Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Every Dick has its Day

by Kelli Collins


Working where I do, I’ve had my fair share of conversations about length; the sort of discussions that start small then grow and grow, with everyone pontificating about their penis preferences. If frank talk about the lap taffy isn’t your bag, feel free to exit the page. No, really, it’s okay. Come back next week for a rousing post about appropriate tea service in Regency romances. We’ll wait for you to exit…


All delicate flowers gone? Good. Now the rest of us can come to grips with an irksome little trait found in nearly all erotica: HUMONGOUS penises. In my experience, an author can forget to mention the hero’s name, but doggone it, everyone’s going to know about his gargantuan, huge, massive, stretched-to-his-navel knob. Nine inches seems to be the most popular length (I’ve seen up to 14. Fourteen!). And did I mention the ubiquitous “velvet-covered steel” texture? But that’s another post…


I think any good penis conversation worth shaking a stiffie at should include some requisite data. So let me just whip this out: A 1995 study published in the Journal of Urology capped the average erect penis at 5.08 inches. Is that masculine scoffing I hear? Perhaps you’d prefer the Kinsey data, still one of the most exhaustive studies on penis size to date. Good ol’ Al has the median one-eyed monster at 6.2 inches. Interesting note: Kinsey’s study has the average African American at 6.3 inches; hardly a ball-busting difference. (One source, ChaCha.com—which seems even more questionable than the ever-questionable Wikipedia—gives black males a generous 7 inches. “It’s twue! It’s twue!”)


But far more interesting to me is the female perspective. For instance, in a 2005 internet survey of more than 50,000 men and women, a whopping 85% of hetero chicks were happy with their man’s size (a positively flaccid 6% considered their man “smaller than average”). Then there’s the highly unscientific and wholly impromptu survey of twelve female friends—those I would have considered the randiest and most likely to be size queens. You could have knocked me over with a penis pump when a surprising eleven said it’s not the size of the bat, but the swing of the stick.


So why the fascination with size in erotic romance when—if my meager research is anything to go by—most women just don’t seem to give a damn? Is it really a fantasy for most readers to be impaled upon a 12-inch love-lever? Is there some romance-writing myth that says royalties will wilt without a substantial schlong? Perhaps authors assume most fans don’t want to read about what they might already have at home. Or is it as simple as, “Hey. It’s fiction…so why not?”


How do female readers feel about the ever-present, bigger-than-average boner? I’m woman enough to admit the very real possibility of screaming in fear at the sight of a 14-inch penis. And guys? Do you snicker at romance heroes’ unrealistic appendages? Or do you perhaps feel—dare we say it?—the slightest bit intimidated by your fictitious counterparts?


These are the questions that keep me up at night. Even after some exhaustive lovin’ from my own humongous, gargantuan, huge, massive man.

29 comments:

AnOminous Mistake said...

I almost got fired laughing at your quote of Blazing Saddles.

Excellent post altogether.

Oh it's twue!

catie said...

Snickers & snortles at the huge pulsing rods often depicted in romances/erotic romances.

Count me among those ladies who would run screaming in fear should I ever meet one of these mythical, 14 inch long rod-wielding man-beasts. (And leave me happily alone w/my six inch vibe, thankyouverymuch)!

morphine-moniza said...

Haha funny post. But I know why the romance hero has to have a big penis. It's because he doesn;t merely have a penis, he has a Phallus. It represents his power as a man and seals his status as the leading man and hero.

morphine-moniza said...

I don't even think it's possible for a romance hero to have a small penis. It just would not work. Not even if he used to have a big penis and erm lost part of it in a tragic accident, or something. Small, castrated.. it's all the same on a symbolic level. Lack of length basically signifies a lack of power.

I bet freud had a small penis.

Ok I have to go and write an essay for psychoanalysis now.

annecalhoun said...

A few months ago some friends were visiting and this very subject uh, came up. We got out the flexible measuring tape I use when I'm knitting and "mocked up" the averages from Kinsey. There was a short pause, then, "Yeah, that seems about right."

And plenty, too, from the female reactions, although it was a mixed group so maybe they were just being kind.

IMHO, it's important to establish masculinity in other ways, because sexual prowess depends on so much more than size. Yes, that's great...don't get me wrong...but living large by itself just isn't enough.

JSB said...

All I can think when I read about the huge swingers is OUCH! It might be interesting to look at but the woman in question would have to be equally as...erm...gifted...to not have that just be a lesson in pain and no fun at all. I figure a huge length is usually to make up for a lack of character development. I'd rather read about the reasonably sized with wit and charm and all those other happy manly traits than the huge and stupid.

Maybe that's just me.

Jana

Bill Greer said...

Men aren't threatened by romance heroes' penis lengths because men don't read romances. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Actually, I always thought that using penis size to denote masculinity or power just meant that the writer lacked the ability to describe it a better way and settled for a cliche.

Amy Ruttan said...

I remember clearly an episode of Sex in the City in Season 2. Samantha dumped the "love" of her life James because his was 3 inches erect, but then later dated a guy who had such a HUGE monster one he could barely get it in her, having her lament that she missed James.

LOL.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be the clunker here. While living in Germany, a favorite on-the-road type interview show of mine raised this subject. The reply that stuck with me the most, translated pretty directly, is, "Women who say that size doesn't matter are either lying or inexperienced." I agree. However, IMO, chemistry is more important than skill and skill/attentiveness is more important than size. All of the really good erotic authors I've read (and I'm a big fan of this genre) get this and give me a hero with the whole package.

