A team of urologists from Belgium and Turkey recently evaluated the scientific evidence regarding the importance of penis size. In their scientific review, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, they write that inadequacies in the current body of research prevent definitive conclusions regarding the importance of penis size for sexual satisfaction in both women and men who have sex with men.
While some studies suggest that penis size is not a significant factor, others indicate a preference for slightly larger sizes, particularly in terms of girth and especially for “hook-ups.”
Many men express dissatisfaction or shame regarding their penis size. This dissatisfaction can stem from societal pressures, comparison to perceived norms, or anxieties about providing sexual satisfaction to their partners. Understanding the impact of these concerns on individuals’ well-being is important for addressing potential psychological and sexual health issues.
Some research has also indicated that men’s anxieties about their penis size can lead to sexual dysfunctions and anxiety-related disorders, affecting both their own and their partners’ sexual experiences.
The researchers employed a narrative review methodology to summarize the existing evidence on the association between men’s penis size and their partners’ sexual satisfaction. They conducted a systematic literature search using databases like MEDLINE and PubMed, focusing on English peer-reviewed articles. The search utilized keywords related to penis size, sexual satisfaction, and partner satisfaction.
By conducting this review, the researchers aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the existing evidence, helping individuals and their partners access reliable information about normal penile proportions and the complex interplay between penis size and sexual satisfaction.
The researchers found conflicting results regarding the relationship between penis size and women’s sexual satisfaction. Some studies suggest that penis size is not a significant factor in women’s sexual satisfaction. For example, a study involving college women found that self-reported sexual arousal did not differ when reading about sexual activity with men of different penis sizes.
Another study found that women preferred a larger penis size, particularly in terms of girth, for one-time lovers compared to long-term partners. However, the preference for a larger penis was only slightly greater than the average size. Interestingly, a small percentage of women reported that a mismatch between their preferred penis size and their partner’s size contributed to the end of a relationship.
Survey data from heterosexual men and women showed that while a significant percentage of men desired a larger penis, the majority of women were content with their partner’s size. Only a small percentage of women desired a larger or smaller penis.
Other studies explored the importance of penis size in relation to sexual experience and satisfaction, the researchers noted. Women with more sexual experience tended to rate penis size as more important in terms of length and girth. Some studies also found that women preferred greater width over length for sexual satisfaction.
But what about men who have sex with men (e.g. homosexual men and bisexual men)? The researchers found very few studies that examined the relationship between penis size and men’s sexual satisfaction.
One study surveyed 1,065 MSM to examine the relationship between perceived penis size and psychological outcomes. Men with below-average penises reported lower satisfaction with their gay lives compared to men with average or above-average penises. Men with below-average penises also scored lower on life promotion, higher on gay-related stigma, and higher on life prevention.
Men with shorter-than-average penises were more likely to identify as “bottoms,” while those with larger-than-average penises were more likely to identify as “versatile.” Men with above-average penises reported higher rates of certain sexually transmitted infections compared to men with below-average penises.
Due to the limitations in the existing studies, the researchers said, there isn’t enough evidence to draw a definite conclusion about the importance of penis size for female or male sexual satisfaction.
“The numerical and methodological inadequacies of the existing studies in the literature prevent us from reaching a definite conclusion on this issue,” the researchers concluded. “Future research needs to test the hypotheses on the relationship between penis size and the sexual satisfaction of the partner.”
The paper, “The effect of penis size on partner sexual satisfaction: a literature review“, was authored by Shirley Loos, Peter De Wil, Leslie Delcarte, Ege Can Serefoglu, Koenraad Van Renterghem, and Sam Ward.