Q&A: I’m Insecure About My Penis. What Size Satisfies A Woman?

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QUESTION: I have never had sex because I’m always insecure about having a small penis, and I feel the girl would laugh and spread the word to her friends. I want to know what size satisfies a woman.

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Different Sizes

Photo: Steve Jurvetson

Different Sizes

Women are sexually satisfied by far more things than penis size.

The Research Shows…

In a study of more than 1600 women and men, my research team asked people what helped them to be sexually satisfied or happy with their sex lives. We also asked people what made them dissatisfied.

Over and over again, women talked about the importance of intimacy, connection, feeling like their partner cares about what they enjoy sexually, as well as things like passion and sexual variety. Very few women – maybe only 3 or 4 – wrote about penis size.

It’s not that penis size doesn’t matter to anyone, it’s more than – for most people who have sex with men – penis size isn’t the most important characteristic of a man.

Body Image

In another research study where we collected data on men’s penis size and their sexual behaviors, we found that men of all penis sizes reported active sex lives.

I’ve often found that it’s concern about penis size – rather than penis size itself – that holds men back sexually. Similarly, women of all body shapes and sizes can have sexually active, interesting, enjoyable, and orgasmic sex lives, but poor body images gets in the way of many women seeking out the sex lives that they crave.

Focus On Intimacy

If you would like to be sexual with a woman, try to put your concerns about penis size aside. Get to know a girl so that you feel comfortable with her before you start being sexual. That level of comfort and closeness might help you feel like you can talk with her, and it might help build trust that she won’t spread rumors about you to her friends. It will give you a chance to make good choices with your sexual partners rather than choose people who might not be careful with or sensitive to your feelings.

Learn More

You can learn more about sexual technique, penis size, and flirting with people in the book Great in Bed and on the website Scarleteen.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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