What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises?

What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises?

There is a question What does scientific research say about the relationship between penis size and attractiveness?

This answer and this link give the statistics of penis size. Given these statistics, the average man performing in porn, would likely be in the top 2.5% of the population of penis size.

Porn stars are statistical outliers, not the norm; men are more likely to be over 6'3” than to have a penis longer than 7.5 inches.

It also "appears" that men may be inclined to having poor self-perception, regarding their penis size.

Males self-perception
Males may quite easily underestimate the size of their own penis relative to that of others, because of the foreshortening obtained from looking down, due to repeated observation of atypical penises in pornography, or because of the accumulation of fat at the base of the penis.[34] A survey by sexologists showed that many men who believed that their penis was of inadequate size had average-sized penises.[35]

Given that men are the main consumers of pornography, why does pornography feature so many men, out of the norm for penis size?
Would it be more appealing to men, if the men starring in porn, had average sized penis? what is the psychology behind using men with such, abnormally, large penis?

Besides the simple mechanics of it being easier to position actors and film the details of intercourse there is probably a supernormal stimulus effect. The term, coined by Tinbergen (1948) when he observed birds laying artificial eggs of ridiculous size, is used to describe the effect of a stimulus which elicits a response more strongly than the stimulus for which it evolved. Very large breasts, buttocks, penises, tall heights, etc. are not necessarily particularly useful but because we evolved to prefer larger values of these for fitness reasons we suffer from a supernormal stimulus effect when they are exaggerated. Imagine the rarity of such things for millenia of our evolution during which food and leisure time were relatively scarce. There was little reason to evolve a preference against extreme proportions.

a) Since pornography is about visuals, not actual physical stimulation, visual properties of the body part are more important: big breasts and big penises are more attractive in pornography than they are in real life, because larger penises and breasts "stand out more" and are more impressive to the viewers, even though the same men (or women) might not find such features important (or even attractive) in real life.

b) Pornography is not about making anyone happy, it is a product that must leave its consumers unsatisfied. More pornography can be sold, if men are unhappy in real life and use pornography instead of working on their relationships. Making men and women unhappy with themselves and each other will make relationships less likely to function and men and women to use consumption as a substitute.

c) In pornography for a male public it does not matter what women find attractive, because they are not the main consumers of that medium. The male organs visible in for-men-pornography must be attractive for men and therefore conform to their ideas about male attractiveness.

Could it be that men are more strongly aroused by porn actors with large penises?

This would be implied by sperm competition theory. The basic idea is that if females have more than one mating partner, there is an evolutionary pressure on men. According to the theory, over time, this results in adaptations in response to this "sperm competition" that increase the chance that own sperm is successful.

If this is the case, then seeing sexually aroused rivals should be a strong stimulus indicating sperm competition. This idea has been investigated in various studies that have looked at the kind of pornography that men consume, and the consequences of doing so.

For example, Pound (2002) found that in pornography, depictions of sexual activity of several men with one woman are more frequent than depictions with several females and one male, and that men select the first category of pornography more frequently.

As another example, Kilgallon and Simmons (2005) showed men pornographic images of either two males and a female (sperm competition images) or pictures of three females (without males). Their results indicated that the semen quality (sperm motility) was better when the men saw pornography involving other men.

I couldn't find any research that has look at penis size directly. Nevertheless it is a straightforward conjecture that, as aroused penises are a sperm competition stimulus, larger penises should evoke more arousal.


Pound, N. (2002). Male interest in visual cues of sperm competition risk. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23(6), 443-466.

Kilgallon, S. J., & Simmons, L. W. (2005). Image content influences men's semen quality. Biology Letters, 1, 253-255.

Pornography consumption and its association with sexual concerns and expectations among young men and women.

Pornography consumption has increased in recent years, in part because of the convenience and privacy of sexually explicit material (SEM) made available through the Internet (Cooper, 2004 Daneback, Mansson, & Ross, 2012 Wright, 2013). Although benefits resulting from pornography consumption have been demonstrated (Morgan, 2011 Stulhofer, Busko, & Landripet, 2010 Traeen, Nilson, & Stigum, 2006), most previous research has focused on the link between SEM exposure and a variety of negative outcomes, such as risky sexual behaviours and sexual dissatisfaction (e.g., Wright, 2012 Wright, 2013 Wright & Randall, 2012 Wright, Tokunaga, & Bae, 2014). However, the impact of pornography use on other aspects of sexuality, such as body- and performance-related concerns, genital self-image, and expectations of one's sexual partner has remained largely unexplored.

Unrealistic portrayals of physical attractiveness and sexual performance that can be represented in pornography have the potential to induce body insecurities and performance concerns that are known to adversely impact sexual well-being. Unfortunately, only a small body of literature has considered the potential impact of SEM consumption on these types of sexual concerns. Furthermore, no investigations have examined whether pornography consumption is linked to higher sexual performance- and appearance-based expectations of one's partner. Moreover, with only a few exceptions (Rosser, Wilkerson, Grey, Iantaffi, & Smolenski, 2011 Stein, Silvera, Hagerty, & Marmor, 2012), extant research has focused exclusively on visual pornography viewing frequency as the sole predictor variable, neglecting to capture the influence of literary pornographic exposure. This is an important omission since it is possible that visual and literary SEM consumption could have differential impacts on sexual outcomes. For example, it is likely that visual pornography has a greater impact on appearance-related sexual insecurities due to the salience of physical appearance compared to literary pornography (Hald, 2006 Lykins, Meana, & Strauss, 2008). In addition, pornographic modality is important to consider when examining gender differences, since women are more frequent consumers of literary pornography than men and men are more frequent consumers of visual pornography than women (Carroll et al., 2008). In addition to the types of pornography that individuals are exposed to, it is also likely that differences in enjoyment are related to sexual insecurities. Specifically, consistent with social comparison theory (Thompson, Coovert, & Stormer, 1999), it is likely that increased enjoyment of pornography is linked to a higher potential for resulting sexual concerns since the sexual activities portrayed in the SEM are more likely to represent aspirational goals for one's body and/or sex life. This notion also draws from the "thinspiration" literature, which highlights the tendency for individuals to select and consume media that can be used as "inspiration" toward attaining thin appearance ideals (Knobloch-Westerwick & Crane, 2012). Based on these theories and findings, it is likely that differences in both the frequency of pornography use and its enjoyment have an impact on insecurities linked to SEM exposure.

The purpose of the current study was to investigate genital, body- and performance-based sexual insecurities and pornography-based partner expectations in relation to frequency of exposure to, and the enjoyment derived from both literary and visual SEM consumption. When we refer to pornography in this paper, we are referring to "erotic material intended to engender sexual arousal," a broad definition of pornography designed to capture an array of sexually explicit material (Ribner, 2014, p. 3775). As confidence in one's sexual self and sexual abilities are integral contributors to quality of life (Deutsch, Hoffman, & Wilcox, 2014), research in this area is essential to understanding the impact of pornography consumption on individuals' sexual fulfillment and well-being.

Body and Sexual Performance Standards in Pornography

It is widely accepted that North American media and culture encourage unrealistic beauty ideals focusing on thinness, beauty, and youth, as well as stigmatizing individuals who fail to meet such narrow definitions of physical attractiveness (e.g., Groesz, Levine, & Mumen, 2002 Jacobi & Cash, 1994). Not surprisingly, myriad research suggests a link between Western media consumption and body dissatisfaction among women, including several experimental studies and meta-analyses documenting the deleterious effects of Western beauty ideals on women's body images (e.g., Anschutz, Engels, Becker, & van Strien, 2008 Brown & Dittmar, 2005 Groesz et al., 2002). Similar results have also been found among men, who report more negative body image following exposure to muscular, lean, media ideals (Hobza & Rochlen, 2009 Michaels, Parent, & Moradi, 2013 Mulgrew, Johnson, Lane, Katsikitis, 2014).

Social comparison theory can be employed as a framework for understanding the relation between exposure to Western media body ideals and how these ideals shape body image (Morrison et al., 2006). This theory posits that individuals compare themselves to others on various attributes, such as physical appearance and personal achievement, to enhance self-understanding (Lockwood & Kunda, 1999 Thompson et al., 1999). Furthermore, research has suggested that individuals can select to consume media that is consistent with their goals for their appearance and use these images as "inspiration" to help propel them to reach their goals for their appearance (Knobloch-Westerwick & Crane, 2012). As such, media representations (such as pornography) could be used as a standard of comparison for one's appearance, genitals, and sexual performance (Morrison et al., 2006). Comparing one's own appearance and sexual performance to the genitals, bodies, and sexual prowess of individuals featured in pornography could represent a relatively dramatic upward social comparison, and thus be associated with feelings of dissatisfaction and inferiority related to one's body and sexual skill (Morrison et al., 2006). Indeed, socially prescribed beauty ideals are often present in pornography, whereby the models, actresses, and actors featured in SEM are routinely subject to unrealistic aesthetic standards (Mattebo et al., 2012 Paul, 2005). In addition, due to the prevalence of nudity in SEM, viewers' focus on physical appearance is likely to be even more salient than while viewing general media.

In addition to unrealistic standards for appearance, pornography may promote unrealistic sexual performance standards. For example, examinations of the sexual acts depicted in SEM suggest that intercourse is shown to last longer than average, men sustain erections without ejaculation longer, and women are shown to experience orgasms more easily than during real-world sexual encounters (Mattebo et al., 2012 Paul, 2005). It is likely that individuals who report more exposure to pornography may experience increased sexual concerns linked to these portrayals of sexual performance. It is also likely that visual pornography is associated with more appearance- and performance-based sexual insecurities than literary SEM, due to the increased salience of both appearance and sexual performance in visual mediums.

