What it's like to have a penis below the international average size

By James Waterhouse
Newsbeat Reporter

Published
media captionNewsbeat goes to the small penis party

Let's get the giggling out of the way first - this is a story about small penises. It's a real issue for some men.

Newsbeat's been to the UK's first "small penis party" where men gathered to talk frankly about their bodies.

Most of the guests there had a smaller than average penis.

According to the BJU International Journal of Urology, small means less than the international norm - 9.16cm (3.61in) when flaccid.

Graham, who falls beneath the international average, met up with the host of the Small Penis Party, Ant Smith to chat.

"I think in this day and age it probably matters more to the individual more than other people," he said.

Graham remembers the first time his anxieties began.

"It was probably at school, when you're surrounded by your peers. Often in the changing room I'd try and get straight to the corner first.

"If it [was] a urinal I'd try and get into a cubicle."

"My personal life is almost to the point where I wouldn't go out, just to avoid potential interaction.

"I'd deliberately try to avoid situations, by making out that I had something going on or almost not answering my text messages."

He thinks about his early dating life: "It was very quiet. That moment before intimacy is such a high pressure moment.

"You probably put yourself under more pressure than it's worth, then before you know it it's all over!"

Graham added: "I definitely think I've suffered, I've had very few partners, and that's probably because I just didn't want to put them in an awkward situation.

"It's made me nervous about being intimate, so I'm not the most confident person when that comes around anyway."

So what happens at the party?

Ant Smith put together the event, in a nightclub in east London.

More than 100 people got together for the night of mostly penis-themed poetry, stand-up comedy and music.

Some men in the room are completely naked.

As the drinks go down, some of the men more readily compare length, and even body piercings.

And there's a real mix of men and women.

While 33-year-old Graham has always been aware of the cards he's been dealt, it hasn't always been the case with his previous partners.

"Some people are brutally honest, and that may be the first thing they mention or some people might like you for who they are."

"I spent a lot of time pretending to be someone I wasn't, or putting a brave face on.

"I wish I was more honest to [myself] but I wouldn't necessarily change it because I quite like who I am now."

Graham's "anxiety" can go as far as body dysmorphic disorder - a condition which can lead to mental health issues, such as depression.

For more on penis size anxiety, check these BBC Advice pages

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