The pressure to be porn-perfect is harder on some men in particular. Given how popular “big black cock” (BBC) videos are on porn sites, Black men in particular struggle with size issues. (Subreddits about penis size are full of men of color lamenting how porn portrays them: the exaggerated ideas about their genitalia and the industry’s ugly, highly-stereotyped view of Black sexuality.)
Growing up as a Black teen in South Bend, Indiana, Luke, 24, said his penis dysmorphia went hand in hand with his porn addiction.
“The whole BBC myth made me exceptionally self-conscious to the point I just told myself, if women are expecting something special from me, I’m just going to disappoint them, and in that case, I might as well not put myself in situations to disappoint,” Luke, who asked to withhold his last name for privacy, told HuffPost.
Because of anxiety about his size, Luke was a virgin up until a few months ago.
“My penis measures in at a hair over seven inches but because of all the porn I’d seen, I believed I was average at best and definitely small for a Black guy,” he said. “I think I stayed a virgin for so long because I let my dysmorphia consume me. I adopted a defeatist mentality.”
How To Deal With Penis Dysmorphia Without Getting A ‘Dick Job’
Spitz said men should talk to a doctor or a therapist before undergoing any type of surgery. Generally, as long as your body is healthy and functioning, there’s no good reason to stress over dimensions you don’t control, he said.
“Take your natural body, keep it as healthy as you can, and enjoy it, and just as importantly, bring someone else enjoyment,” he said.
It doesn’t help to constantly measure yourself, either.
“Compulsive self-observation and self-measurement tend to make the anxiety of penile dysmorphia worse,” Snyder said. “It’s important to cut way down on compulsive checking.”
Even if you’re not considering surgery, if you’re actively avoiding dating or measuring yourself nonstop ― the two big warning signs of PBDD ― it might be worth talking to a therapist or specialist about your concerns.
Both Luke and Steven said they’ve moved past their days of avoiding sex. They’re less consumed with size. Talking about penis dysmorphia on Reddit with other guys who’ve experienced it has helped. So has taking a more realistic view of porn ― and at times, cutting back on watching it.
“Of course every guy wants the porn reaction … nobody wants someone to look at their penis and say, ‘Yeah, that will work I guess.’ But you do your research and realize how exaggerated porn can be,” Steven said.
What’s helped most is going on actual dates, he added.
In real life, he realized, most women are far less fixated on length than men are. (In fact, if women are interested in anything, it’s girth, since a wider penis does a better job of stimulating the entire clitoral structure. And obviously, there are other ways to please a woman that don’t involve your penis; work on your oral and digital sex skills.)
And of course, the same holds true for queer men. Yes, some men are very vocal about their “bigger is better” preference, but not all guys are seeking the same kind of sexual partner or the same sort of sex.
Today, Steven gets that people want to share their bed with someone decent, regardless of dick size.
“You have to be someone that others actually want to have sex with,” he said. “Your first concern shouldn’t be your penis size and how many tenths of an inch it is bigger than average. Focus on taking someone out and being kind, charming, funny, entertaining and genuine instead.”
Luke understands that now, too.
“Eventually I realized I have more to bring to a relationship than just the size of my penis, whether it’s big or small,” he said. “My size won’t matter if I have the personality of a rock.”