Hello, you shimmery, shiny pheromone factories of the Internet and welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the only dating column that turns LFGs to LTRs. This week we've got readers with colossal problems stemming from minuscule issues ranging from insecure exes to mighty crushes to disappointing discoveries. Let's dive in, shall we?
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I've got a whale of a problem... and it's more that I'm a minnow. I'll go straight to the point. I have a small package (dick, penis, etc) and last time I was in a long committed relationship it didn't matter that much (or so it seemed). We both got off and enjoyed a lot, but last year, after 4 years of being together we broke up because she found someone else, and so I found myself in the dating grounds again.
In January I started dating this girl, everything was fine but when we finally got down to it, she was clearly disappointed at my size (a little under 13cm). I could see it in her face and in the way everything turned out (we just had sex once and then she said it was better for us to see other people). She even made fun of that on her Twitter.
And now I've lost the little (pun not intended) confidence I had. Now every time I date someone I have this incredible fear of going to bed with them and encountering that disappointed face again. My brain is even telling me that my ex-girlfriend broke up with me because the other guy is better endowed than me.
I haven't hung out with anyone in months, I'm just so afraid.
What should I do, doc? Should I still try to get some love despite my tiny flaw or go into a life of forced abstinence to avoid further shame?
Thanks for your answer.
I'd start off by saying you're making a mountain out of a molehill, Guy, but I don't think you'd take that the right way.
Instead, let's begin with two obvious truths. First of all: the girl who talked shit about your penis size was a gigantic arsehole and you're well rid of her. Second of all: your dick size isn't nearly as important as you think it is. If it was, then we'd all be bowing down to Ron Jeremy as the last of the red-hot lovers.
Yeah, I know, "how you use it" and "motion in the ocean" are among the oldest cliches in the book, but there's actually science to back this up.
Since sex ed is woefully negligent in teaching people what they should actually know about sex, let's start by correcting a whole lot of crap that guys keep telling themselves about their junk -- starting with issues surrounding size. To start with: you're not that small. Men have vastly overestimated the idea of just how large an erect penis is supposed to be, ranging anywhere from six inches to seven and a half. In reality, it's actually significantly smaller: studies published in the British Journal of Urology have found that the average size of a normal man's penis is five inches erect. So yes, while you're a little off to one side, you're still pretty damn near the center of the bell curve. Medically speaking, unless your penis is smaller than three inches erect, it's not unusual.
Not that most men care; related studies have found damn near half of all men are convinced that they're too small.
You can almost certainly blame porn for this -- porn, more than anything else, has led dudes to fetishise cock size because male porn stars tend to have larger dicks on average. Why? Just like those incredibly awkward and uncomfortable poses men and women twist themselves into, it's all about aesthetics and camera angles. Larger dicks show up better on camera. That's it. Throw in straight dudes fetishizing the hell out of penises and you get a lot of emphasis on cocks that's completely disproportionate to sex in the real world.
But what about women? Don't women find bigger cocks more satisfying?
Not really. In fact, guys get far more hung up on penis size than women ever do. While there will always be size queens out there, 85% of women are just fine with their partner's wang. Why? Because of how the vagina is constructed and how women experience sexual pleasure. Most women don't orgasm from penetration alone -- less than 25% on average. The vast majority require direct, intense clitoral stimulation in order to achieve orgasm…and penises don't do that. Not only does penetration rarely touch the clitoral glans (the part of the clitoris that extends out over the vaginal opening), but the wings of the clitoris fall to the sides of the vulva -- not areas that usually get a lot of contact during penetration.
Of the women who do orgasm through penetration, almost all of the nerve endings are clustered around the entrance of the vagina. Past that point, there's far less sensation. Girth matters far more for penetrative orgasms than length, so an especially long trouser snake doesn't actually give anything extra except a sense of fullness and the increased likelihood that they're going to hit the cervix. And that, as many women will be glad to tell you, ain't that good of a time.
I would also point out that, just as penis size falls on a bell curve, so does vaginal length and width. Just as there are men with large and small penises, there are women with large and small vaginal canals. What's "small" to one person is going to be "damn near perfect" to another.
And before you ask: no, there aren't any options for making your dick bigger that actually work. The pills and creams are bullshit. The various "exercises", from jelqing to hanging weights off of your dick, are far more likely to involve ball-shrinking phrases like "penile fracture". Most penis-lengthening surgeries involve cutting lingual ligaments that will make things seem bigger when you're flaccid, but actually make it harder to maintain an erection.
Now there are things you can do to make your penis look bigger. Losing weight is the biggest change; the heavier you are, the more the fat around your waist and stomach is going to hide your penis. Slimming down means you have less fat obscuring things and giving the appearance of a smaller cock.
