Over on Reddit, in a post titled, "What is the right moment to tell your date/fling that you have a micropenis? And how do you go about it?", a man opened up about his insecurities in this department, leading to a conversation about whether or not penis size really does matter.
“Not asking for a friend,” the post begins. “I never expected to ever have sex, let alone get someone on a date, but it happened last week. Everything went well and the second time we met, we both went to her apartment to drink and watch a movie. After we kissed, I just noped the fuck out and cycled home because I couldn't handle the stress. When do I tell women this info, if at all?”
To be clear, a micropenis is “2.5 standard deviations smaller than the mean size of the adult human penis." If you are an adult and your erection is two inches, you qualify for a micropenis, as Dr. Leo Doumanian, a reconstruction surgeon at the USC Institute of Urology, previously told Men's Health.
As for how to go about starting that conversation, one commenter suggested that the poster “set expectations as soon as possible,” saying: “I haven’t figured this out either, and I’m not looking forward to this situation.”
However, penis size isn’t something you necessarily need to lead with on the first date, says Justin Lehmiller, PhD, a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author of Tell Me What You Want. “Consider taking time to build an emotional connection first and then find a time before clothes start coming off to bring it up,” he says. “When you mention it, you might think about saying that you can make up for what don’t have in size—and then some.”
Lehmiller is referring to the assumption that penis size is the only factor that matters when it comes to satisfying a sexual partner; a myth which a number of women in the Reddit discussion were keen to dispel. “I’m going to encourage you to also be sure you’re great at giving orgasms. This doesn't require a penis at all,” said one commenter. “Be great at all the other things, having a dick and/or a big doesn’t mean you’re automatically a great boyfriend or a good kisser or great at giving head.”
And when you consider the fact that vaginal penetration is one of the least common ways that women reach orgasm, having a micropenis isn’t technically a disadvantage. “A lot of women find it easier to orgasm from manual stimulation of the clitoris, oral sex, or use of vibrators or other sex toys,” Lehmiller says. "Sex isn’t just one thing, so don’t get hung up on a narrow definition of it as penis-in-vagina intercourse."
Doing some basic research in advance—as unsexy as that sounds—on common ways of pleasing women besides intercourse can help you develop a more varied game plan when the moment arrives. Also: Ask what your partner likes and pay close attention to their feedback. If vaginal penetration is something your partner really enjoys, for instance, there are different things you can try, from experimenting with different positions that will allow for deeper penetration to inserting a finger along with your penis to using a penis extender, Lehmiller says. "The more open you are to possibilities and the more options you can give your partner for stimulation, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to find something that works for both of you."
Back on Reddit, one woman shared an encouraging story of the good time she had with a man with a micropenis: “He told me while we were getting hot and heavy by saying ‘what I lack in penis, I make up for in skill’ and he was totally right,” she said. “He was dedicated and open and not ashamed… He didn’t lie about it, he didn’t try to hide it, he just put it on the table so to speak and we carried on our happy way. I had many encounters with him, he was a brilliant lover, and he got his too. I can theoretically understand why it’s embarrassing, but it’s not like you can change it, and it’s not like it’s the only part of sex that matters. He knew what he was working with, and he developed other skills to enhance it… There are things about your body you can control, and things you can’t.”
It might sound like a cliché, but it really is true that for many women, size doesn’t matter all that much. And taking a more proactive approach to showing your partner a good time is something that more men should be doing, regardless of size. As one of the female Reddit commenters put it: “Good sex doesn’t come from a penis, it comes from a good lover.”
This article originally appeared on Men's Health