Does Penis Size Matter in M/M Romance?

Whenever I read an M/M romance and the author waxes eloquent about penis size I wonder how much this matters to the readers. Do you really care if a guy is hung like a horse? I reviewed a book a few months ago where the protagonists had giant balls, cock and ass and I asked myself why the author considered  this to be important. I can understand why those of you who read porn [not me, not me!!!] love every detail about girth, length, bulging veins, giant heads (the little head, not the big one :-D) etc. etc. but do M/M romance readers get off on this too?       



Some men may want to know exact measurements for this morning, afternoon and evening “delight” to see how they stack up. Many studies have been conducted over the years and I remember reading one in Cosmopolitan magazine several years ago which broke the numbers down from the smallest to the largest and then by race, which was very interesting, but that’s another post. 🙂 In terms of perceptions, is bigger always better?  In actual experience, probably not. Here’s a factoid for you from Wiki       

When compared to other primates, including large primates such as the gorilla, the male human genitalia are remarkably large. The human penis is both longer and thicker than that of any other primate both in absolute terms and in relative size to the rest of the body. While results vary across studies, the consensus is that the mean human penis is approximately 12.9–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) in length with a 95% confidence interval of (10.7 cm, 19.1 cm) (or, equivalently, 4.23 in, 7.53 in). The typical girth or circumference is approximately 12.3 cm (4.85 in) when fully erect. The mean penis size is slightly greater than the median size. Contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific relation between penis size and race. (The Cosmo study disputes this last statement.)     

 Wiki went on to show pictures of flaccid and erect penises which indicated that there are large differences between the two states but I thought that one penis a day (see the one on the left) was about all you could take.  😀 BTW, if you look carefully at the picture it is quite deceptive. My co-author of this post, John, made this comment that I thought I would share –     

“I personally haven’t been with any exceptionally endowed men.  Probably the biggest was around 7.5 inches long and quite thick.  A mouthful and then some.  I met up with him in an adult bookstore and didn’t do anything other than suck, me sucking him.  I guess I’m a slut according to Rick Reed’s recent post. 🙂  Well, former slut.  I haven’t been to an adult bookstore in a couple of years.”
So what do you really want/need to know about cocks in M/M romances and gay fiction? Bear in mind these are just questions and this post is not intended to inhibit or influence authors, but to get the opinions of readers as they drink their morning java or have a morning “delight” :-D.       

Do you think an author should give the exact inches (or centimeters) of the protagonists?  Or should s/he describe the penis, cock, dick (pick one) in more general terms?  How about –           

“a long tube of flesh pulsing in his gym shorts.” 
“His cock was long and thick and dripping with precum.'”  
“It’s size lived up to my dreams.” 
“As he f**ked, I almost felt as though his cock would come out my mouth, it was so long.”          

I could go on but you get the idea. 🙂        

In the gay porno paperbacks that my co-author John likes, length is quite often stated in exact dimensions: The 10 inch quarterback, the 12 inch linebacker, the 15 inch first baseman, etc. However, in M/M romances should cock size be left up to the imagination? Something along these lines might work:     

“Long, thick, throbbing, spurting ………….. (you can add the rest )  
So what is your preference readers – does size really matter in M/M romance?  Of course none of us would like our heroes to have teeny man sticks that you have to have a magnifying glass to find, but that’s the subject of another post.


  • Hehehe. I saw that painting when I visited Pompei years ago. I think most of the guys in my group were slightly traumatized/jealous/envious when they saw it *g*

    As for the size thing in M/M books, I’ll go with the old saying that it’s not the size that matters, it’s how he uses it. OK, of course a MINIMUM of size is necessary, but besides that, anything is good. And I don’t like technical or overly precise descriptions; your second suggestion “His cock was long and thick and dripping with precum’” is the one I liked best 😉

    • Mary
      So what you’re saying is that a 2 incher would not work for you? 🙂

      I didn’t realize you actually saw that painting. Was it as awesome in real life? I keep telling everyone here that that’s not a penis but the end of a walking stick. Was I wrong? Hell, if I were a man and that thing was real I would be so envious. 🙂

    • Batboy

      Where have you been? I’ve missed you.

