Ask Dr. Nerdlove by Harris O'Malley

How Do I Know if I Have Normal Genitals?

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a 26 year old college guy from NYC. Found you on Spotify so I’d thought I’d reach out. I saw you posted some interesting posts and found the courage to ask. 

Due to my religious beliefs, I do not and have not engaged in premarital activity with a partner, since that I’m reserving for my spouse to be. Being the case, my self-consciousness about when that time will come – and whether I’ll be goofing around in bed and making a fool of myself, and whether I have what it takes to please does occupy my mind quite a lot.

I’m super self conscious particularly about my male organ and it’s length – being that I hear that’s a sign of masculinity and was wondering if you’d care to let me know – a one time thing – if my member (a pic I’d send) seems large enough to engage with and please someone. This is coming from someone who doesn’t masturbate much and hasn’t explored that area – again, due to religious beliefs. 

Please let me know if that’ll be ok. 

Short Stack

DEAR SHORT STACK: Ok first of all SS: thank you for being a non-COVID related letter; this is a much-needed break from being neck-deep in pandemic-related relationship questions.

Second of all, I’m kind of astounded that it took me nearly 8 years before I got a “hey tell me how my dick looks!” email; I’m fairly certain that most of my female colleagues in the advice industry got one as soon as they decided to start a column.

But no, SS, don’t send me any pictures. I don’t need to see it, and sending me photos won’t actually be of any use outside of an aesthetic critique of your photography skills… and you don’t want that. But more importantly, my opinion on the matter isn’t going to make a damned bit of difference. What you need are facts.

So here’s a fact for you: according to a study by The British Journal of Urology International, the average penis is approximately 5.16 inches long and approximately 4.95 inches in circumference while erect. People who fall outside of the standard deviation (that is, anyone with a penis longer than 6.3 inches erect or smaller than 3.94 inches) are uncommon; only 5 people out of 100 would fall on either side of average. So you’re almost certainly somewhere near the center of that particular bell-curve… like most folks out there.

And there’s no correlation between penis size and masculinity, testosterone levels, shoe-size or any other indicator of anything other than the genetic lottery. So having a penis of any size is just an indicator that you have a penis of that particular size. There’s no actual judgement about the person that you can derive from it. You can, however, make some critical judgments about people who’ll give you s

t for it… mostly that they’re a


Similarly, there’s no correlation between penis size and pleasure during intercourse. While there are men and women out there who like ’em big and girthy, that’s a matter of personal taste, not a universal truth. And frankly, a lot of women out there will tell you that men with larger dicks are often worse lovers than ones who’re more average or modestly endowed. Dudes with big penises have a tendency to think that they’ve done their part by showing up and assume that their massive wangs will do all the work for them.

In reality, good sex has far less to do with penis size than a can-do attitude and a willingness to listen. The vast majority of women — somewhere between two-thirds to three-fifths — don’t orgasm from penetration alone. Most women require direct clitoral stimulation in order to get off, and penetration by itself is rarely going to give the direct, continual stimulation they need. In fact, the things that make it much more likely for women to achieve orgasm during sex include oral sex, manual stimulation and deep kissing — not penetration. So if you want to be a great lover, then you’re going to need to de-prioritize your dick and think far more about your hands and mouth.

Being a virgin doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be bad in bed, any more than having a thousand notches in your bedpost means that you’re some kind of demon lover in the sack. Focus on connecting with your partner, giving them room to share what they need in bed and be willing to take directions without your ego getting caught up in it. And while you’re at it? Start getting familiar with yourself. Masturbation isn’t just a way to get yourself off, it’s a good way to learn about your own needs so that you can share THAT information with your partner as well.

Besides… it’s sex with someone you love.

Good luck.

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a middle aged gay man who is friends with a younger straight man from work. We have a number of common interests that have nothing to do with either sex or work, so we spend probably a couple of weekends a month together socially. He and his girlfriend come to my house for dinner once a month or so. I would characterize our relationship as best friends without benefits.

About six months ago I went through a really difficult time in my life and he was there for me completely above and beyond what would have been a reasonable expectation on my part. So much so that I would really like to do something for him to show my appreciation.

The problem is that I can’t figure out what to do for him that would clearly and unambiguously be appreciation rather than interpreted as a sexual come on. I have no desire to change the basic nature of our relationship into a sexual one, which is probably why we are able to be such close friends. I’m afraid that if I do something really extravagant, that it will be misinterpreted and might end our friendship.

So, how does a gay guy extravagantly show appreciation to a younger straight guy in such a way that the straight guy understands that it’s appreciation and nothing more?

That’s What I Appreciates About You

DEAR THAT’S WHAT I APPRECIATES ABOUT YOU: Honestly, dude, I think you’re overthinking things. If you and your bud are as close and on as good terms as you say you are, I don’t think there’s much risk of his thinking that you’re hitting on him or hinting that you want more than friendship. I mean, if you’re buying him tickets for the two of you to take a trip to the Riviera together, that might raise some questions. But a simple gift — or even just telling him that you appreciate him and what he’s done for you — would hardly be out of line, nor is it likely to be misinterpreted. I don’t think you need to buy him some incredible gift to let him know that his friendship is important to you. I imagine just using your words would be more than sufficient and be just as welcome and appreciated as any present.

But if you really want to get him a gift, then think simple and heartfelt. Maybe a bottle of his favorite booze, a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant so that you can treat him to dinner when social distancing is lifted and we can all go out to eat again… these are all gifts that he’s most likely to take at face value. Include a note saying “thank you for being a friend” and you’re good to go.

Good luck.

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