Recently I received this question:
“Dr. Castellanos, I’m just wondering why all guys seem to be concerned about their size down there?……”
Human males have the longest and thickest penis of any member of the ape world (oh get over it people!), considered freakishly long when compared to gorillas, and only pretty long when compared to chimps or bonobos. Anyone who has read Sex at Dawn notices that this fact is pointed out quite often. And the truth is that both men and women seem to be quite concerned with penis size, with the concept being passed along in popular culture as a person starts to learn about sex.
There is physical validity to the advantage of having a bigger penis (erect that is) because of the pleasure that women obtains from having sex. Since a woman’s erectile tissue is structured into the clitoris with long legs extending inward under the pubic bone, and connected to a network of erectile tissue that forms an internal cuff around the opening of the vagina, a wider penis would create more pressure on these structures which gives pleasure. But surely the coveted long penis has become attractive and desirable for other reasons?
If you think about it, the penis itself has become the indicator of arousal, being small when flaccid, and becoming longer when aroused. A very simplistic but visual way of conceptualizing this would be – the longer it gets, the more aroused he is. Following this mindset, a longer penis when erect might indicate more arousal, a higher level of sexuality or virility. Even though we know that this is faulty logic, the idea of being “more of a man” if you have a big penis continues to be perpetuated in our society through personal beliefs, stories, and the media. Society has a done a wonderful job of creating our insecurities and nurturing our neuroses, and all of the so-called “penile enhancement pills” out there don’t do anything to make it better.
Add to this the huge increase in porn viewing since the advent of the personal computer and you can begin to understand why more men are increasingly more anxious and unsatisfied with the size of their member. Porn actors are chosen based on the size of their penis (bigger is more shocking and impressive) as well as their ability to get it up and keep it up around an entire camera crew. But if the average man (5 inches when erect) is comparing themselves to porn actors, they are usually going be left wanting. For the average guy, technique is really more valuable including all the other activities of sex that don’t involve penetration. There is much more to a man than just his penis.
You may also want to check out my eBook, A Man’s Guide to Male Sexual Issues
I think society has been able to play with our biggest sex organ, (our brain) in regards to penis size. It has told us that with penis size, like many other things bigger is better and you are incomplete or nothing if you are average. Just look at the miracle pills and devices that can “make you more of a man”. Late night infomercials with gorgeous woman saying that they need bigger men to fulfill them can really play on a guy, if he lets it. It is the same old thing; find a weakness and play on it. People have been doing since the creation of man. Is anyone surprised? I am an average guy with average penis size and average income. I am an average size in clothing and shoe size. I wish I had more money, more hair, less waist line and could retire with more money than I have right now. But the fact is I am content the way I am. My wife loves me for me and not my penis or bank account although she would like me to lose some weight so I can live longer and keep her happy in the sack. That is the measurement that counts most.
@eammon Thanks so much for giving a man’s view as feedback. It’s difficult to combat society’s skewed messages that have such an effect on our lives, but forums such as these will hopefully help spread the word. Thanks again.
Dont you think the same skewed views affect a womans view of her breasts? It seems too often women want to have bigger breasts. I can understand if a woman has had a mastectomy and wishes to have reconstructive surgery or implants. I’m a survivor of testicular tumors. Sometimes I wish I had implants but most of the time I accept it the way it is. Maybe I am the rareity in men but it doesnt matter to me if a womans breasts are big or small. Being sexy is found within, not from cup size. Yes, I will admit a woman with big breasts will get my initial attention. I’m a guy and still have a pulse. However, she needs more than that to keep my attention, in other words brains and confidence are a big asset.
Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I blogged about this in a post last year entitled Distorted View of Women’s Bodies. Check it out.
I always wondered why it seems that a greatly accepted “average” size is 5-7 inches when that seems to span the spectrum, from small to large, and everything in between. When the average includes 90% of the adult male pop, how can it be an “average”?
It sounds like you don’t really understand what the definition of “average” is? It is the sum of all values divided by the number of samples. For an erect human penis, that number is approximately 5.1-5.9 inches (depending on the study). It does not include 90%of the male population. Each standard deviation on each side of the mean only includes about 70% of values and varies about 0.8 inches in either direction. Not sure what you’re getting at?
O.k. the average of 5.1 – 5.9 would be 5.5 right? I’m just saying the average would be one number, not a range of numbers is all.
@cas – In a perfect world, where we could measure every man’s penis and take a true average, there would be just one number. Unfortunately, we have several different surveys taken which each have produced different numbers. In order to account for this, the “average” is presented as a range. You will see in my last comment that I specified – depending on the study – to explain this. The whole point of this article is for men NOT to be so focused on an absolute number or standard as you seems to be doing now.
I’m kinda objective about this really, I’ve just come to understand that the average seems to be around 6 inches. This doesn’t bother me, and I am small at about 4.7 inches max. Most guys are bigger than this and I don’t see why it would offend them to understand what a true average is.
@cas The whole point is NOT to obsessively quantify a value because it is not helpful and detracts from psychological relaxation into eroticism. Let other guys speak (and obsess) for themselves. Your posts seem to suggest that you are missing the point of the article.
“I’m just wondering why all guys seem to be concerned about their size down there?……”
I was stating that with all the numbers out there regarding size that a lot of guys are going to be concerned wondering if they are normal, average, or not. Guys are mainly concerned about their size down there because of what they hear through the media and stuff – that size matters and that if you’re not 7 – 8 inches then you’re not normal. But what I don’t think is a good idea though really is to make guys think that they are normal when they are actually small or large statistically speaking. If they are misledinto thinking this, these guys might find themselves in for a rude awakening, like I was. Size really does matter to some. This is a good reason why guys are concerned by their size down there.
@cas Thank you.
@ cas Size matters, but the majority of men out there are up for it. According to the Kinsey Institute, a mere 5-7% of guys fall below the five inch mark upon erection, and at this point is when you start having issues. Most guys are concerned when they have no reason to be. That’s the way nature works.
Tina’s right. And with all things in nature you have to have small and large along with average or medium.
Well Dr Castellanos given the fact that guys get the living crap kicked out of them on this issue ad nauseum its no wonder why someone like “cas” and others have developed a severe complex regarding the topic.24/7 365 online access to porno has deepened the issue and given the fact that gazillions of women view porn these days and now think that the avg penis size is “too small” thus doesn’ t surprise me.I also find it a hoot how many women will hide behind the “preference” word to try and justify their blatant reverse sexism,judgements and nitpicking on a guy’s size.Go on any sex forum and most of the time the ideal or prefered size of the male member is at or near 7 inches.I also find it hilarious how many women will use the men like bigger breasts bs excuse (which is not evevn true) to try and keep this topic alive and well and again trying to justify their viewpoints,minset and discrimination.Like comparing a sex organ to breasts is even a fair comparison gimme a break.Sorry,i believe in mutual respect and in 2012 i see very little on the modern woman’s end.Cheers.