Health : Size Matters?

A document that came from a large National Institutes of Health study that began in 2006, titled: “The Association Between Penis Size and Sexual Health Among Men Who Have Sex with Men” has been receiving a great deal of media attention. This attention originated from Fox News and the Traditional Values Coalition, both seemingly pushing a political agenda. The attention is not simply because of the study’s conclusions, but because of the cost of original grant that came from the federal government and its link this study that examined penis size and sexual health .

The press discussing this article focused on some of the key findings that are easily sensationalized , namely; “Those gay men who felt they had small or inadequate penis sizes were more likely to become “bottoms,” or anal receptive, while gay men with larger penises were more likely to identify themselves as “tops,” or anal insertive. Another finding is also mentioned in most of the articles, a finding stating that men with smaller penises were more likely to be psychologically troubled than those with larger genitalia.

After reading the full publication, I can report that there was more to the study that just sexual positioning. It sought to explore four questions: First, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with penis size satisfaction? Second, understanding that condoms are often limited to a narrow range of available sizes, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with condom use, HIV, and STIs? Third, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with men’s sexual positioning (anal insertive vs. receptive)? Finally, to what extent is perceived penis size associated with psychosocial outcomes (e.g., adjustment in the GLBT community)?

As part of the Sex and Love Study, version 5.0, this article was a small part of what was a much larger body of work executed under a grant funded by NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse. The study surveyed 1,065 gay men from New York City.

This final paper on Penis Size and Sexual Health was authored by individuals from Brooklyn College, Center of HIV/AIDS Education Studies and Training (CHEST), The City University of New York, and Hunter College. According to Fox News, Jeffrey Parsons, a professor with Hunter College stated that, “The data were not collected using taxpayer funds. NIH funds were not used to measure anyone’s penis size.”

In my opinion, this study is of some concern for several reasons, reasons that have nothing to do with politics or finances.

First, I assume that the article was the result of ‘repurposing’ data that was collected for other primary purposes. This is of concern to me because the repurposing of data, although common, can be misleading to participants in the study. I know that if I were recruited to participate in a study on say, HIV medication, and this paper on penis size and social-sexual health was part of the outcomes of my participation, I would feel mislead and exploited. I do not agree with, nor am I willing to condone the

use of anyone’s personal data, privatized and confidential or not, that has been collected for one purpose and then repurposed and published under a completely unrelated topic .

Another concern of mine is that studies such as this create an association between facts that may be completely unrelated, serving to further stigmatize potentially vulnerable individuals. Does this article say that men with small penises cannot be happy and sexually satisfied? If so, does perceiving your penis as being small mean you will not be as happy as men who perceive their penis as being large? Does this article show that men with ‘small’ penises are more likely to be bottoms, or is it that men in New York City with small penises are more likely to be bottoms, or is it that men who are willing to participate in a study recruited from the streets of New York City with small penises are more likely to be bottoms? (…you get my point) well, wait, what exactly is the point…?

Most importantly, I fail to see how publications such as this have the potential to contribute to the health of gay men. Will there be some intervention created for men with small penises that helps them live a happier life, or learn to top? When we as gay men are, survived our information is processed and then conclusions are drawn, the line between contributing research and the exploitation of gay men can be a fine one and I feel this article is a good example of how conclusions can cause harm.

How are we, as gay men, perceived as a result of this paper, especially in light of the media and their focus on the more controversial findings, and where is the contribution to our health?

The important truth that this study found and then failed to emphasis (and actually almost refutes) is that “perceived penis size was not significantly related to men’s frequency of sex partners…” yes; men with penises they perceive as being small have as much sex as any other man.

Some more good news did come from the study, penis size was unrelated to non-skin-to-skin viral STIs, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV, or pubic lice/scabies.

The last word from the article? “…these data highlight the need to challenge the culturally ingrained notion that ‘‘bigger is better,’’ as the social consequences of these messages may have lasting negative psychosocial and sexual health effects on the individuals receiving them”.

