Does size matter?

Bottom line: It is very important. But the right size for me may not be the right size for you

size-matter

When my girlfriends discovered it had been years since I had sex, almost every other conversation revolved around my dating hiatus and jokes about how I was in real danger of being re-virginised. I don’t much care for the term and there are only so many hymen jokes I can tolerate. Finally, I caved in and created my dating profile on the most popular hook up app of our time. Would you believe me if I said ALL my friends, even the most conservative ones, gave me their blessing to get laid? It was a very different conversation from my early 20s when my friends would have been scandalised had I even kissed a date. Apparently, now I was supposed to “just do it”.

I matched with many, met a few, but didn’t find someone I wanted to Netflix and chill with. Since my success mantra came from Nike, my friends always had a good laugh when I texted Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik after such not-so-happening dates. It was amusing for a while, but when I had texted Puma after yet another disappointing date, I was seriously running out of options — for dates, not brands, well…yes brands too.

Just when it seemed like I was the only person on Tinder who was not getting any action, I met a tall, dark and sensible sorta guy. The one who triggered the most exhaustive post coital analysis of my life…

Till then, I never thought much about the average Indian penis size. Even when I read a survey that it was 5.4 inches, I remember thinking, “That doesn’t seem right.” I brought out my measuring tape, one that usually surfaces when I am buying furniture, just to be sure that 5.4 was as piddly as I pictured it. Then I moved my hands apart to try and figure out what I thought was the right size and placed that on the tape. Yup, it was certainly at least 7 inches. I remember chuckling at that because that would mean what I had seen so far was way above average. It certainly felt fine and not scary or hurtful as they describe in trashy novels. Then I forgot about penis sizes and such for a long time till that fateful date.

Up until that experience if you would have asked me whether size matters, I would have given a very different answer. Being in the health writing space, I was also brainwashed into believing that it doesn’t matter. I had read articles with quotes from women who spoke about the importance of technique over size. I spoke to doctors who assured me that clitoral stimulation was the key to the female orgasm and women didn’t have any issues with penis sizes. The very same doctors also reassured women who are afraid of pain during sex by writing about how the vagina was ready to push out a baby so it could certainly take in a penis.

When I gave birth, I realised that the baby size example was completely off the mark. The baby comes out tearing skin and tissue. Ask anybody who had a vaginal delivery to tell you about an episiotomy. The wounds heal and it is all hunky dory later, but a penis doing that is a big no no! Small wonder that women who have never had sex are worried if their partner is well-endowed. But, that was the least of my worries. I was at the opposite end of that spectrum, thinking about whether I was wrong in expecting something bigger. I felt ashamed for thinking like men who seek well-endowed women. Was it right to look for a bigger penis if it was wrong for men to seek women with bigger boobs? Wait, was it wrong for them to have a preference? Was it wrong for me? Was I no better? Arghhhh!!!

I was all over Google the next day and the day after that trying to get answers to the question: Does size matter? It was a hopeless search as article after article informed me that even a 3-inch penis was supposed to be enough because all the sensitive nerve endings, all 5,000 of them, are right at the beginning of the vagina.

I was beginning to feel like a freak. I thought of Godfather and wondered whether I was like Lucy Mancini and only a Sonny Corleone could satisfy me. You know that part where they talk about Lucy’s “big box” and how only Sonny who was so well-endowed that while other women cringed, Lucy was the one who could accommodate him. Lucy also got vaginal tightening surgery later on when she met another man. Would I be needing one if this date was anything to go by?

Then I snapped out of my funk and googled some more. I came across the largest recorded penis size. It is 13.5 inches by the way. I came across the largest vagina and that was 19 inches. Then I read that the average vagina is about 4 inches in an aroused state.

But, none of this helped me figure out what happened the day I typed Nike but felt like I had done nothing at all. What began as a steamy make out session ended a total bust with him climaxing on top and me wondering when it began and ended. My first instinct was to give him some feedback but he forestalled that by expressing surprise because I told him I hadn’t done it for years. According to him, I didn’t feel that snug and was really wet unlike other women he had been with. I was wondering isn’t it supposed to be tighter or something thanks to years of being unused?

But, I said the next thing that popped in my mind, “Maybe that’s ’coz I had a vaginal delivery.” But, even as I said it, I realised that couldn’t be true because 

then it would have come up when I had sex the first time after delivery and not years later. But, he seemed satisfied and I let it slide. How much can one expect from a casual date and it is not like I was going back for seconds.

Later, as I was plumbing the digital depths, I did read that some women had a problem with their vaginal muscles after delivery. That didn’t do me any good at all as I was not among those women. My vagina was back to its original dimensions and I could feel the friction as well as I did before my pregnancy. 

So I was back to square one.

Then I did what I do best, I leaned in on my circle of girl friends. I started talking to them about things we never spoke about. The first time I tried to tell a friend what happened that day, I said, “Imagine if you put a dwarf in a hot tub and he mistakes it for a mini pool…” and she started giggling and we both laughed till tears streamed down my eyes. I felt lighter for the first time in days as she told me that she understood perfectly. It was a difficult conversation to have because neither of us had ever openly talked about the actual details of our sex lives. She told me that she also prefers men who are above the Indian average. Since that day I haven’t felt self-conscious while discussing it with my girl friends. However, for a long time, I thought only a few women were like me till one of my friends went through something similar.

