3 July 2006
The Conspicuous Penis: Crotch Watching
by Paul Aitken
I don't crotch-watch as a rule, and given my status as a heterosexual man I suppose that isn't all that surprising. The last crotch I remember feasting my eyes on was on the cover of Sticky Fingers (Oh, and by the way, just so you know, that's NOT Mick Jagger's crotch on display. The crotch in question belongs to Joe Dallesandro, a member of Andy Warhol's posse – Andy designed the cover). As I recall though, I have noticed the outline of Sir Mick's dick in some film or photo. Ditto for Robert Plant... David Bowie... I could go on. Cocks have always been pretty front-and-center in rock n' roll. Spandex was invented in 1959 at the height of rock n' roll and it was no doubt registering the imprint of some rock star's dick shortly thereafter. But apart from rockers and maybe Mikhail Baryshnikov, I don't recall ever casting a sidelong glance at some guy's clothed crotch. I came of age in the blue-jeaned seventies, so if some guy had a hammer-sized dick I suppose I would have noticed, but for the most part it was out-of-sight out-of-mind. This has been doubly true in the decades following, since khakis and loose-fit took over the world.
I don't generally watch women's crotches either. I've known guys who are quick to pick out a camel-toe impression, but my eyes drift to the face and breasts. I'm an expert at breast watching, actually. One or two glances at the way in which the wind blows the fabric across a woman's body will reveal in my mind the shape, not just of her breasts, but of her whole naked body that I swear would be indistinguishable from the reality. It's a gift really. One that I'm sure I share broadly with my gender as we guys are visual creatures. We're good at spatial processing. We can read maps, rotate three-dimensional objects in our heads and determine from the folds in a woman's dress, precisely what her bare breasts will look like as she straddles our naked hips and whips us with her hair.
Women aren't like that, of course. Their acuity is verbal, emotional. The visual elements of their attraction are infused with emotional meaning. They'll notice a man's smile, the warmth of his eyes. Sure they'll take in the full physical impression, his height, his hands, but they certainly don't hone in on sexual imagery. When did you ever walk into a woman's work area and see the latest Playgirl centerfold hanging above the filing cabinet? Women simply don't look at men the way men look at women.
At least that's what I thought anyway. I've spent pretty much my entire adult life in the frankly comforting belief that my meat-and-two-veg were never on display. Don't get me wrong, I'm not averse to showing a woman my penis. In my youth the reciprocal display of nakedness was pretty much my highest aspiration. But there have been many times - fresh from a cold swim, for instance, or during the bulk of my adolescence when I had a hard-on a good fifty percent of the time - that I was grateful for the invention of pants. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I might as well have been wearing saran wrap the entire time.
I came to this conclusion after I scrolled through an online female sexuality forum (hey, it's research!) and came upon a topic entitled "crotch-watching." I went from there to other online forums and even began asking female friends if this is something they did. They all admitted that this is something they had (to varying degrees) engaged in. It was a revelation. I felt I had inadvertently stumbled across a secret truth, like discovering that the Earth really is being ruled by aliens. Now that I know, I feel I must let the secret out. So listen up guys, women not only look at a man's crotch, but they're just as adept at determining the shape and size of a guy's dick as we are in determining the size and shape of their breasts. And get this: They almost all do it and they do it a lot. A man's crotch is the first thing they check out after the face. And forget about the rest of the body parts women are supposedly attracted to. According to a recent survey on what body parts women notice, face and crotch were 45 percent and 38 percent respectively. Hands, chest, butt, hair, abs etc. polled in the single digits. All this finger wagging about how we guys are obsessed with our penises and it turns out women think about our dicks even more than we do!
Now, while crotch-watching is an apparently universal pastime, the manner in which it's done is highly individual. Some women do it once in a while, others do compulsively. Some women try to visualize the naked penis, others just want to be reassured that there's something there. Some sneak a quick glance, others will take a nice long stare (as long as they think you aren't looking – nobody wants to get caught!). But from all the information I've been able to glean over the last week or so I've arrived at a couple of universal principles.
- A woman will only check out your crotch if she's attracted to you. If you're ugly, short, a total jerk or anybody she would rather claw her eyes out than sleep with, rest assured her eyes won't be settling on your crotch. In computer parlance this would be known as a conditional statement. If A then B. And it's not: If A then maybe B. If she's attracted she WILL check out your crotch. She may not be able to make anything out, but at some point her eyes will drift there. Nor will the statement generally be: If B then A. Only rarely will a woman look at the crotch first and then decide she wants some guy. This may be the one of the great differences between men and woman. For some guys the sight of cleavage is like peripheral motion to a cat. It snaps their attention into focus.
- Size matters. It's not that women are looking for a summer sausage resting on your thigh. But if all they discern is a cocktail weenie then B will force a reevaluation of A. Again this is one of the differences between men and women. I don't know of any guy who would turn down sex with an attractive woman because her breasts weren't big enough. But women can be turned off by a small penis. Note that this is apparently a visual aesthetic. It isn't a matter of what she perceives the erect size might be. Given the choice of a 3" inch flaccid and 7" erect penis or 5" flaccid and 6" erect penis, every woman that responded stated her preference for the 5" and 6" combo. Seems that women are visual creatures after all.
So what should you do, now you know that women are looking? Well, that depends on whether you're packing a salami or a pepperoni stick. If you're got the goods, by all means advertise. But don't overdo it. Spandex bike short are okay but spray painted-on jeans are a no-no. One way to accentuate what you have without looking like you're trying to, is to wear your dick on the right side. The zipper adds a triple layer of fabric on the left side and tends to break the visual line. On the right side it's all dick, from base to head.
If you'd rather hide what you have, then wear baggy pants. Pleated khaki's are like lead to a woman's x-ray vision, but be aware that when you're sitting you're still somewhat exposed (although women prefer to look at men's crotches when they're standing). Now I know what you're thinking. If women can wear padded bras, then surely we can add some padding of our own. Take my advice, if you're not already packing a cucumber it's probably best not to shove one down your pants. I know, I know, it's a double standard, but if A becomes B and that that leads to C, trust me. If she's got her heart set on summer sausage and all you can serve up is a cocktail weenie, it's not going to be much of a feast for either of you.