Lots of people struggle with having a small dick. It’s not a surprise, because we all taught that dick size is very important – particularly if you’re a man. However, for sex, dick size is really not important.
The Story of Goldicocks
Although we talk about an average dick size (and it’s a lot smaller than many people think) dicks come in a huge range of sizes and shapes. Just like all other genitals.
But from an early age we get taught an idea of a perfect dick – it needs to be not too small but also not too big. It needs to be the right width and look a particular way. The perfect dick needs to get hard when it’s required to (and not when it isn’t). It needs to ejaculate at just the right time and every time. In short we are taught the fictional story of Goldicocks (old Sex in the City reference there #popculture).
There’s a lot of cultural pressure on men about dicks. It’s not fair and it’s not cool to do this. The patriarchy may give many men power but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to be mean to individual men about the size of their penis. It adds to the cultural shame about penis size and causes a lot of distress and pain. It’s just the same as how other bodies are ridiculed for not being ‘normal’. It’s wrong. Please stop.
Where do we see penises – porn right? Remember that the men in porn (unless it’s amateur porn) have to have big dicks or they don’t get to work in porn. The reason you may keep seeing some of the same men in porn is that there aren’t very men with big dicks, who can stay hard, ejaculate when they need to, act well and look a particular way. A pornstar I know wrote this really great piece about it for Bish here.
You might also see some penises in TV or film but often they are on the big side (looking at you Fassbender). Because of the shame around small dicks people might not want to get theirs out on screen, just like many people might want to wear a towel around their waist in a changing room.
So if you’re comparing your dick to other people’s dicks, remember that you are probably going to be seeing dicks that are on the larger size of average – so it’s not a fair comparison. If you only see dicks that are bigger than yours then you might feel worse about your own (in a society which says bigger is better).
Facts About Dicks and Sex
But although we don’t see them there is a big range of penis sizes. According to a recent study the average is 14.15 cm (5.5.inches) and an average erect circumference of 12.23 cm (4.8 inches) but the range of penis size is really big. There were reported erect penis lengths of 4 (1.6 inches) to 26 (10.2 inches) centimetres and erect penis circumferences of 3 (1.2 inches) to 19 (7.4 inches) centimetres.
When it comes to sex, penis size is only really important if we see sex as being about penetration (or entry sex). People with smaller penises might find it difficult to have penetrative sex with their penis (though there’s advice about this below) but people with larger penises may also find penetration difficult. Some people find that oral, vaginal or anal penetration with a big penis is too difficult.
Find out more about The Penis
Remember also that as well as there being a large range of penis size, there is also a large range of vagina size. The length of vaginas (in unaroused state) can be from 4.1cm to 9.5cm (1.6 inches to 3.7 inches). Remember also that 70% of women (with vaginas) report that just penetrative sex doesn’t give them an orgasm because the most sensitive part of the vulva for most women is the clitoris, which works in a very similar way to a penis.
Almost 50% of people report having a problem with sex. This includes many men who find it difficult to get aroused enough to have this kind of sex. Probably because there is so much pressure to have this kind of sex. When we add all this together, although society says that this is sex, many people (maybe most) aren’t enjoying it or think it’s ‘meh’. So the problem isn’t having a penis that is too small or too big, but our definition of what sex is.
Read more on the research about why people might not enjoy penis in vagina sex.
Different Kinds of Sex
If you’ve browsed around the rest of this site you will see that BISH is about having a very broad definition of what ‘sex’ is.
So no matter what size your penis is you can have sex which is just as good as the sex that anyone else can have (with or without a penis).
Even if penetration is definitely your thing and you and your partner really want to do that – you can still do this with a small dick. Sometimes penetration is actually more comfortable for some people if they do it with a smaller dick. There are sex toys that can help, like dildos for penetration. A lot of people feel very attached to their dildos – as if they were a part of their body. You can even get a dildo which you can actually attach over your existing penis – these are called penis extenders.
Not just about your dick
But when you have a dick that is not the average size (small dicks or large dicks) it can be easy to just focus on dicks (just like everyone else does). The problem with that is that this can take your attention away from different parts of your body and might make it harder for you to enjoy sex. It’s easier to enjoy sex if we can pay attention to whatever feels nice all throughout our body. You could try this if you do sexy alone time.
Try noticing how different parts of your body feel when you’re feeling sexy. Maybe turn the lights down or close your eyes and notice how things feel rather than how they look. At first try focussing on different parts of your body other than your penis. Your toes, knees, thighs, bum, back, shoulders, arms, neck, ears.
Then maybe focus on your penis but not on what it can and can’t do – but how it feels. Which are the sensitive bits? How does it feel in your hand? Can you feel it throb? Does it change shape and size and hardness when you feel sexy? Try to be a bit more gentle with your penis and see it as your friend rather than your enemy.
This is called embodiment. The idea is that if we are in our body rather than outside looking in then we can feel better about ourselves. More on this at my post about how to feel better about your body
What about your enjoyment?
Also it’s easy for people with smaller penises to forget about what they might enjoy and just focus on the enjoyment of their partners. It’s good to be caring and sharing but remember that they want to share in your enjoyment too. What kind of sex do you enjoy? If you do the above exercises that might help you.
Also men (particularly men with penises) are put under a lot of pressure to perform. To ‘give’ their partner an orgasm, to ‘make them squeal with delight’ (I got that phrase from an advert for a penis extender). But sex isn’t about one person doing a thing to another person. You can’t ‘make’ someone come. Being good at sex isn’t just about your dick – it’s not a magic wand. Good sex is also not about techniques. It’s about people choosing to do something together and paying attention to what feels good.
It’s Not Easy So Take Care
Dealing with body shame and accepting your own body are really hard to do. Also understanding diversity, learning to think about sex differently and trying to figure out what sex you might enjoy are quite new ideas for a lot of people. You won’t be able to flick a switch and make this all fine. However with a little practice and bravery you will find that bit by bit it starts to get easier.
More Links to Help You
The Penis – learn more about how it works and how they get hard
Increase Dick Size – there are no safe ways for you to increase dick size.
Feel Better About Your Dick – more advice on feeling more okay about your dick size
Have Amazing Sex Without Penetration – yeah, that
How To Be A Man – cos of the whole masculinity/dick thing
Comment below if you like. I moderate all comments before they appear, so don’t be cheeky!
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© Justin Hancock, 2023
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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health.