Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Why that perfect penis story comes up short, on many levels

"Penis size preference: See what women want here!"

You might expect to see this kind of garbage headline on a cheap Google ad, or a pop up on YouTube, or even a "targeted" Facebook advertisement (thanks for all of those insinuations, Facebook.)

But no: This headline actually appeared today on the Huffington Post, a well-established news aggregation website, alongside a chart with girth and length as the axes – no, seriously, – and identifying the sweet spot of an "ideal" penis.

Story continues below advertisement

Sure, it's under the lifestyle section – but that should be content that benefits a reader's lifestyle, shows them how to live better in some way.

Sure – no one in news media is immune to the temptation of click bait. And yes, I write a sex column for The Globe – but the goal is to always find answers to real reader questions. (If a woman asked me what kind of penis would make me happy, I sure wouldn't respond with this chart: length and girth are clearly not her biggest problems.)

The decorum on the comments is surprisingly level-headed: "I think porn has a lot to answer for as it increases expectations of what is normal and satisfying, writes Paul. "It's all about chemistry and foreplay and being sensitive to each others needs," writes John.

Still, this territory into measurements of what kind of penis is "best" – and not the man, nor the chemistry, nor the sex itself – is offensive on all kinds of levels: from a journalistic standpoint and an equal rights perspective, the Huffington Post (and to a lesser degree Buzzfeed, where the story originated) should be ashamed.

It's not the first time Ariana Huffington's brain child delved into such hard hitting penis news: You can see the alleged "truth" about penis size and read about penis sizes by state.

The assumption that women all want the same thing is misguided at best – but imagine if a similar chart existed about what precisely men want in a vagina (actually, I'm sure it does: Must. Not. Google.)

This from one of the world's most popular news sites is sexual objectification to a new, ugly low. If the Huffington Post won't apologize for this nonsense, allow me:

Story continues below advertisement

From a woman, a sex columnist and a journalist – I'm sorry, guys.

Follow me on Twitter: @amberlym

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.