Healthy Living

What Women Want: Penis Size Matters For One-Night Stands, But Not Long-Term Relationships

Woman laughing at man in the bedroom
Penis size really does matter for women — but men, it’s not what you think — as it’s all contingent on the duration of the sexual relationship. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

It’s no secret some men are self-conscious about their size down under in the bedroom, despite the reassuring catch phrase “size does not matter.” However, men with a less than generous package may want to look away, as new research contradicts this popular belief — penis size does matter — but it only applies to one-night stands. According to a recent study presented last month at the meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco, Calif., girth, not length, matters for one-time partners, but not for long-term ones.

The science behind the inevitable question whether penis size matters has mostly been inconclusive. Men believe most women long for a mate who is well-endowed length-wise, but in reality, a longer penis could potentially bruise the cervix during intercourse. Women may experience some discomfort when the head of the penis hits the cervix, according to, which happens in women with a short cervix.

To revisit the age-old debate and tackle whether penis size — length- and girth-wise — matters to women, Shannon Leung, study researcher and an undergraduate in biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues used 3D-printed models of penises to test their female participants. They recruited a total of 41 women to look at the models and choose their favored penises based on girth and length for different durations of sexual relations. The 33 3D-printed models were blue and ranged in size from 4 inches long and 2.5 inches in circumference to 8.5 inches long and 7 inches in circumference.

The findings revealed women chose penis models with slightly larger girth, on average, for one-night stands, compared to those they selected for long-term relationships. Leung and her colleagues believe this could be because the vagina’s pressure-sensitive nerve endings detect the sensations of stretching, which could detect penis girth. Penises with larger girths tend to bring the clitoris closer to the vagina during sex, which is believed to help women achieve orgasms.

The participants did not show a difference in their preference when it came to penis length when it came to long-term partners, the Daily Mail reported. Women tended to select penises that were about 6.5 inches long. However, men with smaller packages should not feel discouraged or be quick to consider surgery to increase their size. The study provides reassurance for those self-conscious about their friend down under.

In the second part of the study, women were given one of the penis models and were allowed to examine it for a total of 30 seconds. The participants were then asked to choose the same model from a bin of 33 3D-printed models, immediately following or after completing a 10-minute survey used to allow time to pass by. The findings revealed women tended to overestimate the size of the penis they had previously examined, upon completion of the 10-minute survey.

"For men who are considering surgery to increase their phallus sizes, maybe they do not have to after all, if women tend to overestimate" the size of a penis they've seen, Leung told LiveScience.

A 2012 study has given men mixed results when it comes to the importance of penis size for women. Penis size does matter for some women and for some types of orgasms. The researchers found women who have frequent vaginal orgasms are more likely than other women to say they climax more easily with men who are well-endowed. This could be attributed to the ability of a longer penis to stimulate the entire length of the vagina and the cervix.

Men, penis size does matter, but it’s all contingent on the women, the type of sexual relationship, and the orgasm.



Leung S. Women prefer larger penis girth in one-time sexual partners than in long-term partners. 26th Annual convention San Francisco, CA, USA May 22-25 2014.

Brody S, Costa RM, Miller GF. Women Who Prefer Longer Penises Are More Likely to Have Vaginal Orgasms (but Not Clitoral Orgasms): Implications for an Evolutionary Theory of Vaginal Orgasm. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2012.