The email was titled “News about penile Extender from Madrid Spain.” Assuming it was spam, I hit Delete.
A few days later the phone rang.
“This is Jonathan Buffard in charge of public relations for Andromedical, a urological laboratory in Spain,” said the friendly voice before enquiring whether Xtra’s sister magazine fab had received his email.
Skeptical, I asked him to resend the information, including a report by researchers from San Giovanni Battista Hospital at the University of Turin, Italy, published in the Feb 2009 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Buffard not only sent the information, reams of it, but also had enough faith in his company’s product to ship a complete Andropenis Penis Enlargement kit, retailing at $299 US, for fab to test.
Two years ago, fab’s gay sex survey showed 64.8 percent of readers considered their cock size “average,” but 23.8 percent were not content. One respondent wrote, “I wish I had a cucumber not a pickle.”
When the kit arrives, its burnished wood box opens to reveal what appears to be a medieval torture device. The original plan is for fab columnist Paul Bellini to test out the Andropenis. He has a prodigiously hung pornstar subject in mind and speculates gleefully, “We can create a monster dick.” Seeing the actual implement, Bellini reconsiders.
As well as the personal invasion, there is the time involved: the Andropenis must be worn for five waking hours a day for several months to achieve maximum gain. For a pornstar who needs his cock available to pay the rent, that is a considerable imposition.
I become the writer and the guinea pig.
The term “size queen” is frequently used by gay men in a disparaging way, but a lack of endowment is more likely to be mocked during gay banter. Personal ads brag of endless inches or gargantuan girth. Pornstars trumpet their enormous erections and add inches of plastic to their namesake dildos.
There are straight sites like heylittledick.com and pinkydicks.com, but I am unable to find a gay equivalent where smaller dicks, or even the humiliation of their owners, is presented as masturbatory material.
Contacting an expert, Andre Tardif of pornducer.com and uncutcoxx.com fame, yields some results. A self-confessed size queen, Tardif is skeptical but resourceful.
He recalls a Vancouver small cock pride group that marched in the Pride parade, and he uncovers a division of gaymansex.com featuring Hot Jocks with Small Cocks. He thinks it unlikely that it would be a profitable online endeavour but says it might work as “a niche site. Like red hair or pissing.”
Muscles can be built at the gym, wrinkles can be botoxed and intellect can be increased with study, but penis size is a product of luck and genetics. Pumps provide only temporary engorgement and silicone injections can dull sensation.
There is surgery, pioneered in Toronto by Dr Robert H Stubbs, that snips the suspensory ligament muscle attaching the penis to the pelvis, which creates a few centimetres of extra length. But in most cases, impaired erectile function results. Is a larger appearance worth it if even Viagra won’t bring it to full mast?
Toronto sex therapist Laila McDaniels blames body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which she describes as, “an identity crisis disorder made worse by false media stereotypes. Eros is more between the ears than the legs. Very few men have too small a penis.”
Buffard tells me that the Andropenis system was originally designed to help men with micropenises or Peyronie’s disease (extreme curvature or bends in the penis shaft) — definite medical problems. Andropenis claims to be able to increase penis size by almost a third and, if true, it is no wonder they have started marketing it to any man who just wants a larger johnson.
I haven’t spent a lot of time, at least not since early puberty, contemplating the size of my penis, but unwrapping the metal pieces and trying to figure out how they fit together and attach to my genitals, does bring the issue up.
My very first important lover was hung like a bull. A bull terrier. The first time we got naked and did the deed I admit I was surprised and a bit disappointed.
However, we were in love, the sex was great and the eventual breakup revolved around issues that had nothing to do with his miniature member. Any of my size-queen tendencies were nipped in the bud.
Since then I have slept with men with cocks smaller than mine, larger than mine and, on occasion, considerably larger than mine. I figured I was somewhere around average and that seemed fine.
Until I hold an instrument that promises to move me out of the average and into the endowed. I remind myself that coveting is a sin.
I receive an invitation to a penis-measuring party. The host/researcher has no apparent credentials beyond his voyeuristic desires and OCD. I am under no illusions that this is a legitimate research project. More likely a ploy for kick-starting group sex. I’m in.
