Embracing My Average Black Dick
In an effort to better understand my body insecurities I spoke to two of the “biggest” Black pornstars in the industry.
I’ve been watching porn since I was a teenager. But not until I was an adult did I understand that I was steeping myself in racism at the same time.
When my father brought the gift of AOL to my childhood home, I’m not sure how he hoped I would use it, but it probably wasn’t turning the family computer into a porn machine. My adolescent brain wasn’t ready for the deluge of ass that would (very slowly) load on my screen. It was here, in the burgeoning world of internet porn, where I began to learn about sex, sexuality, and my own body.
Beyond knowing the bare mechanics and having a vague sense of the importance of the act, I didn’t have much in the way of education. My mother told me how sex worked in the most clinical terms possible: Penis, vagina, semen, egg, baby, condoms. That was pretty much it. My father never discussed the subject.
And the more I talk to other Black men — even porn stars — I realize my experience isn’t unique. “I worked in the music industry, so I traveled a lot as a teenager,” says Moe The Monster, an adult performer. “My father handed me a bunch of condoms and told me to make sure that the girls didn’t poke holes in them. That was pretty much all my parents taught me about sex.”
A conversation I had with Hall of fame porn star Mr. Marcus echoed this sentiment. “I mostly learned about sex on my own. Even as a child I was curious about sex so I discovered things on my own in secret. I had a natural instinct on what I was supposed to do. Most of the time you don’t learn about sex from your parents anyway. You learn from your friends or your own discovery. Ideally, you’d want somebody to sit you down and explain the intricacies of sex. But a lot of our parents had fucked up opinions about sex anyway so how helpful would it have been?”
Here’s what we didn’t learn about from our parents: body positivity and sexual racism. In the ’80s and ’90s, we didn’t have those terms, let alone the comfort and space to discuss what they meant. Combine that lack of understanding with the explosion of internet porn. It meant that Black adolescents who were curious about sex got much more than just gratification — we got some harmful messages without the knowledge or tools to process them.
And, at least for me, those experiences would affect how I viewed my body throughout my teen years and well into adulthood.
Sexual racism in America didn’t start with porn but with the birth of this country.
Black bodies have been stigmatized and sexualized for as long as white colonialism has existed. Whether as a means of subjugation or titillation, the taboo of Blackness has been a curious fear with the sexual stereotypes of Black slaves permeating thoroughly into modern society.
“It’s the nature of porn. People try to downplay the seriousness of it because it’s meant to be taboo. Directors and actors feel they can push the envelope on race simply because it’s porn. The scene might have us in jail or some other negative stereotype but nobody really cared.”
~Moe the Monster
The stereotypes that would inform much of Black and interracial porn’s narratives are birthed in racist ideology.
Black women were jezebels whose lust could not be subdued. Their bodies were the right and privilege of slave owners. The progeny of these “relationships” were a plantation’s dirty little secret.
Enslaved Black men were monsters with giant penises seeking to rape white women. Black men were a societal danger that needed to be quelled and controlled. To that end, we were raped, castrated, and killed as a means of protecting the white race, especially its women.
These themes would persist throughout American pop culture. For example, the explicit sexual racism of “Birth of a Nation,” where a white woman dives off a cliff to avoid her would-be Black rapist, would slowly give way to more implicit expressions of the fear of Black sexuality. Even movies where interracial dating was at the center of the story, like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Island in the Sun,” was sure to avoid any intimate contact between their white and Black protagonists.
But while Hollywood grappled with managing the taboo of Black sexuality, the porn industry jumped straight in with all the racist implications it could muster. Starting with the pseudo-Africanism of “Behind the Green Door” (which is credited as the first interracial porn scene), the depictions of Black men in adult movies have spun themselves into more and more racist depictions.
These depictions have been the means to satisfy the desire for sexual taboo. Meeting this need created a need for more nefarious plot lines and bigger dicks. Scenes involving Black actors often involved rape or jail fantasies. Cuckold porn, where white husbands are forced to watch their wives have sex, often with Black men, has also grown in popularity.
