Penis Envy, Virgin One
The All New House Of Tiny Tearaways, BBC3
I KNOW I shouldn't have expected much sense from a programme called Penis Envy, but this flaccid documentary was arrant balderdash from the moment it began. "Today we live in a super-size world," proclaimed our host, Stephen K Amos. Do we? What does that actually mean? "We want bigger buildings." No we don't. Who wants bigger buildings? Giants? "The pressure to measure up in the trouser-snake stakes has never been higher." Really? Where is the evidence that men are currently freaking out en masse about their penis size? Looking out of my window right now, I've just spied two blokes walking down the street, neither of whom appeared to be unduly concerned about the dimensions of their genitals. I myself am typing these words under the calm and rational assurance that I shouldn't waste my energy worrying about other's men's penises. Life's too short. As, it must be said, however, are some men's penises.
So while Amos's assertion that "the whole nation seems to be in the grip of penis envy" was, well, balls, frankly, there were some men in this whose did seem obsessed with extending their manhood. Amos himself seemed unduly concerned with this problem, despite being perfectly happy with his own penis size. As a stand-up comic he professed to being interested in finding out whether there was a serious side to "the classic knob gag", although I reckon he just wanted to get on telly, and this was the only vehicle he could find. If I were him I would've waited until something came along which didn't force him to take a back seat to endlessly repeated footage of flaccid todgers. As anyone who has ever caught a glimpse of themselves naked in a strip-lit kitchen while making a sandwich at 3am will attest, the penis really is an ugly, pathetic looking thing when seen in harsh lighting. Most of the members caught in unflattering close-up here looked for all the world like dehydrated yaks. I really could've done without such exposure: but then without this "nudge nudge/wink wink" factor, the programme would have had no reason to exist.
Amos caught up with the unfortunately named Randy, who had travelled to California in order to have an extra inch added by a top phalloplasty surgeon. Since his wife had never complained about the size, Randy said he was going under the knife for his own self-esteem. Why? If your partner has no complaints, what should you care? Amos felt that most men equate masculinity with penis size, which may be true, but I reckon that if no-one has ever looked askance at your little gentleman, then you probably shouldn't worry about it. A recent poll found that 45 per cent of men said that they'd like to have a bigger penis, whereas 88 per cent of women said that they were perfectly happy with their partner's equipment. Granted, that means that there are still 22 per cent of women in dire need of some tweezers and a magnifying glass, but penis envy is clearly borne more out of vanity than necessity.
The All New House Of Tiny Tearaways was incredibly shrill and screechy. Under the auspices of two child psychologists, three families attempted to sort out their problems via a complex regime of shouting and weeping. Not only was my head pounding by the end, but it put me off having kids for life.