Did you notice I didn’t say “Does penis size matter?”? Although the concern over penis size isn’t going away any time soon, we rarely talk about vagina size. I want to address both in this post. We live in a culture where the bigger the better is still the current mantra. Whether it’s to supersize your meal, or wanting a bigger-than-average member. If porn is your barometer of what we should look like, then sure, big dicks rule. But in real life, it has little impact on our sexual satisfaction and what really matters most in relationships.
I would love to see the day when men start accepting their bodies, especially the size of their penis. Unfortunately, because we tend to equate sexual prowess and masculinity with a large penis, men suffer if they feel they don’t measure up. In my years as a therapist, I have seen my fair share of men who present with anxiety, low self-esteem, and even depression because they feel completely inadequate when it comes to their size. Additionally, I have received hundreds of questions about how to increase penis size. Have these men even talked to women to see if it even matters to them?? (Apologies for my heterocentrism—we can address same-sex relationships in another post). Apparently not. Or if they have, they don’t believe them.
Most of the research out there that asks women about penis size and whether it matters to their sexual or relationship satisfaction, overwhelmingly say IT DOES NOT. What matters most to women is the relationship, the closeness, a man’s technique, the amount of foreplay, a man who cares about her needs, confidence, and many other factors that have nothing to do with the penis. The bottom line is that most women were quite happy with the size of their partner’s penis.That’s not to say that for some women, size does matter (but it is still a much smaller number). A Scottish study found that women who have regular vaginal orgasms (versus the majority of women who need clitoral stimulation to climax) do prefer men with a larger penis as it makes it easier for them to climax. Again, that’s only for those women who orgasm through vaginal penetration.
The majority of women state that average (5.2 inches in length erect) is just fine for them. In fact, women who purchase dildos don’t buy huge ones, but rather ones that are more average in size (apparently, according to an article I read, Babeland—a popular erotic boutique—sells their 6-inch, 1-1/4 girth dildos most often).I think what men don’t realize is that big ones are not so desirable to women for one important reason—their vaginas hurt either with penetration or post-coitus. Penetration with a very large penis can even cause injury to the vagina. Women can experience pain when a long penis bumps up against her cervix. With a larger girth, a woman could experience tearing and thus bleeding. So how does the size of the vagina come into play? Many women after childbirth experience an expansion of the vaginal vault. So a smaller penis may not provide her with the sexual sensations she needs, and thus, a larger (as opposed to small) penis may leave her with less sensation. Unfortunately, there has been very little research done on the combination of relative male and female size, so no assertions here. What we do know is that women’s sexuality is influenced by many other factors. Here’s the thing about vaginas—they are very elastic. Meaning that they can accommodate a tampon without it falling out, and they can push a baby through it. The vagina is a fascinating organ that is quite flexible in this way—they shrink and expand when needed. For your information, vaginas measure between 2.75 inches and 3.25 inches in length. When a woman is aroused, this length increases to 4.25 inches to 4.75 inches (Masters and Johnson). Furthermore, it is the first third that seems to be important in terms of sexual response. What we know is that vaginal length doesn’t seem to matter much, and just like penises, there is a wide range of normal. In terms of the vaginal opening, slight changes may occur after childbirth. What seems to matter most for women, and is most related to greater sexual satisfaction, is vaginal and pelvic muscle tone. This is especially important after childbirth. Women can practice Kegel exercises or go see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to increase muscle tone and thus increase sexual pleasure. This may be especially important if they feel the size of their partner’s penis is not providing them the stimulation they need for penetration. A study looking at the correlation between vaginal length, vaginal opening size, and sexual satisfaction found that desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, and sexual satisfaction were not linked to the size of the vagina (International Urogynecology Journal, 2010).
Bottom line: For the majority of men and women, neither size of the penis nor the size of the vagina seems to impact sexual satisfaction. There are far many more factors that influence how satisfied we will be in bed.
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