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We Both Think My Penis Is Too Small

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Updated August 13, 2013

Question: We Both Think My Penis Is Too Small
I'm 24 years old and in a couple of days I'm going to be 25. My folks are planning for my marriage in the coming years. I'm uneasy because my penis is small. I have been searching for ways to improve it but the fear of impotency is troubling me. I have had sex with my fiancee many times but she says my penis is small in both length and diameter. It's true, and I'm not sure if I've broken her virginity or not. Also we cannot make many sex positions for lack of my penis length. It's really a shame. I want to enlarge my penis even a bit. Please do help me. I'm in a really bad shape.
Answer:

Thank you for your email, and I'm sorry about how much stress the situation is causing you. This is a question I get a lot, most often from men who haven't yet had sex and believe that the size of their penis means they won't ever enjoy it, or be a good sexual partner. Neither is necessarily true.

You write that you've already had sex with your fiancee, although you didn't specify, so I don't know what kind of sex. If we were talking I would start by asking you many questions to learn more about your sexual experiences so far. Have they been enjoyable? When your fiancee says your penis is too small, what does this mean? Does she enjoy having sex with you? Do you enjoy having sex with her? Is there something specific she wants that she feels she isn't getting because of the size of your penis?

I know the pressure we can feel when our bodies don't look the way we want them to, or don't work the way we think they are supposed to work. Often this comes with feelings of inadequacy and shame. And I know it can feel like the problem is all with you, that your penis isn't the "right" size and if it were everything would be fine.

Like every other body part, penises come in all shapes and sizes, and having good sex doesn't come from changing our bodies on the outside, it comes from working with the way we feel about them on the inside. Let me try to address some of your questions directly.

You used the word impotency and I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that. If you are worried about your ability to have children, you should know that there is not a connection between penis size and fertility. Also, there isn't a physical connection between penis size and desire to have sex. Having a big penis by itself wouldn't make you any more potent or good at having sex. It might make you feel better about yourself, but there are other ways to do that. What's important for you to know is that the problem is not (likely) with the mechanics of how your body works, it's with how you feel about the body you've got.

You wrote that your fiancee says your penis is small in both length and diameter. But does she enjoy having sex with you? Do you enjoy having sex with her? Why specifically is your size a problem for either of you? Usually I would recommend talking together about this. It might be scary to think about it, and it could be awkward at first, but if it's a safe thing to do, speaking honestly with each other about these issues is an important step. There are solutions, but they won't come without talking.

You also asked about virginity. I understand your question, but it's based on some common misunderstandings about virginity. It isn't true that a woman is no longer a virgin once a penis "pops" or "breaks" the hymen. The hymen is in fact a flexible kind of tissue and there are holes in it already. Many women have little or no hymen intact by the time they have intercourse. It is true that for some women when they have intercourse for the first time there can be a bit of blood and it can hurt a bit. But this isn't true for all women. I would like to suggest you read this great article about rethinking the hymen from a Swedish organization called RFSU (the site is available in 11 languages).

You mention that there are some sex positions you can't do because of your penis size. It's true for all of us that some positions won't work. But there are many others that you can. Interestingly,intercourse is not a very effective way for a woman to have an orgasm (if that is one of the goals of sex for both of you). One reason for this is that in a lot of intercourse positions, there is only intermittent stimulation of the clitoris and the fact is that most of the sensitivity for a woman is on the outside and the first few inches inside the vagina.

I suspect that sex positions which would work for you are ones that involve a lot more skin-to-skin contact, which could be much more pleasurable for your partner and you. This is an example where a shorter penis would actually lead to better positions. I'd like to mention to you that some of the people I know (and some past sexual partners) who live with physical disabilities have described to me the way that being disabled has made them better in bed, because it's forced them to be creative and figure out what they really want from sex.

Speaking of which, even though it can feel disappointing that you can't be the way you imagine other people to be, the truth is that having to figure out how to feel sexual pleasure for yourselves is a good thing. Sex is much more than intercourse and there are way more things you can do that don't even involve your penis than there are things you can do with it. Touching, oral sex, using fingers, tongues, sex toys. It's important to be honest about the disappointment you feel but you can also take this as an opportunity to expand your sexual lives for the better.

Finally, you ask about ways to increase the size of your penis. There aren't any methods that I would recommend. You can find pills to buy online but these are all dishonest, and they can be dangerous. Some companies sell pumps which they claim will permanently enlarge your penis, but these are unproven. There are surgical methods, but these are expensive and the results can be disappointing. I would not recommend pursuing any of these options.

You write that this is a shame. I agree, but I think that the shame is a different kind. I think it's a shame that we have so many people telling us lies about our bodies, from the day we are born, so that by the time we grow up we believe that the way we are is bad. Most of us feel this way about some part of our body: we want to be taller or thinner, to have different looking skin or nose or hair. This comes from other people, but we eventually start believing it, and we believe that there is something wrong with us. There's nothing wrong with you at all, and if you and your fiancee want to have sex with each other, desire each other, then you can have a wonderful amazing sex life. It means you have to challenge some of the messages that we all get, and you have to take together about what "good sex" means for you. This can be difficult, but I believe that it can result in you knowing yourself more and eventually in a much better and happier sex life.

So to recap, what are some of the things you can do?

If you're comfortable, start by talking with your partner honestly. Here are some questions you might both want to think about or answer for each other:

  • Why are you having sex?
  • What would you like to get from your sexual relationship?
  • What are some of the things you do together that you both enjoy?
  • Are there things you'd like to try that you haven't yet?

Next, it would be helpful if both of you learned a bit more about your own and each others bodies. Here are a few general articles about bodies:

And then if you're both willing and ready, you can explore other ways of being sexual that can expand your sexual life together:

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