There’s actually a decent amount of science regarding penises out there and I want to put some of the most relevant into one post. The aim here is to question some ideas we may hold about penises through the information that is currently available.
First up, race. If you’re not aware of the stereotypes surrounding race and penis size they are as follows: Black people have the largest, Asian people have the smallest and White people fall in between. In all the research I’ve read which used standardised/universal measuring methods and recorded ethnicity, the stereotypes did not exist. This makes sense as race doesn’t exist biologically, it’s a social construct. One study claiming to find wide ranging differences has been heavily criticised in how the data was collected and has been deemed unscientific. So, there is currently no data to support these stereotypes.
With such a focus on penises, penis enlargement surgeries are becoming more frequent with some people resorting to dangerous methods to add length. Very few people have a penis small enough to warrant surgery. Medical professionals will consider enlargement procedures for those with penises smaller than 4.1cm flaccid or 7.6cm erect so if you’re above that, medically speaking, you don’t need to be bigger.
I’ll now answer the all important question: what’s the average size of a penis? To make this easier, any lengths from now are for erect penises alone. From what I have read, the average length is 14cm/5.5 inches. This number comes from data comprised of people from India, Turkey, USA and Germany along with other undisclosed countries, not quite a global average but it will have to do. One study used male/female as a measurement to determine differences in perceived average size and desired size. Males perceived the average to be 14.1cm/5.5 inches while females thought it was 13.8cm/5.4 inches. Both groups held their ideal penis length higher, males desiring 16.6cm/6.5 inches and females 15.8cm/6.2 inches. A female’s preference can change depending on the context of the sexual encounter, research has found that women prefer slightly longer and thicker penises for one night stands (6.4 and 5 inches) compared to long-term relationships (6.3 and 4.8 inches). Despite there being a difference in the “real” average and desired averages, 85% of heterosexual women were happy with the size of their partner’s penis yet this number drops to 55-59% when men were asked if they were happy with their own penis. In one study, 45% of men wanted their penis to be larger and .2% smaller.
So you know a little more now but we’ve only spoken about length. What about girth/thickness? Studies, often overwhelmingly, show that women find girth more important, for sexual satisfaction, than length and this is most likely explained by the fact that a thicker penis can provide more pressure against the vaginal walls, providing more stimulation. Women with more sexual partners may be aware of this as they were more likely to rate girth as very important compared to those with fewer sexual partners (not because more partners make a vagina looser – I’ll dispel this myth soon). A strong correlation, showing that those who thought girth was important also thought length was too, has been found. In contrast to the girth preference, a study found that women that are more likely to have vaginal orgasms prefer longer penises to shorter ones although, this doesn’t detail whether they thought girth or length was more important. I can tell you’re wondering what the average girth is; it seems to be around the 12.1cm/4.8 inches mark.
Despite all of this talk about length and girth, a penis is so much more than that. There’s the cosmetic appearance to consider! A study of women from Switzerland found that length and girth were not considered the most important visual aspects of a penis. General cosmetic appearance and appearance of the pubic hair were more important than girth, which was ranked joint third with penile skin. The shape of the glans (head of the penis) came just before penis length. So take care of how your penis looks! While I’m talking about cosmetic appearance, I should mention hygiene. You should regularly wash your penis with hot water and a mild soap, this will prevent bacterial build up and bad smells which will hamper sexual activity. Make sure to pull your foreskin all the way back if you’re uncircumcised.
If the information above hasn’t soothed any anxieties you may have about your penis, understand that vaginal sex isn’t everything. Other forms of sex exist that don’t require penetration and you or your partner may even prefer these. For those that partake in anal sex, a smaller penis may actually make the process easier and more enjoyable for both parties. Take care of what you have and learn to love your penis!