      So you would like more uncut men in M/M books? I think at least 25% of the guys in these books are uncut, especially in the stories written by British and other European authors, but in North America the trend seems to be men who are cut. Maybe it’s time I relooked at my last survey on cut and uncut. 🙂

    • Kendall
      I’m very sorry that you were having trouble posting. It happens to me too. The “comment” plug in is very temperamental. 🙂

  • One final, shorter try, then I’m giving up on adding a comment to this thread since it’s not working:

    I meant that since porn and M/M seem (to me) to be similar in explicitness, etc., that I personally don’t want (or see a point to) exact measurements. (I admit I haven’t read any outright porn in a long time.)

    Re. unrealistic protags: Usually I’m groovy with this, and some authors do vary the type (frequently with an age difference). For some reason, the “everyone’s 6’6” thing was bugging me this week, though. 😉

    Thanks for a great site! 😀

    • Kendall

      >>Re. unrealistic protags: Usually I’m groovy with this, and some authors do vary the type (frequently with an age difference). For some reason, the “everyone’s 6?6? thing was bugging me this week, though< < Unrealistic protags is one aspect of M/M romance, or any romance for that matter that bugs me too and as I said before, I've written about it but everyone ignores me, as usual. I havent't responded to you email as yet because I'm so behind everywhere but it's coming.

  • Wave, it’s amazing what you can find in your Bible when you are young and bored and memorize stuff easily. It’s from Ezekiel 23, a nastily misogynistic chapter, in which YHWH is a bigamist and both his wives are whores. Most of the chapter stuck, actually, and it, along with David and Jonathan and Jesus healing the Centurion’s boy, turn up often in my writing when there are Christian characters.

    Lilli, Naomi and I describe “For Love of Etarin” as Star Wars meets the Persian Boy. All your eunuch obsession says is that you have found a kink that hits your buttons, for now, and wish to indulge.

    • Angelia
      So what you’re saying is that for my next post I should first check out the Bible to get a few leads? 🙂 That’s so wrong!

  • Angelia, thank you for coming back to me with the title! 🙂 That sounds like my book to a T. Since reading “The Persian Boy” I’m obsessed with eunuchs. And what does that say about me in this post’s context? *ducks head* 😉
    [It seems to be quite difficult to find good books involving eunuchs, and I really can’t imagine why. 😉 Now I just have to get over myself and buy over at EC. *grumbles* Why is the book not available at ARe, for example? *sighs*)

    Sorry now, back to the topic. I’m with the majority, I guess, and really don’t care too much about size, vague descriptions are ok with me.
    In fact I find myself being rather turned off by the penis being described as huge. (And since a reader comes across a huge one more often than a really small one, I can’t know if the latter would turn me off, too. I think I should check out the books mentioned by Rick Reed to find out for sure…)

    I couldn’t stand “enormous” cocks in my het romances, either. JRW’s Black Daggers, for example, they most probably would make me run screaming for the hills and not throw myself to their (enormous) feet begging them to you-know-what like all those heroines always do. But just imagine those vampires with medium sized cocks. That would be “micro sized” in their world, what a shame… 😉

    The pic in your post, Wave, makes me think of salami (after the initial shock) and I’d prefer salami over cock more often than not. I’d also go for the semi-naked guy (with pants on) instead of the fully naked one. I just like the glimpses more than the full picture.

    Hm. I’m weird. I should shut up.

    • Lilli
      I think the law of averages works very well with penises. BTW as I mentioned to Angelia, that’s not a penis in the pic, I think it’s a walking stick of some sort. I just wanted to see how observant you guys are. So all you’re getting is a small glimpse of the real goods.:)

      Eunuchs eh? To each his own. 🙂

  • Don’t bring the caliper into the bedroom! I’ve read books that reveled in measurement and I always felt like I was back in Mechanics of Materials.

    Wave, that picture warped my mind at the tender age of 11. I had the most unrealistic sex fantasies ever throughout puberty.

    I figure most men are of average length and cut, unless informed otherwise. Uncut is uncommon in the US.

