There are few topics that can evoke such widespread and intense anxiety as penis size. Just about every man — regardless of the actual size of his penis — worries about being too small. Here’s what you need to know about penis size, and what to do if you’re afraid your penis is smaller than “normal”.
First, let’s talk pure numbers. It’s difficult to determine the true average penis size for a variety of reasons, including reporting bias and cross-cultural differences, but a recent comprehensive review found that the average is a little over 13cm when erect. 13.2cm, or 5.2 inches, to be exact. Most of my clients seem to think 16cm or even 18cm is average, but that just isn't the case.
Penis Size Doesn’t Affect Pleasure
Now for the great news: The size of your penis also has absolutely no effect on the amount of pleasure that you’re capable of feeling. Having a bigger penis doesn’t equate feeling more pleasure during sex.
Despite what the anxious thoughts in the back of your head might tell you, the size of your penis also has a surprisingly small effect on the amount of pleasure your partner is capable of feeling.
If you sleep with women, the size of your penis isn’t as important as you think it is because penetration isn’t the most pleasurable sexual activity for women.
The majority of nerve endings in a woman’s genitals are focused in the clitoris. There are so few nerve endings in the vaginal canal that there isn’t even a scientific tally of them. The nerve endings that the vagina does have are clustered towards the outer third of the vagina, meaning that deeper penetration doesn’t create more pleasure.
Penetration itself isn’t the most pleasurable activity for women because it doesn’t create very much clitoral stimulation. In fact, 70 to 80 per cent of women can’t orgasm from penetration alone. Women can feel subtle differences between smaller and larger penises, but it’s more a matter of fullness than of pleasure.
A larger penis doesn’t do any better of a job creating clitoral stimulation than a smaller penis does.
Men have long bemoaned the idea that women can have multiple orgasms, but men can't. Men, after all, have to deal with the frustrating refractory period - after an orgasm, their penises stay limp no matter how much they try to coax them into action. Their energy levels are depleted, anyway, and they often just want to sleep.
If you sleep with men and are the penetrating partner with anal sex, a smaller penis is actually preferred. The rectum isn’t capable of stretching in the same way a vagina is, so a smaller penis feels better than a larger one.
Sure, there are people who would prefer a larger-than-normal penis. But penis size isn’t a deal-breaker for the overwhelming majority of people.
If you feel yourself worrying about the size of your penis, try imagining yourself on the opposite side of the equation. Would you dump your partner solely because of the size of her labia? Or her breasts? Or his penis? I doubt it.
I’m willing to bet that you see your partner as an entire human being, not a collection of body parts. Allow your partner to see you in the same way.
Sometimes It’s About More Than Just Your Penis
For some men, penis-size anxiety is a symptom of an underlying anxiety problem. If you find yourself worrying about your penis size on a daily basis, or if the intensity of your anxiety seems excessive, you may want to focus on daily anxiety management.
The anxiety management recommendation that I most frequently give is to practise mindfulness. I like using the app Headspace because it actually teaches you how to be mindful. It uses a lot of very practical explanations that are easy to understand.
Headspace has an introductory series that you can try for free. If you like it, you can pay a small monthly fee for more series on different topics. In particular, you may want to check out their series about anxiety management. Many of my clients (especially male clients with performance issues) have found this series to be extremely helpful.
If watching porn triggers penis size anxiety, you may want to take a temporary (or permanent) hiatus from watching. It’s easy to forget that porn is meant to be entertainment, and that porn actors are basically required to have large penises. If you see large penises on a daily basis, it’s easy to develop a skewed view of what’s “normal”.
I’ve worked with a number of clients who torture themselves by doing internet research on penis size. That may even be how you found this article! This kind of research is of course not helpful, and tends to make anxiety much worse. You may want to add some sort of browser extension to your computer to prevent yourself from doing those kinds of searches. You can also block yourself from the penis size websites and forums you usually visit.
How to Work with Your Penis
As I mentioned above, your penis size doesn’t play as big of a role in sexual pleasure as you may think it does. But if you are on the smaller side, there are a few things you can do to work with what you have:
- Get really good at foreplay. Focus on improving your manual stimulation and oral sex skills. If you sleep with women, these skills are particularly appreciated, since she’s far more likely to orgasm from manual or oral stimulation than she is from intercourse.
- Find the right sex position for your penis. In general, you want to look for positions where you can get deep penetration. If you sleep with a woman, it’s usually best to have her keep her legs together, which creates a tighter fit. Having her legs up in the air can also help you stay inside. When you have intercourse, focus more on grinding than on in-and-out thrusting.
- Use a cock ring. A cock ring can help your penis feel larger by trapping blood in your shaft. To use one, you get erect, then put the ring around the base of your penis. Some models are designed to wrap around your testicles as well. I recommend a simple neoprene version with a snap closure.
- Try a penis extender or sleeve. If you really want the experience of having a longer and girthier penis, you can buy penis extenders or sleeves. These products slip over your penis like a condom, increasing your size. They’re usually studded for additional stimulation for your partner. Make sure you get one made of out medical-grade, body-safe silicone.