How should I compensate for something?
September 6, 2012 8:19 PM   Subscribe

How do I make the most of my smaller-than-average penis? Snowflakey details follow.

I'm a 24-year-old man. My penis is a little less than five inches long at its most erect. More importantly, it doesn't have much girth. Somehow, it's a grower.

This wouldn't worry me, but I haven't had sex or a relationship. There's not much reason for a woman to think she'll have a good time with me. I've always been timid, and I've been sad since puberty. These things, plus feelings of personal fraudulence, generally kept me from asking women out. I'm looking for therapy.

I'm also taking up regular exercise and a less gluttonous diet. Weakness and ugliness didn't help the timidity. The sadness didn't help the weakness and ugliness. Even after a short time, I feel good, and I hope I'll be in better shape and higher spirits by this time next year.

But besides solving my physical and psychological problems, I'd like to have some practical advice on how not to blow it in bed. Simply having something in the back of my mind would ease my worries.

I've been reading The Guide to Getting It On and various sex threads elsewhere on AskMe. I know the basic mechanics, I know not to be ashamed of what I've got, and I know that communication rocks.

I certainly know not to imitate porn, which would be foolish even if I were hung like John Holmes.

But the details elude me. I'm given to understand that I need to avoid certain positions, but which ones? Which ones make good substitutes?

"Get good at oral and manual" is the standard advice, but what should I do on my first try? What should I absolutely avoid doing if I want to help my partner have a good time? What should I definitely do?

How should I play off my inexperience? What should I do (and how do I keep from going to pieces) if someone looks down and says "No, thanks"?

Even the most general advice would be appreciated.
posted by Rustic Etruscan to Human Relations (42 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

What should I do (and how do I keep from going to pieces) if someone looks down and says "No, thanks"?

I guarantee you that if you get to a point where you are naked with a person in anticipation of consensual sex they will absolutely not look at your penis and say "No thanks" unless it's bright green or sporting an open wound.
posted by carsonb at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2012 [42 favorites]

"Fake it till you make it" is actually a lot more efficacious than its bromideish quality would suggest.
posted by deathpanels at 8:26 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

This advice goes for any man; ask her what she likes. There's no hard and fast (sorry!) rules for what gets every woman off. Make it playful and fun, chances are she'll be a bit nervous too and don't think you're a failure if you don't get her off your first time, it takes a while to figure out how two people click. Your penis size honestly doesn't factor that much into things.
posted by Jubey at 8:28 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Why oh why do you think you are smaller than average? And how does that have anything to do with the sex you aren't having? You only need to be compatible with the person you're having sex with. All other "norms" and "averages" are irrelevant. What if you're bigger than your partner's last lover? Whoa! That could happen, you know.

I'm gonna throw this out there - you let me know if it sticks. This penis issue is just another road block to getting yourself sorted and in the proper space for a relationship that might include sex. It's very scary to put yourself out there and risk rejection. So you maybe come up with ways to protect yourself. You just need to get out there. Don't think about your penis! That's like waaaaaaay down the list of things you gotta address.

A long time ago, had a friend who would go on and on about his tiny penis. Seriously. He was bemoaning this to a few of us girls and we were so sick of it. Like, what does he want us to say? So, we say, enough! Let us see it! After much cajoling and promises of total secrecy, he drops his pants. Now, really, we were young and hadn't seen a ton of penises (that's by weight, not volume) but guess what?! It seemed very average and fine to us. Double-bonus: he never mentioned it again!

Look, everyone had something but I seriously doubt yours is your penis.
posted by amanda at 8:37 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: What should I do (and how do I keep from going to pieces) if someone looks down and says "No, thanks"?
No one will do that unless you have weeping sores. Even then... I mean, shit gets spread somehow, right? I have never gotten far enough with a new man to see his penis and allowed him to think that I had even the slightest misgivings about it's size, shape, colour, or function.

(TMI? This includes the time I guy that I had been dating for about two weeks tore his foreskin while we were making out, getting blood all over me and having to be driven to the hospital. Most girls have it pretty heavily instilled in them not to hurt a man's feelings about his junk. I cleaned myself off with alcohol and pretended I wasn't completely horrified and revolted.Also, don't let this story scare you, he wasn't seriously hurt- he didn't even notice it had happened. Apparently it's quite commone.)

I think upping your confidence is going to do more for you than anything else, and you won't be able to up your confidence without good old fashioned practise. Umm, I don't know where you stand on the whole premarital sex thing, but if you're not against it, you should just... do it. Expecting it to be bad the first time. It gets better as you go. If you are waiting for marriage, then first of all, good for you and thank you for being so considerate of your future spouse! well, the girl that you love (your wife!) and you can have a great experience of learning together how to please one another and you won't have any bad habits from old partners to unlearn!