Cygne2009 said...

Has to be one of the funniest blogs I've ever read. But with some excellent comments. Keep it up.... pun intended but not a small one. LOL

Natasha said...

Even worse are the heroines who stare at all those inches and wonder how it's ever going to fit!

Anonymous said...

Okay...I admit 14 is a bit much, but I think the hero in any romance novel is expected to be a little on the larger size. Heck, as an aspiring author myself, I've read the "Author Information Packet" dozens of times.

Even you guys state, "Heroes are always tall, masculinely handsome (never pretty), muscular, and well-endowed."

By "well-endowed," I assumed you meant a large penis.

Were you talking about grant money?:)

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's men who are more hung up on the size of the bat than women? Men make porn flicks and it's men who like to watch John C. Holmes and his garden hose. I like a large one, but that's just gross.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it's men who are more hung up on the size of the bat than women? Men make porn flicks and it's men who like to watch John C. Holmes and his garden hose. I like a large one, but that's just gross.

Ann Bruce said...

14? 14? 14?!?My legs are crossed so tightly they may never open now.

Anyway...

What I always want to know is how these heroines know the exact length. Do they stop the foreplay, whip out a ruler and measure it? Or I suppose the ruler could be part of the foreplay...

Angelia Sparrow said...

Speaking as a size queen, 14 is really almost too much. Anything above 11 is getting into "too much" category. Most men are about 6" IME.

There's a commercial on the satellite radio that it's not really length, it's width. I can't argue with that.

I find a fascination with exact measurements, whether penis or breast, to be a more masculine writing trait. I may call a man nicely built or describe it, but you (collective you) have my permission to flog me with a wet noodle should I ever give an exact inch measurement in a scene that does not include a tape-measure.

Carol A. Strickland said...

Sooo funny! I work at an adult products company and have to deal with looking at un-mosaicked pictures of, well, mutant "lap taffy." (I will HAVE to pass that phrase to our copy writers!)

In my fiction I did refer to the hero's gargantuan anatomy once, but our heroine was a virgin at the time. She'll learn. In a sequel I have another hero who's rather small for his size, but since his whole body is quite large, his smallness makes him, well, "just right," as I'm sure Red Riding Hood would have said once she'd grown up.

Now I just have to figure how that works from the hero's PoV. Guys take such great stock in relative size!

SinlessTouch said...

Heroes have big powers! BIG powers.....understand? hehehehe....

well for that ones that don't have BIG powers....you can use a penis pump!!!

But sizes doesn;t matter....THe only size that matters are your HEART SIZE!

Kate Willoughby said...

I don't think it's necessary to mention the length in my books. However, if I thought my audience was male, I might be more inclined.

From personal experience, huge penises can, literally, be a pain, because they jam up against the cervix over and over, which is bumpingly reminiscent of a pap smear. I prefer skill to length.

annecalhoun said...

Actually, the style guide says that length shouldn't be mentioned unless there's a ruler in play, which I remember only because I LOL'd when I read that. Okay...and then I hurriedly edited my WIP to remove length. ;)

ECPI Editors said...

Yup, to quote from the ECPI Style Guide (and I know this part, 'cause I wrote it):

"Yes, we know that romance novels exaggerate, they aren’t reality, and of course all our heroes have very impressive organs, but try for a smidge of realism. [...] The sex scenes should make it clear that the heroine finds him very, very satisfying for a lot of reasons, not just his penis size. [...] Whatever the hero has—and how he uses it—is enough to have the heroine screaming in ecstasy in a romance novel."

Raelene

kellicollins17 said...

I'm humbly pleased by the reactions to this particular blog; reading the comments was more fun than writing it.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Kelli C

Lorra said...

If there were an erotic romance featuring a hero with a teeny, weeny peeny, you could give it the title: "Tickle Me Elmo"

Mari Freeman said...

Samantha Kane and I talked about this very subject on our blog a couple of months ago.

My favorite comment from a reader on that post:
"10 inches is pretty meaningless when the guy can't tell a clit from a cantaloupe."

Right then, I swore I would never mention length in my books again. So you'll not have to dodge massive dong descriptors from me ever again.

Debra Glass said...

"love lever!" LOL I wonder if my editor would let me get by with that one... (hint, hint)

Jennifer North said...

I love this, Kelli! Who can resist witty talk about willies?
I'm a fan of the biggus dickus in romance myself (goes along with all that larger-than-life stuff), but average is cool too. The obsession doesn't surprise me. After all, an appendage that gets big when aroused is pretty damned interesting and an appendage that gets REALLY big when aroused is really interesting, LOL. I read a great book called A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis. It's filled with lovely factoids about largeness including details about an ancient Greek festival in honor of Dionysis (I HAVE to write a book about him someday)in which "a golden phallus 180 feet long and topped by a gold star was carried through the streets as a half million people listened to poems sung in its honor". I would have liked to be in that crowd!

Wylie Kinson said...

Ah, the Alpha Penis. An inspiring post :)
They MUST be big for maximum gaspage, non? And the romance heroine can't be 'impaled' on a small willie... LOL

Lyla said...

I had originally read or heard from an erotica editor that a big 'un was a must in romance/erotica, so I wrote my first stories that way, even though huge penises are too much for me.

But men like the idea of giant rods more than most women. Have you ever seen a porno movie, made by men for men. The guy can be hideous-looking but his penis is huge!

Timberati said...

Is it coincidence that Moses had a large rod when he went before Pharaoh?

I think we know the answer to that.