Sex Column: Measuring up

We live in a superficial world where sexual skill is often based on dubious criteria. Many men assume that the hotter their partner is, the better the sex will be. I’m sure many heterosexual women believe the same thing. But when it comes down to it, physical characteristics are pretty poor indicators of how sex is going to turn out.

Nothing is worse than the assumptions we make about penis size. According to a 2007 study published in the urology journal BJU International taken, 55 percent of men said they were satisfied with their junk. Based on this survey, half of the guys reading this will, at some point, have to deal with the emotional concerns packaged with their package. About 85 percent of women said they were “very satisfied” with the size of their lover’s penis, so I asked whether or not penis size matters.

“Size matters,” said Norah*, a friend of mine. “Any girl who says otherwise is lying.”

Sounds like a pretty direct answer to me. While it addresses part of the question, I don’t think it answers it fully. After thinking about her answer, I now think that the more appropriate question is “How much is enough?” More importantly, what’s average?

Scientifically speaking, the average is probably smaller than you’d expect. Believe it or not, the kind of equipment we see in porn and hear about in R-rated comedies doesn’t reflect reality. LifeStyles Condoms recently conducted a study to make sure that they were making their products the appropriate size. After 400 college students were measured, the company concluded that the average erect penis size is 5.9 inches.

Opinions differ on whether or not length is even important. In studies relating to pregnancy and childbirth, the average vagina is found to be roughly five to seven inches deep. So how long does a penis really need to be?

“I’d say it’s more about width than length,” another friend, Lisa, told me. When she found herself in a situation in which her boyfriend was too big, she didn’t know what to do. “I was just surprised that someone could be too big.”

The moral of this story seems to be that penis size isn’t everything. I’m sure you can imagine how a larger unit can cause some problems – namely not being able to fit it where you want it. In fact, I think it’s more difficult to deal with a large penis than a small penis.

“There are other ways to have orgasms,” said April, a third female friend, when asked what she would do with a penis on the small side. “So if sex didn’t do it for me, I would hope that the guy had other skills.”

If you’re too big to make penetration comfortable, the same rules apply. Oral sex and other types of stimulation are always an option, and lots of lube can help you out.

So what’s the verdict? The women I talked to agreed on one thing.

“I think what’s more important is how much you’re into it,” said Norah.

“It depends on the skill of your partner,” added April. I think most women would agree with them.

The best thing you can do, aside from refining your technique, is to be confident. Regardless of what Smilin’ Bob might lead you to believe, you’re not going to get any longer. You’re pretty much stuck with what you’ve got.

*All names have been changed.

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