I can just imagine the posters and envision the social media blitz now ~


There are 57 comments

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  1. Logan

    Absolutely yes……It Surely does Matter….The Bigger the Better (Up to 9 inches though, I have never had anything bigger than)

  2. starbucksbrew

    I have a 5.5 inches, penis relatively small as compared with 7.5-12 inches but I do not have a problem gettting sex as a top. I also bottom but there were instances that I top guys with 8 or 8.5 inches and most of them are satisfied with my performance. As to happiness? I am always happy and live my life to the fullest. I do not need any medications or drugs at all!!

  3. Nico

    I dunno about the sexual roles being completely ruled by that notion. I’m a top and i’m only about 7″ but I’ve been with some bottoms who are at least 9″ and simply prefer it. I can’t imagine if they were tops they’d have trouble getting laid they just prefer to take it! haha

  4. bigem196

    Stephan, after reading your artical, with interest, I was shocked to think thaat the best question you could come up with; making light of a serious matter, was “does size matter.”

  5. Scott

    Cummon guys, there is a point at which big is too much. Of course that depends on how much and comfortably and safely accomodate. It might be true that smaller sized guys become bottoms, but there are also some very large sized bottoms too. Were they too big to use? Is there another criteria for who goes which way?

    Then there are the true versatiles, not the guys who pretend. True versatiles seem to be alot rarer than what people claim.

    So, when did everyone discover their ass? LOL
    Seems like its a tops world out there these days. They are far more in demand.

  6. mey//mey

    Focusing on one part of a man’s anatomy when assessing whether they’re “sexy” is just unwise. It really doesn’t matter how big they are. If they’re a terrible kisser, have body odor, or only care about their own pleasure, then a big penis is really no consolation.

  7. Michael

    My experience is that guys with big dicks tend to want to bottom. I have a 7″ cock and everyone wants me to be the top. I really like to bottom but I enjoy both. The majority of guys that like to bottom aren’t versatile like I am. I actually like to be topped by a guy with an average cock rather than a big one. The big ones tend to be too painfull for me.

  8. Vertoplq4u

    I don’t think that size matters; it’s more the persons positional preference that does. I am versatile and enjoy both topping and bottoming and I am of average penis length 7″. I have topped guys that have been both larger and smaller.If a guy only likes to bottom they could be 12″ or 3″ they just enjoy it more. Same thing with topping it where they get the most enjoyment out of having sex, not the size of their penis.

  9. behr80

    Size really doesnt matter, As long as they know how to use it. I have found as a bottom, guys with smaller ones tend to hit and rub the prostate better then men with large ones.

  10. mainpipelayer

    It has been my experience that guys with small penises for the most part are bottoms however I have encountered guys with large penises who were bottoms as well.There is some validity to penis size being directly associated with sexual position in my opinion.

  11. Crunk

    Are you kidding me size does matter ive noticed all the power bottoms I have come across had small than average penis size. I have a big penis, still have yet to meet someone bigger(yes I’m Black) but I feel I have better use of my penis as a top. I’ve had somewhat big dicks top me and I don’t think they hurt the wider they are is what I stay away from because a small wide penis will still hurt!

  12. shineme

    I am verse with an average size penis and I prefer guys with smaller penises to be tops just because it feels better for me and hits my spot anything over 7 feels like unnecessary size. I know my penis isn’t large but I KNOW that I top well and i’m not near ashamed of my penis size. I used to be when I was younger until I realized for myself that I like smaller penises so they can’t be that bad =p. i’m actually glad it’s not huge.

  13. William

    I’m a well endowed non-versatile top, but my size has nothing to do with wanting to top. I would top even if I wasn’t endowed.
    My own interest in men has very little to do with their penis size or body type, and more to do with their intelligence and maturity. But, I will admit that I find chubby guys with small endowments more esthetically pleasing to look at, yet if a guy is hot and wants to bottom for me, then I don’t care about the size of his penis, if he’s tall or short, and/or fat or thin.

  14. Darryl

    I find that the study should be revised a bit because from what i’ve expirenced is that being a Top i’ve fucked many a Bottom with a huge cock, with my average sized dick. It all depends on what turns you on. There arn’t many real rules when it comes to sexuality. The joy is finding just what gives you pleasure, then you can share with someone, or others.