At the furthest extreme lies the fetish of racism itself—sites like Blacked.com and Ghetto Gaggers routinely traffic in rough sex and racial epithets.
“I was supposed to do a scene once where a white actress was supposed to call me a nigger. I told the director ‘Nah, she’s not going to call me a nigger.’ It pissed him off. He thought I was being uppity and shit. I was just standing my ground. You’re not going to call me that.”
The Quest for BBC
Before porn, I hadn’t seen many, if any, other men in the nude. Even during my days as a track athlete, the locker rooms I inhabited were generally free of nudity. Outside of pornography, I had no sense of how a “typical” male body looked. My only basis for understanding my own body was extremely well-endowed pornstars. As a result, I became sure of my inadequacy.
“Am I big enough?” It is one of the most common questions men ask about themselves. Until recently, there hadn’t been any accurate studies offering any concrete answers. Before this, any sense of how a man ranked in size was purely anecdotal. There is plenty of societal pressure attached to penis size—this pressure compounds when the world has already assumed that your dick is huge.
“You see performers like Mandingo, and this guy’s got like a fourteen-inch dick. You begin to realize that there are girls out there who are size queens. Those girls are always looking for big dicks and so they make a big deal about it. Then you meet guys with a five or six-inch dick and they have complexes because they don’t think they are big enough.”
All the desire and interest in the BBC (big Black cock) is a fetish still primarily rooted in white supremacy and racist narratives. So much so that whether or not to have sex with black men can be a significant career decision for women in porn, including Black women. To quote Kanye West, “Said her price go down if she ever fucks a black guy, or do anal, or do a gangbang. It’s kinda crazy that’s all considered the same thing.”
“When white girls get in the industry they may start with solo videos, girl on girl, girl boy stuff, but always a white guy of course. Then eventually they get to that fork in the road where it’s like, okay, do you want to do black guys or do you want to do anal?
~Moe the Monster
This, in a nutshell, is the paradox of Black manhood. To be desired and devalued. Black sexuality, and by extension, Black life, is viewed as the curiosity the rest of the world wants to touch and try, but ultimately not be associated with. In this way, the Black body is the definition of fetishism.
One size Isn’t for all
“As one of the more endowed performers, there are a lot of girls who don’t want to work with me. They’ll ask for more money or avoid me entirely. The size queens may like me but being huge has its downsides too.”
~Moe the Monster
Men, especially Black men, are often taught bigger is better. We are led to believe that every woman is a size queen (a woman who desires and seeks unusually large penises) and that “average” is never enough. We live in a world consumed by dick prints and grey sweatpants.
“There are always women looking for big dicks and they will make a big deal out of it. I realized that you can’t get caught up with dick size. You’ve got what you got.”
The truth is that porn is built for the white gaze. To look at white men in porn is to see that there is no specific trait assigned to them. They are young and old, in and out of shape, big and small dicks. They are not the fetish. They are not taboo; they are the avatar, the character that the consumer can pretend to be. The rest of us, however, are the attraction, the things of lust. Whether it is the big dick Black dude, the fat assed Black woman, the oversexed Latina, or the docile Asian; the porn industry is a fantastical smorgasbord built for the pleasure of whiteness.
Many Black men have unknowingly judged themselves based on a sordid mix of white fear, intrigue, and fetish. We learned that our value was directly proportional to the size of our penis. We believed that we were sexually inadequate because we didn’t match a false narrative derived from slavery and the need for its justification.
“You have to deal with porn in moderation. It’s easy to become obsessed with it. It’s easy to forget that it’s fantasy. Especially because it’s so available. It’s on your computer, it’s on your social media it’s literally everywhere you are. When you forget it’s fantasy it’s easy to take it to heart.”
The truth is that I have never had any complaints about my size or sexual ability. What I had been navigating wasn’t a physical inadequacy but instead a self-induced paranoia that haunted a large chunk of my sexual experience.
I still enjoy porn on occasion. It is a problematic fave filled with racism and misogyny. I navigate it carefully and talk about it with my partner freely. But ultimately, I still navigate a world with its own understanding and expectations of my body.
That shit is uncomfortable.