    One of my favorite descriptions of an oversized cock involves our hero gawking, wondering if he can fit it into his mouth even soft, and mentally quoting Ezekiel: “members like horses and issue like asses and you shall long for the lustful Egyptians of your youth.”

    I’ve written everything from Mr. Hung-like-a-horse there to the beautiful eunuch. It’s not quite a micropenis, but he is self-conscious about being small.

    Lilli, you asked on the variety thread which that was. It’s called For Love of Etarin. it was Joyfully Recommended in March 2008.

    • Angelia
      Thanks for stopping by.
      First, that’s not a penis in the picture (at least I don’t think so) I think it’s part of a walking stick of some sort. I never have full frontal on this site – we have standards to maintain. 🙂

      I love your quote. How do you remember this stuff?

      This post was just merely to find out what readers want and I’m glad to see that most of them prefer general descriptions. Of course “Mr Hung-like -a-horse” works as well too, depending on the context. 🙂

  • Occured to me belatedly, someone asked about m/m romance in which someone had a small one. In one of Jay Little’s books, either Maybe Tomorrow or (I think more likely) the sequel Somewhere Between the Two, the protagonist is small. These were written before the days of frank sex scenes, but in one of them the protag (Bob?) goes to a gay bar and when a guy tries to pick him up, Bob takes the guy’s hand and puts it on his crotch and says, in effect, I heard you guys only liked big ones, I guess you’re not interested now; btw, they go home together.

    Just thought I’d share

    • Victor
      That is such a wonderful story, which proves the point that the largest sex organ is the brain. Thank you for this. I guess I’ll be checking out both books. 🙂

  • Precise measurements don’t matter to me in M/M erotica or, um, in “one-handed” porn.

    I don’t see a huge, pun intended, difference in the two genres; M/M erotic romance seems to be PWP to me, and that’s great…not sure if that should be “porn with plot” or “plot with porn” though…but the sex scenes are as graphic in one as the other, so why would I want something different?! But I guess that’s just me….

    In either case, exact numbers seem silly. Thick or long or impressive or whatever–really, we know what this means and if we want, can’t we attach an exact # to it that we think works? Only the size queens care about the exact # IMHO.

    Don’t get me started on how all protags are WELL over 6′ (eyeroll, I know I’m not a hero type at 5’6″ but puh-lease…) or this one book I’m reading where a guy sitting in a restaurant touched the opposite chair which was 4′ (the author specified) away from his chair. Yes, he must’ve been over 8′ tall. 😉

    Really, fewer measurements all around would suit me just fine. Rant over, LOL.

    • Kendall

      >>Precise measurements don’t matter to me in M/M erotica or, um, in “one-handed” porn. I don’t see a huge, pun intended, difference in the two genres; M/M erotic romance seems to be PWP to me, and that’s great…not sure if that should be “porn with plot” or “plot with porn” though…but the sex scenes are as graphic in one as the other, so why would I want something different?! But I guess that’s just me….< < I think a lot of M/M romance writers would contest your statement that PWP and M/M romance is one and the same sub genre. 🙂 I do find a lot of differences in that most M/M authors try to write a story, not just string a bunch of sex scenes together unlike PWP. Whenever I find that a story is 3/4 sex, I always comment in my review that there is no plot, only sex. Very few authors have the talent and skill to write a story that contains a lot of sex scenes and still make the story interesting. There are also some very sweet M/M romances that have very little sex and are actually wonderful books. One of my favourites is The One That Got Away by Madeleine Urban and Rhianne Aile. I have several other favourites with very little sex, one of which is an Age of Sail historical by Alex Beecroft Captain’s Surrender. If you like these stories I could try to come up with other recs. for you.

      I hear you about the unrealistic characterizations where all the protagonists are 6’+, young, hot looking and hung. I have been complaining about this for a long time and have written two posts, the most recent was this one

      It seems that book heroes will always be unrealistic because readers want fantasies and escape from RL. A few authors are bucking this trend and I hope there will be more as readers’ tastes evolve.

      BTW I received your email and will respond later tomorrow. I’m trying to finish a book that I promised to review tomorrow.

      Thanks so much for supporting the site Kendall. 🙂


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