"....the penis seems to be one of the most variable
elements of the human body in terms of shape and size. If
yours is giving you pleasure, and working well, you don't
really have much to worry about." (20)
The penis is the part of a male's body that varies the
most from one person to another. Many boys worry that
there is something wrong with them because they saw
another boy's penis and it was a bit different to their
The part of a boy's body that he pees out of.
The combined name for the penis and testicles
A covering of skin over the head of the penis
(only in about 50% of males) Every male is born
uncircumcised (with the additional skin covering over
the head of the penis).
When your penis goes hard and stiff.
When your penis is soft and limp (in its normal state)
Street names for penis
dick, little buddy, dork, pocket snake, cock, wiener,
pocket rocket, tool...and lots of others....
- My penis is too small
- My penis looks different to others.
- When will my penis grow?
- My penis bends right/left/up/down when it is erect.
- Will others laugh if they see my penis?
stand up, does your non-erect penis hang to the left or
right at all? (3)
no — it hangs straight down
it hangs to the left slightly
it hangs the right slightly
look at your erect penis, does it curve at all?
no — it's straight
curves to the left slightly
curves to the right slightly
curves sharply to the left or right (more than 20
If your penis curves a lot in any direction, you should
see a doctor. He will be able to help you so you don't
have problems with your sex life later on.
Most likely, your size is within the normal range.
Studies show the average penis measures between 3 and 4
inches (7.5 and 10 cm) when flaccid and between 5 and 7
inches (12.5 and 17.5 cm) when erect. A penis is
considered abnormally small only if it measures less than
3 inches (7.5 cm) when erect (a condition called
micro-penis) - but even then, researchers have documented
many cases in which men with micro-penises have been
fully capable of having satisfactory sex and fathering
children. Mayo clinic (48)
Average adult flaccid penis is in the range 2.5 to 4.5
inches (6-11 centimeters) Average adult erect penis is in
the range 4 to 8 inches (10-20 centimeters)
The often quoted average penis size of 5.5 to 6 inch
(13.7 to 15cm) accounts for less than 25% of the whole
male population! Lifestyle condoms (51)
Measuring your penis (if you really have to!)
your penis really hard and measure along the top of it.
Measure from the very end of your penis all the way back
to the bone just above where your penis attaches to your
body - that's it! Make sure the end of the measuring
device actually represents zero - some have zero a small
distance from the end which will give you a smaller
reading. Also measuring tapes used for clothing sizes are
inaccurate so you need a solid measuring device.
Penis size - flaccid (not erect)
I was wondering what the average size was of a flaccid
[soft] penis. Mine is about four inches long. Is that
small? age 15, Maine (3)
The size of flaccid (soft) penises actually varies much
more than that of erect penises. If you've seen other
guys your age in the showers at school, you probably
noticed there's a wide variety of penises. Yet, if you
were to see these boys with erections, you'd see their
penises would be much closer in size. Small ones tend to
get much bigger when they're erect, and the longer ones
just tend to straighten out and get hard. I don't have an
average figure for you — it's really impossible to
measure anyway, because even on the same person the
flaccid penis can change in size dramatically depending
on a bunch of factors, such as temperature — but four
inches is well within the "normal" range.
The most common problem boys have about their penis is
they think it is too small. Guys who have seen male porn
will have a distorted view of what normal size is.
Anything can be done with an image to enhance it! How do
you handle all this? Accept yourself for who you are!
who think their penis is abnormally small actually have
normal-sized penises. In recent studies, hundreds of men
who sought the advice of their doctor because of concern
about the size of their penis all had penises that
measured in the normal range. Mayo clinic
Be aware that another guy's penis can look bigger than
yours because you generally view your penis from above.
The glimpse of the other guy's penis is from the side and
they tend to look bigger from that angle!
Males may quite easily underestimate the size of their
own penis relative to that of others, because of the
foreshortening (52)(optical illusion)
obtained from looking down, or because of the
accumulation of fat at the base of the penis.
Accepting yourself "warts and all" requires a deliberate
decision from the owner of the penis! Everybody has
something about themselves they don't like. The choice is
- feel bad about yourself because of your perceived
inadequacy or accept yourself the way you are built and
enjoy contentment about your self image.
If you are like the vast majority of men who wonder if
their penis size is normal, the answer is - yes. While
some men do fall for the hype and are looking for a way
to enlarge their penis, it generally isn't a good idea.
