THE TINY BUT MIGHTY NETWORK OF ‘SMALL DICK PROBLEM
THE TINY BUT MIGHTY NETWORK OF ‘SMALL DICK PROBLEMS’
By Quinn Myers
“And the woman committed to cheering up guys with penis anxiety — one Reddit post at a time”
Landon, a 30-year-old in Detroit, is haunted by images of President Donald Trump’s tiny penis. He recalls the 2016 election vividly, not only for Trump’s upset win but for the joke statues and paintings that emerged afterward, mocking the president-elect by portraying his manhood as a tiny nub. “I remember being horrified,” Landon says, “because that’s what my flaccid penis looks like. I felt that shame and embarrassment myself.”
Landon is acutely aware of the size of his member: 4.5 inches long, with a 4-inch circumference. He can’t help but see reminders of his size in everything; it “weighs very heavily” on his mind. Luckily, Landon has somewhere to turn for support: Reddit’s r/SmallDickProblems.
The subreddit has over 17,000 subscribers. It’s filled with people sharing deeply personal stories, venting about societal expectations and generally seeking some semblance of support. In the forum’s sidebar, a suicide hotline is listed.
Landon says he found it after an ex told her friends he had a “pencil dick.” He felt depressed; he contemplated suicide. “I thought I was unlovable,” he confesses. “That’s how I found the sub.”
“Society as a whole is pretty relentless in small-penis-shaming,” Landon adds. “[It] is probably one of the only forms of body-shaming left that’s still popular and acceptable.”
But in r/SmallDickProblems, he found community — a safe place to share his “depression and bad experience without judgment.”
FINDING A COMMUNITY IN SMALL-PENIS SHAME
“A great deal of these men and boys have no one to talk to, and [small-penis trouble] is not a topic many people have any patience for,” says Kenny K., a 32-year-old in South Africa.
“It doesn’t help that we live in a world where body positivity is a thing for everyone who needs it — but [not for] men with small dicks.”
For Kenny, venting about small-dick problems is impossible anywhere outside the subreddit. “It just leaves you open to merciless ridicule or mockery,” he tells me. “It’s social suicide. I’ve interacted on Reddit with men who are hung and hate the small-dick shaming that takes place around them, but say nothing against it for fear of being thought of as the guy with a small cock.”
That’s where this community thrives, Kenny says. “We talk about our dicks openly without any fear of being judged or ridiculed. We can vent without being told to shut up and get over it.”
Kenny says the subreddit sees a wide gamut of posters. “We have boys as young as 15 come through worried that there’s something wrong with them because their dick is small. We have men coming in talking about giving up on life, women and relationships, because they’ve lost all hope of ever being desired as a man. There have even been a few suicidal posts concerning the matter.”
‘YOUR DICK IS YOUR LIFE’
“Your dick is your life,” says another redditor, Ben (a pseudonym). “In a very real sense, these men think it’s over before it’s begun.” Ben says it’s not just porn that tells men with small penises “something is quite off” — it’s the locker rooms, friends and family, and pretty much every aspect of popular culture.
“I’m a black man, so the expectation for me to have a big penis is quite ubiquitous,” says Landon. “That’s one of the things you realize about how society considers a small penis — that it’s a moral failing. If a guy is small like me, you’ll get treated with scorn and ridicule — because you sort of deserve it. There is so much cruelty and mean-spiritedness that surrounds penis size.”
Landon is even debating whether or not to have k**s. He’s afraid he’ll have a son, he says, “and condemn him to the same issue.”
As you can imagine, the tone of the subreddit can lean decidedly negative. The men of SmallDickProblems come mainly to vent. This is welcome, the redditors tell me. They’ve heard enough empty platitudes, like “size doesn’t matter,” “get good at oral” or “use your fingers,” according to Kenny; now they just want to air their frustrations.
Kenny says any positive support feels hollow. There is no amount of positivity that can can overcome the negative power “of a strong meme [about] penis size.”
“Just look at fertility symbols in ancient art; this shit is encoded,” he says. “Is everybody a size queen? Of course not, but enough are.”
Despite the negativity, Kenny is adamant that the subreddit is not a place for misogynists, incels or red-pillers. “We do not blame women for their preferences,” he says. “We’re simply a community of guys getting together to talk about our issues without judgment or ridicule.”
THE QUEEN OF SMALLDICKPROBLEMS
Her real name is Catherine, and she’s a 31-year-old in Canada. She’s very active in the r/SmallDickProblems subreddit — commenting several times a day, every day. In essence, she’s on a mission to help these men by “dispelling misinformation about vaginas/women and the notions they have about their dicks.”
For the most part, men in the subreddit love Catherine. Two of the men I talked to for this piece said she’s helped them on an individual level.
Still, some of the men on r/SmallDickProblems aren’t fans. Some don’t trust her intentions.
“I’ve gotten some death threats [and] very nasty messages in private as well,” she says. “But that’s the internet for you; I’m certain it comes from anger more than a literal sense of wanting me dead… but I understand that some people find it very unbelievable that I could be a real person.”
So why does Catherine stick around? “These men have no place to talk, nobody takes their pain seriously (surprisingly, even counselors sometimes), and exposure often means ridicule and torment,” she tells MEL. “It’s sort of a can of worms in that it isn’t only dick issues, but the stigma related to small dicks — plus the fact that they believe they are viewed as less masculine, less viable, less important.”
The can of worms can often “turn into a bloodbath of abuse,” she adds, because the men of the subreddit believe verbal abuse will help them “snap out of it.”
“That is the great tragedy of the sub: It’s extremely useful but it doesn’t get used for good all the time.” In other words, it’s a great place to vent, but sometimes the venting turns into an endless cycle of self-hatred and vitriol.
Many men in the subreddit have painful experiences or stories of abuse that they largely keep to themselves, she says. Sometimes “their loved ones seem to not think their issues are actually abuse… [so] they don’t really have a voice in this regard.” And that’s where she tries to step in and disrupt the conversation, even if it’s just listening to their problems in private messages. “To find any amount of people that have suffered such great pains in their lives and to still be empathetic and loving people is such an inspiration to me,” she tells MEL.
“The size-doesn’t-matter argument is largely irrelevant to them,” she explains. “They’ve heard that song-and-dance so often, and it doesn’t combat the rejections due to size they have faced.”
Catherine tries to lend a woman’s perspective in an honest, nonjudgmental way. “I have had enough partners to know what is the difference in penises, size-wise and otherwise. And while some things men are saying about women — and sometimes themselves — are fair and true,” she says, most of the negativity comes from a place of pain, or merely naïveté. Some of these men “have little experience with women, so they just don’t understand” — they just assume they’ve “lost the genetic lottery,” as one redditor put it.
“Men’s issues are swept under the rug, despite the incidence of male suicide being generally markedly higher,” she concludes. “If any men affected read this, and you suffer from penis-related anxiety or depression, please find someone to talk to.
Make your choice carefully, and don’t let anyone but you tell you who you are. We all have value, never forget — no matter how low you get.”
By Quinn Myers
Quinn Myers is a staff writer at MEL. According to his editor, you can find him “lurking in the darkest corners of the internet.”