Penis Size Erect and Flaccid; Penis Size and The Vagina

Penis size erect and flaccid

Penis size is an important issue for many men. If they perceive themselves as having a small penis, they may feel that they are not masculine enough, or that they cannot satisfy their sexual partner.

Obviously such insecurities are the raison d'etre behind websites like this, and indeed have spawned the whole industry of penis enlargement.

Measuring your penis

So, assuming that you wish to know how big your penis is - just for the sake of comparison, of course! - how will you go about measuring it?

There are some problems in standardizing measurements, but the difficulties can be overcome easily. First of all, you will wish to be at your maximum size when you measure the length and girth of your penis.

In scientific studies, there are various ways of ensuring this - artificially induced erections, or measuring the stretched flaccid length seem to be the usual ones adopted by medical studies.

In fact, the stretched flaccid length is a very poor predictor of erect length, and the best way to measure is to simply attain maximum erection and then lay a piece of string along the upper surface of the penis.

Unfortunately, self-reporting is notoriously unreliable, and few studies based on self-reporting can be considered indicative of the whole population's penile dimensions.

Penile length

The length of your penis is simply from the tip to the base, along the upper surface of the organ, pressing slightly into your pubic area. Measuring along the underside is less reliable and gives more scope for variation.

Penile circumference

Penile circumference - which is the same as girth - is measured around the thickest part of the shaft.

Studies on penile size

Unfortunately, any studies which rely on men to measure their own organs tend to be somewhat unreliable - and in any event, those men with smaller penises may well be less likely to put themselves forward, or they may be disposed to exaggerate their size.

We know that studies which rely on self-measurement always show longer and thicker dimensions than those where measurement is conducted by independent experts.

A study in the September 1996 Journal of Urology reported that average erect length was 12.9 cm (5.08 in). And one in the December 2000 International Journal of Impotence Research reported that average erect penis length was 13.6 cm (5.35 in).

A famous study by LifeStyles Condoms during 2001 reported that the average length was 5.9 inches. These figures compare with self-measurement surveys where averages are consistently over 6 inches.

Erect circumference

Similar trends are revealed in reports of the circumference of the adult fully erect penis. Once again, studies based on self-measurement usually report thicker dimensions than those where staff have done the measuring. The LifeStyles Condoms survey revealed that the average circumference was 12.6 cm (5.0 in).

Flaccid length

As we all know, the flaccid length is not indicative of the erect length. Smaller penises grow proportionately more when they become erect, and the increase in volume between men varies widely. A smaller-than-average flaccid penis can grow by as much as six times its resting volume, while a large flaccid penis may only become stiff on erection, and not increase in volume at all.

The September 1996 Journal of Urology published a study which showed that average flaccid length was 8.8 cm (3.5 in). And again, the temperature under which the measurement took place would affect the size of the flaccid organ.

And what does it all mean?

It's hardly surprising to hear that many men (45%, by all accounts) wish they had a larger penis. Most men think their penis is average in size or shorter. Clearly there is a major self-esteem issue here, for most men think a bigger penis is more masculine or desirable.

Of course, many men do not appreciate that their penis looks smaller than it actually is when they look down on it from above - this issue of perspective is a fascinating one, and the foreshortening effect and concealment of the base of the shaft of the penis by pubic fat combine to give an impression of a smaller penis than in fact is actually the case.

And indeed, studies have shown that most men who think their penis is shorter than average actually have an average penis - in the vast majority of cases, the issue really is one of perception.

Popular myth suggests that there are many ways in which the length of a man's penis might be estimated, including shoe size, thumb length and so on, but there is no proven connection between any other part of the body and penis size, either erect or flaccid.

Needless to say there are other studies which have tried to establish connections between penis size and race, sexual orientation, and so forth. This hasn't been a priority for investigators, but suffice it to say that there is no clear evidence for such differences in the limited studies which have been completed.

More interesting to most men, perhaps, is what women think of penis size. Do women select sexual partners on the basis of penis size? It seems unlikely.

One suspects that while there may be a few women who are highly interested in the subject, most women are happy to settle for a sexual partner who has a sense of humor, a certain level of social competence and the ability to look after children....and indeed, questionnaires about women's actual preference in this matter reveal that penis size is only important for a minority of women, and many actively dislike large penises.

There is some evidence, published in Women's Health, that women prefer a wider penis than a long one - and another study, conducted at Groningen University Hospital, among almost 400 sexually active women, reported, rather vaguely, that a "considerable percentage" of women regarded the size of the male sexual organ as important.

An email:

Hi there. I was surfing the net and saw your site and that you were looking for men with a small penis to tell their story - so here it is. I am 33 years old and have been married for 6 years with two kids. I have a 3.75 inch penis; I love having a small penis. I always knew that it seemed small while I was growing up but thought maybe it was in my head until I was about 15 and was having sex with my high school sweetheart. We were into it and boy was it feeling good. I guess it was only three minutes before I came and told her I was done; she looked at me weird and when I asked her how she liked it she started laughing hard...after she finally got her breath, she told me that my penis was never even in her, and that I had been between her labia but never entered her. Sad to say, 17 years later it happened again with my wife.

When I asked my wife if mine was the smallest penis she had ever seen (because she has been with a lot of men) and she said in fact I was the smallest she had ever been with and told me she has never been able to feel my cock inside her and has never had an orgasm or any kind of feeling from my penis, and that I looked like I had a little boy's penis. We might have sex once a month because she says that it's a waste of time - even with exercises for her vagina, she still can't feel my penis.

Penis size and vaginal response

One of the questions that consistently arises on websites devoted to this subject is that of how penis size related to the vagina. The answer seems very simple: since the vagina is very elastic and can stretch as required during childbirth, it will have no difficulty accommodating a thick penis, and since it can hold a tampon it should easily accommodate a small thin penis. Discomfort can sometimes be expected when a very long penis is pushed deeply into the vagina, but a high level of sexual arousal produces physical changes in the orientation of the vagina which may allow it to accommodate the long penis.

The most sensitive part of the vagina is the part roughly two inches inside. All men are therefore able to reach and stimulate the G spot's nerve endings with their penis. The insensitivity of the upper reaches of the vagina is demonstrated by the fact that minor surgery without anesthetic can apparently take place on the inner reaches of the vagina without discomfort. On the other hand, some women like the sense of being "filled up" by large penises even though there are few if any erotic sensations from the higher reaches of the vagina. It's logical to assume that stimulation of the G-spot may be easier if the coronal ridge of a small penis stimulates it than if the shaft of a large penis glides back and forth over it.

The question of cervical stimulation is a vexed one: Deborah Sundahl has said that there is a cervical orgasm, achieved when a woman is extremely sexually aroused, and when her cervix is stimulated in this state. Other writes have said that actually this is the result of stimulation of the anterior fornix zone - which is to be found on the top surface of the vagina as a woman lies on her back. The cervix, fornix, and the vaginal ending are all in close proximity of each other, so various sexual positions can cause indirect and/or simultaneous stimulation in all or one of them.

The fornix is spoken of as a possible trigger area for orgasm. Certainly, when a woman is stimulated here she lubricates very quickly. The point where sexual stimulation produces these responses has been referred to by various writers as the epicentre, or the so-called T-Spot, AFE-Zone, AFE or A-Spot. It's a lot easier to stimulate the fornix with a finger than a penis during sex. A penis which is over 8 inches long may well strike the cervix during sex; this is described by women as painful or uncomfortable. In addition, it may not even be possible to fully insert a very long penis to its full depth.

One correspondent has asked if there is a connection between the size of the penis and the speed with which a man ejaculates. There is absolutely no evidence that there is a physical correlation, but there may well be a psychological one. Men with small penises may have relatively lower self-confidence because of their penis size, and therefore greater anxiety. Since anxiety is one of the predisposing factors that contribute to premature ejaculation during vaginal intercourse, they may have proportionately more premature ejaculation and therefore be candidates for ways of stopping premature ejaculation more often than other men.

During intercourse, the vagina lengthens rapidly after initial penetration from about 4 inches to 5.5 inches, but with high arousal it can stretch to accommodate a maximum of 7.5 inches. When a woman becomes highly aroused her vagina "tents" - that is to say it expands both lengthwise and widthwise - while her cervix retracts, which allows the penis to slide under the cervix into the blind end of the vagina. Considerable foreplay is generally needed to prepare a woman for penetration by a large penis - but long foreplay will certainly help any woman reach orgasm anyway. Thus a long penis can be a hindrance, and certainly isn't helpful during sex.

Women have confirmed that the chief focus of orgasmic activity is the clitoris - over 75% reach orgasm through stimulation of the clitoris, most will require clitoral stimulation during intercourse to reach orgasm - regardless of the size of the penis of their sexual partner.