But really, being confident in bed and enjoying yourself is far more important than anything else. Back in my party days, I had some potentially-satisfying sex that was ruined by the guy being flustered, apologetic, and uncomfortable- regardless of his equipment; and I had some mind-blowing orgasms with small-equipmented men who were present, engaged, involved in our awesome chemistry, and busy trying to make me and themself feel good. Sex is something where you have to be able to stop thinking, to get lost and fully absorbed in it to really enjoy it. Like dancing. (There's a thought- take up dancing! It will give you grace, rythm and teach you how to lead!)
posted by windykites at 8:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Really don't worry about the size. There's lots of ladies who find giant cocks are actually really uncomfortable. You might want to add dance lessons to your self-improvement plan to get used to the whole body/movement/interaction thing to get a better idea of how people go back and forth. But you don't have to. People have been figuring this stuff out together for a long time.
posted by bleep at 8:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oh, goodness! Five inches is average, not small!

And I'm not sure where you've gotten the idea that you're supposed to avoid certain positions - different people like different things, but positions matter less than the feelings you bring to bed with you. Start by doing what you *want* to do. Stroke, rub, lick, kiss anything that you have the urge to. Things generally progress naturally from there. As the saying goes, if it feels good, do it.

And yeah, nobody's gonna say "no, thanks.". I really think men care more about penis size than women do.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:42 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have no idea what the exact length of my husband's penis is. Seriously. Most women do not obsess about this. (In fact, most women are happy when penises are not cervix-ramming length.)

You are so close to the average that this topic will likely not even come up — I would not notice, personally. I keep lube by the bed, not a ruler.

Please remember that every woman is different. You're not going to hit on The One True Sex Answer. Some of us are very sensitive, and others need more pressure on specific points. Some like certain positions, others hate those positions. Some like talking, some like silence, some like lights on, some like blindfolds. Some don't get orgasms but like sex anyway. No matter how many partners you have, you will never know exactly what to do the first time with a new partner. You need to learn how that person gets off.

Also (and maybe this sounds patronizing but I didn't even kiss anyone until I was 23 and it surprised me how true this was) you are a mammal. Instincts and hormones will kick in and do their job. Sex is (frankly) weird and gross and then you're doing it and oh god yes. Your body will know things your brain doesn't know yet. And then it gets normal and routine and you can't believe how much you stressed about it.

Listen. Experiment. Laugh with your partner about the weird noises and awkward positions and then kiss more and keep going.

and you have no STIs for a new partner to worry about, and you haven't learned habits based on other girls' preferences! bonus!
posted by sadmadglad at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2012 [11 favorites]

The best sex advice for men I've ever read is VICE's Guide to Eating Pussy (NSFW). As a lady, I totally read along going "uh-hu, yup, sounds right" Just so you have some background knowledge when you go for the plunge...
posted by Grandysaur at 8:55 PM on September 6, 2012 [12 favorites]

Also, nthing that you're not small.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:56 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There will be women for whom it is a positive rather than a problem, even if they don't want to exactly announce it to the world (for much the same reason that you think your size is a problem: women are also subjected to social stereotypes concerning what they "should" want, etc). I was raped as a child. It took me decades to get over the fear of being physically hurt in bed again. I would have had real serious issues with trying to make it work with someone very hung. You might also search for a recent thread here on vaginismus. I imagine for at least some women with that issue, smaller would be a good thing. Not all women think "the bigger, the better".

I used to talk to some guy online. I eventually realized he was hung and hiding that fact from me. I asked him why. He told me "It scares some women." Yeah, women like me. He no doubt realized that was an issue for me and wanted to help me get over it before admitting he was big. He didn't want me to flee in the other direction before he had any chance to get to know me better. Good call.

You have what you have but always keep in mind that it is a package deal. No one single thing about you is likely to be the make or break for a relationship or even a roll in the hay. During my divorce, I finally got it through my thick skull that some things I thought were "bugs" were seen as "features" by some men. The Persian cat from "Over the hedge" comes to mind. He fell madly in love with the very beautiful lady skunk who thought no one could stand her smell. He had no sense of smell. To him, she was perfect just the way she was.

