12 Facts That Prove There’s No Such Thing As a Perfect Penis

What’s the average penis size? Is my penis normal? Does my partner really care? The answers are surprisingly reassuring. (Graphic: Apple/Yahoo Health)

Guys are obsessed with their penises from roughly the time they’re 18 months old, when babies develop object permanence (that is, knowing that something doesn’t go away just because it’s hidden).

When we get older, though, a penis takes on more meaning. It’s not only a convenient way to pee in the woods, it can be a very literal symbol of masculinity and a huge source of anxiety. Is it big enough? Angled the right way? Bigger than our boss’s?

Close to a third of all men aren’t happy with what they’re packing, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. But the truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect penis. And we can prove it.
These 12 facts — pulled from research, sex experts, and the darkest corners of the Internet — will help you feel more comfortable with whatever you’re packing under the hood.

The statistically average penis size isn’t as large as you might think.
There is, shall we say, extensive research on the average size of a flaccid and erect penis. The scientific consensus? Three and a half inches when it’s just hanging out, and between 5.1 and 5.6 inches when it’s business time. A key point to give you some locker room confidence: Flaccid length seems to have little impact on erect length, which is the basis of the expression, “you’re either a grower or a shower.”

Even porn stars say size doesn’t matter.
An extremely NSFW roundup of various adult film actresses on Adult Empire mostly echo the same sentiment: It’s not so much about the penis as who it’s attached to, even if it’s below average. The supposed standard size expectations made by both straight and gay pornography can be safely ignored.

There can be too much of a good thing.
Something they don’t discuss in Boogie Nights is how Mark Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler would be constantly bruising women’s cervixes. A penis more than 7 inches long has the potential to be really painful for a woman. The same is probably true for men who have sex with men, too — an editorial at gay.net suggests that since roughly two-thirds of women don’t care about size, the same probably goes for men (especially since orgasms aren’t typically achieved through penetrative sex).

Other body parts can (and should) be part of sex.
The penis is only one tool for sexual pleasure. Give your partner a hand. Or a tongue. Or … you fill in the blank. Variety, as they say, is the spice of doing it a whole bunch.

Toys too.
Modern technology has made it possible to get your spit analyzed for DNA by mail, monitor pets from your phone, and plenty of tools to enhance your sex life and take the pressure off of your penis. Walk into any adult store or open up the incognito browser, and you’ll discover all manner of accessories just for you, just for your partner, or for both of you. If you would like to experiment with extra length or girth, look for a “sleeve” or “extender.” It’s exactly what it sounds like, and will give you some added size in a variety of colors, textures, and designs.

Other features often matter more.
Are you a boob guy or a butt person? Just like you might have a particular feature you’re attracted to in a potential partner, others are the same way. Some people might be most interested in a penis, others get excited by a strong chin, or kind eyes, broad shoulders, or a tight man butt. Don’t neglect the value of your other features (mental and physical) by spending too much time focused on your penis.

So, about penis pics …
Like any type of photography, lighting and angles can make a significant difference in how your subject (in this case, your member) appears. For some positive and non-judgmental advice, check out the obviously NSFW site critiquemydickpic.tumblr.com. General best practices: experiment with soft lighting, don’t photograph from the top down (bird’s eye view) or bottom up (wormhole view), grab a literal hold of yourself, and for crying out loud, don’t send unsolicited penis pics to anyone, ever.

Related: What Is Herbal Viagra Anyway?

It’s easy to use optical illusions to your advantage.
If you do want to make your penis look bigger (and we’re not suggesting that you have to), trim the hedges and do some jackknives. Trimmed pubic hair immediately makes your penis look larger by increasing the visual length of the shaft. Groomed goods also keep humidity in your drawers in check, making it more comfortable to exercise. And working out will make you feel better and more confident all around.

Even if it’s really, really small, you’re fine — really.
A “micropenis” is a medical term to describe a penis that is more than 2.5 standard deviations below the average size. With average size around 5.5 inches, this means a significantly smaller-than-average penis is less than 3 inches long, thought to be a result of low testosterone levels during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It’s not common, though — only about one in 200 men have one. A man with this condition can suffer from anxiety or depression, which should be treated by a mental health professional. Most people, though, don’t really mind this when they encounter it. When Buzzfeed interviewed women who had slept with men with micropenises, they mostly said it wasn’t an issue so long as the guy didn’t make a proverbial mountain out of a molehill, and men with advanced oral skills earned themselves some high praise.

Position matters.
For both straight and gay couples, the right sexual position(s) can be the key to mutual satisfaction. A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that men with below-average penises were more likely to be “bottoms” and men with above-average penises were more likely to be “tops.” But again, everyone is different; experiment and find what works for the both of you.

A relaxed sex life is a satisfying sex life.
Sex is way more fun when you don’t get caught up in the details. (Read more about that here: Science Says Sex Appeal Is More Than Just Your Body.) Have some open, lighthearted discussion and exploration to figure out what works for both of you, then just go for it.

Your penis is not your personality.
There’s a good reason we don’t have a dating app where the only thing you submit is a picture of your Prince Harry (well, yet): There’s a lot more to the romance game than physical attraction. Be an engaging person by having interests and being able to go deep on a few different topics, like music or cooking. If you’re comfortable talking with people and you have a range of topics to talk about, you’ll have a trait even more attractive than a penis: confidence. If you have that, everything else will fall into place.