Can Penis Size Be Estimated by Body, Hand, or Foot Size?

Dispelling Common Myths About the Size of His Penis

A close-up of a man’s hands.
A close-up of a man’s hands. Monica Rodriguez/Getty Images

It is a common myth that you can tell the general size of a man's penis at a glance: Is his sneaker size above average? Obviously, his penis must be equally above average. Are his hands huge? That's just one more clue as to what's going on beneath his boxer briefs.

But is there any truth to these myths? Can you really judge penis size by the size of his body, hands, or feet?

Busting This Penis Size Myth

Due to these common myths, there have been many studies that have examined the possible correlations between penis size and race, height, build, and the size of a man's feet, hands, and even butt.

Not to mention that these penis size myths have also birthed a wide range of ridiculous double entendres.

In actuality, the size of a man's penis cannot be estimated based upon his body size or shape, or upon the size or shape of his hands or feet. But even if it could, does it really matter?

Does Penis Size Matter?

Another popular misconception is that size matters. Fortunately, penis size is not related to sexual satisfaction. Existing surveys throughout the years have shown that women believe girth is more important than length, and that penises that are above average in size can actually cause discomfort to sexual partners. In many other cases, the large, small, or average size of a penis doesn't even register on a woman's radar. This is because fulfilling sex is about so much more than just sexual intercourse.

Not to say that penis size has no effect on sexual pleasure. A larger penis may rub up against the clitoris during intercourse, making an orgasm more likely for the woman.

Or a larger penis, whether larger in length or in girth, may make a woman feel "fuller," or feel that she is being stimulated deeper inside her vaginal canal. But there are others ways to accomplish these sensations.

The Bottom Line

If you're one of the people checking out the size of a man's walking shoes in order to get a clue as to his abilities in bed, you can cut it out.

You won't get an inkling of what's going on down there until the clothes come off. In the meantime, just focus on what you can see. You can figure things out in the bedroom later.

Measuring Up and Comparing Penis Size

Now that we've debunked the myth that penis size is related to shoe size, you may have further questions.

The first step is to measure your penis. You may feel a little embarrassed doing so, but realize you are not alone, or even in the minority. Besides, knowing your penis size can help you select the right size condom.

To measure the length of your penis. use a ruler by placing it at the very base of your penis. You may need to push this inwards toward your pubic bone if you have an extra tissue (the physicians word for fat) but any length hidden by this layer still classifies as part of the penis. Measure from the base to the tip.

Measuring the width of your penis requires two steps. First, take a soft measuring tape and wrap it all the way around the thickest part of your penis. Since this can change with degree of arousal, you may need to do this more than once. Once you have recorded the circumference (length all the way around) your penis, then divide this number by 3.14 to get the width.

Now that you have your measurements, you can compare:

Penis Size Over Time

With all of the commercials talking about erectile dysfunction, you may be wondering if penis size changes over time just as sexual response may. It is true that penis size may shrink over time, but going back to the section above relating penis size to sexual function, it's probably not worth worrying about. In fact, the intimacy that most women appreciate far more than a few millimeters of penis often grows substantially more than a penis can shrink.

Penis Enlargement

As a final note, you are probably the exception if you've never received an email regarding penis enlargement. Before you click on any of those ads (which are likely scams even if they don't introduce a virus to your computer) and learn about the techniques and what we know about penis enlargement treatments.


Ghanem, H., Glina, S., Assalian, P., and J. Buvat. Position Paper: Management of Men Complaining of a Small Penis Despite and Actually Normal Size. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2013. 10(1):294-303.

Veale, D., Miles, S., Bramley, S., Muir, G., and J. Hodsoll. Am I Normal? A Systematic Review and Construction of Nomograms for Flaccid and Erect Penis Length and Circumference in up to 15,521 Men. BJU International. 115(6):978-86.

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