Too big? Too small? Just right? In a society where bigger is always better, it won’t come as much of a surprise that the most common sexual fear among men is that their members don’t match up. But what do the girls think? Does penis size matter? (Well, maybe, a bit, yes.)
Many men worry about the size of their penis. Most feel their penis is smaller than they would like. But are men with big penises really better lovers? Does size really matter when it comes to sex?
Bigger is better
In western culture we believe ‘the bigger the better’ about all sorts of things, from cars to houses to portions in restaurants. Big men have always been looked upon favourably – and this probably goes back to stone-age days, when they were better providers than their smaller, weedier counterparts.
Big men do often have slightly bigger penises, although, contrary to popular belief, there is no correlation between the size of a man’s nose or feet and the size of his organ. For men, the size of their penis is bound up with masculinity and virility, so if a man thinks his is a small penis he may fear he will not be able to satisfy his partner sexually and is subsequently not a ‘real man’.
Fact and fiction
Because of the huge importance placed on the penis in our culture, it is surrounded by myths. One is that the bigger a penis is when flaccid the bigger it will be when erect. Not true at all. Flaccid penises vary enormously in size and shape – and, as any man will tell you, can shrivel to practically nothing in very cold weather. The average one, however, measures 9.5cm (3.75in).
American sex researchers Masters and Johnson found that most penises grow to more or less the same size when erect. It follows then, that smaller-than-average penises can double their size whilst bigger-than-average ones, in contrast, increase in size much less.
Another popular belief is that the larger the penis, the better the performance. Certainly, men who are very well-endowed, or who think they are, are usually much more sexually self-confident. At the same time, the under-endowed man has often been comforted by the thought that ‘it’s not what you shake but how you shake it’. Although many women agree, they would also agree that penis size counts, if not in the way that men believe.
It’s not what you’ve got…
Although women usually subscribe to the ‘it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it’ school of thought, some – noting the size difference from man to man – have suggested that the theory was originally cooked up by the wives and girlfriends of under-endowed men to spare their poor partners’ feelings.
The truth of the matter is that most women don’t like very small penises, whatever is done with them. A small, thin penis is not very rewarding in itself and many women complain that they ‘can’t feel anything’, especially if their vagina has previously been stretched by having children. That does not mean the man cannot be a good lover, but that his penis alone probably is not going to do it.
Having said that, many women are also put off by very large penises. They may be a stimulating turn-on in fantasy but can be seen as extremely threatening in reality. As Katie, 25, put it: ‘It was a real shock when I saw this enormous willy advancing on me. I remember I said something like, “You’re not putting that thing anywhere near me!” Luckily he was a good friend and we were able to laugh about it a lot later.’
What women want
Research has shown that what most women want is a bigger-than-average penis, but what is really important is width rather than length. The ideal penis is one which is thick enough to stretch the opening to the vagina and which can be felt inside their body, each time they have sex.
As female orgasm is not dependent on deep penetration, most women would prefer a penis of average length to a very long one, which can cause pain if thrust too hard. The vagina is, on average, only 8cm long but during arousal it can stretch both widthways and lengthways to accommodate almost any size of penis. A penis is rarely ‘too big’ but it can be too long – a problem which can be overcome if the man doesn’t go in all the way.
As well as an at least average-sized penis, women also want men who know how to use it. Research has shown that if sex is unsatisfactory for them, women do not often complain to counsellors about penis size but they do complain regularly about sexual technique.
While women may well be put off by what her partner regards as a very small – or minuscule – penis, it is much more likely that she will be put off by his attitude, if he has allowed his own perception of his penis to damage his sexual confidence or enthusiasm.
Whatever they may think, the vast majority of men, large or small, have average-sized penises. Size is often more to do with a man’s perception than with reality and can be blamed for a host of fears. A sexually under-confident man may blame his lack of success with women on the size of his penis or a man whose technique is poor may think he would be a wonderful lover if only his penis was longer or thicker.
Although it is technically possible, using a surgical procedure, to have the penis thickened slightly, few men are so under-endowed that they would consider putting their genitals under the knife. Not many of them would be brave enough either.
In the majority of cases such drastic action is totally unnecessary. Most men end up attached to their little friends, no matter what their failings are. If men are really concerned about their partner’s satisfaction, they can make sex more enjoyable by improving their love-making skills.
What he lacks in quantity, he can make up for in quality!