Illustration: Janet Sung
Before I even begin, let me get one thing out of the way: No column that I write is one-size-fits-all. There are always outliers. Nothing is 100%.
So yes, there are women (and men) out there who are size queens; they prefer a bigger-than-average penis, and don’t settle for anything else. But right now, I am talking about the rest of the women in the world — and they feel otherwise. You know those clichés? It’s not the size of the boat but the motion in the ocean?
That’s. Really. True.
Look at your hand. That’s roughly the size of the average woman’s vaginal canal when aroused. Does your hand do the job for you when it’s just the two of you? Yup, I bet it does. It does the same for us. And, dimensions aside, a woman’s labia, clitoris, and vagina are different depending on the time of day, the time of the month, and just how worked up you’ve got her feeling with the right amount of foreplay. The size of your penis is just one of many things at play during a session.
And if you’re comparing yourself to porn stars, don’t. Between fish-eye lenses, deceptive camera angles, and a “talent pool” that’s almost exclusively outliers, the porn industry has created unrealistic expectations about size, and created a culture of men irrationally anxious about their own endowment.
We are much more interested in what you do with all of you than how big your penis is. If a man’s packing 10 inches, but is a terrible kisser and selfish with foreplay, we don’t want any of that length, girth, or anything else. It’s wasted if he’s not working at making us feel good. And quite frankly, men with larger-than-average penises can end up being more trouble than pleasurable.
The most recent studies say that the average man is working with about five inches, when erect. But that’s based on a study with a sample size of 15,000. Consider that there are nearly 4 billion men on the planet. So you really have no idea where you measure up. And if you’re comparing yourself to porn stars, don’t. Between fish-eye lenses, deceptive camera angles, and a “talent pool” that’s almost exclusively outliers, the porn industry has created unrealistic expectations about size, and created a culture of men irrationally anxious about their own endowment.
I promise you this: If you’re combining however many inches you have with oral sex that curls our toes, attentive neck kisses, a little roughing up here and there (if we ask for it), sessions where your penis isn’t involved at all, a little toy play perhaps — we don’t care what size your penis is!
The point is this, sex between two cis-het folks is not just about how specific body parts fit together. It’s far more nuanced than that. Sex is a full-body experience; where the penis goes (assuming there’s one involved) is not the main concern. In fact, if you’re using certain positions, penises on the smaller side actually have the advantage. Doggy style, especially with a pillow under her belly, can be more intense when the penis is not too big. There are also ways to do missionary that will allow men of smaller size to have a bigger impact. If anal is on the menu, “normal” is probably as big as most women want to go.
Read more: On the Philosophical Implications of Playing With the Booty
And if you still feel like your size isn’t what you want it to be? Join the club, and thank society. I’d take some bigger boobs if they were on sale (and I didn’t need to go to Brazil to get them). I’m not dismissing your feelings, I just want you to know that we’re meeting you where you are.
Now, does your partner really want 10 inches or more? And can your ego handle giving it to her if it’s not in your pants? They make vibrators and dildos so that any woman, size queen or not, can indulge her needs or fantasies. If you’re confident — and of course you should be — find out what size she prefers, and be prepared to use it on her.
You’re the captain of the ship, after all. It doesn’t need to be a superyacht for everyone to enjoy the voyage.