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 8:58 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

You're average dude, not smaller than average. I think the best thing you could do for your sex life is stop watching porn, or at least try to watch porn involving more average dudes. Men in porn are picked because gigantic penises look better on camera. Unfortunately this gives men who watch a lot of porn the impression this is common. Expecting your penis to be that size is as silly as expecting the women you're with to look and act like porn actresses.
posted by Anonymous at 9:01 PM on September 6, 2012

I could not even BEGIN to tell you how big any of my partners' cocks have been. I could tell you who was a little bigger than others, but even that is a bit hazy. That's because I just plain love the person I'm with. Period.

Learn to have fun and take the pressure off. I know that's easy for me to say right now, but having a sense of humor about sex really makes it that much more enjoyable. I guarantee you one of you will fart, or fall off the bed, or squirt the lube all over the pillow. There are many more things for BOTH of you to worry about -- or, really, NOT worry about -- than just "oh, gee, what is she going to say about my tiny penis?" Chances are, she won't be able to compare it to much, either.
posted by Madamina at 9:03 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: From a MeFite who would prefer to remain anonymous:
My partner has a penis that looks about half an inch long when not erect. Part of this is because he's got sort of a layer of fat surrounding it, but it's not particularly large even when erect.

Both of my previous long-term partners had larger than average cocks. One was particularly big and masculine in general, and I thought I was only able to be satisfied with a lot of girth and a little bit of being overpowered. When I first got together with my current partner, I asked him if he could be a little more dominant, thinking that might pick up the slack. He refused, saying that he just wasn't that kind of guy. He's gentle and loving, and he does everything he can to make me happy.

My current partner has never been less than confident, and he's the best partner I've ever had. (Side note: the one with the biggest dick was the absolute worst. Couldn't get it up -- but swore he could, and that it was my fault we had bad sex.) He satisfies me with and without using his penis, and even when things are not ideal (let's face it, we all have those times), it never hurts.

I really, really enjoy sex with him and his not-so-big cock, and I don't plan to ever find another partner :D Just take a deep breath and learn how to be GGG -- good, giving and game. Your partner will adore you for it.
posted by jessamyn at 9:04 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think that's the perfect size.
posted by ibakecake at 9:04 PM on September 6, 2012

And let me add that I am not trying to imply there is something wrong with your size, just your perspective. That's it.
posted by Michele in California at 9:05 PM on September 6, 2012

The real answer here is to get out and go on dates rather than worry about this (or to go to therapy, if worrying about this is preventing you from going on dates). Worrying about sex in the abstract is just not very useful.

I don't think I have ever measured my dick, and I'm not even sure how -- top? bottom? on the side? do you press into the soft flesh or rest the ruler on the skin? And I'm certain that not only does my wife -- who has seen, touched, licked, and had inside her that penis countless times -- not have any idea how many inches I might measure, she would probably not be at all accurate if I were to ask her to estimate its size by holding her hands apart.

I've had sex with two or three women who were all "Ow! ow! You are too big!" And I've had sex with one or two who actually said things like "Is it in yet?" But both of those are unusual -- in my limited experience, women do not comment on, or probably even really notice, one's penis size. I'm sure if your nickname was "Horse Cock" they might notice, and if you had a medical anomalously small penis they might notice, but for all of us who are more or less in the "normal" range I think other things far outweigh penis size. I mean, things like do you smell nice? Are you fun to kiss? Do you make them feel good before you even get near the bedroom?

Lastly, you mentioned something about going on a diet. Depending on how you are measuring, you might find that measurement changing if your weight changes, for obvious reasons.
posted by Forktine at 9:11 PM on September 6, 2012

I had a girlfriend who could not have intercourse with her previous boyfriend because his penis was too large for her vagina. She was glad my penis was smaller than his. So was I.
posted by alms at 9:12 PM on September 6, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I've dated guys of all different shapes and sizes and it's really not that big a deal. It's like me worrying about breast size [are mine too big? are they not big enough? are they weird sizes? do they look funny? Is someone going to say something?] it's just nutty thinking and not helpful. Hopefully this little round of feedback will help you sort of center yourself so that if someone was really weird about it, it's clearly their deal not yours.

