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Penis size...small penis syndrome

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We've asked this question so many times that it's almost, come to think of it, it's actually just as fascinating as it always has been. Here it is: "What do women look for when they find a man? Do they care about the size of his penis?"

The obvious answer is "no", in the sense that there are many men who have a small penis who are in satisfying relationships and having great sex. And you might also justifiably wonder how it can matter if a man has a small penis, assuming that a woman gets to know the guy before he drops his pants. Would a sensible woman abandon a great man when she discovered he was packing a small punch? Hardly likely, in my view, but those male doubts always remain.

Does size matter? Will she like me if she thinks I have a small penis? Does she get less pleasure from sex because of it? And so on....and the existence of and amply testify! (Look 'em up if you're wondering!)

If you're a man in this position, asking yourself these questions, the odds are that you're perfectly normal. Let's begin at the beginning. First of all, two British doctors reviewed all of the published research on penis size that they could find and they discovered some startling facts. Doctors Kevan Wylie and Ian Eardley reviewed more than ten studies which included over eleven thousand men and found that average penis length was between 5.5 and 6.2 inches and average penis girth or circumference was between between 4.7 and 5.1 inches.

Now, those figures are obviously a range of sizes, which seems a little unhelpful, but they are broadly in line with all I know about penis size (which, I have to say, is mostly derived from's survey of penis size which took place over the internet in June 2003).

OK. So, knowing what was average, the authors then looked at how happy men were with their penis. And here's the thing: about two thirds of men thought their penis was average in size, but only half of men were happy with the size of their know. You can interpret this as meaning that these men thought their penis was simply not "big enough".

Big enough for what is not defined, though you can bet it is something around sex or sexual pleasure. Or maybe that's not right, and maybe this is actually about a psychological process whereby men judge themselves as a man according to the size of their penises, or at least project their lack of self-confidence and self-doubt onto their penis.

So it looks as though we've all been culturally conditioned to think of the penis as a symbol of male power (which in many ways is accurate) and unfortunately in that process we have all somehow picked up the notion that bigger equals better, and that "bigger" means "bigger than average" and so we want seven inches instead of six......maybe even eight....or nine?

Is that too much to ask for? Well, yes, since you ask. Most women want a man with an average sized penis, at least during intercourse.

Our intrepid doctors discovered that one man in five believes he has a large penis (note that this is a totally subjective judgment) and about one man in ten believes his knob is small. You can interpret this in many ways - that many men are deceiving themselves, that they know they are small, but tell themselves they are average - which might be why so many men are unhappy about their size. After all, half of all men must be below average by definition.

The most telling fact for me, though, is this: no matter how many men are dissatisfied with the size of their most precious asset, women do not share this view. Fully eighty five percent of women express satisfaction, pleasure, happiness and general good feelings about the penis size of the man they are in relationship with.

What seems clear from this is that whatever women say, think or giggle about when they get in girly groups, the truth is that penis size does not matter very much to them, and they are actually looking for a good companion, a man who has a good personality, and perhaps a sense of humor, but certainly not a man who can poke deep, deep down into their vagina!

For here's another telling point: if women do express a preference, they prefer thickness to length. While that may not help you if your penis is both short and thin, the fact is that when men talk about size, they mostly talk about length - the antithesis of what women actually want.

The more you read about this subject, the harder it becomes to take what men say at face value. Consider this amazing statistic: the condition known as small penis syndrome - a state of mind in which men worry needlessly about the size of their penis and seem fixated on the belief that they are physically or sexually inadequate because they are "too small" - is rather common among men who have a perfectly average sized organ.

Even more surprisingly, perhaps, men whose knob is genuinely small, which includes those who have a flaccid penis shorter than 7 cm (approximately 2.7 inches), have much lower levels of small penis syndrome.

And here's the most interesting piece of information of all: we know that women are much more interested in a manís personality and looks that the size of his penis. If you think about it, doesn't that really match your experience? Women don't often reach orgasm from intercourse, many of them say that they prefer intimacy to sex, and there are many ways of playing with a woman's clitoris which don't involve a penis......!

A much more productive approach to being a better lover is to ensure that you know how to control your ejaculation, so that you can last for as long in bed as your partner wishes: this may mean she can have an orgasm during intercourse, or not, according to how active her G spot is, but it will certainly give her higher levels of emotional pleasure & a sense of fulfillment.

What is important, though, is what all this means to men and their mental health. Men who have a larger penis, or who perceive that they have a larger penis, have a better body image, a better self-image, a better genital-image, and more sexual confidence. This is a sad fact, though in my view it is understandable - that's how we're conditioned, and we are men, first and foremost putting our own concept of masculinity before that which women might wish us to hold.

If it were not so, would the penis enlargement scammers have made so much money? No, they would not. The issue of penis size remains very much a male one, and we are responsible for all that happens to us when we enter a world of dodgy dealers, scammers, and hopeless promises.

The effectiveness of such things as vacuum devices, mechanical penile extenders and stretching traction devices remains questionable, indeed unproven in every single case. However, if men get reassurance from them, does it matter?

And as for enlargement surgery, well, the effects can be devastating, though often not in the way the poor man who ordered surgery expected. Wylie concludes by commenting that men often worry about penis dimensions, and since these are real concerns they should not be summarily dismissed - he says this can make the anxiety and emotional problems even worse.

What really helps most men is getting accurate information about the range of penis size, and finding someone who can correct the erroneous ideas that men pick up around penis size. For a doctor who sees such a man, one who is convinced that his penis is unusually small or inadequate for intercourse, a relationship or anything else, information and increased awareness should be the first priority, and the man needs to be dissuaded from trying either  penile extenders or undergoing surgery since neither are effective and they can produce unpleasant side-effects and complications. 

Other pages on penis size

Small penis syndrome
Penis variations in pictures
Anatomy of the penis
A Personal View Of Penis Size

Other pages on the penis

Penis size
Foreskin restoration
Ejaculation and orgasm
The prostate gland
Wet dreams
Ejaculation problems
The life history of a sperm
Avoiding The Mid Life Crisis

Other sections on the site

Penis facts and penile functions
The penis, masculinity and sex
A Cultural History Of The Penis
Penile & Other Problems