There’s a very short period of time between when a new technology is introduced and when that new technology will be used for sex. That small chasm of time became even smaller this week when people with the new iOS12 update found out that you can use the system’s new measuring tool — called, simply, Measure — to measure a dick.
So much of online life forces us to construct an approximate version of ourselves. We curate our Instagrams, delete ill-performing tweets, and some of us FaceTune ourselves outside the bounds of recognition. In a way, Measure feels like a response to that: in a world of inexactitude, finally, you can put a concrete number on something.
But asking our bodies to measure up in any way feels more like a step back than a step forward.
Let’s push aside the fact that Gizmodo has said that Measure is less accurate than a good old yardstick and focus on the theory behind it all. The prospect that Measure might usher in an era of real-world dick size verification propagates, for me, the same harmful attitude that people of color, people of size and other groups have experienced online regarding their bodies. It’s another form of body fascism, another way of telling somebody your body literally doesn’t measure up to my standards.
When I say body fascism, I mean intolerance toward bodies that do not fit a certain standard, whether that be ability status, weight or, in the world of sexual body fascism, yes, dick size.
One of the reasons people practice sexual racism online is because queer people don’t know how to talk about their desires — we don’t have a language for it. Rather than talking about wanting a dominant or submissive partner, we rely on racist stereotypes about people’s bodies based on their ethnicity. There are also perceptions about what a dick can do based on its size. And while it’s true that a 9” dick can go deeper into an ass than a 6” one, going deeper isn’t the only criteria that matters when it comes to sex.
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Prior to the Measure app, people mostly trusted their eyes when it came to seeing a dick in a dick pic and knowing how big it was. How much would change for a person between seeing a dick pic without Measure and seeing one after? Ultimately, it seems they’re not interested in the dick itself but just the number of inches it has. This is just, plain and simple, confirmation bias. People’s own beliefs about dick size will just be confirmed because, guess what, they’ll automatically disqualify some people from sex because their perfectly fine dick isn’t the number of inches they want it to be.
People have preconceived notions of bodies and what they’re able to do based on size. People insist on Twitter that short men can’t be good tops or that fucking someone whose waist is two inches larger than another person’s waist wouldn’t be as hot. Ultimately, good sex has little to do with inches — dick, waist or head-to-toe. The fact that the Measure app isn’t even that good at measuring underscores that: we’re trusting technology that may not even work to tell us how our bodies will respond to something rather than trusting our own bodies.
You shouldn’t need a BA in Math to fuck and we shouldn’t have to put our faith in an app above our own eyes and bodies to know what’s pleasing to look at and pleasurable to touch.