Pornography and Genital Self-Image

Not only are pornography actors typically nude while featured in SEM, their genitals are often central to the sexual acts depicted. In line with research demonstrating the effects of Western media on women's body image, it is likely that pornography viewership is also linked to genital self-image (Morrison, Ellis, Morrison, Bearden, & Harriman, 2006). Genital self-image can be described as the degree to which one likes and feels positively toward one's genitals, such as being content with the appearance and functioning of one's genitals (Herbenick & Reece, 2010). Prior research indicates that positive genital self-image is related to a variety of positive sexual outcomes, while negative genital self-image is related to a variety of negative sexual outcomes, making this an important variable to investigate (Berman, Berman, Miles, Pollets, & Powell, 2003 Morrison, Harriman, Morrison, Bearden, & Ellis, 2004 Schick, Calabrese, Rima, & Zucker, 2010).

In pornography, genitalia can be digitally or cosmetically altered, depicting larger than average penis size in men and smaller labia minora among women (Mattebo et al., 2012 Stewart & Szymanski, 2012). In addition, both men and women's genitals in pornography are often shown with minimal public hair (Morrison et al., 2006). Three studies have been conducted examining the relation between visual pornography viewership and genital self-image and have yielded contradictory findings (Cranney, 2015 Morrison et al., 2004 Morrison et al., 2006). The present study aimed to investigate exposure to both literary and visual pornography as well as levels of SEM enjoyment in relation to genital self-image in an effort to clarify these findings.

Gender Differences in Sexual Insecurities

Objectification theory posits that women's bodies are objectified to a greater extent than men's in Western media (Buote, Wilson, Strahan, Gazzola, & Papps, 2011 Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997 Jankowski, Fawkner, Slater, & Tiggemann, 2014). This objectification causes women to internalize media ideals and objectify themselves to a greater extent than men (e.g., Knauss, Paxton, & Alsaker, 2008 McKinley, 1998), putting women at particular risk for social comparisons with media representations. Indeed, women are especially likely to become preoccupied with their physical appearance, and experience more appearance-related cognitive distractions that interfere with sexual activity (Meana & Nunnink, 2006 Oehlhof, Musher-Eizenman, Neufeld, & Fiauser, 2009 Purdon & Holdaway, 2006 Trapnell, Meston, & Gorzalka, 1997). In addition, women tend to place a higher level of importance on feeling sexually desirable than do men (Janssen, Carpenter, & Graham, 2003), and also tend to experience more thoughts related to these concerns during sexual encounters (Meana & Nunnink, 2006). Not surprisingly, research has linked these sexual cognitions and insecurities to lower levels of sexual satisfaction and higher levels of sexual dysfunction among women (Purdon & Holdaway, 2006). Therefore, although men tend to consume more visual SEM than women, due to the salience of body, genital, and performance standards in visual pornography, it is likely that visual pornography consumption is related to more diverse sexual concerns among women and also related more strongly to appearance- and performance-based sexual concerns among women than among men.

Pornography-Based Partner Expectations

Social comparison theory has garnered support in the body image literature as a way to understand the comparisons individuals make between themselves and external standards on various aspects of achievement (e.g., Morrison et al., 2006). However, due to the highly unrealistic portrayals of sexual performance, genital appearance, and physical attractiveness often present in pornography, individuals may not only develop unrealistic expectations of themselves in these domains, but may develop unrealistic expectations of their sexual partners (e.g., Mattebo et al., 2012). There has been much less research on the comparison of one's partner to external standards, and a lack of research in relation to pornography as a potential standard of comparison. Researchers have found that individuals tend to rate their partners as more attractive than more objective individuals and feel fairly positively about their partner's appearance (Barelds-Dijkstra, & Barelds, 2008 Goldsmith 8c Byers, 2016). However, there is some historical research suggesting that exposure to sexually explicit media images such as pornography is linked to consumers' dissatisfaction with their partner's appearance and may create unrealistic expectations for sexual performance (Kenrick, Gutierres, 8c Goldberg, 1989 Zillmann 8c Bryant, 1988).

Goals of the Current Study

The primary aim of this study was to investigate pornography consumption and its relation to body- and performance-based sexual concerns, genital self-image, and pornography-based partner expectations. It was predicted that SEM viewership would be associated with poorer genital self-image, more body-and performance-related cognitive distractions during sexual activity, and more unrealistic pornography-based partner expectations among both men and women. Based on the findings of previous research, it was anticipated that men would report consuming more visual pornography, while women would report consuming more literary erotica, and that women would report more body- and performance-related concerns than men. Due to the graphically-based content of visual SEM, it was predicted that visual pornography viewership in particular would be associated with higher sexual concerns and more unrealistic expectations of one's partner than would literary pornography for both men and women. In addition, it was anticipated that pornography consumption would be linked to more sexual concerns among women than men. It was also expected that the relationship between pornography consumption and sexual concerns would be stronger among women compared to men due to the tendency for women to internalize media ideals to a greater extent than men. We chose to focus on young adults in particular, given the popularity of pornography use in this age group specifically (Daneback et al., 2012 Wright, 2013).

Undergraduate women (n = 874) and men (n = 360) were recruited from an undergraduate university subject pool system. Of the women, 24% reported that they had not been exposed to SEM, while 7% of men reported a lack of exposure. These individuals were removed for analysis purposes, leaving samples comprised of 668 women and 333 men.

Women in this study were an average of 20.9 years old (SD = 2.7, range = 18-30). In terms of ethnicity, 56.4% reported being Euro-Caucasian, 36.3% East Asian, and 7.3% of various other ethnic descents. The sexual orientation of our sample was, 91.0% as heterosexual, 7.9% bisexual, and 1.1% lesbian. Among women, 52.0% were in a monogamous relationship, 39.0% were not currently in a relationship, 7.0% were in a sexual relationship, and 2.0% were in an open relationship (had one primary partner and "permission" from their partner to be sexually active with other individuals). For individuals currently involved in a relationship, the average relationship length was two years and 8 months.

Men in this study were an average of 21.77 years old (SD = 2.59, range = 18-30). In terms of ethnicity, 58.5% reported being Euro-Caucasian, 36.2% East Asian, and 5.3% of various other groups. For sexual orientation, participants identified 91.2% as heterosexual, 4.8% bisexual and 4.0% gay. Among men, 40.0% were in a monogamous relationship, 48.0% were not currently in a relationship, 10.0% were in a sexual relationship, and 2.0% were in an open relationship. The average length of relationship for those currently involved in a relationship was two years and two months.

Before answering questions related to their pornography use and enjoyment, participants read the following general statement about pornography use: "The following questions ask you for information about your use of pornography. Pornography is a general term that describes sexually explicit material created to increase sexual arousal and can include videos, photos, websites, magazines, comic books, and other forms of sexually explicit content. Many people use and enjoy pornography."

SEM consumption frequency and level of enjoyment. Frequency of exposure and enjoyment of SEM viewership were assessed using questions developed for the purposes of this study. The questions asked participants to rate their consumption frequency and level of enjoyment for Internet pornography, Internet anime pornography, pornographic videos/movies, pornographic magazines, pornographic pictures, erotic stories, and erotic fan fiction. To establish the content validity of the scale, we had a group of sexuality researchers examine the items they were judged to have good face and content validity. SEM viewing frequency and level of enjoyment were divided into two categories: 1) Visual pornography (including pornographic television, movies, magazines, pictures, anime, and Internet pornography), and 2) Literary pornography (including erotic stories and fan fiction). To determine how frequently participants consumed pornography, participants indicated their typical usage of the various forms of pornography on a 7-point Likert scale (See Appendix A). By summing across pornography categories, a composite Visual SEM score and separate Literary SEM score was yielded. In keeping with arguments by Pasta (2009) suggesting that results are relatively insensitive to the spacing of ordinal variables, we treated scores on the frequency scales as continuous. To determine the extent to which participants enjoyed pornography, participants indicated their enjoyment of the various forms of pornography on a 7-point Likert scale (See Appendix B). Using the mean level of enjoyment across pornography categories, a composite Visual SEM score and separate Literary SEM score was yielded.

Pornography-based partner expectations. In consultation with a group of sexuality researchers, the authors designed two items to assess participants' expectations that their partner's physical attractiveness and sexual performance would match those of the individuals featured in pornography. The items were judged by the group of sexuality researchers to have good face and content validity. Participants were provided with the following instructions: Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the following statements by using the response options below (ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree, to 5 = Strongly Agree). Participants then answered the following two questions: (1)1 expect my partner's level of physical attractiveness to be similar to the actresses/actors featured in pornography (2) I expect the sexual performance of my partner to be similar to the sexual performance of people featured in pornography.

The Cognitive Distractions During Sexual Activity Scale (CDDSA). The CDDSA is a 20-item self-report measure that assesses cognitive interference experienced during sexual interactions (Dove 8c Wiederman, 2000). Two 10-item subscales are yielded, one representing appearance-based worries and one representing performance-based worries. Respondents indicate how often they experience agreement with each statement according to a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 0 "Always" to 5 "Never." Possible scores on each of the two subscales range form 0 to 50. Low scores indicate a higher frequency of distracting body- and performance-related thoughts during sex. The CDDSA has displayed good content validity and excellent internal consistency for each subscale (Dove 8c Wiederman, 2000 Meana 8c Nunnink, 2006). Cronbach's alpha in the current sample was .98 among women, and .97 among men.

The Genital Self-Image Scale (GSIS-20). The GSIS is a 20-item self-report inventory measuring respondents' feelings toward their genitals (Zielinski, Kane-Low, Miller, 8c Sampselle, 2012). Participants rate the degree to which statements about their genitals apply to them, with the first set of 7 items represented on a Likert scale ranging from 1 "Always" to 4 "Never," and the second set of 12 items represented as a yes or no dichotomy of 0 = "Applies to me" or 1 = "Does not apply to me." Higher scores indicate poorer genital self-image. We administered gender specific instructions for men and women. The GSIS has demonstrated high internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and content validity among women and men (Zielinski et al., 2012). Cronbach's alpha in the current sample was .80 for women and .71 for men.

