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Sex Q&A: What Should I Do With My Boyfriend's Small Penis?

Let's have an honest discussion about sex with a smaller-than-average guy.

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Welcome to the new BuzzFeed Sex Q&A where you can ask us your awkward, confusing, gross, embarrassing, or thought-provoking questions, and we'll provide answers from leading sexual health experts. Have a question about sex or sexual health? Send it to sexQs@buzzfeed.com.

Q: Hey,

I'm just going to dive right in here. I recently started seeing someone new, after getting out of a lengthy relationship. This guy is perfect; he's everything I have been looking for in a relationship. A few nights ago, things started getting a little hot and heavy, and we ended up in his bedroom. The sexual tension between the two of us was huge. I had never wanted to jump someone's bones so bad. Things were moving pretty fast; actually so fast that we skipped most of the foreplay and he was on top of me before I knew it. I had been anticipating this moment for so long, until I saw what I was working with: an extremely small penis.

I haven't had many sexual partners, but I seem to have lucked out in the "man junk" department. This situation was totally new to me. I have never faked an orgasm like that in my life. Now, I am terrified to get in bed with him again. How do I handle his small member without ruining our sex life?

Sincerely,

Frustrated Girlfriend

Hi, Frustrated Girlfriend! Thanks for sending your question. To help answer it, we spoke with sex expert Laura Berman, Ph.D., author of Loving Sex, and sex researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., author of The Coregasm Workout. Here's what they had to say:

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Despite all those myths and stereotypes, penis size is not the be-all and end-all of sexual satisfaction.

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Let's get this out of the way first: Penis size isn't everything when it comes to sex. For some people, it may be a total nonissue. That's because not everyone relies on penetration for sexual satisfaction, and actually, most women don't orgasm from penetration alone anyway, says Berman.

That said, it's normal to be a little caught off-guard if all of your previous sexual partners have been pretty similar, anatomically speaking, and this partner was smaller than average. And if you're used to being with a well-endowed dude, that just might be your sexual preference — and there's nothing wrong with that either. One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who have more vaginal orgasms (rather than clitoral ones) actually do prefer larger penises, probably because they enjoy penetration more.

So here's the thing: You don't need a bigger penis to have all of the orgasms, but it is a sexual preference just like anything else. Luckily, it sounds like his size isn't a deal breaker and you want to be as sensitive as possible while still making sure you both have a great, fulfilling sex life, which is awesome by the way.

First, let's talk about how small the penis actually is.

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It's not totally clear from your question exactly how small is "extremely small." It could be a micropenis, which would be one that's smaller than 2.05 inches flaccid or 3.35 inches stretched (according to a recent study, which defined a micropenis as less than 2.5 standard deviations from the mean). If that's the case, penetrative sex might be difficult, but that doesn't mean you'll have a sucky sex life.

"There are many pleasurable and orgasmic ways to have sex that don't require a penis, let alone one of a specific size," says Herbenick. You might end up relying more on oral or manual stimulation or bringing in a sex toy or dildo if you're both comfortable going there. You might want to read these stories of women who had sex with a micropenis — most of them found they were able to have awesome sex in other ways and it really wasn't a huge deal.

Or this guy might just be slightly smaller than average, which could be the case if you've just been with really well-endowed partners in the past. For reference, the average erect penis is about 5 inches, according to recent research, and most penises fall within an inch or two of that, says Herbenick. If that's the case, certain positions and techniques might make penetrative sex feel a lot better for both of you. Here are a few tips that might help:

Tip No. 1: Keep in mind that his erection may not be reaching its full potential just yet.

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This is something to remember any time you have sex with someone new: Nerves, anxiety, and pressure can all do a number on a guy's erection, which might mean he's not getting as hard as he could be, says Herbenick. This is actually totally normal — even for young men — especially if there's not enough foreplay.

It's possible that as you become more comfortable with each other and have sex a few more times, you'll find that his erections are actually stronger or longer. "Our research shows that men tend to have stronger and easier erections when they're in relationships," says Herbenick. And anecdotally, this is something she's actually heard from a lot of women. The explanation is just that there are so many factors that can influence a man's ability to achieve a full erection, and those factors can change over time. "Adult men's penises aren't changing in size. But there's a chance you'll see some change if you continue to have sex with him."

Tip No. 2: Reducing the lubrication can help you feel more sensations.

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If you're really wet, you might not feel as much sensation with a smaller-than-average penis, says Herbenick. So maybe skip the lube with this partner. If you're getting really wet on your own, Herbenick suggests quickly wiping your genitals with a towel/sheet/hand before penetration so that you feel more sensation.

Tip No. 3: Squeezing your pelvic floor muscles can make penetration feel more awesome.

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These are the muscles that can stop your pee midstream, and they can also make sex feel better, says Berman. By squeezing them during penetration (not the whole time, but whenever you can — typically in sync with your partner's thrusts), it can make everything feel more ~snug~ and enhance the sensations for both of you.

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Tip No. 4: Try positions that allow more friction and clitoral stimulation.

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With a smaller penis, you might be limited in terms of which positions work and actually feel good to both of you. It's hard to give specific suggestions without knowing you and your partner's anatomy and preferences, but just explore and see what works. Generally speaking, you-on-top might allow for a little more friction and clitoral contact, says Berman, while positions like spooning or rear entry might be trickier to pull off.

You may also decide that oral and manual stimulation are the way to go, and that penis-in-vagina sex just isn't what you're into. Incorporating more foreplay and more sexual acts can be a good way to explore what works while you're still getting to know each other and each other's bodies.

One more thing! Communication and honesty are crucial — but don't put down his penis.

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If you want to have better sex with this guy (and really any partner), you need to be open and honest about what feels good. That means no more fake orgasms and a lot more talking about what you want from sex.

Just... don't say the problem is his penis size. Instead, be honest if you'd like certain positions, more oral or manual stimulation, sex toys, whatever, says Berman. Even if it ends up being an issue of sexual incompatibility, don't blame it on his size. This is already a really sensitive issue for most men thanks to cultural standards and unrealistic body expectations — something pretty much everyone can relate to in some way or another. But as we mentioned, penis size doesn't matter to everyone, so even if he doesn't measure up for you, that doesn't mean he wouldn't be someone else's perfect fit. There's no reason to give this guy an unnecessary complex.

The bottom line: Penis size is one small part of the equation, and it's not mandatory for great sex.

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"If this is someone [you] really see potential in and really like, then I would encourage [you] to invest in it," says Herbenick. "And really understand that the first dozen times might just be OK as [you] work to understand each other and become more intimate."

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