Penises come in all shapes and sizes
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
Every penis is different, and it’s perfectly normal to have the occasional moment of self-doubt about yours.
Is it long enough, thick enough, is it an odd shape, does it look weird, does it get your partner off? You might even be asking what’s the normal size of a penis? And how do you measure up? This is something that loads of guys go through and these worries can even lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) in some cases.
You really shouldn’t worry though as penises come in all shapes and sizes. “Normal” doesn’t really exist.
So, before you start opening up Porn Hub and getting your tape measure out to see how you compare, have a read of this. And maybe you’ll start to appreciate what you’re packing.
What is the average penis size?
We’ll start with what we usually want to know the most; how do we measure up against other men.
Luckily scientists have been thinking about this too. According to a study from 2015 of 15,521 men from a variety of countries and races, the average penis length when erect is 5.2 inches. 95% of men were between 3.9 to 6.4 inches long, so you could say a penis below 3.9 inches is short, and anything above 6.4 inches is long.
Length is only half the picture. Luckily the same study looked at erect penis girth as well. That’s the length around the penis – like if you wrapped a tape measure around your shaft. The study found an average girth of 4.6 inches, with 95% of men between 3.7 to 5.5 inches.
So the typical penis is around 5 inches long and almost 5 inches round when erect. But as we’ll explain, you shouldn’t get too hung-up on size, as it really is what you do with it that counts.
What’s the average penis shape?
Unlike size, there’s no definitive research on penis shapes. One expert says there are 4 main penis shapes, another says there are 7, and you can find a whole host of articles online with different numbers, some claiming as many as 15 shapes.
The truth is that penises come in a huge range of different shapes. It’s also not as easy to measure as length or thickness, so there are no agreed categories. But you can group penises into some basic shape types. We’re going to keep it really simple by grouping penises into 5 shapes. We’re also going to compare them to fruit and vegetables, because who doesn’t look at root veg and think about penises?
- The carrot: These are penises that are longer than average, but thinner than average.
- The sweet potato: Penises that are shorter, but thicker than average.
- The cucumber: Penises that are both longer and thicker than average.
- The pickle: The opposite to the cucumber, pickles are penises that are shorter and thinner than average.
- The banana: These are penises of any length or thickness, but that have a curve in them when they’re erect. They can bend in all directions, up or down, left or right (although not at the same time).
Have you worked out what type of fruit or veg you’re working with? Well, you should. And, no we’re not joking. Different penises actually suit different sex positions. That means that knowing what positions will work best for you will help make you better in bed. Nice, huh?
It’s what you do with it that counts
When we talk about penis size and shape, there are two things you need to remember.
The first is that all things are relative. In the same way that not all penises are the same size and shape, not all vaginas are either (the same is true with anuses, but we’re going to focus on vaginal sex here, to keep it short and simple).
What really counts is the size and shape of your penis in relation to who you’re with. Your penis can be large with one partner, but smaller with another, depending on the size and shape of their bodies. Remember, it takes two to tango.
The second thing is that it really is what you do with your penis that counts, not the size of it. Yeah, you’ve heard this a billion times before, and you might be a bit dubious, but it really is true. Especially because there are some sex positions that will be more suitable for your penis than others. Knowing what these are can help you give as much pleasure as possible to your partner.
Sex positions for a long and thin penis (a carrot)
If your penis is thin in relation to your partner, then sex positions where her legs are close together are best, as this will cause her vagina to narrow. Good positions include the bandoleer, where she lies on her back with her knees tucked up and her feet on your chest. And doggy style.
Sex positions for a short and thick penis (a sweet potato)
If you’re on the thick side, then you may have to stick to sex positions where your partner’s legs are wide apart. And if you’re short, you should go for positions where you can get as deep as you can. Try the missionary position, but with her legs spread and pushed back and up, to roll her hips forwards. The downward dog’s another good option, where you’re behind her and she adopts the downward dog yoga pose.
Sex positions for a long and thick penis (a cucumber)
As above, positions where her legs are wide open can make penetration easier if you’re thick, and positions where she can vary the depth and angle will probably be appreciated. Positions where she is on top will be best, and you’ve got plenty of options, like reverse cowgirl, pole position, and if you’re feeling adventurous, the waterfall.
Sex positions for a short and thin penis (a pickle)
If your penis is short and thin in relation to your partner, then you should opt for positions where her legs are close together and where you can get as much depth as possible. Think doggy style but with her legs together, missionary but with a pillow under her bum to raise and open her up, or the splitting bamboo position.
Sex positions for a curved penis (a banana)
This depends on the direction your penis curves in. If your penis curves upwards, then positions where you face each other will be best, as your penis should match the natural shape of her vagina, so think positions like missionary, cowgirl, and the lotus. For penises that curve downwards, then the opposite will be true, you’ll fit better if you’re behind her, so positions like doggy style, reverse cowgirl, and spooning will be best. When your penis curves to the left or right, then positions where her legs are wide open may be better, like the edge of heaven or the seated wheelbarrow.
Remember, there’s more to sex than penises
Knowing what positions will best suit you and your partner is important, but, although we’re focussing on them here, penises aren’t everything. There’s so much more to sex than just penetration. There’s your attitude, your confidence, your imagination, your willingness to please your partner, and don’t forget you can give a hell of a lot pleasure with your hands and your mouth. And then there’s sex toys, role play… and, well, you get the picture. Know what you’re doing with your penis, but don’t lose sight of everything else.
Will my penis shrink with age?
Another thing men often worry about is penis shrinkage, with many men saying their penises are shrinking as they age, particularly their length when they’re erect.
The good news is that it’s not true. Your penis won’t shrink as you get older, but you can put on fat around the base (around the pubic bone), which can make your penis look shorter as the fat begins to swallow it. So if you want to keep your penis looking its usual glorious self, you’ll need to watch your weight.
All penises are different, but it really is what you do with it that counts. Find the sex positions that best suit you and your partner. And remember there’s a lot more to sex to make sure you satisfy your partner.