Wise Guys: Do Men Check Out Other Penises?

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following:  Do guys check each other out in the locker room? Or what about at the urinal? Not necessarily in an attraction way, just in an “how do I measure up” kind of way?

Straight Married Guy (Fred): Nope. There’s an unspoken rule, at least among straight guys, that in the men’s room you look anywhere but at another man’s equipment. The straight male culture is so incredibly homophobic that the mere suggestion of potential homosexuality that comes from looking — even just for a split second, even accidentally — is what keeps straight guys eyes averted as if every penis were the Lost Arc. (I wonder what the protocol is for gay guys?) The only other John Thomases hetro men ever see is the elephant timber in porn, which doesn’t help at all, so if a guy just has to know how he measures in the real world up he’ll probably resort to asking a woman (and we all know how well that works).

Gay Single Guy (Daniel): Yes, guys check out other guys’ equipment — even if they are straight. This isn’t to say that straight guys actively and persistently look in order to compare one man’s anaconda to another man’s pretzel stick (though I am sure some do), but comparing is something that potentially happens on the sly and in one’s own head (a guy thinks to himself, “Well, he’s certainly bigger than me”).  It’s not unlike women checking out each other’s breasts, except where women feel comfortable commenting on the differences (“Oh, you have such nice boobs” or “Her breasts aren’t that big but they’re perky”), straight guys cannot comment on another man’s wang without being thought of as a homo. Gay guys obviously don’t have that problem, so they’re free to talk — but when they do, it’s waaaaaaaaaay more sexualized. Hahaha!

Straight Single Guy (Mark): Not to put too fine a point on it, but…no, sorry.  Nothing to do with attraction or even comparison — I guess it’s just an unspoken courtesy to give that modicum of privacy in an otherwise exposed situation.  At the urinal, there’s simply the invisible line below which thou shalt not gaze, and in the shower, it’s pretty much the same understanding.  So yeah, guys check each other out in the locker room probably about as often as girls actually have pillow fights in their underwear at slumber parties.  But seriously, I suppose girls are more stereotypically body conscious and comparing-prone, so I’d imagine they’d be the ones more likely to check out what’s doing with their cohorts in that environment and see how they, um, stack up.  But guys are utilitarian — we’re all business in the locker room.  We want to empty our bladders, or shower up and get dressed again, and get out of there to carry on with our busy days of manliness [cue Tim Allen “Home Improvement” sound effect].

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University; and our straight married guy is shy. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. I know I do, depending some guys want you to look, straight guys drunk play all sort of games in the toilet, some take it to next level especially jocks. Note to self, the unspoken rule is very true but like you both think crossing that line isn’t worth it so you potentially do nothing, not knowing that maybe he might have enjoyed it, I’ve been baited before at the urinal by a straight guy drinking his piss with friends around watching him half naked tugging at his member indulging in the attention. Straight guys will do anything for attention if that’s what they want, the guys who don’t simply miss out on all the fun that’s to be had..

  2. We do whether you are gay or straight every guy wants to know what his competition has. I know I do.

  3. It amazes me what people worry about. Seriously – have you any idea how much porn men watch? I can pretty much guarantee they watch penetrative sex whenever they get the chance. So just to get some perspective, does anyone think they’re masturbating whilst covering the part of the screen with the penis on it with their free hand? Men cum watching other men duck. Any man who is so scared of being judged that he can’t admit to ever seeing a penis, despite getting his kicks looking at one in a woman in private has no right calling himself a man. Get over yourself. All of nature is wonderful and worth a look. And its natural to do so. This isn’t about whether you look or not. You do. Its about whether you can admit it and be honest or not.

  4. But of course I look, always look, think cute, I’m gay and I like bags. However I get embarrassed when they see that I’m looking. This is not giving up on anyone. I just like to look, and as it says here in Brazil: Looking unbootable piece.
    Hugs from Brazil

  5. As a gay man who most don’t expect to be gay, a funny thing often happens when newer straight male friends find out – they start asking questions, making confessions even, and asking if they’re normal. Maybe they just feel more comfortable that I’m not so different from them, but something spurs them to open up a bit.

    It would be hard for me to count the number of straight male friends who have confessed to checking out other guys’ penises in person and especially online (anonymity and all). A surprising number even told me amusingly similar stories of having compared or measured with other guy friends when teenagers, even jerking off together. And no, none of those guys was gay or bi, and none ever tried to take that further with me even knowing I’m not the type to gossip.

    I laugh at guys’ attitudes about “urinal etiquette” – I may not peek over much if at all.. but any guy I see freaking out over it, or getting hostile, loses my respect.

    To the comment about it being lack of testosterone causing guys to be curious – bullshit sir. You can give a bunch of gay guys testosterone, do you know what would likely happen? They would get hairier… and hornier – for men. Hormone levels do not = sexual attraction, nor are straight men more “real men” than their gay counterparts.

  6. Men want to act like it’s no big deal to have another man looking at their penis. “It’s just an appendage.” So how would you feel if there was a woman sitting in the locker room just getting a glance at the “appendages” as they strolled in and out of the shower. I mean, most women are mothers, have given birth to a male with an “appendage”. So with that notion, does it matter what sex is checking it our or do you only not care if it’s another male seeing what you’ve got?

  7. Dear “Fidelis”,

    SEEING another guy’s penis simply means you are in
    the same room as other nude men. A BRIEF glance
    could fall under the heading of curiousity and
    doesn’t mean you’re gay. STARING however, means
    that you are probably “BI” at the very least.

    Just one man’s viewpoint.

  8. ^ Yeah, you’re right. That’s why no matter how many women say they prefer average or small, every guy wants to be bigger. Even the already-big guys.

    Because it’s about winning a penis-length contest with other men.

  9. All men look at other dudes cocks & balls at urinals or in the locker rooms.Some guys flash each other as a joke.Every red blooded male wants to know his cock is as big as the next guy or bigger,and his balls are lower hanging and as big as oranges.Male hierarchy is based on cock and ball size,so listen up you metrosexuals and take a look at his package,whether HE is at full mast or just hanging around.Its healthy to look and honest to as all men look at each other the ones that don’t are liers. Keep it up boys

  10. What if your man tells u to look at these mens small dicks over the phone he was laughing like it was a joke so was I but I was like what the hell so now I don’t know what to think is he in the closet …… I mean why would u look at other men’s penis if u are not gay

  11. Straight guys will say anything to make themselves appear macho.

    I have caught straight guys stare at my ass while I’m working out in the weight room nevermind the showers.

    I workout in a very straight male oriented gym. I have noticed most younger straight guys will always look at my penis in the shower. I know they are straight because I can tell by their speech and body language. It is funny because they are the one’s that turn their heads and do the looking first. So it is only natural to stare back.

    It is such a shame [and most straight men are missing out] that they think being straight they should not ‘LOOK’ or think of other men in any sexual context . [maybe some do and won’t admit it]

    I’m gay and have seen nude women expicitly online. I wouldn’t hestitatey to be with a girl if the opportunity is there.

    We live in such an ignorant isolated lonely society. And straight men put up this macho defense that unbonds the human contact. They only view things from one perspective. Mind you it may be North America and rural towns mentality.

  12. If a man is secure about his sexuality and appreciates what he has got he should be able to handle being complimented on his dick/balls & arse. I know if I got a compliment about anything below my belt I wouldn’t get angry or creeped out. I would say thanks and put on a smile. I swear people try and make life much more complicated than it needs to be. Who cares if the guy next to you is looking while you get your kit off or your taking a piss? Seriously.

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