Ask Gigi: Is My Penis Too Small?
Welcome to Ask Gigi, an advice column where certified sex coach and writer, Gigi Engle, answers your most intimate questions. Nothing is off-limits! From threesomes to anal, unrequited love to cheating: we want to hear it all.
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I’m a guy with a rather small penis. I’m extremely self-conscious about it. My current partner doesn’t mind. She tells me all the time that she prefers my penis to other men’s because it doesn’t hurt to have sex. She also says that penis size doesn’t matter as much as other things such as intimacy and oral sex.
I’m just not convinced and it continues to affect my confidence in bed. Sometimes I don’t even stay hard because I’m so worried about the size of my dick. So, I figured I’d ask someone who knows best.
Does penis size matter or not?
Thanks so much for your letter. it takes a lot of guts to talk about things that you feel self-conscious about and to seek advice. Proud of you, boo. Body shame is the pits.
Does penis-size affect pleasure for the recipient during sexual intercourse? Generally speaking, no. Size is regularly ranked as one of the least important things for people who have sex with penis-owners. More important than size is empathy, confidence, and communication. Oh, and oral sex of course. Most women and people with clitorises require external clitoral stimulation in order to experience orgasm. Meaning, the size of someone's penis isn't going to dictate your ability to orgasm.
That being said, there is of course variation. For some vulva-owners, size does matter them. Penis size can have an effect on pleasure, if the person receiving is partial to a feeling of "fullness" during sex. Girth is definitely more important than length, which is something we rarely discuss. Someone's "inches" are what we measure a "large" penis by. Meanwhile, it's thickness that matters more. The thicker the penis, the more nerves in the vaginal opening and deep in the vaginal walls a person will reach. The vaginal walls don't have touch-sensitive nerve-endings, but pressure-sensitive, meaning pressure and "thudding" sensations are what feels pleasurable to those who enjoy penetration.
We make such a big deal about penis size because we (incorrectly) place many unrealistic body standards on both men and women. Low quality porn has a lot to do with this. We see these men with ginormous monster cocks and that obviously is not what the average penis looks like. Studies have shown that the more porn someone watches, the bigger a penis might be in their fantasy life. It's really about expectations that a "normal" person won't meet. In the same vein, women see women in porn with large breasts, hairless vulvas, and impossible figures. It sets up a set of expectations that she will not meet. So, we all wind up feeling badly about ourselves.
It's not just porn, the media puts the same body-pressure on men and women to be "perfect." It's all really unfair and needs to stop. Penis size fuels toxic masculinity. We link a man's "size" to his level of maleness. If he doesn't have a huge penis, he's less of a man. These are absurd ways to consider manhood, as penis size does not predict your prowess as a lover in any way. In fact, most guys with big dicks don't know how to use them because they've been taught that having a big dick is the only thing that matters. It isn't.
Some ways couples can enhance pleasure during intercourse if they don't match up size-wise is with with sex toys! Bring a clitoral stimulator into the bedroom. This gives you that external stimulation you need during intercourse. You can also use an internal vibrator. This will create vibrations within the vagina and cervical regions, and simulate a shallower vaginal canal.
Oral sex. Lots and lots of oral sex. Trust me, if you are good at eating pussy, no one will care about your penis size. If you have great oral sex skills and aren't afraid of sex toys, you are already a world-class lover and should feel fabulous about yourself.
I hope this helps you feel better and let’s you get on with your bad self. You’re a sexy beast! Live it up.