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A big cock society?

A big cock society?

A couple of years ago I was writing about the local gay scene for a British travel magazine when my editor, a young straight woman from London, noticed an ad for the Big Cock Society and suggested I mention it.

I pointed out that whatever the size of its ads the Big Cock Society was small potatoes locally. It was probably foreign-based and didn't have much street presence in this town anyway, but that didn't dissuade her. She was young, hip and urban and she knew a catchy idea when she saw it.

Somehow, I wasn't surprised. Gay men are tarred as cock hounds, penis freaks and size sensationalists, but I think straights are probably more obsessed with the whole big-cock thing than gay men. For them the cucumber-sized dildo is an emblem of either untold wonder or fear.

Whenever you read a letter to a sex columnist about inadequate size you know it's from a straight guy and probably a young one. The classic story in this respect comes from literary Paris in the 1920s. Scott Fitzgerald complained that he didn't have enough to satisfy his wife and the ever-macho Ernest Hemingway took him into a restaurant washroom, examined the goods and declared them satisfactory. Homoerotic overtones aside, the story says volumes about straight male anxieties, although by today's standard those insecurities seem a little banal.

Just last May, a 29-year-old married guy wrote to Eye Weekly's Sasha claiming to be both straight and obsessed with big cocks. I have no idea how those two ideas can coexist (straight and likes cocks?) but the sex columnist blithely sent him off to the dildo department. "Most men," she assured him, "are obsessed with big cocks." Personally, I think she meant most straight men.

By contrast, gay guys seem almost accepting and I'm sure it's just because we've been around more. We've had a chance to compare the merchandise and we have a better sense of what reality is like, cockwise, than straight guys. I distrust sex therapists who blandly assure their readers that most erect cocks fall within a pretty standard range of 5" to 7". (They remind me of all those well-meaning people who assure you that sex is always better with someone you love. Um, no.) But I must admit that in all my years of experience I've haven't met too many woodies that fell outside that range.

But then size has never much intrigued me. I've seen a lot of ugly cocks, cocks that for reasons of texture, taste, colour or shape made me want to run screaming from the bedroom. But I've yet to meet a cock that was a turnoff purely because of its size.

The episode of Sex And The City where Samantha discovers the great love of her life is "too small" seemed to ring a chord with a lot of gay viewers, but in real life I've never heard anyone & micro-penis stories aside & say that a boyfriend's cock was too small.

I once saw a guy at the Club Baths in Vancouver casually auditioning guys by size (I'm sure he was carrying a ruler, though I could be making this up) but he was the exception that proved the rule. I've never seen anyone like him since.

Cocks are certainly of interest. One friend says he married his boyfriend because the BF had a nice cock. Another friend says the only part of porn that interests him is the "reveal" scene, ie the first display of cock. But neither one specified what "nice" might mean in this context. I suspect that tastes in this area are as varied as in any other, but that we tend to discuss size first because our vocabulary doesn't stretch much further than big/small.

Either that, or we don't know how to discuss desire. A photographer I know has a five-foot-tall blowup of an erect black cock on his wall. It's certainly impressive but to me about as appealing & both sexually and aesthetically & as a naked tree trunk in winter.

Cocks are only as interesting as the person to which they're attached. Or the hopes and beliefs they symbolize. Size, as far as I can see, is just a metaphor for our titanic yearnings.

If there's an undue obsession with size in our media-dominated world I'm sure it's because of the ongoing confusion between fantasy and reality. Cocks are big in porn because they have to be. It's a visual shorthand for excitement, thrills, pleasure. People might get more pleasure from a peck on the cheek but it's difficult to convey that on screen. The sensation is too delicate. A whoppin' big cock, on the other hand, gets the point across quickly and simply. Big cock equals a high old time.

In real life, too, cocks have a highly symbolic role. They're lightning rods for the whole collection of often ill-articulated needs and desires that make up human sexuality. Those needs might be aesthetic, emotional or social. Which is to say, depending on your predilections, you might need something pretty, something friendly or something big, strong and long. Or then again maybe you just need a new metaphor.
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