Online advertisements were posted on the psychology subject pool system of a major North American university to invite participation in this study. Advertisements included a description of the online survey investigating "pornography and sexuality" and the link to the survey host website (, where participants could view more details about the study and participate if they chose to do so. The link directed students to an online consent form containing more details about the topic of the study and the study procedure. Once individuals consented to participate, they were directed through the series of web-based questionnaires. The University's behavioural research ethics board approved all study procedures.

Given the variability in ethnicity in our sample (a high number of Euro-Caucasian and East Asian participants), we compared these two groups on demographic (age, relationship status, and relationship length) and pornography consumption variables (visual time, literary time, visual enjoyment, literary enjoyment). We used multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) to determine whether individuals of Euro-Caucasian and East Asian descent differed in their demographic or pornography viewing/enjoyment characteristics. The main effect for ethnicity was not significant, [E.sub.Wilk's] (7> 975) = 1.96, p = .08, [[eta].sub.p.sup.2] = .04. Therefore, we combined the samples into one and conducted all subsequent analyses using this overall sample.

Individual samples t-test were used to examine mean differences in the pornography use and sexual insecurities variables between men and women. Due to the number of comparisons, a Bonferroni's correction was employed to set the alpha level at p < .006. Men reported lower levels of cognitive distractions during sexual activity concerning their body and performance compared to women, and scored significantly higher on expectations of partner performance. Men reported spending significantly more time viewing visual pornography and reported higher enjoyment than women, but women reported spending significantly more time consuming literary pornography and higher enjoyment of this modality than men. Differences in expectations for partner attractiveness and genital self-image were non-significant across gender. See Table 1.

Pearson's r was used to examine zero order correlations between pornography consumption and enjoyment variables separately for men and women. Due to the number of comparisons, Bonferroni's correction was used to determine an adjusted alpha level of p < .003. In women, visual pornography time, visual pornography enjoyment, and literary pornography enjoyment were significantly positively associated with expectations for partner performance. Conversely, all pornography time and enjoyment variables were negatively associated with expectations for partner attractiveness. Among women, time spent viewing visual pornography was also associated with more frequent cognitive distractions during sexual activity concerning their body. In men, visual pornography time was associated with more frequent cognitive distractions during sexual activity concerning their body and performance, higher expectations for partner attractiveness, and higher genital self-image scores. Visual pornography enjoyment was also significantly positively correlated with expectations for partner performance and attractiveness. These results are shown in Table 2.

Multivariate regression analyses were used to examine the associations between pornography use and sexual insecurities in more detail, separately for men and women. Due to the number of comparisons, Bonferroni's correction was used set the alpha level to p < .01. In women, pornography use in general explained a significant proportion of the variance in the sexual outcome measures, Pillai's Trace = .23, F(4, 659) = 8.13, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .22. Pornography use accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in expectations for partner performance, with visual pornography time being a unique positive predictor of expectations for partner attractiveness. Pornography use also explained a significant proportion of the variance in expectations for partner attractiveness, with visual pornography enjoyment and literary pornography enjoyment emerging as unique negative predictors of expectations for partner performance. These results are shown in Table 3.

In men, pornography use in general explained a significant proportion of the variance in overall sexual insecurities, Pillai's Trace = .15, F(4, 319) = 2.52, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .15. Pornography use specifically accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in body-related cognitive distractions, performance-related cognitive distractions, expectations for partner performance, and genital self-image. Frequency of visual pornography viewership emerged as a unique negative predictor of body-related cognitive distractions and performance-related cognitive distractions (such that more frequent use predicted more cognitive distractions), and as a unique positive predictor of genital self-image. No unique predictors were found for expectations for partner performance or attractiveness. See Table 3.

Given the different patterns that emerged across men and women, gender was investigated as a moderator of pornography use and sexual insecurities and was examined in a multivariate regression combining both groups. A significant interaction effect was found between gender and pornography use, Pillai's Trace = .06, F(4, 978) = 3.21, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .06. Significant main effects of pornography use, Pillai's Trace = .80, F(4, 978) = 49.14, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .77, and gender, Pillai's Trace = .40, F(4, 978) = 3.21, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .06, were also found. Specifically, the interaction between gender and visual pornography time was significant for predicting cognitive distractions during sexual activity concerning both body and performance, such that women showed a larger magnitude of association between the cognitive distractions and frequency of visual pornography viewership. No other significant interactions emerged. These results are shown in Table 4.

The goal of this study was to investigate the associations between pornography consumption and a variety of sexual concerns (i.e., body- and performance-based sexual concerns, genital self-image, and pornography-based partner expectations) among young adults. Our findings echo those of previous researchers, indicating that pornography consumption is popular among young North American men and women (Cooper, 2004 Daneback et ah, 2012 Wright, 2013). In addition, consistent with previous research on gender-based differences in pornography viewership, women reported greater literary SEM consumption and enjoyment than did men (Hald, 2006), and men reported greater visual SEM consumption and enjoyment than women (Shaughnessy, Byers, & Walsh, 2011). Our findings also extend the literature in this area, which has focused largely on identifying risky sexual behaviours associated with pornography consumption and sexual satisfaction outcomes (e.g., Wright, 2012 Wright, 2013 Wright & Randall, 2012 Wright et al., 2014). Specifically, our findings shed light on cognitive aspects of sexuality (i.e., perceptions of the self and others) associated with both literary and visual pornography consumption. Overall, the results of the current investigation suggest that SEM consumption is associated with higher levels of some sexual concerns and sexual expectations among both women and men. However, it is important to note that many of the sexual concerns we measured were unrelated to pornography consumption, which falls in line with research indicating positive and/or neutral effects of pornography use among young adults (Morgan, 2011 Stulhofer et ah, 2010 Traeen et al., 2006).

Pornography and Cognitive Distractions During Sexual Activity

Consistent with our hypotheses, women in our study reported experiencing more cognitive distractions during sexual activity related to both their bodies and their sexual performance than did men. This finding falls in line with research showing that women are more likely to have appearance-related concerns in general (Oehlhof et ah, 2009). In addition, these results are consistent with research findings in support of objectification theory suggesting that young women are particularly likely to internalize media ideals and to have more concerns about their appearance and sexual desirability during sexual encounters (Meana & Nunnink, 2006 Purdon & Holdaway, 2006 Trapnell et ah, 1997).

Consistent with social comparison theory (Mattebo et ah, 2012 Paul, 2005), time spent viewing pornography was correlated with body-related cognitive distractions among men and women, as well as performance-related cognitive distractions among men. However, visual pornography consumption emerged as a unique predictor of cognitive distractions among men only. This was an unexpected finding considering previous research demonstrating that women are more likely to internalize media ideals (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997 Jankowski et al., 2014). However, it is important to note that men were more likely to consume visual pornography than women, which likely strengthened the effect among men. In addition, in the multiple regression analyses examining men and women together, an interaction emerged such that the relation between pornography viewership and both body-and performance-based cognitive distractions was stronger among women than men. This suggests that although women view pornography less often than men, those who do view it may be particularly likely to experience sexual concerns associated with this viewership. In other words, similar to how women are particularly sensitive to portrayals of thinness and beauty in mainstream media (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997 Jankowski et al., 2014), women may be particularly sensitive to the appearance and performance standards portrayed in visual pornography compared to men. In addition, theoretical underpinnings suggest that exposure to SEM may promote the viewing of oneself through an observer lens, which is likely to exacerbate body and performance concerns, resulting in a greater frequency of cognitive distractions during sexual activity (Janssen et al., 2003 Masters & Johnson, 1966 Purdon & Holdaway, 2006). Since women are already more likely than men to see themselves through an observer lens during sexual activity (e.g., Meston, 2006), exposure to pornography may increase this tendency among women in particular.

One of the goals of this study was to investigate both visual and literary pornography viewership among both men and women in an effort to extend the literature in this area, which has focused mainly on visual pornography (e.g., Hald, 2006 Lykins et al., 2008). In our investigation, the frequency of literary pornography consumption was not correlated with cognitive distractions, nor was it predictive of these concerns among men or women. Consistent with our hypotheses, this finding suggests that perhaps due to the decreased salience of physical appearance and sexual performance compared to visual modalities, literary pornography may be less likely to be associated with sexual concerns (Carroll et ah, 2008 Hald, 2006 Lykins et ah, 2008). We also examined visual and literary enjoyment of pornography as potential predictors of cognitive distractions since the sexual activities portrayed in the SEM may be more likely to represent aspirational goals for one's body and/or sex life if they are more enjoyed (Thompson et ah, 1999 Knobloch-Westerwick 8c Crane, 2012). However, contrary to our hypothesis, neither visual nor literary enjoyment was associated with cognitive distractions suggesting that exposure to the SEM rather than the enjoyment of it is linked to sexual concerns. It is possible that other factors may be involved in the association between pornography use and body and performance concerns. For example, some previous research has linked the extent to which individuals are invested in their appearance to the impact of media images (Boersma 8c Jarry, 2013 Cash, 2011). Extending these ideas to pornography, it is possible that the extent to which individuals are invested in their appearance and sexual performance is linked to sexual concerns. It is important to note that the current study did not assess motivations behind consuming the various types of pornography. It is therefore unknown whether our enjoyment measure fully tapped into the use of the various types of pornography as aspirational or "inspirational" material (Knobloch-Westerwick 8c Crane, 2012). Indeed, previous research has suggested that individuals differ in the extent to which they seek out media that represent their aspirational goals for personal characteristics (Want, 2009), which could be an important factor influencing this relationship. Future research in this area should consider including measures of motivations behind pornography consumption and factors like appearance and performance investment to investigate these relationships (i.e., potential mediation).

