Sex Life: The Size of My Penis Affected My Mental Health

June 12, 2021

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians.


The subject of today’s Sex Life is a heterosexual 25-year-old man who became obsessed with penises when he realised his penis was small. He talks about how having a small penis affects his sex life, mental health and relationship with women.

What was your first sexual experience?

When I was 11, a girl in my estate and I got curious about our bodies and touched ourselves. We were so young, we didn’t even know what to do or how to do it, so we didn’t do much.

Do you remember your first adult sexual experience?

Yup. I was 17 —  I was a late bloomer —  and my girlfriend and I had planned it out because we thought we were adults who were in love with each other and all. Anyways, the actual sex was okay, but it wasn’t groundbreaking. Around this age, I realised there might be something wrong with me. 

What do you mean?

I started watching porn and saw that the penis sizes and what I had down there was different. I became bothered about it and was obsessed with penises for a while.

Tell me about that.

When I was like 19, I realised that my penis size was not average-sized; it was small. I remember always wanting to check out other guys’ penis to see if they were bigger than mine. I wanted to believe real-life penises were not as large as they were in porn. They weren’t, but mine was considered small in comparison. I started researching penis enlargement pills and discovered an online group of guys who had small penises. I think the group made me more cynical.

How so?

They would talk about how their sizes affected their love and sex lives and how that made them feel inadequate and the butt of jokes. They wanted to vent, which was valid, but it made me depressed and jaded because I figured this was my future.

Did you have a sex life then?

Not really. In my late teens and until I was 20, I didn’t do anything heavy. I made out with some girls in class, but I was very careful to never let it go below the waist because of how self-conscious I was.

When did you start letting things progress below the waist?

When I got into uni. It wasn’t a conscious decision; I had pent up sexual frustration. So when a girl who had been flirting with me tried going below, for the first time in years, I didn’t stop her. We had sex, and I could tell she was surprised by my size but didn’t say anything. When we next saw each other, she acted like she didn’t know me. 

Did that bother you?

It did, but I understand it.

What happened next?

I started working on my depression. I have a small penis but I have a tongue, hands and a brain willing to learn how to use them. I asked questions and read everything I could. This was when I stepped into my own. Left alone, my member can’t rock someone’s world, but that doesn’t mean I can’t. I started having more sex, but the turnaround for me and my self-esteem was when I had sex with a girl who made me her friends-with-benefits. Before her, no one had tried to have sex with me more than once. That meant a lot to me.

How did your penis size and women’s reaction to it affect you?

The few times my friends both in secondary school and university saw my penis by chance, they laughed and made mean comments. With women, it wasn’t so much of a comment as it was a lack of comment. They quietly go “Oh…hmm” when they realise it’s not the size they expected. Only one woman has given me mean comments, and it wasn’t to my face, it was to other people. She told them my size, how confused she was and then dramatised the rest. That almost sent me back to depression.

Oh wow.

My concerns about my size have bugged me since puberty. I felt inadequate because I put unnecessary pressure on it. After all, that’s my “manhood” and if it is small, what does that say about my manliness? I even started working out to compensate for it. 

The most important lesson for me was that all these things, the importance we attach to them are all constructed. Penis size doesn’t determine how much of a man you are or how good you are in bed. I had to unlearn all of that and come to peace with all.

What’s your sex life like now?

Pretty okay. A lot of women still think the bigger, the better and that’s fine. Good for them. I’m very open about it, so everyone knows what they are entering and can’t use it to shame me. I’ve met several women who were willing to look beyond size. I made it a goal to make them orgasm and give them the best sex of their lives. I think I have a very high success rate. I’m overcompensating, but it’s working for me.

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your sex life?

A 7. It’s great, but it could be even greater.

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