Lest you make the mistake of thinking that the winner of this year’s Brooklyn’s Smallest Penis Pageant actually has the smallest penis in Brooklyn, John* would like to clear something up. “The name of the contest was kind of a misnomer,” says John. “I think it was more of a personality contest.” If the annual event had ranked contestants based on size alone, John would have lost (he assures us). But, thanks to the contest's interview and talent portions, he charmed judges and crowd alike and walked away the victor of the tongue-in-cheek pageant. We spoke with John about his favorite thing to do in bed, how dating cultures in the U.S. and India differ, and why size doesn’t matter when it comes to love.
Congratulations on your recent victory! How did you hear about the pageant and decide to enter?
"Thank you! A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted an article he liked about the pageant and I clicked on that and I thought, 'That’s a nice opportunity to spend a good Sunday afternoon.' You get free beer, and pretty girls are cheering you, and there is nothing to worry about."
Tell me about the contest.
"We had three rounds. In the...formal round, they put bow ties on our private parts, and then they asked us random questions on the spot. I think we’re all quite different people, all the contestants, but I would say that the answers that I gave kind of set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. A lot of the other guys were using profanity, and they thought that is what women want, but I believe that we probably have to have a look at the gender discourse. Using words like 'cunt' or 'pussy' — not many women find it very tasteful. I didn’t use any of those words...in India, it’s kind of frowned upon. [One of the questions was] 'What do you do in bed?' My answer was not related to hard-core sex stuff. I said, 'I like to make out.' And the girls just loved it. Actually, that’s something I really love doing.
"The next round was a wet-thong contest where they threw water on us… And the final round was the talent round, where I performed a Bollywood dance, which, again, was well-received. It brought the house down, actually."
Have you studied Bollywood dance?
"No, actually, anybody growing up in India just knows it."
Where are you from in India?
"I’m from New Delhi. I’ve been here for three years. I came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar for my MBA [at Indiana University]."
So, you’re an accomplished professional – in light of that, did you have any hesitations about entering the contest?
"Not really, to be honest. I never thought about the repercussions of participating because it’s a small event in Brooklyn... Only after it happened, the next day, I knew that it had snowballed into something bigger. It was all over the press. [But] if someone’s hiring for financial accounting, my wiener size has got nothing to do with that… I’m sure some of my colleagues or somebody might have seen it, too, but there has never been a discussion about it, we are all professionals. As long as I am competent in what I do at work, I don’t think anyone should have a problem."
The prize was $200 and a date with two sisters. How do you plan to spend the money and what do you have planned for the date?
"The first thing I did was [buy] running shoes. I’d been meaning to buy new shoes and my old ones were wearing out… And, coming to the date, I’m excited to meet with these two sisters from Michigan. I actually chatted with them during the contest. They were very friendly, so I’m excited to see them again."
Do you think that the publicity from the contest might help you on the dating scene?
"Some of the press has written really nice things about me, which I’m very thankful for, so hopefully the girls will see me as an interesting person beyond the size of my wiener... I’m looking for a relationship... Online dating is not the best...if I find someone [through this], that’ll be awesome."
If not online, how do you meet people?
"Being alive, being in the moment, helps a lot. Some of the dates I found in New York City weren’t from any app or online, but on the subway, especially visitors to this country — because they are so curious about America and I’m so curious about them, [about] where they come from. I love telling people what I know about America and New York, so we have this mutual interest. Because, on the subway, I’m not always hooked onto my phone or music or some device... I look at people. One of the dates I met on the subway, on the Q...we had the most romantic evening...we made out under the stars. It was so beautiful... Who knows. The person you’re looking at could be your match… She’s sitting right there next to you on the train."
Do you have any relationship pointers for a man with a smaller-than-average penis?
"First of all, I'd like to clarify that [this contest] was not just about the smallest penis…if that was the only yardstick to measure the contestants, I would have probably lost, because mine was not the smallest... I would say it’s the average size from South Asia, at least. But, it was never a question [of size for me], because I grew up hearing the stories of Meera...a woman who fell in love with Lord Krishna without even touching him... So, I come from those stories; for us, love is more important than anything else. Penis size isn’t in the equation... You treat each other with respect. You make her feel special, surprise her, you’re there for her when she has a bad day at work. That’s how women are pleased and the wiener is not the only way to please them. I come from a country where so many weddings happen without [couples] even kissing [first], and many of my friends from undergrad have [done that] and they are so happy...it's all about love."
Last question: What’s your favorite cuisine in New York City?
"I like Ethiopian cuisine a lot, because this is something I had not been exposed to before I came to America. I really admire the communal style of eating. It’s a nice feeling, where your friends and family are eating together from the same, big plate. I don’t really remember the names, but Ethiopian restaurants are the ones that I like. Also, most of the places that serve hot foods. I’m not a big fan of cold sandwiches."
* Names have been changed to protect identities