Penis size myths and facts

Myth 1

"My penis is smaller than average."

Most men think they are smaller than average. They get this view from looking down on their flaccid penis in locker rooms, or from watching porn films where well endowed studs thrust away endlessly on the moaning female "stars" until they explode in a volcanic crescendo.

The truth is that if you look down at your genitals from the top in a locker room, or anywhere else for that matter, you are going to get a shortened view of your penis: to appreciate its true size, you need to see it sideways on in a mirror. It then suddenly looks longer! And if you watch porn films, you're not seeing average sized men - you're seeing a small number of men who have penises so large that they are in demand to appear in porn films. And, by the way, the reason they go on for so long during sex is that they are totally detached from their feelings, not seeing the women as people, but as sex objects, and they are also cut off from the process of arousal and excitement that makes sex so enjoyable for most of us. It may come as a surprise that a man can have a rock hard penis and not be aroused - but that's one of the mysteries of male sexuality.

Myth 2

"Women like a man with a big penis."

No, they don't. A few women may like being stretched to the limit, or poked in the cervix during sex, but most do not care about the size of their man's penis. The problem here is the male thinking that "bigger equals better." This logic is based on the way men get sexual pleasure: the more friction, the better the sex. Therefore, a man may think that an above-average penis is going to give a woman more sensation. It seems like a logical connection. But women are not looking for physical sensation like this during sex. They are looking for emotional connection, a feeling of being loved, a sense of being special and cherished, and closeness and intimacy with their partner.

And what's the proof of this? Look on the women's "community" message boards on the internet and in general you won't find size discussed as an issue. It's the men's advice boards and websites that focus on penis measurement and comparison! Try it yourself if you want, by searching for "what women think about the penis" in Google or Yahoo. What you'll get is a plethora of get-bigger-quick sites telling you that size really, really does matter, and a few sensible websites aimed at men telling you that your penis is good for everything no matter how big or small it may be. But you won't find female oriented websites discussing the issue very much. What does that tell you? That it's just not an issue in women's consciousness, perhaps?

Myth 3

"Where women and penises are concerned, bigger is better for sex."

Actually, it isn't. If anything, women prefer a thick penis to a long one. This research was done at an American college by asking fifty sexually active women what they preferred: and they said they preferred thickness to length. But although the results were statistically significant, they were not hugely so. It isn't a matter of great importance to women. Original reference here.

Julia Bourland is a sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of The Go-Girl Guide: Surviving Your 20s With Savvy, Soul, and Style. Here's what she says in her advice for women:

"In candid discussions with girlfriends, we've come to the unanimous conclusion that length is a far less critical component to the size factor than width. In fact, an extra long penis is even questionably desirable since it's apt to penetrate too deeply and pain the delicate cervix. An extra short penis on the other hand is still able to reach one's vital spot (the G-spot is just an inch or so back along the front wall of the vagina.) So if you're the type to enjoy G-spot pleasure - and not all women are - then a short penis will do no wrong. Unless it's short and thin. Then it may not have enough girth to trigger your arousal.

"If you are not satisfied by your partner's size, you will want to get creative about your sex positions. A short, thin penis may feel more substantial while engaging in variations of doggy style, which allows for deeper penetration. Using different positions and alternating with a vibrator now and then may increase the pleasure for both of you since many men find that the most satisfying sex is that which arouses their partner. Two other aspects of good sex that men can control matter as well - friction and awareness. For many women the key erogenous zone, the clitoris, is rarely dependent on the penis for orgasmic release. If your mate has the right rhythm, a marathon level of endurance and a keen awareness of all of your erogenous zones, the pleasure will come - regardless of length or width."

Myth 4

"My penis says it all about my masculinity - the bigger it is, the more manly I am"

In all the years I've worked with men, I have never seen any evidence that masculinity is connected to genital size. I know that a sense of self-esteem might come through being able to walk around the locker room or the changing room with an enormous dick swinging in front of you - but that doesn't mean you're more of a man. It's a social construct that penis size equals masculinity. The truth is this: the length and width of your penis has no relationship whatsoever to those masculine values worth cultivating - the ones that make you a real man: the ability to father a child, either biologically or socially, the strength of character to be a model citizen or a good leader, the personal depth to be a creative force both personally and in the community, and a powerful and emotionally aware male in your relationships, the dedication to be a mentor to adolescent boys, and the determination to think with power and clarity and get what you want out of life. If you had to choose between a big dick and those values, what would you choose? And, out of interest, which do you think would be more likely to attract women?