Pornography and Genital Self-Image

Men and women in our sample scored similarly on our measure of genital self-image. However, inconsistent with our hypotheses, the use and enjoyment of literary and visual pornography were not related to genital self-image among women. Some researchers have theorized that "the female gaze" may focus more on the sexual encounter as a whole rather than focusing on the female genitals displayed in pornography (e.g., Schauer, 2005), which may limit the association between SEM viewership and genital self-image. Alternatively, it is possible that the women in our sample lacked investment in the appearance of their genitals and therefore an association failed to emerge between pornography use and genital self-image (Boersma & Jarry, 2013 Cash, 2011).

Consistent with some previous research, visual pornography use was associated with higher genital self-image and also emerged as a unique predictor of increased genital self-image among men (Morrison et ah, 2004). These findings are also consistent with the notion that men experience a positive association between SEM viewership and genital self-image because while watching pornography, men are imagining themselves as participating as the actor (e.g., Janssen et ah, 2003). Since men may be identifying with the images of the men they are viewing rather than using these images as a standard of comparison, this may enhance their genital self-image. Alternatively, men who consume pornography may have more positive attitudes toward sexuality and/or higher sexual comfort and therefore more positive genital self-images (Willoughby, Carroll, Nelson, 8c Padilla-Walker, 2014). It is important to note that this finding is also contradictory to research indicating that pornography viewership is associated with negative genital self-image among men (Cranney, 2015 Morrison et al., 2006). It is possible that these inconsistent findings may be due to differences in the level of investment in genital appearance among the men across samples, or may be due to the distinction between pornographic modalities (visual and literary) made in our study. Differences across studies may also be due to other third variables at play. Further research in this area is needed to increase our confidence in the association between SEM consumption and genital self-image among men.

Pornography-Based Partner Expectations

When comparing men and women, men had higher expectations of their partner's sexual performance than did women. However, both men and women were similarly likely to expect their partner's appearance to be like what is portrayed in pornography. Consistent with our predictions, correlation analyses showed that time spent viewing visual pornography, enjoyment of visual pornography, and enjoyment of literary pornography were linked to higher expectations of partner performance and appearance among women. In addition, regression analyses indicated that time spent consuming literary pornography was linked to higher expectations for partner appearance among women. These findings are consistent with historical research suggesting that exposure to sexually explicit images such as pornography is linked to consumers' dissatisfaction with their partner's appearance and may create unrealistic expectations for sexual performance (Kenrick et ah, 1989 Zillmann & Bryant, 1988). Though social comparison theory is typically discussed with reference to self-comparisons, these results suggest that these comparisons may extended to the partner, whereby individuals may compare their partner to the ideals represented in pornography for sexual performance and physical attractiveness (Morrison et al., 2006). This notion is also consistent with research indicating that women visually fixate equally on same- and opposite- sex figures (Lykins et al., 2008), which may increase the likelihood that they compare both themselves and their partners to these external standards.

Importantly, only time spent viewing visual pornography was uniquely associated with expectations for partner performance among women. This finding is consistent with the increased emphasis on physical appearance and visual depictions of sexual performance in visual pornography compared to literary pornography (Janssen et al., 2003). In addition, only enjoyment of visual and literary pornography were uniquely associated with expectations for partner attractiveness among women. This finding is consistent with our hypothesis that greater enjoyment of pornography may reflect greater investment into the ideals presented in pornography and therefore more expectations that partners meet these standards (Boersma & Jarry, 2013 Cash, 2011).

Among men, correlation analyses suggested that time spent viewing visual pornography was linked to higher expectations of partner attractiveness, while visual pornography enjoyment was associated with expectations for partner performance and appearance. These findings are consistent with previous research suggesting that pornography viewership is associated with increased partner expectations (Kenrick et al., 1989 Zillmann 8c Bryant, 1988). In our investigation, literary SEM intake was not significantly associated with pornography-based partner expectations among men. This finding falls in line with the reduced emphasis on appearance, but not necessarily performance in erotic literature, and therefore potentially less salient comparisons between one's partner and the appearance of the individuals featured in pornography (Janssen et al., 2003). However, it is important to note that none of the pornography viewing or enjoyment variables uniquely predicted partner expectations among men. These findings were unexpected since men tend to visually fixate longer on opposite sex figures in erotic imagery (Lykins et al., 2008), which may predispose men toward making comparisons between their partner and the portrayals of women in pornography. However, the current findings are consistent with research indicating that individuals tend to feel fairly positively about their partner's appearance and may be less influenced by the media than researchers often anticipate (Barelds-Dijkstra, 8c Barelds, 2008 Goldsmith 8c Byers, 2016).

This study is not without its limitations. First, the data in this investigation are of a correlational nature no causal inferences can be drawn. In addition, the sample of participants who responded to our survey were mainly Euro-Caucasian and East Asian undergraduate students, and were screened out if they had not consumed pornography, limiting the generalizability of the results. Importantly, our measures of pornography-based partner expectations were both single-item measures, which limits the power of the findings using these measures. Researchers going forward in this area should work toward developing a broader measure of pornography-based partner expectations. Furthermore, our results were collected via online survey, and are therefore not immune to socially desirable responding although previous research has indicated that online surveys are likely fairly robust to a variety of response biases (Booth-Kewley, Larson 8c Miyoshi, 2007). In addition, posters and notification advertising the study revealed the sexual nature of this investigation, potentially generating a more sexually open and liberal sample (Morokoff, 1986 Saunders, Fisher, Hewitt, 8c Clayton, 1985).

The present investigation provides important information on the relationships between pornography exposure, sexual insecurities, and pornography-based partner expectations. As expected, many aspects of pornography viewership and enjoyment were related to lower genital self-image, more frequent body- and performance-based cognitive distractions during sexual activity, and unrealistic partner expectations. However, consistent with research indicating the positive or neutral effects of pornography, many aspects of pornography viewership were not linked to the sexual concerns and expectations assessed in this study. This research expands on the limited body of research on pornography and sexual well-being by examining a range of sexual concerns and expectations. Furthermore, the results of this study highlight the need for continued research into the effects of pornography consumption as it remains a popular sexual outlet for men and women.

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Kaitlyn Goldsmith, (1) Cara R. Dunkley, (2) Silvaln S. Dang, (2) and Boris B. Gorzalka (2)

(1) Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB

(2) Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Why isn't male objectification in media talked about more?

Sex sells pretty well to both men and women. My issue is why is it that when it caters to men, people say it objectifies women, but catering to women by treating men as walking meat sticks is ok.

Plenty of people will complain when a woman is needlessly sexualized, but there isn't much talk of the same happening to men. Plenty of movies and tv shows have men randomly shirtless like Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and even marvel movies do it. In the context of Marvel movies, the men being shirtless rarely has anything to do with the plot. That's why I don't buy Thor randomly shirtless is a "Male Power Fantasy".The thing that annoys me the most is that the same women that complain about oversexualized women will eat up the oversexualized men. Shouldn't we raise the standard of female characters, not lower the men?

I think media that caters to women aren't any better at portraying the opposite gender than media for men. Take Pretty Little Liars. The male characters don't have any agency and if they aren't conventionally attractive and walking around shirtless, they are usually villains. Most romance films aren't much better like The Vow, Twilight, After, Sex and the City, etc.

I've noticed in progressive/general left-wing media nowadays there are a lot more comments on men's appearances than with women.

Patriot Act is pretty egregious in this regard. Hasan makes fun of nearly every man's appearance if they're bad. Often said men are deplorable human beings, but it still doesn't sit well with me.

Brooklyn 99 does this a lot as well. Especially with Terry to the point that Iɽ say it goes beyond problematic to being a problem.

I get that there are power dynamic differences but those only really change the degree of how bad something is. Hollywood's body standards for men are ridiculous. Everyone has these washboard abs and what they go through to get them is fucked. Sure there's an element of power fantasy to them but you've got to be delusional to deny that sex appeal is involved as well.

Sure there's an element of power fantasy to them

Washboard abs are entirely aesthetic and require an almost bulemic diet to maintain. If it were about power movie heroes would look like power lifters.

Did you considered from where can those power fantasies come from?

If we take superheroes and comics. They are or at least were read mostly by people that didnt not have that musculator but also had expierience that muscles are required to be attractive (sort of twisted view of popularity of nerd vs sport star in high school before 2010s). So they wished they had such bodies because those were showed of in all other media and in real life as atractive and desired.

John Oliver please shut up about Adam Driver, that shits creepy

Yeah this is really getting to me. A lot of Marvel/DC actors are dehydrating themselves and chugging steroids for their roles its not better than starving yourself.

I have the advantage of not being particularly attracted to muscular men so its easy for me to wag the finger at women sexualising these bodies - but as a society we do need to move away from this beauty standard for men that is a completely unattainable and even more so unmaintainable low body fat with huge muscles.

But if I look at subs here that focus on mens exercise, its definitely not just women sexualising them.

Also, finally worth noting OP gives RomCom or Drama example like Sex and the City when that particularly example is very much outdated. 00s Romance movies were terribly sexist against men and women alike.

Material like Twilight or Fifty Shades deserve to be called out for what they are: porn. These works don't necessarily need progressive stories but then they need to admit what they are: appeals to romance or sex fantasies that don't reflect what women are looking for in their actual partners.

I totally think this issue should be talked about and I think it is encouraging to see many on the feminist side of things discussing it. I have plenty of friends posting things like "if we brazenly objectify men and say nothing about it, how on earth are they supposed to understand our complaints when the same is done for us?"

