Average penis size: the long and short of it, What’s the Average Penis Size? What does the research say?
Average penis size. You’ve thought about it, we’ve thought about it, and the truth is it’s really not worth worrying about. Especially since most of the claims around an average man’s member are a load of bollocks.
At least they used to be until a pioneering study claimed to have definitively established the average penis size. Named “Am I Normal?” this collaboration between King’s College London and the NHS collated the professional measurements of the penis length and girth of 15,521 men in 20 worldwide projects.
So here’s the scientifically-verified lowdown on everything you need to know about average penis size.
What is the average penis size?
According to the “Am I Normal?” study, 5.16 inches (13.1cm) is the average length of a penis when erect. And as for the average girth of a penis? That’s a circumference of 4.59in (11.6cm).
Since most men don’t walk around with a constant spring in their step, the study also measured the average length of a flaccid penis which was 3.61 inches (9.2cm) The average girth of a flaccid penis? That’d be 3.67 inches.
No really. I think I have a micropenis
That’s unlikely since only 0.14 per cent of men have a micropenis, which is defined as a penis that’s 3 inches (7.6cm) or smaller when erect. While there are some medical procedures available for this condition, acceptance is probably your best option.
The usual treatment for a micropenis is phalloplasty, which involves cutting the ligament that joins the penis to the pelvic area. The average length increase is 0.8 inches (2cm), but only 35 per cent of people who get the treatment are happy afterwards.
Also, the whole ‘it’s what you do with it’ ethos is statistically valid. In 2014 researchers at UCLA and Cal State LA published a report showing that 84 percent of women feel “very satisfied” with their man’s penis size.
Actually, I’ve been blessed with a trouser snake
Sure, and this article is the highlight of our journalistic career. The fact is that only five per cent of erect penises are bigger than 6.3 inches (16cm) in length. So while Mother Nature might have befitted you with a gift, it’s really not worth worrying about what might have been should you have missed out on a deluxe appendage.
While we’re talking about body dysmorphia, it’s also worth mentioning here that male pornstars are chosen for their specific talents. So what you might witness on the NSFW corners of the internet is a not a reflection of the average man. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
Wait! That’s smaller than I thought it’d be
You can blame sexologist Alfred Kinsey for that. His post-WWII study claimed that the average length of an erect penis was 6.21-inches, but that testing was flawed for a number of reasons. Most importantly, the subjects measured themselves and were prone to overestimating the prowess of their own diamond cutter.
What does this all mean? Your penis size is probably par for the course. Although not as substantial as ours… See how this kind of misinformation starts?
What about people with big feet?
Ah, that old chestnut. No evidence was found in the study linking penis size to foot size or race. It is believed that a higher BMI and age are weakly associated with a shorter erect penis.
How do I measure my penis?
Still curious, eh? Well, you’ll want to measure the length, go from the top of your penis (where it connects to your pubic bone) ensuring any fat is compressed, to the tip of your glans (the head). Don’t forget to include any additional length associated with foreskin – it all counts.
I’m still worried about my penis size
Hopefully, we’ve established here that penis size isn’t something to fret about. If your johnny is really getting you down that might be symptomatic of other issues you’ve got going on. Then it’s best to talk to a doctor about how you feel or consider chatting to one of these NHS-recommended mental health helplines.
Does penis size actually matter?
Does penis size matter? Well, what better way to get an idea of what people you sleep with think about your penis than ask the people you sleep with
Aside from the locker room and slightly inappropriate shifty comparisons at the trough, the size of your chap only really starts to matter once you’re in the bedroom – or wherever you choose to do it. And research has shown that around 45 per cent of you have something of a hang-up about how hung you are. So, what better way to get an idea of what your dick says about you than ask the people you sleep with?
We rounded up a few to ask whether a man’s trouser-snake really is as important as we think it is.
The first time
A big moment for you and junior, making your sexual debut. Are you likely to make a lasting impression? It seems there’s so much else going on, your length and girth is way down the pecking order.
Cherry, now 25, lost her virginity to her first boyfriend at 16. “I’d seen dicks before, in porn and to be honest I was worried my boyfriend’s would be like those and that it would hurt.” When the big reveal came, was she disappointed? “I was so nervous, we were kind of fumbling our way through it. I didn’t have time to worry about it. We wanted it to be over.” But surely every man who came after was compared against her first time? “Only insofar as it lasted longer and we weren’t doing it on my mum’s dining room floor while she was out,” says Cherry. “Not his dick.”
