Does penis size really matter?

A large number of men carry the complex of small penile size. The size is invariably thought to be the parameter for one's manliness and one's ability to satisfy his partner. On the contrary, too big a penis can be a problem, as it could hurt the partner

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A common mistaken belief that a flaccid penis gains in size on erection, in proportion to its flaccid size, causes this fear. The fact is that, though all the penises are different in their flaccid state, they become much more similar in size, when they get erect. Also, one tends to find his penis small as it is always seen from above, as against that of others, which is observed from the side or from the front. The different angles from which the penis is viewed also makes the penis ‘appear’ small or big, as the case may be.

One also needs to know that the size of the penis neither determines the pleasure of a male partner nor does it affect the pleasure of a female partner. The fact is, that only the outer 1/3rd of the woman’s vagina (approximately 2 inches) is sensitive to sexual stimuli. So, it doesn’t matter to a woman how deep one reaches during the intercourse. If an erect penis is even 2 inches, which is usually the case with most men, it is enough to satisfy his woman. It is not the size, but what you do with what you have, that truly counts.

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In men too, only the ‘Glans-penis’ (the front portion) is sensitive to erotic sensations. The shaft behind the glans is incapable of feeling erotic sensations. So the pleasure of the male partner too, does not depend of the entire length of the penis, but depends only on the sensitivity (and not the size) of the glans-penis.

Where does this fascination with penis size originate?

I suppose that all males, naturally curious about this apparatus, will frequently compare, and will naturally assume that, as with physical height, biceps and even income, bigger is better. Such comparisons, or even comparisons with adult men in toilets or changing rooms, are largely useless, since the size of flaccid penises has little correlation with the size of erect ones.

Certainly, there are some men with unusually large penises when erect, and some with unusually small ones, but most guys are probably average, and for the vast majority of women, average or even small is fine. Women also derive their sexual satisfaction and achieve orgasm through stimulation of the clitoris. Entering deep inside the vagina with a larger than average penis will not do much to increase clitoral stimulation, and may not increase a woman’s sexual pleasure at all.

A study evaluating sexual response in women who have had hysterectomies, which usually remove all the internal organs above the vagina, and more importantly cut the nerves to those internal areas, demonstrated that those women who were orgasmic before the hysterectomy experienced just as much sexual pleasure after.

When I ask women in my practice about their sexual satisfaction, I have on occasion had women complain about the pain and irritation that they have experienced with men with unusually large penises. I have never had a woman complain that her partner’s penis was too small to satisfy her. What women mostly complain about is lack of love and care, of tenderness, lack of foreplay or of a too fast, mechanical approach on the part of their partner.

Advertisements for penile enlargement, and lots of male pornography, feed this concern over penis size. There are no pills, injections, diets or techniques to increase the size of your penis. There are enormous commercial ventures, generating megabucks for their sponsors, which capitalize on this anxiety. Don’t be sucked into this trap.

The author is a senior consultant in sexual medicine and a counsellor from Mumbai