Did you know that there's such a thing as "small penis anxiety"?
It's not just in a guy's head; it's in the science books, as well, and it hits men who are "dissatisfied or excessively worried about their penis size," writes a team of British psychiatrists, who set out to find out what makes guys who are extremely concerned about their dick size think.
They analyzed a group of 90 male volunteers, and based on their psychiatric interviews, assigned them to three groups: 31 men who were definitely suffering from small penis anxiety (SPA); 26 men who were suffering not just from SPA but from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) as well (that is, “they were obsessively preoccupied with a [perceived] defect in their appearance”); and 33 men whose worries were just normal.
Interviewing all three groups, here's what they found:
1. Guys worried about their penis size used "jelqing" a lot. That's a penis enlargement technique where you use a squeezing or a stroking motion to draw blood into the head of your erect dick for hours, theoretically making the blood stretch out the tissue and, over the long run, make the penis a wee bit longer.
Other penis lengthening techniques they tried? Attaching weights to the end of their member, and using a vacuum pump.
The group of men who had normal anxieties about their manhood's massiveness didn't use any enlargement techniques at all. Oh, and all those techniques? Risky, the researchers said. "Clinicians should educate their patients to avoid any 'solutions' that have no evidence base," they warn.
2. Even if they've got nail-biting anxiety about dick length, they're still getting tons of action. Actually, whether they were suffering from SPA, or BDD, or were part of the control group, all 90 men were still clocking in some solid sexy time. They got some action some five to seven times a month, and reported an average of 20 or more sexual partners in their entire life.
These findings surprised the psychiatrists, who expected that people worried about their penis size would be avoiding a lot of sex. Instead, "scores do not indicate that those with penis size concerns do not differ in their sexual functioning, desire, or function."
They offered two theories about this. One, guys worried about their size used more "safety-seeking behaviors," like having sex in the dark. Two, quick one-night stands could be less worrying, dick-size-wise, for males with SPA.
3. They're watching a lot of porn...which could be part of the problem. Across all three groups, masturbation and watching pornography levels stayed pretty constant—that is, a lot. On average, they viewed the porn and choked the chicken around once every two days. This could be potentially worrying, as "majority of men with penis size concerns are comparing their size with images they see in pornography," write the researchers.
Lou Paget, PhD, author of The Great Lover Playbook, agrees. "The majority of men compare themselves to something they see in adult material," he tells Men's Health. Obviously, porn actors set very high (or is that long?) standards, and don't fall in the normal distribution of member size.
4. They all actually have normal penis sizes. Whether they suffered from small penis anxiety, full-blown body dysmorphic disorder, or just had a wee bit of worry about their willy, the measurements all come up the same: all 90 participants in the study fell within the normal dick-size range.
Concerns about the length of your penis are usually unfounded—you're probably perfectly normal in terms of the overall male population. Besides, as these women attest, it doesn't really matter anyway. Size is just a number; your skill in the sack is something that can't be quantified.
This story originally appeared on Menshealth.ph
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors