I’m new to this blog community and have only scratched the surface of a deep and vast collection of people, groups and perspectives, but have noticed some comments that people didn’t realize men have body image issues. I’ve had and still have some of my own:
Facing It Down: I edit out my face in my posts, mostly to protect my real life identity, but also because I had horrible acne as a teen, not just pimples but cysts. It was a horrible experience and I got made fun of constantly. Those kind of infections leave scars (look up Ray Liotta). I’m not going to throw a pity party, I think I have thick skin (pun) and didn’t let it bother me too much. But I’m in my mid 30s now and the scars are showing. Growing a beard would help, but I’m not really a beard person, at least not in the hot summer. If I were to describe my face favorably in a dating service or whatnot, probably I’d have to go for a more “rugged” look. I won’t lie, I’ve started to be unsettled at the look of my face in selfies and mirrors more as I age. But I’m still young enough there could be a treatment for that as medical science improves.
My Penis: Yeah, yeah the obvious. Look. A lot of guys tie at least a significant part of their identity to being male. And there is, of course, no stronger physical aspect of being male than the penis. Usually it’s the size of the penis that is the source of anxiety. On the ladies’ side, there is a lot of media attention on skinny body shape, etc, but there is also a similar pressure on the male side, but in a lot less family-friendly-for-reporting way! No surprises in this internet age, guys watch a lot of porn and do so in their formative teens. And porn has really, really big penises! It can be crushingly demoralizing entering your adolescent sexuality if you think your manhood doesn’t measure up. Or even worse, thinking yourself unable to satisfy a girl or *cringe* the fear of dropping trou and getting laughed at. Like the South Park episode where guys make up complex equations to try to prove to themselves that they measure up.
I don’t really have a problem with the size of my penis. I’ve measured it (if a guy says he hasn’t, he’s lying!) and I fall comfortably on the longer than average spectrum which I’m sort of ashamed to admit, is a great relief. Though I’m also 6′ 4″ and I think that just suits my long stature proportionally. My body image issue with my penis is that it’s curved. That’s not unusual as such, most penises aren’t totally straight, but my problem is that it’s curved down! So even when I’m fully erect, it looks like I’m not, which feels emasculating and is still a source of anxiety for me when in front of a lady for that first intimate time. I still have the very first nude pic I took of myself, it was in college 2010 (with a big digital camera, remember those olden days!, see below). It was also the first time I really noticed it and it was a bit shocking to me. Sometimes seeing yourself from a distant perspective akin to another person’s is illuminating. The down curve is pronounced. At least in my mind. That’s something I really struggle with, wishing I could straighten out my cock to make it “normal.”
I also tend to only take pictures of myself from my right side. Again South Park hits a little too close to home in the T.M.I. episode where part of the adjusted penis length is “yaw.” I hang a little to the left. Which again, is not really abnormal, but just looks unflattering to me from the left side.
Part of the reason I’ve made this blog is to help empower myself publicly yet anonymously by sharing my insecurities and facing them head on by forcing them into the light so to speak by bringing them before the blog community and seeing what people have to share about my experiences and my body. Whether or not this will prove to be a wise decision, I guess I’ll see.