Of all the sex-related topics out there, the one surrounded by the most myth is definitely penis enlargement. If you’re a guy who’s ever checked their spam folder, you’ll see reams and reams of emails promising more inches with pills, creams, surgery and more. Don’t trust them, obviously — however, there are so many who are trying to sell people on having a bigger penis that there must be more to it, right?
Salvini moonlights as a pastor and views Matters of Size as a Christian brotherhood — it’s tribal, he says. Men call each other “brother,” which makes it feel like a family rather than a business. The most common issue, he says, is men who were mocked about the size of their dick. “That’s 80 percent of it,” he says. “A lot of women are vindictive and know exactly what to shoot for to hurt a man. If you have a six-inch dick, she’s gonna say it’s eight inches and stroke your ego when she falls in love with you. But when the relationship ends and she suddenly hates you, she’ll deduct two inches and go around saying you have a four-inch nubby cock. That’s just the way it is.”
Overall, most studies seem to conclude that women are not overly concerned about penis size. In fact, some studies have reported that 84% of women are very satisfied with the size of their partner’s penis size . In another questionnaire on penis size, 55% of women responded that the length of the penis was unimportant and 22% responded that penis length was totally unimportant. Their opinions about penis girth followed the same trend, although length was found to be less important to women than girth .
Some surgical methods have the most evidence of effectiveness, whereas others have fairly frequent complications, sometimes severe, including scarring that lead, ultimately, to penis shrinkage or erectile dysfunction. Noninvasive methods have received little scientific study, and most lack scientific evidence of effectiveness, although scientific evidence supports some elongation by prolonged traction. Some quack products may improve penis erection, mistaken by consumers for penis enlargement.
Thankfully, I’ve avoided the emergency room. After six weeks of daily rice socks and side-side-stretching, my penis has, in fact, lengthened. I’m embarrassed to admit how satisfying it felt to notch six inches on my ruler. And I’m confident those increases would continue if I stuck with Big Al, but I think I’ll stop here. After all, as Nelson explains, the average penis is 5.16 inches, so at just over 6, I’m already in the 70th percentile. “You’re an inch bigger than average and thick,” he says. “Holy shit, what more do you want?”
In terms of what constitutes small, big and average, a 2007 study from British urologists Kevan Wylie and Ian Eardley revealed that the average erect penis is 5.5 inches in length and 4.7 inches in girth. According to Wylie and Eardley, most men who suffer from small penis syndrome (i.e., the anxiety of thinking their penis is too small even though it isn’t) have nowhere close to what scientists define as a micropenis. Not to mention, according to one of the studies cited, 85 percent of women surveyed said they were satisfied with their partner’s genitals, whereas only 55 percent of men were happy with what nature had given them. In other words, almost half of the men surveyed would like to have a bigger dick.
Not all operations leave happy customers – infections and scarring are both potential side-effects (“This is the same as an operation of any kind,” Viel says). Some men report a decline in angle after the suspensory ligament is cut, but according to David Ralph, a professor of urology at UCL, “By and large, patients don’t complain about that. The operation doesn’t change the erect length at all – this is only for men who have anxiety about how they look in the changing rooms. The average increase in size is 1.3cm, less than the diameter of a 1p coin. In my clinics, I show patients one of these and ask if they still think it is worth it. Less than 5% decide to, and of those who do, the satisfaction rate is just 20%.”
“The majority of men who come in seeking penile enlargement are average,” says Lipshultz. “I just don’t think men have a realistic idea of what normal is. Hence they think that they are below normal when actually they’re average.” (For the record, the average erect penis measures 5.6 inches, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.)