ADVICE: Penis size doesn't matter. Right?

The experts say that not only does size not matter, worrying about it can cause sexual dysfunction.

Maja Begovic 4 minute read September 19, 2020
Advice: asking for a friend

The age-old question answered Getty

Dear Asking For a Friend,

I’ve always been insecure about the size of my penis. I have an active sex life and the women I sleep with say they are satisfied. But, I watch a lot of porn and can’t help but wonder how I compare to other guys. What’s a normal penis size and do women prefer a guy with a big D?

Signed, Small Package


Dear Small Package,

Men may worry about the size of their manhood especially at the start of an intimate relationship. They also tend to compare themselves to one another. But, truly, size doesn’t matter. And if you don’t believe us, ask Dr. Piet Hoebeke, the author of Member’s Club: A User’s Guide to the Penis.

”Men tend to compare themselves to one another – in the gym, online – and often come away wanting,” Hoebeke told iNews. “There will always be someone better endowed, but the exceptionally well endowed — less than 2.5 per cent of the male population — are those who tend to flaunt it publicly wherever possible.” According to one study, the average length of an erect penis measures at 5.16 inches and an average girth at 4.59 inches.


Contrary to what you often see in porn films, an XL penis is simply not the norm. And while some men appear to have impressive looking equipment, size has nothing to do with pleasure in the bedroom. It’s all about the relationship. Pleasuring each other involves communication and enjoyable reciprocal foreplay, including manual and oral stimulation, as well as intercourse. And while it’s normal to sometimes compare yourself to other men, a fixation on your penis can cause unneeded anxiety and depression, and even lead to body dysmorphic disorder.

“Body dysmorphic disorder is an obsessive compulsive related disorder,” says Dr. Debbie Sookman, an international expert in the assessment and treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder and related disorders, staff specialist in the Department of Psychology at McGill University Health Center and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. “The person with a body dysmorphic disorder experiences the belief and related distress that a part of his or her body is unattractive, usually quite unrealistically or excessively. This may be linked to more general self-esteem issues that the person may not recognize.”

There will always be someone better endowed, but the exceptionally well endowed — less than 2.5 per cent of the male population — are those who tend to flaunt it publicly wherever possible

Sookman says that men who are preoccupied with their penile size can experience sexual function issues — a common consequence for any man who is focusing on fears about himself and how a partner may perceive him instead of on connectedness and reciprocal pleasure during intimacy. This, in turn, can influence self-confidence, impact relationships, generalize to other life areas, and even lead to avoidance of intimacy.

“Having a concern from time to time doesn’t at all meet the definition of a disorder and is rather common,” she says. “However, if this preoccupation takes more than an hour a day, involves repeated intrusive thoughts or checking behaviours, and/or causes significant distress and interference, then psychological intervention may be helpful.”

Dr. Stephanie Cassin, registered psychologist, associate professor in the department of psychology at Ryerson University and member of the Canadian Psychological Association underscores that in addition to anxiety and avoidant social and sexual behaviour, “some men experience such distress and impairment that they undergo surgery in an attempt to correct the perceived flaws.” If you think you might be at risk for body dysmorphic disorder, consult with your doctor.

When it comes to sexual and romantic relationships, great lovers come in all shapes and sizes, so be confident and trust what you have. A great orgasmic experience has nothing to do with size and everything to do with chemistry, communication and a strong emotional and mental connection.

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