It was "Today with Teresa Callas," one of the highest rated cable talk shows.
Teresa had a huge faithful fan base, mostly women, mostly in their thirties and older. That demographic loved Teresa; she dealt with real-world issues with almost none of the phony staged confrontation gimmicks of some of her competitors. Teresa was a quick- witted intelligent woman who knew how to monitor a discussion and react to changes of mood. A viewer might get an hour of fun silliness followed by an hour of mind- stretching serious discussion. More typical was a combination of the two extremes in the course of two hours of airtime.
In general, each show was built around a main topic that was discussed and dissected by a panel of people of varying levels of expertise and competence. The studio audience was encouraged to express their opinions, and viewers could call in to weigh in as well.
Teresa kept the discussions going and freely interjected her own opinions.
"All right, people, today's topic is Masculine Insecurities, and more specifically, penis size. You men out there, you closet Teresa Callas viewers, well, you might want to find something else to do for the next two hours. But if you feel particularly masochistic, strap yourself into your seat, because I don't think you're gonna be comfortable, except for that statistical ten to fifteen percent who have nothing to worry about. [A ripple of laughter from the studio audience.]
"Yep, it's the age-old question: Does size matter? And if it does, by how much? Girls, I know you're all champing at the bit to tell us what YOU think. Don't go way; we'll be right back after these announcements."
Teresa sat back and shuffled though some notes her staff had compiled. There was a happy buzz in the studio and Teresa knew this was going to be a good show.
When the studio went back live, the discussion kicked off.
With the audience and the panel being largely female, the tone from the beginning was slanted against the males. The mood was one of amusement, with joking comments made by the panelists and miked up members of the studio audience.
Teresa let her children play. And play they did. Cable was not at all constrained for language as the FCC-regulated broadcasts, and the women went at it. When it got to the point where the terms "needle-dick" and "pencil-dick" were being freely tossed around, Teresa signaled that there was another break needed for show promotions.
When they came back live, Teresa's producer signaled her that they had a promising caller on line one, so she took their first call.
"Caller? You are live and on the air with Teresa Callas. What do you have to tell us today?"
"Teresa? This is Jerri from Cleveland. Ohmygod, I can't believe I got through to your show."
With a little coaxing, Jerri from Cleveland regaled them with her husband's obsession with making his penis larger.
"He buys creams, he takes pills, and has these plastic splinty things and vacuum pump gadgets. He even talked about some kind of plastic surgery deal to inject collagen, but I put my foot down about that. We can't afford those kinds of bills, and that kind of stuff scares me. "
"Jerri from Cleveland, how long has this been going on; this obsession about his size? Has it been like this all through your marriage? Has his penis size a problem for you?"
"No. Well, not really; he's about average, I suppose. Our sex life is ok."
"We've been married four years. All this stuff I've been telling you about started about a year ago.
"I have to confess something. Now, nobody knows who I am, right? Jerri isn't my real name."
"Ok, caller, yes, you have complete anonymity, I promise. What do you have to confess to me?"
"Well, the truth is, I think my husband's problem is kinda my fault. You see, I was married before. I was too young and got married for foolish reasons, and one of them was that my first husband was really well hung.
"I wasn't a virgin, and when we dated, he was really something. I mean he really filled me up like I'd never had it before. Well, unfortunately, outside of that, he was a real shallow guy, a jerk. It only lasted a year. And a couple of years later I met Rob and we just fell head over heels in love, just like they say.
"Well, about a year ago, I was hanging out with one of my closest friends, drinking wine, and we got to dishing about our sex lives. And I made a big mistake. I shouldn't have said it, but I said that sometimes the only thing I missed about my first husband was the way he filled me up.
"I told her not to ever tell anyone what I said, and she swore she wouldn't, but she got careless in a pillow talk way and mentioned it to her hubby. That was not good.
"He works with my husband, but they don't always get along. And one day they were getting on each other's nerves and my friend's guy said something. He just wanted to piss Rob off, and it was pretty much what I'd said about missing getting really filled up. Well Rob came home and I couldn't believe how angry he was at me. I mean, I had a full-time job just getting him to talk to me. And I told him over and over that I loved him and I never wanted anything more than to be with him, but it took some doing to get him to cool off. I guess I never realized how sensitive guys are about their penises."
