Me: (astounded) How can one guy possibly work the size of his own penis into conversation so frequently?
Brian: It depends. Like, this one time, we all went shooting at the sandpit with these dirty hippies from Maine, and Chase* started talking about how Russian chicks would really like him because he had such a large penis.
Me: What does that even mean? Like, Russian women care more about phallus size than other kinds of women? That sounds pretty racist to me.
Brian: (thinking) Yeah, I guess it does. Anyway, that’s just one example. He mentions it pretty frequently.
The others heartily agree.
Me: But why would someone willingly evoke such a shameless topic? It’s both wholeheartedly foul and ridiculously arrogant.
Chris: What kind of people do you associate with, man? There is a huge proportion of guys out there who not only love to talk about their penis sizes, but love to do it often. It’s a fact of life. If this is news to you, then your friends clearly represent a poor cross-section of society.
Me: (thinking) Well, I do hang out with a lot of well-educated people....
*Not his real name
This conversation raises several issues. The first involves how we should view those who talk about their own penis sizes as an overly positive, or even a defining feature. Is it arrogant to announce one’s size (real or imagined) to others the way one might flaunt a high SAT score or a Gucci handbag? Or does it simply show a lack of concern for tasteful conversation? What should we think of those who, failing to stumble upon a natural opportunity to mention their penis sizes (as such situations, though far from common outside the bedroom, do occur once in a blue moon), go out of their way to create one? On the other hand, are there some people who can naturally discern a link between anything (i.e. dental floss, Roy Orbison music, disrespectful bank tellers, or the proper wording on a restroom sign that requires employees to wash hands before leaving) and their own penises?
The second issue (raised by Chris) is whether I am far enough removed from normal society so as to be unaware of a cultural phenomenon occurring millions of times a day among post-pubescent males. Do guys really talk like that? Does the topic frequently arise at parties where large amounts of Bud Light are consumed and professional sports are commented upon in raucous tones? I've heard similarly uncouth reports of male behavior (“And then he went right to sleep!”) that make me embarrassed to be associated with my own gender. Is there a swarm of other men out there giving us a bad name by exhibiting and—dare I say it?—encouraging such penile discussions?