We've all heard the saying "It's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts."
But somehow it doesn't make any difference, does it? We all want to know where we fit on the penis size scale, and I think most men would secretly like a bigger penis.
There's something about the idea of a big penis that seems very attractive - something about male power, about satisfying a woman, and simply feeling more of a man.
But how many of us really know what is the average size for a penis?
Could it be that we're all judging ourselves against the massive members we've seen in porn films? And do we even stop to think how important penis size is to women?
(The answer is "not very", judging by the comments women made when we asked them how important penis size was to them. But more of that later.)
The fact is that there are as many shapes and sizes of penis as there are men in the world.
And while that may not help you feel happier with what you've got, have a look at these pictures (which will get bigger if you click on them).
So what is normal? Judging by the pictures above, anything from one inch erect to twelve inches is normal, in the sense that somewhere in the world there are millions of men with a penis that size.
Sure, most men men fit into a range of between five and six inches when erect, but it's still true that penises occur in all shapes and sizes.
So much so, in fact, that really any size or shape can be considered normal, no matter how long or short, thick or thin, it may be.
So why can't we all be happy with what we've been given? Why do we seem to admire or envy big penises so much?
I think it's because from the moment we can understand how important a penis is to a man we somehow assume that the bigger the penis, the bigger the man.
We think the ultimate symbol of masculinity is the penis, so it follows that the larger the size of your penis, the more masculine you are.
But very few women believe that the size of a man's penis has anything to do with what kind of man he is. Women aren't looking for a big penis, they are looking for a man who will love, appreciate, adore and cherish them.
Penis size is not as important to women as it is to men! Women also want, among many other things, honesty, loyalty, intimacy, support, understanding and love. These are not, so far as I know, qualities of a guy's penis, whether soft or hard.
No, the fact is it's a male thing, this size issue. And it's not going to stop being one any time soon. So what are the facts?
There are several penis size surveys on the internet. But how reliable are they? Well, the ones which rely on men to measure their penises and email the results are rubbish! Not surprisingly, when men measure their own penises, the results come out much longer than when a doctor or nurse does it.
The real truth about size from our own penis size survey
That might be because men are more aroused when they're measuring themselves and therefore their cock is slightly bigger. Or it might just be wishful thinking.
There's no way of knowing. But penis size is an interesting subject, and The-penis.com won't shirk its responsibility to fearlessly bring the facts to the world!
So, we conducted our very own penis size survey in the summer of 2003, with over 5,000 men taking part. We discovered that:
The average length of an erect penis is 5.9 inches. The average girth or circumference of an erect penis is about 5.0 inches.
To be more exact, this mean that half of all men have an erection 5.9 inches or less in length. Obviously the other half have an erect penis over 5.9 inches in length. (For the technically minded, these averages are medians.)
Here are the results of our own penis size survey conducted over 5,000 men in May and June 2003
There's little or no correlation between the size of a flaccid penis and its size when erect.
The data showed that a penis less than three inches long when flaccid increases in size on average by 260% when it becomes erect, whereas one more than three inches long when it's soft only increases in size by 165%.
This means that, regardless of the size of your penis when it's soft, it's likely to be about the same as as most other guys' penises when it's hard. The majority of penises are between five and a quarter and six and a quarter inches long when they're erect.
Incidentally, Durex condoms did a survey and found that the widest part of the penis is the coronal ridge around the glans for 42% of men, somewhere on the shaft for 27% of men, and around the base for 12%. The remainder who responded to the question - 14% - said their dick was the same diameter all along its length.
The average erect length of less than 6 inches which emerges from the survey done by The-penis.com is backed up by the Lifestyles Condon Company's work. This company carried out a penis size survey in 2000, and they reached the same conclusions as we did.
They set up a tent outside a night club in New Mexico and offered incentives to 300 college guys to drop their pants, stiffen themselves up and be measured by a team of nurses. And what did they find, but the same lengths as our own volunteers!
The average length of an erect penis was 5.9 inches. The average girth or circumference was 5.0 inches. About 75% of men were between 4.5 and 5.5 inches in girth.
This confirms our results, which might be of comfort to you if you think your penis is smaller than average. Other surveys have suggested the average erect length is 6.2 to 6.4 inches, but Lifestyles' results and ours show that about three-quarters of men are shorter than this.
And while a half-inch less might not have anything to do with how you perform sexually, it might make a difference to how you feel about yourself. But this isn't the whole story, as anyone who has tried to put a large condom (or even an average one) on a small sized penis, or vice versa, will know. You need to the right sized condom to be comfortable when you make love.
Race and penis size (are blacks bigger and Asians smaller?)
The data available is very poor, since no-one has done much research on the subject. But there seems to be some evidence to support this idea....black men are slightly larger than whites on average, and Asians are slightly smaller. This difference may amount to no more than a half inch when erect.
But white men vary considerably, too. Looks like a case of "maybe, maybe not"!
Instead of defining an entire people by the size of their sex organs, then, it may be helpful to think of the question of race and penis size from a different perspective. Here's an extract from an internet message board:
I found your forum on small penises while looking for ways to satisfy my less-endowed lover. I found your questions interesting and wish to give my input as a woman. My boyfriend is small, and I worry my vagina is too "loose" for him.