Personally, I think it is a different issue for men. Men's physical appearance doesn't affect things like pay and job status nearly to the extent it does women. It definitely still DOES, mind you. But for the most part we are generally concerned about our appearance as it relates to dating, since that's the primary area it influences. For women, their appearance affects nearly every aspect of their lives. It's a frustration I hear a lot. Girls have many other reasons to doll themselves up besides dating. For guys it's maybe 70-80% dating. Maybe I'm generalizing so call me out on that.

The Bigger Picture

If we are to talk about objectification of men, as well as men's body image, there is certainly a more comprehensive view to take on. While men are generally less objectified for our bodies than women, we are also objectified for things like income, protection, status, etc. People are far less concerned about the value of a stay-at-home mom. When a woman earns more than a husband, men are insecure because society is often still asking "so. what use is he?". It takes a bit of extra effort to see the inherent value in men beyond things you can stamp onto a baseball card. While some women certainly contribute to this, I think it is often men who reinforce this aspect. Most women I know have little trouble seeing deeper value in the men around them.

Sexualization isn't inherently bad

Also, often, I view equating sexualization with objectification to be a bit of a tightrope. We are a very sexual species and part of how we got along was actually in sexualizing each other, and treating sexuality as interently disrespectful has the effect of bottling up sexuality with is a #1 trait in societies that encourage violence and hierarchy. This is not a criticism of the OP. I just wanted to make a point to make sure sexualization and sexual objectification are treated as separate issues. The former is normal and, if anything, needs to be broadened. The latter is perverting a positive human trait for greedy purposes and creating bad social influence.

The other size of Sexualization

One area of discussion has been the anti-sexualization of asian men as a form of racism. I agree this is an issue, but during these discussions, they often describe traits that describe anti-sexualization of men as a whole.

While women are treated as sex objects, men are treated as anti-sex objects. Women as desirable, men as the undesirable ones who are basically seen as predominantly ugly. A woman's sexy outfit shows as much skin as possible. Yet the sexiest thing a man can wear is a 3-piece suit that covers him from head-to-toe. Bonus points for a hat and gloves. In that sense, it is rather nice to see appreciation for the male form. But yes, it sucks when it is pointless. And even worse, Chris Pratt in Guardians or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine represent a much smaller subset of men than actresses. Male film diets are much more strict.

I actually just now joined this group, and I think groups like this are a great step in the right direction for issues like this. WHen this issue isn't brought up in feminist groups, it usually isn't because they don't care, but more often that they simply didn't know we were facing something similar. We need to be able to bring these issues up (without it being some anti-feminist smear job) because men know most about what we are going through, and helping include this in the bigger conversation will help us create solutions that benefit us all, rather than further entrenching our roles.

Macrophilia: the attraction for giants

This is called the sexual attraction of macrophilia by giants (regardless of their sex) or by the idea of ​​being able to be devoured or crushed by them. We are dealing with a type of sexual attraction related to fantastic beings that does not exist in real life, which makes this sexual preference generally limited to fantasy and onanism.

It should be noted that having occasional fantasies of this type may be, although relatively rare (although pornographic sites report that content of this type enjoys some popularity), may be non-pathological and may serve as a fetish without further ado.

However, it becomes a paraphilic type problem when sexual fixation by giants becomes the only stimulus capable of generating sexual arousal, it generates discomfort or becomes an element that limits a person’s life (For example, not being able to like relationships or occupy a high percentage of their thinking and behavior on a daily basis) over a period of at least six months.

There are different preferences for this type of paraphilia, one of the most common being the fantasy that a normal-sized woman or man begins to grow taller by breaking their clothes, the room and / or the building they are in. find. Another of the most common fantasies concerns, as we have already said, the crushing or the idea of ​​being devoured: the idea that the giant in question proceeds to the destruction of the environment and crush or eat people it becomes sexually suggestive for these subjects.

And it is that the type of interaction between the giant and the human in these fantasies can be very varied, from the maintenance of sexual relations with penetration (is it that of being receptor of the member of a giant man or that to penetrate the vagina / anus of a giant), oral contact or to be licked, chewed or swallowed by one of these beings (without needing sexual contact itself), masturbating in contact with any what part of your body from these beings, to be inundated by the sexual scent of these beings, to be crushed or manipulated like a toy …

Fantasy too this may be related to the fact that the subject in question has been reduced to a tiny size while its object of desire retains its usual measures, being in reality the important perception of differences in size or power.

Usually those who have this type of paraphilia are usually straight men (the object of desire are giant women), but there are also heterosexual women and macrophilic homosexual men whose attraction is not giants, as well as homosexual women the object of desire. they are giants. In fact, macrophilia it transcends sexual orientation itself, To be able of heterosexual or homosexual subjects to feel for us an attraction of the sex opposite to that of their preference by the fact of being giants.

Virtually limited to fantasy

Macrophilia is a very particular paraphilia, since the object of desire of people who feel this sexual attraction is nonexistent in reality. In this way, a person with macrophilia does not have the majority of the possibility of carrying out their sexual fantasies, simply fantasize about interacting with these beings and / or masturbation practices.

As a rule, this fact is known to macrophiles and is not the product of a loss of sense of reality. This does not imply, however, that in some cases there may be a loss of contact with reality derived from substance use or a neurological or psychiatric disorder, but that would be a coincidence and not something defining. macrophilia itself.

Cinema, the Internet and new technologies have also enabled people with this sexual preference to find very interesting content for themselves. There are even videos and photographs in which you play with perspective, optical effects, or image modification programs to make actors or actresses appear even larger than a building, or in which toys are used as shot to represent scenes of crushing or destruction.

However, the truth is that some people tend to seek out sexual partners closest to their objects of desire, especially people of above average height and wingspan or rather higher than the subject itself. In this way, a person with this sexual inclination could seek a woman over two meters in height (who receives the name of Amazons), or men with gigantism in order to approach their erotic fantasy as much as possible.

Not All Gay Couples Are Monogamous

What HRC and other gay rights groups would like to sell the straight public is that gay couples are just like straight married couples. In many cases, they are. They are monogamous and have been together forever and raise their kids behind white picket fences. What they don't want you to know is that many gay couples, though married, civilly unionized, or otherwise commonlaw are inviting guys over for threeways, playing around with other guys on the side, or engaged in all other sorts of sexual hijinks. Yes, straight people have "swingers" but it seems like there is a stronger bent of "non-traditional arrangements" among the gays. It might be because gay men are horny bastards and because we didn't have your fiendish and chaste preset relationship constructs until recently when straight people decided it was time to stop treating us like second class citizens. Yeah, we may be married, but that doesn't mean we're dead or conforming to your rules.

How Big is a Large Penis?

Measuring penises is both easy and complicated for several reasons.

The easy answer is, again, larger than the average wherever you’re from, but even so, what’s larger than normal? What is normal? If by “normal” we mean the average penis size, we’ve already established that’s about 5 inches when erect, so anything more than that should be considered larger than normal.

But if you’re one of the lucky ones with an undoubtedly large penis, meaning a good inch or two more than the 5 inch average, you should be aware that there is such a thing as “too big” for many women, because by the end of the day, if you’re going to use your penis for penetration, the person on the receiving end has to feel pleasure as well and can only do so if everything fits and doesn’t hurt.

How to Measure a Penis

Men may be surprised to learn that penis length isn't measured on the erect penis. Too many variables are involved.

Instead, the most reliable penis measurement is called SPL -- stretched penis length. The longer men's SPL, the longer their erect penis length, according to studies done on brave young men who volunteered to have erection-stimulating penis injections.

To learn your SPL, measure the penis while it's flaccid. Press the ruler tight against the pubic bone at the base of the penis. Don't just measure from where the penis separates from the scrotum, or you'll lose precious centimeters. Now gently, but very firmly, stretch the penis as far as it will go. Measure from the pubic bone to the tip of the stretched penis.

Did you get five and a quarter inches? If so, you are exactly normal. Most adult men are within about a half inch of 5.24 inches, according to statistics Palmer has compiled. Nearly all studies of penis length come up with a similar measure.

If you're a little smaller than that, you've got lots of company. Just as many men are below average penis size as above it.

How big is big? According to Palmer's statistics, only 0.6% of men have an SPL of 6.8 inches or more. But too big isn't what men tend to worry about.

My penis size obsession: All my life I've worried about measuring up

By William Bradley
Published January 4, 2016 12:30AM (EST)


I think I first experienced anxiety about size when I was around 5 years old, as my friend Billy and I were pissing outside together. No, I don’t remember why we were pissing outside. And no, I don’t know what compelled me to actually look at his dick, except that I was young and hadn’t learned proper pissing-with-other-dudes etiquette yet. But what I know is that I had only ever seen my brother, my father and myself naked before that moment. It made sense to me that my dad’s penis was larger than mine—everything about him was larger. But this kid was my age and my size—except for one part. And that part was bigger. Shockingly so. I couldn’t tell you why this realization bothered me—I was years away from knowing anything about sex, and close to a decade away from worrying about the role size might play in satisfying a lover. Nevertheless, at that moment, realizing that I was clearly smaller than my friend, I felt inferior for the first time in my life. I may not remember many details of that day, but I remember that feeling quite clearly.

In their 2007 study of gay men’s perception of penis size, researchers Murray J. N. Drummond and Shaun M. Filiault noted the way culture seems to equate a man’s value with the size of his penis:

Stereotypically, men’s penis size is linked with Western cultural notions of masculinity. That is, a large penis is indicative of one being ‘more’ of a man. As Pope and colleagues state “genitals symbolize virility, procreative potency, and power” all of which are critical to accessing what is termed “hegemonic masculinity” Furthermore, other analyses of Western masculinity suggest men are expected to occupy space or ‘penetrate’ space, dictums which both lend credence to the need for a large, penetrating penis. Accordingly, and based on such cultural stereotypes, a small penis draws into question a man’s sexual prowess and his overall masculinity. Based on such symbolism and cultural observations, it is little wonder that a large number of men present each year for penile augmentation surgery, despite the risky nature of the procedure and the fact that many of those men are of a normal size. Seemingly, then, penis size is a major body image concern for many if not most men living in Western nations.

