This myth is you can estimate a man’s penis size by some other part of his body – his shoe size, his nose size, his ear size, or whatever you have heard. That’s the question we are asking – is it true that you can tell the size of a man’s penis by some other part of his body that’s more usually seen in public. I have to say, first of all, that all parts of people’s bodies or men’s bodies that you can see have not been measured scientifically, but some of them have. So we’re going to talk about what at least has been measured and see what we can find out about it, whether this is a myth or not a myth.
Measurement of your penis
Now, two scientists from England measured the length of 104 men’s penises and they also recorded their shoe sizes. The average length of the mens’ stretched penises was a little over 5 inches. And I want to stop here for a minute to talk about measuring penises, because you may not know about that. Now if you’re a man in our audience here, you know that your penis when it’s erect comes in different lengths. That is, sometimes you have a very strong and hard erection, and your penis is at its very longest at that point. But some of your erections are not as strong and not as hard and therefore on those occasions, your erection is shorter. So if you went to the laboratory to have your penis measured for a length study, they couldn’t rely upon that as a good measurement. So scientists tend to measure penises in different ways. One way is the flaccid length, and that’s the measurement of your penis when it’s not erect at all. The next way that it’s measured – by the way, I guess I could take out my penis here (demonstrates a sculpture of a penis) and show you that it’s measured from here (points to base of shaft) to the end when it’s your flaccid length. The next way to do it is stretched length, and that’s a little tricky because it depends on how much pressure they put on it, but scientists have come up with ways, and they tell you how much pressure they put, and they literally stretch the penis a certain amount of pressure and it’s measured that way. That’s stretched length, and that has the best relationship to how long it will be in its fully erect length. It’s bigger when it’s erect but it has the best relationship to that. So those are the two ways that penises are measured in a natural way, and then there is a chemical that can be injected into the penis which will give it an absolutely full erection. It’s a prostaglandin, which is a natural kind of hormone, and that will give you an absolutely full erection and in some studies, they do that, and then they can know that you’ve got a completely full, as big as you can get an erection and they can measure you that way. But that’s done less often because, as you can imagine, most men don’t want anything injected into their penis even if it’s not going to do them any harm. So in this study, they did stretch length. And what they found was that there was no relationship between the size of a man’s shoe and the size of his penis. So that didn’t pan out.
Then there was a second study done of 63 men which also measured their height and their shoe size, and they carefully measured their penises, and again, there was no relationship either with height or with shoe size. So as one of the authors of the second study said, who happens to be an associate professor of medicine at Toronto University and the director of the Health Institute for Men, he concluded that he was putting to rest at least some of the myths about the prediction of penis size and other body parts measured, but I think he spoke a little bit too quickly because there was a new study that came from Greece. And that study studied 52 men from 19 to 38 years old and they measured, again, mean penile length, and in that study, it was 4.8 inches – that was also stretched length, so again that’s not the full length when you’re erect – and they found that there was a significant relationship – not a perfect relationship here but a significant relationship – between the length of the index finger and penis size. Now that doesn’t mean that the length of your index finger is the same as the length of your penis, it means that people with longer index fingers have longer penises and people with shorter index fingers have shorter penises. Now, we can’t believe that as absolute truth because we have to have a second study that shows us the same thing. That’s called replication, and in science, until we see it twice, from two different people and two different laboratories, two different scientists, we don’t accept it until we see it twice. So we have to wait for somebody else to do the study, and if it comes out twice we’ll say “gee, it might really be true.” So maybe this isn’t a myth.
But what it brings me to is another topic I’d like to talk about in this myth-busting session – which may not be a bust, although we know shoe size certainly doesn’t fit the story – is really, what is the average size of a man’s penis, anyway? Since everybody’s so concerned about it. And many men are concerned about the size of their penis. In fact, it’s one of the most-asked questions that I got as director of the Kinsey Institute and when I was writing my syndicated column. And it was the most asked question not just by American men, although it was one of the most asked questions by Americans by men from around the world. And it’s a big concern of men. Men are concerned always that they’re too small, by the way; they’re very rarely concerned that they’re too large, although it does happen. I did get a couple of questions over the 11 years I was director from men who were concerned that they were too large for their partners, but in general, men are concerned that they are too small. And perhaps I think also the perspective that men see themselves in has something to do with the fact that many men feel that they’re smaller than they should be. Because men look at themselves from above, and when you look down at yourself, looking over your pubis bone and looking over your chest and so forth, I think the penis appears smaller from that angle than it does when you are sneaking quick glances at other men in the bathroom, or in the public restroom, or in the athletic showers, from the side. So I think that that may have something to do with it as well.
Facts in terms of penis size
So let’s take a look at some of the facts that we have from the scientific laboratories in terms of penis size. And again, as we were talking about before, we’re going to be talking about, in general, flaccid measurements and stretched measurements. And once in a while I’ll be able to tell you about the pharmacological measurement, when they get an injection that forces the penis into its full length, and sometimes I may have one after masturbation, but again, we never know whether they’re at their fullest length or not. So in study 1, which was done in 1996 in San Francisco, there were 80 men involved in that study and the flaccid length was 3.4 inches, the stretched length was 4.88 inches, so almost 5 inches and the pharmacological erect length was 5.08 inches, so just a little bit over 5 inches. In study 2 with 111 men who were 18 and 19 years old, the flaccid length was 3.39 inches, so almost three and a half inches and the erect length after masturbation in that group was 5.7 inches. There were 40 men in that study who were 40 to 68 years old, so we had two sets, one who were young men, 18 to 19, and then the second group was 40 to 68, and their flaccid length was 3.63 inches and their erect length after pharmacological stimulation was 5.58 inches. There wasn’t a statistical difference between the older men and the younger men in terms of erect length. So there was no difference there. Study 3 was from Italy, and there were 3300 men in this study, but then they took a sample of those men, a random sample of 325. These guys were from 17 to 19 years old and the flaccid length was 3.54 and the stretched length was just about 5 inches, 4.92 inches. So you can see that we’re getting around 5 inches, a little more, a little less, but that seems to be the normal length. This study from Greece had 52 men, 19 to 38 years old and the stretched length again was 4.8 inches. So, around the world men seem to be – these are mostly white men that are seen here – they seem to be around the same size.