Myth 5

"The bigger my penis, the better the sex."

Not at all. For one thing, some women have smaller vaginas than others, especially Asian women, and for another the intensity of your orgasm is related to how aroused you are, not your physical size. And you don't last for longer during sex if you're on the large size. Men who experience premature ejaculation come in all shapes and sizes. I know this because I have spent a long time counseling men with PE. The cure for premature ejaculation is greater self-confidence, a better relationship with your spouse or partner, eliminating fear and guilt from sexual relationships, and open and honest communication. It doesn't lie in the size of your manhood, or falling for the line peddled by the "get-bigger-quick" sites about how you'll be able to make love all night when you're two inches longer. By the way, if you want to know how to deal with premature ejaculation, go here.

Myth 6

"I can't satisfy a woman unless I have a big dick."

No woman would ever agree with that. Only a minority of women orgasm through vaginal intercourse - and if they do, it's because the penis is stimulating their G spot. (A penis in the vagina doesn't stimulate the clitoris.) And guess where the G spot is found? About two inches inside the vagina on the upper wall. Now, is your penis two inches long? Yes? It is? Oh, good! So, if you want to, you can give a woman a vaginal orgasm. Most couples never realize this, because they don't know how vaginal orgasms are produced. You can read about it here, or if you don't want to bother, you and she can be quite satisfied with clitoral orgasms: these come from stimulating her clitoris with your tongue, your fingers, a vibrator, or the tip of your penis, rubbing outside her vagina on her vulva and clitoris. Here is an email on an internet discussion board from a woman:

"My husband has an erect penis about 5 inches and it's not thick. But I can assure you, he can absolutely drive me crazy with it - and for hours! I guess desire and technique are more necessary and appreciated for a small man? As you know, the clitoral area, the labia minora, and the vulva are delectably excitable. So, the smaller organ may be better able to stimulate that area. He teases me there with just the tip of his penis. WOW! Talk about multiple orgasms! So, if you're a man who doesn't have the largest of penises, please don't feel too bad about it - you can still do it for a woman!"

Myth 7

"As far as the penis is concerned, size is more important than shape."

Well, you might think so, but did you ever ask a woman what she thinks? Here's an extract from a women's message board on the internet:

"Did it ever occur to you that a penis shaped like a lollipop with a big knob and a thin shaft was exactly right for sucking, whereas one with a small, pointy helmet on a bigger shaft would ease the way in anal intercourse?"

I have it admit it had never occurred to me either, but I do see the point. I guess the ideal penis varies depending on what you're trying to do with it.

Myth 8

"The average penis is over 6 inches long."

This is not true either. You can see it's not true on this website, full of pictures of the penis - and I mean full of pictures, of every size and shape: Images of Size

Why don't you start by measuring your own penis?

How long are you?

Your erection length is the distance along the dorsal (top) side of your penis when it's erect, from your pubic mound to the tip of your glans. In other words, measure your penis along its top surface from where your belly meets the shaft to the tip of your penis. Take multiple measurements over the course of a few days and then average the values. Since your erections can vary slightly in size depending on your level of arousal, mood, room temperature, and even the time since your last sexual encounter, averaging out a few measurements will let you get a more accurate figure.

What's your circumference or girth?

Penile circumference is defined as the linear distance around the widest part of the erect penis. Use a piece of string and wrap it around the widest part of your penis. Make sure it's not stretchy, and mark the string at the correct spot and then measure it with a ruler. As with length, this measurement should be done several times over a few days and the results averaged.

Now, want to know how you compare? We have to look at surveys to tell us what's normal. (Shortcut to the answer: whatever you have is a normal penis!)

The Kinsey Report surveyed white penis size among college males in the 1950's. It revealed the following data for the length of the erect penis (with foreskin retracted for uncircumcised men): half of all men have a penis of six inches or less when it is erect. One man in 5 has a penis five inches or less when erect. One man in 50 or so has a penis four inches or less when erect. More recent work shows that the average is actually a tad under six inches - 5.9 inches, to be precise.

