Friday, December 20, 2013

Sorry Guys, Santa Claus Will Not be Giving You the Gift of a Larger Penis This Year: A Conversation With Patrick Moote, the Star of the New Documentary "Unhung Hero"

For many men around the world, God's finger is a topic of much conversation and fascination. I know that I am not the only man who in his youth and teens has over a few beers--or many more--argued about how to best and most accurately measure the length and girth of his penis.

A balance must be struck between exaggeration and verisimilitude in that as well as in all other things. I always default to the noble lie--or having the lights off and extraordinary amounts of foreplay if the issue is at all ever in doubt.

As they negotiate their personal identities, women most certainly have to struggle with issues of body, identity, beauty, and self-esteem. Patriarchy is real. The cultural obsession with the size of men's penises--while not often discussed enough by the mass media in a mature and responsible way--is very real too and often to the detriment of men's mental health and self-esteem.

Given how racial subordination and the body intersect for black men, the Mandingo fantasy (and myth) is both a blessing and a curse. We are all prisoners of our bodies. Black men who believe that the social fiction of race endows them with unique and special biological powers in the genitals walk a fine line, as they have internalized a white supremacist notion about their breeding power and bestial natures, while then often trying to fight against the social and political implications of anti-black stereotypes in the United States and elsewhere.

In thinking through these issues of "penis politics", I was lucky to have interviewed both the subject and director of the new documentary (or "cockumentary") Unhung Hero which premiered at Sundance, and was recently released on DVD in the United States.

Unsung Hero has also been shown on Showtime.

We had a great conversation that will be of interest to anyone who was not born as a penis which just happens to have a man attached to it.

[Do you like that pithy? I thought hard and long about it. I slay myself sometimes...].

The "star" of Unsung Hero is named Patrick Moote. He both is smart and funny. In Unhung Hero, Patrick is so vulnerable and real as he experiences many a man's nightmare, and then embarks on a personal journey of self-discovery in a quest to make sense of his own relationship with an undersized matsutake that may (or may not) be able to bring satisfaction to a woman as it penetrates her jade gates.
1. I have to first commend your courage for being so vulnerable by telling your personal story in Unhung Hero. How did you build up the momentum? How many false starts were there for Unhung Hero?

Well, once we realized that my epic fail of a proposal might be a good pitching tool for the documentary, we really just had to get it out there, and the rest fell into place very quickly.

2. How did you pitch this project? Were you surprised, sitting there watching the movie on screen, that this all came to pass?

I still can’t believe this is happening. I am waiting for someone to be like, “PSYCH! No one really cares about your penis story. Put it away, bro.” Hasn’t happened yet, so fingers crossed.

3. I have to ask about the viral video of your girlfriend turning down your wedding proposal because she felt you were not sufficiently endowed. Naysayers and disbelievers would say there had to be more to the story. Was her complaint about your endowment just a proxy for some other issues?

There were plenty of other issues. I think in situations like that we usually choose to focus on the ones that make us look and feel like the victim, and that’s what I did. Honestly, if I were to ask myself to marry me right now I’d probably say no, and penis size would have nothin’ to do with it. I’m basically still just a child wearing an adult looking costume. I have a lot of growing up to do, but I’m certainly getting there!

4. There is a great paradox at work in the narrative of your movie about masculinity and a American society that is still very sexist, structurally, ideologically, and culturally, in favor of men. But, men who do not live up to a false and unreasonable image of "normal" or "desirable" male bodies, are often personally pained and
insecure. How does your movie help men to navigate those issues? Are Americans uniquely size obsessed? Or are other cultures more healthy in this regard?

I think this film has the potential to help everyone. It didn’t take long before Brian and I started to realize that what we were making was a film about much more than my stupid penis, or about penis at all. It’s really at it’s core about manufactured insecurities, realizing that everyone has them and then finding a way to embrace yourself because of them. And from what I have seen, I think it’s a concept that most all people will be able to relate to.

5. In the documentary, you go to a urologist to have the official measurement of your penis taken. I am not the only person who will own, on more than a few occasions, having done his own personal assessment "just to make sure". I would rather have my own personal measurement--and the bias therein--and most certainly not a pro's take on what I am bringing to the party so to speak. What was that experience like? Was all hope lost? Or did it just confirm what you already suspected?

I didn’t really know she was going to do that when I went into the interview, but adopted a “say yes to everything” attitude when we started the project so I was going to do it no matter how brutal. Dr. Berman was polite about it, but yeah it wasn’t my favorite experience ever.

