From Length and Girth to Average Size, Let’s Talk Penises


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Penis Sizes

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Do you know how long your penis really is? And if you do know, you might be curious: how does it compare with the average penis size?

Those two questions are ones that many men spend much of their time obsessing over, but the truth is, if you’re worried about the size of your penis, you might be overestimating how much it really matters.

RELATED: Why You Should Stop Worrying About Your Penis Size

While there are a lot of cultural associations between having a big penis and being manly, that’s all they are: cultural associations. It’s possible to have a very big penis and be not much of a man at all, and also vice versa. 

That being said, you didn’t start reading this just to be told that measuring your penis is dumb, and we should all just get along and love each other. 

You came here for cold, hard facts about the length of your phallus — and everyone else’s, too. And while, when it comes to sex, what you do with it is more important than how big it is, it’s definitely normal to be curious about your body. So let’s learn about penis size.

How Long Is the Average Penis?

It’s a question that’s harder to answer than you might realize.

First, penis size changes as you age, and both flaccid and erect penises often have little in common, size-wise. Measuring a significant number of penises in a controlled environment is tricky, too — if you have a penis, you probably know that keeping it hard in non-sexual situations for long periods of time isn’t easy — and since people tend to exaggerate their own size, getting guys to self-report might lead to skewed results.

It’s also worth mentioning that the average size shifts from one part of the world to another, leaving you with a bit of a moving target.

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Still, the fact that it’s difficult to nail down a concrete average doesn’t make men any less obsessed with the prospect of tracking down that specific statistic. And while many experts on the subject can’t agree on a single number, they’re still close enough to give you a good idea.

“Across studies, researchers have found that the average erect penis is about 5.16 inches long and 4.5 inches wide,” says sexologist Shamyra Howard, noting that “90 percent of penises are considered ‘average’ size, measuring between 4-6 inches long.”

If you’re more familiar with metric measurements, those 5.16-inch length and 4.5-inch girth numbers are about 13.1 cm and 11.4 cm, respectively. 

How to Measure Your Penis

It might seem obvious, but trust us, a lot of mistakes are made in the simple act of measurement.

How to Measure Penis Length

Take a ruler or tape measure and, beginning at the base of the penis, where the shaft meets your lower stomach, measure to the tip.

RELATED: How to Measure Your Penis Size, Explained

These measurements are traditionally taken along the top of the penis. Basically, it’s from where your penis meets your pubic mound up to the tip of the glans, or penis head. If you measure along the bottom, you’ll get a totally different number.

If you want to get really precise, you can also take two measurements: one of your flaccid penis, and another of your erect penis.

How to Measure Penis Girth

Things get a little trickier when it comes to measuring girth, especially if you don’t have a flexible measuring tape on hand. Rulers and inflexible measuring tape don’t bend, and you need the flexibility of, for example, a rope or string to take an accurate measurement of your girth. 

If you only have a ruler on hand, though, don’t worry: you can simply take a piece of string (or something similar, like a shoelace, for example) and use that to measure your girth, preferably midway up your shaft. Once you know how much string is required to encircle your penis, simply transpose that string onto your ruler and you’ll get a measurement.

When Does the Penis Stop Growing?

Believe it or not, penises typically don’t achieve their full size until you’re between the ages of 18 and 21, so if you’re younger than that right now, you very likely have a few more years of growth ahead of you.

Now, knowing the average is all well and good, but unless your penis is 5.16 inches exactly, you might be in the dark about how yours fits into the bigger picture when it comes to penis length.

To help you get a better idea, we’ve broken it down by various penis lengths, from 1 inch in length to 8 and over, and and spoke to experts to get a better understanding of how common each length is, how it compares to the average, what you should know about your penis if it’s that length, how potential partners might react to it, and which sex positions are best for you. 

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1-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

As you might suspect, “1 inch penises are very rare,” says Dr. Koushik Shaw, M.D. of the Austin Urology Institute. How rare exactly?

“It is actually quite uncommon to have a penis size with in the 1- to 2-inch (range),” says Danny Garrett of “Less than 0.00013 percent of the population has a penis size in this range.”

Still, even a vanishingly small percentage of the world’s population is still a lot of people.

“If we were to assume there are roughly 3.75 billion people on Earth with a penis,” Garrett says, “that would leave us with about 487,000 people with a penis size of 1 to 2 inches!” 

How does it compare to the average penis?

“Most major studies show that the average penis size among humans is 5.2 inches (13.2 cm) when taking into consideration all races and ethnicities on Earth,” says Garrett. “This puts the 1- to 2-inch penis range significantly under average … well beyond half the size of even the most average-sized penises.”

