Rhodri Marsden: Size doesn't matter – it's the swagger that counts

Life on Marsden

Share

It was during the course of an otherwise pretty moribund conversation – about the wildly differing attitudes among our social group towards industrial action by teachers – that someone casually mentioned that a friend of mine has a very large penis. I raised an eyebrow, possibly both. "Apparently so," I was told. The size of this man's penis had and continues to have very little if any bearing on my day-to-day activities, but suddenly a lot of things clicked into place.

This man always conducts himself in public with a breezy, nonchalant swagger, and his behaviour now made perfect sense. He clearly derives huge self belief from the fact that, in the event of all human penises being ranked in some kind of publicly displayed league table, he might well rank in the upper tenth percentile. And he's evidently been gloating about this for years. "Blimey," I said, thinking of ways to reverse the conversation out of a groinal cul-de-sac.

Later that evening, my thoughts returned to this potential correlation between penis size and social confidence. To establish some kind of scientific pattern, I really needed more data. But the only other man whose penis size is known to me is my friend [redacted], because he always goes on about having a small one. He regularly mentions it as some kind of disclaimer, perhaps in case we get to find out its size by nefarious means, which is highly unlikely. But he's an ebullient fellow, and frankly I don't trust his false modesty.

He's essentially conducting a long-term marketing campaign to maintain the public perception of his penis size at an artificially low level, so as not to disappoint anyone in the improbable event of his penis ever being exposed. There are parallels to be drawn here with the banking system's manipulation of the Libor rate in 2007-8, but to do so now would be a pathetic attempt to distract from the fact that I'm basically writing a column about penises.

Maybe all men are, subconsciously or otherwise, managing expectation of penis size amongst a community who couldn't care less – whether we're exuding deceptive levels of confidence, driving a Ferrari, walking a pitbull, rapping about big dicks or making self-deprecating comments about tiny willies. It's crazy, because as we're regularly told, size doesn't matter, or does matter, depending on who you're listening to.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ashya King in hospital with his mother  

Ashya King: Breakdown in relations led to this PR fiasco

Paul Peachey
Jim Murphy, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development holds a carton of eggs during a speech to Better Together supporters  

When the course of history is on the line, democracy is a raw, vicious and filthy business

Matthew Norman
Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York