Finally, the Answers to *All* of Your Pressing Penis Questions
Average Penis Girth and Size
Despite what lil Karen taught you during a sleepover in seventh grade, not all penises are "huge." In fact, the average flaccid penis clocks in at just 3.61 inches in length while the average erect penis is about 5.61 inches in length, according to a study published in the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI). (FWIW—only about 2 percent of guys were packing 8 inches or more.) As for average penis girth, aka circumference of the penis' widest section? Around 3.66 inches when flaccid. The average penis girth when hard, however, is nearly 5 inches, according to the same study. (Related: Is Sex with a Circumcised Man Different?)
So, clearly Karen didn't know what she was talking about when it came to average penis girth, but neither did American Pie: Apple pies rarely have more than one use and no, you don't have to have sex before going to college. That being said, most women and men do lose their virginity or v-card before age 18. The average age American woman has penetrative penis-in-vagina sex for the first time at 17.3-years-old and the average man at 17-years-old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (Related: PSA: This Is How Your Hymen Actually Works)
While there are several forms of contraception (the pill! IUD!) you can use, a good ol' male condom is a fairly common choice amongst sexually active folks. But how common, exactly? About 15 percent of women and 19 percent of men ages 15–44-years-old who were surveyed said that they use a condom “every time” they have intercourse, according to a 2017 government report. Meanwhile, only about one-third of men use a condom "some of the time".
So, what do these stats mean? Hard to say exactly, as the report focused on the overall prevalence of condom use and not how that relates to other factors such as being in a monogamous relationship, using hormonal or other methods to prevent pregnancy, trying to get pregnant, and other topics related to contraceptive consistency. (Related: Should You Be Using 'Organic' Condoms?)
Whether they have around average penis girth or larger-than-usual length, chances are your partner was surfing porn sites before they could drive: Research suggests that the average age of first exposure is around 13-years-old, with the youngest exposure as early as 5 and the latest older than 26, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). And these findings are not that different than those from a study 10 years earlier. The 2005 study published in CyberPsychology & Behavior found that males reported being exposed to pornography for the first time at an average age of 14; and by age 18, more than 9 in 10 had taken a peek at porn. (P.s. yes, you can—and maybe even should—watch porn together.)
Porn Habits Now
A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior examined the porn habits of men above the age of 18 (with an average age of 24). The results: Six percent of men don’t watch at all in a week’s time; 30 percent watch one to two times a week; 39 percent watch three to five times; 19 percent watch six to 10 times; seven percent watch 11 or more times. TL;DR—the average man watches X-rated content fairly frequently. Although that's not necessarily news, you can now back it up thanks to that study and the friendly folks behind the Internet: 79 percent of 18 to 30-year-old American men watch internet porn at least once per month, according to pornography statistics compiled by Covenant Eyes, a site that filters pornography sites. (Want in on the one-handed fun? Check out the best free online erotica for women.)
Number of Partners
Ever wondered how many partners your beau (and their above-average penis girth) has been with but are too afraid to ask? After all, there are certain questions in life that might be best left unanswered. Still, there's a bit of info that might help put that query to bed: About 28 percent of men ages 25-49 have 15 or more opposite-sex partners in their lifetime, 25 percent have 5-9, and 23 percent 2-4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even if you want to tie the knot sooner than later, your beau might have their own ideas about walking down the aisle. The Pew Research Center reports that the median age for American men to get married (for the first time, btw) is 30-years-old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (Related: Here's How Marriage Could Actually Save Your Life)
It may be time to lower your sexpectations: In a Journal of Sexual Medicine study, women said they’d like sex (as in penis-in-vagina intercourse) to last 23 minutes. But most dirty deeds only last between 3-7 minutes or, more specifically, 5.4 minutes on average, according to a 2005 study.
That's interesting and all, but remember that there's no one-size-fits-all duration for doing the dirty, especially since these studies only focused on heterosexual penetrative sex and did not account for foreplay. So, how long should sex (and your partner) last? Depends on many factors, so best not to define your romp on sterile stats—unless, of course, there might be a bigger issue at play, such as erectile dysfunction.
