From Breadcrumbing to a Micro-Penis: Part 2
Updated: Feb 25
The Gory Details You Never wanted to Know, and I Never Wanted to See
Somehow, I avoided the knowledge that a micro-penis was a genuine thing until I was at least 40. I did hear the expression occasionally, but simply assumed it to be another exaggerated form of insult, like when we say any woman over a size 8 is a planet with eyes, but really we mean "normal size range but not slender". Without examining the issue too closely, pun not intended, I assumed all penises to be within an average range, with some on the smaller side.
I was wrong.
Before dishing the details as I promised to do, I have a favour to ask. Fellow traveller, if you haven't already read my latest short fiction story, Black Book, Black Heart, please do give it a once over. It's getting some really positive feedback, and if you do like it, I'd be grateful for a heart :)
And now, back to the story...
As time and the internet went on (and on) I came across various online manifestations of the micro-penis. But I'm not a Bread and Circuses sort of girl, I've always avoided hate-watching shows and actively turn away from things that disgust, upset, embarrass or offend me. And anyway, once you've seen one online micro-penis, you've seen them all. But yes, by the time the internet had seized every corner of our lives, I'd incorporated the notion that the world is full of strangeness and that includes within the variety of genitalia.
But I hadn't encountered a micro-penis in the wild before.
I hadn't slept with a huge amount of partners either when I re-entered the perilous arena of dating in my late 40s, I wasn't into double figures, but I'd seen smallish, mediumish and largish, and was quite contented with that sample size.
And then I met He Who Shall Not Be Named. I'll avoid making mention of anything which could easily identify HW. I doubt very much he'll ever see this, I haven't heard from him in years, but still, I'll be as careful as possible.
HW was quite forward in his pursuit of a date, in the way men of my age group and era tend to be, and as a child of the 70s, that suited me fine. 70's and 80's televised and filmed romantic fare was an endless variant on the theme of "faint heart never won fair maiden". So I understand that he'd been groomed to some extent to have assertive policy when it came to pursuing romantic and sexual pursuits.
HW was in his very late 50s, at the high end of the age group I considered likely to be compatible. I was pretty unsure what dating any man would be like after experiencing a 23-year hiatus, but I knew I didn't want to date anybody much younger than me, and high 50s seemed reasonable enough. I hadn't actually considered the fact that some men aren't particularly sexual once they're passed the 50 mark, though that was a conversation I wish I, and he, had pursued more openly.
He was pretty bold and asked me out quickly and although I wasn't certain about him, I was also uncertain of my own observations as it had been so long. It did feel like there was something hidden about him (and not just in hindsight), something more to be found out, lurking just under the surface. He was in reasonable shape for a man of nearly 60, intelligent, had a sense of humour and was keen on taking me out for dinner, drinks, and a few movies, and I thought well, what the hell? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
On our first date, which was otherwise quite pleasant, I do recall he tried to sneak an insult past me. I won't go into boring details, but it did not succeed in making me feel insecure. I've definitely got plenty of areas of insecurity, but a man I don't know negging me will have little to no effect. However, that should have been a clue. Perhaps he disliked himself enough to believe that if I disliked myself enough, I'd stick around for what he had to offer (or didn't). Or perhaps he was just entitled enough to think it was ok to insult a woman he barely knew.
After about 5 dates, where we'd indulged in some kissing and cuddling, the subject of sex reared itself naturally enough (so many unintentional puns). By this time I had been to his home on one occasion, where he'd insisted, and I do mean insisted, on giving me a foot rub. I wondered if he might have a foot fetish, which I could have learned to live with I guess, depending on how just how fetishy the fetish was. But looking back I think not. I think he was trying to put off the fateful bedroom date for as long as he could. He did behave a little strangely, it all felt quite scripted. Like when he showed me around his home and announced that he was showing me his bedroom, so I'd have the idea about his bed in my head. A bit odd, and calculated, like he'd worked out everything he was going to say in advance. And he didn't jump me, or attempt to jump me. Which could be construed as gentlemanly and lovely behaviour, or the behaviour of someone who didn't really want to have sex with me. Or something in between, perhaps.
While chatting about the subject of sex, as he was dropping me home, he asked if I'd picked a man older than me because I thought that an older guy might not be interested in rumpy pumpy (he didn't use that phrase, but my schoolfriend Caroline did 35 years ago and it's stuck in my head forevermore. Thanks Carrie).
I laughingly reminded him that he had messaged me, and said no, it honestly hadn't occurred to me. Which it hadn't. And that I was interested in a sexual relationship. Which I was. I was still in my late 40s, the notion of erectile dysfunction caused by health issues or lack of sexual interest honestly hadn't entered my head at that point. Now I wonder if he was hoping I'd say yep, I just want someone to take me out for for a meal and hold my hand at weddings and funerals.
