Penis size matters a lot… if you’re aiming to get your company featured in the news, that is – as recent headlines in The Sun and The Daily Mail confirm:
Men in Stoke-on-Trent have the longest willies in Britain
FELLAS from Stoke-on-Trent are blessed with the biggest manhoods in Britain, according to a new survey.
The claim will no doubt please Robbie Williams, guitarist Slash and Claire Danes’s husband Hugh Dancy, who all hail from the town, along with darts champ Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
Source: The Sun, 14 February 2013
This is a perfect story for the tabloids – released around Valentine’s Day, it has the feel of research, it comes with a cheeky headline, it plays into the double-sided stereotype of penis size being both important and unimportant, it gets to label entire sections of the country as being physically inadequate while throwing in a tokenistic ‘but we know it’s not a big deal’, and it fits perfectly into the water-cooler zone of news.
The mail even goes as far as to press home the intrinsic value of a large penis:
But when it comes to girth, it’s Bristol chaps who claim the top prize, followed by those in Oxford, Leeds and Newcastle. (My emphasis)
What’s more, the newspaper has an excuse to run all manner of photos of celebrities as illustrations – including the headline image of Robbie Williams, illustrating neatly what a massive penis looks like.
Of course, behind the juicy and saucy and cheeky and other-adjectives-used-to-justify—unhelpful-nonsense headlines lies a company looking to flog product and gain publicity. Step forward, condom manufacturer Theyfit:
However the survey, from condom makers TheyFit, does suggest the average man on the street may be deluded when it comes to his size.
We even get a mealy-mouthed quote from company founder Joe Nelson, explaining exactly why this meaningless PR exercise is actually not a meaningless PR exercise at all, but serious and important research:
Joe Nelson, founder of the website, said: ‘Our anonymised data represents the most accurate survey of penis sizes ever collected.
‘Previous studies have relied on self-reported measurements from men, leading to an issue of “size exaggeration”.
‘But men buying our condoms are much less likely to do this for two reasons – firstly because they are parting with money for a custom fit condom and secondly because of our size code system (rather than labels like small, medium and large), there’s simply less focus on whether someone is bigger or smaller – it’s all about getting a custom fit.
Even if this were true – and, given that this entire story is just a way of telling people that Theyfit produce condoms, that’s no guarantee – the methodology is woefully flawed by the simple fact that the sample population is entirely self-selected, and thus non-representative.
While avoiding a show of hands (I’m not interested in where you buy your johnnies, dear readers), I’d imagine very few male readers of this article had heard of this particular company. In fact, the only people likely to be customers are those who have had issues with condoms in the past and have actually heard of this niche company. I’d imagine the overlap in that Venn diagram won’t win any ‘prizes’ for girth.
It’s certainly fair to say that customers of a customised condom company are not the best group of people to quiz in order to find out the penis size of every other male in the country.
Still, that said, who are we to deny the tabloids the chance to mock up a map of UK cocks, headed up (quite rightly) by King Cock in the form of Robbie Williams.
And if there’s anyone out there who already feels uncomfortable with their body – driven, no doubt in part, by news articles such as this one – then never fear, I’m sure there’ll be another company along soon enough to sell you the solution to your fears.