How Do You Measure Your Penis?
Most men have probably attempted to measure their penis at some point.
Even people who have become wise enough to realize the average penis size isn't close to what's depicted in porn still want to know how they stack up—but is there a best practice for how to measure your member?
Is there a standard way people in the porn industry measure? Or is it just a guessing thing, like when they list a Hollywood actor's height?
We'll discuss a couple of reasons to measure your penis beyond locker room bragging rights and look at some ways to ensure you accurately measure it.
What is normal penis size?
It's no surprise a lot of guys have mistaken ideas about what constitutes a normal-sized penis. Imagery of flawless, beautiful, airbrushed celebs with 5 percent body fat can cause people to doubt their own appeal. So, too, can being overexposed to what male porn stars are working with make a guy insecure.
The first order of business is to highlight the average erect penis length: 5.16 inches. The average girth is 4.59 inches. Those measurements are according to a meta-study that pulled data from 17 previous research projects.
"Many of the men that come and see me with concerns about the size of their penis actually have an average-size penis, or even larger than average," said Petar Bajic, M.D., a urologist who specializes in reconstructive and trauma surgery with Cleveland Clinic. "So the first thing I do is reassure them with what we know is average. A lot of men can be reassured that maybe they aren't as abnormal as they might think they are. And with a lot of these guys, we end up working together with a sex therapist or a general therapist to talk through some of these issues."
Let's clarify another thing. If you're worried about your penis size because you want to impress a partner, you should know it truly is "the motion of the ocean, not the size of the boat" that matters.
One 2017 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy showed that only 18.4 percent of women can reach orgasm from penetration alone. Nearly double the number, 36.6 percent, reported that clitoral stimulation during intercourse was necessary for them to orgasm.
Why might you need to know how big your penis is?
Knowing how to accurately measure your penis isn't just for curiosity's sake. It's something guys may need to know for medically viable reasons. For instance, it's vital to have an accurate reading of your size when using certain products.
A couple of conditions can dramatically alter the perceived length of the penis, as well. Getting an accurate measurement can help you and your healthcare provider consider any potential treatment going forward. These conditions include the following:
- Peyronie's disease. This condition causes scar tissue to form inside the penis and causes it to curve. It can make a man's penis shorter.
- Buried penis. Men who are obese or who have recently lost a lot of weight may have excess tissue and/or fat above the penis, which can cause it to appear much smaller.
- Medical devices. Some devices require an accurate measurement of your length and girth to function correctly.
- Condom shopping. You might want to impress the ladies by "accidentally" dropping a Magnum condom, but condoms that are too big can easily slip off. That's a fool's game.
How to accurately measure your penis
Suprapubic fat—the excess fat and tissue above the penis—as well as pubic hair, can dramatically alter how big the penis looks. Carefully give yourself a trim, then take the measuring tape or ruler and press it firmly against the pubic bone above the penis.
Measure to the end of the tip along the top side.
Penises vary in girth in different places along the shaft. Find the thickest part. Using string or a measuring tape, wrap it around and measure.
How to make your penis look bigger
Perhaps better than obsessing over penis size specifically, most of us could benefit from taking some simple steps to improve the quality of our erections as well as the general state of our sexuality.
For starters, keep in mind that note about the suprapubic fat above your penis when you measure it: Body fat obscures penile length.
"A lot of men want a longer and thicker penis," said Amy Pearlman, M.D., a men's health specialist and co-founder of Prime Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "Wanting a bigger penis doesn't necessarily mean the man has body dysmorphia. Ways to improve penile length, including perceived penile length, include getting to a healthy weight to minimize surrounding fat that can hide the penile shaft."