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The Myth of the Small Asian Cock

Four Asian-American men reality check the not-so-tiny stereotype

We may be in the thick of the “Woke Years” of the 2010s, so why are low-hanging punchlines about small Asian dicks still easy pickings?

During the 2016 Oscars, Sacha Baron Cohen dropped a punchline mixing up Asians and Minions—yeah, the animated ones—as “hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs.” The writers of Hangover 2 thought they should dedicate screen time to the three white protagonists finding a passed-out Chow, played by Ken Jeong as a bizarro villain-turned-comedic relief character, with his “tiny mushroom dick” out (“Is it shiitake?” one whispers as the trio stares at the tiny member). ESPN columnist Jason Whitlock (who is black) once tweeted after a magnificent performance from Chinese-American NBA player Jeremy Lin (then with the New York Knicks) that “some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight.” And for a dumbfounding self-own, recall the 2016 series of the reality show The Bachelorette when one male contestant, “Jonathan from Vancouver,” introduced himself to leading lady Jojo with this stunner: “I’m half-Chinese, half-Scottish, but luckily for me, I’m half-Scottish below the waist.” (“What does that even mean?” she replied, cringing).

Far from being just dumb and insulting, these instances are just knots on a fuse that winds back to the 19th century, when exclusionary attitudes toward Asians in America were first ignited. A rise in national wealth and its appetite for infrastructure, notably on the Western frontier, brought waves of Chinese and other Asian workers to build America up. Those who saw them as intruders had plenty of material to make Asians into the “Other”—by pointing out unusual hairstyles, facial features, stature and culture. And where Asian women were exotified and teased into a toxic yellow-fever stereotype, Asian men were depicted as submissive, physically impotent beings who schemed with their brains in order to compensate for small dicks. This, despite modern research saying that the vast majority of Asian men have average-sized penises, with a fairly normal distribution of extra-big and extra-small examples.

“Instilling the message in a young man that he has a small (read: inadequate) cock cuts him down to size, informs him of his failure, his essential inadequacy, which can only mean that the one relaying the message must be more adequate than he,” writes Pulitzer-winning journalist Alex Tizon in his book, Big Little Man: Searching for My Asian Self. “Spreading the rumor of an entire race of small-cocked men gives the rumormonger something to stand on to make him feel big­ger. And it must mean that the monger’s race is more masculine, more worthy of the affections of women, more deserving of re­spect and admiration from other men.”

Some Asian men fight back against the stereotype by bellowing about falsehoods and poring over scientific studies, as on the subreddit AznIdentity, where users compared more than a dozen published pieces of penis-size research to reaffirm that Asian dicks are average. Others try to compensate by showing off their big dicks, bucking the stereotype in public forums. Others still try to ignore the myth altogether.

Whichever the case, the stereotype is something that Asian men learn to live with, in the same way that black men contend with assumptions that they must have giant genitalia (and the lack of intellect to match, as many racist caricatures propose). As the seminal black writer James Baldwin noted: “It was more a matter of its color than its size… the color was its size.” For our own reality check, we talked to four Asian-American men about the stereotype, how it impacts their sexual identity and what society oughta do about a mistaken belief that still runs rampant in pop culture.

Eden, 30
I started running into jokes about Asian penises when I was a young teenager who was obsessed about how I stacked up down there. I was always conscious in the school gym locker room, for instance—not like, freaking out and being insecure about my size, but kinda looking around at other guys, checking that I wasn’t some small-dicked outlier. One of the issues is that I’m a grower, not a shower. So one thing I used to want to say out loud in the locker room was, ‘Hey, I’m not displaying my full size here! Don’t lump me in with the stereotype! I’m completely average!’

Which is what I am—average, at least based on the studies I’ve seen online that put it at about 5 inches. I think what messes with my head the most is the pornography I watch. I try not to watch really toxic stuff but there’s a lot of reinforcing that a big dick satisfies women the best, so anything else is some kind of compromise. I try, though, to remember that women in real life aren’t porn stars. They have sexual desires that are more human and well-rounded than just an obsession with a dick. I know that’s true partly because I feel the same way about women—I’m not turned on by a 10 out of 10 body if it’s a bad, boring person inside of it. Despite all that, I still worry once in a while that a woman will see me and think, ‘Meh, weak Asian penis, as expected.’

Huang, 23
I feel really comfortable with my dick, and I enjoy showing it off, whether that’s in real life or on r/BigAsianCock or elsewhere on the internet. It’s my way of fighting back against all these stupid-ass jokes about Asians being small. We’re always depicted as being feminine, small-statured, small-dicked, passive, whatever. Regardless of the fact that you can find a lot of Asian guys in the real world who are more handsome than you, stronger than you, bigger, richer, more powerful. That includes having a big dick, too.

It’s fun to surprise women with a 7.5-inch dick when they’re maybe expecting something closer to half that size. Several partners have commented on the size, sometimes with some shock mixed in, stuff like, “You must be the biggest Asian guy ever.” But depending on my mood, that shit can be a little upsetting, too. Like why’d you even have such an expectation in your head? If dick size isn’t supposed to matter, why are you assuming things about me? I don’t have much to complain about. But clearly the myth is out there.

Jerold, 27
I’m four inches, which is small enough that I have no choice but to acknowledge I’m below average. So I embrace the stereotype, especially as I’ve been part-timing as a cross-dressing cam girl. I try not to go around saying, “Not all Asians have dicks like mine!” It’s not an insecurity thing—losing my virginity in high school helped with that, and I had girlfriends assure me what I have is fine. I’m only unhappy with my size for pragmatic reasons, and that’s always been the case. There are some pretty major sexual acts that can’t be done with a really small dick.

I can’t think of a time when I understood dicks but wasn’t aware of racial stereotypes about them. But it seems these days more people seem to genuinely want to know whether the myth is true or not rather than just having it as a racist joke. There’s gotta be like 50 Reddit threads asking this question earnestly.

I certainly think about it while I make porn—“cute dick” has to be the most amazing backhanded compliment in the world. I got that on my first time being naked on the internet. You know, it’s common to advertise how massive you are in the world of trans and gender-bending porn. The sexual fantasy is to be ridiculously passing and also have a porn-star cock. I don’t have that. So “cute dick” was the strangest compliment imaginable, and it made me see the position I was in, where there was something to like about it, rather than just being compared unfavorably to the, um, huge she-dicks waving on the front page of the cam site (laughs).

I’m learning more and more, though, that I legit don’t have to worry about ways I may not “measure up.” And so, I worry about size no more or less than about how I might not get to see all the exotic places in the world I want to.

James, 35
A part of me feels like the less we talk about the stereotype, the better. People oughta just forget everything they assume about penis size. That’s wishful thinking, though. I know everyone’s mind is mulling what’s underneath another person’s clothes. And if you’re Asian, you benefit from everyone thinking you’re smart and gifted and then suffer when they also think those traits come with a small peen.

In the gay community, being Asian can be a very fetishized experience. Some people even remark about how fit I am, and how much bigger and more muscular I am than the average Asian guy—average in air quotes, of course. Maybe they just imagine an Asian that’s skinny and a twink. They’re certainly out there, and good for them. But I’m not them. I don’t have a small penis. Sorry if that’s your fantasy.

On second thought, I wish that maybe we could just reverse the joke and make light of Asians with monster dongs, terrorizing neighborhoods like a Godzilla penis or something. Because I dunno how else we fight back against the guys out there who make themselves laugh by writing a racist joke about small Asian dicks into a movie or a stand-up routine or whatever.