- Women were asked to pick their 2 favourites from 33 different sized models
- One was ‘ideal’ size for a one-night stand, the other for long-term partner
- Overall, size was considered more important factor for a casual encounter
- For long-term partner, ideal was a length of 6.4 in and circumference of 5in
It’s a topic endlessly debated and worried about the world over – what do women class as an acceptably sized penis?
In the latest study to investigate the matter, scientists have turned to 3D printing.
And the results may be more of a comfort to men than they anticipate.
For the average woman prefers an appendage that is only ‘slightly above average’ – and is less bothered about size when in a long-term relationship.
For the study, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of New Mexico 3D printed 33 models of different sized penises.
These were based on variations of the average erect penis length of an American: 6 inches, with a circumference of 5 inches
The idea behind using 3D printed phalluses is that they would help the women in the study accurately recall size.
As the researchers wrote in the journal PLOS One: ‘Studies of women’s penis size preferences typically have relied on their abstract ratings or selecting amongst 2D, flaccid images.’
They also wanted ascertain whether women’s penis size preference varied between one-night stands and long-term relationships.
The 75 women in the study were asked to select which would be an ideal penis for a one-night stand, and which they would consider ideal for a long-term partner.
Overall, size was more important during casual encounters, the study found.
Here, the women opted for, on average, a penis that was 6.4 inches/16.3 cm long and with a circumference of 5.0 inches/12.7 cm.
But in a long-term relationship, size was slightly less of an issue, with the average preference being a length of 6.3 inches/16.0 cm and circumference of 4.8 inches/12.2 cm.
‘These first estimates of erect penis size preferences using 3D models suggest women prefer penises only slightly larger than average,’ the paper concluded.
Researchers 3D printed 33 models of different sized penises. These were based on variations of the average erect penis length of an American: 6 inches, with a circumference of 5 inches
Women in the study were asked to select which would be an ideal penis for a one-night stand – and which they would consider ideal for a long-term partner
Size was more important during casual encounters, with women preferring a smaller manhood over time
During the study, women were also asked to fill out questionnaires, which included questions about penis size preferences, sexual history, and their current sexual functioning (orgasm rates, ease of lubrication, and any pain during intercourse).
They then completed a 10-minute computer task that assessed their memory recall of the penises they’d picked.
Overall, the women remembered the size of the 3D models well – but were better at recalling the correct girth rather than length.
‘One possible explanation is that women care more about circumference, so they may attend to it more,’ the researchers suggested.
But bigger didn’t necessarily equate to better in the eyes of many women – with many selecting larger phalluses as those most likely to be infected with an STD.
Women may prefer a smaller penis in a long-term partner for reasons of both physical comfort and a preference for less masculinity, it was suggested
Meanwhile various theories were given for why women may prefer slightly smaller penises during a long-term relationship.
For instance, women may prefer a smaller penis size in a long-term partner for reasons of both physical comfort and a preference for less masculinity, the researchers suggested.
They added: ‘Given that women typically experience more pleasurable and orgasmic sex in longer-term relationships, they might prefer a larger penis for short-term sex – partly so the increased physical sensation compensates for the reduced psychological connection.
‘Novelty itself contributes to pleasure, so seeking a more novel-sized penis may be consistent with a goal to pursue pleasure primarily in one-time partners.’
The study follows a paper published in July in which Swiss doctors sought to define what women class as a ‘good looking penis’.
Overall cosmetic appearance was rated as the most essential factor, followed by the appearance of pubic hair and skin around the genital area.
While girth was considered the joint third most important aspect, women only rated length as the sixth most vital asset.
Rated as the least important aspect of a penis’ appearance was the position and shape of the urethral opening, where urine leaves the body (defined as the meatus, in medical terminology).
And earlier this year, British scientists revealed what is considered ‘normal’ for penis size and length.
The average length of an erect penis is 5.2 inches (13.12 cm), they found.
Meanwhile, the average length of a flaccid penis is 3.6 inches (9.16 cm) and 5.2 inches (13.24 cm) when flaccid but stretched.
And in terms of girth, the average erect circumference was 4.6 inches (11.66 cm) and 3.7 inches (9.31 cm) when flaccid.