Sam, 35, is even less emotionally attached. “We were pissed at a party and he called me the wrong name most of the night. I can’t even remember what colour hair he had, never mind the size of his cock.”
Daniel, 38, remembers a relief. ”I was so glad it wasn’t bigger than mine. He was taller and had huge feet and I’ve read all the books. I should’ve been disappointed if anything – I’d liked to have seen a quirkier one. I soon made up for it, though.”
The one-night stand
You meet someone in a pub or a club, head back to theirs – does it really matter how big you are? Or are they just pleased you seem normal, are wearing clean underwear and don’t slag off their vinyl collection?
Sam reckons most of her anecdotes about one night stands are about the events, not the equipment. “I won’t lie, there’s been disappointments,” she says. “But because they were a crap shag, or boring.” So, when the pants come down, no reaction at all? Come off it. “OK, one had the smallest dick. It was impossible to do anything – I couldn’t masturbate him so I went along with it.” Sam warns men the way to deal with a problem penis isn’t ignorance. “You know, if maybe he’d given amazing oral sex, it would’ve been less of an issue.”
Nicki, 29, admits on a one night stand, she’s got one thing on her mind. “I’m gonna want something different, impressive, a one-off.” And it’s got to be big if you want to be the stuff of legend. “You want a good story to tell the girls and if it’s a small one you feel a bit mean but if he’s hung then, for me, that’s a license to spill the beans.” But what if the sex is bad? “I don’t know any woman who wanted to see a big-dicked guy again if he was rubbish in bed. No way.”
For gay and bi guys, of course, there’s a different kind of pressure: comparison. Plus, hookups don’t have the serendipitous setup of a one night stand – they’re often carefully arranged to ensure nobody’s wasting anyone’s time. Ready for your close-up?
“If a guy doesn’t send a dick pic, it doesn’t mean he’s got a small one,” says Adam, 37, “but maybe he thinks he has, or that it’s smaller than yours.”
“It can be daunting when confronted with another guy’s knob,” says Dan. “Because we compare ourselves against each other, we tend to be more critical of penis size than women, although you’d think we’d be kinder. Usually we’re relieved if the other guy likes ours, I reckon.”
Even with dick pics and preamble – there’s no guarantee. “Men who have a big penis and are willing to show it off think that’s all they need to do,” says Dan. “Big dicks are a fantasy. Often, when you find one, it’s disappointing. Men who hold something back, or are more average, tend to be sexier or try harder.” Plus, a carefully angled dick pic may not be a fair representation.
Mark, 36, is concerned his exes are comparing notes. “I used to worry about the size of my penis. Now two of my exes are mates, I imagine them ripping me to shreds.”
Daniel scoffs at this. “If I don’t like or get on with an ex, his dick is never the reason – it’s something else he’s done.” But saying that, if he does happen to know his ex was sensitive about it, would he use it against him? “Well, of course!” Daniel confesses. “I’m only human!”
The long-term partner
Can the size of your penis help you hang on to your lover? Or drive them away?
“Dick size is part of a good sex life with someone you love,” says Cherry. “But the only time it’s caused problems with a boyfriend is due to his own hangups, or, weirdly, how big my previous lovers’ knobs were.”
For Sam, it’s not an issue. “Big dicks are nice but they don’t keep you together and owning one won’t stop a man from being a bastard.”
Sure, but if a man is substandard in every other part of the relationship, a big dick will help, won’t it?
Sam and Cherry: “No.”
Says Nicki: “I love my man for who he is, not the thickness of his dick. As long as he satisfies me in every way, I don’t care.”
Adam’s ex had a problem most men would kill for: it was too big. “It was such a hassle, I never wanted to do it. And he was so self-conscious of it – it was a monster – that it drove a wedge between us in the end. It does happen.”
I’m sure all our hearts bleed collectively for these poor afflicted wretches.
But it looks like the moral of the story is: lose the comparisons and own your vital statistics. Easy to say, true, but it really is the last thing anyone is talking about.
Straight guys can maybe take heart from one recent study which showed, when asked, British women tend to guess the average size of a penis is about an inch smaller than it actually is, and their desired length tends to correlate with the actual average size – meaning even a “run-of-the-mill Bill” is King Dong in their eyes.
A big dick won’t make you a good person, but if you’re not packing, there are other ways to be unforgettable. Work on the stuff you can change.