From experiences with other men I am sure I am of pretty average capacity. He is 4-5 inches and although I can feel him enter me, sometimes as it gets hotter the sensation dwindles. We have anal sex and he likes that, but I don't want to only really satisfy him with that method.
However, I certainly don't want him to get it on with an Asian female, as has been discussed on the forum - I am jealous that they are desirable to all men because of their tight vaginas (even the big guys like them). I love my boyfriend because of his stunning intelligence, looks and personality.
Though I would be lying to say I didn't wish his penis were bigger, we can't have everything. He is a good lover and he is a great guy. He might want my breasts to be bigger or my vagina to be smaller, and sadly that is not the case. At any rate he is clearly not so small that it causes problems in bed.
Here is the response this generated from an Asian woman:
I am an Asian female and even though a lot of us may have tight pussys, it does come with costs. My boyfriend's penis is a good 5 inches and he satisfies me and vice versa. However, my tightness leads to a lot of pain for me sometimes as well as for him. He often has complained that his penis hurts after we have sex. Therefore, don't be envious of us Asian females. We don't have it all good.
Just to show how confusing these issues are, here are two emails I have received:
Number 1: I read your site and want you to post my comments, since I think they will give a different outlook on Asian males. I am Asian, from Los Angeles, and I have a dick that measures 7 inches in length and 5.5 inches in circumference.
It is 5 inches long flaccid. Although I don't regard myself as "huge", I just wanted to let people know that not ALL Asian men have small dicks. Please post this, it will help with correcting society's stereotypes
Number 2: Hi, I enclose some photos of my penis. I am Asian and live in Singapore, and when flaccid my penis hardly shows at all, just a button, really. When erect it is four inches long and quite slim, too. I think we Asians get the worst of it all - small breasts for the women, and small cocks for the men.
And here is a reply from one of my readers to the second of these emails:
I have found your site educational, entertaining and FUN. I felt bad for the Asian gentleman who was despairing about the relatively small size of his penis. He observed that Asian men lost out with small penises and the women with small breasts.
This message is intended to reassure and comfort men in a similar position. I am a 40-something widow (my husband died at 43 years of age a few years ago). My husband had a penis about like the Asian gentleman's, i.e. not long and not thick. But I can assure you, he could absolutely drive me crazy with it - and for hours! I guess desire and technique are more necessary and appreciated for a small man?
As you know, the clitoral area, the labia minora, and the vulva are delectably excitable. So, the smaller dick may be better able to stimulate that area. He used to tease me there with just the tip of his cock. WOW! Talk about multiple orgasms!
So, if a man doesn't have the largest of penises, please don't feel too bad about it - you can still do it for a woman!
Age and size
For boys who are destined to have a small penis, there must be a moment of discovery or realization at some point in their teenage years that their penis is simply not going to get any bigger.
I suppose this must happen later rather than sooner, since hope springs eternal.....but how do you know, as a teenager, if you are going to be one of the less-well endowed men in the world?
Well, you don't really know until as late as 17, which I believe is when the penis has finally finished growing, though I imagine most boys have a sense of how their body is changing compared to other boys much earlier than this. So what use is a table of average size and age?
Well, not much for boys who are worried about how they measure up. But it may reassure some guys who are following a path of development towards the average size of six inches or so.
The data comes from Jackin'World, where there are pages and pages of information about body and penis development during puberty. You can find it on their "Past surveys" page, which is easily located from their site map.
Average erect penis length, by age:
An email: "When I was 16 (I'm 19 now) my cock was little over 4.5 inches hard, and about 3 inches soft. I was worried about the size but reassured by my girlfriend. In little over a year it grew to almost 5.6 inches but it remains around 3 inches soft. I would like to say to all those teenagers out there, don't worry - it will get bigger with time (hopefully)."
The Internet has many message boards full of pleas for help and information from men and teenage boys obsessed that they have an abnormal penis: too long, too short, the wrong shape, size or whatever.
But real problems are much rarer than you'd think from reading all those messages.
For those men who do have a small penis as a result of some genetic or physiological problem (roughly speaking, this might include erections under four inches in length), there is, sadly, no medical treatment that will alter the size of the penis in adult life.
That includes testosterone treatment, although of course this may be helpful in other ways if a man has low levels of testosterone in his body. See this website's pages on the andropause for details.
Penis size surveys very clearly show that there's no direct link between flaccid and erect size - small soft cocks are often just as big when they're erect as big soft cocks. One key thing to keep in mind is that half of all penises are under six inches when erect. Large penises are the exception, not the rule! And, like everything else on the human body, the penis is a very variable organ.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that in the main issues of size are mostly psychological. Try and remember the truth that you are a complete human being, and it's the whole package that draws others to you, not just your sexual endowment and capacity.
For some interesting comments on what women think about penis size, see what women think about penis size. And for men and women in middle age an excellent guide to getting great sex after 50 can be found here.
