By Amla Pisharody
When I was in school, some older boys (10th graders) acquired a trend of going to the toilet and comparing their penis sizes using a ruler. The boys with the largest penis suddenly became the alpha within their groups (this was visible because suddenly Sachin was not made the football captain after the infamous bathroom visit, suddenly Rohan, the person who was always picked last was football, basketball, cricket, and even antakshari captain) and there was almost no conversation around the person with the smaller penis (It was a tough year for Sachin and a few others).
As a child, I wondered if this was something that people did, go into toilets with rulers to compare whose penis was the biggest. And later, when I remembered it I wondered whether that size obsession probably gave some of them the impression that they were going to be sexual titans and made others worry that they’d be bad at sex.
This week, I read about Agents of Ishq’s never-been-done-before-in-India The Great Indian Penis Survey and I was extremely excited and assumed my question (about whether my schoolmates were freaky unusual in actually measuring with a ruler!) would finally be answered, which unfortunately wasn’t but more important questions were raised. The Great Indian Penis Survey was designed with the aim to understand what people felt about their penises and to start a conversation about it. The survey was available on their website and a total of 1023 people took the survey answering questions about their relationship with their penis thus having a discussion that saw their body as their own rather than one that was on display for social scrutiny and approval (or worse disapproval). The survey was a fun way to begin conversation about our relationship with our bodies and sex.
So here is the low-down. 65% of respondents said they had a comfortable relationship, 12% had a tender relationship with their penis. 57% said porn shaped their idea of what an ideal penis should look like. 53% said they did compare their penis to others. One of my favourite questions was what do you call your penis. Half of them didn’t have a name and of the other half 60% called it generic names like dick or cock. But there were a few who called it in terms which were affectionate like dicky, hero, kanna, junior, little man. Some used military terms like general, major, soldier or had fruit and animal names like dog, snake, and mushroom among other things. Men did use terms like jackhammer and rocket and the drilling machine too but my favorite were the 6% who used funny terms to refer to their penis, or used names of public figures like Incredible Hulk or Shakti Kapoor or Bade Miyaan, also Johnny Depp (Pyara Willy), Batman (In the dark he Rises). It gave me quite a few reference points, in case I’d want to name my vagina something one day (because I can’t take another reference of my vagina being a “blooming flower”)
The results encapsulates a wonderful range of opinions and point of views that show the kind of narrative around the penis and sex in the Indian context. Maybe finally, the biggest penis will not be the alpha of the group, just one among the kannas.
Meanwhile go over to Agents of Ishq and read all the fascinating findings.
Image credit: Wikicommons