In the meantime here are some suggestions

- health and fitness and confidence are always sexy - learn to like your own body, find out what is good about it, what works for you, be proud of it
- get good at moving your body - dancing or stretching or hiking or taking yoga or something that is just not in a chair or on the couch
- learn to appreciate other people's bodies - it's sort of like the small talk advice which is "ask people about themselves" it's really sexy when people find YOU sexy, so keep that in mind about your future partners. What do you like about them? How can you tell them? How can you show them?
- Have a nice place that you like and you'd like to bring someone back to - have a bedroom that is comfy and clean enough and smells decent and have things on hand or nearby like lube and condoms and more than one pillow
- people say ask her what she likes which is good advice but keep in mind that she might be shy too so sometimes it's good to ... make suggestions, the difference between "what would you like me to do to you?" (can be awkward) and "Want me to go down on you?" (better!) and "I'd love to go down on you" (with implied "would you like that?)
- you've gotten good advice on positions, it's also worth mentioning that a lot of people change it up during sex [not like porn exactly but not NOT like it, if that makes sense] so if something's not working for you, it's not at all weird to be like "How about trying this? Does that feel good?" I'm surprised with my current SO how rarely we do any of the "normal" positions because we have a few that work for us that we like more, you'll find ones that work for you

And just in general for a lot of people who are new at things, don't be afraid to take it slow and just spend a lot of time getting used to (and enjoying!) touching someone else. Backrubs! Taking a bath together! Snuggling! Napping! It's a simple and fun feeling way to gain more confidence that "Yes this person really does want to touch me" and at that point you'll find yourself forgetting about how big your penis is or isn't because there's so much more to fooling around with folks than that.
posted by jessamyn at 9:39 PM on September 6, 2012 [8 favorites]

Best answer: There's not much reason for a woman to think she'll have a good time with me.

To preface what I am about to say, I am a straight female in my 20's who doesn't know you, has no reason to blow smoke up your ass, and am comfortable with saying potentially hurtful truths if it's necessary.

Here are the things that make me think I will have a good time with a guy, sexually speaking:

1. I think he is really cute.
2. I also think he is really nice. He is a normal friendly guy and is not pushy or judgmental.
Unnecessary bonus: He seems fun and seems like he has a good sense of humor.

Here are some things that are not on my list: How sexually experienced he is, how suave he is, whether or not he is muscular and jacked, and, without a doubt, how big his dick is is not on my list at all. For me, it is utterly irrelevant to how good of a time I am going to have. Unless it is TOO big and the "cervix banging" mentioned above happens. That is extremely painful and unpleasant. But even then, someone who cares about making his partner happy can avoid that.

What should I do (and how do I keep from going to pieces) if someone looks down and says "No, thanks"?

I honestly cannot even imagine anyone saying this. I would never say anything like this in a bajillion years. I cannot imagine anyone I know saying this. If someone were that rude and mean, you would have an inkling of it LONG before then, this is not an action of a normal person.

You know, real women are very different from the pop culture projections of women. Remember that so many young female characters in TV and movies are written by men. And then more boys grow up watching these characters and "learn" that this is how young women are, some of the boys become TV writers, and they write even more female characters based on what they "know" about how young women are. It's this bizarre feedback loop, and real women are very, very different.

But the details elude me. I'm given to understand that I need to avoid certain positions, but which ones? Which ones make good substitutes?

"Get good at oral and manual" is the standard advice, but what should I do on my first try? What should I absolutely avoid doing if I want to help my partner have a good time? What should I definitely do?

What you should definitely do is get really good at communication. Actually first, making someone feel very comfortable with you and able to share what they want with you. Then the communication.

Because different women are going to have very different preferences. Lots of women hate receiving oral sex, while lots ONLY want to do that, and you have the whole range in between too. One woman might prefer to have her ahkles on your shoulders, and another woman could find that uncomfortable and unpleasant to the extreme.

Just be friendly, and non-judgmental, and gently ASK the other person what she likes, and try different things, experiment, and pay attention to reactions. And you will be just fine.
posted by cairdeas at 9:56 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Oh, here's something else. I think most women date primarily for reasons other than sex. Maybe it's easier to speak for myself here: I have never dated a guy just because I wanted to have sex with him and how the sex was would not make or break something except in the extreme. I've mainly dated guys because I've had crushes on them, because I really liked them as people and thought they were really smart, or really cute, and because I wanted love, and companionship, and fun. (And, when I was a little bit younger than you, I also wanted someone to protect me.) And yes, sex too, but that was kind of a given and the other things were harder to find. I don't think my reasons for wanting to date are very rare among women. And I think if the woman has things she's looking for and she is getting that in you, and she really likes you a lot, odds are that she would not throw that away based on what the sex was like, and if it wasn't working for her she would put effort into trying to make it work.
posted by cairdeas at 10:20 PM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If men like big boobs or curvy butts, well it's obvious. Women with dating experience are somewhat used to the penis size/shape being a 'surprise'. If you've been on a few dates with a nice woman and things finally end up with an introduction to your penis, I assure you that a) your penis is not small enough to warrant prior notice, and b) she's got enough invested so far that she's not going to say anything, you're still getting laid. It'd take someone pretty awful to stop and say 'no thanks' if they were into you previously.

