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Science Discovers the Perfect Penis (And Size Isn't Such a Big Deal)

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What makes a perfect penis? Ask a variety of women and you'll likely get a variety of opinions. But while beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, there are a few things that women prize in the male member. A new study, published in The Journal of Sexual Health, looked at what exactly puts the magic into Magic Mike and what they found may surprise you. (P.S.: Do you know What the Average Penis Size Is?)

In an effort to learn what standard to aim for when reconstructing injured or deformed penises (yes, really), researchers asked women to rank eight aspects of the package from least important to most important. And it's official: Bigger is not better—at least in the bedroom. Defying the stereotype, length did not come in first place. In fact, most women didn't find it very important at all, ranking it in sixth place. Cosmetic appearance came in first place, with groomed pubic hair in second, and girth in third. (Don't miss these 5 Weird (But Totally Normal) Side Effects of Sex.)

These findings don't surprise Sherry Ross, M.D., an ob-gyn and women's sex expert. "There's a lot of sexual confusion with what we're told we as women should like and what we actually do like," she says. Cleanliness is definitely priority No. 1 for women, says Philip Werthman, M.D., a urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine in LA. While he says that men often worry irrationally about the length of their manhood, their wives and girlfriends are more focused on hygiene. And length becomes even less important when you're talking about sexual satisfaction, say both doctors.

"There's a rumor that women prefer bigger, longer penises for sex, but all of my conversations with women on my table say the opposite," Ross says. Instead, she says that penises longer than the average five to seven inches in length are more likely to cause pain, injury, and even vaginal tearing during sex. 

Plus, a smaller penis may actually mean better sex. "Most women don't orgasm from penetration alone so it's important to try different positions that allow for more clitoral stimulation. A shorter penis offers more options for positioning, and therefore better stimulation," she explains. For example, having the woman on top offers better access to the clitoris, but because it also allows for deeper penetration, this can be painful with an extra-long penis.

Girth seems to be the big (ahem) factor when it comes to sexual satisfaction. "A thicker penis can provide a pleasurable feeling of fullness," Werthman explains.

But all studies aside, both docs say that the perfect penis is whatever works best for the man and his partner—people have a wide variety of preferences! "The perfect penis (and vagina) are more of a mental thing than a physical one," Ross says.

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