Sex: Fact and Fiction
What’s the average penis size? How fast is premature ejaculation? Exactly where is the G-spot? Grab a ruler and a stopwatch as the experts sort sex myths from the facts.
The idea that bigger is better is "not just total mythology," says Seth Prosterman, who has counseled couples since 1984 and notes that some of the women he's worked with do prefer a bigger penis -- aesthetically or "fit-wise." But, he adds, "For the vast majority of partners, penis size doesn't matter."
So what, exactly, constitutes a big penis? Let's whip out some data:
- The average penis size is between five and six inches. That's for an erect penis.
- The flaccid male organ averages around three and a half inches.
Sex Fact: We Are Not Our Penises
If you had an anxiety hiccup before you read the "erect" qualifier, consider it a metaphor for the danger of jumping to conclusions about penis size -- or about the primacy of the penis altogether.
"The idea that the penis is the most important part of your body underlies so many of men's sexual problems," says Cory Silverberg, a sexual health educator and founding member of Come As You Are, an education-based sex store in Toronto. "One of the biggest sex myths for men is the notion that we are our penises, and that's all that counts in terms of sex."
"It's a myth that using the penis is the main way to pleasure a woman," says Ian Kerner, PhD, a sex and relationships counselor in New York City whose book She Comes First offers a guide to "female orgasms and producing them through inspired oral techniques." In his book, Kerner cites a study that reports women reaching orgasm about 25% of the time with intercourse, compared with 81% of the time during oral sex.
OK, OK, Size Isn't Important. But How Can I Increase My Penis Size?
Despite the facts, the din of penis-enlargement marketing only seems to grow louder. ("Realize total and absolute power and domination in bed with your partner, with your new-found penis size and sexual performance" screams the ad for the Penis Enlargement Patch.) Men keep chasing after the mythical, mammoth-sized member.
Silverberg says male clients at his store, and in his counseling work, constantly ask him about penis pumps, whose powers of elongation, he says, are a "myth," although he adds that some men who've used them report satisfaction, a phenomenon he explains this way: "I think spending more time paying attention to our genitals will probably increase our sexual health."