Shorty was written late 2014 and subsequently went viral sending me on a three year campaign around body-positivity, masculinity and identity. I also wrote The Small Penis Bible which is worth a look even if you don't have a small penis, or any penis at all!
Here's a video accompanying the original (first draft) of the poem along with a live performance (at The Creative Bubble) of the final work. There's also 2 'promo' videos I made for the Smal Penis Campaign using TheyFit™ condoms (they were free!):
Shorty First Draft
Here's the final audio version of Shorty along with some audio interviews...
- 1. Shorty Final
- 2. Carl Interview
- 3. Irish Radio Interview
- 4. Bbc Alhan
Whilst it is fortunately true in some respects that penis size doesn't matter, almost 50% of men suffer some degree of penis size anxiety - in this sense at least, it matters. There's plenty of re-assurance on offer, in terms of enlightened family or friends or survey statistics. But of course, most men with such concerns can't discuss them, and find reasons why the various assurances are invalid. No matter what is said, a man will always feed the anxiety. Assurances are hardly heard as he squirms in an embarrassment, only hoping the conversation will soon be over. Abstract facts simply wash off, because he REALLY DOES have a small penis. 99% of men with such anxiety have perfectly normal dicks. But when they hear this, every single one thinks 'I must be in the other 1%'. And it is in our nature to hold exceptional memories. It takes a hundred reassurances for one of them to stick, but only one perceived shortcoming to send you back to the start.
So by all accounts this city is packed with men worrying wrongly about their perfectly reasonable six inch dicks.
For some, it becomes debilitating. The psychological obsession is so strong that they develop all manner of inappropriate behaviours.Something in our culture keeps a lot of men destabilised in this way. Is that a surprise? Blame the porn industry, or whatever, but it is secrecy that always has the greatest power to create fear and subjugate people.
Of course, some well-endowed men are the opposite, flopping their meat out at any opportunity. Or taking jobs in porn which we know gives us a skewed visual history of dick size. The more the smaller guys with anxiety shy and hide away, the more skewed this view becomes. It's a vicious circle. It can only be broken by normalising our view of dicks - not by publishing abstract data, but rather by being prepared to be open, honest, and non-judgemental about dick size.
Of course it would be easy for a guy with a normal, or even a large dick, to say that.
But if a guy with just about 4 inches, at best, stands up and says 'compare with me', then the vast majority of men (98.8%) are going to feel all the better. As will the guy with 4 inches, since we'll have reduced the overall perception of common dick size.
So I came to the conclusion that rather than my anxiety being justified (which, even though I am small, it isn't) my anxiety was adding to the problem. I was making it easier to believe that cocks don't REALLY come this small - leaving all those guys with 5 and 6 inches weeping needlessly.
And reinforcing their vulnerability, only increases my own.
Not that I am debilitated by a body dysmorphic illness. But my anxiety over my dick size is a companion in my life that visits me at least daily. Whether having a wank, or a piss, or casually confronted by an obvious bulge on the tube, a voice would say 'you inadequate little bitch'. Certainly my obsessive personality had ample fuel to distract me from life and redirect my energies down self-destructive routes. As well as the lost energy, there's the danger that at some point, in some way, this inner destructive submissiveness would bring me ruin.
So I did what it is best to do with all half buried truths. I set it free.
But rather than simply boring the world with another AA style proclamation ("Hi, I'm Ant Smith and I have a small penis") I tried to turn the draining negative energy into a creative, positive outlet - with my Poem.
As soon as I finished it I knew I had crafted exactly what I wanted to say. But I was seriously uncertain if I could ever let it see the light of day. I've made passing remarks on cock size in other works, skirting round the issue. It was clear to me that this was a poem that had been writing itself for a long time. It felt like an important piece. And I thought about my other work. The keen embarrassment that I had put my wife through with lyrics such as 'Spunky'. I realised immediately that a selective truth is no truth at all. That if I was to maintain my credentials as an artist, I could not bury this piece.
Of course I thought about my wife. Would she be embarrassed by my performing this? What would she think people would think of her for marrying such a man. But our discussion together didn't even touch on that, because I believe she understands the 'necessity within me'. And it is pretty clear that she loves me and my dick. Not despite my dick. In fact, it is only because my dull brain has started realise her assurances are true that I've even arrived at this point. For a man who used to get undressed in the dark, I've come a long way. Being able to write and perform this poem is, at least partially, a testament to my wife's love. How can I keep hating my crappy little dick when she loves it so?
Finally, I thought how important IS this piece. I did a google search for 'small dick poem' - 48m results but they quickly descended into a mire of Small Penis Humiliation porn links. I read a dozen or so poems on the subject. Most were derogatory pieces written by women with their own reasons. The remainder, bar one, could most kindly be called erotica. Just one other piece was written in celebration of cock, but not necessarily of and by an underendowed guy. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples out there but from a quick search, I think an honest and truly funny piece about a small cocked guy is certainly called for.
So I think this piece is socially important, important to my integrity, important to my marriage, largely novel and above all TOO DAMN FUCKING FUNNY.
I've never before questioned a poem so deeply. I'm glad to realise I take my work so seriously. I am resolved to perform this piece. I'm fascinated now to know the effect it may have. There may even be another blog post in it...
About the piece
For once I admit, this poem is autobiographical. I rarely say that about my writing, because it's rarely strictly true. I mostly write about the abstract 'human condition'. Certainly tinted and coloured by the things I have seen and the people I have met but my poems are usually dressed up in imagined worlds and characters.
But a piece like this cannot work in the abstract. To achieve its aims the audience has to be certain that the poet is discussing exactly what he personally packs inside his own pants, so that the invited comparison is as real as it can be. This is why the last line of the poem changes to state 'a short dick man like me'.
It is also why the poem as a whole is autobiographical. All of the stated issues relate to true events. The reality of living with a small penis is crucial to creating the liberating attitude. Yeah, sometimes it's a struggle to pee and no way do condoms fit like a glove. I have to recognise those facts in order to say, 'So fuck?' And so fuck is what I mean. These are things that effect only me and my wife. For others they're funny drunken conversations. No more no less. What matters to me is that my little guy has found a loving home. Certainly more so than many of much greater stature. I'm not sure I yet totally believe that size doesn't matter, but with my wife by my side I'm happy to make that my next obsessive mantra.