No scientific research supports the use of any
nonsurgical method to enlarge the penis - and no
reputable medical society endorses penis-enlargement
surgery performed for purely cosmetic reasons. Because
many of these techniques can damage your penis and some
may even cause impotence, think twice before trying any
of them. Mayo clinic (48)
Sex using a smaller penis
The most sensitive area of the vagina is the section
closest to the outside of a woman's body, which is
roughly 10 centimeters (4 in) in length. Given that the
average penis size is above this length, the majority of
penises are of sufficient length to satisfy their
The walls of the vagina are composed of soft elastic
folds of mucous membrane skin which stretch or contract
(with support from pelvic muscles) to the size of the
penis. This means (with proper arousal) the vagina
stretches/contracts to accommodate virtually any size
penis, from small to large. (53)
Comments about smaller penises
My penis is smaller than average (4.5
inches), and I must admit that its size has caused me a
lot of anxiety. I often worry that people will laugh at
me if they see it. But I would like to agree with what I
read in ........... about size. "Anything bigger than 2
inches and smaller than 10 inches is normal." I guess I
should be thankful for what I have, although I would love
to be just a little bigger. age 28, Canada
As a female,
my humble opinion is, "it depends." I knew a guy with a
penis that was larger than average, and that was great.
But then, I knew a guy who was quite a bit smaller than
most people, and that was even better. I believe it is
true that size doesn't matter; it is what you do with it
that counts. (And, yes, there *is* a "too big!")
age 19, Tennessee (female) (3)
I don't think size matters so much as how you use it. I
have had smaller penises that were WONDERFUL. I have also
had larger ones that didn't do a thing for me. age
36, Indiana (female) (3)
Circumcised ("cut" penis)
Some males have the "foreskin" removed from their penis
with a surgical operation, usually when only a few days
old. This is called circumcision and it was performed a
lot during bible times. There was an increase in the rate
of circumcision in the 1800's supposedly to try to stop
masturbation. Circumcision is not as popular today and is
now performed mainly because of family tradition.
Un-circumcised ("uncut" or "intact" penis)
Click on the image for an animation of the foreskin
retracting on an intact (uncut/uncircumcised) penis.
Every male is born intact (with a foreskin)
Specialist advice on foreskins
This advice is from a specialist who deals with penises
and penis problems every day of his working life. It
gives an overall picture for the owner of an intact
the foreskin (scientific name: prepuce) is naturally
tight. It's opening is narrow and often cannot be pulled
back so one can even see the urinary outlet in the head
of the penis (scientific name: glans penis). In addition,
the inner side of the foreskin sticks to the head of the
penis as if a layer of glue is holding the two surfaces
together (actually they share a common layer of skin
cells). With each wash, it is a good idea to retract the
foreskin as far as it will go--without causing any pain.
If pain is experienced, one can create new problems.
After many such retractions over time, the two surfaces
separate. As the two surfaces separate, the foreskin
opening gradually can be stretched so that it can pass
over the head of the penis. Approximately 92% of
foreskins can be retracted fully by age 5. Sometimes a
foreskin that was previously retractable now starts
having difficulties. The reason may be due to a condition
known as phimosis, where the foreskin opening becomes
narrower again, or it can be due to the inner skin of the
foreskin becoming reattached to the head of the penis. As
the boy gets older he usually attempts many times to
retract it so that by the time he becomes a young man
(age 13), the foreskin should certainly be fully
retractable with ease in all cases.
If any boy who reads this cannot retract his foreskin
with ease for any reason, then it is advisable to see a
pediatrician or a urologist to correct the condition. The
correction can be as simple as application of a steroid
ointment for many weeks, to plastic surgery, to
circumcision. If retraction problems persist,
consideration should be given to circumcision, which will
not only cure the problem, but prevent many potential
Two other conditions are worth mentioning: paraphimosis
and balanitis. if the foreskin ever is retracted but
fails to return to the extended position, an emergency
condition known as paraphimosis exists. In this
condition, the head becomes very swollen and blood
circulation ceases. This necessitates a visit to the
emergency medical service immediately. Balanitis or
balanoposthitis exists when an infection (typically
painful) occurs beneath the foreskin. Early medical
treatment will minimize pain and new problems.
Finally, there are many potential problems--too many to
list here--that can occur in the uncircumcised male.
Basically they include STDs, skin conditions, and penile
cancer. All males should be aware of any unusual skin
condition when the foreskin is retracted. If any are
detected, he should consult his physician.
THE ABOVE INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS BEING
MEDICAL ADVICE. CONSULTATION WITH YOUR REGULAR DOCTOR IS
Q and A
How do you know if
you are circumcised?
