As a sex therapist and educator, one of the number one questions I get - from both men and women - is, “Does size really matter?” Well, surprisingly - the answer is actually quite complicated and not simply a YES or NO. I’ll try and answer in quickly. Let’s break it down…
When it DOES matter…
In your mind… based on non-experience, and perceptions of what a penis should look like - usually based on sexual myths propagated by pornography or discussions with your peers. Visually, a larger, thicker, more ‘impressive’ penis will be more enticing and thrilling to consider. This can lead to more sexual excitement, and confidence of the person with the penis…
When it DOESN’T MATTER…
Basically the rest of the time. After the visual presentation of the penis is complete, and the physical sexual activities begin, penis size begins to take on a whole new meaning - one that may be unexpected.
In meta-analytic studies, the average American penis measures in around 4.5-5.5 inches in length, and around 1.5 inches in circumference (through the middle, about 3.5-4 inches in diameter around).
Smaller-to-average size penises (in length) actually have an advantage in the physical aspect of having sex with other men and women. Within the vagina, the first 1/3 - roughly about the first 2-4 inches depending on arousal - house the vast majority of all nerve endings. As such, a penis that is consistently stimulating this part of the vagina will have a much higher likelihood of causing intravaginal orgasms (which are really the same as clitoral orgasms, but that is another post…). In addition, the likelihood of a typical penis reaching the back of the vagina - and subsequently punching the cervix - is quite low. This leads to increased pleasure on the part of the female partner receiving.
Penis size may seem as though it is very important in the gay male community - I hear constantly about ‘size queens’ and have almost daily conversations about partner’s penis’ with gay friends, but in reality there is a growing movement called a ‘boyfriend penis.’ This boyfriend penis (BP) is the penis (size/shape/etc) that you prefer for comfort and longevity in sexual relations - not the one-night stands or crazy hookups. What’s interesting is a BP is typically a smaller-to-average penis, not one of those crazy penises you see in porn or advertisements. Just as you would expect - this BP is for comfort in sexual activity.
So, the moral of this story is, a LARGE penis >5.5 inches is great for excitement and visuals… but could lead to more difficulty in the bedroom; while a smaller-to-average penis will provide much more pleasure. — Time to worry less about the size of your penis, and to figure out and learn more about what to do with your penis!
Interested in finding out how YOU stack up? It’s easy to measure your penis - and most men admit to having measured their penis (repeatedly, in most cases); however most have done it incorrectly. To gain an accurate representation of your erect penis length, take a stiff (heh heh) ruler and place one end ON TOP of your erect penis, right up against your pelvic bone, and measure to the tip of the penis. To measure girth, use a flexible measuring tape and pick the widest part (not the head of the penis, in the shaft) - typically the middle… and measure around. Voilà, you have your measurements! I would recommend taking them multiple times, however, as your numbers can change with age, diet, blood pressure, and health.
So… what do you think? How much does penis size matter to you?
Have you heard the news? Sex Education is now a mandatory component of any state-funded public school. According to the new law (Sexual Health Education Policy 103.5) all public schools must provide sex education that is age appropriate and medically accurate - including education on methods of infection prevention (both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections), relationship and communication skills to “form healthy relationships based on mutual respect and affection and are free from violence, coercion and intimidation.” In addition, the new law also requires students undergoing the program to develop critical thinking, problem solving, decision making and stress management related to healthy decisions and inform students about the various community resources.
In addition to the comprehensive elements above, the amended law states the program will encourage students to communicate about sexuality with their parents, guardians, care-givers, or other trusted adults. This may seem like a no-brainer to many people, but it is often something left out of sex education programs - considered to be a ‘given’ and taken advantage that students will talk to their caregivers. Recent literature shows that while most adolescents/teenagers get information about sexuality first from their peers, the internet, and other media, they turn to - and trust their - parents/caregivers more than any other source.
The only thing missing in the document related to the amended sex education programming is the word “abortion” - curiously absent. While the program is a major step forward in the education of our youth on sexuality, it is mainly focused on the prevention of pregnancy and infection… lacking any substance about what to do if you are already sexually active or have unintentionally become pregnant. There is a section (as mentioned above) about “inform[ing] students of available community resources” - hopefully, that includes pregnancy testing, adoption, abortion, and counseling services for ‘what happens after/if’ situations.
Read SIECUS’ report on the program here.
Second promo for the Upcoming SexDownSouth Conference this fall, right here in Atlanta! This video highlights my collaboration with colleage, afeministlife - blogger and internet personality extraordinaire. It should be an amazing conference to attend, one of the first of it’s kind. Check out www.sexdownsouth.com for more information and to buy your tickets!
By: Christopher K. Belous, PhD (SexTime Blog - ST) and Samantha E. Heuwagen, MA ACS (afeministlife (AFL))
ST: I think we should do some kind of commentary on Nikki Minaj’s new song with David Guetta, “Hey mama.” We could do something about Nikki being considered a new wave of feminism and the sexual revolution she thinks she is spearheading and un-shame being a sexual being.
AFL: I agree! Though she needs to get in line if she thinks she’s spearheading the movement. Ha! Which direction speaks to you more?
ST: I’m not sure. The reason the song is catching my attention is the inherent anti-feminist base of it, related to being subservient to a male partner. However, that then gets me going on the thought that being a feminist takes many routes, and there are many examples of how she exemplifies feminist principles [outside of this particular song]. . Also, I was thinking just a brief commentary on how even though she may be “anti-feminising” in this specific instance, she is also being a bit more sex+ as she is at least talking about differing components that are often overlooked or shamed – such as cunnilingus.
AFL: I’m listening to the song now and my first reaction was how is this feminist? I understand that her overall message in all of her music is women centered. Now, I’m conflicted. There are many ways to be feminist- cornerstone of my blog- but this song isn’t sitting well with me. Who actually wrote it? Maybe it’s not feminist, but simply sex positive? She’ll do whatever this guy wants because the sexin’ is that good? (AFL doesn’t buy what she is saying either.)
ST: That sounds very unfeminist. That is the icky part to me!
Both sit on the song for a few more days…
AFL: You are telling me…. I keep listening to the song and I can’t settle on how I feel. Is it feminist? Is it sexist? Is it just a catchy tune to make money? Apart of me feels it is just a song made to get air play. The song has a great beat and is so catchy. Let’s watch the video for more clues….
Both watch the video and become even more confused.
AFL: Scratch that. Don’t watch the video- it makes me even more confused! Was that video a nod to Mad Max? The same movie that was just released that WAS feminist without a doubt!?! What? Thought if we take the video as a clue we could get a better idea of the message. It seems the whole thing is just a mess. I would have to switch my vote to it being non feminist.
ST: “What’s up with ‘Hey Mama’? And the confusion ensues…”
Visit SexTime Blog for more on all things sex and afeministlife for all things Feminism and Sex!
Collaboration with afeministlife!(via afeministlife)
This page is a blog and repository of Dr. B - a sex therapist, educator, researcher, activist and speaker. Interested in all things sexual, social justice, LGBTQQIA+, and mental health.