Dear Penises: You're Great, Really. Don't Be So Self-Conscious.

Cock-carrying members of the world: your penis is your penis! It is yours to keep for the rest of your life (I hope), and nothing should make you feel less of a penis-bearing man, including other men and their attachés. I know MEN don't like talking about their penises, so I'm going to do it for them, to them.

It seems like you can't watch or listen to anything without running across a joke disparaging the inadequate size of a man's junk — they're in pop songs, on TV shows, in movies. And it would be no wonder if men are correspondingly self-conscious about their penis size, especially while getting jiggy with it.

However, new research from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia indicates that men are not actually concerned about their penis size in the bedroom. (Maybe because all the blood has rushed to their penis, removing blood flow from the part of the brain that dictates self-consciousness.)

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The study, conducted by Dr. Annabel Chan Feng Yi, polled men between the ages of 18 to 76. It shows that penis anxiety is at its peak in communal areas where men happen to be around other men in the nude. "Men's pre-occupation with size was rarely to do with pleasing sexual partners or even appearing as a better sexual partner," said Dr. Chan, "many felt more insecure about their size in environments where other men might see them."

It's dubbed "locker room syndrome," because changing rooms in sporty-type facilities are the dreaded areas where men most often have to confront the flappy flaps of other lads (I think that Aussies whip their dicks out in locker rooms more than Americans. Can someone vouch for this? Also, what happens in locker rooms? Does anyone want to invite me - I'LL WEAR A DILDO AND LOOK DOWN). So although these men were satisfied with their size and performance in bed, that confidence and stride went, uh, limp around other dicks.

This is not that big of a surprise. Try talking about a guy's huge junk to a male friend - they don't like it. A male friend said that "almost a majority will become defensive. Talking about someone else's endowment is almost like a threat, like you're whipping out a weapon" of dick-sized proportions and slapping him in the face with it. The only guys immune to locker room syndrome? The Gays.

Which makes this research incredibly significant for one important reason:

“The research demonstrates that societal pressures on body image are certainly not unique to women and that while men share similar body image concerns they often don’t have the appropriate forum to discuss them or adequate professional support to deal with them,” she said. “There is clearly a need to provide more research-based training for clinicians working in this field and public awareness to de-mystify and de-stigmatising the topic of male body image.”

Dr. Chan is correct: although women are surrounded by a constant stream of obscene and unreasonable physical standards that devalue our unique looks, we have at least a loud and supportive community that encourages us to rebel against those standards. However, that same support is lacking for men - in fact, a space for men to genuinely come out with pride over their bodies, or talk to each other about insecurities doesn't really exist.

But get zen with me here, men, THERE IS NO LOCKER ROOM, or URINAL STALL. Competition or judgement over yours and others' cock measurements are projections of your own insecurity, and it's ok to sometimes feel that insecurity (because it's natural sometimes to not think that you 100% perfect). But you need to ignore the shit out of that insecurity and understand that you are dressing your penis with your negative mentality, when honestly, it just looks best sans-inferiority complex ...and happy.

It's already been established that contrary to weird societal expectations, women do not prefer men with porn-sized cocks. We rarely give two shits about penis size - it's a penis. Just, make it work. Or use something else.

So, why worry about your fellow man friends and strangers' opinion? Ultimately, other straight men will not be receiving pleasure from your penis, or giving pleasure to it. So fuck 'em, figuratively! Fuck 'em all and their judging eyes!!! Don't let anyone steal any inches of your pride!

While I'm not a member of the cock-club, I empathize with body insecurity, and in that spirit, I'd like to offer the same words of motivation to men that I do to women: no one is defined by one single body part, or one single anything. I get that a penis is frequently synonymous/equivalent to manhood and carries extremely important biological features, but manhood ultimately comes from your ability to be a man, not from your ability to compete with a ruler or play golf without your hands or a golf club.

Guys might not openly talk about their penises the way women try to encourage each other to embrace their breast size, so just quietly, awkwardly take my sage advice, delete your internet history, stop looking at other dudes' penises and go forth with being confident in bed.

Size Matters Most in the Locker Room [Victoria University]

Image via Shutterstock