I will be 51 years old in November of 2005. When I first sat to compose this story, I was enthused because I had found a forum to express my feelings, with other guys who will understand. Now that I’ve started writing, all those feelings – some of which were really tough to deal with alone – have kind of come back to haunt me.
The first memory I have of my condition was when I was just a kid. I was around 7 years old or so. My sister, 5 years older than me, and I were playing and somehow I pissed her off. She kicked me in the groin. I know I don’t have to explain the subsequent pain but something felt “odd”. I ran behind our house – we lived back a lane that was about 1/4 mile from the road and no houses anywhere close by – and I recall taking off my shorts, and looking at my scrotum and penis. Why I did that, I don’t know – but I did. Seeing the urethral opening red and sore, in my mind it was as if my sister had injured me. I remember thinking she had somehow maimed my penis and I ran to my mom because I was afraid and humiliated. I had her look at my penis – why I didn’t to to my dad instead, I don’t know – but she offered very little other than a shoulder to cry on. For quite a while, I questioned in my mind if the kick from my sister had made my penis look like it did.
Neither of my parents were well educated. I’m sure if they had been, I might have been spared a little of the trauma. I had to deal with my condition pretty much on my own.
The next memory I have, which is sketchy, is that for some reason my mom and my sisters were talking about circumcision. This couldn’t have been more than a year later and possibly sooner. My second-eldest sister asked if her brothers were circumcised (I’m guessing now that there must have been a discussion among her friends or possibly it had been a topic at school, but in those days I kind of doubt the latter). Mom said that when I was born, she remembered the doctor telling her that I wouldn’t have to be circumcised but that my 2 brothers were. At the time I wasn’t completely certain what they were even talking about and I didn’t hang out to hear more.
For quite a few years after that, I saw other boys’ penises rarely but when I did, I noticed the difference in how theirs were shaped, and also the distinct urethral opening at the tip of their penis. I didn’t comment and I don’t recall any of the boys who had seen my penis ever saying anything about it. (Thankfully) I didn’t have any problems with urine flow although sometimes I did sit to pee – it wasn’t that I had to – I just did it occasionally.
When I was around 11 or 12, I was out on a bike ride. We lived in a rural area and I used to ride for miles and miles. My bike was pretty much my favorite thing and other than in the winter months there was rarely a day when I wasn’t out riding somewhere, either alone or with my buddies. On this particular day, I had stopped for a rest along side a small bridge. One of the boys who was older – if I recall correctly, he was probably 2 or 3 years older – stopped to say hello and we ventured under this bridge to explore as boys are famous for. Not much more than a drizzle of water was under there, but it was cooler out of the sun so we sat there and talked for a while. I had to pee really bad, so I walked over to the opposite side and did what I had to do. The other boy did the same, a few feet away. When he finished, he didn’t put his penis away and I noticed he was rubbing it. I didn’t know what an erection was then, but he had one. He told me I should try it.
Long story short, we ended up masturbating together for a brief time – it wasn’t that big a deal to me. It was, however, the first time that someone had made a comment about my penis. He asked me why there was no opening at the tip. I didn’t know. I told him I was born with it like that and he was satisfied with that answer.
Fast forward to 7th grade. I dreaded gym class like the plague. It was the first time I was ever going to be naked in front of a bunch of other boys and the thought wasn’t too welcome. As it turned out, though, not much happened. Like we all do, we checked each other out even though we pretended not to. I was actually relieved that a few of the boys were less endowed than me.
When I became sexually active, I was attracted to both men and women. I had sex with men, none of whom ever made a comment about my hypospadias (except one, years later). At 16 I had my first sexual experience with a female and was able to perform without a problem. None of the girls with whom I had sex ever asked or even seemed to note any difference in my penis.
When I was around 23, I developed a severe urinary infection and had to see a doctor. As he examined me, he gasped “You have hypospadias!” as if it was the end of the world. Great patient manners, doc. He asked if I was able to urinate properly, if I was able to achieve an erection, and asked if the erection was crooked. He offered no explanation of the condition even though I told him I didn’t know what hypospadias was. At last, though, I had a name for the condition and was able to look for literature at the library about it. There wasn’t much – at least not in layman’s terms.
I married and fathered a child. (a daughter) My sexual attraction has always been stronger for males, and I asked for a divorce since I wanted my ex-wife to have a happy, honest sex life with someone who could provide that for her.
Since that time, most of my sexual experiences have been with men. I always dread the initial exposure, but only rarely have I had any negative reactions. I am smaller than many of the partners I’ve been with. Erect, my penis is about 5″. Flaccid, it hangs just over 1.5 – 2″. I have never met another adult male with hypospadias – or perhaps I should say I’ve never met anyone with the condition who told me about it. Obviously it’s not something that straight men bring up as a normal topic of conversation, and I suppose the same holds true for bi or gay men.
So – there you have it. Probably a boring story, but it’s all true. I’ve lived, as most of you with this condition have lived, with the fear, lack of understanding, sometimes anger; wishing I had a penis that was like the other guys. More than once I considered surgery, but I just didn’t know if the benefits would be worth the expense, the pain, and of course, the risks.
I am very grateful that this web site exists and that there is a support mechanism for men who are living with hypospadias or epispadias and parents of children with those conditions. I urge parents to talk to your boy about it; do so gently but without fear and of course, without shame.