The ceramics class I took my senior year of high school was taught by a local artist who didn’t have very much classroom experience. As a result, class sometimes seemed a little chaotic. The music would be turned up a little too loud if the Beastie Boys came on. People would just take the hall pass from the teacher’s desk without permission in order to roam the school. Conversations were often shouted across the room as we halfheartedly molded our ashtrays and pots. The teacher would try to get us to quiet down, to treat her with some measure of respect, and to focus our energies on creating art. But she’d tried too hard to make us like her, to convince us she was laid back and cool, the first week of class. Rookie mistake.

One day the group of stoners in the class were sitting at their table, laughing louder than usual. Eventually, one of them—an African-American kid named Lamar—got up from his seat, grabbed the hall pass, and left the room. His friends were all still laughing, but he seemed pissed.

“What is going on?” the teacher demanded, and the laughter died down.

“Something funny happened at a party on Saturday,” Gabe, the only talented artist in the class, responded. “It’s not a big deal.”

For the life of me, I don’t know why the teacher followed up.

“What?” she asked. “What happened?”

Nervous laughter, then Gabe answered. “Well, Lamar… fell asleep. In the bathroom. Some people found him in there. Naked.”

At this point, I think the teacher realized she didn’t really want to know. “OK, OK.”

“And it turns out that certain ideas about black guys… aren’t true.”

At this, the teacher turned red as the table full of stoners started laughing again. I was embarrassed too. For her. For him. For me, too, I suppose.

I tried my best to ignore them, focusing on the clay in front of me, and I managed to succeed. I didn’t notice anyone getting up from their table and going toward the chalkboard when the teacher wasn’t looking. And I didn’t notice Lamar had returned to the room until the yelling began.

“Who did it?” he demanded loudly. I looked up to see him standing in the front of the room, eyes wide, mouth shut tight as if he was containing rage, or tears, or both. “Who the fuck did it?”

The teacher seemed just as confused as I was, and I think we probably both looked behind him at the same time, toward the chalkboard. Someone had taken a small chunk of clay—maybe an inch long, and very thin—and affixed it to the board. Written beside it, with an arrow pointing towards it, were the words “Lamar’s pee-pee.”

He walked through the room slowly, making eye contact with all of us. I don’t think he actually thought I would do such a thing—the stoners kind of scared me back then. I thought all drugs were dangerous and led to a life of reckless criminality. And I’m pretty sure he knew it was one of his friends. But when he looked at me, I could tell that he wanted to hurt someone, and I could understand. And though it would be years before I would start to think about how racial stereotypes probably make anxiety about penis size even more acute for young black men, I felt like this was the most humiliating thing I’d ever witnessed.

According to research conducted by the makers of Lifestyles-brand condoms, the average erect penis is about 5.8 inches long. Some other surveys suggest that the average is slightly smaller. Surveys that rely on self-reporting from men suggest, not surprisingly, that the average is higher. But it’s probably safe to say that the average is somewhere between 5 and a half and 6 inches long. Lifestyles reports that the average girth is 4.972 inches. Obviously, there’s some small deviation in other surveys, but not much.

TSA screener Rolando Negrin accepted a plea deal in 2011 to avoid a felony conviction after using a police baton to assault a co-worker who had seen what he was packing through a whole-body scanner image and had taunted him about it.

In 2012, drunken John Clinton stabbed his wife to death but argued that he should be charged with manslaughter rather than murder because she had been “galling him” about his bedwetting habit and small penis.

Also, in 2012, Florida skinny-dipper Adam Brown was charged with threatening his neighbor with a rifle when she made fun of his size, pointing the gun at her face and asking, “How do you like the size of this?” Even when police arrived, he refused to put his gun down and wound up getting shot by an officer.

My first college girlfriend wasn’t really my girlfriend at all. She was a female friend with whom I occasionally got drunk and made out. Occasionally, if we were both really turned on, I might get to rub a breast over her sweater. But she had a boyfriend back at home, and eventually felt like she couldn’t continue French-kissing me, so we decided to go back to just being friends. We hung out with the same people, so just going our separate ways wasn’t really an option. But, to be honest, I probably wasn’t very mature about the whole thing.

My friends and I always made fun of each other—none of us was particularly thin-skinned—but she and I would sometimes each take the “friendly teasing” a little too far. I knew that a boy in her high school used to harass her by calling her “fire crotch”—a reference to her red hair. So I started calling her that too—in that “ironic” way so I could claim that I didn’t actually mean to upset her, even though I knew exactly what I was doing. She would come back at me too, of course, and she tended to give as good as she got with her jokes about my own nerdy interests in comic books or lack of success with women. But in hindsight, I realize I was being the asshole in these exchanges.

One night, all of our friends were gathered in one friend’s room for conversation and binge drinking. She was telling a story about being in her high school’s band, and referenced that she had loved playing the flute.

“Skin flute, you mean,” I replied with a snicker. Yes, I really was that stupid and immature.

She paused in her story, then replied, “Yeah, I’ve played the skin flute. Or, in your case, piccolo.”

She had, of course, never seen my penis. But our friends didn’t know that. They just knew that we’d fooled around for a while then stopped. And as a virgin, I had been kind of happy to have my friends think I was more sexually experienced than I was. Though not anymore.

The room was silent. I couldn’t come up with anything to say.

She smiled. She knew she’d finally beaten me. But she gilded the lily by asking, “No clever comeback, piccolo prick?”

All of our friends looked back and forth at us.

“Oh, I’m just kidding,” she replied. “I’ve never even seen his dick.”

I felt entitled, somewhat, to some type of righteous indignation. She had, after all, told a roomful of our mutual friends that I had a small penis, and then—to set the record straight—made it clear that we hadn’t done anything below the waist. But even though I was embarrassed, I had to admit that she’d done a masterful job of insulting me. Her comic timing was excellent. She’d shut me up after I’d been rude to her for several weeks. The truth is, I think we wound up becoming friends again after that comment. I certainly never tried to use sexual innuendo to embarrass her—or any other woman—ever again.

In a 1998 New York Times article, attorney Leon Friedman described a literary method of avoiding defamation lawsuits while writing unflattering, thinly-veiled depictions of real men—describe the character as having a small penis. As Friedman told the Times, ''Now no male is going to come forward and say, 'That character with a very small penis, 'That's me!’''

This “rule” only sounds like a joke—in fact, this method is quite well-known among lawyers and writers who wish to malign other people. Apparently, the idea that a man would rather be the victim of libel than have people think his penis is small is just common sense.

I was once having sex with a woman I wasn’t in a relationship with. We understood going into it that this was a one-night stand. We were friends, and we liked each other, but she had another guy she was more interested in and I was really only looking to get laid. And I was pretty drunk, too. That’s probably important.

I don’t want to brag, but she came a couple of times, and I was still going. In fact, that’s not a brag at all, really. I was young and inexperienced and was pretty sure that going longer was always better, but as we fucked I realized I wasn’t even close to coming. I was hard, but not quite able to finish up. And I realize, in hindsight, that it probably started to become unpleasant for her, lying there while a guy she wasn’t all that into was thrusting away at her.

“Ooooooh,” she moaned. “Your dick is so big.”

At this point, I almost had to stop. I realized she was trying to flatter me, to push me to the point of no return by telling me what every guy wants to hear. But it had the opposite effect. Why would she say such a thing? I knew I wasn’t particularly massive—in fact, at the time, I suspected I was smaller than average. Was she trying to reassure me, presuming I was insecure about it? Did she feel sorry for me? Was this charity?

Honestly, I don’t remember if I came that night, or if we both just eventually fell asleep. But I do remember her telling me my dick was big, and I remember my certainty that she was lying.

Adult film star John Holmes claimed to have a 15-inch penis. His ex-wife claimed it was 10 inches. His business manager says 13 and a half. Ron Jeremy is reported to have a 9 and a half inch penis. Certainly, the adult film industry seems to feel that bigger is better—with the exception of some very specific fetish porn (some cuckold websites, SPH or “Small Penis Humiliation” videos), the actors all seem to be endowed with at least 7 inches.

With 13 and a half inches locked behind his zipper, actor and writer Jonah Falcon is believed by many to have the largest dick in the world. In a 2010 interview with Samantha Bee for "The Daily Show," he explained that he was not interested in acting in porn because it would be “the easy way out.”

My wife’s bachelorette party was a week before our wedding. Her friends got her very drunk, very fast, and she told me the next day that she had wound up passing out about two hours into the festivities. It wasn’t quite what she was planning, and I had a feeling that perhaps the party had been a disappointment. When I saw Erin, my wife’s matron of honor, a few days later, she put my mind at ease.

“It was so much fun,” she said. “Emily was drunk, but she was funnier than I’ve ever seen her. It was awesome.”

“Really?” I asked. “Well, that’s good.”

“Yeah, at one point, she was ranking the dicks of every guy she has ever been with by size.”

“Yeah,” she answered, laughing.

“Well…” How to ask this? “I mean, where did I rank on the list?”

Recognizing her folly, Erin stopped laughing and quickly tried to cover. “Oh, she… she left you off the list. Women don’t talk about their current partners that way.”