And again, to demonstrate that the way men see the problem may not be the way women see it, here is an extract from a guide to oral sex:
All couples - well, almost all - under the age of 26 are enjoying oral sex. It's normal, it's expected, and better still, it works! Most women will come with a good session of cunnilingus, and so if you want to be seen as anything like a competent lover, you'd better know how to give her head properly!
And there's another benefit too - no matter how small your penis may be, a woman's going to think of you as the best lover she can have if you pleasure her orally. Yes, it's that important - you could have the smallest cock on planet Earth, and provided you can make her come with your tongue, lips and mouth, she just won't care!
And if you're wondering why only erect size is important, consider this.
One of my friends at University who always seemed to have a girl on his arm, staring dreamily into his eyes, was the butt of great ribbing in the showers, for while there was the usual wide distribution of size - and more than the odd erection - as the guys showered together, Simon had just the lumpy little acorn of his glans, and nothing else, showing through his pubic hair.
After a drunken night out, there was a concerted effort to persuade him to explain what he did with the girls that pleased them so much when he seemed only to have a stumpy dick that - as one guy said - might be a place where you could screw a bigger cock on.
In response, he just smiled slyly, until the provocation grew to the point where he was held down and his trousers taken off, his undies following in quick succession, revealing the usual little knob.
His struggles to get free were no use, and the attention being paid to his penis in an attempt to get it erect only stopped when he told us we were doing it like naive ten year olds: if we let him, he'd show us how big it got when he was excited.
He disappeared into the bedroom, and emerged a few minutes later sporting a longer than average erection that was quite thick too.
The rapidly sobering group did a quick mental check on their own equipment, and then retired, shame-faced. The subject never came up again. The moral of the story? What you see isn't necessarily what you get, I guess.
What, though, of the few men who are truly microphallic? Sometimes testosterone can help.
A series of endocrinological tests will reveal if a man's pituitary is not secreting gonad-stimulating hormones, but the effect of hormone therapy becomes less marked as a man moves through puberty and into adulthood, especially on penis size.
And unfortunately, genital development is rarely assessed during any routine physical examination during adolescence, so the few cases where testosterone or other hormone therapy is needed tend to be missed.
Hormone therapy needs to be given as close as possible to the time when it would naturally be produced by the body. Therefore, treating hormonal deficiency during adolescence is the best strategy, for there is no guarantee that a small penis will grow larger in response to hormone therapy in later life.
As young men with complete or partial androgen insensitivity can testify, tests may show that an adolescent or post-adolescent is producing normal levels of hormone even though he still has a smaller than average penis or a lack of physical development.
This may be due to a lack of responsivity to testosterone in his body tissues. Some endocrinologists who are specialists in this field say that by administering additional testosterone while the boy is in his growing stage, additional size, both of body and penis, can be attained.
The normal in sexual development is usually less than the maximum possible genetic expression of any condition, so a significant proportion of men could increase their penis size to some extent if the hormones were administered at the right time.
An American doctor, Dr. Kupperman, has treated hundreds of cases of genuine (not imagined, as may be the case with adult men) microphallus in otherwise apparently normal young men.
This expert observes that if he can administer treatment in adolescence he can achieve one hundred percent success - but after these boys have reached adulthood and their physical growth has stopped, testosterone therapy becomes challenging.
For one thing, their emotional development may be delayed, and this presents problems; for another, their bodies may not respond in the expected way to the hormones. Sometimes they have fairly major emotional problems resulting from their physical inadequacy.
Kupperman has estimated that about ten percent of preadolescent boys have small penises. Fortunately, three quarters (75%) will develop normally.
Of those who do not, the standard endocrinological tests for testosterone and pituitary gonadotropin levels are indicated.
At this stage, if intervention is needed, a pituitary gonad-stimulating hormone may be given, which will make the testes work harder and produce more testosterone.
What needs to be kept in mind is that subnormal penis size is comparatively rare.
In those cases where reassurance is needed, a measuring tape may be adequate: the length is measured along the upper side of the erect penile shaft, with the end of the ruler pressed gently into the pubic hair at the abdomen.
If you measure five inches, you are normal: if not, you may wish to see an endocrinologist.
It is a lot easier for gay or bi men to get support about their small penis issues than straight men, for obvious reasons.
Those gay or bi men to whom I've spoken have all confirmed that they have never experienced any humiliation from sexual partners - a sign of how men fundamentally understand the issue of penis size and psychology, I think.
The biggest and friendliest message board where men and women talk about size is this one. Measurection.com
A final thought
It may be difficult for men with average or large dicks to understand the obsession that can develop in less well-endowed individuals. After all, why should it be such a matter of concern? I invite you to look at the following advert.
15 and a half inches? What are they advertising? Well, isn't it obvious? It's a shirt. But look at the captions immediately above and below the photograph.
In case you can't read them, they are: Every man's dream and Every woman's.
It's this kind of social pressure which leads to internalization of self-hatred and feelings of inadequacy. The sooner we all grow up as a society, the better.
Do you think the guy who came up with this advert was secure about his dick size or not?
And worse still, what if it was designed by a woman?
How much hatred of men must anyone have internalized to produce something so aggressive and demeaning?
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