  15. stephan

    bigem196: The question does size matter was never posed, but, I admit that the title “Size Matters?” does seem to imply a similar question.

    The core topics in this post were intended to be research, data, and stigma. Using the paper as an example.

    Penis size and positioning were not intended to be the topic of discussion – but this blog is a free-flowing conversation not a directed discussion.

    The context for the question “Size Matter?” was not defined, intentionally.

    The subject that has sparked interest in the community is penis size and sexual satisfaction / positioning, which is as welcome a topic as any.

  16. Bone2PickWithU

    I completely disagree with you on your points.

    1) “I assume that the article was the result of ‘repurposing’ data that was collected for other primary purposes.” What is the basis of this assumption? Based on reading some of the questions that were asked on the survey as reported in their article, it is obvious that they were collecting information about sexual health, including descriptive information such as penis size. Because this is research put forth from an academic institution, the researchers must have passed their protocol through Institutional Review Board. One assumption you CAN make is that the IRB was thorough, both on the data acquisition as well as any additional analysis outside the scope of the original research. And yes, there are some terrible cases of exploiting study participants using ‘repurposed’ data, but there is no evidence that the survey was intended for another purpose.

    2) “Another concern of mine is that studies such as this create an association between facts that may be completely unrelated, serving to further stigmatize potentially vulnerable individuals.” The whole point of doing these descriptive studies is to find associations. Could these associations be red herrings? Could these associations “further stigmatize?” Perhaps, but you must recognize that many hypotheses of causes of diseases and disorders start with making associations. Scurvy was associated with vitamin C deficiency; diabetes was associated with an improper insulin response; cystic fibrosis was associated with a mutant transporter. All of these associations in fact were the cause of a disease. That is the potential power of making associations. In fact, in this study, some diseases such as HPV were associated with a reported small penis size. Should we stigmatize? No, but it makes you wonder why that association was observed.

    3) “I fail to see how publications such as this have the potential to contribute to the health of gay men.” I have news for you: it is already contributing to the health of gay men because it shows that our society is willing to study the health of gay men. One of the goals of the NIH is to include study participants from underrepresented groups. The more descriptive information we can gather about a population, the more we can learn about bad outcomes and possible ways to avoid them.

    The researchers were just trying to make observations and let the world know about these observations. They’re not trying to make victims or exploit anyone.

  17. gw

    i am a bottom because that’s the position i enjoy most. has nothing to do with dick size however i do enjoy being fucked wwith a larger dick preferbly a thick one over a long one. never had over 7 but i think that could be painful but i very much enjoy the pain of getting my ass streched be a big fat cock. only had one big enough to truly satisfy me. i would love to try a very long one sometime. i hade been fucked seveal times by guys with small dicks . short and skinny ones. dosen’t do a thing for me.

  18. art

    It’s not the size of the ship it’s the motion of the ocean!!
    It’s a preference some like big some bigger some other don’t care.

    If you like the person i think the size is not an issue.

  19. Srehturts

    At my age I find that it has less to do with sex and more to do with companionship. However size does matter…. There is too big and too small, though the range can vary for my personal sexual gratification. I prefer average all the way around. Truly caring for someone determines whether size matters or not! If I care for my partner then I will deal with whatever he is blessed with!!!

  20. maxculo

    The study is B.S. because the majority of men str8 and gay are happy with their little man toy.Granted, some maybe 3 % of the American population may feel some inadequacies, raging from the age pre teen to about 20 years old.

    one last point how did this study come to the conclusion that guys with small man toys are more mentally unhealthy?
    Just plain lies!

  21. Peter

    IT DOES MATTER. There are guys who are ugly and because they have a big penis they are very popular, are chased and have lots of fb’s. Most of pornsites’ most popular tags are big cock/black cock and their ads around what you are watching are mostly about huge cocks. In a wet boxer contest who do you think is going to win? Outrageously huge dildos, traffic cones, fisting? some guys out there are not even satisfied with the real thing that they need more and more! We all have different experiences in life but in my case, I have been in circumstances, relationships and socialized with people who have made me realize that size really does matter.

