And what they said might surprise you.
It's truly all about the size of the package, but not in the way that you might think.
It's time to take a stand regarding penis size and what it means to be a sexually desirable man. A large penis doesn't make a man a great kisser, fill him with sensuality and passion, or make his partner feel loved or safe, nor does it guarantee that he's a remotely competent lover.
The largest sex organ we have is our brain. The brain, which it happens, is also bombarded with distorted messaging on what makes a man, a man. And it starts at an increasingly early age.
The way men and their bodies are portrayed in mass media deeply affects their lives. There are over a million men in the U.S. with serious eating disorders. Perhaps more revealing is a figure from a UK study, which found 1 out of 3 men would sacrifice a year of their life in exchange for their ideal body.
I began speaking to men in my circle about these findings and then took it to Facebook. My question: "How many years would you be willing to sacrifice in exchange for your ideal body? How many for your ideal penis?"
The responses given indicated that men's levels of success, attractiveness, or intelligence seemed disconnected from whether they were comfortable about their bodies. One in particular was very clear: "My ideal penis? I think you mean women's idea of an ideal penis!" And it just so happens he was willing to sacrifice more years than any other participant.
And that's saying a lot. Most who responded stated they'd sacrifice at least ten years of their life in exchange for their ideal body, especially if it included their ideal penis.
Wow. Am I alone in preferring the men in my life live an extra ten years just the way they are?
Seeking further insight regarding body perceptions, I turned to Elle Chase, aka Lady Cheeky, one of my favorite sex educators.
Elle summed it up: "There's a pervasive meme out there that men's bodies need to be hairless or they need to be a certain height and, of course, the old wives' tale about having to have a big penis to properly satisfy a partner. In reality, it's our diversity that makes us who we are and comparing ourselves to what we see in magazines is futile.
The fact is, we all have to stop beating ourselves up because we don't meet a perceived ideal, especially when it comes to penis size. I've always said 'It's not the size of the pencil, it's how you sign your name.'"
Are Elle and I the only women who feel this way? Not according to a comprehensive study, which showed that 85 percent of women are satisfied with their partner's penis. However, it also revealed that only 55 percent of men find their own size satisfactory.
So, what exactly are the messages society is sending young boys and men? Mass media narratives insinuate that a man is only popular with the ladies if he's well hung and has the stamina of a superhero.
Obviously, when a man's self-image is deeply, even subconsciously, tied to the size of his penis, societal influences can cause serious harm to his self-esteem. And conversely, it comes as no surprise that men who are comfortable with their penises report feeling generally happier and more confident.
Which brings me to my favorite response from that informal body-image survey:
"Regarding the 'perfect body', I wouldn't trade any years. I love my body and I'm super-happy with my penis. This isn't to say I 'm by any means perfect in either department, but I do feel really lucky. I think feeling good about myself and feeling very loved by my partner — knowing that I turn her on, and knowing how much she ignites the same desires in me — is a big part of that."
I know I'd want any man I love to feel this way. And, perhaps, that's where we begin.