Length or Girth: What Do Women Prefer When it Comes to a Man’s Package?

Updated on March 27, 2023
Young man is sitting worried on his bed because of insomnia or some emotional problem

People come in all shapes and sizes, so it is reasonable to assume that even if you haven’t laid eyes on a multitude of penises, they come in all shapes and sizes as well. Size-wise, penises are typically referred to in terms of length and girth, but it has been an ongoing debate as to which of these two factors women prefer for aesthetics and sexual satisfaction. 

Men have heard for ages that “size doesn’t matter.” Popular sayings such as “It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean” have attempted to put men’s minds at ease about the size of their package. However, that has not some stopped men from concerning themselves with how they measure up to others or what women really think when the pants are off.

Let’s talk about averages 

A 2014 study by the British Journal of International Urology found that the average flaccid penis is 3.61 inches long, while the average erect penis is 5.16 inches. When measuring girth, the researchers found that the averages were 3.66 inches while flaccid and 4.59 inches while erect. 

Perhaps due to myth or comparison with the fabulously well-endowed stars of adult films, men may find those numbers surprisingly conservative. It should come as no surprise that most men overestimate what is considered a “normal” size. The size of one’s package can be affected by a number of factors, including genetics, age, body type, and even some medical conditions. 

Length vs. girth 

When discussing what is preferred — length or girth — it may come down to who you ask. Personal preferences are just that: personal. 

For instance, some women may feel that excessive length is an issue due to the pain it can cause from the penis hitting the cervix. Studies have shown that women, eight times out of ten, prefer girth to length, likely for this reason. 

A woman’s vagina is rather shallow, with the average depth reaching only 4.25 to 4.75 inches. From a simple math perspective, a well-endowed partner could actually create more discomfort for the average woman. The majority of women also find that they reach orgasm not through penetration but via clitoral stimulation, making girth far more of an advantage than length, as a thicker member would mean more clitoral impact. 

What about the “little guys?” 

Most men have heard stories, likely in “locker room talk” or jokes amongst friends, about the “micropenis.” A length of 2.5 inches or smaller is considered a micropenis and can often be diagnosed at birth. The reasons behind a smaller-than-average package vary but can include genetic abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, or injury. It can also indicate an intersex condition. 

Many with smaller-than-average penises can be treated through hormonal means or through penile enlargement implants. While a micropenis condition is rare, it is essential to note that having a smaller-than-average-sized penis does not necessarily mean that one cannot perform well between the sheets. 

The silver lining to the penis size issue is that we are living in a time of rapid evolution and innovation in terms of medical options. The dangerous penile enhancement options of old have given way to the first proven FDA-cleared cosmetic penile implant that has a strong track record of patient and partner satisfaction. 

Measuring up

It’s natural for men to be concerned about how they may “measure up” to other men. Even though most women have reported that they are satisfied with the size of their partner’s package, a recent study showed that their preferences might err on the side of slightly above average

Given this information, men may want to know where they fall on the size spectrum. Measuring one’s member is relatively easy — just grab a measuring tape and place it as close to your pelvic bone as possible. Stretch the tape all the way to the tip, making sure the tape remains straight. As for measuring girth, that can be done by wrapping the measuring tape around the thickest part of the penis, about halfway up. 

No matter where you stand regarding length and girth, it’s important to remember that partners are likely not nearly as concerned about the numbers as you may be. If you have persistent concerns about your size, a conversation with your doctor about your options may set your mind at ease. 

Penis size will continue to be a debate (and concern) among men who have grown up in a society that places undue emphasis on the size of one’s package. However, as we have seen from scientific and sociological research, actual size may not matter nearly as much as self-confidence and a relationship with one’s partner that encourages mutual satisfaction in the bedroom, regardless of size. 

Dr. James Elist

James J. Elist M.D, has been in private practice in Beverly Hills, California since 1982, specializing in urology, specifically in impotency, male sexual dysfunction, and infertility.

Dr. Elist has served as the chairperson and a member of several committees at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and other hospitals, including the Oncology Committee, Ethics Committee, Utilization Committee and Medical Records Review Committee.

Internationally, Dr. Elist has performed surgery and trained surgeons in the Middle East and Europe. Nationally, Dr. Elist is the first surgeon in the Los Angeles area to perform procedures involving penile prosthesis devices manufactured by American Medical Systems.