Alison Lynch for Metro.co.uk
Don’t try and pretend the thought has never crossed your mind.
As much as we want people to think we’re soaking up the culture as we wander around museums gazing at Renaissance sculptures, it’s just as likely we’re wondering to ourselves, ‘why does David have such a small d*ck?’
It’s noticeable that all those ancient statues have one teeny tiny thing in common. What is equally obvious is that they’re not even a little bothered by it – in fact, they seem only too happy to immortalise their diminutive members in clay.
Fortunately, art historian Ellen Oredsson has finally answered the question that’s been bugging us all: why do all the men in ancient status have small penises?
Spoiler: it’s not because it was a little chilly under those loincloths.
In her blog, How To Talk About Art History, she explains: ‘Firstly, they’re flaccid. If you compare their size to most flaccid male penises, they are actually not significantly smaller than real-life penises tend to be.’
But – and here’s the, erm, biggie – she also went on to explain that small penises were more prized in Ancient Greece. ‘Cultural values about male beauty were completely different back then,’ Oredsson writes.
‘Today, big penises are seen as valuable and manly, but back then, most evidence points to the fact that small penises were considered better than big ones.’
She goes on: ‘One of the reasons historians have suggested that small penises were more culturally valued is that large penises were associated with very specific characteristics: foolishness, lust and ugliness.
‘Meanwhile, the ideal Greek man was rational, intellectual and authoritative. He may still have had a lot of sex, but this was unrelated to his penis size, and his small penis allowed him to remain coolly logical.’
Oredsson concluded: ‘Classical Greek sculpture has been hugely influential for all sculptural representations of the male body in European art, so it’s no wonder that small-penised statues have been the norm throughout most of Western art history.
‘It also shows that our obsession with penis size has always been there, it’s just changed slightly.’
So, if you have a smaller than average penis, don’t feel too disheartened. You were just born about 2,500 years too late.