A person’s preference in penis is subjective. Some like a penis to curve upward, others to the left. Some prefer no curve at all. While a perfect penis may not exist, there are qualities we collectively find more visually attractive than others. So, because I’m a narcissist, I sought to find out how my own penis registers through the guise that I’m actually doing this for the betterment of men everywhere.
To begin, let’s consult the research. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers had 20 men’s penises photographed from all sorts of angles. The photos were then presented to 105 demographically diverse women who ranked which qualities matter most in terms of a penis’s general attractiveness. In first came its “general cosmetic appearance,” which is kind of a vague throwaway as it only refers to the general look of the penis, second came penile skin (which is also unworkable), then the shape of the penis head, the appearance of the scrotum, the appearance of pubic hair, penile length and last, girth.
This suggests that unless a penis has reptilian scales, the size doesn’t matter much at all. While that’s a lovely sentiment, it’s also B.S. People totally care, some just care more than others and won’t say so in fear of being judged. So to help determine an ideal size, I consulted Adam & Eve and asked them to analyze the sales and accompanying sizes of their top-selling dildos and vibrators. Turns out, the best-selling dildo was 12 inches long while the second was 15 inches! After that, the top-selling sizes were more realistic with eight inches, seven inches, and six and a half inches. The latter results are similar to research from UCLA and the University of New Mexico that found women believe the ideal penis measures 6.3 to 6.4 inches. Well, that’s better. But it’s still a little high. The national average–5.6 inches in length and 4.6 inches in girth–is less than that.
In fact, only 15 percent of men measure over seven inches, and only three percent measure over eight. In a past article, I asked women of different ages to describe the best penis they’ve ever had. I ultimately found that, as long as the penis is close to average in size, it really doesn’t matter much at all.
“The best size is a nice average of six inches. Honestly, I wouldn’t be one to say size matters,” Holly, 24, said. “[My boyfriend’s penis] was the most beautiful penis I have ever seen. It wasn’t awkwardly small, too big to feel anything without some pain, and it was overall a nice length and girth.” In that regard, people observe penises like Goldilocks: not too big and not too small is just right.
As for preference in terms of circumcision, I wrote about this topic too, and found that while circumcision isn’t stigmatized in most of the world, it remains an issue in the United States, where only one-quarter of the male population is circumcised. Between the two options, people generally prefer a circumcised penis in terms of appearance, but that’s only because it’s more normalized in western culture. Experts express the reason we still resist uncircumcised penises is due to residual effects of religion, though millennials are changing that.
Now onto something we can change without surgery: our pubic hair. Cosmopolitan and Esquire surveyed over 4,100 people to find out what straight women like men’s pubes to look like, and the answer was nearly anonymous. Seventy percent like a man who trims. Interesting, because the study also found that 70 percent of men trim. So, good on you, guys. A bare pubic region came in a distant second with 12 percent.
A man’s scrotum is an oft-neglected feature in a penis’s attractiveness because, let’s face it: it’s ugly. At least that’s what Brian Sloan, creator of the Autoblow Balls Contest surmised after throwing the world’s first (and only) scrotum beauty contest. Sloan was surprised to find that even the contest’s winners boasted “unusually low” scores and notes the three finalists all shared one quality: they were “unusually large.”
Is that what makes a scrotum attractive? Its likeliness to be stretched to the size of a bed sheet? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. Researchers have found that the relative size of a man’s testicles can indicate whether he will be a good father or not. Studies have verified that men with large testes are significantly less likely to display good parenting skills because of a “well-established trade-off in evolution between mating and child-rearing.” The research found larger testes are linked with higher testosterone levels and sperm counts, as well as increased promiscuity, marital breakdown and divorce. On top of that, they were less likely to show interest in child-rearing, suggesting some men are biologically predisposed to being poor fathers. Who knew!
Now that we’ve observed the qualities people are partial to in a penis, how do you measure up? If it’s not great, don’t beat yourself up over it. A good-looking penis is just one of many hypothetical boxes to check off for an ideal mate or sexual partner. As long as the penis is close to normal, women don’t have much preference whatsoever, so being average isn’t so bad. While some features are deemed prettier than others, a nice-looking dick isn’t worth shit unless the person knows what they’re doing with it. Besides, we’re pretty damn pleased with ourselves as is. Research of almost 4,000 men concluded 86 percent of American men are satisfied with their penises. So, good on you. Be proud of your package.