All About The Penis

The dilemma of the black man who doesn't conform to cultural expectations around penis size

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So, do all black men have a massive endowment?

It's an almost insulting question, and even if it were true, why would we be so fascinated by it? And how does this widespread cultural belief about penis size affect black men?

These are questions I find interesting - naturally enough, having constructed an entire website on the subject! Fortunately, a black man has written a book on this very subject.

Scott Poulson-Bryant is an accomplished writer of African-American descent who despite his achievements, does not, as he puts it, "measure up". What he means by this is that he quite literally doesn't measure up to the expectations that he should be, as a black man, "hung like a horse". In fact his penis is of average (i.e. white average) size. He writes eloquently in his book "Hung" of what this has meant to him......and what it might mean to the rest of us.

He starts his story by telling the anecdote of a white woman at his college ball who seduced him into bed  because she expected him to have a big penis - at least, that's what she told him after they'd had sex. His self-esteem took an instant knock, because he'd been told while growing up that if you have a small penis, you're not a man. (Which is pretty much what we all learn, regardless of color.)  This was the beginning of an education about his place in society: he realized that he was seen by the white chick as black, when all he was trying to be was a man. This revelation caused him to feel damaged and ashamed of himself.

He goes on to apply the lessons he learned in his subsequent sexual experiences to an analysis of penis size, in which he astutely observes what I've been saying for a while: "The penis-size game is a man's game....it is the metaphorical power of a penis's size that gives it the psychological weight men lug into relationships with women and with each other." He makes the point that many men like to think the issue of penis size is about impressing women, but he knows the truth: penis size is a measure of self-worth, of winners and losers.

Some proof of this is the fact that we all look at penises. And those who don't, just like those boys who claim they don't masturbate, are lying....we all want to know where we stand in the size stakes. Whether it's true or false that we all look at other men's penises when we can doesn't really matter. Penis size is important to all of us: it's much more to a black man who doesn't measure up to the expectations that culture has of him. (Mind you, he did rather make things worse for himself by writing an article during his college years on penis size in which he made a few suggestive observations that led to him being known as Scott Pulsing-Giant.)

Apparently the number ten featured large in some circles he frequented in his twenties - ten inches being the desirable size for a penis. One guy likened having a member this size to driving a quality car like a BMW - "You can," he said, "hit the curves better, go more places."

But then again, Simon, another guy with this size of penile endowment said it was a burden. When news of his size spread through the community where he was having sex, the men started behaving differently towards him and so, for that matter, did the women. The men either treated him with diffident respect or accused him of thinking he could get away with anything because he had a big penis. 

The black man has a strong history as a sexual object - a history, claims Poulson-Bryant, which stems from the times of slavery. And the strength of this cultural history is so great that when another guy sees Simon's penis, "he attributes stereotype and myth and history to it", and never sees the man in the same way again. "He scores, but not really. His penis wins, but his brain loses. As hung as he is, he feels unhung when it becomes the center of the definition of him as a man."

The women - or some of them, at least - wanted to have sex with him. Can that be bad? Sure: where's the genuine relationship here? He's a man, not a walking penis. 

But Nathan, another black guy, sees it differently. He says that black men know a large part of their identity is tied up with the myth of black sexual history, and the belief that they have huge penises is how they measure themselves - especially against white men. "We've bought right into that [power shit]," he says.

The truth, of course, is rather different. He doesn't know - and no-one else knows for sure either - whether black men really are bigger. But that's not what the black man wants to hear, for he, just as much as anyone else, has bought into the notion that his penis is bigger, and thus he is more masculine.

But what do women think? At this point in the story, Poulson-Bryant asks a female friend of his to comment. She makes the observation that everything else being equal, breadth trumps length every time when it comes to the penis: but she then goes on to say that any woman of any race will confirm that a man who can work his fingers and tongue "will trump some big penis dude any day."

But, in the face of all this contradictory commentary from his friends, P-B is determined to establish the truth. Do black men really have bigger penises? The evidence is not clear. 

He quotes the famous Kinsey report, which he says gave slightly different figures for average penis length in two versions of the study - 5.9 inches in one, and 6.1 inches in another (a difference so slight that it hardly seems significant). Then he goes on to quote from The-penis.com, a website which I should know something about, since I own it and wrote all the content for it.

But he misreads what I said on that website. He starts by rightly observing that our surveys led us to conclude that black men were about half an inch longer than white men, and Asians were on average half an inch shorter. He then says this information is derived and adapted from an article in the Journal of Research In Personality. This is untrue. Our conclusions on penis size were entirely our own.

The article he refers to was, as I now know, very dubious, and anything but scholarly in origin. What's more, the average sizes it quoted were so broad as to be meaningless - an average is an average, right? Even if the author of the article was talking about standard deviations (which he wasn't), his work still lacked scientific methodology. Well, so of course, did the survey we conducted at the The-penis.com on penis size - but we didn't publish it in a journal, only on our own website!

Yes, but, you might say, the fact remains that a large body of evidence exists to suggest that black men do in fact have bigger penises, on average, than white men. That's a statement I can buy into. 

But as P-B observes, most people won't have studied the data - and they still believe that black men are bigger. Where does this belief come from?

A good question. There are hundreds of websites which associate the words, huge, massive, monster, penises, and the word black. (A rare example of huge white penises can be found at Gunnerworld.com - but that guy is very much the exception. Look for massive penises on the internet, and you're served up with black meat by default.)

I wonder if the white men reading this are going to spend their entire lives measuring themselves up against the standards of black mythology and legend. Not you? Maybe, but some white men do, for sure. P-B tells the story of a white guy who proudly boasted of his penis size: "I measure up," he proclaimed, "against the black guys." And after a few beers he insisted on showing P-B his penis. It was in fact quite large, but the real point of the anecdote is the look of pride on his face, the thrill of success, and the sense of expectations met, when he knows he can show his penis to a black man and he'll not be outdone. Tragic racism, eh?

Yes; it is a form of racism. This white guy knew nothing about black culture or black people. He just knew them from a mutual involvement in sport, penises swinging together in the locker room, yet he located his own sexual prowess in the similarity (real or imagined) of his genitals to the genitals of the blacks around him. And even while he praises the black man for his endowment, he wants to maintain the status quo, to bolster his own sense of self at the expense of the black man's.

Well, this is about the black man and perception of his penis in our contemporary culture, so I feel we should move on. P-B's writing about penis size is eloquent and lengthy, and he covers the subject with aplomb. So let us follow his trail a little further.....

He observes that the penis has come out of the pants, so to speak, in recent years, and male members have been seen more prominently on stage and in art, not to mention on the internet. For example, snappers have caught Brad Pitt with his pants down, and commentators have snidely observed his penis is small. Bollocks.  It looks quite normal to me.

(And in any case, what does all this matter, I ask? Is a part of the human body owned by 50% of the human race something to hide away in shame? What power does the penis hold that it has been tucked away for so long? Are people actually frightened of it? And if they are, how much more frightened are they of the black penis? But I digress. That is a subject for another essay.)

Has the penis become its own man, popping up here, there and everywhere in a battle against breasts and bums all designed to get movie-goers' attention? The latest films to feature the penis give it an equality with the vagina, an equality long overdue. (See Shortbus, for example!)

Among P-B's observations of the penis on stage and screen, he looks for the cultural context and significance of its appearance. There are many, and he chooses his references carefully.

Sonny, the eldest son of Don Vito, in The Godfather, was "blessed" with a massive penis. In fact, his character almost seemed to be shaped by his enormous penis (so large "his wife feared the marriage bed, as unbelievers once feared the rack").

P-B goes on to mention some other popular works of fiction, film and TV which have featured the influence of the penis on popular culture. As he gets older, he says, he becomes more aware of the power of popular culture, and especially its power to define who we are. He quotes the magazine Details' obsession with penis size in 2003, when a series of articles on the penis (including one on urinal etiquette!) culminated in a not-so-wittily titled feature "Who's the biggest star in Hollywood - in the pants, not the paycheck?" As P-B says, well, who cares? But sadly the answer is that the male readership of Details cares. And so they listed the names of the stars with the most packaging in their pants.....hung, each and every one of them, the victim of a dresser's or a sex partner's decision to reveal all.

And how do we, the recipients of this information, feel about it? How does it feel to us men to know that a star we see on the screen in front of us is packing a bigger punch than we'll ever be able to deliver? How does it feel to women watching the movies, to know that if they went to bed with him, they'd be shafted by a huge penis?

