Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Email about Asian-discrimination and penis size

A couple of month ago, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I'm young (in my 20s) and rather new to the gay scene. I've recently started going on gay hook-up sites like Manjam, Gay Romeo, Gaydar and Manhunt, and logged onto Grindr once or twice. What I've noticed is that many guys specifically state that they do not want to date or hook-up with Asian men. I wonder why this is. Is there some sort of ethnic hierarchy when it comes to desirability in the gay scene?

The first reason that came to mind is the stereotype that Asian men are less-endowed than men of other races. I don't place much trust on stereotypes, especially after having slept with a few black men who have come in all sizes from huge to small. It also got me thinking about the importance of penis size in the gay scene. How important is penis size? Is it more important than being fit or good-looking facial features? Why is it that penis size has any importance whatsoever (I've only been a top so I have no idea how penis size affects a bottom's pleasure during sex)? Is it solely psychological (for example, something akin Freud's idea of penis envy, except with average/less-endowed men replacing women)? I also found studies that showed that well-endowed men are more likely to be tops while their less-endowed counterparts are most likely to be bottoms. Even you mentioned a scenario in your blog where a guy was trying to ascertain your size by looking at your fingers; was that just a form of flirting or are there men actually checking for signs like that?

Part of me finds this all rather ridiculous, and another part is slightly insecure and wonders how this affects me or where it leaves me on the desirability scale; I'm an average-sized (6 inches) black guy. Mostly, I'm just curious.


I think there's a rather disappointing answer to this reader's first question about profiles that state things like "No Asians". It's called racism :-(. Although it's not excusable, I think I can explain why young guys feel like that, because about 20 years ago before I met ex-boyfriend S I had similar feelings. I simply felt that I had nothing in common with Asian guys, and I felt that I needed to have a lot in common with guys that I was going to get intimate with. Although I've never had a profile which stated "No Asians", the truth was that when I first came out, I was only interested in Caucasians. However, the more I've matured and grown up, the more open I've become to sex and relationships with guys from all ethnic backgrounds. So although ex-boyfriend S is Caucasian like me, ex-boyfriend P is a Muslim, ex-boyfriend R is Hindu, and boyfriend T is Asian :-).

Avenue QTaking a world view, I don't think there's a global ethnic hierarchy, because preferences vary from country to country. I can recall being in Tokyo, and finding a gay sauna which was Japanese only. However, if my own experience is anything to go by, perhaps young gay guys have a preference for guys from their own background. So within each country, maybe that does define a hierarchy? Although I hope that I'm fully cured of the racist preference that I felt when I was younger, I can't help being reminded of the song Everyone's a little bit racist from the musical Avenue Q!

Regarding penis size, there were a lot of comments about that on my recent posting titled Email from a gay guy who lives in India. Also, back in 2005 I did a posting about my own experiences of penis size, which suggest that East and South-East Asians guys are on average a bit smaller than Caucasians, South Asians (i.e. Indians and Pakistanis), Latinos and Black guys. However, I honestly don't think that's really got anything to do with people's preferences. I certainly had no idea about the average size of different ethnic groups when I was more inclined towards Caucasians. And for the record, I reckon that the guy who was trying to work out my size by looking at the size of my fingers was just flirting.

I've always thought that guys who focus on penis size are being very shallow, especially if they're looking for a life partner rather than just a brief encounter. What's more, there are some drawbacks to big penises because they can be painful to accommodate, and also the quality of their hardness when erect can be significantly lower. Given the choice, I'd much rather have a hard cock to play with than a big one :-).

In summary, I don't think that any gay guy needs to feel insecure about their cock size when they're looking for a boyfriend. Long term relationships are about much more than sex, but even in the bedroom, I'm convinced it's about 'what you do with it' rather than 'how big it is' :-). And in any case, if a guy really does focus on cock size then he's unlikely to make a good boyfriend, so he's not worth the effort!

Do any other readers have any thoughts on these subjects?