- Sizes around the world
Let's talk about penis size. When soft, a penis is usually between 6 and 13 centimeters long. An erect one gets somewhere between 7 and 17 centimeters. Compared to large penises, smaller ones often grow more in size when they become erect.
The size of your penis will also depend on your ethnic background. Men of African descent have slightly longer and wider penises compared to European men, who have medium-sized penises. If you come from an Asian background, you are likely to have a slightly more narrower and shorter penis, the World Health Organization says.
- Like nose, like penis?
So, can you really tell how big a man's penis is by looking at his nose? Or his feet? If you are curious about a man's penis size, it’s actually his hands you should sneak a peek at. The longer a man's ring finger compared to his index finger, the longer his penis is likely to be, South Korean researchers say.
The more testosterone the man was exposed to when he was still just a baby growing in his mother’s womb, the longer his ring finger will be. But it’s not just the length of his ring finger it affects, but also the length of his penis.
- But... does size actually matter?
So now you may be looking down at your fingers wondering if size really matters. It turns out that girth (the thickness of a penis) is actually more important to satisfy your partner because that's what stimulates large areas of the vagina.
And penis size aside, women also find a stable relationship and their partner's other physical features, like hair, very important factors for a satisfying sex life!
When you are sexually aroused, your penis becomes hard and gets bigger – you have an erection. It's pretty common for a man to have spontaneous, unwanted erections. While they may be embarrassing, they are perfectly normal. This can also happen at night, usually three to five times every night!
- Sperm and ejaculation
When you get really aroused, you can have an orgasm and ejaculate. This means that a sticky, whitish fluid comes out of your penis. This happens when you masturbate or have sex. But also in your sleep, which is called a 'wet dreams’, ‘night fall’ or ‘nocturnal emission’. Like masturbation, wet dreams are completely natural and harmless – except that you wake up feeling a bit sticky!
The older you get, the more sperm you produce. So the first semen you ejaculate contains very little sperm. A couple of years later though, there'll be 900 million or more sperm per ejaculation.
Penis: top five facts
Penises come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes: straight, curved, long, thin, thick, circumcised, uncircumcised... But what's normal? This and more in the first edition of our Top Five Facts series.