Big Dicks Are Overrated
Men should care less about what they're packing and more about what they do with it.
This Narrative Belongs To:
Whenever rumors circulate about Pete Davidson’s dating life, two things happen: Firstly, men across social media complain about the fact that they “don’t see the appeal.” Secondly, thanks to Ariana Grande’s comment that it's “like 10 inches,” the topic of his penis and “big dick energy” arises. And often, the latter explains to men why a skinny, pale, goofy guy like Pete ends up dating the most attractive celebs—as if the only reason women would have for being attracted to a man like him is due to the size of his member.
The idea that a large dick means sexual satisfaction is a long-running and widely believed misconception, reinforced by porn’s obsession with casting adult entertainers with bigger than average penis sizes and their focus on filming scenes of penetration over clitoral stimulation. In reality, most women get the most sexual pleasure from acts that focus on the clitoris and the whole vulva.
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Sex for Me Has Always Been Painful
When I first became sexually active, I asked my friend, “When does it stop hurting?” I naively thought that as the vagina muscle stretches, I would become accustomed to penetrative sex and stop wincing whenever someone thrusts their penis inside me. The pain still hasn’t gone away.
Now that I’m in my late 20s, I understand why I experience so much discomfort and often pain from penetrative sex. I have vaginismus, a condition in which the vaginal muscles tighten in reaction to penetration.
This means I’ve always experienced penetrative sex as something I will have to endure rather than look forward to. Throughout my entire life as a single woman, I’ve had to gear myself up for pain, warn sexual partners and only very occasionally am relaxed enough to enjoy the experience. But since a pandemic-induced dry spell, I fear returning to penetration.
According to medical sites, the best way to treat the condition is through talking therapy, pelvic exercises and relaxation techniques. While much of this is helpful—and therapy has definitely helped me to understand the bad sexual experiences and trust issues surrounding my condition—it seems to put the onus entirely on me. Why do I have to work to keep sex from being painful, while men aren’t expected to educate themselves on how to pleasure us?
I often wonder if diagnosing someone with vaginismus is helpful or not. It suggests that some vulva owners experience pain or discomfort during penetration while others do not. While not all women would claim to have vaginismus, I know very few who have not experienced some level of pain or discomfort during sex. Instead of diagnosing the vagina as not easily withstanding penetration, wouldn’t we create better sexual attitudes and experiences if we prioritized women’s comfort and pleasure?
A Big Dick Isn’t Necessarily a Good Thing
In fact, many men have seen my discomfort as evidence of their sexual prowess. They compliment my “tight pussy.” It makes them feel big, when really all my tightness means that they haven’t tried very hard to lubricate me before shoving themselves in. They haven’t worked at making me feel comfortable before getting what they wanted. Instead of groaning about how tight my vagina feels against their dick, men need to take this as a sign to reconsider, take a step back and ask the vagina owner what they can do rather than assume tightness is always a complimentary attribute.
Recently, I decided to take a new tack before consenting to penetrative sex. When I hooked up with an old flame not long ago, I stopped them to explain that I didn’t get much satisfaction from our last encounter due to my discomfort. Before we did this again, I told him I wanted to make sure that my comfort would be a priority—a stipulation that should be a given but is sadly often not. When he responded, “It’s because of my big dick,” he took the possibility of sex off the table completely. His comment left me rolling my eyes as I explained through gritted teeth that discomfort and pain can be caused by anyone, no matter size or what they’re using to penetrate. It infuriated me to have to spell out that causing someone pain is not a badge of honor or a compliment on your large member. I did not end up fucking him.
“Big dick energy” means someone who has the confidence of a well-endowed man but isn’t cocky about it. Few straight men I come across exude big dick energy, even when they are, in fact, packing one. In fact, most men with big dicks aren’t that great in bed; they have never had to be. They often rely on their size to make them good at sex, assuming that they never have to put any work in, as if we will quiver at the mere sight of it. Their size also means they have come to expect the women they are fucking to be in discomfort, rather than learning some basic anatomy about the vagina. It is a muscle capable of stretching to fit a baby. If you treat us right, we can definitely handle your penis.
I’ll Take Big Dick Energy Over a Big Dick
When Pete Davidson’s latest girlfriend was revealed, another celebrity renowned for her beauty, most men online assumed she was yet another woman willing to overlook his skinny frame and goofy mannerisms due to his dick size. It’s such a phallocentric assumption that would only be made by the sort of men who wrongly presume size equals pleasure.
I don’t care for big dicks. The presumptuous, well-endowed man will just assume he is good in bed, whether he actually is or not. He is overtly cocky and, because of his self-assured attitude, will not change his behavior to respond to his sexual partner. He pulls out the same tricks and plods ahead with arrogance, not reading the body language of the person he is with. He assumes pain during sex is inevitable and something the receiver can endure alone.
The sexiest behavior I’ve experienced is when a partner recognizes I am in pain and switches to oral to help me relax my body. I now know when it will stop hurting or at least the pain will be eased. I pick the people who will aim for us both to experience sexual satisfaction from the act rather than assuming my condition renders me incapable.
I do think big dick energy is a term that we need, if for no other reason than its absolute rarity. I know now that the real big dick energy is someone who goes into every sexual scenario hoping to please their partner. They are conscious of explicit and nonverbal consent and can change their behavior to reflect their partner's needs and desires. It has nothing to do with the size of their dick—or if they even have one.