What will your sex partners think?

As 1-inch penises are so rare, most potential partners will probably be surprised by your size. That’s not to say that everyone will turn you down on the basis of your penis alone, but traditional dating might be tricky for you. It might not be a bad idea to get your penis size out in the open in the early going so you know how the other person feels before things get too serious. You might also consider using fetish-based dating sites or apps to find people who specifically get excited by smaller penises. 

What should you know about this penis size?

Considering how outside the norm a 1-inch penis is, it’s not unreasonable to consider enlargement methods.

“There is hormone-replacement therapy, among other surgical procedures which could potentially help you achieve a healthier penis size,” says Garrett.

However, if you’re comfortable with your 1-inch penis, there’s no reason to change it. Many people don’t care about penis size in a partner, and you can pleasure people in bed without any penis at all, so a 1-inch one is no obstacle to being a talented lover. 

What are the best sex positions for you?

If your penis is just an inch long, most traditional penetrative sex is out of the question. That’s not to say that you can’t engage in it at all, but making a partner orgasm with penetration alone is unlikely to occur.

On the brighter side, penetration alone is often not enough to bring women to orgasm, regardless of penis size, so having a 1-inch penis can be a blessing in disguise if it forces you to become adept at manual and oral sex. If you can make someone cum hard with handjobs, fingering, blowjobs or cunnilingus, they may well not care about how big your dick is! 

2-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

Compared to 1-inch penises, “2-inch penises are less rare, but still quite rare,” says Shaw. Depending on which statistics you go off, you’re likely to align with 1 to 2 percent of the population.

How does it compare to the average penis?

Despite being twice as long as a 1-inch penis, a 2-inch penis is still quite below average — a little more than one-third as long as an average penis. In this size range, you’re still noticeably smaller than most guys.

What will your sex partners think?

Your partners are less likely to be shocked, but it’s still quite possible that they find themselves taken aback as a 2-inch penis is still relatively rare.

As a result, you might want to talk about it in advance to avoid potentially moment-ruining surprise the first time you get naked together. Being up-front about it shows that you’re not ashamed, and that sense of comfort with your body is more likely to make for good sex, regardless of your penis size.

What should you know about this penis size?

You might feel insecure about your penis size, but at 2 inches, there’s a good chance that your penis functions normally. Basically, there’s nothing to be concerned about.

“A penis that is this size, while inconvenient, is not necessarily an urgent medical condition,” says Garrett. “You may want to seek medical advice to see if you are a candidate for any treatments, but there are many over-the-counter products that could help with this, including strap-on penis extensions, and some penis pumps.”

You could also just roll with what you’ve got — a little confidence can go a long way, and being attentive to your partner’s pleasure with your hands and mouth will go even further. 

What are the best sex positions for you?

Unlike a 1-inch penis, a 2-inch penis is, for instance, potentially long enough to reach the G-spot inside a vagina. That means straight guys in this category can actually engage in mutually pleasurable penetrative sex, particularly with partners with smaller vaginas or if their penises have a larger girth.

Positions that help amplify the impact of a smaller penis, like missionary, doggy-style and cowgirl, will be of use to you, but developing your skills at oral and manual stimulation definitely won’t hurt, either.

3-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

A 3-inch penis is “relatively common,” says Norman M. Rowe, MD. However, that’s really only in comparison to smaller penis sizes. Those in the 3-inch range account for about 4 percent of men in the world.

How does it compare to the average penis?

Since the average is a little over 5 inches, at 3 inches and up, you’re coming in at just over half that length. While it’s a little on the smaller side (and technically still qualifies as a micropenis), it’s hardly as tiny as most guys would think.

What will your sex partners think?

Despite being under the average, you’re only a little under the threshold of what most guys have. As a result, your size is unlikely to be a big surprise (and hopefully not a deal-breaker) for any partners.

Plus, as sex educator Kenneth Play points out, there are actually some positives for guys in this size range who sleep with women.

“Your penis length may be perfect for women who experience pain from penetration that’s too deep,” he says. “Every vagina can accommodate different sizes, so it’s about finding the genital compatibility. You may be a blessing to someone who’s always had painful sex!”

What should you know about this penis size?

“Of the 3.75 billion people on Earth with a penis, give or take 43.9 million people have a penis size in this range,” says Garrett. “Again, this takes into consideration ethnicity, so this size might be closer to average for certain areas of the world,” and further from the average in other ones. 

What are the best sex positions for you?

You’re still comfortably into normal penetrative sex territory, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t still brush up on your oral skills.

To that effect, try using positions that give you deeper penetration like modified missionary, doggy style and cowgirl.

