Chris: 'I've only had one person walk out at the sight of my cock.'

Chris has severe hypospadias.

From the age of about 2, I had surgery in hospital every 18 months until I was 16. By then I could pee standing up.

My mum talked about it a bit when I was a child but I can't remember much. I think I've blocked a lot out. As an adult we didn't talk about it at all. I found out about hypospadias by talking to guys and looking at pictures.

My mother's dead now so I asked my Aunty what my penis was like when I was born. She said it looked like a sausage cut down the middle, almost like I had two penises. The surgery was to sew it together and create a urethra.

I now have a dummy hole at the end of my penis and a hole below that through which I pee. I can ejaculate and have sex but I'm still quite small - only 3 inches when erect.

If I was 3 inches bigger it wouldn't be so bad, hypospadias or not.

There's a lot of scar tissue though so I've very little feeling there. Not enough for penetrative sex to work. I could have more surgery if I wanted - cosmetic surgery - but I'm reluctant to do that as I don't want to lose the little feeling I've got left.

I first had sex when I was 38. I was too embarrassed until then. It wasn't as bad as I'd expected. If I'd have known, perhaps I'd have started earlier. Partners say that what they saw wasn't as bad as that which I described but I don't know. I'm still repulsed by it myself, to be honest. I don't like me naked. I certainly look a lot worse than some of the pix I've seen on hypospadias sites.

I've only had one person get up and walk out at the sight of my cock. I'd expected it to happen one day but it still really knocked the confidence out of me.

It's difficult to find people who have had surgery, certainly as much as I've had, to talk to. A lot of hypospadias guys look fine to me so their experiences are very different.

It has definitely affected my confidence.  I'm not a happy person. A small cock affects everything else. I was always in hospital as a kid and my mum was overprotective. My siblings were jealous of all the attention I got and because I got to stay with my Aunty in London every time I had surgery. They thought that was a real treat. I never showed my brothers. I only really talked to my sister about it.

The few childhood memories I have are of hospital. I said to my mum once: 'You don't love me do you? You keep putting me into hospital.'

I'm a gay man. I came out at 16. I've heard that about 75% of men with hypospadias are gay or bisexual.

My last long-term relationship ended a couple of years ago. The gay world is not quite what I hoped. Discrimination hasn't brought us together. Many men are just after one thing. I need to take my time and get to know someone but that's not how it works. I need to know someone likes me for myself before I can risk intimacy.

Hypospadias is always there in a relationship. Even if my partner has no problem with it, I think I still wait for the time when something will be said, or maybe even force the issue sometime, driving a wedge and spoiling things, almost like self distruct.

It is a handicap and I'm much more sympathetic to other people with disabilities. I know what it's like to be different. I've done OK career wise but I know that without hypospadias I'd have been a totally different guy. I can see that looking at my brothers. But then, I know they've had their problems too. I wouldn't want a son as I'd worry about passing the hypospadias on to him.

Page created on January 29th, 2008

This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the MHF under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard. It was last updated in 2008.