In this article the author examines the influence of the phallus size on the hierarchical and sexual recognition of humans. The focus of the article is on the ethological aspect of the subject.

Anatoly Protopopov

Phallus as a Reflection of the Hierarchy

Authorized translation from Russian by Alexander Otenko

I would like to acknowledge great help I received from Svetlana Razumnaya, Vyacheslav Skosar and Lyudmila Sidorenko during preparation of this article.

      The whole world is hierarchical. Somebody is superior, another is subordinate; someone naively thinks he does not submit to anyone and does not make others submit, though all of this is just an illusion. Not everyone wants to be The Most Superior, but everyone does not want to be The Most Subordinate, and that is why challenges are inevitable. The challenges range from physical fights to utterly peaceful confrontation. It is either we will control the others, or the others will control us, but what does this depend on? If talking strictly about biological factors, then this all depends on our rank potential. The rank potential (RP) is a mainly inborn characteristic of an individual that allows for (or not) taking a particular level in a hierarchy of a group in specific circumstances. This potential depends on many factors, among which the physical strength is particularly important, especially for simpler animals, because it is never too little of it when solving any arguments; more sophisticated animals have other factors that are even more important than the strength, which let them win the battles, so to say, with psychological pressure. Often the rank potential is clearly marked with a special sign on the body of an individual, which other members of the group respect, so no unnecessary fights will occur, if the opponent is clearly higher in the hierarchy. For example, the wasps have different amount of seta, cockerels have different height of the crest, and dears have antlers of different sizes and branching.

Do humans have such signs?

      It appears they do, even though only males have this sign. It is the phallus; its size, to be more specific. To be honest, it does not have that, without exaggeration, absolute power with humans, which such signs have with the wasps and the cockerels, but when other conditions are equal, it is quite important. Its importance is clear in the sphere of sexual relations, and this is very illustrative for our topic. Antique lamp
      The importance of the phallus is also confirmed by observations of apes, and by historical sources that claim that the phallus was always not only the sign of sexual potency, but also the sign of power and strength. Many stone-age pictures show males socially ranked higher, with bigger penises(*). Phallic cults that gave big penises extraordinary abilities were quite popular with many nations.
      Even nowadays phallus-related topics are among most discussed and interesting for people (sometimes even unhealthily interesting); respect to bigger penises and disrespect to smaller penises can be observed in all cultures and at all times, even now. Among the patients of the clinics that do penis-enlargement operations there are many businessmen that are mostly concerned about "respectable looks" - because often business is done in saunas and banyas, where respectable looks often influence the success of the business, and the respectable looks is connected with all the characteristics of a high rank, one of which is the penis size. Similar problems are experienced by male ballet dancers, though, they can solve it by much simpler means - they can add some wadding where necessary. It seems to be not prestigious and inappropriate to display to the revered public something minute at that place. If a man, without any intention admits the small caliber of his assets, he often risks to receive something from embarrassed smiles to open snickers, depending on the intellectual properties of the surrounding people. A well-brought man will not show any sign of stir, but will feel similarly. But wherefore? Of course, we can hastily call it an insignificant superstitions, but ethologists know that the so-called "superstitions" are based on instincts. Especially those superstitions, that are the same all around the world. Two clearly separate nations can have similar superstitions only if they have the same genetic origin; in this case - the instinctive reaction on the size of the phallus as the measure of Rank Potential. Very closely related, though out of focus of our topic, is the feeling of debasement and uneasiness, which surrounds sexual relations. All of this is due to the close relation between the sexual sphere of human life and instinctive hierarchy, which I have covered in [5].
      The very fact of huge dispersion of sizes, which amounts to 6 to 8 times for quite functional phalluses (from less than 5 to more than 30 cm (here and further the sizes are of erected penises)), tells us that the size has a very important bio-signalling role. Especially if we take into account that the sizes of other organs may differ approximately two times, and that there is no physiological necessity to have such variety of phalluses. Because of this, we don't have reasons to doubt that the size of the penis is an instinctive sign, to which we react unconsciously, so we must be critical to some extent about the straightforward declarations of respondents about the significance or insignificance of the phallus size for them.
      Even though instinctive reactions are connected with the VOLUME of the phallus, and, when talking about penis sizes, we understand the volume, but because of the difficulties with measuring its volume, lets use its length as the measure of its "magnitude". Lets also keep at the back of our minds that penis volume does not relate to its length as one-to-one (interdependent), even though it correlates to it significantly (as illustrated with a diagram later on).

