Are Men Getting Smaller Where It Counts?

Men of the world, rejoice! The average length of an erect penis is shorter than you probably think.

A study by Lifestyles Condom Co. shows that the average length of a male sex organ is 5.877 inches — which might comfort men who previously thought they were less than average.

"The Kinsey Sex Report and other penis size surveys have indicated that the length of the penis is 6.2 to 6.4 inches," says Simon Joseph, a spokesman for Lifestyles. "Our results show that about three-quarters of men fall under the average quoted by Kinsey."

"A half-inch or less might not have anything to do with how you perform sexually, but it might make a difference in how you feel about yourself."

According to the survey, about two-thirds of the 300 college-aged men ranged from between 5.1 and 6.2 inches.

For those of you who don't like to deal in raw numbers, at 5.877 inches, the average penis is about the size of a Nestle Butterfinger candy bar (unwrapped) or a grande (medium) cup of coffee at Starbucks (with the sip lid). Most men vary in size between a Twix bar and a Peter Paul Mounds (with the wrapper extended).

When Alfred Kinsey did his groundbreaking research in the mid-1940s, researchers simply gave men stamped postcards. Each one simply held a postcard against his erect penis, marked how long it was, and slipped the results in the mail.

"They never had to hold a ruler against themselves," says Kinsey spokesman Jennifer Bass.

Measuring an erect penis is no easy matter. Kinsey, Masters and Johnson, and various urology groups have been satisfied with either letting the men do it themselves or with surveys of a few dozen volunteers.

But condom companies need more accurate measurements for the best-fitting products — even if sex experts assure us that size doesn't matter. Lifestyles says it did the largest and most accurate measure of penis size ever just three weeks ago. Company representatives went to Cancun, Mexico, at the heart of spring break, hoping to get 1,000 guys to drop their trousers, get aroused, and let a team of nurses measure them individually.

The guys got to go into a private tent outside Daddy Rock nightclub, where they found girlie magazines and other items to put them in the mood. Then came the doctor and two nurses. Each penis was measured by two of the four nurses.

"It was a highly professional operation," said Dr. Francisco Ordonez, who supervised the research. "The nurses wore disposable latex gloves and the men were all good-humored and well-behaved."

It's amazing what some college guys on spring break will do for some free T-shirts, condoms and other prizes. The researchers thought holding the testing in such an environment, where guys tended to cluster in bunches, would help get true variety.

"In other tests, guys responded individually, and perhaps only guys who were proud of their penis size would respond," says Joseph. "In this test, we thought peer pressure would help coax guys who wouldn't ordinarily do such a thing into doing it."

Still, when it came time for measuring, about 25 percent of the guys weren't up to the job and had to face a little humiliation in the name of science.

Ordonez and his team had to be satisfied with 300 respondents. That's far fewer than they hoped for. But it's nearly twice as many as a similar study in Brazil last year, which had similar results.

The Importance of Girth

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