Anatomy/Physiology / Body Image / Desire / Erections / Gender / Penis Size

We Have A Little (Penis) Problem

Hey kittens, it’s Throwback Thursday and time for a vintage piece. This one originally ran in September 2010. It’s been updated to include recent links.

sexwithtimaree(at)gmail (dot)com 

Question to the Sexpert:

“This weekend I finally got intimate with a guy I’ve been seeing for a few months.  We went to some bars with friends then went back to my place.  When we got undressed I realized he had a tiny penis.  Even when erect it was small.  I gave it a try and was just disappointed.  Then he went to the bathroom and when he walked out with the light still on I almost giggled.  Keep in mind I was a little drunk.  I don’t think I’m shallow or an expert on sex: I’ve only been with a couple of guys.  What can I do? I like him.  Have you heard stories like this or has it happened to you?  Would you dump a guy for something like this?”

Ouch.  To both of you. And frankly, to the gentlemen at home (cause I know you can’t read this site at work) who suddenly feel self conscious, wondering if there are any partners out there who’ve talked about them like this.

Plenty of folks would give you the ole, “it’s not the size that matters but yadda yadda yadda something reassuring…” But saying size doesn’t matter is like telling a kid they can be President: technically true, but patently misleading. We all feel better saying it, but the reality is more complex.

The quick, reassuring and still true answer is that the majority of the nerves in the vagina are in the first 3 inches from the entrance (introitus) and that internet searches reveal women are more likely to complain about a penis being too large than too small. The equally true but less comfortable answer is that most women have desired sizes for penises – although the parameters are different for relationships versus hookups, reflecting both functional and aesthetic preferences.


You asked if I’ve heard this question before. Tiny penis questions come up frequently enough for sexperts. Partly because the question is legit and partly because it’s the one body image issue that men experience and women do not. Women get to feel shitty about everything from boob size to cankles. Men can be immediately emasculated by inferences that their penises are anything but gargantuan.

What would be a comparable question about a bedroom encounter with a woman? There’s nothing exactly like it, since vaginas are a potential space. You could find out a female has small breasts and feel like she was being dishonest by wearing a padded bra, but few people report the pleasure of their sexual experience is directly dependent upon  partner boob size.


The Professional Sex Educator Answer is that none of this should matter because penises-entering-vaginas is only one of an infinite number of sexual possibilities. It’s a very narrow, male and heterocentric vantage to place that much emphasis on one body part. Given how many people have satisfying, intimate, fun, exciting and mutually beneficial sex lives without ANY penises in the vicinity, it’s kind of arbitrary to be worried about this.

BUT only you can know, actually. Right now you’re still feeling each other out as partners. Perhaps you will find out you really dig each other and this relationship will get more serious and you’ll forget this was ever an issue for you. But in the meantime, this may come in the way of your ability to accurately assess how much you like him.

It comes down to this: does his penis size make you giggle because it’s unusual looking (and/or not attractive to you) or does his penis size an actual impediment to you having a sexual relationship? 

Every partner is going to have physical “flaws” at one time or another and we have to come to accept that our partners are human or be forever dissatisfied. If this is this guy’s only physical impediment to being your dream guy, then just give it some time. But if his size equates to lackluster sensation-less sex for you, this needs to be addressed.


So you got two options here: deal with it or decide it’s a deal breaker, like smoking or being an MRA or whatever. Some might call the decision shallow, but I withhold judgment. Only you can know if a partner is right for you and what attributes are important. Some people would dump a partner if they found out they had an STI, voted Republican or had ever been arrested. Nobody has to live with the choices you make except you.

If you decide to go forward with this guy, you can then choose how you react. You can either remain silent on the matter and hope you become accustomed to different sensations during sex (it might be an entirely different world when you’re both sober) or you can be upfront and do something about it.

It might be an awkward ass conversation and require a lot of both of you, but this is negotiable. If you need penetration to orgasm, make sure that he knows to use his fingers or propose that dildos be incorporated into your sessions. That is, after all, what they are for. Like vibrators, sex toys are not intended to usurp your partner but to add to their skill set. If your pleasure matters to him (and it better fucking matter) then he will set aside his ego to give you a good time.


So for now, give it time. Try to see how you feel about everything else about him: his personality, the way you two connect, what else he can do with his body when you get it on (again, try it sober too).  If the issue of his dick size remains a major concern for awhile, then your feelings towards him can’t possibly be that strong and maintaining the relationship for the sake of not feeling shallow is going to waste both of your time.

Questions? Comments? Violent reactions? Email or tweet @timaree_leigh See more at and

7 thoughts on “We Have A Little (Penis) Problem

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  4. Ah yes. Still one of my all-time favorite write ups here. Not that everything else Timaree posts here isn’t fabulous – it total is. I can’t speak to what anyone else might have dealt with in their lives, or if this is “misandry” or where this should fall of “should anyone give a shit about this”, when weighed against the vast spectrum of body image issues women are forced to deal with on a daily basis.

    But as a guy who falls well below what the experts and scientific research all define as an “average” penis, I have a lifetime of firsthand experience in dealing with all manner of reactions to my size, so I always appreciate realistic, let’s-cut-the-bs responses in sex advice columns and blogs. Timaree is great at that.

    I’ve been trying to decide how to write about and share my experiences without sounding like I’m looking for pity or providing stroke material for fetishists. Maybe someday, I’ll figure it out.

    – m

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