(*) Translator's note: A doubtful reader may even take an example from a "civilised" society. Just go to a royal armoury to find more recent evidence of the same meaning of the sign. What can you see on knight's armours in the place where the bearer's phallus should be? I have seen some armours in Royal Armoury in Madrid that have a little bulge there, and some have a horn of characteristic shape protruding upwards. Guess, who the latter armours belong to?

Where Do They All Grow From

      Physiologically the initial rank potential is determined by the neural, muscular and other systems of the organism, as well as by the level of various hormones in blood. One of them that is very important for us in this discussion, is testosterone, the masculine sexual hormone that influences aggressiveness and ambitiousness, which are the qualities describing the male RP most brightly.
      At the same time the phallus ultimately gets its size in puberty period, and is greatly influenced by the level of testosterone in the organism during this period. The higher the concentration of testosterone, the bigger the penis will grow! Thus the relation between the two characteristics is roughly outlined - testosterone (as many other factors) influences the magnitude of a phallus and other RP signs at the same time. It is important to note that the level of testosterone changes with time, and changes differently with different individuals - it can be higher in early years, giving the owner a bigger phallus, and then decrease to almost nothing, leaving him without good potency and without "masculine" looks and behaviour. But it can be vice versa - when the penis needs to grow, there can be no testosterone in blood, and afterwards the hormonal locks open, but the flood can't help the phallus grow by that time: We will not look into the reasons of such variation, because this is a physiological question (even though it is influenced by psyche), and is not that important for our topic.
      Let us emphasise again that the size of the phallus and the Rank Potential are influenced by a number of factors (for example, the penis size differs quite greatly even for newly born boys; as for RP, it depends on a great number of other things, too), therefore we will only talk about correlation, and not the direct relation between the phallus size and Rank Potential.
NB: How can the penis size be determined by other external characteristics of a male? Usually it is assumed that there is no such characteristic. I.e. neither the size of nose, nor feet, nor fingers, nor the length of the tongue, nor anything else can be related to the penis size. However, it is not quite so.
      On the one hand, there really is no sign that could be used to express the size of penis in centimetres or inches; more than that, there is no sign that could give a 100% assurance of its size. On the other hand, we can reliably talk about the PROBABILITY of that the penis will be bigger in one case, and smaller in another. These signs are marking the rank potential in general, and the level of testosterone in particular. Testosterone is responsible for clarity and expressiveness of secondary sexual attributes, therefore the assumption about a big penis is supported by a low loud voice, lots of hair on the body, strong, athletic build without big amounts of fat (if there is any fat, then it is disposed in the "masculine" way, i.e. on the belly, but not on buttocks or thighs), height is more than average, legs not too long, great physical strength, specific "masculine" facial features, bold patch for older men. High RP is mostly described by vigour of movements and deeds, inclination to be aggressive in any way, behaving ambitiously, displaying often open and unquenchable interest in females. If, on the contrary, a male has asthenic feminine, or even eunuch features, has a dull and passive life, behaves in a conformist way, is shy, then the penis of such a man will be somewhat smaller than average. Again, we cannot speak of a 100% assurance, we can only talk about chances.