Do creams, ointments, and other devices work
So men’s concerns about penis size have resulted in a lot of concerns and a lot of problems. Now, in the last years, we’re starting to hear more and more promises of being able to enlarge penises – and by the way, most of that stuff that you read in magazines for creams and ointments and vacuum devices are a waste of your money, so if you want to waste your money fine. Try not to hurt yourself with these devices because they don’t work. But there are also medical promises, and many of those are not what they promise to be either. But they have resulted in more and more men considering and actually seeking different means for penile enlargement. And so a very interesting study was done by a group of physicians in Italy who are urologists and do actually offer that surgery when it is really called for. They did a study to evaluate patients who came to them in consultation for the problem of short penis. And what they wanted to ask was whether the perception of these patients that their penises were small was actually accurate. And so they wanted to compare the actual size of these patients’ penises to the norms, in other words, things I’ve just been telling you about, all these different measurements. They had 67 patients who had come to them telling them that their problem was that their penis was too small. And these patients ranged in age from 16 years old to 55 years old, and they had an average age of 27 years old. And they all were measured by the doctors in their flaccid state and in their fully stretched state – and we now know what that is – and then each patient was also asked their estimate as to what was the length of a normal penis. Because obviously, if you’re saying your penis is too short, you must have an idea of what the right size is. And since most heterosexual men don’t get the chance to really measure themselves against anybody else, they got their idea from somewhere. Now it turns out, first of all, that none of the patients – NONE of these 67 patients – had a significantly small penis. So that’s the first piece of information. By comparison to other men. And these doctors had done a very large group of patients, of normal men who didn’t come in with any problems, so they knew what size Italian men were supposed to be. Now interestingly, 62.5 percent – that’s almost 2 out of 3 of these patients – reported that their concerns about the size of their penis started in childhood when they felt that they were smaller than their friends. And 37.3 percent – that’s a little more than 1 out of 3 of the patients that they had, so that’s the rest of them – recall that their problems began during their teenage years – and this is an important thing that I want you to really listen to – after they started to look at erotica. That is, after they started to look at – if you want to call it pornography you can call it pornography. Now, this makes sense. And why does it make sense? Because let’s think about who gets hired to make erotic movies or erotic photographs. Who gets hired? People with exceedingly large penises, usually. In other words, they’re the ones that are hired. Remember all kinds of human characteristics come in what we call a normal curve. Most people are in the middle, we’ve just learned around 5 inches, somewhere around there. So from 4 to 6 inches, that’s the average guy. Well when you’re going to make an erotic video, you’re going to go out to look for the guy who’s 8 or 9 inches. There are only a few of them in the world, but that’s who you go to look for because you’re making an erotic video. And if you, as a normal guy, are going to order an erotic video, who are you seeing? You’re seeing the guy with the big giant penis who has been hired to do this. By the way, this is also true of the guy who has a lot of trouble having an orgasm and ejaculation. They’re called retarded ejaculators. They’re men who really have difficulty coming to orgasm, but they make great people have in these erotic movies because they can go and go and go and go. It’s not very pleasant. You really wouldn’t want to be one of them, but they’re very good for these movies. And you start to have the feeling “gee, I should be able to go an hour without coming also.” It’s not really normal, and it’s not really healthy, and it’s not really very satisfying for him or for the partner, because she’s sore, terribly sore after such a situation, at least the average woman would not choose that as the way she wants to make love. And for the man, it can be a really difficult situation. But it’s what you see in those videos and it seems to be something that is very wonderful but it’s surely not. And this man that you see in the video is not representative of the average or the normal or the everyday man. But if those are the only men that you get to compare yourself with, you start to feel “gee, that’s what normal is” and you overestimate, just like the men in this study that went to these doctors, they overestimate what’s normal and they start to feel that they are small instead of realizing that they are normal and average, if what we mean by normal is average, which is what “normal” really means. So again, whose penises do most men really get to look at? Porno stars. And the porno stars are not average.
So let me end by saying, what is the easiest and healthiest way to gain length on your penis? And the answer to that is, lose weight. A urologist from Indiana University who examines a lot of male genitalia reports that for every 35 pounds you gain, and by the way in increments that would be less, you lose approximately an inch of penile length. And that’s because the way that men gain weight is they gain it in this fat padding that’s around the penis, in the abdomen, and around the penis. So every time you gain 35 pounds, or with less gain, it will be less, you lose 1 inch of your penis in this pad of fat that’s around your penis. So, if you lose weight, you’re going to reveal more of the length of your penis, making it longer. That’s a lot easier than going for surgery, which really is not going to help that much and is going to make your penis very wobbly, and I don’t think you want that. And you know what – it’s the way you use what you have that counts with a female partner, not the length of what you have. And that’s the end of our myth-busting session for this month.