I've seen them in all shapes and sizes. I've been with a guy whose penis was the size of my index finger - as long and as wide. You're not that small. Another guy was probably about your size, from what I remember of that one, here's what I suggest: I'd probably not go with missionary position, you can start off with it but as sex goes on and she loosens up, it's not going to be as good as others. Doggy style would enable deeper penetration, and helps her close her legs to really keep her tight. Also, she'll probably be able to take all of you in while riding on top. I suggest you learn the technique of rotating your hips in circles during sex once in a while, will help her feel the pressure of your member all around the walls of her orifice. Can be kind of silly, but try it. Enthusiasm counts for 90%.

They do have penis sheaths that you can wear over your own dick, if your lady expresses a desire to get filled once in a while. Just saying it's an option, later on.
posted by lizbunny at 10:55 PM on September 6, 2012

Best answer: My penis is a little less than five inches long at its most erect. More importantly, it doesn't have much girth.

Congratulations, you are an average human specimen, and not a porn actor.

There's not much reason for a woman to think she'll have a good time with me.

Nonsense. Don't talk to yourself that way.

I'd like to have some practical advice on how not to blow it in bed. Simply having something in the back of my mind would ease my worries.

I'll say this as concisely as possible: worrying, itself, is your biggest enemy. Don't worry. Worrying about how you are doing in bed -- especially worrying your body -- means ignoring all the things you should do. Tell yourself that you're going to do your best, then do your best. Don't fill your mind up with worry. There'll be no room for anything else.

What should I absolutely avoid doing if I want to help my partner have a good time?

Don't worry, and don't make it all about fucking. Even if you are John Holmes. This is advice that is completely penis-size-agnostic. Even women who really like fucking, in my experience, want a much more generous helping of other-kinds-of-contact.

What should I definitely do?

Everything else. Actively and with full engagement: talking, asking, listening, paying attention; relaxing, letting your guard down, laughing, cuddling, massaging, making out; warming up, getting aroused, grinding, undressing, rolling around, fondling, kissing, licking, nibbling, squeezing, holding, stroking, scratching ... gradually and attentively. And maybe, if you're with one of the sorts of women who are into it, maybe getting around to fucking. Which your normal body will be just fine at (if you're sufficiently relaxed).

What should I do (and how do I keep from going to pieces) if someone looks down and says "No, thanks"?

This is categorically impossible.
posted by ead at 11:06 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

I might get pilloried for suggesting it but it might boost your confidence if you have sex with a paid professional provider somewhere where such services are legal, safe, and of course voluntary on the part of the provider (maybe easier said than done with all the exploitation that supposedly is associated with that industry). I've never done that myself, so no I'm not basing this comment on any personal experience. Just trying to think outside the box (oh dear).
posted by Dansaman at 11:39 PM on September 6, 2012

sidenote: the VICE guide was fucking awful, and I would be totally unimpressed with that as a manual for oral sex performed on me. Ugh. So, y'know, everyone is totally different! Including when it comes to sex.

I just wanted to echo the: you're average, not small, and small isn't a problem anyway. And anyone who is a jerk to you when you get naked with them is someone you do not want to sleep with because they are fucking terrible people.

Communication is vital and it can be sexy - it depends on your partner. Ask if they like what is happening, if the answer is kinda noncommittal, ask what you can do to change. Ask if they'd prefer something. Don't assume all women like oral, or manual, stimulation. Don't assume all women want sex and foreplay forever. Work out what you like - this includes not masturbating the same way every time because nobody can mimic that properly. So spend a little time getting to know yourself as well, so when she's asking you what you like, you've got an answer.

Seriously though, that VICE guide was fucking nasty and I'm feeling icked out by reading it.
posted by geek anachronism at 1:48 AM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

I don't think you have anything to worry about. Be sure to have a heavy make out session or two before actual penetrative sex. That way the woman will be able to grasp, feel and know the size of your penis and become comfortable with it.

Are there size queens out there, woman who want nothing but a huge cock? Sure, but they aren't the women for you and that's ok. Plenty of other women may have a preference, but just as any woman is more than just her pussy, you are more than your dick. Most woman love the penis of the guy they're attracted to, because its the one attached to that personality they like.

In the end, I suspect this has little to do with any one man's cock. It's more about white males of Western society feeling the need to compare themselves to black men, with an irrational fear they'll always come up short. Forget it, heterosexual women love cock, especially the cock of the man they're dating or sleeping with, no matter the color.

Go forth and worry no more.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 AM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

You are well in the average range. There you have it, worry no more.

