Can Penis Size Be Estimated by Body, Hand, or Foot Size?

Man handing condom to woman

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It is a common myth that you can tell the general size of a man's penis from the size of his shoes or hands. Are these clues as to what's going on beneath his boxer briefs? While these penis size myths have produced a wide range of ridiculous double entendres, research says you can't predict penis size based on other body dimensions.

Busting This Penis Size Estimation Myth

There have been many studies that have examined the possible correlations between penis size and race, height, build, and the size of a man's feet, hands, and even butt. A review of studies published in 2015 found only weak or inconsistent correlation with any other body dimensions. While you may have seen headlines from some of the reviewed studies, they don't hold up to scientific scrutiny.

If you're one of the people checking out the size of a man's walking shoes in order to get a clue as to his abilities in bed, you can cut it out. You won't get an inkling of what's going on down there until the clothes come off. In the meantime, just focus on what you can see.

Does Penis Size Matter?

But even if you could tell a man's penis size from the size of his feet or hands, does it really matter? Fortunately, penis size is not related to sexual satisfaction. Existing surveys throughout the years have shown that women believe girth is more important than length, and that penises that are above average in size can actually cause discomfort to sexual partners. In many other cases, the large, small, or average size of a penis doesn't even register on a woman's radar. This is because fulfilling sex is about so much more than just sexual intercourse.

Not to say that penis size has no effect on sexual pleasure. A larger penis may rub up against the clitoris during intercourse, making an orgasm more likely for a woman. Or a larger penis, whether larger in length or in girth, may make a woman feel "fuller," or feel that she is being stimulated deeper inside her vaginal canal. But there are other ways to accomplish these sensations.

Measuring Penis Size

You may want to know your penis size and how it compares to the average size of a penis. The first step is to measure your penis. You may feel a little embarrassed doing so, but realize you are not alone, or even in the minority. Knowing your erect penis size can help you select the right size condom.

To measure the length of your penis, use a ruler by placing it at the very base of your penis. You may need to push this inwards toward your pubic bone if you have an extra tissue (the physicians' word for fat) but any length hidden by this layer still classifies as part of the penis. Measure from the base to the tip.

Measuring the width of your penis requires two steps. First, take a soft measuring tape and wrap it all the way around the thickest part of your penis. Since this can change with degree of arousal, you may need to do this more than once and take an average. Once you have recorded the circumference (length all the way around) your penis, then divide this number by 3.14 to get the width.

Penis Size Over Time

With all of the commercials talking about erectile dysfunction, you may be wondering if penis size changes over time just as sexual response may. It is true that penis size may shrink over time, but going back to the section above relating penis size to sexual function, it's probably not worth worrying about. In fact, the intimacy that partners appreciate far more than a few millimeters of penis often grows substantially more than a penis can shrink.

Penis Enlargement

You are probably the exception if you've never received an email regarding penis enlargement. These unsolicited ads are likely to be scams and even transmit computer viruses. It is better to research legitimate penis enlargement treatments and discuss them with your doctor.

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Article Sources

  • Ghanem H, Glina S, Assalian P, Buvat, J. Position Paper: Management of Men Complaining of a Small Penis Despite and Actually Normal Size. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2013. 10(1):294-303.
  • Veale D, Miles S, Bramley S, Muir G, Hodsoll J. Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men. BJU International. 2015;115(6):978-986. doi:10.1111/bju.13010.