RSVP Montgomery

Does Size Matter?

MAY/JUNE 2017

Dr. Brian Richardson
You have probably heard the saying, “it’s not the size of the ship, but the motion in the ocean that matters.” The guy with the biggest mouth may shout out that big ships make bigger waves. I think Freud would have an explanation for that type of response and it deals with overcompensation. There is no doubt an infatuation exists regarding the size of a man’s private part. I have men ask me on a regular basis, “Doc, can you make it bigger?” My typical response is “No, but I can get you some new eyeglasses to make it look bigger.” The fascination about size often starts as a young boy and continues into adulthood. Women often wonder, “What is the big deal?”

The issue of size has probably never been catapulted into the public thought process as much as when Senator Marco Rubio made a comment about the size of Donald Trumps hands. Within a matter of moments, Trump was proclaiming his hand size was huge, and his other parts matched the length of his digits. The world laughed at this childish exchange between political opponents, and no one needed to explain the implication Rubio was making about Trump. Shortly thereafter, Trump labeled Rubio as “Little Marco.” This type of banter occurs far too often and can have real psychiatric consequences on men.  

A common misnomer is that hand size, foot size, height or any other physical feature is predictive of the size of a man’s privates. There is little truth or correlation to that common assumption. So, there is no need to buy that extra shoe size as a demonstration of your manhood. There is a reality that obesity or weight gain may cause the size of the penis to appear to shrink. In fact, for every 25 lbs. a man is over his ideal body weight, he may “lose” about 1/4 of an inch in his size. Please don’t take this idea to the extreme and start starving yourself! The penis actually has not changed in size, instead the fat around the pelvis has concealed the external appearance and length of the penis.  

A study was performed in order to put an end to this common question of a “normal or average” size of a penis. Over 15,000 privates were assessed and 5.2 inches is the average length based on scientific measurements. I bet you would not be surprised if I told you that when men self report their size, it is much bigger. Men tend to stretch things, including the truth.

There is a medical condition called micro penis, and it is defined generally as an erect penis that is less than 2 and 3/4 inches. It is typically identified at birth and treatment is available. However, no matter what the kids in the locker room said about you, it actually only affects about 0.6% of the population.   

The penis has two important roles biologically, including urinating to expel toxins from the body and ejaculation to transfer sperm for reproduction. Of course, it also is important in providing pleasure during sexual activity and creates a bond during and after intercourse.  However, culture and society have implanted an idea that the penis plays a much larger role including manhood, self-worth, self-esteem and dominance. The reality is that beyond the biological purposes intended for the penis, other perceived purposes are created by culture and society.  

Men have undergone great lengths in order to gain size. Some cultures promote hanging weights on their genitals to increase the size. In Brazil, some men believe a snake bite on their private is the best method of increasing size. There have been surgeries performed for enhancement, however most of those doctors have now lost their medical license for fraudulent surgical procedures. Penile stretching devices are available and have been shown to be effective, although none are FDA approved in the US. When I explain that the device needs to be worn for at least four hours per day and for at least six months, most men change their minds about the importance of the matter.  

Size does not equal satisfaction and studies have demonstrated that over 85% of women have stated that size is not important to them. The female genitalia has over 15,000 nerve endings whereas the penis has about 4,000. Do the math and you will see that you may not need as much as you think you did to accomplish what you want. In fact, some women have avoided intercourse because a man is—- pause—- “too big.” The male readers will need to reread that sentence and try to comprehend that fact. I would suggest the infatuation with size is actually a detriment to overall sexual health and relationships. Men need to stop worrying, stop bragging and start focusing on loving their partner.  

Brian Richardson, MD 
Urologist and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Jackson Hospital and Clinic

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