Ep. 5 : Penis erection and relevant info
1. Does size matter in the end? How does this relate to my girlfriend’s pleasure?
The quick answer to this question is “No, penis size does not matter”. The correct answer to this question is “it depends on who you ask”. The size of the penis ranges from 9 to 12 cm in a relaxed state and from 11 to 15 cm during an erection. Depending on the anatomy of each person, the penis may lengthen during erection or remain the same. Also, the length of the penis varies depending on the race. African people have on average larger penises in length, while Asians have shorter, compared to Caucasians (white race). If you have already started measuring your penis, keep in mind that it depends on which part of the penis you start! The base of the penis is located in the pubic bone, but depending on the accumulation of fat at this point the measurement may not be accurate. As far as we know from literature, penis size does not play a role in women’s sexual satisfaction. Some straight girls are satisfied with a larger size, while in others it can cause discomfort or pain. The fact that a large penis creates sexual advantage is a myth, based on pornographic material that exists and in which people with larger penises are chosen to star or directed so that the size looks bigger. This myth has created expectations which, while unrelated to reality, create complex issues, anxiety, and feelings of insecurity in many people. The reality, however, is that the most significant factor of sexual satisfaction at all cases is how well partners communicate their needs and sexual desires, how safe they feel with each other, how close they feel and the chemistry they develop. Once your body is healthy, there are numerous ways to get and give sexual satisfaction and enjoyment.
2. What is a normal duration for sex and how can premature ejaculation be treated?
People often wonder if sex is “enough” in frequency and duration. Men in particular worry about how functional their penis is. It is difficult to answer this question, since the definition of “sex” differs depending on the couple. Are preliminaries part of sex and if so when do we start counting? Starting with the kiss? Throat or breast massaging? Genital irritation? When do we stop counting? When does the man, woman, or couple partners come to satisfaction? Once or more than once? It is quite hard to reach an objective way count duration.
However, there is always some basic fact: as long as sexual activity is consensual and enjoyable, any duration is normal. A somewhat objective measure is the duration of penetration. From the moment the penis inserts to the point of ejaculation, the average duration is 5.4 minutes. If ejaculation occurs in less than 1.5 minutes, then there is an indication of Premature Ejaculation (PE). There are two types of PE: primary, due to biological and hereditary factors and secondary due to hormonal disorders, prostatitis, also psychological issues. The latter reason is most common in teenage years and younger men and has to do with stress and the sense of responsibility that many boys feel towards partner satisfaction. Feelings of shame for the body or the act, embarrassment, anxiety, and fear, but also lack of experience and knowledge about sex can also lead to PE. Many teens worry that they will “finish” quickly, judging from the duration in porn material. Porn is anything but real! At a young age, premature ejaculation may not be permanent and cooperation, communication and support between partners, as well as acquisition of sexual experience can be the solution. However, if it persists, one could seek expert opinion by an urologist-andrologist.
3. What is erectile dysfunction and what causes it? How is it treated?
Erectile dysfunction is the failure to achieve an erection, satisfactory in duration and hardness for sexual satisfaction. To be considered dysfunctional, the absence or difficulty of erection must occur 50% of the time that a person has sex. All men of all ages experience incomplete erection at some point in their lives, which is perfectly normal. Erection, as a vascular function, is affected by all the factors that affect vascular circulation. The most common factors are:
- stress of performance and satisfaction of the partner
- harmful lifestyle such as alcohol consumption, smoking, substance use or abuse, and insufficient sleep or insomnia
- health conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension)
• use of some drugs,medications
• neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis
Sexual or other traumatic experiences may result to difficulties in achieving and maintaining an erection, while people with post-traumatic stress may have decreased sexual desire which leads to erectile difficulties. If the causes are biological, the treatment of erectile dysfunction needs pharmacotherapy, while in cases of psychological distress, the situation calls for psycho-emotional support. Partner positivity and communication is very important, as the fear of rejection is very high and can make the problem worse. Healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, exercise, and no smoking habits help with healthy penile function.
Sex is not about perfect performance. Many things can go wrong, but there is improvement with experience and feeling emotionally safe within the relationship. If difficulties are dealt with humor, understanding, love, and support – instead of anxiety and shame – then sex will fulfill its true purpose: unique bonding and happiness of partners involved.
EXPERT GROUP «ALL ABOUT SEX»
- Charis Asvestis, Andrologist-Urologist
- Panagiotis Christopoulos, As. Professor of Gynecology, University of Athens
- Chrysoula Iliopoulou, MSW/MEd Psyhcotherapist, Clinical Sexologist
- Athanassios Thirios, Adolescent Health MSc
- Efthalia Tzila, Child Psychiatrist MSc
- Artemis Tsitsika, Asoc. Professor of Pediatrics-Adolescent Health, University of Athens