Hit me up: No-one deserves to be shamed or rejected for the size or shape of any body part

 Each week our resident agony aunt Rhona McAuliffe helps a reader with a problem. This week, does size really matter?


Dear Rhona,

I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of months now and I think we have something special together. We matched on a dating app, had the usual text banter and the first time we met in person he told me that he likes to wait to get to know someone before getting intimate with them.

I thought that it was a little strange that he said it as there was something a bit uptight about it but I didn’t say anything. Knowing that we weren’t going to sleep with each other early on actually made me want to more as usually I wouldn’t be bothered. But it also took a bit of pressure off and we were able to get to know each other properly without sex coming into it.

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We get on great, he’s a lovely guy and the chat never stops. So last week, he obviously decided that he felt comfortable enough to get down to business but wanted to have a serious talk with me first. I didn’t know what was coming but was starting to suspect that he had a problem with his penis and I was right.

Basically, it’s really small and he’s paranoid about it. I was a bit freaked but reassured him, told him that I wasn’t all about size etc. We ended up having sex and it was really awkward, mainly because we were so nervous I think, I’m pretty sure neither of us came (I could feel nothing and wasn’t even close to coming). Now I don’t know what to do, I really like this guy but sizewise I don’t think we’re compatible.

I know I told him it wasn’t an issue for me but I was being polite. I don’t want him to feel worst than he already does and do care about him. I’m reading everywhere that size shouldn’t matter, that you can get creative with positions and toys but I know that’s never going to be enough for me.

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Dublin.

In many ways the ‘does size matter’ debate has been settled – probably by men ? and all but put to bed (excuse the pun). General findings seem to suggest that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that really counts. We can thank Mark Twain for that gem by the way, though it’s fair to say he probably wasn’t referring to penis size when he coined it.

So, your first task is to figure out if size really is a deal-breaker for you. Are you a Size Queen, for example?

The truth is, although you can be endlessly creative, sometimes size does matter. And that can be as much to do with your anatomical make-up as it can be the dimensions of his shaft. Finding the right fit is important. One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who have more vaginal orgasms, rather than clitoral ones, prefer larger penises because they enjoy penetration more. This particular sexual preference may also prioritise girth over length, where pressure is exerted on the walls of the vagina, which, when aroused, are cosily wrapped by the arms of the clitoris. Interestingly, not enough research has been conducted on vaginal orgasms – which are more unusual than clitoral orgasms – to encompass the nuances of female sexuality and the many variables at play.

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So, your first task is to figure out if size really is a deal-breaker for you. Are you a Size Queen, for example? That’s a man or woman who is only satisfied with penises of 8 inches and above (that’s big), or is your man one of the 0.6% with a micropenis? If you’re not a Size Queen and he doesn’t have a micropenis (which would require more specific advice) it’s likely that he falls somewhere within the ‘normal’ range. Twenty five years ago, The Kinsey Institute found that up to 90% of male penises are within an inch of the average size, which was backed up by a 2015 study of 15,000 men.

The average size of an erect penis is 5.16 inches (13.1cm) and the average girth is 3.66 inches (9.31 cm). That’s just for reference, I’m not suggesting you measure your man’s but it’s likely that he’s an inch off these stats, give or take. The minor disclaimer here is, the men in the study had to measure their own penises and submit their dimensions which *may* have resulted in some rounding up. Either way, while 90% of men fall within this range, a further study found that 85% of women were satisfied with the size of their partner’s penises while only 55% of men were happy with their lot.

As you’ve already spent a bit of time getting to know this guy and like what you know, I would be inclined not to write him off after one disappointing encounter.

Much as women were historically rated downwards from a Victoria’s Secret model, men appear to rate themselves against popular porn actors. The discrepancy in satisfaction implies that confidence – and skill – is almost everything. As you’ve already spent a bit of time getting to know this guy and like what you know, I would be inclined not to write him off after one disappointing encounter. As well as erotic play, introducing some penetrative toys and exploring role-play, there are lots of different sexual positions you can try.

This Small Penis Sex Positions guide from Refinery29 highlights every position from Sofa Side Saddle to Pile Driver and Flexed Doggy Style and is brilliantly informative. Once you share your likes, dislikes and desires with your ‘partner’ (I’ve jumped ahead here) you’ll know pretty quickly if he’s game to meet your needs. That will be the real deal-breaker.

Spare a thought, too, for Patrick Moote, the guy who was so confident in the strength of his relationship with his then girlfriend that he proposed publically, at a UCLA basketball game, on KissCam. She turned him down, which made national news in the US, and privately told him that she couldn’t marry him because his penis was too small. He was crushed, naturally, and decided to make a ‘cockumentary,’ Unhung Hero about it, exploring the cosmetic growth and enhancement options available to him. He concluded that the only way forward was self-acceptance, which we all applaud. No?one deserves to be shamed or rejected for the size or shape of any body part. Here’s hoping that you find a work-around and if you don’t, that at least you know you tried. And remember, your vagina has super powers – she’s small enough to hold a tampon in situ but springy enough to deliver a baby. You might be surprised with what else she can do after a few thousand Kegels.

Related: I love my partner but I don’t think I’m attracted to him anymore

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Related: Should I be honest about my previous sexual partners?

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