Shapes and sizes – average and normal
So what’s actually normal? An average penis measures about 12 centimetres when erect. When it comes to girth – the measurement around the penis – the average is about 11.5 centimetres.
But penises come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and 12 centimetres is only an average. It says nothing about the normal range in size for an erect penis, which is anywhere between 7 and 18 centimetres.
Most men who head to their doctor with concerns that their penis is smaller than average actually fall well within the range of normal, say a team of sexologists and psychiatrists from Egypt, Brazil, Canada and France in a recent paper. So why do they worry?
Perceived penis size is related to body image for many men. Guys who think they’re well-endowed rate themselves as more attractive, a study of over 52,000 men and women found.
Skill not size
Penis size doesn’t seem to matter nearly as much to women, the study showed. Eighty-four percent said they were satisfied with the size of their partner’s penis. That compares to only 55 percent of guys who said they were OK with how their penis measured up.
It’s not surprising that most women are happy with their guy’s penis, the experts say. After all, it really isn’t size that matters during sex, but skill. Length isn’t that important because a woman’s pleasure during sex mostly has to do with the clitoris, just in above the entrance to the vagina at the front. And most women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone.
Even with women who say their G-spot gives them intense pleasure, a big penis isn’t a must. This sensitive spot is only about five centimetres inside the vagina, on the front wall.
Though rare, true micropenises do exist. An erect penis smaller than 7 centimetres is considered to be a micropenis because it affects penetration into the vagina, which is about 8 centimetres long.
Yet between 98 and 100 percent of men who fret about the size of their penis actually measure up as normal, studies show. So where do they get the idea that their penis is too small?
Misinformation on average penis size is often to blame. For one thing, they could have heard misleading measurements from other guys. Not surprisingly, when men measure their own penises they come up with slightly different figures than their doctors do. Self-measured erect penis length is just over 15 centimetres on average and girth is more than 12.5 centimetres.
Worriers might also have been eyeing up other guys’ flaccid penises in the locker room. But the length when soft doesn’t count for much in practice. Some flaccid penises are small but gain a lot in size when they become erect. Others start off large anyway, but don’t get so much bigger when they stiffen up.
They might also have got the wrong impression from watching porn movies. But of course, porn actors tend to be distinctly on the large size. Watching porn and concluding your penis is too small is rather like watching basketball and worrying that you should be taller.
All in the mind
For some men, however, the problem is more serious. They’ve got Body Dysmorphic Disorder – or penile dysmorphophobia. This means they worry obsessively about what they imagine to be a physical defect to their penis – even though there isn’t one.
They sometimes have a wildly exaggerated idea of what’s normal and long to have a 20-centimetre erection. So they might dream of having their penis enlarged surgically. But that won’t get anywhere near solving their psychological problems, say the sexologists.
Penis enlargement is pointless
For most men who head to their doctor’s office worried that their penis is too small, what’s needed is sex ed. Once they learn their penis is perfectly normal, nearly all of them put ideas of penis enlargement surgery out of their head, the sexperts say.
For guys that do opt for surgery to have their penis lengthened, the results are hardly spectacular. An increase of one or two centimetres is considered a success, and there’s a chance that the surgery won’t work at all.
Patients who have penis enlargements are rarely satisfied. And it’s a risky procedure, the experts say. They only recommend surgery for the very few guys who have true micropenises.
But what about all those ads and spam emails guaranteeing ways to give you a bigger penis? Save your money. They’re all simply a blatant con.
Less fat, more penis
There’s one genuine reason for guys’ penises to seem smaller than they really are. For many boys and men who worry that their penises are too small, it’s just that they’re too fat.
Being overweight can make your penis look and feel smaller. If there’s a lot of fat covering the pubic bone, the base of the penis is buried. The fatter you are, the less penis is left sticking out.
So there’s one more reason to take action if you’re putting off cutting out the junk food and heading for the gym: it will bring your penis to its full potential.
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