GMFA Penis anxiety is impacting gay men’s self-esteem In our latest issue (FS #160) we found out what gay men like about their penis, what they like about others, and what issues impacts their self-esteem and causes anxiety. We surveyed 566 gay and bi men and asked them about everything to do with the penis. We discovered: 38% said that their penis size causes them anxiety 16% said they’ve had derogatory comments made about their penis 22% admitted they’d rejected someone because of their penis size 21% said they have suffered from erectile dysfunction 28% have problems with cumming too quickly 8% said their penis size influences their decision whether to wear a condom or not, with 58% of these men saying they sometimes don’t wear condoms because of their size We asked, does penis size matter?: 37% say yes, 49% say no and 14% say they don’t know 89% said they had shared a dick pic, and 30% said they wouldn’t care if the pic was shared with other people 74% of you say that you are happy with your penis. A recent survey by FS magazine found that nearly 40% of gay men have anxiety issues when it comes to their relationship with their own penis. The magazine, which is published by GMFA - the gay men’s health charity, surveyed 566 gay and bisexual men and also found that gay men’s relationship with their penis is affecting the type of sex they are having, their sexual positions and the risks they are taking. “It goes without saying but the penis is a big part of our sex lives but it also brings a lot of problems too. Many of these are mental issues,” says Ian Howley, CEO of GMFA – the gay men’s health charity. “Your relationship with your penis is important. If you think negatively about your penis then this will affect the sex you have, the risks you take and even your self-esteem and self-worth. Likewise, if you have a bigger than average penis, this can lead you to be anything from over confident to feeling used at times. Again, this can affect your self-worth and self-esteem. It’s important that if you are someone who has confidence issues with your penis and then you should do something about it.” “Being small has always affected my confidence. I feel less manly,” says Chris, 29 from London. “I have a preference for men to have something substantial, so I feel bad for others who might expect the same with me. I don’t feel body proud. I get very concerned wearing speedos.” “I didn’t have any context when I was younger. I had a sheltered childhood and was a fat, shy kid,” admits Joseph, 34 from London, “so I thought I was small because I was comparing myself to porn dicks.” Men with larger penis sizes also told us they suffer from anxiety: “Quite often I’ve had guys say, ‘you’re not fucking me with that thing. It’ll never fit’ or people have expectations that go with a big cock I get worried I can’t fulfil them,” says James, 38 from Middleborough. Ian Howley continues, "It’s quite clear that there are issues between gay men and their penis that we need to address. With 8% of gay men telling us that their penis site impacts their decision to wear a condom or not, this means we need to focus more on addressing these issues.” “We at GMFA recommend that you talk to your GP, sexual health professional or a counsellor about any problems you have in relation to your penis – whether that be erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or anxiety and self-esteem issues,” says Ian. “All gay men deserve to have the best sex possible. Our penises come in many shapes, sizes and skin tones – just as we do. And like us, our penises need looking after. Just don’t let your penis dictate your whole life."