How to Do It

Nothing Seems to Prepare Women for What They’ll Find in Bed With Me

Some of their eyes have lit up.

Man measuring something with his hands.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

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How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear How to Do It,

Backstory, my wife of 30 years and I stopped having sex about seven years ago, but that’s another letter. I recently got on the apps and have had a few adventures and have seen a few pros. But I keep running into one problem.

I really am larger than average and girthy. Not porn actor size, but large. I try to tell women that, but every guy says that, and from what I’ve heard they lie. I’ve had some women tap out, including a couple of pros. Then again, I’ve had some whose eyes lit up when I took off my pants. Is there a way to tell a woman that yes, I am larger than average, really? Any suggestions?

Rich: Big dick problems are the first-world problems of the nether region.

Stoya: You know I have my twitch about unrealistic beliefs about pornography.

Rich: Yes.

Stoya: Eight inches is frequently porn actor size.

Rich: 100 percent.

Stoya: Not everyone in porn is Lexington Steel. (Who, by the way, smells fantastic.) But not everyone in porn has a dick the size of my arm, and people with penises in porn are often merely on the larger end of the average, if that, especially as amateur performers increasingly create their own work.

Rich: Right. Yeah. Seems like a porn dick to me that he’s described.

Stoya: Yeah.

Rich: I mean, are sending pics not in the equation here? I don’t quite understand the problem. A dick pic allows you to literally eyeball it. The photo comes through and you’re like, “OK.” Granted, you should be aware of the way men bend the truth. I’m assuming this goes for straight people, too but there is a Grindr eight inches, which is more like six inches. And then there’s a real eight inches, and the more photographic proof that you’re provided, the more you can trust that what you’re being told is the truth.

Stoya: Sometimes I do a thing called cock ratings. People send me pictures of their penis, I tell them exactly what I think of it. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job. But one time this guy sent a picture of his dick erect next to a water bottle, but like a—

Rich: Classic.

Stoya: Refillable water bottle, not something I know the dimensions of.

Rich: Oh, OK.

Stoya: Because the ruler is such a cheesy trope, I would say use a water bottle, but use specifically something everyone can recognize the size of.

Rich: A hundred percent, like a Poland Spring.

Stoya: Yeah. Just something—

Rich: Standard.

Stoya: Don’t try to get creative and aesthetic here and do something pretty.

Rich: No. But I mean, to the point of the ruler, if this is really such an issue, then he really could send a picture of himself measuring his dick as absolute proof. No one’s going to argue with that.

Stoya: Yeah.

Rich: Maybe our writer is older and unaware of how things work, but the fact that he’s asking the question when there’s such an obvious answer, at least to me, makes me also wonder if he doesn’t want to send his dick pic. Maybe that’s not an option for some reason.

In which case, I think the only thing you can do is acknowledge the fact, guys lie, it’s true. “I am a true eight inches, I’m not an app eight inches.” When people acknowledge the reality that people lie about this stuff and say, “I swear I’m not one of those,” it becomes at least more convincing to me. But then again, if I’m looking for dick and somebody’s telling me they have a big dick, I’m so eager at that point that it doesn’t really take that much to convince me. It’s like, “OK, yeah, I believe you.” Because I want to believe.

Stoya: I love girth. I looooove girth. But not only because of my own personal preferences, girth is the more relevant measurement here. You don’t have to insert your full length. You can simply thrust shallowly, you can use a couple of fingers around the base, you can use an Ohnut. There are all sorts of ways that you can prevent overly deep penetration. There’s nothing you can do to reduce girth. So it’s actually the girth that I think is the more pertinent measurement here for his audience.

Rich: A good scale for girth is coins. Lay a coin on your dick, a quarter works best, most people are still familiar enough with them.

Stoya: Great. I think that one doesn’t need to be any more complicated than it is.

Rich: I agree.

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I’m a procrastinator; my partner is a do-it-yesterday-er. Earlier this year, I was kvetching about doing my taxes. My partner, by way of motivation, said “Get ‘em done and I’ll blow you.” Because my partner is very Good at That, I got to work immediately, but was held up by some missing paperwork. Flash forward to now, and the missing form is in hand. Pleased with myself for filing, I mentioned to my partner that I’d be taking that BJ at their next earliest convenience.