[There were a few giggles from Teresa's studio audience, but "Jerri from Cleveland" seemed oblivious to them.]
"Well, he's really a sweet guy and isn't one for holding a grudge. I just made it my business to love him up more than ever, and he finally said he'd got over it.
"And I thought he had.
"But I realized it was just after that that he started sending off for all this stuff I told you about. He tried to keep it from me, but I caught on and saw what it was for.
"Teresa, I know this sounds like I'm making a terrible pun, but I just never thought this size stuff was such a big deal."
[There were a few more chuckles from the studio audience.]
"No, I mean it. What I said to my girlfriend was a tiny little fantasy thought.
"Oh God, I can't believe I said 'tiny'; this just keeps coming out like a bad joke. But I really didn't mean anything by it; it's like maybe a guy wishes his wife was a little bigger in the chest, you know. It's just a harmless thought. It has nothing to do with how much I love my guy or how good it feels to make love with him. It's the closeness, the cuddling together after we climax, that's what matters.
"But I guess Rob just can't see it that way. It's about his manhood. I love him so much, and I've hurt him. I just hope we can get though this."
There was a long pause.
"The way your people have been talking about this? All those 'Needle-dick' jokes?"
"It's not funny. Take my word for it. Well, thank you for taking my call. Goodby. "
"Goodby, Jerri from Cleveland."
Teresa looked out past the cameras to her audience and sensed they were unsettled. The call had taken the edge off the fun. She signaled for another break. While the cameras were off-line, she asked her producer if he had a change of pace call, something lighter.
"Sorry, Teresa, we had a few, but they dropped off during that last call."
Teresa looked at her panel. "We're back. Ok, anyone have any comments on the last call?"
Since they were paid to contribute, the panel members made a few comments, but they had seen how the audience had been affected by the last call. The mood wasn't conducive to any more penis size jokes.
Teresa cut it short.
"Ok, I am advised that we have another caller. I was hoping for something a bit more positive, but for once, my callers are letting me down. I don't know about you, folks, but I'm getting a really bad vibe about this topic. Maybe we girls have been a little bit too casual about it. Right now nobody seems to be finding it to be as funny as they did a while ago.
"Caller? You are live and on the air with Teresa Callas. I understand you don't want to give us a name. What do you have to say to us today?"
"Well, I was watching and I just had to call in when you started on the small dick jokes. To tell the truth, I'm surprised I got though this soon.
"Like that last caller said, penis size is nothing to be making jokes about.
"My George had a small penis, like you've been joking about."
"George is your husband, right?" Teresa said. "He's not going to get all freaked out and sue us for talking about him on the show, is he?"
"No, don't worry. George won't sue you. I can promise you that.
Looking for a chuckle, Teresa winked at her audience. "Well, we carry a lot of insurance for a good reason, but it's nice to be reassured. Ok, Caller, go ahead."
"Like I said, my George had a small penis, like you've been joking about."
Teresa said, "Caller, pardon me for interrupting you, but just how small are we talking about?"
"Well, four inches, I guess, maybe a little bit more. It's not as if either of us ever wanted to measure it."
[That brought forth some studio comments and snickers.]
"Oh, you people can laugh all you want," the Caller said, "Maybe calling in wasn't such a good idea."
Teresa jumped in and used her considerable charm to sooth the troubled caller. Eventually, the woman went on.
"Believe me, my George was a caring, considerate lover. He was real good at the other stuff, with his mouth, you know. Can I talk about stuff like that?"
"Don't worry, dearie, this is only between us girls. The FCC hasn't been able to regulate cable, so far. You can talk any way you want," Teresa said with a smile. The audience clapped.
"Ok, well, George was really good at eating me out. And Imean REALLY good. I liked to do him oral, too. I could get him off. But when he was doing it to me, he was really into it. He said he enjoyed giving me all that pleasure. And he sure did. He could always get me off that way, always. Mostly many times. I'd have to practically beg him to stop, it was so intense and exhausting.
"But there was a problem. You see, even though he liked it when I did him orally, he always wanted to do me the regular way, with his cock in me, you know? He said it gave him more pleasure when he got off that way; better than the oral.
"And so, of course, we did it like that sometimes. After all, that's how he gave me our wonderful kids. They're all grown up now, the youngest's in college.