Everyone worries that they won't be any good before they get a chance to test it. Just remember you are just going to get better from where ever you start. Be open with the women you date about your lack of experence- it isn't even that unusual. I've met many people who are close to thirty and just never got to that point- many for no reason other thab it just hadn't happened yet. The woman you want to begin your partnered sex life with is going to be charmed and into your newness.
posted by Blisterlips at 4:56 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

So, y'know, everyone is totally different! Including when it comes to sex.

As another point to this comment, some women DO enjoy the cervix banging type of sex. And if the man I'm with isn't quite capable in one position, we either find a position that works or have a hell of a good time with something else.

Relax, have a good time, and remember a good time doesn't always have to mean an orgasm for both, one, or either of you.
posted by Talia Devane at 6:29 AM on September 7, 2012

Best answer: Hey dude, I was a late bloomer of sorts myself. I found that all those things you put yourself down for I had too, but you can simplify it and just realize the effect of those things is that you have low confidence, and the ONLY thing any girl will see is that. If you paint a better picture of yourself in your mind, you'll be able to walk and talk with confidence, and you'll be able to better converse and flirt with women, and once you get to that point just keep doing it. I hated that even being in decent shape and good appearance that I'd see amazingly hot girls with overweight / doucheylooking a-holes, but then realized that those dudes don't realize they're pieces of shit. They legitimately think they are awesome and they project it to girls they talk to who think "hey, this guy is awesome, I dont know why but I want to sleep with him."

It worked better for me to work my confidence up and THEN bring my physique up to that level, rather than the other way around, which is really self-defeating and frustrating. Maybe a therapist can help you there but once you get in a better mindset the exercise / good eating comes easier.

And the penis thing... if you've been shmoozing with a girl all night, make her giggle, make out a little, and she brings you back to her place for sex... that thats it. You're solidly average. She's not gonna laugh at you or change her mind, trust me.

Another tip as a grower: I've been told by half a dozen women that the thing that turns them on the most is when they can get me out before I'm turned on at all and watch/feel it grow. I thought this was weird as hell but I've heard it enough, they must really dig it.
posted by el_yucateco at 6:51 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Nthing everyone above pointing out that you are so well within the normal range of penis size that your partners are not going to even notice or care.

If by some highly highly highly highly unlikely chance you do run into a woman who looks down and says, "No Thanks", you should grab your clothes, vacate the premises immediately (or kick her out if it's your place), delete her number from your phone, block her email, and thank your lucky stars that you've learned that she's a sociopath before the relationship goes any further.

I'm given to understand that I need to avoid certain positions, but which ones? Which ones make good substitutes?

Positions to avoid are positions that you or your partner find physically or psychologically uncomfortable or unsatisfying. Regardless of penis size. You won't know which those are unless you ask or until you try.

"Get good at oral and manual" is the standard advice, which has nothing to do with penis size. Oral sex is still SEX, and manual sex is still SEX, and getting good at them means you have a lot more ways to have GOOD SEX.

You should take a deep breath and realize that every single person on Planet Earth was inexperienced the first time they had sex. Which means that like 99% of us had some kind of fumbling, awkward, uncertain, uncomfortable moment or two or 50 (I suppose there have to be a few people out there who just got lucky and had amazing sex the first time). So you should really not psych yourself out thinking that you have to wow your partner right off the bat - it's TOTALLY NORMAL to be be not-so-hot at sex when you're first having it.

There is really no way to get good at sex by reading about it - you have to (rimshot) DO IT. Luckily, as the joke goes, "sex is like pizza - even when it's bad it's pretty good." As long as you're communicating (before, during, and after), your partners are going to be a lot more forgiving of your inexperience than you think they are.

If therapy is what you need to get yourself out there into dating and sex and relationships, then you should get that started ASAP, but otherwise I think you should step away from the books and guides and websites - I think cumulatively they're making you think, "IF IT'S NOT FANTASTIC MIND-BLOWING EARTH-SHAKING SEX IT'S NOT EVEN WORTH BOTHERING TO TRY." Which is false.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:03 AM on September 7, 2012

Also keep in mind that most women, when they "just want sex", can easily go get it. Its alittle harder for them to find decent boyfriends. So if you can be a decent boyfriend you're already in high demand, you just have to advertise yourself.

Its surprisingly harder to be a decent boyfriend than it is to give good sex. I bet if you found yourself a girlfriend and treated her decent, she'd have a blast teaching you the ropes. Just be careful you don't fall head over heels over the first one (again, harder than it sounds!!) as any girl I've been with has been a unique learning experience!
posted by el_yucateco at 7:11 AM on September 7, 2012

You have ten fingers and a tongue don't you?

