can’t feel sexy—you absolutely can! But your worth is not based on whether or not you’re sexy or, more to the point, whether or not other people find you sexy.

A lot more people are, thankfully, coming around to this mindset, but it’s always slow going. Plus-sized models still wear shapewear so that they look proportioned in a socially acceptable way. People still get into arguments about whether bras are necessary because sagging breasts are “unsightly.” Folks still poke fun at ex-presidents who are reprehensible people and, worst of all by their jokes, fat and wearing a toupee. And people will sing the praises of curvy girls with one breath and joke about micropenis in the next.

If we are going to be body positive, in the truest and most honest way, then we have to include all bodies. This doesn’t mean you have to be attracted to everyone. (I’m demisexual, I’m sure not.) But it does mean that you need to be kind about people even if you aren’t attracted to them.

Make all the jokes you want about people behaving shittily, but leave their bodies out of it. Yes, including their dicks. Honestly, if I don’t like someone, what difference do their genitals make to me anyway?

Trans and Intersex People, Like, Exist

A trans man on T is gonna get some impressive growth sometimes, but it’s still not gonna look like a 70s porn actor’s dick, and bottom surgery is usually not designed for massive cockitude. And there are tons of intersex conditions that can lead to a person having a small penis for one reason or another.

“Oh! No no no,” you say, frantically, “I’m only talking about cis men with small penises! That’s fine, that’s punching up, because patriarchy!”

1. You can be an intersex cis man. Intersex people are generally assigned a gender at birth and many grow up to identify with it, simple as that. Some folks don’t even know they’re intersex, since it’s often on a hormonal or chromosomal level or otherwise isn’t noticed. (As far as I know I am not intersex and don’t intend to speak for intersex people, and especially not any with penises, but this much at least is Google-able. For more information check out InterACT.)

2. Trans men are men. By saying “Oh no, when I’m joking about men with small dicks, I don’t mean you,” what you’re really saying is, “You’re not in the ‘man’ category, you’re a different thing!”

Also, while we’re at it:

3. Making fun of men for not being “masculine enough” (which is generally the implication with small dick jokes, let’s not kid ourselves) is not exactly going against the patriarchy; it’s reinforcing it.

4. Toxic macho behavior can be a sign of covering up insecurity for sure, but why are we, culturally, assuming that a) that insecurity is about their literal penis and b) they should be insecure about that, it serves them right for being toxic and macho, which is weirdly tautological and also…mean-spirited. Which brings me to my next point.

Can we just fucking…be nice, y’all?

Jokes about small penises are just…not helpful to anyone. Just about everyone on this goddamn planet is in pain right now for one reason or another, maybe instead of making fun of entire involuntary categories of people, we could…not do that?

If you’ve got a small penis, hello, I’m sure your penis is beautiful. I still don’t want to see it, but I’m sure someone would! (Please ask them first.) I hope it gives you joy.

The Single Exception To This Whole Article

If you’re one of those people with a kink for being penis-shamed, well, good for you, don’t @ me. Your dick is sufficiently laughable or whatever. I dunno, I’m not really into this, but hey. I hope you and your cock have a great day as well regardless.

Want more like this? Try some other verbose rants like Why Are Vampires So Hot? or Why I Stopped Reading Your Erotica.

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  1. Love your take. I have a relatively small penis well below porno star sizes and even below the average. I know that several partners in my first years were disappointed in my size, although nice enough to not say it.
    About 5 years ago, I met a wonderful man who gave me great feedback and useful advice. His tool was comparable and he showed me some tricks and tips to make the most of what I had. My confidence grew in bed.
    Since then I have been with other guys and my current lover has even complimented me and my technique by saying that my skills are better than guys who 50% bigger than me. It comes down to how you use it being confident.


  2. I have a bit of a different perspective on this, because not only below normal size, but I’m more or less asexual/aromantic, which of course is another matter altogether.

    Now, you’d think that would mean that saying “size doesn’t matter” would be reassuring to me, but what’s frustrating is that terms like “Small Dick Energy” are often used as a character or even moral judgement.

    Long before people talked about “SDE” they talked about the Napoleon Complex, which asserts that short men are more aggressive and combative than tall men. As it turns out, no psychologists consider Napoleon Complex a real thing, but that doesn’t stop people from making assumptions about shorter than average men (think of jokes about “angry dwarfs.”)

    In one sense, knowing that my small endowment will likely never be used to please another person frees me from some of the worst of this body shaming, but it also makes me think how absurd it is to place any sense of worth on a body part. It doesn’t make it any less annoying.


    • Yeah, I do agree with you. In the post, the sexual stuff was really only in the first section. As outlined in the rest of the post, it’s a really weird cultural hangup that is super harmful, like other body shaming is, for a ton of reasons, and stems from super toxic ideals. I’m sorry you’ve experienced shaming as well!


      • Mine has been relatively light. I have had only a couple real partners and they were encouraging (and not to get into details but I used methods other than PiV).

        It’s mostly frustration over the fact that people make assumptions about character due to body statistics. As well it seems like social media has made “debate” (if you can call it that) coarser and ruder in general. People seem to really enjoy being mean.


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