I recently read a study that attempted to determine the average length of the erect penis by examining upwards of 15,000 men. These intrepid, probably very-interesting-at-a-dinner-party researchers determined that the average penis size is exactly 5.16 inches. The study disturbed me, mostly because I wasn’t consulted. (Where was I for this? Call me next time, science.) But it also disturbed me because, c’mon guys, could you stop worrying about your junk already?
What I gather from friends and internet commenters is that dick measuring is an ongoing fascination (and, apparently, a rich seam of grant money) because plenty of men still just want to know what the “right” size is. Or, for the true worriers out there: what is the smallest dick that’s still acceptable to women?
I’ve got two answers.
Answer One: 5.16 inches is fine. Based solely on anecdotal evidence from my vast network of promiscuous acquaintances, a little more or less in that general neighborhood works best for most people—men and women—who enjoy penetrative sex with penises. We’re kind of programmed to want what is “average.” And an average penis fits well in an average vagina and an average butt and an average mouth and an average whatever else.
Of course, certain people prefer their penises more to one side of the Bell curve. Whether you’re smaller or longer or wider—or, I don’t know, banana-ier?—there’s a complementary body part (and person) out there who wants exactly what you’re packing.
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Which leads us to Answer Two: you should really not give an eff about your dick length, average or otherwise. Do your best not to obsess over it—particularly in the context of whether or not a woman will like it. The biggest, handsomest dick in the world is never going to make anybody love the guy who owns it—himself included. Same goes for the guy with the smallest, least-comely dong who’s amazing at oral sex. (Though guys who pride themselves on being really good at oral sex wig me—and everybody else—out.) So love your veiny or hairy or purplish friend-penis.
Thank your dick for all hours of free entertainment it provides. You can have sex with your hand or a vagina or an anus or, according to news reports from the emergency rooms of Florida, pretty much anything with a hole, ever. Think of me, with my crippling case of penis envy. As a woman, I will never know the sublime pleasure of a Jacuzzi blowjob or flying down the freeway and singing along to Crüe while pissing in a Snapple bottle. Look down every day and go, “Hey penis, I love you.”
Here’s why: You know those lotion companies that try to sell lotion to women by telling them that all bodies are beautiful? We eat that stuff up because we are sick of being told that everything about the flesh prison we were born into is bad and wrong. And that’s just one of a billion contexts in which women, tired of being inculcated with self-loathing by corporations and culture at large, have begun the painful process of reclaiming our innate sense of worth.
It’s your turn. Wrest the physical standards you have for your body from other people and the advertising industry. Tune out all the dumb shit that people say about masculinity and size and whether or not buying the right toothpaste will let you fuck a model. Fall in love with your penis!
By Julieanne Smolinski
Photo: Frank Bienewald