You're not just a penis!

Your penis is important, but it’s only a part of who you are. Therapy is a great tool to help you rediscover yourself as a whole person, and put your penis in perspective – whatever its size.

A serious preoccupation or anxiety about penis size is primarily a psychological, not a physical, problem, related to self-image and self-esteem.Thus the first, and most important, step to take in dealing with the issue is to talk to an experienced therapist.

Charl Hattingh, a sex therapist in private practice in Cape Town, says: “Penis size may seem to be the cause of your feelings of insecurity or anxiety, but usually it’s not the real problem. Many men with below-average sized penises are confident about themselves and their sexuality. Feeling inadequate because you have a small penis is a reflection of what you think of yourself as a man. If you’re focusing excessively on an external aspect, then it’s likely that you’re ignoring what’s going on - on the inside. The challenge we all have is coming to terms with the cards we’ve been dealt in terms of our physical bodies, and shifting focus to what is more important – our inner life and worth.”

The other obvious area to work on, apart from yourself as a whole person, is that of your relationship with your partner, who is likely to be a lot less concerned about your penis size than you are. “Penis size is just one factor – and certainly not the most important – in what satisfies your partner sexually. Work on being a better lover; work on other things that you can change. If your partner does feel that he or she would find a larger penis more satisfying during intercourse, then experiment with manual stimulation or sex toys.”

“Yes, there are some people who might reject you because your penis isn’t big enough; but ask yourself: do you really want someone like that as a partner? Shouldn’t you be looking for someone who can appreciate other aspects of who you are as well?”

In addition to the often complex psychological issues around concern with penis size, surgery itself carries psychological risks. “Surgery is a very major step to take. Even if the operation is successful in giving you a slightly larger penis, any such operation is a radical invasion of your body. You’re likely to feel pain, or there might be loss of sensation. Your penis may look more satisfactory to you, but it may feel completely different. You also need to consider the fact that men often end up with penises that are obviously strange in appearance – and you’ll need to face telling future partners that you had surgery, and why.”

All well and good, but isn’t ‘coming to terms with it’ rather cold comfort for those who do have genuinely small penises – micropenises, as those measuring less than 4cm are called? Aren’t men in this group entitled to seek help through surgery? “Certainly, it may sometimes be justified. But even in these rare cases, the experience of having a small penis will be exaggerated in terms of its negative impact on your life. It may be appropriate to have surgery, but this must only be done in conjunction with therapy in which you learn to appreciate the rest of yourself; you’re not just a penis.”

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