Puberty Sex information - Teenage Boys


Your penis

Worried you are different to other guys?
фотография обыкновенного мальчика
"....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)



фотография обыкновенного мальчика normal teenage boy normal teenage boy

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 own.


The Penis
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....

The Concerns

  • 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?

Penis Characteristics

Penis hanging

Question:When you stand up, does your non-erect penis hang to the left or right at all? (3)

Options Percentage
no — it hangs straight down 58%
it hangs to the left slightly 27%
it hangs the right slightly 15%

Penis curve

Question:When you look at your erect penis, does it curve at all? (3), (55)

Options Percentage
no — it's straight 39%
curves to the left slightly 29%
curves to the right slightly 12%
curves sharply to the left or right (more than 20 degrees) 2%
curves upwards 18%

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.

Penis length

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) Menshealth (49)

penis size graph 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!)

rulerGet 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. (3)

Small Penis

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!

doctorMost men 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 (48)

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. (50)

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.

Penis enlargement

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 partners.

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

normal teenage boyMy 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 (3)
average personAs 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) (33)


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 (uncut/uncircumcised) penis.

doctorAt birth 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 future problems.
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.

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)

normal teenage boyI'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 (3)

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) functions.

For more detailed information on the foreskin, its function and caring for it.

Foreskin stuck to the head of the penis

normal teenage boyI 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 appreciated (11)

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. (11)

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. (11)

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 doctor. (11)

Really sensitive penis

typical boyit is 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 gentle touch.

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. (41)

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: (41)

doctorThere are 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 treatable.

Penis Hygiene

boy showerBoys should 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 instructions:

  • Gently pull the foreskin back away from the head of the penis.
  • 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 (25)

Bent Penis

normal teenage boyHi, 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, Pennsylvania (3)
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 problem.

White pimples on your penis

normal teenage boyI 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 sure. (35)

boyI 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 washing.

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)

Further Information

This link has an in-depth medical description of the penis, how it works and common problems.


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