The other option is to do some manscaping. Keeping your pubes trimmed is an old-as-fuck porn trick, one that crossed over from gay porn to straight porn. You don't need to shave yourself bald (and most women will probably ask that you please don't), but keeping things neat and tidy also helps make it look bigger.
But when it comes to your penis size and performance, how do you ensure that you please a woman? Well, by realising there's more to sex than just the peenor going into the hoo-hah.
You have your tongue. You have your hands and fingers. You have sex toys. All of these help expand your sexual repertoire. A guy who knows where the clit is located, is cheerfully enthusiastic about oral sex and can take some direction from his partner is someone who's going to be in high demand as a lover. Going down on her like a champion is going to produce more orgasms and sexual delight than the Dongzilla who thinks the key is wedging himself in and pounding monotonously away like a fleshy jackhammer.
If a woman really wants that "extra full" feeling, that's what hands and toys are for. If she thinks that your dick's too small and gives you shit for it? Then she's revealed herself to be an arsehole and it's time to kick her to the curb.
Hello Dr. NerdLove,
I am in need of some advice, I probably already know the answer. I have been dating my girlfriend for the last 6 months. I am the type of guy who is dependent and she is very independent. Needless to say the last 6 months have been amazing up until this month, or the last three weeks. My girlfriend and I started arguing a lot over silliness and ultimately she broke up with me. She catfished me, and created a fake Facebook profile as a "joke" and attempted to see if I would cheat. Of course, being totally faithful I didn't, but when I finally found out it was her playing the prank it caused another argument. She told me she needed some time to think about things, and the following day she broke up with me because of my "jealousy and trust issues." She also said that she needed some time to herself to figure out what she wanted from life and that she wasn't even sure that she wanted to date at all.
A week went by, and I left her alone. I told her we needed to meet to talk about things and she kept saying "There is nothing to meet or talk about, what is done is done." By the end of the week after ignoring her daily texts she agreed to meet with me. She told me she just wanted to be friends, and that she didn't want to date or have any commitment. I suppose the jealousy in me still wanted us to be exclusive and I pushed that; however, she agreed. I suppose the proper term would be "Friends with Benefits." The next two weeks had their rocky moments but things were seeming to improve. Today, we were supposed to go out of town together but plans got canceled. I pushed to see if she still wanted to hang out, but she told me she already made other plans to go to some birthday party. I felt like she was playing games with me because of how vague she was with the details. Needless to say it caused another argument that ended in her telling me to stop telling her I loved her, and to stop telling her how she is supposed to feel. I woke up this morning to a text stating the following:
"You may think I'm wishy washy and that's ok. Because I am. I told you I didn't know what I wanted in life. But I'm torn back and forth and I'm not going to come over today or go to the birthday party. I'm going to spend some time alone because I'm losing myself in the mix of all of this. I need to find myself and what I truly want out of life. Been a little rough for me lately and I need to get it together."
Other than obviously waiting to see what her future decision is towards whatever relationship we may or may not have....what should I do?
Pit of Despair
Honestly, PoD, I had an answer for you as soon as I got to "She catfished me to see if I'd cheat."
You dump her.
When your girlfriend is playing middle-school games to test your fidelity to her and then going around and talking about your jealousy and trust issues, it's time to pack up your shit and get the fuck out. Everything past that point is just one giant indication after another that you don't want to be with her.
Now that being said, it sounds like she's trying to break up with you without actually saying the words. There could be any number of reasons for this, ranging from wanting to keep the emotional upper hand to just not wanting to bother. But the big takeaways from this are
A) this relationship is over, and
B) she's not wrong: you need to quit texting her and telling her you love her.
Even if she weren't clearly wrong for you, your needy behaviour is going to be profoundly unappealing to anyone. Neediness is the anti-sex equation. It's a signal to the world that you don't have any faith in yourself and your own value and that you rely too heavily on other people for validation and approval. None of that is attractive; it just means that you'll be clinging to another person like a lovesick barnacle. Trust me: I have been there, done that and printed the t-shirts. It ain't pretty.
You need to take some time off and work on yourself and your self-esteem. The best thing you can do right now is to find the things that give you fulfillment and confidence. Hit the gym, start a new hobby, join an amateur sports league, find a gaming group -- something that you enjoy that gives you a sense of accomplishment. You don't need to have some massive success or glorious achievement; confidence isn't the same thing as competence. Just find the things that fulfil you and give you purpose, a reason to look forward to getting up in the morning. Build yourself a life that you love. You'll gain a stronger sense of internal validation that will mean that you won't feel like you have to adhere to a relationship that's clearly circling the drain.
Hello, Doctor NerdLove,
So there is a girl I have had a crush on for years. When I first met her, there was this instant connection I felt I made with her but, being very insecure at the time, thought that someone like her was waaay out of my league. So I started out kind of being passive about flirting with her.
To give some backstory on my personality, most people want to rush straight into a relationship. But I would rather truly get to know the person, learn their character, likes and dislikes, and how they treat people. All while questioning my own heart and intentions to make sure that what I'm feeling is real and not some fleeting fancy.
So she picked up on my subtlety and very nicely shut me down, but never being direct about it. Seeing as I wasn't being direct, I understand why she wouldn't. So after being rejected, I kind of dropped back into my insecurity.
I did a lot of soul-searching to find the root of my insecurity and worked on myself. She always seemed to like me when I wasn't giving her the attention I [usually] would, but then soon as my stupid boy self would give her attention it would be shoved aside. Always hurting my heart a little, but I try to see the good in people and not let that stuff bother me.
Then, she started to get what seemed to be close to me and my best friend, who was dating someone [but] would always be around. He always made it seem like he was my wingman or playing the third wheel. Come to find out later that he was flirting and trying to woo her so that he had a backup if his relationship didn't work out.
So being led on by her and lied to by my best friend, I shut out everyone. But through all of that, I still had extremely strong feelings for her. Even after many times I have tried to pursue her and have been rejected.
Finally, after I made peace with what happened, some time after that incident, I finally told her how I felt after two years of bottling it up. She was flattered but said that she wasn't interested in me like that. But being the nervous guy I am, I stumbled all over my words and felt I never said anything that I really wanted to.
So recently, I wrote a note to her, fully explaining every bit of how I feel. Just to get some closure and at least let my heart be fully exposed, maybe the slightest, smallest chance she might see me the same way or at least be willing to give it a shot. But to no avail.
My problem is when I ask her out or tell her how I feel, she only ever talks about the past and present feelings, never about the future (which no one knows), which inevitably makes me have the what if's.
Through all of this, my feelings for her keep growing stronger. Is there a reason I'm not able to get over her? I realise that there are plenty of fish, that are so many beautiful women out there with varying qualities, but in my eyes no one quite adds up to her, and to be real I find all the women out there ugly. More of their personalities than their looks.
In all honesty, I am willing to wait for her, would rather go through life alone than without her. I'm 25 and I guess my question is: why can't I get over her, and is it really worth my life to just continue waiting
A Dreamer Holding Onto Hope
First of all: I hope you ditched your so-called "best friend". He's a toxic shitbag who was never actually your friend, and you're far better off kicking him to the curb than you would ever be having him in your life.
Second: She doesn't want to date you. Ever.
I'm going to say this again, slowly, so there's no misunderstanding. She. Doesn't. Want. To. Date. You.
There's no finagling to be had here. There are no "what ifs". It doesn't matter how you phrase things. It doesn't matter what words you use or how elegantly you say them. No letter or text or phone call or pleas in person will change her mind. She knows exactly what's going on and she's telling you how she feels in no uncertain terms: she doesn't want to date you.
I'm sorry to be so blunt about this, but the fact of the matter is you already know this. You've gotten your answer from her; you just don't like what it was. That's why you're clinging to straws like "she never talks about future feelings" as though it's a sign that there's a chance. The reason why she doesn't talk about feelings in the future is because there is no future. There's how she feels now, and if you're not careful, that's going to go from "tolerance" to "active dislike" if you keep bothering her about it.
You, my friend, have a nasty case of Oneitis. You're clinging to this one woman as though she were the only woman in the world because of what she represents, and that's part of the problem. She's not a person to you anymore, she's a thing. To you, she is a missed opportunity, a chance to get a redo on your life, a fantasy, not a person with her own animus and drive and desires. By focusing exclusively on her, you excuse yourself from having to move on and accept that this part of your life is over. As long as you keep clinging to the fantasy that you could somehow make this happen, you don't have to move forward.
You need to accept the truth and let her go. Accept that this isn't going to happen, that it was never going to happen and that it's time to start a new phase of your life. Not every dream is going to come true, and not every dream should come true. All that's happening right now is that you're in a holding pattern, denying yourself your own potential and future because of a fantasy.
It's time to wake up. I won't lie: it will hurt. But what you'll feel won't be pain -- it will be enlightenment. You'll be shedding your old life and ready to rise like a phoenix to a new one, greater than it was before. But that can't happen until you let this one go.
Are you satisfied with your body? Did you get over a case of Oneitis? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments, and we'll be back in two weeks with more of your dating questions.
Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku's bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O'Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove. Got a question you'd like answered? Write [email protected] and put "Kotaku" in the subject line.
Harris O'Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek's Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.