(Trans people, I am totally ignoring y’all for the purposes of this post. Sorry. But the way gender dysphoria makes people dislike their bodies is, while related, different enough that it really deserves its own post.)
The average person has no idea of what a penis looks like.
I mean, think about it. Let’s take a cis gay dude, who probably has the most possible opportunities to look at cocks. What penes does he see? His own, of course. Those of his perhaps half a dozen or a dozen sex partners. Flaccid penes in locker rooms and bathrooms. That’s hardly what one would call a scientific sample.
The situation is even worse for other groups. Lesbians could theoretically go through their entire lives without seeing a cock.
Of course, there is one opportunity the average person has to look at cocks: porn. Of course, this corrects for all the problems one might have with small sample sizes, since porn has always been known for its commitment to diversity and honoring a wide swathe of bodies as attractive, especially those that belong to the average person as opposed to idealized paragons of masculinity.
Oh, wait. That is the exact opposite of true.
Porn tends to depict men with a certain kind of penis. Large and girthy, of course: seven inch dicks, which are very large in real life, are about average in Porn Land. But in other ways porn tends to select for penes that the male viewer would find aesthetically pleasing. Evenly colored cocks that don’t (for example) get purple when hard. Cocks without a significant curve. In short, cocks that lack the glorious diversity of cocks in the real world.
Now, that wouldn’t be a problem if porn was solely an aid to masturbation: whatever works for you, works for you, and it’s rude in the extreme to knock other people’s sex fantasies. However, many people (especially teen boys) get their ideas of how sex works from porn. If porn is pushing the idea of the one perfect cock that’s the only one that can truly satisfy a woman, and most men (as they do) have penes that, however wonderful, are not the One Perfect Cock…
Well. You get a lot of people with insecurities about their dicks.
Women have the exact same problem, of course. How often do women see naked women that aren’t Photoshopped all to hell? Not nearly enough. And so Faye feels bad because her breasts are asymmetrical, and Dora feels bad because her nipples are brown, and Marigold feels bad because she has an A cup, and Cosette feels bad because she has an E cup, and Tai feels bad because her boobs sag, and everyone ends up hating their fucking breasts because they don’t look like the creations of a graphic designer in Photoshop.
Fortunately, we have the Internet.
The thing that struck me about the cocks was how small they looked. This is particularly puzzling, because I know I’ve fucked dudes with similarly-sized cocks and they were sure as hell substantial in real life. I can only conclude that porn has skewed my idea of what a normal cock looks like. I can only imagine the effect on a guy!
But as I paged through the boobs and the penes, the thing that struck me even more than that is that people are different. There are no two cocks that look the same; there are no two boobs that look the same. They’re different colors, different shapes, different sizes. It’s marvelous. Your penis is normal, your breasts are normal, because the only thing all our bodies– yes, even Adriana Lima’s and James Deen’s– have in common is being weird.
Dean Spade, in his essay on polyamory, says:
Sometimes while I ride the subway I try to look at each person and imagine what they look like to someone who is totally in love with them. I think everyone has had someone look at them that way, whether it was a lover, or a parent, or a friend, whether they know it or not. It’s a wonderful thing, to look at someone to whom I would never be attracted and think about what looking at them feels like to someone who is devouring every part of their image, who has invisible strings that are connected to this person tied to every part of their body.
I think that that exercise is even more fun with the array of breasts and penes. Because if you look at them for long enough, none of those penes or breasts are ugly. None of them are gross or hideous or terrible. They’re body parts, just like any other body part, and in the right light and attached to the right person they’d be beautiful.
And you know what? That goes for you, too. Your breasts are beautiful. Your penis is beautiful. Just the way it is.