Myth 9

"Black men's penises are larger than white men's and Asian men's are smaller."

Actually this isn't totally a myth. The penises of black men are between half an inch and an inch bigger than whites when erect, and Asians' erections are about half an inch shorter. (But black men's penises come in all sizes. See Images of Size, which has a black men's penis gallery.) Penile girth seems to vary in proportion. And it appears that the vagina of each race is built to match!


The size of your organ doesn't matter to women as much as it does to you. It needn't matter that much to you, either: you can have a good relationship regardless of how big your cock is, and sex is as much fun as you make it - regardless of what your penis looks like!

Myth 10

"A woman who's given birth won't get pleasure from my penis during sex"

And the last myth to see off is the old one about childbirth stretching the vagina. Women who've had children don't normally have looser vaginas than women who've never given birth. It's that amazing elastic quality of the vagina - it stretches to give birth, it recovers. In any event, if a woman who's had a baby feels she might be a bit more stretched than before, she can always use Kegel exercises to tighten her muscle tone - and since that lets her positively grip her man's penis, sex may feel better for both partners! But it's not a matter of vaginal size - it's more a matter of vaginal fitness.

Penis facts

Fact 1

"It's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts."

OK, OK, you've heard all those cliches before, I have no doubt. But guess what - they're true! A woman's sexual satisfaction does not depend on how your penis can stretch her vagina, but on your ability to get close, intimate, connected and to make her feel cherished and loved! Her arousal and desire will vary at different times of the month, as she goes through a cycle of changing hormone levels, but one thing's for sure - a key factor will always be how emotionally connected she feels to you. Women want to make love when they feel loved. So the little romantic gestures - a loving look, a light touch, a spontaneous massage, the unexpected bunch of flowers, making her feel wanted and worthy of you - will all make her in the mood for love. Her desire does not center on your penis - for her, that's just a part of you. And what's more important for you as a man is that her ability to reach orgasm and feel sexually fulfilled is not dependent on your penis. It's dependent on you!

So, you may be thinking, if my penis falls on the smaller side of the distribution, how do I ensure that she enjoys sex with me? There are several things you can do. The first is to become an expert in oral sex. For women, this is often the most exciting and arousing sexual act. Women who see that their partner loves to lick and taste their most secret, intimate and special parts feel a sense of being appreciated and loved. But in addition, the sensation is incredibly exciting - in poll after poll, oral sex comes out as women's favorite sexual activity! If you're stuck on the penis-in-a-vagina routine during sex, this may surprise you. But the fact is that oral sex provides delicate, sensitive stimulation on her deliciously sensitive labia and vulva, and, of course, on that pearl of her sexuality, her clitoris. It's often too sensitive in the early stages of sex to be handled directly with fingers and hands, but the light moist warm pressure of a tongue can be exactly what drives her arousal and orgasm.

Here's what Vanessa Burton, sex adviser to the Ask men website says: "Most of the women I ask about cunnilingus get this weird, elated look on their faces just before they let out a sigh and say, 'oh, it's very important.' There's nothing quite like the feel of a warm, wet tongue against the vulva, I always say." And this from another female sex expert: "Cunnilingus is the fine art of making love to a vagina with your mouth and tongue. It is a delicate skill, requiring patience, practice, and dedication to get it right, but any woman you learn to do it right for will appreciate you all the more for it." I could go on, but the point is made - learn to give oral sex and you're on to a winner! (Here's how to give oral sex.)

The second thing you can do is learn to be a better lover. Your penis is perfectly adequate: you just need to know how to use it to its full potential! There's a great set of techniques to use during penile penetration and as you thrust in and out of her vagina, which will have her flowing juicily in no time at all. They are Tantric Sex techniques and they are wonderful; you can read about them here: Extended Sexual Orgasm by Alan and Donna Brauer and A Beginner's Guide to Tantric Sexuality by Richard Craze.

Fact 2

"Actually, size does matter."

What! After all I said above? How can this be? Well, what I mean is that it matters in some way to the woman you are with. Her vagina will be a slightly different size and shape to every other woman's vagina, and her unique sexuality means you have to learn how best to use your penis to make love to her, as with every woman you meet. Whether she claims a preference for a particular length and girth, her uniqueness and the quality of the relationship you are in make the anatomy of your penis pretty much an irrelevance.

