Genital Self-Image May Be Ruining Men’s Sex Lives, Says Study

male genital self image

Do you focus too much on your genital size?

Let’s face it – as a tribe, we men are wired to be competitive. If we’re not keeping score, we’re obsessed with size. OK, maybe not all of us. But a good lot of us are.

That’s why I was intrigued by a recent study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (JSMT). Essentially, investigators wanted to know how men and women perceive their genitals and what impact those perceptions had on sexual satisfaction.

Now before continuing, it’s important to state that for many guys, thoughts about how they “measure up” never enter their mind. But according to a growing number of studies, there are plenty of men who struggle with an issue called “genital self-image”.

In fact, how you view your manhood may have a direct impact on your ability to experience pleasure in the bedroom.

In the JSMT study, scientists surveyed over 6000 people between the ages of 18 and 40 about their body image, their genital perceptions, and their sex lives.

Folks who felt more confident about their genitalia generally had a more positive self-concept and less “performance anxiety” in the bedroom.

The issue of performance anxiety is key because we know from peer-reviewed research that a lot of dudes struggle with achieving (and maintaining) an erection during intimacy.

Related: Why men get morning wood   

To be sure, there are medical issues that can have a significant influence in this area. Examples include diabetes and high blood pressure.

man worried about size of his equipment
Worried you don't measure up?

Still, in looking at the JSMT study and others like it, many of us seem to place a premium on how we view our equipment, particularly size.

Is it any wonder the manscaping has become all the rage in recent years?

Check out what investigators said in their paper about the study:

“Satisfaction with penis length and/or circumference is often related to men's self-confidence and feelings of masculinity,” said researchers. “However, many men hold misconceptions about the average penis length and often misjudge their own penis length to be shorter than the average.”

One can’t help but wonder where some of us are getting these lofty ideas about largeness? The scientific literature tells us that the average size of a fully erect guy is 5.5 inches.

So, what’s the deal? Is it adult-themed movies? Exaggerated imagery on social media? Ridiculous stories about BDE? Perhaps you’ve got some insight on this topic because I sure don’t.

What I do know is this – JSMT study draws a clear line between our ability to experience intimacy and how we view our junk.

Maybe it’s time we lean into our spiritual sides and repeat genital affirming mantras? It can only help, right?

Men’s Variety spoke to Edouard Murat, a Canadian psychotherapist and founder of Head Pause. He shared the following insights with us on mindfulness, self-concept, and intimacy:

“Sit and breath. Just take a 5-minute break to breathe in and out fully until you feel grounded in the present moment. Focus on the positive aspects of your body. Use those feelings to empower something wonderful,” Murat says.

If meditating doesn’t work, you can always repeat a series of size affirmations that are designed to promote gratitude, inner-happiness, and growth.

Speaking only for myself, I’m proud to be an average sized man. While I may play the game of comparisons in many life areas, equipment size isn’t one of them.

That said, we know a lot of guys DO focus on this area. Perhaps you are one of them (like these dudes on Reddit) who wish they had a little bit more.

If you are dissatisfied with your size, we’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m being for real. I’m even going to post a poll on this topic now.


Here’s an honest to goodness question: If you had a magic wand and could make yourself bigger, would you have a healthier self-concept? Would you enjoy intimacy more?

About Chris Farmer 17 Articles
Chris is a freelancer writer and journalist based in Chicago. Look for blog posts and investigative pieces focused on breaking news, men's health, business, entertainment and technology. Be sure to follow him on --->Facebook

1 Comment

  1. After numerous times in the sauna/steam room at my local spa, I can confirm that most men are smaller than the average claimed on most hookup sites. People should just embrace what they have.

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