Does Penis Size Really Matter? A Guide

Does Penis Size Really Matter? A Guide


Sexual Health
your guide to penis size

Why are we so obsessed with penis size? Penis size has been a topic of interest and focus in pop culture for decades. This can relate back to things like inaccurate portrayals of sex in porn, references in movies or TV, and more. Did you know that the average penis size is actually increasing over time? According to a recent study published in the World Journal of Men’s Health, the average erect penis length has increased by 24% over the last three decades between 1992 (when the first erect lengths were recorded) and 2021. So, let’s get down to business. Does penis size actually matter?! We consulted our bench of sex and sexual health experts to help answer the question further. Consider this your guide to all things penis size.

Spoiler alert: The size of your penis is NOT a measuring stick for your masculinity, your worthiness to a partner, or your ability to please.

A study by Clue found that heterosexual and bisexual women prefer a penis of about 5.5 inches. Gay and bisexual men also generally prefer a similar, average size, although it does vary depending on the type of sex. In fact, size likely matters less than you may already think. Read on to learn why and explore the topic a little deeper.

What is the Average Penis Size?

Speaking of size, let’s take a look at what is considered average in terms of penis size. The average erect penis is around 5.2 inches in length with a 4.6-inch circumference. According to our Resident Sex Researcher, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, penis size falling in this range is usually pretty standard. A study of over 15,000 penises in the British Journal of Urology International found that “for the most part, penis sizes appeared to fall within a fairly narrow range. Men in the 50th percentile (i.e., those who were right in the middle of the distribution) had an erect penis length of about 5.2 inches and a circumference of 4.6 inches. For men in the 25th percentile, each dimension was about one centimeter less, whereas, for men in the 75th percentile, each dimension was about one centimeter more.” While we can look at “averages” all day long, it’s important to note that whatever you’re working with down there, you need not worry. You’re perfectly normal. Statistically speaking, Dr. Justin elaborates that, “all in all, this study tells us that bigger is indeed better for some women, but most do not think it makes any difference at all in terms of their sexual pleasure. This is consistent with other research indicating that the vast majority of heterosexual women in relationships (85%) report no complaints regarding the size of their partners’ genitals.”


How to measure your penis


Is There Any Scientific Truth to Shoe Size = Penis Size?

At some point in your life, you may have heard someone say, “Well, you know what they say about men with big feet…” When it comes to estimating penis size, we’ve all heard the age-old myth that having big feet means the person has a large set of family jewels. However, that’s not exactly the case. We asked our Resident Sexual Health Advisor and urologist, Dr. Josh Gonzalez, whether this was true or not. Dr. Josh says that “the supposed association of penile length and shoe size has no scientific basis.” While the big feet correlation may lack scientific basis, research does suggest that height can have a relatively consistent relation to penis size–such that taller men tend to have longer penises. All in all, however, it generally just depends on the person. Now that you know some facts about size, let’s take a look at how to actually measure your penis, according to an expert.

How Do You Measure Your Penis?

What do you use to measure it? Flaccid or erect? Length or girth? To help answer these questions, Dr. Josh shared a few tips and pieces of advice: There are many ways to measure your penis, but I generally recommend patients measure their erect length and girth, which tend to be static, versus their flaccid size, which can be more variable. When fully aroused/erect, you can use a tape measure (typically the kind used to take clothing measurements, not the more rigid kind) from the base of the penis to the tip. If you place your thumb on your pubic bone near the base and stretch the tape measure to the tip of your glans, you should get a pretty accurate measure of your erect length. Similarly, you can wrap the soft tape measure around the widest part of your shaft to calculate your erect girth. Remember: when it comes to girth, many penises can have varying measurements along their shaft. Learning how to measure your penis correctly is important for several reasons, including that knowing your size helps ensure that you buy condoms that are properly sized and fit snugly. This prevents potential discomfort or even having the condom slip off during intercourse. Once you know your size, check out our guide to picking out the right-sized condom.


 what is “normal" penis size


We also want to note that if your measurements fall outside of the average range, there is no need to worry. “Medically, there is not usually cause for concern if you fall below or above the curve for average penis size,” Dr. Josh says. “Sometimes very small and very large penises can make penetrative sex challenging, especially in certain positions. But these issues can sometimes be addressed with a little patience and willingness to try new ways of having sex.” Check out Dr. Josh, “aka the Dick Doc” on Instagram and TikTok for more tips and facts about penises and sexual health.

Does Penis Size Impact Sex?

What would an ASTROGLIDE blog be without talking about sex?! A partner obviously may notice your penis size during sex, but it doesn’t make or break whether you can have great sex. It is also simply not true that you need a large penis in order to please your partner in the bedroom fully. Our Resident Sexologist, Dr. Jess O’Reilly, agrees that ‘bigger = better’ is a total myth and that “penises of all sizes rock and are worthy of love and pleasure”. Dr. Jess continues, “Do some people prefer a longer penis? Sure. Do some people prefer a shorter penis? Absolutely. The same goes for girth. Size is a matter of fit. Bigger shoes on a smaller foot will not fit. The same applies to penises. Please don’t worry about your size. Your size does not determine your pleasure or your partner’s.”



If your penis is “too big” or “too small,” you can always make adjustments (e.g., to angle, technique, or position) when engaging in penetration to find the right fit. There is so much more to sex than vaginal or anal penetration. You can give and receive pleasure and orgasms through other options like outercourse. Outercourse includes many acts of intimacy, according to, including (but not limited to):

  • Cuddling
  • Kissing
  • Massages
  • Mutual masturbation
  • Rubbing genitals together while unclothed
  • Sex simulation that involves the penis placed between a partner’s breasts, buttocks, or thighs
  • Sexual rubbing while clothed
  • Talking about sexual fantasies
  • For people with penises that are on the smaller end of the scale, if you want to make some changes during penetrative sexual activities, consider some of these tips:
  • Go from behind: A position like Doggy Style offers deeper penetration.
  • Use props: Put pillows under your partner to prop them up, if they prefer a more “full” feeling.
  • Extend foreplay: Spending time building arousal is a great way to extend pleasure and possibly lead to more intense orgasms.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, for people with penises that are on the larger end of the scale, here are a few things to consider:
  • Use a lubricant: Check out our guide to introducing lube into the bedroom.
  • Adjust positions: Try a side-by-side sex position to allow for more shallow thrusting (like spooning).
  • Shift focus to G-Spot (in vaginas) or P-Spot (in the anus) stimulation: This can be done by using your fingers or a sex toy for stimulation.

Key Takeaway

So, does size matter? Well, technically, that answer depends on who’s asking. But generally, the short answer is no. The cultural notion saying that bigger is better is simply not true. If there’s one thing you take away from reading this, please know that penis size in no way defines who you are or the amount of pleasure you’re able to give and receive.

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