4-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

Approximately “20 percent of adult men have a 4-inch penis,” says Rowe. To put that number in perspective, if the adult male population was just five guys, one of them would have a 4-incher.

How does it compare to the average penis?

If you have a 4-inch penis, it’s “below average” in length, according to Rowe. However, it’s not vastly below average — only about a single inch or so, meaning you’re roughly 80 percent as long as the average — and it is a fairly common length, meaning you’re hardly a rarity.

What will your sex partners think?

You might be met with a range of responses. It’s true that some partners might be underwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have pleasurable penetrative intercourse.

Sure, someone obsessed with their partner’s penis size might want to move on to the next guy, but in most cases, your size won’t be an issue at all.

What should you know about this penis size?

“There is actually quite a big difference between the amount of people with a 3-inch penis when compared to those with a 4-inch penis,” says Garrett.

The overwhelming majority of guys — “90 percent,” as Howard notes — are between 4 and 6 inches, so you’ve made the cutoff for “relatively common,” even if you’re still on the shorter end of it.

What are the best sex positions for you?

Depending on your girth and what your partner can handle, you might not need to do any position-based compensating.

However, if you’re feeling insecure about your size, small penis sex positions like a modified missionary, a swivel and grind or different variations on doggy-style can help you get the most out of your 4 inches.

5-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

A 5-inch penis is incredibly common. “15 percent of men have a 5 inch penis,” says Rowe — or about 1 in 7 men — and about double that fall between 5 and 6 inches, making this the most common penis size.

How does it compare to the average penis?

“Across the globe, the average penis size is 5.2 inches (13.2 cm) so this bucket falls smack dab in the middle of average,” says Garrett. If this is you, well, congratulations on your extreme normalcy. It might not be exciting or shocking, but on the plus side, at least it’s not disappointing, right?

What will your sex partners think?

At 5 inches, you’re every so slightly under the global average for adult men, but depending on where you live, you could be right in line with average, a bit above or quite below.

However, 5 inches is a very common penis length that’s unlikely to raise an eyebrow for most partners. In fact, some might appreciate it more than a larger penis as it’ll likely cause little pain during penetration.

Plus, you’re engaging in penis-in-vagina sex, you’ll still be long enough to stimulate your partner’s G-spot from the inside without any difficulty.

What should you know about this penis size?

Lots of guys with penises in the 5-inch range probably feel disappointed, frustrated or insecure about their penis size.

“There’s countless articles promising pro-tips on how to compensate for your average-sized cock,” says Play. “(But) there’s no need to compensate! You are good enough. Love the penis you have.”

As Play notes, worrying about your 5-inch penis being too small is wasted energy. Not only are you very close to average, you’re also fully capable of stimulating and pleasing many partners through penetration alone, to say nothing of oral or manual sex.

What are the best sex positions for you?

Congratulations! As a man with a very common penis size, you don’t really need to adapt your penetrative sex positions in any significant way. You can more or less just keep doing what you’re doing.

6-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

A penis between 6 and 7 inches long is less common than a 5 inch penis, with roughly one in five adult men sporting one.

How does it compare to the average penis?

Depending on which figures you’re studying, you’re either most of an inch (or a fraction of an inch) above average. “The average penis is about 5.8 or 5.9 inches, but that doesn’t mean most penises are that size because large penises weigh into that average,” says Shaw. “The median penis size is actually 5.6 to 5.7 inches.”

But yes, you are above average, even if only by a little bit.

What will your sex partners think?

Considering how common a 6-inch penis is, and how close to the average it is, you’re unlikely to raise an eyebrow in either direction.

“Most women (and men) find this penis size to be the most comfortable, seeing how the average vaginal depth is 3 to 7 inches,” says Garrett. “Many women complain of pain when a penis is much larger and actually ‘bottoms out’ in the vagina.”

What should you know about this penis size?

“Welcome to average,” says Garrett. “There are bigger and there are smaller, but you should be happy and comfortable with this size. I can say it until I am blue in the face, but most people with an average-size penis will still complain. This comes down to a personal size complex and nothing more. If you have an average-penis size, just enjoy it.”

What are the best sex positions for you?

As a man with an average-sized penis, well, you’re sort of dealing with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sexual positions. You don’t really need to focus on ones that maximize your size, and you don’t necessarily need to use ones that prevent your partner from getting hurt, either.

Whether your favorite is missionary, doggy-style, standing, sitting or anything else, you’re more or less in the clear. You might find being normal to be boring, but in the sex position game, the world is your oyster — so long as your partner’s on board, too, that is.

7-Inch Penis

Clément Liu

How common is this?

