originally published February 5, 2013
WARNING: The following article may contain sensitive verbiage, mature subject matter and an unhealthy focus on the human dink. Not the dink that raced to cut you off in traffic then slowed down to 15 below the speed limit with his blinker on as though he simply gave up hope of ever getting to his destination, but the dink that either you or someone you know shares a non-detachable bond with.
If you are male, this article may bolster your confidence or deplete it. I don’t make up the facts; I simply restate the facts that have already been made up by someone else. It’s time for a frank talk about human penis size.
First off, don’t panic. In Ancient Greece, a small penis was considered to be the most desirable ideal. A chunky flesh-sausage was considered freakish and ridiculous. This was chosen for two reasons: it saved money for statue-makers, and the women who had sex with the men didn’t get a vote in what was the cultural ideal.
I’m kidding of course – statues were made by chipping away at a marble block, so they weren’t saving any money here.
If you’re looking for the average, you can look at seventy or eighty thousand studies that have been done on the subject. The consensus seems to land around 5.1 to 6 inches for an average erection. Without any wind in its sails, the flaccid member doesn’t get much bigger than 3.5 or 4 inches. If one has recently been in a chilly pool, or if they just walked in from a Canadian winter, there’s going to be a lot less going on there. The scientific term for this phenomenon is of course, shrinkage.
Guys who have a paranoia about the comparative deli rack of a public change room needn’t fret. According to the Journal of Urology, there is absolutely no correlation between the size of a deflated skin-balloon and its might and power once it’s ready for action. Some folks can grow from a tiny mushroom button to a full-on Louisville Slugger. So don’t wear those skanky, sweaty shorts home from the gym just because you’re afraid of a little mockery. You’ve got science on your side.
Now, if you happen to suffer from the legitimate condition of having a micropenis, you might have a valid reason for concern. A result of genetics, a deficiency of pituitary growth hormone, or an insensitivity to androgens can lead to this condition, which affects 0.6% of the male population. The end result is a penis that clocks at under 3 inches whilst standing at attention. Fortunately, this can be treated with growth hormones, testosterone, and if necessary (and you’ll probably feel it to be necessary if the first two don’t work), surgery.
If your curiosity can’t be contained, the Wikipedia article for micropenis includes a photo. Warning – this may raise some red flags if someone catches you reading at work.
The other factor in penis size is, of course, the circumference. The average here is somewhere between 3.5 and 3.9 inches, about the same size around as a Canadian one-dollar coin. This means the phrase “Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you just happy to see me” actually implies a below-average girth. You should take that as an immediate insult, unless that actually is a roll of quarters in your pocket.
One question that often pops up, usually in the form of a tired and over-used joke in shoe stores, is whether or not there is a correlation between penis length and the size of other body parts. The answer is… probably not. One 1993 study found a weak correlation between the dong and the foot, but that has since been debunked. So if the size-16’s you bought (in which your feet slosh about pathetically) were purchased to impress somebody, you may have made a mistake.
So who has the biggest? Is there any way to generalize with just the tiniest shred of scientific backing, or is all hope of ethnic-group penis humor out the window?
Sexologist Alfred Kinsey (who was played in a bio-pic by none other than Liam Neeson, whose junk is legendarily – allegedly – enormous) published a study that claims that the average length of a homosexual man is notably longer than that of a heterosexual man – 6.32 inches compared with 5.99. It should be noted that this is based on self-reporting, so probably not the most accurate data. Still, I don’t want to rain on the jubilance this news will bring to the gay community.
Everythingologist Cecil Adams dug a little deeper into the Kinsey data, in search of racial differences. The obvious one our culture puts up for scrutiny is the allegation that black males leave significantly less air on the inside of a Speedo. It turns out this is true, though not by much.
The average length – and here we’re using Kinsey’s data – of a disinterested wang is 4.0 inches for a white male, 4.3 inches for a black male. So if we chase this rumor back into the locker room, we can see how the perception would appear. Add in a little rub ‘n tug and swell things up to performance levels, and the difference almost fully dissolves, with averages of 6.2 and 6.3 inches for whites and blacks. Circumference doesn’t vary much either, with again only a 0.1-inch difference.
Lest this be a blow to the African-American community, keep in mind Kinsey had surveyed over 2500 white males and only 59 black males. Not exactly the greatest basis for scientific comparison.
So how much does it matter? Advertisers for penile growth methods would have you believe it’s the most important aspect to your body as a male – go big or go home and hang yourself. But that is, thankfully, complete crap.
A study at the University of Texas-Pan American does indicate a size preference, but girth was placed significantly higher than length as the preferred metric. Other studies by Psychology Today and Groningen University Hospital found that women are more concerned about what’s going on in a man’s head. The same studies also revealed what was going on in a man’s head: usually, a paranoia that women would be dissatisfied with the size of their penis.
My advice is simply to ignore those ads and be happy with what you’ve got. Well, unless you look like that guy in the micropenis photo – you might want to look into beefing up a bit, but through tested medical methods, not through some ad at the back of Spank-Worthy Latvians Magazine. Forget stressing over what’s hanging there and learn some technique.
Also, properly-positioned, complementary chiaroscuro lighting helps. Just sayin’.