Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mister Peg, the male member

This is the text of my That's Men for You column in The Irish Times on Tuesday, 9th October, 2007:

Good morning. And how is Mister Peg today? And Percy and Moose and Maggot and Mister Happy?

These, if you haven’t guessed, are names of men’s penises, as given to them by the men themselves or by their adoring partners.

They are among the names which emerged in a survey by Male Health, an excellent and lively men’s health website. Other names include Dick, Willy, Charlie, Herbie, Trevor, Big Ben, Percy the Small Engine, Rodney, Junior and Wild Thing.

Notice that there are no specifically Irish names in there. Not a single Tadhg or Seamus or CiarĂ¡n, for instance. Perhaps, given his apparent alacrity in standing up for himself, the nickname, ‘a Willie O’Dea’, might be adopted for the Irish male member?

“Would you like to come outside and meet Willie O’Dea?” could become a preamble to all sorts of excitement which, of course, might later have to be denied.

Anyway, penises are a serious matter and if you’ve been reading your spam emails lately, you’ll know that one of the most widespread concerns which men have about Mister Peg is his size. This, as it happens, is something that worries men a lot more than it worries women.A recent issue of BJU International looked at the findings of 50 studies on penises since 1942. This is the sort of heroic thing which the world’s researchers do and for which I hope they are appropriately rewarded.

BJU International is a journal which provides a bedtime reading for the world’s urologists, so this is serious stuff. Its editor-in-chief, by the way, is an Irishman, Professor John Fitzpatrick of UCD.

Anyway, the researchers found that 85% of women say they are satisfied with the size of their partner’s penis. But only 55% of men are satisfied with the size of their own members. In fact, for women the man’s personality is a great deal more important than the size of Big Ben. All of which must be a great disappointment for men who go to the expense of having cosmetic surgery to increase their penis size but who neglect to do any work on their own personalities.

It appears that about two thirds of men who are worried about penis size can trace their anxieties back to comparisons made in childhood. Over a third develop worries after observing the size of other men’s members in pornography. It appears to have passed them by that the men in pornographic films and pictures are probably chosen partly because of having a penis size which is larger than average.

As well as surgery, men try to increase penis size through things like diet, ointments, vacuum pumps, and even sticking poor Mister Peg into a concoction of salt and cold tea.

But doctors who study this sort of thing say men are generally poor at comparing their own penis size with that of other men. This is because the man sees his own penis from above and the perspective makes the size seem smaller than it really is.

So small penis size may be a visual illusion – but it’s an illusion which will continue to make money for the spammers for as long as the World Wide Web exists.

You can read more on the BJU research report on a website which is worth visiting from time to time anyhow.

And if you want to find out more about penises in general, you could book a trip to Iceland and visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum which describes itself as “probably the only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammal found in a single country.” I love that “probably”. No, guys, you’re the only one. It is reported that they have been promised a human penis to make their collection complete.

Anyway they have a rather dull website which you navigate through by clicking on a penis. But don’t let the boss catch you at it.

That would be worse than getting Mister Peg caught in your zip.

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