So I was heading towards 50, not a blushing maiden, and I understood that as we had been going out for a few weeks, talking about sex was natural enough. In fact, I'd been surprised he hadn't pursued it more actively. And something still felt off. He seemed to be putting on a good front, but there were moments that stuck out. The way he ordered his enormous Great Dane around struck me as overly and unecessarily domineering. He'd mentioned a violent, drunken father. Don't get me wrong, my father was both a drinker and a man prone to violence, and I totally understand that we don't all turn out like our parents, but he didn't seem to have done much self examination about his past, no real introspection or mention of how he'd overcome his upbringing. He was vague about the reasons why he'd had no contact with his ex wife and his adult daughter for a long time. But all of these things could be explained away, and I do tend to be very open, which isn't everyone's modus operandi. He also seemed to enjoy a glass of wine or three a bit too much. As the daughter of an alcoholic I notice such things. All in all, HW just felt a bit too tightly buttoned up. The jury was still out.
He was, to his credit, generous (too generous, I insisted on at least buying the popcorn or a couple of drinks when we went out, one thing I won't be accused of is being mercenary) and he seemed to want to impress me with his monetary situation. Again, this might have had something to do with our age group, but he was barking up the wrong tree entirely with me if he thought I was money-driven. Although my ex-husband and I had lived comfortably, in a large house, I'm just as happy in a caravan, so long as I've got Wi-Fi and running water, as I am in a large house in a nice neighbourhood. And a car, though an absolute must in Queensland, is one material necessity I barely notice let alone judge you on. I'll notice if it's an absolute clanker, or a hoon mobile, or if it's a horse-drawn carriage, and not much in between.
One evening, after exiting the films in Sunnybank, we were casting around in the underground car park for his vehicle. I pointed randomly to a large silver car nearby and asked "Is that it?" By his offended tone I may as well have pointed to a wheelbarrow. "Mine is a Mercedes" he almost hissed. My giggle and subsequent "Oops, sorry, cars aren't really my thing" in no way appeared to assuage his feelings and he glowered in silence for several moments before I successfully changed the subject.
Many men say they don't want materialistic values in a woman, but when confronted by someone who truly isn't interested in their wallet, sometimes it's a different story. Just saying.
At one point during the weeks that we dated, I had ended our tentative relationship. I didn't like the way he was not quite but nearly breadcrumbing me. Daft power plays are not my thing either. But on a night out on the turps with Lynn decided to text him back again. Friends shouldn't let friends drink and text. And so, a couple more weeks passed.
And now high noon in the bedroom was on the menu.
The lead up to this moment was not what you might call spontaneous. I do understand that the unplanned joie de vivre of youth might no longer be an option, but this felt like he had a battle strategy all planned out. You may recall me mentioning how my first accidental date, Warren, got rather hot and heavy after just one coffee and a couple of hours together, so clearly some 50 something men are definitely interested in trying to bed their dates without a grand design. But we're all different, after all, I told myself maybe he'd just been out of the dating game for a long time and was as nervous as I was....
There was, however, one more gigantic clue I really should have picked up on. On the day he'd insisted on the (very pleasant) foot rub, I'd made some comment about rubbing his feet reciprocally. Glancing down at his clodhoppers I playfully commented on their enormous size. HW was a big man, a couple of inches over 6 foot tall, and so his feet were in perfect proportion. However, he became instantly defensive and snapped "Yeah, well I've got a tiny dick!"
I just sort of laughed nervously. I'd no idea if he was kidding or not, and muttered somewhat confusedly "Um, I was only joking". He changed the subject swiftly.
And it would still never in a million years have occurred to me that what he meant by a tiny dick was, well, what he confronted me with. It had been the perfect time for him to tell me, to sit down and discuss it like adults. It would have saved us both a lot of discomfort.
Instead of me reading, or missing, clues, I believe he should have started a conversation. And before you tell me perhaps he was just too nervous to talk about it, he had enough confidence to get into bed and get naked. My personal opinion is that perhaps it was more that he thought if we got that far, I'd be roped in thanks to the sunk cost fallacy, or bonded to him through sympathy, or something like that.
I don't think he couldn't talk about it, I think he didn't talk about it. Big difference.
I can't imagine what it's like for HW to have the penis he has, but I know what it was like to be the woman in bed with him who was expected to normalise what was anything but normal, at least to me.
And so, that takes us to the fateful night. This was to be the first time I'd had sex with anybody except my ex husband in more than two decades. I was a nervous wreck. I stopped at the local chemist to buy a brush for my hair and the toothbrush I'd forgotten to pack. I daresay he was anxious too.
And if you're considering a "be kind" admonishment, I will ask you instead to be kind to me. I had no control over this situation. I did not know. He did. Why wasn't he kinder? I feel compassion for him, absolutely. And I was kind at the time. But I also feel sympathy for me. Why put me in that frankly awful position? If I'd turned up with a vagina which was so strange and dysfunctional (I know that word seems cruel, but it's the only accurate one) that we actually couldn't have any standard type of sex, you might indeed feel sorry for me. But I'm damn sure you'd feel sorry for the bloke who was expected to just play along too.