  22. Shawn

    Ya right the small the better. The smaller it is the more I can work with it without getting hurt. And I dont mean really small im talking 6 to 7.

  23. themchamblin

    It just depends on how good a fucker U are. Sometimes get off from little cocks and sometimes its big cocks. I admit initially the big cocks are very exciting visually, but if a guy knows how to treat my ass right, I can get off no matter what size he is. As for the top end, I’m just an average joe. But I never have trouble making guys achieve orgasm(s). Maybe I’m lucky or maybe gay guys are lucky since we don’t have to carry the stigma of sexual morality with us, considering we are all going to hell in a hand basket anyway.

  24. Edgar

    Im a verse/Top and size really doesn’t matter to me. I for one LOVE the fact that there are bottoms in this world. In my experience I have been with all types of bottoms, large, average and small, for the most part they are smaller then me, Im 8.5 uncut. I must admit I love topping guys that have a bigger dick then me!

  25. james

    Yes size matters, sorry to say. Dated a great guy. We had a amazing time together. But when we slept together. He was 2.5″. I felt like I was with a little kid. I just couldn’t continue the relationship. Call me shallow, sorry!

  26. bones124

    Though Im small 5.5″ and am a bottom, I dont consider that being small is the reason Im a bottom, it is just my preference, and yes I have topped before and am quite capable of pleasing my partner,also I know guys that r tops that arent much bigger than me, and are excellent tops,and guys with huge cocks that prefer to bottom,so its just what positition a man is into.

  27. Eddie

    For me, a big dick is much more a visual than sexual turn-on, although if a hung top knows how to fuck, that will make me scream a hell of a lot more than a man with 6 or 7 inches! However, sucking a very large dick is often too difficult for me; I much prefer milking 7 or 8 inches.

  28. Joey

    I’m a top, above average size, 8.5 and pretty thick so I fit the mold at that respect. My problem comes with finding bottoms that can handle me. I don’t think it’s the size alone that is my problem though. I like to go at it really aggressively and I won’t lie, most men that I have been with, including my husband, enjoy it, but can’t handle it until I get off (I can take up to and sometimes more than 2 hours). Most of the bottoms I’ve been with have been average sized, nothing overly special, but have just enough there to enjoy. I can see how being smaller than the average can give some guys a complex, especially in guys who are physically built, and very masculine.

  29. Jose J.

    I think when it comes to just sex there is more pressure on the roles of bottom and top. When your in a relationship, however, I think there is more flexibility. Fot example, one is the primary bottom but maybe once a week the prominent top receives. It just has to do with your relationship with your partner and what makes you happy. Im a top but once in a while ill have my bf top me.

  30. Artem Yuriev

    From my personal experience, big cocks are only good to look at and touch.
    If there’s going to be oral or anal (and I’m going to be bottoming), I’d much prefer a medium – small size cock.
    Anything smaller than a 3 and/or bigger than an 8 won’t do it for me.
    But all of that won’t matter to me if the guy’s hot; because I’d want a piece of him, either way 😛

  31. n2u

    To power bottoms, size does matter. I have seen guys with 7.5 or bigger tend to bottom more. I do not see how guys can take anything bigger than 7.5.

  32. toota

    I really don’t think size matters. I’m 8 in. I can top or bottom. and I think a man with a big DICK can hurt or feel good. I believe it’s how you use it. Actually that go the same for a smaller one. Even for oral. Sometimes when I wanna suck dick ,really wanna suck, I want my full of it lol. But i sometimes want all of it in my mouth,that’s where the smaller one comes in.

  33. ItsMeHoney

    All of you posters speaking of 7-8 inches as being “average”…..that’s NOT the average. Most guys fall between 5-6.5 inches. It’s a joke to see almost everyone is personal ads saying they are at least 7″ lol. I guess 5.5″ is the new 7″ and 6″ is the new 8” haha.

    And it’s not surprising if guys who have (or think they have) smaller penises will be more likely to have psychological problems. Hellooo! What with so much stigma attached to smaller penises and all.