The “doctor” takes it very seriously. We are individually taken into his office (the bathroom of his hotel suite) where we are painstakingly assessed, with tape measure and calipers, from every angle. The information is dictated to an assistant who carefully records all the pertinent details.
Once processed, we are sent naked into the bedroom and encouraged to mingle and interact sexually with our fellow subjects. When full tumescence is achieved, the doctor swoops in with his tools and conducts a second set of measurements.
The assistant, who has been pressed into service as a fluffer, dutifully translates and scribbles down the doctor’s excitedly ejaculated findings. It is more farcical than erotic, but everyone does eventually get off.
Dressing to leave, I pause to chat with the doctor about my results. He cross-references my anonymous number against a column of figures and notes dismissively, “Average. Not really of any interest at all, I’m afraid.” A moment ago I was gleefully naked in the midst of a crowd; now I have penis envy and possibly BDD.
The Andropenis resembles a miniature leg brace or an inverted gynecological device. A round plastic ring fits over the base of the penis much like a loose cock ring. The penis is then stretched to the length of the two adjustable metal arms. A plastic cupping shelf attaches to the end of the arms and the penis head fits over the far edge. A strip of plastic tubing (with an optional foam rubber overcoating) wraps around the penis head and is pulled tight to keep the penis stretched to the length selected.
The basic medical theory behind the Andropenis is that stretching over a period of time will cause the body to create new cells and the penis will become larger. Much like doing reps at the gym. It takes some fumbling, complicated by the fact that I feel ridiculous, to get the contraption in place.
It doesn’t feel even vaguely natural, but it’s not uncomfortable, except for the sensation of having my penis constantly stretched.
I pinch myself once while struggling to tighten the tubing without slipping off the plastic penis head shelf. No pain, no gain. At least there is no blood or bruising.
The Andropenis is, supposedly, designed to be worn under clothing while one goes about one’s usual daily business. Jeans, of even minimal tightness, require one to decide on which side to tuck. No more nice bulge: instead, an oddly shaped protuberance pressed against my upper thigh. I switch to boxers and a pair of sweat pants. Comfortably flopping, I sit at the computer to record my observations.
After a few minutes of Facebook browsing, I forget that I am having my penis stretched to new and formidable lengths. Until my little dog jumps into his accustomed spot on my lap and drives the metal rods into fragile flesh. He is thrown to the floor as I jump to my feet, screaming in pain.
The Andropenis online forums are informative, but, suspiciously, each thread terminates abruptly with reassuring words from an Andromedical representative. Numerous videos and ads, meant to be humorous, reinforce the assumption that bigger is better.
There should be a label that warns, “Viewing may create anxiety about measuring up.” And, of course, lure one into buying.
Is life for those with smaller endowments really that awful? I turn to Craigslist.
There are a few ads by small dick fetishists, but no one responds to my queries. Neither “Everyone seems to want guys with huge cocks. What about us little guys? Good looking built guy but have a small wiener. Wanting to host a few other small dicked guys at my place,” nor “Mid-40s, decent shape, looking to get oral with guys who are hung like hamsters. You should be able to travel now, love to get your dinky sucked. If your weenie just barely pokes out, I want to suck it dry” is interested in talking about how they have resolved their desires.
AM has posted an ad and photo proffering his five-inch penis. He says he knows it is small but hopes someone is interested. I claim to be but confess that I am working on a writing assignment. He responds immediately. Turns out he is a fraud.
“I took this dick-pic off the internet, posted it as a real ad and at the same time posted my own picture minus the cock shot,” he explains. While he did get responses to the face pic attached to his described, but unseen, seven inches, he found that “the response to the little dick was at least five to one over my face-pic ad. And the responses were quality stuff, intelligently detailed and way more words than the usual pathetic one liners that Craigslist is known for.”
His conclusions? “I think men see small dicks as non-threatening. Are we intimidated by huge peni?”
I have spent three hours in search of small penis interviewees; suddenly I feel a throbbing numbness. Dropping my drawers, I find an unusual, for my skin tones, purplish swelling engorging the head of my penis. I loosen the plastic securing device and breathe a sigh of relief — despite the pain — as blood rushes back in.
The literature swears the Andropenis will also enhance penile performance, but if numbness and loss of circulation are part of the deal, this experiment is over.
