Penile Angst

Well, dear readers, it is time to tackle a subject often thought about, but rarely talked about. That is the subject of the size of the male organ, also known as the penis. It goes by other names, of course, and you can all come up with your particular version, but let’s take what we can all relate to, in a reasonably objective way. In my work as a sex therapist with many men over the years, concern over penis size sometimes comes up early in our work and other times it raises its head (no pun intended) later during the course of our treatment program.

I can say with fair certainty that this is a subject that is close to most men’s heart, and unfortunately it becomes a front and centre issue sometime in many men’s lives.

Jamie’s situation is a case in point. He was a mid-30’s father of two children when he came to seek help for his problem of ‘premature ejaculation.’ It turned out that he was separated from his wife for a few months; she ended it after a seven and half year marriage. He told me that when they met, they had a satisfying sexual life with no complaints on her part, and he certainly was content. As they became involved in dealing with usual issues of married life — house, mortgage, children, in-laws, etc. — their sexual connection at times would take a dip in frequency, but she didn’t really complain about the quality of lovemaking until only about a year and a half ago.

It was after the separation that she first let him know that she felt his penis was ‘too small.’ Not only that, but she did not keep this information, or opinion, to herself. Rather, she put the word out among their friends and his co-workers. This led to enormous embarrassment and made his life so miserable that he contemplated ending it.

His voice was filled with pain when he asked me why didn’t she ever complain about this before? Since she was unwilling to attend any sessions with him, I, of course, was unable to get her side of the story.

However, I’m happy to relate that we are well under way to resolving his problem of rapid ejaculation and restoring some sense of self-confidence. The subject of penis size, however, can raise and retain lingering, ongoing doubts, and the fact that a number of people he works with or has contact with socially have raised this have made his life extremely difficult.

It is interesting to speculate why this subject of penis size is so apparently crucial to many men. When it comes to sex, most of us have very little factual information come our way. Sex education programs are often hit and miss in availability, and even those that exist rarely deal with such an intimate issue as size of genitals. The old concept of sex being a performance in which you have to prove yourself is one that promotes the idea that you have to be endowed in a particular way in order to please your partner and to prove yourself as a good lover. The most readily available source of ‘sex education’ for most males was, and alas still is, sex videos and so-called adult magazines. These are inevitably put together with unrepresentative, far from the average appearing women and out of the ordinarily endowed men; sometimes, way out. Indeed, some actors in the adult industry have been bestowed star status on the basis of the size of their penis.

Unfortunately, the average boy growing up, in the absence of valid information, can easily get the idea that somehow he does not measure up to most other males.

Furthermore, the subject of penis size does not usually emerge in discussions between men and women. If they are going to discuss the quality of their sexual life at all, it often has to do with issues other than penis size.

In reality, men need to remember that in the overwhelming majority of situations the size of penis is not a significant factor in determining how skillful a lover they are. If one were to take a survey among women about their male lovemaking partners, I would guess that penis size would be rather on the lower end of the list, if there at all. Far more frequently, one would see 1) taking time, 2) allowing oneself to be vulnerable and talk about feelings, and 3) a sense of genuine excitement towards one’s partner, as issues of concern.

With respect to penis size, there are a number of facts that need to be kept in mind, so that a realistic approach to this almost universal question of male insecurity can be maturely approached. Only the outer third of the average woman’s vagina has sensitive nerve endings. In addition, the most sensitive part of women facilitating arousal, as hopefully everybody knows, is the clitoris. Have a good look at your partner’s genitals, an exercise which is a very useful one at some point in your love life, and you will notice that the location of the clitoris is not inside the vagina, not even at the vaginal opening, but actually, as I sometimes say, in the ‘suburbs.’ By that I mean the clitoris is located quite a ways above the vaginal opening. Now try to visualize the mechanics of vagina stimulation in the standard man on top position, a practice probably of the majority. The inefficiency of this system of stimulation of the most sensitive part of the woman is, in a word, enormous. It is small wonder that many, many women, the majority, report that they do not reach orgasm from penis vagina intercourse alone.

In this regard, the size of the penis is really not very relevant. It is far more critical how you, as the owner or ‘captain’ of your penis, ‘maneuver’ during lovemaking. Try to visualize in what way can your partner’s clitoris receive maximum stimulation by the penis. The sad reality is that, unless you take very special care and move in a way to maximize contact between penis and the top of the vagina, the resulting friction or stimulation is not going to be sufficient to enable your partner to reach orgasm.

Accordingly, my recommendation is to pay far more attention to other ways than penis in vagina if you want to achieve maximum clitoral stimulation in your partner leading to orgasmic release. This may involve manual or oral stimulation, before, during, or after penetration.

In spite of this reality, usually women do enjoy having the feeling of the penis inside the vagina. But the feeling of pleasure and fulfillment appears to come from the psychological closeness or bonding this provides, as opposed to mounting clitoral excitement.

So putting all this together, you can see, gentlemen, that preoccupation with penis size is really wasted effort. Most men are perfectly well endowed enough to be able to have penis vagina intercourse leading to the kind of satisfaction that seems to satisfy most men, and, at least in part, women.

But remember that honest, open communication with your partner is the real solution for this physiological reality of differences between male and female orgasmic satisfaction. Paying attention to this will assure many more satisfactory, exciting lovemaking sessions for both you and your partner.

– Dr. Frank G. Sommers