Lots of Men Worry About Length But Does Girth Also Matter? We Investigated
Lots of Men Worry About Length But Does Girth Also Matter? We Investigated
Whether you’ve spent hours upon hours fretting about your size, or find that your sexual partners seem to care way more than you do, penis size just seems to be one of those things people love to obsess over — and sadly, that might not be ending any time soon.
But one thing that often gets overlooked when discussing penis size is which metrics, specifically, are important.
Whenever someone says how big their penis is, they’re almost certainly using a figure to describe the length, not the girth.
There are probably a few reasons for that, but the upshot is that penis girth is something that might be getting, ahem, short shrift compared to length.
In order to size up the penis girth issue, AskMen spoke to a handful of doctors and sex experts about what a so-called ‘normal’ girth is, whether girth matters, and what to do if you’re unsatisfied with yours. Here’s what they had to say:
What Is Penis Girth?
Given that ‘girth’ isn’t a word we use very often, you might not be 100% familiar with the concept.
“The girth of the penis is the circumference or width of the penis,” says Kayla Lords, sexpert for JackandJillAdult.com. “When we talk about the thickness or width of a penis, we’re talking about the girth.”
How to Measure Your Penis Girth
As for how you come up with your penis girth measurement, it’s pretty simple — if you have a tape measure you can wrap around things. If not, you can also try using a piece of string or ribbon, marking the points where it meets, and measuring the length of that section.
As for how and when, penis girth “can be measured when flaccid and erect (although most men care more about girth when erect), and people usually measure the penis at its thickest point,” says Dr. Jason Winters, founder and director of the West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy.
Average Penis Girth for an Adult Male
Whether you just rushed off to measure yourself, already have your girth memorized, or haven’t the faintest idea, you might be wondering what’s considered average.
Of course, it’s important to remember that the human body is endlessly variable.
“A 2014 review study, which included the data from 15 previous studies (total sample size of more than 15,000 men), found that the average girth for a flaccid penis was 3.67 inches (9.31 cm) and the average girth for an erect penis was 4.59 inches (11.66 cm),” says Winters.
However, regardless of whether yours comes close to those numbers or not, Dr. Lamia Gabal of Prestige Medical Group suggests you don’t have much to worry about, at least from a health perspective.
“From a medical perspective, there is really no concern about girth in general,” she says. “Certain disease states, such as Peyronie’s disease, can give deformities that are painful or interfere with sex. But if there is no pain and you are able to perform, then there is absolutely no need for concern.”
How Penis Girth Impacts Sexual Pleasure
Yes, penile girth can definitely impact pleasure (for better or worse) for both you and potential partners, depending on where your measurements land.
The good news? Penis girth doesn’t appear to directly impact your sexual pleasure, according to Winters.
“No study has addressed this,” he says. “It’s very likely that a guy’s anxiety about his penis size would have a much greater (negative) impact on his sexual pleasure than the actual size his penis is.”
Lords, however, notes that, at the far ends of the spectrum, being extra girthy could impact the amount of pleasure being felt.
“When it comes to the pleasure a man feels or their partner feels, a lot has to do with what the body can handle and what feels good,” she says. “If a man cannot fully penetrate a partner, wrap his hand around his penis, or experience oral sex fully because of his girth, the pleasure he feels during those activities may be limited. It doesn’t mean that he can’t or won’t have sexual pleasure, only that he and his partner may have to adapt to the reality of a larger than typical girth.”
Similarly, it’s possible that an incredibly narrow penis — particularly during penetrative sex with a wider-than-average orifice — could lead to slightly reduced pleasure for you, if it means there’s less skin contact overall.
For Your Partner
You’ve probably heard people argue that penis girth is more important to length when it comes to a penetrated partner’s pleasure — but how much true is there to that?
“Many people prefer more girth than length from their partner’s penis,” notes Lords. “For people with vulvas, a thicker penis gives them a full or stretched feeling that can be quite pleasurable, where a longer penis may hit the cervix, which can be extremely painful for some.”
As for those with girthier penises, “extra lube may be required, as well as longer time spent arousing the partner to be penetrated so they’re fully relaxed and better able to be penetrated by a thicker penis,” she adds.
For Winters, it’s important to remember that not everyone loves that “full of stretched feeling” described above.
“If asked directly, most women rate slightly above average size penises preferable, in both length and circumference,” he says. “Some women prefer deep penetration; others do not. Some women prefer feeling full; others do not. It’s safe to say, though, that most women do not prioritize penis size when it comes to sexual satisfaction. Many other factors have been shown to be much more important (e.g., direct stimulation of the clitoris, partner’s skills, sexual openness, sexual attentiveness, etc.).”
Whether your penis is on the thicker side, on the thinner side, or right in the middle, being a good lover has more to do with what’s going on between your ears than what’s going on between your thighs.
Can You Increase or Decrease Your Own Penis Girth?
It’s hard to talk about penis size without someone, somewhere, wondering, “Can I make it bigger, though?” and girth is no different.
But the distance between “Can I” and “I did” is a vast one, fraught with things like technical feasibility, accessibility, and cost, among others.
While this probably shouldn’t surprise you, there’s no easy and cheap way to make your penis naturally girthier — at least, not for the foreseeable future.
That being said, if for one reason or another you’re stressed out that your penis is just too skinny, there are options at your disposal. For starters, you could wear something around your penis to artificially make it seem thicker, commonly known as a penis sheath.
“It’s possible to temporarily and slightly increase your own girth with penis sheaths,” says Lords. “The increase in girth depends on the size of the sheath.”
You can also try to increase your girth by optimizing what you’re working with by pumping it full.
“You can also use a penis pump, which forces more blood into the penis, but does not guarantee a specific increase in girth,” adds Lords. “That’s largely due to the current size of your penis and how much blood flow is increased to the penis with a pump.”
Then there’s the nuclear option: penile surgery.
“Similar to the size of a man’s pants, where the length does not change but the waist increases as a man gains weight, penile length is fixed, but girth can be augmented,” says Dr. Judson Brandeis, Director of Clinical Excellence for GAINSWave. “To improve girth, urologists can inject bulking agents like fat or fillers between the skin and the erectile bodies. However, this lasts for only a year, and can give the penis a lumpy appearance.”
According to Brandeis, similar aesthetic issues also plague “a silicone penile implant that urologists insert under the skin.” While it can increase your girth by up to 2 inches, it also tends to give the penis “a somewhat awkward shape,” he notes.
Winters doesn’t think surgery is the magic solution, either, describing the current medical options as “surgical interventions that don’t tend to leave men feeling much better about themselves.”
“The gains are marginal, and the cost is high,” he says.
So what’s an under-girthed penis-haver to do?
At the end of the day, your best bet might just be to love yourself for who you are. Quite frankly, your sexual partners probably don’t care as much about penile girth as you do.
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