Does Size Matter?

Penis size is a major source of anxiety for a lot of guys. The anxiety can be bad enough that it completely undermines their self-confidence as sex partners. This is understandable given the importance of the penis size in many men’s minds. Despite this very real feeling concern, is penis size that important when it comes down to doing the dirty?

What Exactly Is Average?

Penis size, much like most human traits, follows the bell curve. This means that almost all guys fall within the normal range.  Very few men have penises that would be considered particularly small or large. At one end of the penis size spectrum is congenital micropenis, defined as approximately 2.5 inches or less in length, fully erect. About half of one percent of men would fall into this category. At the other end of the spectrum is someone like Jonah Falcon, the man who currently holds the record for the largest penis. His penis is 13.5 inches erect, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to have penetrative sex. So what’s the average? A recent review of all the studies examining penis length reported that the average penis length across more than 15,000 men of several ethnicities was just shy of 5.2 inches, fully erect. A 2014 study of American men found that the average erect penis length was about 5.6 inches. Other studies have reported a slightly longer average length. However, penis length studies are characterized by two pretty significant problems that may lead to an overestimate of average penis length. First, most studies depend on men to honestly self-report their penis lengths. It’s too impractical and weird for study participants to have them show up at the lab to be measured by researchers. As such, researchers depend on self-report, but it’s presumed that men will round up or exaggerate their measurements. Second, men with smaller penises probably avoid participating in this type of research.

What Does She Prefer?

Recent research emanating from UCLA found that women tended to choose an ideal penis size length of approximately 6 inches. But, this was in absence of other very important variables (e.g., sexual skills, attentiveness, attractiveness, intelligence, personality, chemistry, etc.). This is like asking a group of straight guys to choose a partner based only on ideal breast size. It’s a silly question to ask because the vast, vast majority of men make decisions about who they’ll sleep with or date based on many other more important traits. Another recent study asked women to rank order seven penis attributes. Girth was ranked fourth and length sixth. The top three were general appearance, pubic hair appearance, and penile skin. In other words, even when forced to choose amongst a set of penis features, size didn’t really matter that much to the women in the study. It might also be helpful to know that anecdotally, for every woman who prefers a larger penis, there’s likely one who prefers a smaller penis. Over my career doing research and clinical work, I’ve heard many times from women with well-endowed partners how uncomfortable sex can be. Bigger isn’t always better.

Is Size Really That Important?

In the largest and most comprehensive study of men’s and women’s reasons to have sex, researchers from Texas identified 237 different motivating factors. Several physical attributes including facial attractiveness, eyes, and general attraction showed up on the list. Penis size… did not.

Does Her Satisfaction Depend On Your Size?

There are piles of studies on sexual satisfaction and they have collectively produced a long list of things that make for good sex. Things such as attentiveness, sexual skills, confidence, comfort, aspects of the relationship, and attitudes towards sex appear to be very important. Penis size is only ever mentioned in studies that exclusively focus on penis size and sexual satisfaction. Even then, penis size does not appear to be that important. Also worth mentioning, the vast majority of women do not orgasm through vaginal penetration; they require stimulation of the clitoris, which has nothing to do with penis size. Additionally, those who do orgasm through penetration typically do so as a result of simulation of the mythical “G-spot.” While there’s no specific G-spot structure, there is a region about 2 inches into the vagina on the front wall that when stimulated, will lead to serious pleasure and orgasm for some women. That pleasure is likely the result of stimulation of the inner part of the clitoris and tissue around the urethra. For the minority of women who do orgasm from vaginal penetration, research has shown that penis length is unimportant to most of them. In other words, a larger penis is not critical for G-spot stimulation or vaginal orgasms. Additionally, a larger penis can make oral and anal sex more difficult.

What’s The Take-Home Message?

In the end, being a superstar in bed has very little do with penis size and all to do with many other important factors. Getting hung up on penis size, despite its perceived importance, distracts you from being a badass sex partner. Sexual satisfaction for you and your partner will be hindered, but not because of the size of your penis. A distracted and anxious sex partner simply isn’t in the game. Don’t let your penis size worries get in the way of what would otherwise be awesome experiences.