What Is the Average Size of an Erect Penis?

Do I measure up to everyone else?

A man looks at his mobile phone in bed.
A man looks at his mobile phone in bed. Tara Moore/Taxi/Getty Images

Question: What size should an erect penis be?

Answer: The word "should" is a pernicious one. Like any other part of the human body, there are as many different varieties of penis length, girth, and appearance out there as there are men in the world. This is why—despite any urge you may feel to compare yourself to others—you should never allow yourself to feel self-conscious or inadequate in any way.

In fact, the range of penis lengths that have been scientifically validated is quite large. The longest fully erect penis we know of is 12 inches (30cms) long. The smallest normally functioning penis that has been confirmed is a mere ½ inch (1.3cms) long. In the midst of all of this variety, we find the average erect penis size, which is about 6 inches long.

The penis is capable of lengthening and increasing in overall size during sexual arousal, which is why the average length of a flaccid penis differs so much. There is no relationship between the length of a flaccid penis and an erect penis, which is why you can't use one to predict the other.

Generally, you'll hear that old adage that penis size is not important. Which to an extent is true. Women generally report that their sexual satisfaction is not affected by the size of their sexual partner's penis... especially not the length.

But knowing the length of your penis can be important for other reasons.

In particular, knowing the size of your penis can help you find the best possible condom for you. And a good condom fit is essential in ensuring the best and most effective protection.

For more information on penis size, check out the following articles:

  • Here is more information about penis size and sexual satisfaction.
  • If, after all this, you still long for a larger penis, you can click through for the lowdown on the various methods of penis enlargement. Which ones actually work?
  • This post goes into greater depth on the importance of condom size.
  • Here's some information on what is known as a micropenis.
  • Finally, if you're more concerned about shape than size, this post will give you an education in Peyronie's Disease, also known as a curved penis.

To circle back to the beginning, never worry about what size your penis "should" be. Instead, make a note of what size it is, and work with that. Use that information to highlight your strengths. Use that information to more effectively protect yourself and your partner. In the end, all of that is what really matters. Not a meaningless number.

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