Oh yes - and on this list of well-hung men, there are no black men.....a bit curious, this, since the black man's legendary penis is the focus of so much attention. Now, why would that be? Could it be that the "size list" is actually about power, not penis size, that it is yet another example of how penis size imbues a man with power in many other areas of life (or is it the other way round? Does a man's penis appear to be bigger when he's a powerful guy in society?). And could it be that perhaps nothing is required to imbue a black man with more power than the fact that he is already (so we believe) imbued with a legendary symbol of power - his penis?

There's lots more of this kind of stuff in the book: but the thesis is inescapable, and needs less material to support it than is offered to us as P-B relentlessly backs up his case. It occurs to me now how angry he seems, presumably because he has inherited a set of cultural values about his penis which are irrelevant to him, modestly hung as he is...or was he "normally" hung? I forget.

In fact, he's angry at the cultural pressure on the black race which the penis size issue seems to sum up. As well he might be. Apart from being racist, it's humanly offensive. And, talking of offensiveness, let's look at porn.

There was a famous piece of work by Robert Mapplethorpe, Black Book, which featured a portfolio of naked photos of black men. You might remember the most famous of these shots - a guy in a polyester suit with a huge penis hanging out of his flies. As P-B observes, only a white guy could have got away with publishing a book full of big-penised black dudes - and had  Ntozake Shange write a forward for it.

But further reflection induces in P-B a depressing thought. There is one shot in the book of a black man, hooded, arms across his chest, with a massive penis and huge balls hanging spectacularly in front of him - his penis is triumphantly uncircumcised, with a huge foreskin. There's an uncomfortable similarity between the hood and those placed over the black men who were lynched in the Southern states in the 1950's. What's more, the eye, drawn to the man's penis, is a reminder that the lynch mobs sometimes cut their victim's penis off to emasculate him before he was hanged. So what was Mapplethorpe trying to say?

OK. You don't think that's porn. You think it's art. Fair enough. Porn. We all like it, we "all" use it. (I suppose all means 95% of men. But maybe I have my assumptions and statistics wrong. Nonetheless, let us proceed.)

Jake Steed produced and directed (if that is a word one can use in this context), a series of films called Big Black Monster Penises and Little White Chicks. As you will have guessed, this consists of Steed and his band of brothers gang-banging a series of white chicks with a set of monstrously sized black penises. The women's point of view is not focused on much in these films.

These films are bought by an audience which is 70% white. What are we to make of his? I believe much porn is produced so that men can imagine themselves in the place of the porn star, making love the women on screen: and since so much porn is violently aggressive to women, one must assume that this is the vicarious expression of the anger or rage that men - perhaps all men - feel towards women, expressed through sex.

And the films feature men with massive penises, organs much bigger than any man (either black or white) is entitled to expect to own or even to see: so does this represent a magnification of rage, conveniently expressed through the shafting of the white woman by the black man? Or is it just a hypertrophied version of masculinity seen as desirable by the emotionally inadequate men who watch it?

PB postulates that this kind of porn is actually about the desire of white men to see white women degraded. And a big black penis is the weapon of choice. As Lexington Steel, once a star of this garbage himself, said, "The men who watch this think, if I had a penis that big, that's what I'd be doing to her."

There's a cultural phenomenon called phallic jealousy at work in the porn industry, according to Lexington. The white guys who control these girls often don't want them working with massively-hung black men. Why? In some eyes, it's because the white man fears the size of the black penis and how desirable it is to the white woman.

Acidly, P-B concludes, "How awful it must be to have invented the big black penis, then to have to spend so much time ensuring it doesn't overshadow one's own sense of self-worth."

You can see the same thing on the internet, where sites with names like Blacks-On-Blondes proliferate. The ambivalence of the audience to the concept of the huge penis is all too clear: it is erotic, arousing, powerful, and at the same time something to be feared.

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Other pages on the penis in the human psyche

The penis and the phallus
Masculinity
Penis, phallus and the male ego
A cultural history of the penis
Black men and penis size
Evolution and the penis
Why is penis size so important?

Other sections on the site

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The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
Images & Erotica
Penile & Other Problems

 

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