Having said that, if you have an organ three inches wide and ten inches long, all I can say is: God help you. By the way, have a look at "Gunner" on Images of Size. You might first react by saying "Wow, I wish I had that!" But then think, who on earth is he ever going to meet who allows him to put it inside her (or him, for that matter?) His penis is just too dam big to be useful! Anywhere between four and seven inches long is perfectly normal and perfectly functional when it comes to sex and orgasmic pleasure, alone during masturbation or during sex with a woman.

And just in case your penis is shorter than this, I want to tell you about a man I know who was born with a tiny misshapen penis and had surgery at the age of twenty to "improve" it - after which his erection was one inch long. Difficult to imagine, isn't it? But he married, and a very happy sex life and adopted two kids. Now, of course he must have had a few problems, but the point is that he and his wife adapted to cope - both he and she had regular orgasms. The point is that you can always rise to meet a challenge. And the happy ending of his story is that after more recent surgery, his penis is now two inches long. He's remarried and his second wife enjoys vaginal penetration and has multiple orgasms during intercourse with him. Now, does size matter?

Fact 3

The average is smaller than you think

As we discussed above, you can't judge the size of your own penis in comparison to other men's by looking down on yours and sideways at theirs. You need to compare what you see if you look sideways on at yours in a mirror - it looks larger. Something to do with perspective. The average flaccid penis is three and a bit inches long. But an important point to remember is that many men have no penile shaft visible when they are flaccid - it retracts into their body, and becomes invisible. If yours is like this (or even if it isn't), but your erection is a decent size, and can give her pleasure, does it really matter? Probably not, since you aren't likely to see another guy's erect penis, unless you happen to enjoy sex with other men. And remember - most erections are less than six inches long.

Fact 4

There is no such thing as a "normal" penis

Every penis is different, an individual - just like its owner. If you want to see the proof of this, look at the pictures on this site.

Fact 5

"Use it or lose it."

Yes, it's true. Studies of older men show that the penis really does shrink if they don't have sex, masturbate or experience orgasm regularly. What better reason could there be for indulging in a bit of sex than to preserve the size of your manhood? Mind you, if you're under the age of thirty you probably don't need any encouragement- you're probably giving your penis all the exercise it needs already. Between thirty and forty things may be slowing down a bit, and over fifty it's probable that you need more motivation to use your penis sexually. Well, think about it, men: you can keep your whole system in tip top order by having an orgasm once, twice or three times a week. What you might need is something to get you in the mood, because if your woman has gone through the menopause too, she might be slowing down as well in her demands. The perfect answer to all of this is to buy a copy of this book: "All Night Long - How To Make Love To A Man Over Fifty". Don't read it - it's full of sexy things for her to do to you! Just give it to her nicely gift wrapped with a bunch of flowers, then sit back and await developments. Your prostate will thank you too, for nothing keeps it in working order and free of prostatitis and infections better than regular ejaculation.

Your penis is protected from aging too, because although the stretchy tissues in the internal erectile chambers become less elastic with age, this deterioration proceeds more slowly if they are given the opportunity to extend as often as possible. In other words, like every tissue of the body, the more they are called upon to perform, the better they do so!

What's more, sex seems to protect you from a heart attack (and lots more unpleasant effects of aging). A group of researchers in the UK included a question about sexual activity in a long-term study of health. The authors studied nearly 1000 men aged 45 to 59 and living in or near Caerphilly, Wales. The men were asked how often they had sex. They were divided into three groups: those who had sex eight times a month or more, those in the middle, and those who said they had sex less than once a month.

Ten years later, the scientists found that the sexually active men died much later and at lower rates than the other two groups. In fact, for all causes of death, there was a direct relationship between life expectancy and how often they had sex!

Of course many questions arise with this type of study. Does the frequency of orgasm cause the improved health? Or does poor health cause lower sexual activity? Does some other factor such as physical activity, alcohol, depressed mood, or exhaustion cause both poor health and less sexual activity? The researchers found that the correlation between good health and sexual activity was true even after they'd adjusted for differences in age, social class, smoking, blood pressure, and evidence of existing coronary heart disease at the initial interview. This proves SEX IS GOOD FOR YOU - and your penis - AT ALL AGES!

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