So there I was in my specially purchased black slip, no way I was taking my undies off just yet, but everything was black and lacy. I may be no spring chicken, but I'm damned if I'll turn up trussed up in matron's granny knickers. The lights were low, the mood was good, we'd had a cocktail, it was time to take the plunge. Into bed we got, a little light foreplay. Then he took off his underpants.
I honestly don't remember what I said when I saw it. Something placatory, something kind, or nothing much. I'm not a cruel person and I've never laughed at a disability or kicked someone when he's down. And disability this surely was. I honestly do not know how he managed to father a child, because there is no way they had standard penetrative sex. It was, indeed, micro. About the size of my pinky, and the same width, fully erect, or at least so I assume. I wasn't for touching it, but tried to be nice about it. It was just a really unpleasant looking organ, pale white and nothing at all like a standard penis. I do recall he said it had been developing normally until he hit puberty. Poor bloke.
People sometimes claim that men's penises are ugly. That's nonsense. They're perfectly nice to look at if you're interested in the man sexually, particularly when you're in the mood and they're proudly standing to attention.
But this one wasn't at all nice to look at. I didn't want to touch it. My interest in sex was utterly snuffed out. So now I was trapped in a bedroom with a large man who had hinted at a penchant for violence, had had a couple of drinks and was not at all subtle about his sense of entitlement. We talked, He wanted me to try to get him aroused, so I tried tentatively, and we discussed how we could do that in the future. I wasn't lying at that point, I was doing what many women will recognise, I was sort of outside myself and just saying whatever felt safest for the moment. I don't say he was threatening precisely, but it was a shit of situation to be in and I'd no idea if he might become threatening if I tried to leave or made it clear I'd no interest in further pursuit of a relationship. I felt sad for him, disappointed for me, and above all confused about what he thought we'd been going to accomplish. But it didn't feel safe to leave, nor did I want to make him feel worse by doing so. Therefore I stayed, we finally slept, and so the long night passed.
And that was how I came to see a micro-penis at the advanced age of 48, something I had never hoped to encounter, and I know I never will again, for a number of reasons, not least I'm getting married in May and my fiance's is the last willy I ever intend to encounter.
HW was not as advertised, and he knew I was not asexual, so why did he persevere in the fiction to this point? Honestly, I do not know his reasons.
But I do know this. I feel terrible sympathy for any man with a micro-penis. But the kindest thing would be to ensure that your partner doesn't want standard penetrative sex, rather than being disingenous, and especially after she has said she is interested in sex. His penis repulsed me. I know there are many who will think I'm hateful for saying that, but we cannot alter what attracts us or otherwise by willing ourselves to do so. There are plenty of women, I'm sure, who'd be happy enough just to kiss and snuggle. I'm not one of them and I had made that clear.
I'm no oil painting and do not claim to be perfect. But this is NOT the same thing. God forbid something terrible should happen to my fiance, but that's an entirely different matter too. I love him, am devoted to him, we are meant for each other on so many levels, and I would never leave him if he should by some horrible fickle finger of fate lose the ability to be the virile man he is. We'd find a way around it, or I'd get used to that no longer being part of my life.
But this wasn't that. I didn't love HW, we were only starting out together, there were no promises made to one another, no promises of love. I will always support my loved ones, whatever happens. But expecting a healthy, sexual woman who has made it clear she wants a healthy, sexual relationship to settle instead for something else entirely, something she finds really off-putting, I don't think that's fair or realistic. And I don't see any other way it could have ended, but with me walking away.
The whole incident left me feeling a bit yuck. It was not a position I would have chosen to be put in. I wish he'd had the insight to just tell me before we got to that stage instead of introducing such a profound (to me) disability by stealth. I didn't tell anybody about being in bed with a man with a micro-penis for several years after it happened. I'm only writing about it now after telling my partner and my closest friend about it. I felt, in a weird way, ashamed to talk about it.
And now I've told the world, or at least those of you who subscribe to, follow and read my words. I really hope HW has found someone that suits him, and that he's happy. I hope she's not easily perturbed, and I hope she's contented with a glass of wine and a foot rub, because that's all she's getting.
(Author's inner voice: I bet that's put the cat among the pigeons...) Thanks so much for reading, do feel free to comment and share. And look out for PodCast 3 which will be released in the next few days, All about Grief, Loss and Forgiveness, and what not to say to someone who is suffering (if you want to actually be helpful that is!).
Don't forget you can support my work here now on Buymeacoffee, all donations, large or small, gratefully accepted. It takes, time, effort and cold hard cash to keep creating, and I very much appreciate anyone supporting my work.
And until the next time, constant reader, fair winds and a following sea.
Queensland, Australia, February 2021
Copyright Alison Tennent 2021, all rights reserved, if you are reading this anywhere except The Garrulous Glaswegian Website, or Medium, I may have been plagiarized, please drop me a line.