    And when we consider a multi-ethnic city such as NYC, then it probably ends up becoming a racial issue given that there are differences (on average) among the various ethnic groups in terms of penis size. So gay guys of particular ethnic groups would be more likely to have psychological/sexual health problems than others. Of course white guys tend to be the most desired by all ethnic groups anyway, so they are safe.

  34. Rich67

    for me size matters only to the extent that too big is TOO BIG, I was with a guy that had 10″ it hurt like heck and I didnt like it at all, 6″-7″ is perfect, 5″ isnt bad either, 8″ is ok as long as its not thick, besides guys more than a mothfull is a waist, lol, being 6.5 myself I have never had any trouble or complaints getting sex, everyone has there own likes and dislikes.

  35. Travis

    I think they should do an article called “Does size matter?” Referring to body type. In my experience gay men are shallow cause I have seen in MANY profiles on a4a “no chubbies” or “no fatties”. Even when they say just looking for friends but no fatties. So what alll your friends gotta be skinny bitches. Even out at clubs guys will ignore you if your not slim even if your not even trying to hit on them. I understand people have certain “types” there attracted to but I have found it difficult to even make FRIENDS with other gay guys cause I’m slightly overweight & they don’t want to associate with me. As to penis size I think in some cases it’s an extention of that shallowness. But in the end I guess it’s all about personal preference cause not everyone wants to be impaled by 9 or more inches but some do…whatever gets u off go for it.

  36. OriginalPrankstr

    Dick size? Isn’t it all about body fat percentage these days? People still fixate on dicks? Hey, if the guys got a hot, tight, ripped bod and decent face, dick size becomes less important. Who wants to be seen with someone overweight, regardless of their dick size?

  37. william Austin

    (o)From my hole speaking! Thick has more impact than the long! I’ve noticed that the guys over with 8″ end-up not using the last 4 inches ! But give me a BeerCan Prolober & I know I’m in for a wild ride, with a long deep butt pain as remembrances the whole romantic event!
    When sucking cock I’m really am more comfortable with a nice thick 5″-7″ because I don’t have to worry about my teeth & gagging, I can just concentrate on giving my pal a good thorough sucking job , and whether I’m going to swallow or not, often a big decision at the last moment…
    I agree the really big long cocks are an exciting visual turn on, but in the real world a bit of a struggle!
    In the final conclusion for me: The dick that really wants me, is the best one! And believe me you know, he is with you…

  38. TallProblem

    Many of the attitudes we have towards penis size are ones we have been taught to have. Many of us have been taught to believe that a having a smaller than average penis automatically makes us a bottom and those of us who have a larger than averge penis automatically makes us a top but that’s really a bunch of bullshit. Just like that we have been taught that having a large penis is a sign of male sexual superiority. Men are not defined by their dick sizw but unfortunately, so many of us are more than happy to make that kind of judgement call on another. Yes, a big dick is nice, but it’s not enough to keep me interested. There are many other things to consider like attraction, intimacy, passion, etc. But so mnay of us are just looking for that massive piece of meat to fufill all their lusty desire because it’s just too much damn work to try to appreciate a man for anything of any substance. Whether you are a happy person I feel has very little to do with how much is in your pants. There’s accentuating the positive and then there’s just being a total egomaniac. The only think worse than a man who thinks a massive member is all he needs to get through life is the clueless cunt who’s dumb enough to fall for it. I say, let the dogs have their bones.

  39. GayPsych

    This was an interesting read. I plan to repost this on Facebook for my friends to read.

    Also, I’d like to read this study. Having just received my degree and with a background in psychology, I can tell you that this seems to be just the kind of study that the Federal gov’t would somehow grant: seeking to obtusely categorize the U.S. population instead of deductively doing so, confusing results, asking questions that do not matter in the grander scheme of life, and surveys (not a reliable method of data gathering by the way!) a select group of people in a single select city (we all know the regional cultural differences). In other words, the paragraph above that begins “Another concern of mine…” contains the questions that fully invalidates this survey. Without data gathering in a myriad of other cities and of other men, this report is highly biased, useless to all who have a serious academic interest or a desire for real equity among our population.

