So, what are we to make of this? Does penis-size matter at all to a healthy sex life, or is it time to crush the size stigma once and for all? We went to certified sex coach and writer Gigi Engle to get to the tip of it.
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 (After all, in a poll of our community members, penetration didn't even rank in the top two ways to orgasm!)
That being said, there is of course variation. For some vulva-owners, size does matter to 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.
Why do you think our culture makes such a big deal about penis-size?
We 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.
What are some ways couples can enhance pleasure during intercourse if they don't match up size-wise?
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. (We also recommend learning all the erogenous zones, there are so many creative ways for you and your partner to get turned on!) 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.
Find more from Gigi Engle at her website