The size of your penis isn't everything. In my experiences, the quality of sex had nothing to do with size at all.
posted by Shouraku at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2012

Nthing "Don't worry."

From personal experience, a cock closer to "average length" is much easier to suck than a huge one. :)

Also, cock rings are your friend. :)
posted by Val_E_Yum at 9:02 AM on September 7, 2012

Best answer: Just want to say one last thing:

What should I absolutely avoid doing if I want to help my partner have a good time?

One thing that I just wanted to say more explicitly is that you might end up pressuring her into something she actually DOESN'T like if you stay so focused on your hangups and make assumptions that she feels the same way you do about your size and that it's something that needs to be compensated for.

Like if you get it into your mind that certain positions aren't "good" unless you have a huge penis, so you kind of resist it if the woman wants to do that position, and push for a "better" one instead. Which could actually be one that's painful or uncomfortable or just boring and unstimulating for her.

Or, if you just get self-conscious about penetrative sex at all, and kind of resist that and try to steer things towards you performing oral sex on her instead. Which she may actually HATE but just figure that's what you would rather do, and grit her teeth through it.

Don't project your own issues onto your partners and assume they agree anything needs to be compensated for or changed in any way.
posted by cairdeas at 9:07 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some women have shorter vaginas. They'll like shorter penises (which does not mean that they are actually short). As said before, hitting the cervix HURTS. But if the guy can't stick it all the way in, a lot of times, HE's not enjoying sex as much, which also usually affects the woman.

Different women like different things. As long as you are attentive to their body language and willing to experiment to see what works for both of you, you'll be fine.

Lastly, many (possibly most?) women are unable to orgasm from vaginal penetrative sex. (Which is not to say that orgasms are the be-all-end-all of sex; they're absolutely not.) Those who do tend to be super sensitive at the g-spot (which is rubbed by the ridge that separates the head from the shaft) so position and technique are much more important that size and shape. Either case, your penis size/shape/whatever probably won't make a difference with whether she finishes or not. (Another hint: some women only need to finish once, some need to multiple times. And some just want you to finish.)
posted by ethidda at 9:16 AM on September 7, 2012

As someone on the larger side of average length, I have run into the cervix depth issue with some partners (especially shorter ladies). So, being a bit on the other side of average can be a drag too. If I was much bigger, I'd expect to have had to deal with that w/almost every partner. I'm glad that's not the case.

The only girl I've been with who had a preoccupation w/size in getting enough stimulation related her associated reservations in previous relationships as being entirely her own issue to deal with, rather than some demerit against the fella in question. And she was not normally a very empathetic soul.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:38 AM on September 7, 2012

The comparison to breast size is a pretty good one. Bigger ones are visually stimulating, but when you get down to brass tacks, it doesn't really matter. Would you dump a person you loved because she had A cups and not B cups, or B cups and not C cups? Trust me, you'll be perfectly fine (and you are just about average!).
posted by stoneandstar at 8:05 PM on September 7, 2012

Response by poster: Hey, thanks for the feedback, guys. Sorry it took so long to get back. I minimize Metafilter use at work, I exercised upon getting out, and I went to a friend's house after that.

I don't think I have ever measured my dick, and I'm not even sure how -- top? bottom? on the side? do you press into the soft flesh or rest the ruler on the skin?

The "almost five inches" measurement comes from pressing the end of a tape measure into the soft flesh beside the shaft, so it's generous. Still, it doesn't matter: Everyone here says I have nothing to worry about but my worry. Having worried over what kind of response my question would get, I believe it. Time to double down on that therapy search.

You know, real women are very different from the pop culture projections of women. Remember that so many young female characters in TV and movies are written by men. And then more boys grow up watching these characters and "learn" that this is how young women are, some of the boys become TV writers, and they write even more female characters based on what they "know" about how young women are. It's this bizarre feedback loop, and real women are very, very different.

Point taken, and to heart. I quit porn recently, but I was a frequent user for a long time. I don't doubt but I've come to make assumptions about women that I would never think consciously.


If you replace "sex" with any other activity, you'll probably get a thought that crossed my mind today. This attitude has hurt me in the past, and I'll need to fight it. In the meantime, I'll cool it on the books, websites, etc., fascinating as they are.

- Have a nice place that you like and you'd like to bring someone back to - have a bedroom that is comfy and clean enough and smells decent and have things on hand or nearby like lube and condoms and more than one pillow

This is going to be tough for the next few years. I don't make much money, but I have student loans to pay, so I've moved in with my mother and my stepfather. I pay a rent well below the market rate. Thanks to an inheritance and some gifts, I'll be able to clear one of my loans in the next three years. The money freed from that monthly payment will then help pay down another loan, and so on.

