“Is my penis big enough?” and other common sex questions answered

Screen Shot 2021-12-18 at 4.17.18 PM

Sex. I often think it’s funny that the word for why we do almost anything in life—not to mention the reason we are here in the first place—is this monosyllabic, three-letter word. Sex’s importance in our lives makes it something we ruminate upon so much that, ironically, it gets in the way of our enjoyment of it and, in some cases, makes the act difficult or even impossible. Sex is best when you can get out of your head and enjoy the incredible, life-affirming sensations, emotions, and connections it produces. This simple truth was top of mind when I set about creating my Sex Hacker Pro course.

My approach to teaching people how to have the kind of sexual experiences they never thought possible is to assuage their self-doubt, their hang-ups, to offer a perspective that is both humanistic and backed by peer-reviewed data. See, the truth is that many pervasive myths about sex simply don’t jibe with what science tells us.

I grappled with sexual insecurities for years. Each of the sex-related questions listed below used to occupy my mind when I should have been focused on my own pleasure and that of my partners. I don’t want you to diminish your own experience of one of life’s greatest pleasures because of what you’ve seen in porn, read in a magazine, heard in a stand-up comedian’s act, etc. Let’s get down to answering some questions about sex that you’ll likely find reassuring and may be the key to taking your sex life to the next level.

Is my penis big enough? 

As a veteran sex party attendee, I’ve seen hundreds of erect penises over the years, and yes, some have been large, and a few have been monstrously big. As the owner of an average-sized cock, you might think that this exposure would have freaked me out. But you have to remember that I’ve also carefully explored the vaginas of hundreds of sexual partners. That taught me that vaginas vary in size just as much as penises do, as the diagram below shows.

 

The point is, many of us worry about the size of our genitals as if there’s one size that fits all when it comes to providing sexual pleasure. But imagine if we brought that same mentality to shoe shopping: It would be ridiculous to buy the wrong size shoe because “bigger is better.” The best shoe is the one that fits. Yes could be the answer to “Does penis size matter?” but a more accurate predictor of mutual satisfaction is genital compatibility between two partners.

Everyone has a sweet spot, as the range of sizes and shapes available in sex toys indicates. We’re all looking for just the right-sized shoe. Contrary to cultural belief, not all women prefer big dicks: A study found that while most women prefer an above-average-sized cock for a one-night stand, they don’t want a huge cock for a consistent partner. (After all, a big cock takes a lot of warm-up.)

While many women place importance on penis length, plenty of women prioritize girth. Millions of women prefer smaller penises. Millions prefer their partner’s penis to curve upward, downward, or bend to one side.

The question of size gets even trickier when we consider the additional psychological component of what we find sexy. For example, a woman with a small vagina may experience physical pain from a well-endowed partner, but if she enjoys pain during sex, a big cock might still work for her. When our psychological turn-ons don’t match our physical attributes, we have to decide what’s more important to us.

The cultural norms that dictate what’s sexy also change over time. In the Roman era, a smaller penis was more desirable; people with big penises were considered oversexed and stupid. Just like penis size doesn’t determine brain power, it also doesn’t determine how much pleasure you can give to a partner during sex. But if you hang onto your internal biases and low genital self-esteem, I guarantee you’ll have a shitty sex life.

The truth is, every person’s body will appeal to and feel pleasurable to some people, but not to everyone. We each have our own biological equipment to work with. Some women like to be pounded by a gigantic, porn-star-sized cock. But those women are a small minority, and even for them, penetration with a big cock isn’t the only available form of pleasure. One of my partners is a super-size queen who likes her cocks in the top two percentile. Yet, I’m one of her favorite lovers because I know how to lean into my own strengths to give her pleasure. If I spent the entire time we were having sex worrying whether my penis was enough for her, the sex would be terrible—as I’d discovered from previous experience.

Average penis size

Men’s and women’s physiological traits are distributed along a bell curve, where most people are in the middle, and there are some outliers on either end. Giant cocks and micropenises are not all that common. The vast majority of adult men have an erect penis between 4.7 and 6.3 inches in length and between 4.3 and 5.5 in circumference. We could call this the normal range.

 (A 2015 study by Professor David Veale and his colleagues found that the average erect penis is 5.17 inches long (13.12 cm) and 4.59 inches (9.31 cm) in circumference). 

