We really need to find a way to get guys to stop worrying about penis size. I’ve gathered a critical mass of anecdotal evidence that tells me the problem is getting worse. Of course, guys worrying about the size of their junk is nothing new. Studies have always shown that many men are dissatisfied with their own package. And hookup culture rewards a large penis – if you’re in it for one night, the bigger the guy, the better the story. (Please note that I did not say “the better the sex.”) Study after study reveals that women don’t really care very much about penis size. To the extent that they discuss it with their friends, they are falling victim to the same cultural conditioning that has so many guys feeling anxious and inadequate.
Why should women care how men feel about their penises? Because it affects male self-esteem, which in turn affects the way guys treat women. I have recently heard a rash of stories of well-endowed guys behaving especially badly. Like having a big dick gives them license to act like a jerk. Certainly the women I’ve spoken to are convinced that well-hung guys display self-confidence, even arrogance. But I have never heard a woman say that penis size is a factor in choosing a boyfriend. That begs the question about the 90% (or more) of guys whose penises are just fine, but nothing extraordinary. Are they less inclined to make moves? Is this a case of Nice Guys With Normal Dicks finish last?
Here’s my honest take on what women want in a prick:
1. Comparing flaccid penises is deceptive and stupid.
In a 2005 internet survey, 63% of men said that their worries started with childhood comparisons. That means boys looking at each other in a limp state in the locker room. Here’s the truth about women and flaccid peens:
- Almost always, by the time the penis appears to us it’s ready for play. We take note of a guy’s penis once it is already erect. That is the impression that will stay with us.
- Women see a limp penis as having nothing to do with sex. It’s for peeing, so it’s irrelevant to us.
- Some penises are “growers” and some are “show-ers.” Penises that appear small when flaccid grow a great deal more in size when erect than those that are larger when flaccid. Sex researchers Paul Jamison and Paul Gebhard analyzed the Kinsey data on erect and flaccid penises to arrive at this conclusion.
2. Guys watch a lot of porn, and porn features penises in the top 1%. Women in porn ACT like they love it.
- Some of the johnsons I’ve seen in porn scare the wits out of me.
- A long penis rams the cervix every time the guy thrusts, making intercourse quite painful. Doggy-style is excruciating, as is any position where your legs are up and way back.
- A big penis is a choking hazard. Contrary to what porn shows, most women couldn’t deep throat if their lives depended on it.
- A huge one makes any notion of anal sex a no go. A true case of He’s Just Not Gonna Get That Into You.
3. Almost all erect penises fall into the same general range.
- In my youth I encountered one micropenis. It was so small that when I slid my hand into his jeans, I couldn’t find it. He had amazing abs, but no penis. It was a random hookup, and I was totally unprepared to deal with the situation emotionally. I’ve always felt badly about it.
- In my youth I encountered one gargantuan penis. It was on a guy I really liked, and I was definitely ready to go there. But when he whipped that thing out, all I could think was Childbirth In Reverse. Yikes. I think I said something like, “I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to help you with that. Have you called an agent?” Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider it. Poor guy.
- The other penises? Yeah, I’ve seen a few. They all blend in my memory, mostly falling in the general range of average, say 4.75-6.5 inches erect. Which was 100% fine. Really.
4. When falling for a guy, personality and looks are far more important to a woman than his penis.
- A study in the UK found that men often have a better body image, a better genital image and more sexual confidence if they have a large penis.
- Vaginas provide a tight fit for anything that goes in there, including fingers and tampons. Any size penis will feel nice and snug inside a vagina. (Unless it’s Borat’s wife, who he says has a “vagine like a wizard’s sleeve.”)
- Even in relationships, men continue to worry about penis size when women don’t.
85% of women are satisfied with the penis size of their partner.
Only 55% of men are satisfied with their own genitals.
- Women can’t understand why our inboxes are cluttered with penis enlargement spam.
71% of women think men seem too concerned about the size of their penis.
5. Penises provide far fewer orgasms than tongues do.
- “It’s a myth that using the penis is the main way to pleasure a woman,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, a sex and relationships counselor in New York City whose book She Comes First offers a guide to “female orgasms and producing them through inspired oral techniques.” In his book, Kerner cites a study that reports women reaching orgasm about 25% of the time with intercourse, compared with 81% of the time during oral sex.
- Women love to have intercourse, it does feel really good. And we know that our men love it. But honestly, most women will appreciate other techniques and approaches as part of the repertoire.
- Research shows that guys with large penises tend to be “lazier” during sex. They experiment less, and rely more on thrusting. They assume that their size is all that’s required to get the job done.
To women I would say this: Give your partner plenty of reassurance. Tell him his cock is beautiful, or powerful, or hot, or whatever. Focus on what genuinely pleases you and give him credit for that. We women are partly responsible for this problem, and we should make every effort to correct it.
And to the guys: Seriously, dude, take a deep breath and don’t ever worry about this again. Be imaginative and giving in bed and your partner will be 100% satisfied, even if your little guy is smaller than average.
We really, really don’t care.
UPDATE 3/12/2010: Just read an excellent blog entry very much in the same spirit as this one:
Size Matters: Does This Penis Make My Ass Look Big?
It includes a good link about the facts too:
Women Don’t Care About Penis Size!, http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/06/04/25972.aspx
Lever, J., Frederick, D. A., Peplau, L. A. (2006). “Does Size Matter? Men’s and Women’s Views on Penis Size Across the Lifespan,” Psychology of Men & Masculinity Vol. 7, No. 3.
Pertschuk, Michael, M.D., and Trisdorfer, Alice, Ph.D. “Men’s bodies–the survey”. Psychology Today, November 1, 1994.