The perfect penis size is a bone (yes, we went there) of contention for many - sometimes, it seems like everyone has an opinion on it when really, it shouldn't matter.
Trust us: you can have great sex with someone with any size penis as long as a. you both know how to work each other's bodies and b. you have sizzling sexual chemistry (plus a handful of the best sex toys for couples on hand for extra playing).
But aren't you curious as to what, generally, is considered the ideal penis size? Because FYI, there are all different shapes, sizes and types of penis out there. We've bought you guides to the best condoms and best lube; rounded up the best sex apps, dating sites and of course, the best sex toys, too. Next up: a scientific breakdown of what the experts reckon is the perfect penis size. You're so welcome.
So... is there such thing as a perfect penis size?
A team of researchers has come up with the definitive (read: average) penis size that their research group preferred and it turns out, for them, bigger wasn't always better.
The 2015 study found that not only do the women surveyed overwhelmingly prefer ‘average’ sized penises, but they have slightly different preferences if the penis they're encountering is a long-term lover or a one night stander they may (or may not) have met on Tinder.
A sample of 75 female participants were asked to handle 33 prosthetic phalluses in a range of shapes and sizes created by a 3D printer (surely the best use of the relatively new technology we’ve heard of yet?!).
They were then told to sort them into their ideal penis for their long-term partner (or 'sex buddy') vs a one night stand. In order to remove any racial bias or stereotype, the fake willies were all blue.
The average erect penis size is between 5.5 and 6.3 inches, FYI.
To give you some kind of reference point, 6.4 inches is about two (ladies) fists and two knuckles worth.
Or just under two Oyster cards.
Or a glue stick and a rubber.
Or one and a quarter iPhone 5s.
Or Three Lindt Lindor chocolates (with packaging).
The results found that it’s not length but girth that mattered more to women, as confirmed by Dr. Nicole Prause who headed up the study.
"To maximise the chances of receiving the sexual benefits it makes sense that women might prefer a larger girth penis that brings the clitoral glans closer to the friction point and also will stimulate the crura [legs] of the clitoris internally more," Prause told The Daily Beast.
"Since context matters, men should be thinking ‘fit’ rather than ‘fat’ with respect to their penis size. In other words, women may prefer different sizes for different reasons at different times, so chances are very good any guy is someone's ideal for the relationship type they are seeking."
Obviously, it's worth noting here - this is just one scientific study, conducted on a relatively small group of 75 participants a few years back now. Everyone's preference, ultimately, will be different, and not all people who identify as women will be attracted to people who identify as men, or penises generally. But still - interesting, no?
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Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
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