Monday, August 3, 2009


Part OneThe Long & Short of It

Men love their penises.
If you were to ask a woman what defined maleness to her, you would likely get a myriad of answers relating to presence, the ability to provide, masculinity or body type. But if you were to ask a guy, be it a teenager, a college frat boy, a young professional, or even some grandfathers, the answer might invariably lead back to the organ that defines us as male.

Yes, men love their penises. Even if they are not completely happy with some elements, they are glad that they have one. There are studies that have shown that even young babies are aware of their penises, and more surprisingly, that they can often be preoccupied with it from even this young stage of life. As we grow older and hormones kick it, our penises grow with us, as does our fascination with what some have jokingly described as their favorite toy. Our awareness of it is absolute, but often only self focused, which allows us to explore, experiment, and derive pleasure from the organ, without any real concerns. That is, until we come in contact with a visual of another person’s penis. And then the anxiety and questions begin.
In a recent survey, over 45% men claimed that they desired a larger penis. That’s almost half of the respondents. In another survey, over 65% of men claimed to be approximately 8 inches when fully erect. The discrepancy is interesting because it illuminates more than one point. On one side, you have a large percentage of males who are dissatisfied with their size, while on the other you have an even larger percentage claiming to be well above the national average. It’s fairly easy to determine who is lying, and even easier to deduce the motivation behind it.

The question that has been asked by everyone, going all the way back to the Kinsey institute, has remained the same: What is the average size of the male penis. The facts are not completely accurate, depending on and because of the surveys themselves, as in many cases the answers are received from questionnaires, rather than any actual, physical testing. With 65% of men claiming to be 8 inches long, the truth factor is already skewered. The motivation behind the survey must also be questioned, as is the case when Lifestyle condoms invited a group of individuals to allow themselves to be measured inside a tent during Spring break, for market research. The validity of how many guys actually took them up on the offer is questionable, but there is also the case for the number of males who would consider themselves on the small size, and just how keen they would be on allowing their manhood to be judged by a panel inside a tent. In spite of all these complications, we can come to a universal conclusion based on an average from the thousands of surveys and tests that actually have been done and recorded.

xThe average penis length of the adult male, in a flaccid state (soft/no erection) is between 3.4 inches and 3.7 inches. The average length in an erect state is from 5.1 inches to 5.7 inches. In terms of girth, or thickness, the average ranged from 3.5 inches to 3.9 inches. It should be noted that the variations in size are more apparent in the flaccid state, meaning that a soft, low hanging organ may not necessarily increase much in length when erect. As the old saying goes, there are growers and showers. Or as I like to say, even an acorn can grow into a mighty oak.

xBut how important is penis size? The answer depends on your frame of reference. There are men who measure in well above the average size, who still feel like they should be bigger. There are men who would be considered small, who have no issues with their size. It is those that fall in the middle, the ones who would be considered average, as well as those who fall just above or below, who seem to take the highest and most superficial interest. It is questionable as to why an average sized organ is not acceptable for some, but in addition, one has to wonder what men feel they would gain from being larger.

xPerception is important, and many males believe that the perception is that a bigger penis makes you a better lover or more of a man. Men with small penises are often riddled with insecurity, and sometimes feel shameful in regards to what they view as a shortcoming. There are some who even sink into states of depression and find it difficult to perform in sexual situations, even taking it to the extreme by refusing to undress unless the lights are off. I have photographed guys in the nude who immediately after undressing find it necessary to inform me that they are actually growers, or inquire as to how I can make “it” appear larger in the photograph. And it is no secret among photographers that some models insert a cup or “fake penis” when shooting in their underwear. The other technique is to “fluff” or induce a state of arousal in order to fill out the garment better.
xxThe matter of size is definitely a personal issue, and each individual reacts in their own way to what nature has given them. The danger comes in the comparison factor, and the belief that it’s all about size. Many males in the porn industry are specifically chosen because they measure well above the average, or for their ability to get and maintain an erection, or “wood” as it is referred to. It also seems as though models that are larger are less inhibited about posing nude. But this is not the rule. There are well endowed men who are embarrassed about their size, and modestly endowed guys who love to show it off.

Invariably, size is only important when we make it an issue. Yes, there are some people who are not interested in having sex with a man who has a small penis, but there are just as many who find the large ones cumbersome of uncomfortable. The performance, or how you use what you have, is ultimately more important, but so is finding a partner who is interested in the quality of the encounter rather than the quantity of the organ.

In later installments, the discussion will include the factors of race, the advantages and disadvantages of size, penis enlargement techniques, as well as the viewpoints of both women and gay men when it comes to their sexual partners.

©2009 Sean Dibble

David Nyman -
3 - Charles Archer -
4 - model: Billy Bedell -
photo: Dennis Covey -

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