Imagine proposing to your girlfriend at a sporting event and having her stare at you in shock, then shake her head and walk away. This unfolds on the Jumbotron for all to see and quickly becomes a novelty news story and goes viral on YouTube. Now imagine that your girlfriend explains that the reason for her refusal is that your man parts are too small. At this point you’ve got a pretty good idea of how it felt to be Patrick Moote and can probably understand why this experience inspired him to make the documentary Unhung Hero.
As a comedian, Moote has a bit of an advantage dealing with this situation, but the whole thing is enough to give anyone a complex. He sets about researching his personal history (i.e. interviews friends and girlfriends who confirm that he’s a bit of a tiny “pickle” down there) and then researching the broader history of why and when size started to matter so much. It’s a question of body image that affects all men, so it’s not as though he’s exploring a frivolous topic. After talking to a variety of sex experts from Dan Savage to Annie Sprinkle, Moote begins to learn that size often has more to do with confidence than performance and that most cultures have traditionally valued fertility over appearance. The pornification of our culture coupled with the fact that many men have few other examples to compare themselves to leave many guys with unrealistic expectations.
Feelings of inadequacy are only natural, but it’s fascinating how thoroughly that informs every aspect of an unhung hero’s life. It’s not the small package that most potential partners find unattractive, it’s the fixation on one’s shortcomings. In other words, you’re only tiny dick guy if that’s the characteristic you focus on. Otherwise you’re entirely likely to find love and happiness based on your winning personality and pretty eyes.
Moote himself serves as the perfect example of this phenomenon as he pursues every possible avenue to make himself bigger. He travels the world trying pills and elixirs, exercises and contraptions, and comes close to considering injections and surgery. All of these are extreme measures with very questionable results, and it seems as though Moote is so intent on finding a solution that he checks his common sense at the door. He seems shocked to learn that Extenz will not literally cause your manhood to grow, and that the penis is not actually a muscle. These are fairly simple things to research in advance, but Moote’s quest for self improvement leaves him barreling forward without first checking the facts. At times it’s sad watching him struggle, but you can still kind of understand where he’s coming from. He ultimately learns the obvious – that self acceptance is the first step in finding unconditional love. By the end of the documentary, Moote has met a girl and is moving forward. It still feels tenuous, but whether this relationship sticks or not, it’s the next logical step in this hero’s journey.
Unhung Hero will be available on DVD on December 10, 2013.