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Sex Health Blog

Penis Length and Partner Satisfaction

Jun 11, 2013

“It’s not the size of the boat, but the motion of the ocean.”

You might have heard this expression in relation to penis size. It explains, rather euphemistically, that the size of a man’s penis really doesn’t matter for partner satisfaction. What’s important is his performance in the bedroom, which may involve skill, or intimacy, or any number of things.

But is the saying true?

That question has been debated for years. And there isn’t an easy answer. Today we’ll look at some of the research on penis size and women’s sexual satisfaction in penile-vaginal intercourse.

Continued...

The Size of the Boat

Why might women prefer a longer penis? For some, the movement of longer penis stimulates more of the vagina and even the cervix, which connects the vagina and uterus. This stimulation can bring great pleasure.

The number of women who prefer longer penises was studied by a group of researchers from Europe and the United States. Last fall, they reported on their survey of 160 women who had vaginal orgasms and were sexually experienced enough to comment on penis size.

One of the questions they answered was:

"All things being equal, are you more likely to have an orgasm from penis-in-vagina intercourse with a man who has a somewhat larger than average penis length? (Assume that average erect penis length is the length of a £20 note or any U.S. dollar bill).”

About 34% of the women said a longer penis was more likely to bring them to orgasm. About 6% said they were less likely to have an orgasm from a longer penis. Sixty percent said that penis size wasn’t important. They could reach orgasm from a longer or shorter penis.

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The Motion of the Ocean

Many men feel insecure about the size of their penis and these study results may make them even more anxious about pleasing their partners. But there’s no need for worry. Here are some things to consider:

  • While the study above shows that penis size is indeed important to some women, it is not important to all women. Sixty percent said penis size didn’t matter.
  • Women reach orgasm in several different ways, not just through penile-vaginal intercourse. Clitoral orgasm is common, but some women can reach orgasm by having their nipples stimulated or even by having a sexual fantasy.
  • Some women don’t even have vaginal orgasms. This does not mean they’re not enjoying sex. Women’s vaginas vary; some might have better nerve function than others. Some scientists believe that learning plays a role in vaginal orgasms. If women are “taught” that orgasms can start in the vagina, they may be more likely to have vaginal orgasms. Sometimes, these lessons start early. Research has shown that women who stimulated their vagina during their first masturbation are more likely to have regular vaginal orgasms in adulthood.
  • A longer penis doesn’t take the place of a good relationship. Feeling emotionally and intimately connected to a partner is important to many women when they have sex.
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Leaving Concerns at the Bedroom Door

While men may feel uneasy about the size of their penis, women have their insecurities as well. Some women feel pressured to have vaginal orgasms and are distressed over finding the “G-spot” – the area of the vagina reputed to be a source of great sexual pleasure.

In the end, however, couples may find sex more enjoyable if they leave these concerns at the bedroom door. What matters most is that they pleasure each other in the ways that work best for them.

Resources

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Brody, Stuart, PhD

“More Frequent Vaginal Orgasm Is Associated with Experiencing Greater Excitement from Deep Vaginal Stimulation”

(Full-text. First published online: April 9, 2013)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12153/full

Costa, Rui Miguel, PhD, et al.

“Women Who Prefer Longer Penises Are More Likely to Have Vaginal Orgasms (but Not Clitoral Orgasms): Implications for an Evolutionary Theory of Vaginal Orgasm”

(Full-text. First published online: September 24, 2012)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02917.x/abstract

Sexual Medicine Society of North America

“Experts weigh in on vaginal orgasm”

(April 27, 2012)

http://www.sexhealthmatters.org/news/experts-weigh-in-on-vaginal-orgasms