I didn’t want to call Erin a liar—she was my friend, too. Plus, I’m just not that rude. And though I’m not particularly anxious about the size of my dick, I still felt like I needed to know now—especially since all of our female friends knew. So I eventually asked Emily. As it happens, I’m closer to the top of the list than the bottom, if we’re going largest to smallest, though she added that there wasn’t much deviation among the men she had been with. Her list of previous lovers is not particularly long, but there are enough on there that I’m content that she knows what is out there and I’m not disappointing her. Not that I was all that worried until Erin brought it up.

Of course, a truly confident man wouldn’t have felt the need to ask in the first place. And probably wouldn’t know how many penises his wife has had intimate contact with. And how would I have felt if she had told me I was smaller than most of the men she had been with? How would I have felt if her total number of sexual partners was significantly higher than mine—like, say, if she could discuss the length and girth of 30 or 40 different men? How confident would I be if the answer to the question wasn’t what I wanted to hear?

In some ways, I think guys are taught from a very young age that we are in competition with each other. Little League, action movies, gym class—we’re raised to think that part of masculinity involves beating another boy or man at something. But as we enter adulthood, we find that competition no longer plays such a crucial role in our lives. Who, for example, brags, “I can write committee reports better than any guy in my office?” or “I’m so attuned to my wife’s needs, I can intuit when she has had a tough day without her having to say anything, and I know to take the kids out for ice cream so she can have some much-needed alone time?” This is masculinity in the real world, but it’s not the sort of thing that tends to impress other dudes.

So perhaps bragging, joking or insulting over penis size is an easy way for some guys to feel better about themselves, now that it’s clear that their days on the football field are over and they’re not likely ever going to have to fight a ninja. It’s juvenile and stupid, but perhaps it’s understandable?

A study conducted by researchers at King’s College London indicated that 30 percent of men say that the are dissatisfied with their equipment, 35 percent report that they are very satisfied, and the remainder fall somewhere around satisfied or dissatisfied.

Surveys of heterosexual women consistently report that their partners’ penis size is not much of a concern for the vast majority. And though size preferences among gay men remain a subject of some debate, a 2007 study of the issue found that only 7 percent of gay men said that the penis was their “favorite” part of a man’s anatomy.

The point is, penis size seems to matter most to the guy with a ruler in one hand and his dick in the other.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit to feeling relieved when my wife told me where I was on her personal experience spectrum. As much as I may tell myself that I don’t care about these things, I have to confess that this is, in fact, a subject I have worried about at times in my life. Knowing that most women say it’s not important, and knowing that my wife says she’s happy with what I’ve got, there is still a part of me that sometimes imagine that it’s all a lie—that, in fact, my wife (and all women) have had the experience of being filled by a 12-inch monster cock and been more fulfilled by it than anything I could ever hope to provide. So much of our culture tells us that this is so, after all. Pornography, sure, but also just the way men—effete liberal and burly conservative alike-- talk to each other about the subject. How often do guys call each other “dick-less” or “needle-dick the bug fucker” or some variation of that type of insult? How often do we joke about guys who collect assault rifles or drive massive, gas-guzzling trucks trying to “compensate” for their lack of size? Obviously, some women make small dick jokes too, but it seems to me that this is an anxiety that we men have created for ourselves.

Actually, there is one guy I can think of who doesn’t seem too insecure, and for whom the legal and literary “small penis rule” did not apply. New Republic contributor Michael Crowley alleged in 2006 that science fiction writer/ political conspiracy theorist Michael Crichton had maligned him in his novel "Next." Crowley had published an essay criticizing the right-wing paranoia on display in Crichton’s previous novel, "State of Fear," and Crowley alleged that Crichton had retaliated by putting a fictionalized version of him in his follow-up novel. The character, Mick Crowley, was described as a Yale graduate with a small penis, “a Washington-based political columnist who was visiting his sister-in-law when he experienced an overwhelming urge to have anal sex with her young son, still in diapers.” The real Crowley is a Yale-educated Washington-based political columnist who does not rape babies and whose penis size is none of our business.

Crowley didn’t sue for libel, but nor did he keep his head down and hope that no one would make the connection, either. He wrote a response for the New Republic wherein he described Crichton’s maligning, but concluded that he found the attention from Crichton “strangely flattering.”

“To explain why,” he wrote, “let me propose a corollary to the small penis rule. Call it the small man rule: If someone offers substantive criticism of an author and the author responds by hitting below the belt, as it were, then he’s conceding that the critic has won.”

The challenge in writing a personal essay about penis size, of course, is in figuring out how to end it. That is to say, do I give my own measurements? The principle of absolute honesty would suggest I should. Maybe. Unless you thought the number was too high. Then, all my insistence that men create unnecessary anxiety for ourselves will strike you as being dishonest.

Which is not to say that the number really would be very high. But if the number seems low, well, then the essay seems merely self-serving, doesn’t it? “Well, of course he thinks we shouldn’t be focused on penis size! He’s hung like a muskrat.”

You see the dilemma I’ve created for myself here. In the end, perhaps, what’s between my legs is a matter best kept between my wife and me. You can feel free to imagine I’ve got a cocktail shrimp down there. Or, a thick, throbbing member that would make Jonah Falcon gasp. I honestly don’t care at this point—it’s my dick, not yours— and if I don’t care, you probably don’t either.

What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises? - Psychology

Plenty, according to a few visually promiscuous UA students

Daniel Norwood is addicted to pornography. No, he's not some creepy 40-something-year-old guy in the long beige trench coat, sneaking in and out of adult bookshops in constant fear he'll be recognized.

Norwood is simply your average UA mathematics senior who just happens to have an unusual hobby: immersing himself in porn, nearly on a daily basis.

He does insist, however, that his addiction is winding down.

"(It) used to be 24/7," he said. "Now I'll take the weekends off."

Since the latter part of the 20th century, getting off with the help of porn has never been easier. Additionally, with great thanks going to the all-powerful Internet, porn has also never been more entertaining or accessible for young people.

Norwood, 20, said he primarily watches Internet porn, specifically "gonzo porn," which is basically the weirdest, sickest, most outrageous porn in the known cyber-universe.

He enjoys vintage porn from the 1920s, porn with twins and something called "urethra sex."

"It's really horrible," Norwood admits.

Norwood is not the only UA student into strange porn, nor is he the only one who shamelessly admits to it.

Meghan Curry, a molecular and cellular biology sophomore, said she watches porn for "entertainment and pointers."

At 19, Curry has developed her porn palate a bit more than most of the 19-year-olds interviewed for this story and watches gay porn, including lesbian bondage porn, in addition to the standard heterosexual stuff.

"I watch everything except for scat," Curry said. "It's fecal porn."

What's the fuss really about?

Yes, it's all shocking. But even more shocking is the fact that Norwood and Curry don't repel people by watching porn it actually helps them make friends.

Again, they're not alone considering many other students openly discuss porn as they would discuss a movie or some other favorite pastime.

"I'm a really sexual person, so I think it's just really interesting to watch," said Jamie Anhouse, an undeclared freshman. "It's entertaining it's fun."

Joel Muraco, a creative writing sophomore, said he watches gay porn four times a week because he has "a very strong sex drive."

"It is a very good sexual release, especially if you're not with a partner or if your partner is not a very sexual person," Muraco added. "It's just a good way to get those urges out of your body."

Instead of using porn to enhance sexual urges, some students tend to view porn quite casually for its "artistic merit."

Like most avid and moderate porn viewers, Curry was first exposed to porn at a young age.

At 8, she was thrown for a loop when she and a friend found a gay magazine under the seat of her friend's dad's truck.

"We didn't know really what it was, but we thought it was gross and just put it back," Curry said.

"I never looked at his dad the same way again," Curry admitted.

As a military brat, Norwood spent six years of his young life in Germany and saw porn for the first time when he was also about 8.

Granted, porn is prevalent on primetime television throughout Europe, but Norwood got his first glance of porn from a pornographic videotape left in the VCR at a friend's house.

Ecology and evolutionary biology freshman Amaranta Kozuch, 19, said she "accidentally" watched porn for the first time at age 11 or 12, when her mother rented the 1969 film "Orgasmo," and somehow didn't realize it would contain pornographic content.

"She had no idea until it was the middle of the movie," Kozuch said.

Of the social side effects of using porn, addiction tends to be the worst.

Miranda, 19, admits he used to be addicted to porn, but is now too busy to feed his addiction. Others don't get off so easily. Literally.

"I think it's a bad addiction 'cause you don't want to always have to want a porno to get off, especially when you have somebody with you," Kozuch said.

"If you asked me that about a month ago, I would have said yes," she said when asked if she was addicted to porn.

Even though she does get bored with porn from time to time, Kozuch said she is trying to curb her porn viewing.

Muraco, 19, said he has become addicted to porn within the last two years because, if he gets lonely, he simply watches a porno instead of going out to meet new people.

When it comes to issues of body image and self-esteem, some college girls tend to fare better than some guys.

Watching actors in porn films gives people a false idea of what a partner should be like, Muraco said. He worries about his body not being tone enough, especially when he is intimate with a guy for the first time.

"Gay guys are a lot like girls," Muraco said with a laugh. "Last night, I wouldn't drink beer because I didn't want to be bloated today."

Anhouse, 19, said standards of beauty are forced onto young people by American society in general, not just in porn.

"It's the same thing as watching an attractive movie star, it's just they don't have their clothes on," Curry said. "You just have to realize that it's a different world with different standards."

Porn is "a self-esteem destroyer," said Ryan A. Parks, a psychology junior.

"Not all guys have 10-inch, thick, cut penises," he said. "Not all women are blonde with size QQQ breasts."

Porn in relationships

Norwood has what appears to be a normal relationship with his girlfriend of four years.

"We met in church," he said. "When my mom made me go to church."

His girlfriend did not know about his "hobby," but eventually discovered it when Norwood wouldn't shut up about porn.

However, Norwood said porn is not a part of their relationship.

