The relationship_advice subreddit often causes a stir in the depths of my soul and my hole. However, one recent post struck harder than usual. Seeking help and advice, a "(25M)" lamented that he hasn't been able to get it up since finding out his girlfriend prefers curved dicks, when his is straight. Naturally, this led to me asking everyone I met and everyone who responds to my Instagram stories whether they like a straight or a curved dick more.
Due to the stark division in preferences, I thought a decisive answer must be found. Not just to why people have an inclination for either, but which is objectively better. Before exploring the depths of dick angles, though, it's worth getting to grips with why some cocks curve and some don't.
It's scientific consensus that having a slight bend to your cock is natural, but those with a more pronounced arch one way or the other may have Peyronie's disease – an intimidating name for a condition that can be caused by your wanking angle – seriously. When the dick experiences a bend damaging enough to create scar tissue, the new tissue can cause it to curve whenever you get a hard-on. If it isn't causing you any pain, there's no problem (although if it does hurt, maybe you should go see a doctor).
But what difference does the curve make to the receiver of the dick – if any?
A preference for a straight dick may come from a natural love of symmetry, according to certified holistic sex educator Elle Stanger, who likens the desire for a "straighty" to the feeling that all balls and boobs need to be symmetrical. "The general assumption is that all boobs are supposed to be symmetrical and that all penises are too, even though symmetry in nature is rare," Stanger tells me. "For example, lots of people with scrotums will notice that one of their testes is bigger than the other. This is nature's way of resting the testicles next to each other in a way that doesn't 'knock' them together as much when the person is moving."
After you've googled "curved cocks: why?" for a few hours, this penchant for straight penises as an aesthetic preference rather than a sexual one seems to make sense. The internet is full of people trying to find out if the angle of their dick is "normal", and even if it can be "fixed" (it can, but the surgery is only performed on under 5 percent of people with wonky junk, and only necessary if the deviance is causing pain).
That said, the women in my DMs – and Cosmo's staff – remark that an angled erection can often give them more pleasure than a straight one. What might seem like a curveball in the bedroom might make you cum from vaginal penetration, if you haven't before.
"Curved dicks fit better inside me, and feel like they're pleasuring me more than a straight one," says Katy, 26. "Plus, a curved dick is far more likely to hit my G-spot, regardless of the position. I've found straight dicks need specific angles and sex positions to hit my G-spot."
Stanger mentions the G-spot when commenting on the pros and cons of cocks that curve. "The most sensitive part of the vagina tends to be the front [anterior] wall, about two to three inches in, and around a cluster of nerves and tissue often called the G-spot," she explains. "Angled toys, curvature of fingers and bendy penises can help stimulate this spot, especially."
The sex toy market backs this up, too. Online sex shops, such as Adam & Eve, specifically refer to their curved dildos as "G-spot dildos", which bolsters the theory that a curved cock preference is down to senses over aesthetics – that stimulation can be achieved vaginally from a curved cock if not a straight one.
But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and a number of people I spoke to found non-straight schlongs painful during penetration. Danny*, 25, explains that he prefers straightforward dicks after two rounds on an "aggressively curved" one left him bleeding both times. Similarly, Michelle* describes shagging someone with a bent dick as feeling like "it was touching my bladder, although that biologically is not possible".
Despite these horrendous-sounding sexual encounters, neither Danny nor Michelle feel averse to giving the angled shag another go. As Danny puts it: "A dick is a dick, after all."
For every warning about the pains of penis curvature, there seems to be a matching cautionary tale about straight dicks. Millie, 25, says that even a big curvy cock will slide in easily, while a straighter one often requires proper positioning, lots of lube and some willpower. To get really specific, she also reckons that curved and straight dicks have different uses. "Curved is best for on top and for penetrative orgasms," Millie says, "and straight is best for doggy style."
Having the right dick for every position is a dream that can only be fulfilled by a trip to Ann Summers – or, I suppose, by becoming polyamorous – but ultimately a preference for any kind of cock can come along depending on our own experiences and likes. "Not everyone with a vulva and vagina will experience or find their G-spot, for the same reason that not everyone has straight [or curved] dicks," Stanger explains. "Nature presents itself on a wide spectrum of diversity."
For those who regularly put dicks in our gobs, fannies and arses, it's worth considering whether our own anatomy should also be judged for being straight or curved. If your G-spot can only be reached with a wonky willy, maybe we should be debating if curved or straight vaginal canals are better.
Ultimately, the only answer is a subjective one. We choose our preference for dicks based on what brings us the most pleasure, which in turn is based on the shapes and particularities of our own bodies – a thesis that was eloquently summarised by a guy in my mentions who chose straight cocks over curved for one simple reason: "Because I think I have a pretty straight asshole."
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.