The diagram below illustrates the exact percentages of penis sizes among the population, so you can get a realistic idea about where you fit in. Because most of us are somewhere in the middle of that bell curve, we likely have genital compatibility with most other people, who are also in the middle for vagina size.

Certain sex positions can be off the table if this compatibility is off. Like balls-deep, doggy-style sex? Well, if you’ve got a larger penis and your partner has a shallow vagina and doesn’t like getting her cervix pummelled, you may have an issue.

It’s also important to remember that, for most women, the clitoris is more integral to their sexual pleasure. Given that the clitoris is part of the external genitalia, the size of your penis is far from being the most important factor in eliciting that pleasure. It is much more important to know where your partner’s clitoris is and how she likes it touched.

Essentially, most of us who worry about the size of our genitals worry for nothing. A lot of men who are far above average can go through life thinking that they have a small penis. This is often because porn has completely distorted what we think of as normal. I’ve seen so many men who destroy their lives over their pain and insecurities about the size of their penis. Many men with a “normal penis” have even irreparably damaged themselves by getting a penis enlargement. This needless worrying wreaks havoc on our sex lives when there’s actually no physical issue at all. 

The takeaway: Genital compatibility matters far more than walking around with a 10-inch penis. Even if you’re not perfectly compatible with your partner, there are still a million ways to have pleasurable sex with your partner, and your penis is just one tool.

Is my penis hard enough? 

There is a billion-dollar industry based on increasing penis size, making erections last longer, and extending performance. The size of that industry is a testament to how many men worry about getting an erection quickly, maintaining it under pressure, and being able to hammer away for hours. This expectation is fed in part by the athletic performances of porn stars who seem to be able to get their cocks hard on command and delay ejaculation for hours. 

The reality is that porn stars often have to stop filming to step away from the set and maintain their erection and take erectile dysfunction medication like Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil) beforehand to stay hard. Through the magic of editing, the viewer is none the wiser. Many men hold themselves to standards that are not just unrealistic but entirely mythical.

The idea that a man’s erection should never falter is not very different from the damaging misconception that men should never cry. We’re told to get our shit together, man up, and never let our emotions come into play in our performance. In reality, what happens in our world affects our sex drive. Penises aren’t power tools; if a guy loses his job, he might not be in the mood for sex, and his body’s response (i.e., a flaccid penis) will reflect that.

If we’re not willing to be vulnerable with our partners, we can’t be intimate with them. Sex without vulnerability is just a performance. A sex life built around performance becomes like a never-ending first date, the Amazon Prime for orgasm. I spent a lot of my own sex life in that mindset—it takes one to know one. In the quest to impress our partners, we lose our connection with ourselves. 

The takeaway: Sex isn’t always perfect. Sometimes it’s awkward, weird, uncomfortable, and messy—in short, it’s real. Instead of focusing on your equipment, focus on being mindful in the moment with your partner. Ask yourself: What’s arousing in this moment right now? Pay attention to your senses. Look at your partner’s beautiful lips and the curves of her body. Soon enough, you’ll be out of the anxiety loop and on to great sex.

Should I be able to fuck all night long?

Innumerable pop songs, movies, and stand-up acts lead us to believe that people are having nonstop penetration all night long. But a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at the average length of time most couples tend to have penetrative sex. The number of minutes people typically spend fucking? Three to ten.

 

In reality, by the time we’ve spent fifteen or twenty minutes pumping in and out, most people get kind of bored or tired. While we may have a misconception that we’re supposed to last forever, science (and biology) says otherwise. penetration isn’t the pinnacle of sex. It’s one tool of many.

All-night sexual experiences happen by enjoying each other fully and playing with a wide variety of techniques and possibilities. When you sit down for a meal at a Michelin-star restaurant, you’re not there just to satiate your hunger. The goal isn’t nutrient fulfillment; if it was, you could sit in your apartment and drink Soylent. The point is to be immersed in the experience, enjoy the atmosphere, and be satisfied by every bite.

Peak sexual experiences involve physical, emotional, and psychological artistry. When you recognize that penetrative sex is just one of the many ways you can bring your partner pleasure, you open up a wealth of new possibilities for giving your partner the best sex she’s ever had.

