It’s natural for us to be curious about sex, and discovering how other people look or act reassures us of how close or far from “normal” we really are! That’s why sex researchers have set out on the challenging task of measuring every last detail … from anatomy - to sexual practice - to sexual preference, etc., etc…
However, the task was (and still is) easier said than done, with widely varying opinions and the unreliability of certain methods of measuring what’s hot, what’s not, and every possible inch in between. Thus, the figures shown below come from various sources and reporting bodies, covering a broad representation of actual facts and figures.
So, let’s take a look at some of the more common curiosities…
The vast majority of men measure between five and seven inches when fully erect. According to the Kinsey Institute (founded by Dr. Alfred Kinsey in 1947) the average length of an adult penis measures just less than six inches. However, the British Journal of Urology puts the average length of a penis at 5.08 inches, while the International Journal of Impotence Research puts it at 5.35 inches. A non-erect penis usually measures somewhere between 3 to 4 inches.
The current, living record holder for the longest reported penis in the world is Jonah Falcon, who can be seen in an HBO documentary called Private Dicks: Men Exposed. He measures in at 9.5 inches in length when flaccid and 13.5 inches in length when erect.
Back when the famous Kinsey Report - the first ever scientific study of real peoples’ sex lives - was initially released in 1948, Dr. Kinsey found that the smallest reported penis was 1.75 inches when erect.
A man who has an erect penis that measures less that 7 cm (or just over 2 inches) is considered to have a micro penis. The condition can usually be treated with hormone therapy or surgery.
The average girth of an erect penis is between 4.7 to 5.1 inches in circumference, reports the British Journal of Urology International. How about the girth of the fella who holds the world record for longest penis? It’s a lot like grabbing at the middle of males forearm when it is flexed!
Since the majority of women’s sensitive nerve endings are concentrated near the opening of the vagina, a wider penis will have more impact (than a longer penis) on her sexual enjoyment. Why is this? Because putting more pressure on the vestibular (clitoral) bulbs –the erectile tissue next to the Clitoris and extending one on either side of the vaginal orifice - gives a woman the sense of feeling ‘filled up’ while her partner is inside her.
Height and Penis Size
Is there any connection? Most assume that a tall man will usually have a large penis; a shorter man, a smaller penis. However, this isn’t entirely the case. American sexologists, Masters and Johnson, measured the penis lengths of over 300 men and found there was little correlation. An Italian study of approximately 500 men echoed this point, finding only a small correlation between height and penis length.
Flaccid versus Erect
Can you tell the size of an erection based on when it’s limp? An article in Psychology Today said this about the relationship between flaccid and erect penises, “Among men, there is no consistent relationship between the size of the flaccid penis and its full erect length. In one study of 80 men, researchers found that increases from flaccid to erect lengths ranged widely, from less than a quarter inch to 3.5 inches longer.
An analysis of more than a thousand measurements taken by sex researcher Alfred Kinsey shows that shorter flaccid penises tend to gain about twice as much length as longer flaccid penises. Kinsey's data showed that about 12% of penises gained one-third or less of their total length with an erection, and about 7% doubled in length when erect.
(Note: the correct way to measure a penis is explained in our article on Average Penis Size.
Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) put out a report which estimates that (worldwide) only 30% of males aged 15 and up are circumcised. In comparison, The CDC estimates that about 65% of all newborn boys get circumcised in the US, though the practice of circumcising boys for medical and cosmetic reasons has become controversial.
Circumcision rates vary by religion and nationality. Almost all Jewish and Muslim males in the world have circumcised penises, and together they account for about 70% of all circumcised males globally.
The US has the highest proportion of males circumcised for non-religious reasons. 75% of non-Jewish, non-Muslim American men are circumcised; in Canada, it’s only 30%; in the U.K, it's 20%; in Australia it's 6%.
Some Other Sex Stats
The age of 18 is considered the peak time regarding a man’s supply of testosterone. However, peak hormone levels don’t necessarily equal peak sexual performance!
Average Length of Sex
Worried that everyone is having better, longer and more sex than you? The findings of a survey of sex therapists revealed that they believe the optimal length of sexual intercourse is 3 to 13 minutes, with a median time that was 7.3 minutes. The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that each couple that participated had their own time averages, which depended on factors like energy levels and sexual desire.
The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles conducted interviews with almost 20,000 men and women, and found that for women between the ages of 20-29 and men between the ages of 25-34, the maximum number of times they had sex was 5 times per week. By the time men and women reach an age of 55-59, the frequency declined to twice a week for men, and for more than half the female respondents, zero times weekly.
Most men aren’t eager to talk about sexual problems, but nearly all of them have experienced problems in the bedroom. The most common issues include decreased libido, Premature Ejaculation , or Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Risk factors for some of these problems include diabetes, heart disease, neurological conditions, smoking, circulation problems, and certain medications.
Most men are concerned that things like penis size and sexual frequency are important factors in pleasing a woman, and if any of these stats make you feel like you fall short, there’s no need to worry. As far as stimulating women during intercourse is concerned, the numbers don’t matter as much as ‘effort to please’ – there is no substitute for being considerate, attentive and honing your skills in order to pleasure your partner! So, throw away the measuring tape and focus on maximizing your talents instead - because ultimately, things like size aren’t indicators of good sex anyway!