"But the problem with doing it like that, with him inside me, was that he took a long time at it, and frankly, a lot of the time he just couldn't get off, you know?"
"Caller, are you saying he didn't usually have orgasms from regular sex?"
"No. Not that often. But sometimes, and like I said, he said it was more pleasurable for him. And my problem was that I never got off when we went long like that. Well, that's not true; a few times I did. I could use my fingers on my little bud and get off that way, but it was like I was doing it alone, you know? His cock alone couldn't get me off.
"And another problem was that when we were doing it his way, what I came to resent was that he would want to go on and on. When he was successful, when he did come, it would only take a couple of minutes. Once we went past that, he'd want to keep going for 20-30 minutes, you know? And it just wasn't going to happen for him, you know?
"I knew that. And I'd learned over and over that when it went that long there wasn't going to be anything in it for me. I just didn't get orgasms much from that way, and it was because he was small.
"So one day, about a year or so ago, I'd had a really bad day at work. I was pretty tired and upset about some other things, and he wanted to make love. I tried to hint that I wasn't really in the mood, but I gave up and let him go down on me. And as sucky as I felt, he did get me off; a little one.
"But then he got on top and started in riding me and it seemed to go on and on, and after we got past the point where I knew it was pointless, I just flat out yelled at him to stop - that I didn't want to do it any more.
"If that was all that happened, it would have been ok, I think. He would have just given it up as just one of those things. Like 'Honey, I have a headache, ' you know?
"But I didn't let it go at that. I got pissy. I told him that I was tired of doing it like that. I said it just wasn't going to happen for either of us once we got going so long. I said we already had all the kids we wanted, and there was nothing in for me doing it that. I told him it was pointless and boring.
"I told him I just didn't want to be bothered doing it that way anymore. I told him he had never gotten me off that way, ever. So I wanted him to stop doing it."
The studio was quiet.
Teresa didn't like the dead air, and asked "Caller, how did he take that... you saying that?"
"Well, what do you think, Teresa. George was just stunned. His erection died. He pulled out of me. Then he just sat up on the side of the bed, staring away from me. It was a terrible thing for me to say and there was no way to unsay it. I threw my arms around him and kept saying I was sorry; I was so sorry; I didn't mean it.
"But I had said it and we both knew that I did mean it. He put his face in his hands. All I could do was hug him and cry along with him.
"I promised to give him oral whenever he wanted it. I told him I'd give him the best blowjobs ever. Eventually, being the way that he always was, so nice and all, he told me it would be ok. So I thought we were cool with it."
The call-in line was quiet for a few seconds. "No, I gotta be honest; that's not true," the Caller said. "He said it was ok, but that was just him trying to be nice. I knew it wasn't ok. You don't live with a man for 23 years and not know how he feels.
"But even though I felt bad about it, I was only saying what was the truth about how I felt, so I figured he'd get over it.
"Before we went to sleep, he said something so softly I could hardly hear him. He said he wouldn't try that way any more. He said he didn't want to make me unhappy because of his limitations. He said he loved me too much to want to make me unhappy.
"Well, I guess you know how badly I felt. Pretty low, after I got down off my attitude. After that I tried to make sure to get him off with my mouth as much as I thought of it. But there was something different between us after that, something not right. I came to realize that George stopped making the first move for sex. I had to do it now.
"But life went on. He was still warm and considerate and lovable.
"That all happened about a year ago.
"So, one day about six months ago, I was at work, and it was on our lunch break. There's a bunch of us girls who always get together.
"This is at George's shop. He makes small manufacturing and special order machined items. His dad started it, but George was the one who built it up.
"There's the designers and machinists, mostly men; and then there are a bunch of us gals who do the assembly work and the packing and running the office side for George. There are a lot of married couples there.
"Some of the marriages came from working together there, like me and George. I fell in love with him the day he interviewed me. Here was this great big old teddy bear of a man. Huge: six three and 240 pounds, but no beer gut or anything. He was just a naturally big dude. I went after him like you wouldn't believe! He was real reluctant to date. I mean, he practically would do anything to avoid being alone with me. But I kept wearing him down.
"Finally, he sat me down and very carefully told me that he didn't want me to be disappointed. He said that he had terribly disappointed his first wife and had sworn to never do that to another woman. He told me his penis was smaller than average. Well, that took me some getting used to, him being such a big dude in every other way. But he was such a great guy in every other way that I told him it didn't matter. Still, he said he wouldn't ask me to marry him until we made love.
