How Do I Size Up?
Originally Published: February 1, 2016
Revised: February 2, 2016
It’s easy for guys to be insecure about their bodies. Advertisements constantly show models and athletes with “perfect” bodies. It’s so simple to get caught up with all these seemingly impossible standards. And guys are sensitive not only about having the perfect build but also about their penises—the size, shape or whether it’s circumcised or not. The funny thing is, so much variation exists among guys in real life. From height to weight to color, there’s a lot of variety in body types, shapes, sizes and anatomy.
In this article, I’m going to review the external male sexual organs and demystify some common concerns about them. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll realize how much variation exists between males and that your particular body is totally normal.
The glans penis is the rounded tip or “head” of the penis. It is very sensitive to simulation. In the middle of the glans penis, there is an opening called the urethra. This is where urine and semen exit the body. Sometimes, males are born with this opening on the underside of the penis. This can make controlling urine flow more difficult, but it won’t lead to loss of bladder control.
People come in different shapes and sizes, and that just makes everyone special.
The loose skin covering the glans penis is known as the foreskin. Some males have extra foreskin that extends beyond the glans penis. Other males may have had a circumcision in which the foreskin was surgically removed. Both of these cases are completely normal.
Nathan Lam, 13, of Westfield, NJ, says, “Personally, I don’t really understand why males would get circumcised if the foreskin helps protect the penis.”
Well, parents may decide to have their son circumcised at birth for religious or cultural reasons or because that’s what was done when they were born. There are also some health benefits to circumcision, including reduced risks of certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), urinary tract infection and yeast infection. But, it’s also perfectly normal to not be circumcised, and neither option is better than the other. Keep in mind that there is variation even within each group: not all circumcised penises will look alike and not all uncircumcised penises will.
The shaft is the part of the penis between the scrotum and the glans penis. This is the part that gets longer and harder during an erection. Just because your penis bends towards one direction when it’s erect does not mean that it is broken. This is actually natural and pretty common.
One of the most common concerns for males is penis size. So, how big should a penis be? Well, according to recent research from the British Journal of Urology International, in which scientists gathered and measured the penis sizes of over 15,000 men, the average flaccid—or limp—penis length is approximately 3.6 inches. The average erect penis is approximately 5.2 inches. Penis length, like hair growth, can vary from person to person, but 85 to 90 percent of men have an average size penis.
Malay Nanavaty, 16, of New Providence, NJ, believes so many people care about penis size because it is “a long standing measurement of manhood.” He says, “Larger penises are typically related to increased masculinity and more pleasing to a woman.”
As for the old saying, “bigger is better,” that simply isn’t true. The size of your penis does not relate in any way to how “manly” you are. Penis size does not affect a man’s fertility or ability to perform sexually in any way.
The scrotum, which is often called the “ball sac,” is the part of a male’s body that holds the two testicles. It is located right behind and underneath the penis. The only real concern about the scrotum is if you feel weird bulges or lumps on it. If you notice any bumps or changes in your testicles, visit a health care provider and have them checked out.
The two testicles are commonly referred to as “balls,” and they make sperm and the male hormone testosterone. There is a lot of variation in testicle size and position in males. For example, it’s normal for one testicle to be smaller than the other. Testicles can also hang at different heights. Your right testicle might be positioned lower than your left and vice versa. This is totally normal.
What Does This All Mean?
People come in different shapes and sizes, and that just makes everyone special. Some people are circumcised, some are not. Some people have lots of chest hair while others may only have a little armpit hair. Some people have larger penises and some have smaller penises. Just remember—at the end of the day, no matter what your body looks like, it’s all good. If you appreciate and love your body, others will, too. Your unique attributes just help to make you even more special because only you are you.
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