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I have a small penis, will I ever be able to ‘measure up’?

I have a small penis, will I ever be able to ‘measure up’?

‘It was how you were made to feel about your whole self when you were growing up that is the fault.’

This may be body dysmorphia, where one particular body part is taking all the blame for past hurts


The question I have a small penis. When I was 14 or so I was called out by a boy in the school changing rooms for “having a little one”. I felt humiliated. It had never occurred to me up to that point that it mattered. It seems to be something which, according to the media, is risible and makes me less of a man. The word “manhood” is used as a euphemism that equates desirable masculine traits with a big willy. I am 55, a father of three and in a happy and loving relationship with a great sex life. No doubt you would say to me that if my partner is satisfied, then I should get over my insecurity. I have much to be grateful for. I am not likely to be “playing the field” any more. But I worry, fret and get depressed about this and have done for 40 years.

My upbringing was one where I was expected to “fail” and I did develop a deep-rooted low self-worth and a sense of shame of not being enough as a person. So “evidence” such as this for “coming up short” reinforces my feelings of inadequacy. I had counselling, but didn’t feel I was taken seriously. I am still so heartbroken I can’t “measure up” in the way that I would ideally like to. I carry a sense of real anger that it seems broadly OK to deride the half of all men with smaller-than-average penises. “Oh, he has a big car with a long bonnet – what is he trying to make up for [titter].” How do I learn to love myself regardless of this one physical attribute that seems to me to be so crucial (and is stigmatised by most people) and forces me to hide my shame?

Philippa’s answer I know it must have taken courage to write in and I applaud you for doing that. Talking openly about this is a step towards recovery.

Your upbringing was one where you were expected to fail. It sounds as though you were regularly led to believe you were inadequate. I don’t think it is as much that your penis size gives evidence to this so much that it has come to symbolise how you had always been treated when growing up. It sounds as if you could be suffering from body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is a mental health condition in which you can’t stop thinking about a perceived defect about your body. It doesn’t make any difference if others think it is a flaw or not – you still feel so ashamed and anxious about it that it adversely affects your life. Body dysmorphia can be the result of being teased, bullied, overly criticised or abused when you were a child.

I think your brain made the connection when you were humiliated about how a part of you looked in the changing room at 14 to all the times you were made to feel inadequate. The daily painful insults you had suffered up until then have all been heaped on to this innocent body part. It is a symbol for your psychological pain. Then every time in public or private you hear anything about small penises, it compounds the injury. Until it gets to the point where you fret and obsess about it, probably all the time, sometimes in the background of your mind, but often in the foreground.

You probably think, if only there was a safe plastic surgical procedure, you would be cured. But it wouldn’t be that simple, because you would never be satisfied with the outcome: with body dysmorphia it isn’t the body part that is wrong, it is the body part which is taking the blame for the psychological injuries you suffered growing up. I get that it feels to you as though your body part is at fault, or society is at fault, but really it was how you were made to feel about your whole self when you were growing up that is the fault. And yes, why wouldn’t you be angry about that? It has left you with a difficult legacy to manage.

Body dysmorphia usually doesn’t get better on its own. If left untreated, it may get worse over time. The usual treatments for it are cognitive behavioural therapy and/or antidepressant medication. You should be able to access these through your GP. Personally, I would favour hypnotherapy (see for body dysmorphia, because you will need to break the connection that you have made to your penis with that old injury of being made to feel as though you will fail. By making a good life for yourself you have proved your tormentors wrong. It is time to have an inner life to match that. I know it is difficult to talk about, but by taking the step of writing in, you have started that process. The next step will be visiting your GP. If it’s too hard to talk, show them this correspondence.

And I promise I will never again trot out the old cliché about flash cars and penis size. Thank you for educating me.

If you have a question, send a brief email to


John Bellamy Adds: As many of you know, I had a VERY wealthy lover decades ago in the USA who owned homes all over, multi millions and a lifestyle that was what dreams are made of and he had everything going for him - BUT - he had a small dick and his older brother had a massive dick and the bitterness, the anger, the resentment was absolute - and they agreed as adults not to live in the same state as each other as his bitterness overflowed every time they got together and his poor brother was attacked verbally about absolutely everything and it all became too much.

His anger about having a small dick was also shoved at me as being hung, even that was wrong and while I told him that he was the one man getting it up his shitter so what the fuck was he complaining about, his resentment towards anyone who was hung - ruined our relationship and ruined his relationship with his own brother.

Being unhappy about your own physical body is true for absolutely everyone as we all want something bigger, hairier, smoother, browner, shorter etc. and being satisfied with what you have it important and who the fuck cares what anyone else has top say as they are not living in your skin - YOU ARE - so fuck anyone with an attitude.


Dear John: I have a small penis. I am 6'4" and built like a tank but have a 3 inch penis and my balls, such as they are, are small as well. My son when he was 5 had a bigger dick.... and while it has played on my mind a lot when I was younger, I am married, have 3 children and a good sex life with my wife and it is only on the gay scene that I find size queens who like to try - oh and they do try - to laugh at me and be evil about the size of my dick and I have physically knocked a couple of guys into next week - as in unconscious - as being cruel to anyone does not rest well with me and if you take the piss out of my dick, then I will teach you how to behave and if that means a slap into tomorrow, I am not afraid to hit out at those who are cruel - often to those who cannot defend.

Martin S.

John. I have a micro penis. I am not a big guy and did not enjoy a good sex life and for many years it played on my mind and I looked into surgery but was too afraid to go ahead and as I matured and as I got use to no sex life and being alone a lot of the time. I was fine with that. Then I met Jacob. He was the reverse of me, So hung it wasn't possible and everyone just wanted him for his dick and he was sick of size queens chasing him around for his dick and when we met, and we talked and it seemed we had similar problems but on different ends of the spectrum, we hit it off and have been close now for the last 11 years. We live and sleep and work and do everything together and many cannot understand us, but it works and we are both so happy the size of our meat is no longer an issue.


John: I started martial arts when I was 8. I was the wimp at school and always being bullied. In the showers after sport they always poked fun at me because I was so small down there and had no pubic hair when they all did and I hated my body and my penis. I defended myself against the school bullies with my martial arts and after the first few instances when they could see I could look after myself, they left me alone. Then in my late teens something happened and my tiny dick grew and grew and surprise surprise, I ended up as a 17 year old with a 9inch whopper and all the boys at school can go fuck themselves now as I have what I KNOW they do not, and from little acorns ....


My whole life has been awful. Everyone who ever saw me naked since childhood has always said much the same damned thing ' Are you a girl 'cos you aint got a penis.' and I hated them and hated myself and would cry myself to sleep as a child - so unhappy. I tried all sorts of things, from tying weights to my dick and walking around my bedroom naked in the hope it would stretch it - to doing some strange pulling exercise I found on the internet, to creams and I even considered surgery once but was spooked out of that by a TV programme on just that, and I decided against that. Nothing worked as my dick is what it is and while I vacuum pump it and it has grown considerably, it is still barely 4 inches and I have accepted this as it was really screwing with my head and I knew I had to get some therapy.

I am still unhappy about the size of my dick and shall never get over it, especially as my Mother say my father was above average and yet I am so small.

Can't have it all i suppose.



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