The takeaway: Great sex comes from matching the experience to both partners’ desires in the moment. When you each want to stuff your faces with a fast-food meal, a quickie will be the best match to your hunger; when you desire an elaborate nine-course meal, you’ll want to fill the experience with variety and spice.

Is real sex penis-in-vagina sex?

To be honest, this is likely a holdover from a Judeo-Christian stigma around sex. While penis-in-vagina sex is certainly instinctual—it’s the way we procreate, after all—it’s not the only kind of sex humans have, and it’s certainly not the only kind of sex we come across in the animal kingdom. Animals do all sorts of weird shit: they perform oral sex, anal sex, and genital rubbing in addition to reproductive sex. 

For hetero couples, the major problem with holding the idea that penis-in-vagina sex is the only real sex is that it’s not the most pleasurable form of sex for a lot of women (sex acts with a greater degree of clitoral stimulation rank higher). Think of the performance anxiety that men feel from overemphasizing PIV sex: If that’s the only kind of sex that matters to you, of course, you’ll worry about your cock size and your ability to hold an erection, among all the other performance pressures that can leave men feeling like their bodies are broken.

This is not to say that PIV sex isn’t a pleasurable part of sex—it absolutely is—but the point is that if it’s the only kind of sexual expression you’re leaning on, you’re leaving out a lot of opportunities for incredibly enjoyable sex (with less performance anxiety).

When you look at the studies around the orgasm gap, nearly every study found that in lesbian sex between two women, the orgasm “gap” is hardly a gap at all. Women have far more orgasms when they’re having sex with each other, which should tell you how important non-PIV activities are in pleasurable sex.

Not only is PIV sex not the only thing, but when it’s your only thing, it usually doesn’t lead to pleasure or orgasm and is boring AF. Most women would choose all the other stuff over someone who’s only trick is PIV. Not only is PIV not the only thing, but it’s not even the best thing most times. Other skills are arguably much more important.

The takeaway: There is a wide variety of sexual expression to tap into that can offer your partner more mind-blowing sex than you imagined.

Is good sex only ever instinctual?

In addition to misconceptions about the value of having a larger penis, another common myth that holds many people back in their sexual lives is the belief that sex is only instinctual. Sexual connection should just “click” with a partner, and the sex should be perfect without either party having to talk or work through anything. This myth is fueled by poor sex education programs that take for granted that teens can just figure out the pleasure of sex on their own. 

When religion and cultural institutions interfere with our sex lives, we fight back with the argument that sex is natural—but then we leave people literally stumbling around in the dark trying to navigate their sexual connections with no social or cultural support. Our current paradigm is torn between two poles. On one side, we have abstinence-only sex education, in which purity is valued, and a great sex life will somehow magically work itself out when you settle down into a monogamous marriage. 

On the other side, we have porn sites that deliver high shock value to drive clicks and sales and incidentally provide many people with a skewed, ad hoc sex education. I’m not against monogamy or porn or profit. But it’s important to understand how these cultural stories create devastating sexual myths that ruin lives and deprive people of comprehensive sex education. It’s important to look at these cultural influences ask how we each manage our own sex lives.

 In the book Why Good Sex Matters: Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-Filled Life, Dr. Nan Wise argues that sexual pleasure is at the core of our mental health and wellness. In the same way that we learn different workout techniques to increase our fitness or cook better to feed ourselves well, it’s worth investing our energy in learning how to have great sex. If we assume that great sex is “natural,” we won’t think of it as something that needs investment and refinement. 

While parts of it are certainly instinctual, just like eating, we can elevate it to an experience that is much beyond simply adequately satisfying base desires. Most people would think of eating raw chicken for their entire life as a relatively sad way to fill their instinctual appetite for food. Yet, in sex, we expect not to have to apply the same learning and artfulness that we do to cooking, thinking that we should “just know” how to do it. Sexuality deserves at least the same amount of attention as food.

The takeaway: As Bruce Lee said, we first have to break down the elements of movement and technique before we can put them back together again with mastery. Open yourself up to learning more about sex, and you’ll get even more sophisticated in your techniques and your taste for pleasure.

 

 

Latest articles

Want to stay
connected?

Sign up to receive my free weekly video series that allows you to slowly master the art of experiencing confidence, power, sexiness, radiance, and true love.

Ready to learn
the best sex skills?