If you can see the "head" of your penis without having to
pull skin (foreskin) back then you have been
circumcised. If the "head" of your penis is covered by
another layer of skin (foreskin) that can be pulled back
to reveal the "head" then you are uncircumcised. All
males are born this way (uncircumcised)
I'm uncircumcised. What's the white stuff
that builds up on the inside of my foreskin? How can I
stop it from building up? age 18, Massachusetts
The substance is called smegma, and it's a secretion of
the glans (head) of the penis. There's no way to reduce
the amount of secretion, but the buildup can be easily
prevented. In circumcised males, the smegma washes off
easily and does not accumulate, but if you're
uncircumcised you need to include a simple procedure in
your bathing habits. Whenever you bathe, simply retract
your foreskin as much as is comfortable, and wash the
glans as well as the area of skin behind it. It takes
only a few seconds and should reduce or eliminate the
buildup you described. (3)
A natural secretion of skin cells and oils that collects
under the foreskin in both males and females. It may have
a pungent aroma (commonly compared to cheese [males] or
fish [females]), and has lubricant, pheromonal (sexual
attractant) and perhaps bacteriostatic (bacteria-killing)
For more detailed information on the foreskin, its
function and caring for it.
Foreskin stuck to the head of the penis
I am 16 I can not pull my foreskin back I
was wondering if anyone can help me. I have tried before
but as I get half way back it begins to hurt so I dunno
what to do. I had also read somewhere that the little
piece of skin that connects the penis to the foreskin
will not detach sometimes until 18 years of age, and I am
unaware if mine is still present. Any help would be
Answer 1:I had
that same problem until I was 13 all you have to do is
pull it back a little more each day One day i just pulled
it all the way back and it kinda hurt and i noticed some
sticky white/yellow stuff sticking to my penis head just
wash that off and try to pull it back. It might hurt a
little or get a bit irritated but just get it all the way
back as best you can. I had some pain too but I lived.
Warm water helps, so does being erect. (11)
Answer 2:When you
take a warm shower try to pull it back as far as you can.
Don't cause yourself pain though. It will easily retract
if you continue to stretch it. (11)
Answer 3:One of
the ways the foreskin loosens itself is because of
erections etc. It is true that for some boys it doesn't
loosen until quite late, although usually by puberty.
Chances are though if you can have an erection without
pain or discomfort you've got nothing to worry about.
Answer 4:I had
the same problem as you until I was about 14. What you
need to do is keep pulling it back every day, a little
further each day. It will gradually peel back off the
head of your penis. You'll find that what can sometimes
make it difficult and painful is that you have got
absolutely tons of smegma (cock cheese, white/yellowy
sticky stuff) stuck under your foreskin, and that causes
your foreskin to stick to the head of your penis. By
gradually pulling back over time, it will peel off.
Answer 5:The day
after I emailed you, I jumped in the hot shower (seems
this helps to loosen the skin up) and i tried a different
approach rather than pulling all the skin back evenly. I
tried focusing on the top (the bottom follows) but the
only piece that really needs to stretch is the top
because the bottom never retracts just kinda stretches. A
mistake i guess would be very common is that people would
try to stretch the whole thing and mistake the pain of
the bottom (of the foreskin) for their limitation. A word
of advice, its easier to do while your sitting down...
standing i guess stretches the skin more because your
penis is further from your body hence more tension.
It is often recommended that if you cannot pull back your
foreskin completely by the age of 16, you should see a
Really sensitive penis
recommended that u clean ur penis but whenever i touch my
bare penis head it makes a sort of aching pain. is there
anything i can do to make this pain go away? 13
year old boy
Some degree of hypersensitivity is not uncommon but this
lad seems to be at the sensitive end of the range,
particularly by age 16.
In terms of cleaning the penis, the best approach is to
let water do the work - just retract the foreskin fully
in the shower or bath and hold it right back to expose
the coronal sulcus fully while letting the water clean
it. Cotton wool (I think in the US you call that surgical
cotton) can also be used - in water that will give a very
For reducing the hypersensitivity, the key thing is just
to keep the foreskin retracted as often and as long as
possible. The glans will become dryer, which makes it
easier to touch, and will become more accustomed to
touch. At first that may not be so easy in clothes, but
it will probably be OK in bed, and of course in the
shower or bath. Before long it should be OK for a while
at least in clothes so long as soft underwear is worn.
My own case was a little different in that I first got my
foreskin back (with great difficulty) before puberty, at
age 11. I retracted it regularly and often from then on.
This meant that it didn't grow with my penis at puberty
(about a year later) so then every erection uncovered the
glans and there was soon no trace of hypersensitivity.
