ASK DR.K: 3 6 9

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Dear Dr. K, what is the size of a "normal" penis?

A troupe of actors were putting on three plays by Shakespeare, but their advertising budget was so limited that all they could afford were small posters that showed their showtimes. To save money they listed their plays by using clues to hint at the plays' titles-"3" 6" 9""-leaving it up to the reader to figure out which plays were being performed. (Answers at the bottom.)

Ever since Adam warned Eve to "Stand back. I don't know how big this thing's going to get!" men have been concerned about the size of their penises. From their first "exposure" in the gym shower room, guys have been comparing themselves to others, either consciously or subconsciously.

Penises come in all shapes and sizes, circumcised, uncircumcised. Generally penises may be grouped into two categories-"showers" and "growers." "Showers" are those that in their flaccid (non-erect) state are about the same size as they are when they become erect. "Growers" are penises that in their non-aroused state look small, but increase in length and girth as they become erect. Comparing themselves to "showers," "growers" will always come up "short."

Based on several studies concerning penile sizes, the average non-erect penis measures 3.5 inches in length and 2.5 inches in girth. In the erect state, the "average" penis is 5.5 inches long by 5 inches in circumference. An enlarged pubic fat pad will make the soft penis appear smaller than normal, but when aroused it reaches "normal" size. Truly small penises, micropenises, are usually the result of hormonal deficiencies during fetal development in the uterus. At the other extreme are penises measuring more than 8 inches. These penises are the "stars" of the porno world and can stir feelings of inadequacy in the locker room, but do not represent the norm.

These feelings of inadequacy are compounded by a man's view of his penis. When viewed from above, his penis will appear shorter as compared to when it is viewed from the front or side. Seeing your penis from above while comparing it to others viewed from a different perspective will reinforce this feeling of inadequacy. A significant growth of pubic hair also contributes to the appearance of being shorter. A little "manscaping" will alleviate that perception.

What about a woman's perception? A study in a British urological journal reported that 85% of woman are satisfied with the size and proportion of their partner's penis. Even though women attached some importance to penile size, it was of significant importance to a minority of the women. A woman's G-spot is at the entrance of the vagina, so a longer penis is not necessarily a better penis. The women surveyed attached more importance to girth rather than length.

That a lot of men are concerned about penis size as is evident from the ads for penile enhancement pills and devices. The results from these are often disappointing and may even lead to injury resulting in loss of size.

Results from studies about penile size show that most men fall well within the range of average. Hopefully these results will provide a sense of reassurance and confidence to anyone who has doubts about his adequacy.