Long time listener. Being a post doc scientist working with evolutionary genomics, I found the discussion of penis size in this week's episode disappointing.

First, and most important: even if a lot of women like smaller penises, if the average tendency is to like bigger penises, then those will be selected for. Natural selection is very effective over a large number of years and would respond to even, say, 51% of women preferring larger penises and 49% of women preferring smaller. Assuming there are no associated costs associated with larger penises, crucially. But there are indeed evolutionary costs associated with larger penises. Heat loss, more blood required to get and maintain erections, penises can be too large for intercourse with many women, etc. So it's a question of weighing the evolutionary costs and the benefits. Which in our ancestral societies ended up with a compromise of the current average, give or take a little depending on the population.

It can be viewed as the same question as "if women mostly prefer taller guys, why aren't guys taller?" To which the answer is that (1) they already are quite tall, and a lot taller than women on average. (2) There are evolutionary costs associated with being taller.

Actually humans do have remarkably large penises compared to the other apes.

Some minor points:

1. I think you could've been clearer that homosexual preference doesn't have any influence at all on the evolution of the penis size. Since homosexual couples have no offspring.

2. I don't really give much weight to the semen scoop theory of penis size. I think it is almost solely a result of female choosiness. But this is up to debate.

3. How come women prefer penises a little larger than normal? This is a question I find quite interesting. The boring (but plausible) answer is that it's just a random happenstance of genitalia mechanics. The more interesting answer is that large penises are a peacock tail of a sort. Men with large penises are signaling "look what a large penis I can carry around, and I still have enough blood for it to go up whenever I want. That must mean Im very healthy." And women are of course attracted to healthiness, and evolutionarily interested in having sons who could send that same signal.

Dicks Interest Concerned Knowledges

Very interesting points—thank you for writing, DICKS. I would usually hold a letter like yours for Thursday, when we do responses to columns/podcasts, but I'm out of town and a little tipsy and don't really feel like now is the right time for me to operate the advice-column machinery. What with my diminished capacity and all.

But, hey, another dick related note: one of the Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth let me know about Dick Code, a website that lets you map out your dick for potential hookups. Since size isn't everything, it lets you notate foreskin, shape, curvature, girth, veins, etc., etc. (There's a Vagina Code for vaginas, too.) O brave new world that has such websites in't, the internet sure is something, there's nothing so queer as folk, etc.

And as for this letter, which just came in...

I ate some poison and I am currently dying—can you advise me on what to do?


P.S. I really admire the advice you give to degenerates. I also thoroughly enjoy the undertones of normalizing homosexuality and open relationships.

If you actually ate some poison, please go to the emergency room. If you're just an asshole, please eat some poison. Also, too: since variance is the norm when it comes to human sexuality, homosexuality and open relationships are perfectly normal and thus require no normalizing.

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