Phallus in Modern Times

      Since we rarely see genitals of other people, we physically cannot build our relations using it as a guide, but the relation between the phallus size and rank potential (with all the consequences) is a reality! All this is because, as we have just found out, the size of a phallus is not that much the antecedent of a high RP, but rather is one of its consequences. It is only a sign that was chosen by the evolution once as a convenience for quick visual analysis by other members of a group. Phallus is a kind of a show-window of the masculine RP; and like any other show-window it can display the advantages of the goods quite inadequately. This is what troubles a microphallic male - the brand of low rank on his body. Especially sore such troubles are when the "show-window" does not display the real merchandise, i.e. when a little penis is combined with a decent RP. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of such individuals. However, you cannot call him a highly ranked male in all respects; in his mosaic of RP signs his low rank was quite well displayed, which was the reason for his oppressed state in childhood. But his resulting RP, combined with significantly high intellect, allowed him to achieve the highest position of the society, even of the whole world.
      Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why in a civil society there is a custom to cover genitals not only of females, but of males, too, so as to reduce their influence of this animal and not so precise sign of power, on civil relations between people. We cannot also dismiss the theory that the forced use of clothes for people living in cold climate, which precluded the simple way of building a hierarchy, was one of the prerequisites of the social progress. Thus, valuable social properties of an individual (such as altruism) had more opportunities to be appreciated, in particular - to be inherited by the following generations.
NB: I would like to recommend the men not to solve any serious questions with partners in saunas and banyas, or other situations, where it would be possible to directly estimate the sizes of genitals of business partners. Otherwise the business solution can be affected by a totally irrelevant body sign, which has no relation to the topic of your negotiations, and which also can have no relations to the business qualities of your partner.

What about the Primary Function?

      Since for urinating the penis size does not make any difference, we will discuss only how its bio-signalling function combines with its capacity as a copulative organ.
      To tell the truth, it was said and written a lot about the influence of the penis size on the sexual life. However, there is still something new to tell. In [5] I have talked a lot about the influence of RP on sexual success of a male, so, as we have just found out, since RP is connected to the size of the phallus, there should be some connection of the latter to the sexual success. In the following sections we will see, how exactly the two are related.

Physiological aspect

      When discussing the influence of the penis size on the sexual life, it is difficult to resist temptation to assign more physiological capabilities to a bigger penis, and that is the trap that so many people interested in the topic, fall in. Indeed, it seems very attractive to assume that the bigger the phallus, the stronger the pressure is, and consequently, the more exciting sexual feelings it produces in a woman. But both the medics and physiologists unanimously claim that main sensitive zones of female genitals are located outside (clitoris in the first instance) and that a penis 2-3 (in some circumstances 5) centimetres long is absolutely enough to excite these zones. In fact, any spot on a woman's body can be an erogenous zone. As far as the conception itself is concerned, the phallus as the means of penetration is not necessary at all, since the spermatozoids are capable of travelling the whole distance to the ovule even from the external surface of the sexual organs, to say nothing when there is minimal penetration. Note that almost no healthy man that is not a hermaphrodite has a penis smaller than 2-3 cm. Since there is no reason not to believe the physiologists in this matter, we will assume that from this perspective the penis size has no significance - it just has to be there (ultimately, even this is not required...). More than that, overly big phalluses can even be uncomfortable, because they can inflict pain during the coitus. It may seem that we could cut our discussion at this point, but let's not haste - because there is also the:

Ethological aspect

      Questioning women about their attitude to the penis size often gives a contradictory view. On the one hand, most of the questioned deny any relation between the phallus size and strength of the sexual feelings, supporting the physiologists' view; on the other hand there are many cases of total disappointment in the bearer of a small penis right after unclothing the genitals, sometimes even causing evasion of coitus. More to that, there are many cases, and not only in folklore, when some women are fanatically devoted to big phalluses.
      However, usually women that are openly discriminating small penises, are far from extremism similar to the one picturesquely described in unforgettable "Luka Mudischev"(*). They are often happy with penises bigger than some sensible length (often about 16-18 cm), which are not that rare at all. And like we will see later, the women for whom the size seems to matter, often disregard bearers of small phalluses, but they do this without even looking at the phallus, and without even thinking about it! But let's not put cart before the horse...
      What could be the reason for such contradiction? Is it only the cultural level of the woman that affects her attitude to the phallus size? As I said a few times in [5] and [6], the conclusive factor for a woman to get sexual satisfaction is the emotional "mood" for that particular male. The "mood" for that male, as we have found out a long time ago, depends on many factors, among which one of the front places is occupied by the Rank Potential of that man, which, in its turn, correlates with... the phallus size!!! In other words, the big phallus is attractive to such women not because of its mechanical possibilities to excite sensitive zones, but because of its ethological influence on instinctive templates of female behaviour, which count a bearer of a bigger phallus to be a higher ranked male in average. If there is no such "mood", then normal excitement of erogenous zones (even with a big phallus!) may have no effect. If, despite the small penis, the "mood" for that man exists for some reason, then even a microscopic phallus may suffice. Because such mood can be achieved not only by high-ranked appearance and behaviour, but also by, for example, virtuous singing of romances, skilful courting, beautiful facial or corporal features, or even good talking...
      It's not over, though - there is also observational selection. Since one of the main reasons for not having the right "mood" is the low-rank behaviour and insufficiently "masculine" looks of a man, the owners of small penises are denied far away from bed, when the woman cannot even see the size of his genitals! It is even so for the women that do not particularly like big phalluses, for example, because of her shallow vagina, to which a big penis causes a lot of pain. Simply the looks and behaviour of such a male are not masculine. I want to emphasize that we are not talking here about disappointing stiffness resulting from the man's complexes related to insufficiency of his masculine properties, even though this is the case very often. Rather we are talking here about objective low rank, which is associated with a small penis biologically. And vice versa - even being dressed, a male with a big phallus often has unknown magnetism (for some even mystical), which appeals only the women, and attracts them, like the light attracts moths...
      Therefore, if the things went as far as getting undressed (let's not talk about cases when it is "necessary" to get laid, even overcoming disgust), then there is a certain "mood", and consequently some satisfaction. Thus the size seems not to matter. But this is only an illusion, observational selection: among microphallic males there are almost no sexual partners, they seem to be not among men. Yes, women often furiously defend that even "small ones" satisfy them; but if it is possible to ask for details, often it appears that under "small" penises they mean 15-17cm long, which is a medium size. But these are the smallest among those she saw! On the other hand, because of a similar association between a big penis and high rank, the owners of bigger penises are chosen as sexual partners more often, creating a statistical illusion of prevalency of such males in general.
That is the root of all contradiction! First of all, in approximate relation between the size of the phallus and RP; secondly, in observational selection, when a certain dame may not suspect the existence of penises smaller than objectively medium size, and even those she will consider an exceptional rarity. Thirdly, there is a non-linear relation between the penis size and attractiveness. That is, if the size exceeds a certain, comparatively high, minimum, this is merely desired, and is not always significant; if the size does not reach this minimum, this may have principally negative consequences.
However, sometimes the very contemplation of a small penis may be a repulsive factor; of course, because it signifies low rank of its owner, not because of a low estimate of mechanical capacities of a small tool. Looking back at Napoleon, I can suggest that the difficulties in his relations with Josephine are coming from her inability to percept him as a high-ranked male (despite all his achievements); this all being at the same time as achieving favour of any other woman was not a big deal for him (as a super-HR).
      In the light of said above it becomes clear that only low-ranked and/or low-primative women will have most friendly attitude to small penises. High-ranked and high-primative women will be, on the contrary, biased to choose big phalluses.
Side effect: Surgery or any other mechanical penis enlargement will hardly have any significant effect on sexual successfulness. This is because it cannot significantly influence the other facial and behavioural features specific to the bearer's rank. The show-window (which very little will want to see) in this case will simply lie about the goods on sale.

(*) Translator's note: this approximately means "Luka Bollockson". This is a famous erotic poem of the beginning of XIX century, in which a sexually disturbed heroine was dreaming about "no less than 10 vershoks long" (44.5 cm) phallus.

What Now?