"I'll admit, I was a little bit disappointed in the penetration part when we finally had sex. But my God his mouth was fantastic on me, and everything else was so good and I was so crazy about him, it really didn't seem that important. I loved it when he got me off with his mouth. I'd never had a lover who was so good about that. Hell, I'd only dated one guy who ever even gave it a token try.
"So like I said, this one day I was sitting with the girlfriends. You know, we sit away from everyone else and we get to it with the girl talk.
"Teresa, I know you and everyone else knows how that goes; we dish on our husbands or boyfriends. It's like that Jerri from Cleveland said. I'm sure every woman out there has done it. 'He's lazy, he's crude, he's inconsiderate, he forgets important days, ' and all that stuff. It's harmless venting, you know. We all love our guys.
"Well, being nasty little girls, this one day we got onto how good we would rate our sex life. I said I would give it a ten, that George eats me out almost every night to a great climax. They didn't believe it. Turns out it wasn't at all common for two of them, and the other two said that their hubbies had never gone down on them. Their husbands had said that it wasn't something a real man should have to do to satisfy his wife.
"So they gave me the raspberry and said I was putting them on, and I got a little defensive. I said he did too. I just knew that no matter what they said, the others were jealous as hell. Score one point for my George!
"Then the topic got around to penis size. George's sister Eunice said her hubby, Earl was 8 inches long, and my best friend Clara said her guy Johnny was at least that big. George's other sister Agnes and my other friend Mavis didn't say anything, and neither did I. That got the other two on our backs; you know, 'Ok, girls, how big?' Agnes finally said just under 6 inches, and Mavis said about the same without saying a number. That left me, and I wasn't going to say a word. I hated that it had come up like this. I knew what they were thinking. But I wasn't gonna say it.
"I tried to change the subject, but Eunice and Clara were on the hunt, you know? Especially Eunice. When she set her mind to find out something, she never gives up.
"We went back to general stuff, but they worked it back to our sex lives. How many times a night did we do it? I said again about the oral, but they insisted that didn't count; the only thing that mattered was what would make a baby. I disagreed.
"The four of them said that it wasn't every night, but when they did the regular sex, their husbands liked to get in at least two: a quicky and then some fooling around to get it up again and then another longer, hotter one.
"They looked at me and all I could think to say was that George and I didn't want any more kids, and I couldn't use any birth control because the Church we now went to forbids it. So that's why we did the oral. Then I got up and just went back to work."
"Well, that was that, I thought, but Eunice had other ideas. She knew I'd ducked the size question and now she just had to know! But she bided her time. We talked about a lot of other stuff the next few days. But then it was right back to sex. This time it was what positions did we use? Eunice and Clara were talking about these exotic positions where you'd need to have a porn star's foot-long dick to stay inside a woman.
"Mavis was honest and said that her Stan and she had tried some exotic positions from a sex manual, but they just couldn't make some of them work; he just couldn't keep in her. I just said straight out that George and I had only done it missionary style, or with me on top.
"Clara pulled out one of those sex manuals and we looked it over. I had never seen the point to all that stuff about positions. But then she turned to the back and there was an index there that showed how each position was rated. It was about such things as satisfaction for the man, satisfaction for the woman, and so on. It went into difficulty; I mean some of them you'd have to be a pair of teenaged gymnasts to get anything from them. One last thing they were rated for was penis size requirements. Oh, it had disclaimers about variances in body contours and all that. But one thing was clear; if all a man could do was missionary and cowboy, he was probably smaller than 5 inches. Either that or his wife had a huge padded butt.
"I realized that I had unintentionally told them that George was that small. So I shut up after that. But the fact was out there.
"Afterwards I asked Eunice why she would want to dig something out like that about her own brother, and she just shook her head. She really didn't know why she got like that; she said she was just such a digger after gossip that she didn't stop to think. She said she had never seen George's cock except when he was a little boy. She said she was sorry.
"Then it hit me: the gossip! God, no one must ever know about this."
"I begged the girls to forget it, to never say anything about it. And they all promised. They all realized how upset I was about it. We were all pretty good friends, and so I had no reason not to believe them.