Quick: How big is your penis? And how do you stand compared to the average?
Those are two questions that men spend a lot of time thinking about. But ultimately, you might be placing a lot of importance on the size of your penis when it’s not nearly as important as you think it is.
“Only 6% of women rate their partner’s penis size as small and 84% say they’re very satisfied with their lover’s size. In contrast, only 55% of men report a similar level of satisfaction with their own size,” says Dr. Jess, Astroglide’s resident sexologist.
Furthermore, some men are growers and others are showers. “A smaller flaccid penis will grow considerably more than a larger one resulting in less of a size differential once they’re both hard. For this reason, flaccid size is not a good indicator of erect length.”
“Studies that assess the average length of an erect penis tend to vary in their conclusions, but a review of 50 studies that included 11,531 penises reveals a combined average of 5.5 to 6.3 inches. In another study of 25 sources, the average revealed is 3.5 inches flaccid and 6 inches erect. Unsurprisingly, studies in which subjects measured themselves produced greater lengths than those measured by researchers,” says Dr. Jess.
Of course, penis size does matter – but mostly in terms of finding the right fit with your partner. As a result, bigger is not necessarily better. “In fact, though a longer penis may afford you greater bragging rights in the dressing room, it can actually be a mixed blessing in the bedroom,” says Dr. Jess. “Some [women] have longer vaginas and [some] have shorter ones, but the vast majority of women report being perfectly satisfied with their partner’s size. When it comes to pleasure, women say they’re more likely to prefer a wider penis to a longer one,” says Dr. Jess. This is no surprise, given that the length of the average vagina is shorter than that of the average penis.
Size seems also to matter in terms of cultural appreciations. “There is an important distinction between what turns us on naturally as sexual beings and what we learn to find attractive based on cultural norms. Tapping into the former can create sexual experiences that are richer and more fulfilling that those based on the latter,” says Dr. Jess. However, the reality is that we live in a culture that makes a big deal about penis size, it can be difficult to really engage with our genuine desires and see through the cloud of cultural prescriptions.
“An appropriate analogy that illustrates the divide between natural desire and cultural expectations can be seen in the weight of high fashion models: despite the fact that men are more attracted to women with curves (possibly as an indicator of health and fertility), our culture continues to tout skin-and-bone models as the ideal. Many women buy into this ideal just as men erroneously embrace the notion that bigger is better when it comes to penises,” says Dr. Jess.
Consider curvature. Curvature can greatly affect the way a man has sex, at all lengths. “The right curve on the right length can create joy for his partner. The wrong curve on the wrong length, particularly a severe curve on a long penis, can leave his partner feeling as though she is giving birth,” says Brian Sloan, inventor of the AutoBlow 2. “Curvature can also make it difficult for a man to enjoy his erection properly – instead of sliding his penis in and out of his partner, a curve can modify the sexual action more to that of ‘cramming’ which is a much less desired sensation.”