I don't know anyone who agrees on the the perfect penis size, but it's certainly talked about a lot. Online doctor service Dr. Ed wanted to look at if and why size matters, and the anxiety around it. They surveyed over 2,000 respondents, 1,148 male and 973 female, to find out exactly what we want (and have) when it comes to penis size. And the perceived ideal length around the world was 15.8 cm (6.2 inches) for women and 16.6 cm (6.5 inches) for men. What's interesting about this, is that women's ideal length was smaller than the ideal length for men. So if you're a straight dude and you're worried about your penis size, it's time to chill. Our expectations aren't as big (or probably as girthy) as yours.
And, although many people think that all men are worried about whether or not they're big enough in the bedroom, that might not actually be the case. In reality it's only around 10.3 percent who are dissatisfied with their penis size and 1.7 percent who are very dissatisfied. In fact, 45 percent said that they were content with what they were packing.
Pretty good, right? But there was a lot of variance around the United States and around the globe when it comes to penis preferences. Here's what the survey found. But first, check out our video on sex positions to last longer in bed:
1. Most Women Think It's Important... Sort Of
Sixty-seven percent of women did say that it was somewhat important, which makes me think that they would probably only care in some circumstances. According to the survey, 21.4 percent of women said that penis size simply wasn't important and 11.2 percent said that size was very important to them. So that's only a little more than 1 in 10 that think it makes a big difference.
2. Austria Dreams Big
Out of all the the countries, Austria had the highest perceived ideal penis length. They thought the ideal would be 17.6 cm (6.9 inches) long. I was surprised this was the biggest, because a 7-inch ideal is one I've heard thrown around, but maybe my friends are all just insatiable.
3. The U.K. Could Dream Bigger
The United Kingdom was the other end of the scale. They thought the ideal penis size would be 14.2 cm (5.6 inches) long, over a full inch shorter than Austria. Because I've lived here for the past six years I... I have no comment. Out of respect.
4. And Americans...
We were on the high end, with 17 cm (or 6.7 inches) as our ideal. But it varied hugely in between states.
5. Maine Needs To Get Its Head Out Of The Clouds
When I say varied hugely, I mean Maine was huge. Maine had the highest ideal — 19.3 cm or 7.6 inches. Hot damn. I mean, there's dreaming, and then there's just totally unrealistic. That's higher than any country's average. Kansas and Arkansas were up there too, but Maine certainly fits its "Dirigo" motto.
6. ED Is A Real Problem, But It's Not Caused By A Small Penis
The research looked into how many men struggled with ED, showing how anxieties about penis size and sexual performance can have some very real consequences. According to the survey:
It has been shown that anxiety and worries can reduce a man's abilities to get and keep an erection. ED can affect men regardless of their penis size, and is not caused by having a smaller penis. Intimacy is a moment of intense vulnerability and exposure, and for a man who feels uncomfortable about his size — regardless of the reality, anxieties about his penis being seen and sexual performance can therefore directly contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED). For all men, the occurrence of ED can create even more anxiety and reduce sexual confidence — a vicious cycle. This may be more noticeable in younger men, as young men in our study showed less satisfaction about their size and a greater impact of size on their sexual confidence, and one recent study showed that 1 in 4 cases of newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction was in men under 40.
7. Men Are Generally OK With It
The research found that the majority of men don't seem to be negatively impacted by the size matters debate. And the good news is, even if they were worried about their penis size at a young age, there's a chance they'll be cool with it when they're older.
"As with satisfaction, sexual confidence related to penis size appears to trend upwards as men age," the survey says. While 58 percent said penis size didn't affect their sexual self-confidence when they were in the 18-24 age range, the percentage raised to 65 percent by the age of 45. So despite all the pressure, luckily only 16.8 percent have lower sexual self-confidence, which decreases to 10.6 percent by 45. So learn from your elders, chill out, and enjoy the ride.
Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle