By Maria Esquinca
In this story, “Tomas” asked to remain anonymous; his real name has been protected by using a pseudonym.
Tomas, a UTEP student, stares at his smartphone and swipes his thumb across a mosaic of pictures of half-naked men on “Grindr,” a gay hook-up application. He flicks his finger over countless images of smiling men, most of them in search for the perfect hook-up.
“Grindr” launched in 2009 and is marketed as the world’s largest gay social network. According to the site, it has more than 1.6 million active daily users exchang-ing over 70 million chat messages and five million pictures on iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices.
“Basically, you just click on somebody and then you click on whoever you want to hook-up with and you just message them,” Tomas says. “They’ll reply, and then it goes from there, they host and they’re like ‘this is my location,’ and you meet them there, and you just fuck.”
After seven minutes of skimming, Tomas receives two messages.
“So usually you start a conversation and you’ll be like ‘hey, you know, I’m horny,’ and then if you’re a bottom (a person that is penetrated during intercourse) they’ll ask for a picture of your ass,” says Tomas. “If you’re a top, (a person that penetrates during intercourse) of course they’ll ask you for a picture of your dick.”
Tomas got a “Grindr” account four years ago. He calls El Paso a “bottom town.” He says that gay men in El Paso have a fetish for large penises, a preference he attributes to porn.
“People here are living this kinky fantasy of being porn stars,” he says. “They want to make it (sex) happen the same way and they don’t realize that there’s a plan behind porn and in real life you don’t have that.”
Tomas says he does not care about penis size; he places more importance on foreplay and technique. However, he resurfaces a classic, and perhaps stereotypical, male conundrum—penis size.
The Porn Industry
and Large Penises
The porn industry is a billion dollar industry. TopTenReviews, a research group, estimates that that the U.S. revenue for porn exceeds the combined revenues of the television stations ABC, CBS and NBC combined with an estimated $6.2 billion, while the size of the industry is $57 billion worldwide. However, exact estimates are difficult to estimate because most of the industry is privately owned.
The Internet has helped fuel the expansion of porn. It has expanded its scope and reach and made it cheap and accessible. TopTenReviews estimates that there are 4.2 million pornographic websites, 42.7 percent of all Internet users view porn, and 68 million pornographic search engine requests are made daily.
Research also shows that men view porn more often than women. Internet user data from the General Social Survey found that men are 543 percent more likely to look at porn than females. In an article published in the Journal of Adolescent Research, researchers surveyed college students ages 18 to 26 and found that 87 percent of men, roughly nine in 10, reported using pornography, compared to 31 percent of women.
“A lot of young men grow up thinking penis size is really important and that most women care much about it,” said Auroly Luykx, anthropology professor and sex educator. “Porn gives men the idea that this is what successful, skilled sex is. It’s having a huge penis.”
According to The Porn Report, a content analysis of best-selling pornographic videos and DVDs in Australia, only 3 percent of the male actors had small penises and 55 percent had penises that were longer and/or thicker than the average penis.
Little research has been done to examine whether watching porn can affect self-image. However, a study by the University of Amsterdam, titled “Does exposure to sexually explicit Internet material increase body dissatisfaction? A longitudinal study,” sought to examine if exposure to sexually explicit Internet material leads to male and female body dissatisfaction with stomach size, penis size and breast size.
Researchers surveyed 1,879 Dutch males and females who ranged from ages 12 to 87. The study’s findings reveal that male exposure to sexually explicit Internet material resulted in greater dissatisfaction with their body and stomach. However, it had no effect on male satisfaction with their penis size.
The researchers concluded that because males have less control over the size of their penis than the size and shape of their stomach, it might suggest that people may feel less in control of changing their bodies than assumed.
One of those men is Adriano Kristian Perez, a senior biological sciences major. Perez is a transgender man, who prefers to be addressed as a gender-queer identified bisexual person. “I think that society places a great amount of emphasis on genitalia as a marker of gender identification,” he said.
Perez does not believe gender is defined by genitalia. He does not want to have sex-reassignment surgery, something that could cost anywhere from $5,200 to $13,000, depending on the procedure. “I don’t think my genitalia makes me less of anything,” he says. “So the fact that I was born with a vagina, that does not make me any less than a man and it does not make me a woman. I am a man with a vagina. I am a gender queer masculine person with a vagina, and I think that’s okay.”
However, some men do feel pressured to change their bodies.
The Cost of a Larger Penis
Robert Caporitti, a cosmetic surgeon at the Texas Phalloplasty Institute in Houston, has been practicing phalloplasty since the early 1980s. Phalloplasty is the surgical reconstruction of a penis to increase lengthening, girth and/or the penile glands. Phalloplasty is something Caporittie says has increased in popularity in part because of the Internet.
The most popular services Caporitti offers are the pure graft transfer, penile length-ening and penile widening. “If a person came in and said that they thought you would go two to three inches right away, that would be unrealistic,” he says. “By the time they leave the consultation, they know what to expect and what not to expect. I cannot guarantee anything, but I give them the benefit of my experience.”
A pure graft transfer is a technique in which fat is removed from the abdomen through liposuction. Penile widening is the injection of fat into the penis to make it wider. Penile lengthening is a procedure where the surgeon cuts the ligament that connects the penis to the pelvic bone. The procedure requires that two weeks after the surgery, the patient be fitted with an extender device that he has to wear for six hours a day for six months.
Caporitti said he has up to five new patients every week. A majority of them are middle-aged, ranging from 35 to 40 years old. They come from all over the world, not just Texas. Most of them will do a combination of lengthening and widening, which costs anywhere from $7,500 to $9,500. “I ask them what they think the average male length is and a lot of them will volunteer they think it’s four to five inches, so I tell them ‘no, you’re average.’ If you’re 3.5 inch, you’re the average male,” Caporitti says. “But nobody changes their mind just because of that.”
Caporitti’s three-and-half-inch figure closely matches that of Dr. Eduardo A. Gómez de Diego, the founder and general manager of Andromedica, who collected data to determine what was the average male penis size around the world.
His data places the average size of a flaccid penis for U.S. males at 3.4 inches and at 5 inches when erect. The largest average penis size is from Spain, at 5.9 inches erect, while the lowest is South Korea, 3.7 inches erect. In comparison, most male porn start have an average penis length of 8 inches.
“If penis size were all that important to our survival and our reproduction, we’d have a lot more guys with really large penises,” Lukyx says. “The fact that it’s so variable suggests that the size is really not very important. It’s a connection that our culture makes and hammers into boys’ heads from a young age.”
After six months, Caporitti said patients can expect penis length to increase by an inch, but he has had a lot of patients who do better than that. He could not answer whether he attributes phalloplasty to porn usage because his patients do not share that information. “The motivation of the men is different, but the main motivation is they simply feel they are undersized compared with their peers,” he says. “Even though they may be average, their self-image is that they are not.”
En esta historia, “Tomas” pidió permanecer anónimo; su nombre verdadero ha sido protegido con el uso de un pseudónimo.
Tomás, un estudiante de UTEP, observa su teléfono móvil mientras ve una gran cantidad de fotografías de hombres semi desnudos en “Grindr”, una aplicación de citas dirigida a la comunidad homosexual.
“Básicamente, solo seleccionas a alguien y luego haces clic en el perfil de la persona con la que quieras ligar y les mandas un mensaje”,Tomas dice. “Ellos te contestaran y luego ahí empieza todo. Ellos serán anfitriones y compartirán su localización para que los puedas encontrar ahí y solamente coges”.
De acuerdo a Tomás, una vez que uno empieza una conversación con alguien en esta red de citas, los usuarios preguntaran que si uno es penetrado y se envíe una fotografía de su trasero. Por otro lado, si uno es quien penetra, entonces se pedirá una fotografía de su pene.
Tomás, quien ha contado con cuenta de “Grindr” por cuatro años, menciona que la comunidad gay de El Paso tiene un fetiche por los penes grandes, preferencia que le atribuye a la pornografía.
de la Pornografía
y los Penes Grandes
La industria de la pornografía es una compañía billonaria. TopTenReviews, un grupo de investigación, estima que los ingresos de la pornografía en Estados Unidos excede los ingresos combinados de estaciones de televisión ABC, CBS y NBC con un estimado de $6.2 billones.
“Muchos jóvenes crecen pensando que el tamaño del pene es muy importante y que a las mujeres les importa mucho”, dice Auroly Luykx, profesor de antropología y educador sexual. “La pornografía les da a los hombres la idea de que el sexo exitoso y experto viene de tener un pene grande”.
De acuerdo a The Porn Report, un análisis de contenido de los videos y DVDs mejor vendidos en Australia, solo el 3 por ciento de los actores masculinos tenían penes chicos, mientras que el 55 por ciento tenían penes más largos y/ó gruesos que el pene promedio.
El Costo de un Pene Más Grande
Robert Caporitti, un cirujano plástico de el Texas Phalloplasty Institute en Houston, ha estado practicando faloplastias desde principios de los años 80. La faloplastia es la reconstrucción quirúrgica del pene para aumentar la longitud, el grosor y las glandes del pene. Caporitti men-ciona que la faloplastia ha ganado popularidad gracias al Internet.
Los servicios más populares que Caporitti ofrece son la transferencia pura de injerto, el ensanchamiento de pene y el alargamiento de el mismo.
La transferencia pura de injerto es una técnica en donde la grasa es removida del abdomen a traves de la liposucción. El ensanchamiento de pene consiste de una inyección de grasa en el pene para hacerlo más ancho. El alargamiento de pene es un proceso donde el cirujano corta los ligamentos que conectan al pene con el hueso pélvico.
“La motivación en cada hombre es diferente, pero su mayor motivación es que simplemente sienten que su miembro es pequeño a comparación de otros hombres”, dice Caporitti. “A pesar de que muy posiblemente tengan un tamaño promedio, su imagen personal les dice lo contrario”.