We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your sex and relationship inquiries to email@example.com. Now, onto this week’s topic: what to do if your boyfriend thinks his penis is too small for you.
Q: “My boyfriend and I are really great with each other and love each other very much. There is a strong physical attraction between us, and we desire each other. He’s very experienced sexually, whereas I am not. I am a very plus size woman with thighs, stomach, butt, and breasts. He is average size. I get very wet when I am with him, and sometimes he slips out. He feels like his penis isn't big enough for me, and he is very frustrated to the point where he feels like he is not pleasing me or can't handle me. He says, ‘if I only had a few more inches.’ After love making sex my body feels good and I am on a high, until he tells me he's doesn't feel like he is pleasing me. I am the largest women he has ever been with, and he says that he has never had this problem before. What should we be doing differently?”
A: Thanks for the question! There are a lot of different dynamics wrapped up in your description, so let me hop right to it. Here are five things to know if your partner is worried about being too small.
Know That Being “Too Small” Is More Of A Male Concern Than A Female One
One of the main issues at play here is that your boyfriend is concerned that his penis isn’t big enough. In your email, you didn’t mention your partner being particularly small, so I get a sense that this is more his insecurity than your own concern. There are few issues that evoke more sensitivity, insecurity, and anxiety for men than penis size. (Google “penis enlargement” and you’ll get a sense of just how desperate a lot of men out there are.)
But the thing is, the overwhelming majority of men are perfectly fine in this department. Let’s look at the actual anatomy of intercourse: The average penis is about five inches. The average woman’s vaginal canal is only three to four inches in length. The vaginal canal does lengthen when you’re aroused and when you’re in the midst of childbirth (isn’t the vagina so cool?), but it’s still pretty small overall. Most penis sizes will do just fine.
Of course, some women do have preferences for larger or girthier penises, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel pleasure from an average-sized one. Plus, just as many women don’t actually feel much pleasure from intercourse, so they would prefer their partner to have a more agile tongue rather than a bigger penis. The bottom line? It’s normal for your partner to wish he had a bigger penis, but that’s not the problem here.
Reassure Him That Slippage Is Normal
At this point, you may be thinking, “but if his penis is big enough, why does he keep slipping out of me?” It’s really important for both of you to recognize that slippage is a totally normal, natural part of having intercourse. So normal that I wrote a whole article about it!
All couples, of all sizes, will experience slippage during intercourse. I would suggest bringing this up with your boyfriend by saying something like, “I was actually doing some research on slippage, and I learned that it’s normal, I know it’s something you worry about a lot, but I think we should try to forget about it in the moment and just keep going! That sounds much hotter to me than us getting all worked up about it in the moment.”
Figure Out How Your Bodies Fit Together
You mentioned in your email that you’re a curvy lady, and it seems like you’re worried that your voluptuousness is part of the problem. Let me be perfectly clear: it’s not! People of all sizes, shapes, and abilities can have pleasurable sex. Your curves deserve to be celebrated.
The issue here is not that you’re “too big” for him or he’s “too small” for you, but that the two of you have to figure out how your bodies work best together. Again, some slippage is normal. But if he’s sliding out every other minute, it’s probably a sign that the particular position you guys are in isn’t working for your bodies. You can try little tricks like pulling your legs together, or using pillows to help change the angle.
Check out the plus sized wedge from Liberator, which provides nice, firm support. Or try different positions. Doggystyle is fantastic for creating a tight fit, and can be great for curvier ladies. Another good position is to lie on your side, and have him enter you as if he was in Missionary. You can also try out the doggy style strap from Sportsheets, which helps your partner hold your bodies together and get deeper penetration.
Give Him More Feedback
It sounds like your boyfriend is feeling insecure. Like I said above, there are few things in this world that can make men more insecure than penis size — and we’re all concerned about sexual performance. Your boyfriend has to work out some of those issues on his own, but you can also be a supportive partner by giving him lots of praise.
When you’re having intercourse, tell him how good you feel. Be specific. You can also take some of the pressure off of his penis by giving him feedback about the other ways he pleases you. A lot of straight men tend to forget that their penis isn’t the only way to please a woman (and again, some women don’t even like intercourse all that much!). Give him lots of praise when he kisses your neck, goes down on you, or uses his hands on your breasts or clit.
Know That This Is About Trust, Too
Last but certainly not least, it sounds like another one of the major issues between you and your boyfriend is that he doesn’t believe you when you tell him that you enjoy being intimate with him. You’re telling him that you feel good, and he’s cutting you off by complaining about his penis size and performance. I suspect that this is mostly due to his self-consciousness, but it’s still messed up that he’s disregarding your feelings. I would suggest that you try talking to him about this when you guys are outside of the bedroom.
Reassure him that you enjoy being intimate with him. You can let him know that you want to continue learning and exploring new things in the bedroom, but that you’re still happy with things just the way they are. Say something like, “I’m on a natural high after we have sex. I feel so good. But then when you start complaining that you haven’t pleased me, it brings me down from cloud nine. It feels like you don’t believe me, but need you to trust me when I tell you I’ve enjoyed myself.”
You can also bring up the size issue by saying something like, “I know you get worried about your size, but that’s your thing, not mine. I love your penis.” If you have had any struggles with body image yourself, maybe this is a chance for the two of you to empathize with each other, and help each other recognize that you love each others’ bodies just the way they are.
Wishing you the best of luck!
Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Giphy