Tight foreskin (phimosis)
If you have a tight foreskin, meaning that you have
difficulty pulling the foreskin over the head of your
penis and back again, you should see a doctor. The
following advice is from a circumcision specialist:
creams, mostly steroid based, which with daily
applications--several times--over many weeks will reduce
80-90% of cases of pathological phimosis. Some phimoses
are not good candidates as the condition may be
associated with "lichen sclerosus et atrophicus". Not
only would such creams be ineffective for this condition,
but the condition itself is often oncogenic (may lead to
eventual penile cancer). Therefore it is strongly advised
to see a dermatologist to examine the phimosis and the
appearance of the skin prior to recommending a course of
treatment. The creams do require a prescription plus
follow up visits. Circumcision is an option for phimosis
that will permanently cure phimosis and prevent its
recurrence--plus accrue other benefits--however for cases
of "lichen sclerosus et atrophicus", circumcision is
usually considered mandatory. There are potential system
reaction side effects to steroid products, but potential
complications to circumcision too. In either case, the
percentage of side effects or complications are small and
be taught how to wash daily underneath the penis
foreskin. If your parents "forgot" about it, you may be
sexually challenged by an awkwardly foul-smelling penis.
Worry no more! Get in the shower and follow these
- Gently pull the foreskin back away from the head of
- Rinse the head of the penis and inside fold of the
foreskin with soap and warm water.
- Use your finger to remove any deposits from the fold.
- Pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis
Hi, I'm 17 years old, and I would like to
know what is wrong with my penis. I started to masturbate
when I was about 12 going to 13, .... then I saw that my
dick wasn't straight anymore, it curved to the right. I
tried to bend it back as hard as I can, but it won't go
back it only hurts. I think I have some disorder. I was
chatting and some one said they could put a cast on it.
So I don't know. I'm afraid of what girls will think when
they see it. please, if it's a disorder, please help me.
thank you. email me back.
I have masturbated for over a year, and it seems my penis
is bending to the left side. Do all guys' penises do
that? age 14, Iowa (3)
My friend's penis
curves upward when it is erect, and mine doesn't. Why is
that? Our penises are the same size. age 16,
My erect penis curves upward by about 30 degrees. It
doesn't affect me in any way apart from how it looks.
What will girls think? (3)
This is much more common than you think. Don't worry
about it. A woman's vagina is highly flexible, so it's
not likely to have any anatomical bearing on intercourse.
Every penis is built a little differently. Some curve
down, and some curve to the left or right when erect.
(Some point straight out when erect, others are hard
against the stomach.) If it provides pleasure, it
shouldn't matter what shape it is. (3)
Penis curvature normally develops simply from the organ's
internal structures growing to unequal size, a condition
that's quite common. In fact, it's rare for a man's penis
to be perfectly straight. (3)
By the way, girls have exactly the same "what will they
think?" concerns about their bodies. (3)
If your penis suddenly bends after being straight
(especially if there is pain involved), or the bend is
gradually getting worse, then you should see a doctor.
Take along a Polaroid or digital photo to show him the
White pimples on your penis
I have very small pimples on the under
side of my penis as well as the base of my penis. They
fade away and then another or 2 can come in. They don't
itch and when I pop them they just bleed a little. Is
this normal? (35)
It's impossible to tell what these are without an
examination. There are some really benign conditions such
as "pearly penile papules" these are normal growths that
appear around the hair follicles, or an infection of the
sebaceous glands can cause pimple like growths. These can
be simply treated using antibiotics.
The check-ups for guys are really simple. Go to your
local Sexual Health service or make an appointment to see
your own doctor. This is the only way you'll know for
I am 16 and
have got lots of little white lumps on the underneath of
my penis. They are not sore or irritable and I have not
had sex. What could it be? (34)
The little white lumps you mention on the underside of
the penis are almost certainly normal. Often seen in the
teenage years, small pimple-like glands, about 1 or 2mm
diameter, can be seen underneath the foreskin. Sometimes
known as 'Fordyce's spots' they are completely normal and
no treatment is required.
If the spots are seen in rows around the base of the head
of the penis (also known as the glans), they are called
'coronal papillae' which are similar in appearance and
again need no treatment. The best thing to do if you find
these little white lumps is to not worry, don't pick or
squeeze them and to maintain good hygiene by regular
The advice above applies mainly to the situation where
unprotected sex has not occurred. This is because
'genital warts', a sexually transmitted disease, can
initially look similar to the 'normal' lumps I've
mentioned and therefore has to be considered as a
possible diagnosis. Warts appear mainly on and around the
head of the penis but can involve the shaft of the penis
and scrotum. A similar viral infection called 'molluscum
contagiosum' can produce similar flesh-coloured lumps up
to 5mm on the penis and surrounding skin and it is
usually spread by sexual contact. These infections should
be seen and treated by your doctor or by a specialist at
the local hospital.
The 'normal' lumps will cause no irritation, pain or
inflammation but if you are worried about any new spots,
ulcers, lumps or pain that develop in the penis or
scrotum, you should get it checked out. (34)
This link has an in-depth medical
description of the penis, how it works and common