The most obvious thing to measure is rarely the best test of success.
As Hugo Schwyzer reported last week in his “Top 5 Myths About the Penis,” size matters—or it doesn’t, depending on whom you ask. In a series of surprisingly frank but frequently uncomfortable conversations, I decided to ask everyone I know. Is there a golden window? Is “inadequate” size a deal breaker? Is excessive size a must-have or even a pleasant surprise?
This is a men’s magazine, so let me tap into some dude stereotypes and use a sports analogy to illustrate why the most obvious thing to measure isn’t always the best metric of success. Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane competed with financially well-endowed (ahem) clubs with his decidedly below-average budget. His unbelievably effective strategy hinged on dodging budget-based recruiting wars and going after the unlikely guys with the winningest stats. While others chased after ballplayers who looked the way players were supposed to look, Beane picked guys with stumpy legs, beer guts, and knuckle-dusting underhanded pitches. He picked guys who backed their play with statistical results, aesthetics be damned.
We, your sexual partners, are Billy Beane. We want results, in the form of great sex and lots of orgasms. How we get those results matters a lot less than the fact that we get them, and frequently. While some folks may waste time pursuing the jumbo junk, most people prefer a partner committed to their good time, no matter how it happens. Read the real comments below to see what your would-be, could-be, might-have-been partners have to say:
Kristen B. (34, Illinois): When I was younger, I probably thought that equipment mattered; I don’t particularly any more. I have a definite preference for just-your-average guy and not the genital equivalent of a monster truck. A huge penis might look good in a pair of boxer briefs, but you kind of want him to keep it there. I have encountered men with large penises who thought big dicks stand in for any kind of technique, which they don’t. And guys of all sizes vary dramatically in how communicative they are about sex, which to me is what “ability” is really about.
Meridith H. (29, Massachusetts): I’ve slept with three people: one was not confident about his size, one was not confident about his shape (he was bent), and one was confident. For what it’s worth, Mr. Confidence was only a so-so lover, Mr. Shape was an awkward lover, and Mr. Size screwed good enough for screams and marriage vows.
Holly C. (22, Washington): So far I have been satisfied with a variety of sizes in my sexual relationships; I’d say general physical attractiveness, hygiene, and personality are things I find more relevant to a partner. It’s a lot less awkward to tell people how and where you like to be touched than to get them to start showering, shaving, or being polite to your mother.
Matty C. (34, Illinois.): A guy with a regular or big dick is going to hit your prostate whether he’s trying to or not, so a big one is generally considered a guaranteed good time for Mr. Bean. However, big dicks pose a whole host of new problems. It’s going all hot and heavy, and then you have to take the six minutes getting used to him where everything slows down. Erotically, but still. There’s a lot of “Eeeeep! Ouch. Slower, asshole. OK … no, wait … ouch. Just start over. Get on your back.” I’m still committed to having sex, but my big-dicked partner is probably getting bored by the time I can accommodate him. (For more of Matty C.’s thoughts on penis size, check out his profile on Rosie Says).
Melissa W. (39, Michigan): For me, it depends on if they guy likes rough sex or not. It is not pleasurable when it hurts, obviously. As long as they know how to use their fingers we are all good!
Madelyn F. (22, Illinois.): How good a boy (man?) was in bed has had nothing to do with how big his penis was. It’s never been about size. If rolling around before intercourse isn’t awesome, there’s nothing about the size of his penis that will correct that.
Julia L. (26, Colorado.): On one hand, there is such thing as too big: I was sleeping with a guy with a “donkey dick” who didn’t really know how to use it. It hurt like the first time every time. There was a super nice guy with a tiny penis and he seemed to have no idea how small it was or how to use it. He should learn how to work with what he’s got. I tried to get over it and focus on all of the aspects I really liked about him; however, every time I started thinking about or talking to him, all I heard in my head was “Tiny penis, tiny penis …” That said, I think there is a window of acceptable penis size where, as long as a dude knows what he’s doing, girls will be pleased.
Kirsten M. (23, Michigan): Having sex with a larger-penised man does feel different from with a smaller penis, but it won’t affect whether I orgasm or not. The most enjoyable sex I’ve had has been with penises six inches or smaller. Overall, the smaller men I’ve been with have put in more time for my enjoyment, whether it’s through manual stimulation, oral, or “regular” sex. What makes a difference for me is whether my partner is patient and attentive to my needs and desires.
Sydney B. (23, Illinois.): If you’re a little smaller but you know how to use it, I consider this a trade up (so would a lot of girls I know). Part of how you use it is confidence. Act like you know what you are doing, be willing to try new things, take direction. It’s been my limited experience that the smaller guys are more interested in whether I’m having a good time and I’d prefer that any day.
Erin M. (29, Michigan.): Size matters in my experience because it impacts my ability to have an orgasm. I have this special spot that I have learned only a man of a certain “stature” can reach. But, being sweet and kind and able to connect emotionally while making love does rate higher than penis size—a large penis is a bonus. I believe sex is truly an emotional activity for me. But I need the whole package and I feel blessed to have it with my husband: emotion, skill, and a nice-sized penis.
Sam E. (19, Illinois): Seems to me that penis size has absolutely no bearing on a guy’s ability to satisfy me. I require clitoral stimulation to orgasm and I can get that from a guy with any size penis. Sometimes large penises actually hurt a little and ruin the mood.
Eve A. (29, Michigan): Penis size can only be important if the man has one the size of my pinky. If there is absolutely no way I can come during sex, I can’t be with him. If the guy can give great oral and the sex is just OK with a smaller penis, then he’s good in my book. Guys with a big penis think they are automatically great in bed … I HATE THAT!
Annie M. (30, Michigan): I believe the single most important factor is trust. I have only been with three guys and two of whom were very large and I never once had an orgasm from intercourse. Never. Once. It wasn’t until my husband that I ever was able to “enjoy” sex in that way.
Kim E. (23, New York): All of the guys with big dicks I’ve dated have actually been big dicks, and I hated it. The guy I’ve dated with the most average dick has been the lover most committed to my satisfaction. No one has dedicated the time that he has to going down on me or making sure I come consistently more than once every single time we have sex. I genuinely believe part of that is because he wants to prove that he’s more than “just average.”
Billy Beane found that prospects with a great on-base percentage were a worthy investment. They were worth more, in fact, than traditional metrics like RBIs and stolen bases. If you don’t happen to possess a “donkey dick” (thanks, Julia) that looks “great in a pair of boxer briefs” (ahem, Kristen), don’t sweat it. If you leave your partner satisfied and daydreaming about a repeat performance, you’re winning. However you accomplished it, perhaps some combination of mad skills and healthy communication, your partner will be singing your praises and coming (heh) back again and again.
(Photo via Sterlic)
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