She met a guy who had the gift of the gab. He sweet talked her into going to one of those stay uncle places against her better judgement. And the sex? I know you 

are expecting me to say that it was crappy. But one can’t exactly say that because she does not want to put a label to what transpired between them. Technically speaking, he had sex but she didn’t feel anything at all.

To top it all, when she asked him whether he was done because she was not even close to an orgasm, he went on to prove using some weird statistical data that he is a superior lover. He spoke about his size being perfectly normal and the duration being a standard seven minutes and gushed over his own technique. She couldn’t have responded even if she’d tried.

We had a good laugh later not because of his shortcomings (pun totally intended) but the sheer gall he had to mansplain sexual satisfaction. He claimed that women always came back to him because they had enjoyed it the most with him and predicted that she would too. She was speechless at the time but she recounted it in detail when she told me, “Swapna, I couldn’t even feel it in there and here he was telling me how I was supposed to feel great about doing it with him. Statistics are not going to give an orgasm!” I asked her about his penis size and she said it was palm-sized. When I pressed her to think in inches, she felt it was around 4.5 inches or max 5, and she was used to a good 2-3 inches more.

When she shared her experience, all I could think was that compared to me she is really petite but she feels perfectly at ease with a 7-8 inch penis. Then I remembered reading that an average vagina is about 2-3 inches. Where are all these women? I am not trying to be sarcastic just saying that I have yet to meet a single woman who prefers a small penis.

Having said that, I can accept that there are women who have smaller vaginas and they are satisfied with smaller penises. But, to conclude that all women should be okay with a small penis seems odd to me because size does matter even to those who prefer it smaller. There are women who claim they don’t like a larger penis because they feel the entire shaft isn’t fully sheathed inside or that it hurts if they take it all in.

Then I had another interesting conversation where the woman told me about how she was good at deriving pleasure despite the size. Why size and pleasure are not co-related to some became somewhat clearer. There are women who prefer oral sex or are happier with orgasming through other methods and don’t care much for penetrative intercourse. Some prefer to climax through digital stimulation even during penetrative sex. To them, size is not a big issue as their sexual preferences do not revolve around penile-vaginal penetration. This is my understanding and not the result of some empirical survey.

If the goal is mutual pleasure through any means even if all you are doing is bumping and grinding then you will still experience an orgasm. A woman can orgasm even if she rubs against a pillow when she is masturbating or while dry humping. I understand that. I really do. But that does not take into account pleasure and penis size and address the issues of women who derive pleasure when they experience a feeling of fullness with a penis which is well over 6 inches.

Around this time I came across a study where they recorded women’s penis size preferences using 3D models for the first time. Granted the women were not all Indian and this was about relative size preferences based on the type of relationship. The study recorded the preferred length is 6.3 inches and the circumference is 4.8 inches for long term relationships and slightly larger for a one time romp. I was just happy reading these statistics because it seemed more real and definitely more appealing.

Then why are so many doctors and researchers talking about length or girth not being an issue? I don’t have the answers but I do know how I feel or don’t feel. Armed with this data and so many experiences I asked one of the psychologists I knew whether it mattered. He admitted, “Well if you can’t feel anything at all then there is no question of satisfaction!” Validation felt good and I have to admit that I didn’t need any further proof that size matters.

But I found it anyway.

I found out that with the right size not only was I satisfied but my partner was also happy. When my partner asked me how I was feeling the next day and I told him to stop fishing for compliments, he told me he spoke out of concern not conceit. He was relieved that I didn’t have any complaints about feeling sore or being in pain. Apparently, he had been with women who told him they felt uncomfortable with a large penis like his.

It was around the time I realised that is not all about the length of the penis but the girth as well because this man didn’t have a very long penis but it was thick. My hands are really tiny and my rule is that if I can circle the penis with my thumb and forefinger then it is not thick enough for me to feel any pleasure. I am not trying to body shame any man, to me it is an issue of finding satisfaction when I am happy with my partner being the way he is. When we are evenly matched for maximum friction and fullness it works perfectly for both.

I wonder why we don’t think about sexual compatibility in these terms. Is it because we are not taught to think about compatibility at all? We are told to find a partner who is educated, doing well work wise and from a decent family to ensure a wonderful relationship. How does that ensure everything will work out for the best? Two people might be awesome individually (a great catch as they tick all the boxes) but may not necessarily work as a couple. What about the spark in a relationship, the special something which makes this person right for you?

Why do we not seek partners who we share a great chemistry with and yes even sexual chemistry? Is it because it has been drilled into our heads that relationships mean compromise? Once I figured out that compromise in the sexual aspect of the relationship is just a fancy word for settling for less (not punning this time), I shook off years of conditioning. I figured I had been going about romance and intimacy the wrong way. I was so caught up with checking the boxes that I forgot to focus on how I felt when I was with the person. When I shifted my lens to focus on whether I was enjoying being with someone, I learned that I didn’t have to adjust or let go of something important to me. It was such a simple, yet powerful epiphany. 

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