Turns out, how long they want to fool around before going all the way is more than double their average penis girth when hard. A 2004 study of 152 heterosexual couples, published in the Journal of Sex Research, showed that both men and women want foreplay to last roughly 18 minutes, but when it's actually time to get frisky, it only lasts 11 to 13 minutes before jumping to intercourse. (Related: 10 Foreplay Ideas That Can Be Even Hotter Than Penetration)
ICYDK, recovery time is also know as the refractory period, which is defined as the time it takes to, well, recover after orgasm. This post-coital phase begins right after ejaculation and can last for as little as a few minutes to as long as 24+ hours, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM). Experts are unsure why the length of refractory periods varies so much among men (just like the average penis girth), buuuut they do know that the time it takes for bae to bounce back has nothing to do with potency or testosterone levels. In general, as men age, so does their refractory period—so the older the man, the longer the recovery time. (BTW—refractory period is also why men can't have more than one orgasm. You, on the other hand, can score multiple O's—and here's how.)
Frequency of Sex
Yes, men tend to think about sex more than women. But daydreaming and doing it are two different things. The Kinsey Institute’s 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found that only 2 percent of single men 18-24-years-old had sex four or more times per week, but 21 percent of married men did. What's more, just under half of married men between the ages of 25 and 49 had sex a few times per month to weekly—which, btw, was the highest rate in this category. (So is everyone really have that much more sex than you? Eh, probably not.)
Thinking About Sex
You’ve probably heard that “Men think about sex every seven seconds” stat. (And then wondered: How do they get any work done?) But the truth is, doing the dirty crosses the average guy's mind 19 times a day, according to a 2011 study conducted by the Ohio State University. By comparison, women in the study thought about sex roughly 10 times a day.
Odds are, your male partner is doing a little self-exploration down under beyond just measuring to see if their average penis girth and length. Ninety-two percent of American men masturbate, but Americans only think 83 percent of men do, according to the TENGA 2018 Global Self-Pleasure Report. And of those who masturbate, gay and bisexual individuals are 20 percent more likely to masturbate weekly than heterosexual individuals.
The Report also suggests that young millennials are the most likely generation to put their hand below the belt. Fifty-seven percent of 18- to 24-year-olds masturbate weekly, more likely than any other age group, according to the Report. (If you've never masturbated before, read these tips to get started.)
If you're Team Vibrator, good news: 53 percent of American men are open to using a sex toy on themselves, and 71 percent are open to using one on their partner. Plus, those who have used sex toys report being more satisfied with their sex life across all metrics, but especially when looking at quality and frequency of masturbation, according to the TENGA 2018 Global Self-Pleasure Report.
What's more, a 2011 study of heterosexual men in the U.S. found that nearly 44 percent have used a vibrator at some point in their life, and most of them occurred during sexual interactions with a female partner. Roughly 94 percent of men who use vibrators did so during sexual play, while 82 percent say they used one during intercourse. (See also: 14 Best Vibrators to Use with a Partner)
Even those who have the average penis girth and length may feel insecure about what they’ve got below the belt: In a 2006 study of 52,031 heterosexual men and women, only 55 percent of men were satisfied with their penis size and 45 percent wanted to be larger. Oof.
That being said, 85 percent of the women in that same study were satisfied with their partner's penis size. (Repeat after me: size is just a number—but be careful down there because you can break a penis.)
Among 18 to 44-year-olds, 36 percent of women and 42 percent of men have ever had anal sex, according to the the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth. How many guys are doing it regularly? When asked if they’d engaged in anal in the last 90 days, 6 percent of men ages 18 to 24, 16 percent of men ages 25 to 29, and 14 percent of men ages 30 to 39 said yes, reports a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. (Want in? Here's how to prepare for anal sex and then have an anal orgasm.)
Women aren’t the only masters of fake moans: A quarter of men have faked an orgasm, and 28 percent have pretended to orgasm during penile-vaginal intercourse, according to research in The Journal of Sex Research. The reasons? The big O wasn't going to happen, they wanted sex to end, and they wanted to avoid negative consequences (like hurting their partner's feelings) and to make their partner feel good.
Instead of running your hands all over, zero in on a few key parts, and your partner is sure to quiver (in a good way, of course). In a 2009 study published in BJU International, men said the part of their genitals that provided the most sexual pleasure was the underside of the tip of the penis. Other pleasure zones: the underside of their shaft and the upper side of the tip of their penis. (Related: 8 New Ways to Touch Your Guy During Sex)