Medically reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 5/13/2023
Wondering how to measure your penis? Find tips and guidance here.
Despite what the Internet might say, there shouldn’t be an association between penis size and self-esteem. But we understand that at some point, every guy has wondered how his member compares to the average-sized penis.
Knowing the size of your penis isn’t just good for an ego boost or to give you anxiety about size. This information is important for your sexual health, as knowing your penis length and girth can help you know the correct condom size to buy.
You can also forget any myths that your penis size correlates with your shoe size or that there’s one normal penis size. This guide will include step-by-step instructions on how to measure your penis, including length and girth (penis circumference), and how this information is useful.
First, we’ll discuss how to measure your penis length.
Accurately finding your penis measurements involves measuring not only penis girth and length but also finding accurate measurements for both an erect penis as well as a flaccid penis.
To find the length of your erect or flaccid penis, you’ll need a flexible tape measure, similar to what you’d find in a sewing kit or what’s used for tailoring. If you don’t have a flexible tape measure, you can use a piece of string and measure with a flat ruler later.
If you use string, make sure it doesn’t stretch like yarn, which could result in measurement errors.
Place the end of the measuring tape or string against the top of the penis, where it meets the pubic bone.
Extend the tape measure to the tip of your penis and note the measurement. This is your penis length.
If you use string, mark where the end of the string meets the tip of your penis. Then, straighten out the string and use a ruler to measure the distance from the mark to the end.
Wondering how you might compare to the average size? According to a review of data published in the journal British Journal of Urology International, the average erect penis length is approximately 5.2 inches (13.12 centimeters). The average penis size when flaccid, from base to tip, is around 3.6 inches or 9.16 centimeters.
There’s also a wide variation between a flaccid penis and an erect penis, with the difference averaging between 1 to 4 inches, according to the Kinsey Institute.
A smaller flaccid penis may lengthen by a bigger percentage than a larger flaccid penis as well, meaning a flaccid penis isn’t always an indicator of erect penile size.
Penis girth is the circumference measurement of how wide or thick your penis is. Follow these steps to measure penis girth.
Use a flexible measuring tape such as a cloth tape measure or a piece of string. Again, make sure the string doesn’t stretch like yarn, which could result in inaccurate measurements.
Gently wrap the tape or string one time around the thickest part of the shaft of the erect penis.
Where the ends of the tape meet is your measurement. If you’re using a string, mark where the end of the string meets the rest of it. Then straighten out the string and use a ruler to measure the distance from the mark to the end.
According to the same British Journal of Urology International study, the average girth is around 4.6 inches (11.66 centimeters). When it comes to flaccid circumferences, the average measurement is around 3.7 inches, or 9.31 centimeters.
Similar to how the length of a flaccid penis can differ from an erect penis, there can be a slight difference between flaccid penis girth and erect penis girth.
Knowing how to measure your penis length and girth is essential for your sexual health — but it doesn’t impact your sexual performance as much as you may think.
Despite what television, the Internet or other people may tell you, there’s no “normal” penis size, and the size of your penis isn’t directly connected to sexual satisfaction.
While there have been studies on what size penis women prefer, the results are more nuanced when you add context.
For example, a 2015 study found that the average size range women preferred varied based on whether or not they were in a relationship and how long they’d been in that relationship.
But knowing your measurements is still important for condom fit. Buying condoms in the correct size is incredibly important for ensuring they’re effective.
As you probably already know, wearing latex condoms provides protection against most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and is an effective way to lower your partner’s risk of pregnancy.
The size of condom you buy matters because if a condom is too large, it could fall off during sexual intercourse, while a too-small condom fit could be uncomfortable and potentially increase the risk of tearing or breaking.
Condom manufacturers base the size of condoms on length and width, and many have size guides you can find online — although measurements may vary by brand.
If your penis measurements are within the average penis sizes from the above study, you can most likely use “normal” or “standard” size condoms.
If you struggle with anxiety over penis size or find your measurements causing sexual performance anxiety like erectile dysfunction, you should know this can happen to men of all ages and backgrounds.
You should also know that a partner’s sexual satisfaction often depends on more than penetration. Less than 50 percent of women don’t reach orgasm through penetrative intercourse, according to a 2015 Finnish study.
While some men might constantly measure their penis, others may be wary. But how to measure your penis is incredibly simple and will actually benefit your sexual health.
All you need is a flexible measuring tape or a piece of string and a ruler. Measure from the pubic bone to the tip of your penis to find the length. To find penis girth, wrap the tape measure or string around the thickest part.
Knowing your penis size isn’t just about an ego boost — your measurements can affect what size condoms you wear. The right size condom increases protection from STIs and prevents pregnancy.
Regardless of whether you have an above-average or small penis, you can still have self-confidence and provide sexual satisfaction to your partner.
If you find anxiety around penis size is interfering with your sexual experiences, communication between partners can help alleviate sexual anxieties. You can also look for more information in our guides on how to break a performance anxiety cycle and how to relax during sex.
It should also be noted that you can’t increase the size of your penis — contrary to what male-enhancement pills might tell you.
Since the science behind most male-enhancement supplements is iffy at best, you should talk to a healthcare provider about evidence-based treatments for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and other sexual function problems that can affect men.