Pills, lotions, oils, pumps and surgeries – the options for men looking to enlarge their penises are seemingly endless. Nevertheless, due to its sensitive nature, penis enlargement is not openly discussed in society.
This is a recipe for disaster, especially when we consider these two facts about the world of penis enlargement:
Here are two reasons why men may feel the need to devote time, money, and effort to the pursuit of an ideal that may ultimately bring them more problems than solutions.
1. Psychosocial factors can distort the idea of what a “normal” penis should look like
A study published in 2019 Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that a mental illness called penile dysmorphophobia (PDD) could be prevalent among men who choose to have surgery to increase the girth of their penis.
According to a 2020 study, there are a few ways to tell if someone is developing the symptoms of PDD:
- They obsess over the size of their penis, even though it’s within the normal range
- You compulsively seek medical help or treatment options that promise to increase the size of your penis
- They feel a great deal of shame and distress related to their penis size
- They experience low levels of sexual satisfaction and high levels of sexual dysfunction
- Despite these signs, her libido is not affected
If this applies to you, you should be aware that the actual size of your penis probably has little impact on the negative feelings you experience. People with PDD may actually be better off working with a psychiatrist who is trained to help them process these unhealthy patterns of behavior and thinking than trying to increase the length and/or girth of their penis, which is unlikely is provide much relief for their distress.
The influence of social and cultural factors cannot be ignored either. A 2019 study conducted one-on-one interviews with 25 men who had previously undergone penis enlargement surgery to qualitatively understand the role culture and society played in their decision. Three main themes emerged:
- The influence of pornography. Observing larger-than-average penis sizes in Internet pornography led many participants to believe that they did not fit society’s definition of acceptable penis size. Interestingly, this was true even when they understood that pornography uses tricks to make performers’ penises appear larger than they actually are.
- The impact of peer comparison. Many of the participants surveyed reported that comparisons with their peers (e.g. in a dressing room) also made them feel dissatisfied with their height. As one participant put it, “Those who think they have it, flaunt it… So you’re always kind of comparing yourself to someone bigger, aren’t you?”
- The impact of size-shaming in pop culture. Although none of the participants had personally experienced being teased about their size, they felt that jokes about penis size in popular media (often made by women) were emasculating and contributed to their own sense of inadequacy.
2. A misunderstanding of what makes sex “sexy.”
A classic study published in the journal Male psychology and masculinity analyzed responses from over 50,000 heterosexual men and women to understand how each gender rated penis size.
It was found that men who reported being taller than average were happier with their appearance, possibly due to their penis size. However, while only 55% of men surveyed were reportedly satisfied with their penis size (45% would like a larger penis), the majority of women surveyed said their partner’s size was appropriate.
This brings us to a thought-provoking conclusion: Men may overestimate the importance of the size of their penis to their partner’s sexual satisfaction.
So instead of focusing on something you can’t control like your penis size, a more effective way to revitalize your sex life is to invest the time and effort into making sex more enjoyable for you and your partner. Here are two tips that can help you build sexual intimacy with your partner:
- Build attractive habits outside of the bedroom. A study published in 2023 Archives of Sexual Behavior found that low sexual desire in women is due to an unequal division of household chores. According to the study, women who felt that chores at home were unfairly divided felt that their partners were dependent on them, which reduced sexual desire.
- Understand that sex should feel like play, not work. “Men may be motivated to be sexually compliant because of motivations related to altruism, intoxication, sexual inexperience, peer pressure, popularity, and gender role concerns,” explains psychologist Cory Pederson, co-author of a study published in 2022 psychology and sexuality This examined how stereotypical gender roles can lead to straight men engaging in consensual but unwanted sexual activity. By changing your mindset and focusing more on pleasure, you can reduce the pressure to perform sexually or to please your partner. This is a powerful tactic to shift the focus from your size to your pleasure in the bedroom.
Our society’s ideas about masculinity and the importance of size can distort perceptions and increase feelings of inadequacy. However, research shows that a man’s penis size has less of an impact on sexual satisfaction than factors such as open communication, emotional intimacy, and understanding your partner’s sexual needs and desires. When you consider the potential damage many enhancement treatments can do to your sexual, mental, and physical health, the appeal of these options quickly fades.