6. Random questions given your expertise. Would you rather be the guy who follows up a lover who was under-endowed and just be average but "large" by comparison...or, would you rather be objectively well-endowed and your new lover's ex was "huge?" Tough dilemma?

Honestly, I really don’t want to know what my lovers, ex-lovers anything was like. It’s never been the kind of conversation that I’ve been eager to dive into… and I think we all know why.

7. Numbers lie and liars figure. Research suggests that most men lie about the size of their penises. Across categories, self-reported data is notoriously unreliable. Penis size data would be especially susceptible to such misrepresentations. What would it take for men to tell the truth? Or do most of our partners--straight, gay, other--know that folks are lying about their penis size and just play along to keep the peace and our egos secure? I would have to imagine that "tell the truth about our penis size day" would cause mass mayhem and a national moment of painful admission. Every society needs it lies. Am I wrong on this one?

No, not wrong at all. Anyone who doesn’t want to talk about it shouldn’t. The point behind talking about it isn’t to make you more miserable; it’s to take the power away from it. As for men telling the truth about their penis size, I don’t really care what they say, as long as they feel like it’s big, on the inside… Now that was deep! Am I right?!

8. What were you thinking during the sauna scene when your curiosity about how your endowment compares to Korean men--supposedly among the smallest in the world--discovered that you were filming them? Were there apologies later? Or did you just get out of there and hope for the best?

I was thinking, “is this a weird thing to do?? Cause I feel like it’s not that weird.” I blame the kid from the Korean University for suggesting that I go there. It was his idea, not mine! After I got caught there were some apologies, and after I explained what I was actually making a documentary about they were laughing so hard I could have got away with anything.

9. You interviewed Jonah Falcon for the documentary. I first learned about him on the Howard Stern Show. He is mammothly endowed--to say the least. Am I just lying to myself, or is there a bit of sadness on his part, being reduced by his partners to just one body part?

I think it’s terribly sad. Jonah is a wonderful person, and for that to be what a partner likes most about him is just silly. I also think it’s sad that guys like myself who are just a little below what they would like to be, think it’s a problem. At least we can supplement with hard work. Being too big is a much BIGGER problem, you could actually be hurting someone, and if you care about the person that’s got to be just awful.

9 ½. I will admit though, that when I see the rich guy with the beautiful woman in the expensive sports car I tell myself he is over-compensating for having a small penis. The truth--that he is hung, rich, happy, and with a beautiful woman--may just be too much for me to accept.

Everyone has their reasons for being with someone, but I never try to think I can understand just by looking at the surface stuff… that being said, I fucking hate that guy too.

10. What is your next project? Any future body image related topics to explore?

Not at the moment. I poured a lot of myself, and my energy into this project over the last couple years. My main concern right now is that the message gets heard. It’s really getting out there right now, and I couldn’t be happier and more proud of what I have done… my penis hates me, but what are you going to do? If you’ve got one you know how fickle they can be.


Bryan Ortez said...

our culture is fraught with anxieties.

I'm always struck by how comfortable indigenous people appear in photographs of them in their natural element. There is one photo of a white punk with a mohawk and leather jacket and piercings standing across from an indigenous person (I don't know from where). The differences in their postures is astounding. The white man has his arms folded, looks fair and slouched, and kind of weak and sickly. The indigenous man is muscular, his skin is very exposed, his chest is lifted, proud, he has an intense and deep look in his eyes and seems very proud and comfortable in his skin.

I try to tap into that feeling that I see in him. Just being comfortable in your own body.

kokanee said...

Small penis? No problem! Marry a woman with a small vagina. ;)

Elly said...

This discussion strongly reminded me of this:

Buddy H said...

I am reminded of the Richard Pryor joke, where two boastful guys are sitting on a tall bridge over a river with their dicks out. "Water's cold," the first guy says. "And deep, too," the other guy replies, for the win.

chauncey devega said...

Reminds me of when one of my ex-girlfriend's brother in laws asked me if I get annoyed when the toilet flushes and my manly part gets wet from hanging in the bowl. I just lied and went along with the moment.

chauncey devega said...

Damn you are practical. Are you an engineer?

kokanee said...

Three years. Failed out. Settled for a degree in business. More applicably, I read Kama Sutra. ;)

kokanee said...

Thanks. That was great!

purveyor1 said...

Now that is a heck of a conversation! It's a good thing I put the dialogue in context as I don't think my fragile sensibilities could survive!


purveyor1 said...

You too!
I just sent a message to 'Chauncy' about this vulgar display…

"The horror, the horror.

obamasucksreggielovesballs said...

Why do negros always relate everything to their dik?
Must be why so many negros are gay or engage in homosexual acts, like Obama.