      Statistics fully confirm the above reasoning. Among sexual partners of women (here and further- in countries with mostly europeoid population) the group of males with penises smaller than 11cm constituted not more than 2-3% of all sexual partners, at the same time there are about 10-15% of such males in the overall population. On the other hand, over half of sexual partners are males with big penises (over 20cm), but these also constitute only about 15% of male population. In addition to that, according to [2], owners of penises longer than 17.5cm have more than 7 sexual partners a year, whilst owners of penises shorter than 14.3cm (which is, strictly speaking, a rather mediocre size) - not more than 3. It is a pity that Edwards did not separate the males into groups with phalluses shorter than 12, shorter than 8, longer than 22 and longer than 26cm - this would be of particular interest.
      Additionally, anyone can estimate the statistics of sexual activity by specifics of production of condoms. European standard EN 600 requires production of condoms 44 to 56mm wide (semi-circumvention), which in average amounts to 28 to 36mm in diameter (a Russian standard, GOST 4645-81, specifies even narrower margins: 50 to 54mm), but the products less than 52mm wide (this is about 33mm in diameter) are produced in very small numbers. Shops also offer non-standard products of large and extra-large sizes.
      To reliably secure a condom on a penis, it is important not to extend it more than by 10%; apart from risk that it will slip off, too spacious condom significantly reduces sexual feelings. On the other hand, if it is extended more than 1.5 times, it will cause pain, especially when putting it on, and there is increased risk of tearing the condom.
      Therefore, ideally, condoms should have not less than 4-5 size steps, starting from 28, and up to 75mm wide, to satisfy the demand of almost any males, apart from may be the most unique cases. However, as it has been said before, the products for penises with more than 36mm in diameter (this is about 12.5cm in length), are almost absent from retail, even though there are over 15% of such men in the overall population. There are only 3 condom size steps, from 52 to 70 mm wide, including the Extra Large. Theoretically this discriminates every seventh or even sixth man, but we don't hear any complaints. The number of males with big penises (over 22cm in length) in nature does not exceed the number of males with small penises (under 12.5cm), and condoms of large sizes are produced and successfully sold, but the condoms of small sizes are not. Yes, the owners of "mignons" may be shy to announce their problems, but it is not possible to blame on this the TOTAL absence of manufacturing of small condoms, especially prescribed by a standard. This can only be explained by objective absence of commercially acceptable demand. There is no demand to have small condoms! Does this mean that the owners of small penises are totally deprived of sexual life? Of course, it does not. But almost all of this life is limited to a lawful marriage, in which condoms are used very rarely, and the sexual life is regulated by written laws, rather than by instinctive urges.
      Primordial sex is almost impossible for such males, which undoubtedly tells about their low instinctive attractiveness as sires.
Phalluses sizes
Distribution of sizes of phalluses. Borrowed from [2]. The lower green line shows the circumvention of a non-extended standard condom 52mm wide, the higher green line shows the circumvention of a penis, on which the standard condom will be secured reliably without adding unpleasant feelings. It is apparent that for at least 15% of males the standard condom (actually, the smallest available) is too big. XXL - the circumvention of a non-extended condom of extra-large size. The higher blue line is the higher margin of comfortable use of such condom. Above the specified margin there are only singular exemplars.


      Thus we can consider the correlation between the penis size of a male and his rank potential well explained (at least for sexual relations, where the rank potential is expressed in sexual success and demand of such a male). Indeed, the owners of big penises are more attractive to women, and therefore they satisfy them sexually more often, but the reason of this is not in the mechanics of the coitus itself, but in association between the penis size and the male's rank potential, on which depend the aforementioned attractiveness and satisfaction. Also the association is two-way. On the one hand, a male is percepted as high or low-ranked only because of his possession of a smaller or bigger penis (a visual sign of his rank). On the other hand, the penis size INDEED reflects with certain probability the biologically determined RP of a male, and this potential is seen and felt even without observing his genitals, which biases the choice of males with bigger penises for coitus without actual estimate of the penis size. The complexes of microphallic men about the insufficiency of the size of their penises, is secondary; it only emphasizes the laws mentioned above, and it is not its cause.

Literature (3,4,7,8 - in russian)

1. Griffin. How to increase size of penis
2. R. Edwards. The size of penis - scientific approach
3. Igor Kohn. Taste of forbidden fruit
4. Igor Kohn. Male's body as a erotic object
5. A. Protopopov. The Treatise of Love, as it is recognized by awful bore
6. A. Protopopov. Frequently Asked Questions on human ethology
7. V. Ilyin. Differential psychophisiology of man and woman
8. V. Dolnik Ethological excursion on forbidden gardens of humanitarists
9. A. Protopopov. Cold facts or hot passion, does size matter