Yes, there is a ton of science on average penis length and girth—even if it has little to no effect on satisfaction.

By Maressa Brown
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A multitude of factors—from your cycle and hormones to good old-fashioned, super-horny chemistry—set you up for steamy, satisfying sex. In fact, if you're getting down in a hetero relationship with a dude, penis size is probably one of the last things you feel will make or break your between-the-sheets romps. Research proves that the majority of us aren't sitting around wishing for a larger package: In a 2015 study of 52,031 heterosexual men and women published in Body Image, 85 percent of women were satisfied with their partner's penis size. And in a 2002 study published in European Urology, 55 percent of women surveyed said penis length was downright "unimportant."

That said, curiosity is a whole different matter, and, at one time or another, we've all found ourselves musing about the average penis size. Because men have the tendency to sweat how they stack up down there, there's plenty of published research on average penis girth and average penis length.

The Average Penis Size Is...

The most recent data comes from a massive, formal systematic review of penile measurements that was published in BJU International in 2014. Researchers looked at data from 17 studies involving 15,521 men whose penis length and penis circumference were measured by health professionals in the same exact way, so as to maintain consistency across the board. The men in the study were measured when they were erect and flaccid.

What they found: The average length of a flaccid penis was 3.61 inches, while the average length of an erect penis was 5.16 inches. The average flaccid girth was 3.66 inches and the average erect penis was 4.59 inches around.

Another large-scale study, published in 2013 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, was done by Indiana University sex researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D. and involved self-reported data from 1,661 men. Subjects were told that, by providing accurate measurements, researchers would help find them a better-fitting condom. (Related: 8 Male Erogenous Zones You're Probably Ignoring During Sex)

When the numbers came in, the average erect penis length was 5.7 inches, and the average erect girth was 4.81 inches. Herbenick also pointed out in the study that the way a man is aroused appears to influence his size—and, to that point, oral sex appeared to have a greater effect than manual stimulation.

You can get a more global perspective from a 2007 study, which was published in Nature. The subjects were 301 men in India, whose measurements researchers wanted to compare with average penis sizes of men in other countries. When it came to the 301 subjects, the average flaccid length was 3.2 inches and circumference of a flaccid penis was 3.6 inches. The average length of an erect penis was 5.1 inches and circumference was 4.5 inches.

Researchers also included a handy chart of penis dimensions from around the world, gathered from 16 studies, which all had similar findings. The average erect penis length ranged from 4.7 to 6.3 inches.

It does bear noting that none of these formal studies looked at more nuanced factors like level of arousal, temperature, or previous ejaculation. Perhaps there's more penis size investigative work to be done?

In the meantime, while science hasn't necessarily pinpointed the exact, absolute average penis length for men, there appears to be a general consensus that the average erect penis is just around 5 inches. If bae is a bit larger or smaller, it's NBD—and definitely not a predictor of whether or not your bang sessions will be off-the-charts.

Things That Matter More Than Penis Size for Good Sex

To be fair, women do have certain preferences when it comes to penis size, but length isn't our priority, according to a study published in BMC Women's HealthTrusted Source, penis girth was more important to women than length for sexual satisfaction.

But there are a bevy of other things that go further to boost our pleasure and satisfaction in the bedroom, and thankfully, there have been a few scientific deep-dives on these factors. The "Penis Perception Survey," conducted by behavior scientist and Director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky, Kristen Mark, Ph.D. asked 15,000 men and women about their perceptions, attitudes, expectations, likes, and dislikes about penises. (Related: I Tried a 30-Day Sex Challenge to Revive My Marriage's Boring Sex Life)

As it turned out, 65.9 percent of all respondents agreed that it isn't penis size but technique that matters the most. Other things that matter more than penis size: 71.9 percent of respondents said creativity, 77.6 percent said sexual communication, 69.1 percent said experience, 76.6 percent said connection, and 61.9 percent said attraction.

Women surveyed also preferred to spend a smidge more time getting it on. The female respondents said that sex currently lasts an average of 10 minutes, but they would ideally like sex to last 15 minutes or more than 20 minutes. (Men, on the other hand, agree that sex currently lasts an average of 10 minutes, but they would ideally like sex to last more than 20 minutes.)

While it didn't look specifically at other elements of pleasure next to penis size, a 2015 survey conducted by Herbenick looked at a variety of techniques that women aged 18-94 said they enjoy in bed. Only 18.4 percent said intercourse alone was sufficient for orgasm, while 36.6 percent said they need clitoral stimulation for orgasm during intercourse, and an additional 36 percent said that, while clitoral stimulation was not needed, their orgasms feel better if their clitoris is stimulated during intercourse. (Related: 4 Amazing Facts About the Clitoris That Will Revolutionize Your Orgasm)

Other aspects of sex play that amped up orgasms: more time building arousal, having a partner who knows what they like, and emotional intimacy. And less than 20 percent of women said that the duration of sex made for a more intense O.

If Your Guy's Penis Size Is Smaller Than Average...

Though so many (research-proven!) signs point to the fact that penis size isn't everything, you might want to know the best ways to bolster pleasure and step up intensity if your partner is packing a bit less than what the scientific community deems average. There's no end in sight to the information out there on surgical options, such as an inflatable penile prosthetic or an operation that involves a skin graft around the penis shaft to increase girth. But research published in the Journal of Urology concluded that "only men with a flaccid length of less than 4 centimeters [1.6 inches], or a stretched or erect length of less than 7.5 centimeters [3 inches] should be considered candidates for penile lengthening." (Related: Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised Guys—How Sex Measures Up)

What's more, most couples will benefit from simple, technique-related strategies. For instance, you can try expert-approved sex positions for a small penis, such as reverse cowgirl or missionary anal, that will help your man fit more snugly.

The Bottom-Line on Penis Size

Sure, everyone has their preferences in the bedroom, and chances are, the medical community and society will always wonder about average penis size. But when it comes to what studies have concluded is the best fuel for setting sexual fireworks, there seems to be a resounding consensus: Not only is bigger not necessarily better, but it's got nothin' on creativity and chemistry.

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