  40. L.R. G'Member

    I’m a pretty big Top, and I actually prefer Bottoms that are bigger. For some reason that’s the only way I’ll even consider oral. I hope I don’t sound like douche saying that though…

  41. Shon

    In the gay/bi world, it’s all about presentation. I’m a top and got a nice size dick. Most bottoms tend to like the thickness of my dick. I have fucked bottoms with 10 inches. It’s all in what u like. I truly believe it’s not too much about size but more about how u look naked lol. If you have a working dick with a decent body, you will have no problem getting laid. Next topic should be about ass 😉 What about what tops like ?

  42. olddog1953

    I have a 5 in. thick uncut dick. I am BI, age 58. I am versital and it seems most guys I have met want me to top. Some one commented that it hits the right spot of the prostrate. That may be true and they do love sucking it because it does not gage them. I have found it is the use and the passion that counts. Most guys are as vain as the ladies about appearances. I believe that what we see into days Porn and what is advertised to enlarge the dick has over fantasized sex. To those vain types you can run so long form the effects of age. You older guys you can only hold in those love handles and stomach so long.

  43. NativeNYker

    What is seemingly ignored in the “findings” is that gay men with large endowment are just as fucked up as the rest of them. It also ignores the issure of heteros with small endowment who all swear they are packing – as my female friends chit-chat about.

    The sad truth to it is that endowment doesnt determine mental stability or make an individual well adjusted.

    So in the end, what this study has demonstrated is what a waste of money truly is that could have been redirected towards something more pressing – like something along the lines of feeding the starving people of Somalia!

  44. Javier

    As porn star Scott O’Hara (“The Biggest Dick in San Francisco” winner decades ago) said: People take one look at my (very large) penis and refuse to treat me like the bottom I am”

  45. Andy

    I have been with a guy that had at least 10″ that took the time to prepare me as the bottom to take what he had to offer that was not the least bit uncomfortable and I have been with a guy that would fit in the small class that just charged ahead without taking any time to prepare and it hurt like heck. I must agree with a previous poster though that how you feel about your partner determines more about how you enjoy than size.

  46. Yasai

    Size – it varies lol –
    I’ve had better sex with an Asian man with a 5.5in cock than with a guy who had a 7+ cock. over 7 hurts for me personally.
    although, i did have one guy who i swear he must have had a micropenis, because it was about the size or smaller than my thumb.

  47. jeffery lee

    well I can’t tell you whether, or not size matter, because I never had a large penis to compare to. I have a partner who is to small where he can’t penertrate my opening, It’s not enjoyable. Don’t want to hurt his feeling, I just try to stay away. I would like to try a 8″, or larger penis to see how it feels. Maybe wishful thinking. Please help!

  48. Darryl

    I’am a Top with a good sized cock, not too big or small, so depending on whom i’am with and the connection we have together is the issue. Cock size is only a visual tool to sit on in hopes to get the ball cream rolling, so let’s all figure out how we can just enjoy having sex without putting more lables on the actual act. Big or small we can all cum together and find satisfaction, can’t we?

  49. Raye

    Hi , well in a vers guy , I donorefer bottom over topping and I’m 8 1/2 cut & thick .. Bottoming just turns me on more , and I have far better orgasams , I do both if my sex partner wants ,, and most the men I have been with are really turned on to top a big dick bottom .. Now with the safe sex issue , I cant cum in a condom never could ,, so maybe some think I’m a power top lol , size matters to me only orally , I like to know I’m sucking a cock verses a hot dog ,, when I bottom it doesn’t matter as much as long as they know what their doing I have had as small as 5″ and as big as 13″ the bigger ones Its easier for me doggie style , Ive never said no to a hard cock looking at me as if wanting me , I love them all

  50. Mike

    In my opinion, size doesn’t matter to me. I’m mostly a top but have bottomed on occasion mostly with guys who have smaller dicks than mine.I’m 6.5 and have never had any dicks in my ass bigger than that. With that being said,it doesn’t matter to me what size the dick is as long as it works properly.

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