"It's not like I make her watch porn. She makes me do all kinds of stuff that I don't want to do," he said, announcing his distaste for "chick flicks." "I gotta watch horrible movies and horrible TV shows.

"I wouldn't say my girlfriend's knitting improves or inhibits our relationship any more I would say so for porn."

Though Muraco's relationship status is "complicated," he said using porn both enhances and inhibits his relationships.

On an up note, Muraco discovered his partner likes to watch porn during sex, but his partner also gets jealous if Muraco watches porn without him.

"If he doesn't want to fool around, he knows I'll just go watch a porn instead," Muraco said. "It's destructive to the relationship."

Others believe porn usage in the relationship does more good than harm.

Watching porn with a group of people is also a popular pastime among UA students, particularly in dorms.

"It's kind of a good thing to watch in a group," Curry said. "Sometimes we get a group together and watch it, take over the TV room."

But if there is a large group watching, Curry said the porn is usually something very soft core.

Anhouse has also invited friends - male and female - over to watch porn as if they were watching the Super Bowl.

If I were a porn star

Experimenting with porn goes far beyond watching it. Some students have or are considering making their own pornos.

"I've thought about it because I have such a great imagination," Kozuch said. "I've definitely thought of scenarios. But I would never do it personally. I would direct."

Muraco recently made a "solo porno" and is now considering making a porno with a friend, just for the experience.

"I think it would just be fun and interesting."

Curry said she and her friends - including guys and girls - are planning to make a porno.

"It's gonna be a bread pornography, with bread," she said. "It's kind of an inside joke. We're gonna try to get it on (the Internet). College humor type stuff. Just to be funny, not a real pornography."

To help meet the sexual needs of practically anyone, local sex shops have provided pornographic films, books, adult toys and other items for decades.

Fascinations provides the same and much, much more according to James Fisher, assistant manager of the store located on 3658 E. Speedway Blvd.

"We're not like a regular porn store," Fisher said.

This is because, in addition to providing lingerie, books, games, movies and adult toys, employees at Fascinations also provide sex advice.

"Our titles are either 'romance educators,' or 'romance specialists,'" Fisher said.

Fisher even brought his expertise, along with a lot of sex toys and books, to the UA last summer when he was one of three guest speakers for a Psychology 364: Human Sexuality course.

Because the store is close to the UA, 40 percent of customers are college-aged students, Fisher said.

Parks, 19, purchases and rents all of his pornos at Fascinations, and Muraco rented one porno from Fascinations on his 18th birthday.

Spending patterns vary, but equal numbers of couples, males and females equally make up Fascinations' regular customers, Fisher said.

"College-aged kids spend a little bit more, will buy the higher quality DVDs, but maybe not as many or as often," Fisher said.

Though guys typically buy DVDs and condoms, girls purchase much more, including lingerie, dongs (the politically correct term for "dildos"), and mostly, vibrators.

In fact, companies have specifically marketed some items toward college girls, including the "College Dong" and the "Study Buddy" vibrator, Fisher said.

"The toys are actually our biggest sellers," Fisher said.

Lubricants are also big sellers.

"Everything's better with lube," Fisher said.

Women tend to ask for more advice before purchasing products and are the larger purchasers of books, Fisher said.

"I think that probably has to do with the whole macho stigma," he said. "The guys are the ones who need them, but the girls are the ones who buy them."


An increasing number of men, dissatisfied with their penises, are seeking cosmetic procedures to enhance their penis size. However, little is known about the social and cultural factors that influence men to consider these procedures.

The aim of this study was to investigate the sociocultural factors affecting men’s attitudes toward their penis size as well as their decisions to undergo penile augmentation.

One-on-one semistructured interviews were conducted with 6 adult men who had previously undergone a penile augmentation. The men were asked about the sociocultural factors that they thought contributed to dissatisfaction with their penis size, and their motivations for having penile augmentation. All interviews were audio recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Interview transcripts were analyzed through the use of thematic analysis.

Three main themes emerged from the interviews, namely “influence of pornography,” “comparison with peers,” and “indirect appearance-related teasing.” The men noted that the large penises of male actors in pornography had skewed their perception of normal penis size. All men had compared their penises with those of their peers, usually in the locker room, and often felt their own penis was smaller as a result. None of the participants had received direct negative comments about their penis size, but were aware that having a small penis was a source of mockery from exposure to jokes on mainstream media sources.

These new insights into the sociocultural factors, namely media and peers, that influence men’s desire for penile augmentation may assist clinicians in enhancing their communication with prospective patients.

Since ancient times, larger penises have come to symbolize the traits of masculinity, strength, and power. 1 As a consequence, men with smaller penises may consider themselves to be less “manly.” Modern-day studies support the suggestion that many men are concerned about their penis size. 2-4 A large study of 25,594 men found that 45% desired a larger penis. 2 To provide further context to this finding, only 38% of men were dissatisfied with their height and 41% with their weight. This penis size concern was particularly the case for men who considered their penis to be average (46%) or smaller than average in size (91%) and these findings were consistent across all age groups (18-65 years). Clearly, penis size dissatisfaction is an important issue for many men and, as a result, a large market for penis enlargement products and procedures has evolved. 1

There are now a wide variety of surgical and nonsurgical medical penile augmentation methods available to men, but all are still considered to be controversial with often low satisfaction and high complication rates. 5-7 The Sexual Medicine Society of North America’s position statement on this topic states that “in men who do not have congenital anatomical anomalies of the penis, the safety and efficacy of penile lengthening and girth enhancement surgery have not been established. Therefore, penile lengthening and girth enhancement surgery can only be regarded as experimental surgery.” 8 Although there have been increasing efforts to improve the safety and efficacy of these procedures, 9 the factors leading men to believe that their penis is not sufficiently large, and, in turn, seek out these experimental procedures, have received relatively little research attention. In terms of clinical research, the study by Kwak et al 10 of 50 men who underwent a penile girth augmentation using hyaluronic acid filler simply reported that the subjects’ motivation for the procedure was “dissatisfied with their small penis.” Similarly, Spyropoulos et al 11 noted that 52 men seeking surgical penile augmentation reported “complaints of sexual inadequacy attributed to functional (n = 12, 23.1%) or aesthetic (n = 40, 76.9%) penile dysmorphophobia (perception of a ‘small penis’).”

In a study of men who had taken the extreme step of performing their own penile augmentations using paraffin or inserting “firm” objects, Pehlivanov et al 12 found that of 25 men interviewed, 80% wanted simply to “enlarge the penile size,” 60% to “increase the feelings of sexual partners,” 32% to be “more attractive,” 24% to “demonstrate bravery,” and 16% were “imitating” others. Similarly, in the quantitative questionnaire study by Moon et al 13 of 325 men who had undergone mineral oil injection, 49% were motivated by the recommendation of a friend and 44% desired to be “more mannish.” Importantly, the motivation question asked in the study was: “Why did you have mineral oil injection on your penis except sense of inferiority?” with 5 categories of responses provided: “recommendation of a friend,” “recommendation of a sex partner,” “recommendation of a doctor,” “to be more mannish,” and “just did it as others do.” It can be reasonably stated that studies in this field have primarily focused on describing the outcomes of enlargement procedures. However, this type of reporting serves only to confirm that penis size dissatisfaction is a mainstream issue rather than investigating the factors that lead to dissatisfaction.

In a rare study by Mondaini et al 14 of 67 men presenting at an andrological clinic distressed about their “short penis,” men were asked in a clinical interview about when their concerns about their penis first started. Forty-two (63%) men could recall the problem starting in childhood, often when they felt that their penis was smaller than their friends, whereas for 25 (37%), the problem started in their teenage years after watching “erotic films or looking at magazines.” These findings support the broader body image literature suggesting that men’s attitudes towards their physical appearance, including their penis, are affected by sociocultural factors such as peer and media influence. Quantitative questionnaire studies have shown in nonclinical samples of men that the experience of receiving negative comments about penile appearance is correlated to dissatisfaction with penile appearance and a greater likelihood of considering penile enhancement procedures (ie, medications for erections and penis creams/pumps). 15, 16 These comments were most likely to come from a sexual partner in an intimate situation or from a peer in a locker-room setting. 16 Although the body image literature suggests that commentary from friends and partners may have an impact on men’s desire to enhance their penises, appearance-related teasing has yet to be specifically examined in men who have undergone penile augmentation.

There is also the suggestion that the depictions of penises in mass media may be affecting men’s perceptions of their own penis size. 1 Popular media such as television and men’s magazines often reinforce the cultural message that a larger penis makes a man more “manly.” However, pornography is likely to be the most readily available source of penile imagery for men. Men who perform in pornographic films are reported to have significantly larger-than-average penises. 17 Coupled with potentially exaggerated responses from female porn actors to these larger penises, this may mislead men as to what is considered desirable and sexually satisfying. 1 Surprisingly, the findings in nonclinical samples are contradictory regarding the impact of exposure to pornography on men’s perceptions of their penises. Some quantitative questionnaire studies have found that greater exposure to pornographic material was related to greater penis size dissatisfaction, 3, 18 whereas others have found that pornography exposure is related to higher satisfaction with their genital appearance in men. 19 Together with these contradictory findings in nonclinical samples, the manner in which people are accessing pornographic material is continually evolving, and so the influence of erotic films and magazines reported by Mondaini et al 14 is likely to have been superseded, warranting a more current investigation in a clinical sample.

In sum, it is clear that evaluations of the factors affecting men’s decisions to undergo penile augmentation may benefit from this emerging and still controversial field of research. Thus, in this study, a qualitative approach has been adopted involving interviews with men who have had a penile augmentation. The aim of the study was to examine men’s reasons for undergoing penile augmentation, with a specific focus on the influence of media and pornography, as well as their peers.