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Penis size worries, weight loss issues, and nonlatex condom queries

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Private asks:

I am a 16 year old male, weighing in at 212lbs. I am losing weight at a decent rate, which I have heard helps your penis size. I have seen post contradicting the last statement, however from my own research; losing weight helps to increase blood flow to the penis, which in turn helps your penis "grow". On to the subject, I have what I could consider an unusually small penis. At 5 inches in length and 4 inches in girth I am not sure what size condom to get. I have been looking, for a while now, only to find nothing. To make finding the right condom harder, my girlfriend is allergic to latex. I am nervous enough about my penis size (the smallest she has had is 8 inches), but finding the right condom makes me more nervous. Thank you.

Heather Corinna replies:

You don't have an unusually small penis: you have an average sized penis. On average, the penis is between five and six inches in length, and four inches and five and a half in girth. See? Average.

As well, weight loss doesn't impact penis size. The penis can look larger with eight loss simply due to their being less skin and fat surrounding it, but losing weight will not increase the size of the penis. Mind, if you are overweight and not fit, it's salient to eat better and get more activity just for your general health and well-being, so it's not like what size your penis is should impact you doing things that are good for you. Becoming fit and bettering your circulation may also help out if you've issues with erection or sexual stamina, but again, it won't change your size. Penis size is mostly genetic, and when you're done with puberty, no matter what you weigh, your penis is going to be whatever size it is, even if your weight changes over the years.

And that's FINE. Your penis is FINE.

If all of your girlfriend's previous partners have had penises which were eight inches and longer, she's been having sex with pretty unusual men. It'd be a bit like if you had a handful of female partners who all had red hair and freckles: it's not very statistically probable. Plus, I strongly doubt she was pulling out measuring tapes for all her partners: chances are very, very good, if what she's saying is even actual, that the size she said her partners was is what they told her it was, and insecure, posturing guys really like to say they have 8 or 9 inch penises even though few actually do. (And why some guys always seem to choose that particular measurement, I can't begin to tell you: you'd have to ask them. Wish I knew!)

Not to mention, she can't even feel much of that length: the back of the vaginal canal is without sensory nerve endings. When it comes to penis-in-vagina intercourse, for the most part, length is a non-issue since the sensory part of the vagina is only in the first inch or two. If you have vaginal intercourse with this partner at your size, she won't really feel a lot of YOUR penis, either. If in doubt, ask your girlfriend how much she can feel a tampon when it's in: there's a reason women can forget they have them in, and that's because sparing feelings of general fullness, we just can't feel much back in there. Too, the most sensory part of the vulva isn't the vagina in the first place, but the clitoris, internal and external. Vaginal intercourse or stimulation can play a part in stimulating the clitoris sometimes, but all by itself, for most women, it doesn't do that much.

In the instance that your girlfriend wants deeper vaginal entry than your (or anyone else's) penis provides, you've got hands. often, for women who want very deep or full vaginal entry, no matter what kind of penis we're talking about, hands tend to do the job better. That doesn't mean your penis or anyone else's is irrelevant or obsolete, simply that thinking that any given size of penis somehow can provide complete sexual satisfaction for women is a serious error in thinking. The majority of women both do not reach orgasm through, nor are highly satisfied by, vaginal intercourse alone. For plenty of women, vaginal intercourse can be satisfying and enjoyable when it's part of the picture, as can other kinds of sex in which a penis is involved. But worries about penis size are really about men, and come from men: they don't tend to be about women or come from women.

In terms of the right condom, you have two different options when it comes to non-latex condoms. There are a couple brands of male nonlatex condoms -- like the Durex Avanti -- and as well, the female condom is also not latex. Any of those will work just fine for an average-sized penis. As well, understand that condoms fitting isn't about length: any condom will fit any length of penis. When condoms don't fit, it's about the ring or base of the condom. So, if those Avantis are slipping off of you (and they might -- some average-sized men do tend to report that with them), then try another nonlatex brand, or go for the female condom, which doesn't need to be tight at the base for the male wearer. What you're looking for on the condom box is for it to say it's nonlatex and made of polyurethane. But again, since you're of average size, most brands should fit you just fine.

I'm going to give you a few links, but before I do that, I do want to check in with you about two more things. For starters, if your girlfriend is going on and on about her previous partner's penis size, it is beyond valid to ask her to give it a rest. We do live in a world that often does this really stupid thing where we affix status to things like weight, penis size and breast size -- even when we have sound data and understanding that not only are most of those things genetic, they're also often irrelevant -- and that's a lot of pressure to live under, and really tough on everyone's body image. If your partner is going on and on about it, maybe she internalized that stuff, which is a big bummer for the both of you. But just like I'm sure she's probably not like to listen to you going on and on about how much thinner previous partners of you were than she is, or how much fuller their breasts were, such is the case with penis size. So, if either of you are fixating on this, I'd suggest you talk about tossing it in the rubbish, for good. It's not useful, it's not kind, and it's just not going to create anything positive for either of you. You don't need to know what size penises her previous partners had: there's just no practical use or need for that information.

Lastly, one part of sexual readiness really is feeling comfortable in your own skin. If it feels really emotionally or interpersonally scary for you to have a partner see your body, including your genitals, and/or you are hyper-concerned about judgment, that's often a good indication that a person needs more time to get more comfortable with a partner first, and to be sure that partner is accepting and emotionally mature when it comes to your body. I know that it can be tougher for guys to hold off on sex when it's made available, especially given the cultural pressures to prove masculinity through sex, but if you just don't feel really comfortable being vulnerable in this way yet, by all means, do your psyche and your sexuality a favor and just hold off a bit more until things do feel safer for you, okay? Plus, sex when we're all freaked out about our bodies not being acceptable doesn't tend to be amazing sex, so why not wait until everything is in line for you to experience the really good stuff?

I can only hope you're feeling a bit better about all of this, all of that said, because there's just nothing here to feel bad about, and that's a serious waste of otherwise useful and positive energy.

Here are a few more links to round all of this out for you:

Heather Corinna • Scarleteen Founder, Editor & Advice-Slingin' Sister • Author, S.E.X.

written 30 Dec 2007 . updated 26 May 2008

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