Slightly panicked, I turn on some porn and grab a tube of Wet Gellee lubricant that has also been sent to fab for testing. It works wonderfully; my equipment appears to be, if a little tender, in working order. But the relief is undercut by the realization that my scrutiny and estimation of the size of the pornstars’ tools is distracting me from the job at hand.
Mind-easing mission accomplished, I check my messages: BD has invited me to join or observe his small penis humiliation group. He tells me the group is for “less than endowed young men who fantasize and fetishize size queens and the thought of being made fun of, or humiliated for having a small penis.”
It is a small group, so far, and he is still working on the soon-to-be-launched website. I ask if I can come to one of their meetings and he is enthused — as long as I promise to provide some cutting remarks about his and his compatriots’ small penises. I agree to be vicious but don’t hear back immediately.
Within days, attaching the Andropenis has become routine, but it is still uncomfortable and immobilizing to wear for long periods. I turn to the instruction booklet. Buried amongst the illustrations that initially caught my attention, I find explicit instructions for measuring and calculating the number of tiny metal extenders to screw together for the required stretching. I had eyeballed it. And had considerably overestimated my actual penis length. I am humbled to realize my ego is way more involved that I thought.
I grab a tape measure, do the proper calculations, adjust the Andropenis arms — and am humiliated to find the device is now considerably shorter.
It’s also less bulky and much more comfortable to wear.
There is an urgent email from BD. His group is holding a party at a downtown hotel. Tonight. I can come as long as I “pay the $100 attendance fee which covers hotel room costs, drinks, etc” and submit to a pre-interview with the “female size queen” who appears to actually run the group. As fab is only interested in gay mens’ relationships with their penises, and has no budget, I respectfully decline. The website has never been launched.
After a few weeks, I am getting used to wearing the Andropenis. And I’m seeing results. The actual addition is minor, fractions of a centimetre, but the placebo effect is huge.
Also, the constant stretching has eliminated any grower versus shower effect. The dreaded Seinfeld shrinkage is gone, and I am in a constant state of floppiness with no retraction.
I am more confident being naked in front of other men, but I wasn’t that concerned before. I’m forced to admit that a little additional cock does add to my self-esteem.
JC, a friend and fuck bud, has been following my research project with much encouragement, and even more mocking humour. He phones, very excited, and urges me to detach from my metal monster-maker and get to his place. He has found a small-dicked man who wants to play.
X is also a sports-gear fetishist and is clad in full hockey regalia, forgoing only the skates that would slice JC’s linoleum. He wants to be tied to the bed, stripped naked and have his endowment ridiculed while being jerked off. This has been his fantasy ever since a traumatic incident in a small-town hockey arena change room. We comply.
X is a stocky man, and his penis would probably look more significant if it weren’t dwarfed by his stomach. Naked and restrained, his penis, now fully erect, is the girth of a pinky finger and about half the length. He moans with delight as JC spouts sneering remarks and draws attention to the disparity between X’s “peeny” and JC’s own flaccid but flaunted “man-sized meat.”
X begs me to relieve his agony and gestures to the side table. I pick up the riding crop and tentatively tap it against the hairy acorns beneath his straining erection. “Harder,” he shouts. I turn the tap into a smack and the results are instantaneous. X spouts two drops of milky fluid and his penis retracts into his pubic hair. I can’t tell from his expression (his eyes are shut tight) if he is experiencing an overwhelming orgasm or grimacing in psychological pain.
X recovers instantly and motions to be untied. He grabs his hockey bag and gear and scuttles into another room to dress in his street clothes. JC and I are still processing when we hear the front door slam shut and, without a word, X is gone.
For most men, “size equals masculinity,” says sexologist Dr Pam Spurr. For gay men, who may already have societally imposed issues with masculinity, this can be compounded.
“Most men will actually judge themselves as less than average size,” Spurr notes.
The Andropenis can provide an edge, but it is a big time investment for a small physical result.
Urologist Ian Eardley has a simpler suggestion. He insists men are convinced their penises “look smaller because of the angle.”
Penises eyed from above appear much less imposing than those seen from across the room or, even better, encountered at eye level. Perhaps our size issues could be resolved with the aid of one accessory every gay man is sure to possess. Don’t look down on your penis: look in a mirror, preferably at waist level, and behold it with pride.