“The Kinsey Institute produced a study that finds 1 percent of penises are between 7-8 inches, and the amount of penises greater than 8 inches is considered rare,” says Howard.

How does it compare to the average penis?

You’re well over and inch above the average for adult men. You can brag to friends and sex partners that you’re “hung” or “well-endowed,” and it won’t be a lie .. though that doesn’t mean you should.

What will your sex partners think?

In this range, “your penis will be several inches larger than average, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your partner and their comfort with a large penis,” says Garrett.

For some partners, you’ll have the dream penis length — long enough to be noticeably above average, but not quite humongous. For others, you’ll be a little on the hefty side and possibly somewhat painful.

What should you know about this penis size?

“If you have a penis size that is 7 inches or greater, congrats to you, you have a penis size larger than 91 percent of the population,” says Garrett. “Depending on your ethnicity and location, this could fall more into average,” however.

Regardless, if your penis is genuinely this long, you’re officially in rarified territory. It’s quite possible that some partners will never have seen a penis as big as yours before. Don’t scare ‘em!

What are the best sex positions for you?

With a 7-inch penis, you’re definitely on the larger side of things. You’ll want to be a bit more careful when it comes to penetrating your partners to ensure you’re not in danger of causing any injuries. That being said, the 7-inch range isn’t exactly monstrous, so unless you’re trying to make it work with a particularly small orifice, most positions are probably fine.

Still, taking advantage of sex positions for bigger penises isn’t a bad idea — think spooning, having your partner on top or other options where they have a bit more control when it comes to depth.

8-Inch Penis (and Bigger)

Clément Liu

How common is this?

In porn, erotic fiction and people’s daydreams, penises that are 8 inches or more may loom large, but in real life, they’re incredibly rare, with only about 3 percent of men in this range.

How does it compare to the average penis?

Since 8 inches and over is a range without an actual maximum, different sizes will compare differently to the average penis. Meaning, a penis that’s exactly 8 inches is about 60 percent longer than average, while a hyper-rare 10-inch penis would be close to double the average.

What will your sex partners think?

It depends on how much they can handle, frankly. People who are looking for something big will be delighted, but it is possible you’ll encounter people who find you, well, too big. For instance, vaginas are very rarely that deep, so you’re likely to be left with some leftover length on your hands in the case of P-to-V penetration.

“Some women may experience pain from the depth of your thrusts,” says Play. “But again, it’s always about genital compatibility. Find the partner that thrives with your size, or find ways to adjust for the partner that doesn’t.”

What should you know about this penis size?

Hurray, you have an incredibly large penis! However, it’s worth noting that having a particularly long penis isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be in the fevered imaginations of teenage boys.

“If you find yourself with a penis size of 8 inches or greater, then we recommend being more careful during sex as your tool could be more damaging to your partner than a smaller penis,” says Garrett. That means going slow and staying in constant communication with your partner to make sure you’re not hurting them.

What are the best sex positions for you?

The best sex positions for you are ones that minimize the risk of pain or injury to your partners — and include liberal use of lubricant.

Big penis size positions, like having your partner on top so they can control how deep you get, as well as standing missionary, the T-bone and spooning, are essential to making sure no one gets hurt.

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A Final Word on Penis Size

Clément Liu

Men spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about the size of their penises.

However, there’s credible research to show that women by and large don’t care very much, and regardless of what gender your sexual partners are, penis size doesn’t have a ton of impact on your ability to sexually pleasure someone.

In some cases, being bigger can actually be worse for your sex life, since it’s very much possible to be too big for some partners.

“It’s a game of compatibility, not a competition of size,” says Play. “For every (person), there’s a penis that’s too small, too big or just right. It’s like finding a pair of shoes: You have to find one that fits right. The goal isn’t to love the penis you have despite its size … the goal is to love the penis you have — because every size has pros and cons.”

Any time you spend worrying about the size your penis would be better spent working on becoming more self-confident, and a more attentive, giving lover.

Work on your oral sex skills, your finger game, or your dirty talk. Buy a sex toy or two — those are things you can revolutionize your sex life without pouring your money into scammy pills, potentially dangerous techniques like jelqing, or prohibitively expensive surgery.

So many men learn from a young age that their penises are inextricably linked to their manliness, and that the thing between their legs is somehow an emblem of who they are as a man.

It can be deeply tricky to unlearn the toxic messages you might’ve received about penis size, whether from pop culture or just from your peers, to truly divorce yourself from the notion that to have a certain kind of penis is to be somehow “less than.” But once you’re able to move past worrying about whether you’re big enough, that’s when you can start truly enjoying sex.

After all, size isn’t everything.


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