Given the circumstances, cleaning my room, clearing it of things I don't need, is the least I can do. I still have enough money to take improv lessons and go to the city when I have cabin fever.

That's enough threadsitting. Thanks again, everyone.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:49 PM on September 7, 2012

Another voice for you're average, not small, and most women don't care. Back in the day, I've seen my share of dicks and they're all wonderful, or not, because of the guy they're attached to. I had a boyfriend (briefly) with this huge penis the length and curvature of a banana and it was sort of scary, and he seemed to think that his big curvy member was a substitute for any sort of sexy play. And sometimes it hurt, not in a good way at all. My ex-husband's penis was smaller than most of my other lovers, but our sex life was one of the few awesome things we had together.

Also, I had sex with a guy with a truly small penis. I was very young, 19 I think, and it was sort of shocking, it was not bigger around than my pinky and not as long, erect. I didn't freak out or anything, and we had fun.

A caring, interested man who loves to have groovin sex with me, and is easy to talk about sex with, is a lot more important than either his experience or the size of his penis.
posted by upatree at 8:51 PM on September 7, 2012

The moment the pants come off is always a penis-surprise for me. The funny thing is, there is no way I would call things off at that point. Most women have not arrived at that moment without a lot of inner-consultation. You passed the test long before any nakedness was involved.
posted by Foam Pants at 9:24 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I have a smart, confident, affectionate, charismatic, totally awesome male friend who once confided in me that he was staying in a seriously-not-good relationship in large part because she occasionally told him that his penis was "big." Obviously key parts of the appeal was that he didn't personally think his penis was "big" and the idea that her affirmation that he had a desirable (to him, this is what "big" (and perhaps only the adjective "big")) penis was a factor that basically outweighed every other indication that this was a terrible relationship for both of them.

This was kind of an awkward conversation for friends to have, but I told him then (what I seriously believe is true) is that I think one of the best-yet-totally-not-unreasonable-expectations is not to get some hollow vote from a partner that your X has attribute Y that you think abstract hypothetical partners are "supposed" to desire, but in fact, it is to hear from him or her that he/she has been thinking about your X all day, and craving it, and remembering how amazing your X felt on or in his/her tongue and/or other body part, and that every time he/she has thought about your X at work today or even just walking down the street, his/her Z got warm and started to throb and now all he/she can do is think about it is having the chance to practically worship your addictive X and get his/her fix and ohmigod can we just skip that group happy hour tonight and dive into sexy naked time instead?

Back to the story (and, um, pardon me if I've distracted), he broke up with that woman within a week after our talk, and dated some great (and sexy) women and is now married to and raising fantastic happy kids with a 100% incredible woman who adores and craves every millimeter of his body... and believes him when he says he adores and craves every millimeter of hers... and the size of his penis or the symmetry of nipples or the number of freckles or the visibility of stretchmarks or the distribution of body hair or even some unexpected webbing between some toes is honestly not even the tiniest consideration in how great their love life or their sex life is today, or has been for years.

Please listen to me when I tell you, as a woman who has been dating men for more than 20 years, there is no need for you to try to "compensate" for anything. There is no reason, NONE, that what you believe is a "below-average"-sized penis (not true, by the way) or that the characteristics of your penis in combination with your "weakness" or "ugliness" somehow means unequivocally that "there's not much reason for a woman to think she'll have a good time with me."

From my story, for example, what do you think you can assume about my friend's true penis size, or his fitness (strength?), or his body type, or his facial features, or his skin conditions, or his height, or his baldness, or anything else he might have convinced himself meant wasn't even worth his awesome-now-wife's time? Do you think SHE would be better off or happier today if he had let his presumptions about his penis size, or the criterion that a woman told him it was "big," had been driving factors in how he chose who (or whether) to date or share in all the joys and craziness and unpredictability of sex and love at all?

You can do this. We are all amateurs when it comes to dating and sex and love, every time we try it with someone new, and we all feel exposed and vulnerable and insecure and eager to make our partners happy and worried that we might fall short (as it were). You are completely, totally, in every way normal in this. I repeat: you can, and deserve to, join right the hell in and be a fun, exciting, desirable, satisfying partner in every way possible. I sincerely believe that your penis is just one of the many lust-worthy and lovable assets you will bring to your next encounter. BRING IT.
posted by argonauta at 2:05 AM on September 8, 2012

Adding another voice to the "that's totally a normal size" chorus.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 PM on October 22, 2012

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