Ask Stoya: Put the rulers down!

Seriously, your dick is just fine

Ask Stoya: Put the rulers down! The internet and technology have totally changed sex and relationships, we know you — you adults, anyway, this column is not for children! — have questions about the world of sex. In order to answer them, we've asked our friend Stoya — a professional sex-haver — to field any inquiries. You can write to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

My inbox is a phallocentric xxx parody of Goldilocks: this person wants to hear that their penis is excessively big, this one is worried their penis is too small, this one doesn’t understand why their "average" appendage isn’t a magical rod that inflicts convulsions of pleasure with every thrust, and these other six and counting want to know what size is just right.

"My question concerns penis size. Indeed, I am very concerned about mine. I have a 7.5-inch penis in erection with 5.9 inches in girth. I would like to know if I am below average, average, or above average." -Y

What you're really after is hearing a porn star say your penis is large

First, put the ruler down. Second, if you wanted, you could have easily used a web search to find pages of studies on penile dimensions. This leads me to suspect that what you’re really after is hearing a porn star say your penis is large, and I’m withholding that — because you can also use a web search to find pages of videos in which porn stars say exactly that, directly into the camera, specifically for the purpose of fulfilling that desire.

"I have a smaller-than-average penis and am very self-concious about it. It's just over 4 inches in length and getting naked in front of any partner is extremely nerve-racking for me, so much so that my inability to do so has resulted in relationships ending. I can't bring myself to talk about it with my partners, either, as I feel embarrassed about it and worry they'll laugh at me. I don't know how to move on from where I am considering enlargement surgery, but my doctor has warned against this due to the numerous complications that can arise." -O

Seriously. Put the rulers down. Have this hug instead.

Consider a sex-positive therapist

Before you give any more thought to throwing down thousands of dollars on a risky and sometimes useless surgical procedure, consider seeing a sex-positive therapist. I’m certain that your penis is more than adequate and that plenty of potential partners wouldn’t bat an eyelash, but I’m also certain that there are people in the world who — because of insensitivity, naiveté, or outright cruelty — might laugh at you. Which sucks, but it is a real possibility. Working through the insecurity you feel about your body is going to take some effort, but it will also help you understand any rejections as an incompatibility of attributes and preferences that is out of your control. Plus, it will give you some tools to protect yourself emotionally from potentially thoughtless or mean reactions.

"My girlfriend and I have been dating for about a year, and she doesn't get much out of sex. She said it doesn't feel like much apart from when I first enter. But she rarely gets a lot of pleasure. Nothing seems to be different when she does or doesn't enjoy sex, and I've been told angles can change things — but what can I do to help her enjoy it? Neither of us know what might help. We've tried plenty of different positions. (I'm of average length, 6 inches, and average width, and she can orgasm easily from oral or fingering.)" -P

Put the damn rulers down. No, actually, pick the rulers back up for a minute. But keep them away from your dick.

Keep the rulers away from your dicks

For the majority of people with vaginas, the most sensitive part by far is their clitoris. Which includes that nub called the clitoral glans above the vaginal opening and wings of tissue just under the labia. All of these bits are easily, and sometimes most effectively, stimulated without any penetration.

But what about the stuff on the inside? Like the g-spot? Some scientists consider it to be a section of clitoral tissue, others consider it part of a "female prostate," and still more consider it completely fictional. Until the official doctor types stop bickering about it, the g-spot remains a bit of a "thar be dragons" situation. But real or not, it’s supposed to be 1-3 inches into the vaginal canal. (And I can tell you as a person who has been inside plenty of vaginas, sometimes there’s a spot 1-3 inches in that causes people to make happy noises and occasionally emit a viscous fluid if you stroke it right.)

People born with penises have a prostate gland which can be reached through the rectum, and from what I hear, that can feel pretty cool if it gets stroked right. (Emphasis on stroked, as opposed to poked or jabbed. There are always exceptions, but generally speaking: poking and jabbing are not ideal when attempting to sexually stimulate a person.) Wanna guess how far inside that prostate gland is? A couple of inches. Maybe three.

Four inches of penis is starting to sound downright superfluous

Four inches of penis is starting to sound downright superfluous, unless you’re a performer in pornography — and are thus frequently called upon to thrust while leaning your torso back to avoid blocking the light and keeping your hips tilted diagonally so the camera can see what’s going on.

There are plenty of people in the world who adore long cocks, and plenty who absolutely do not. Some people love having their cervix stimulated, others strongly dislike the sensation. Each person has their own preferences and desires. But it doesn’t necessarily take a flesh-and-blood dick to accommodate any of those desires.

Broaden your definition of sex from penis-in-orifice to anything that sends a shiver up your spine or titillates your partner(s). Accept that very few people with vaginas orgasm from penetration alone, and embrace the fact that whether your penis is medically classified as micro (less than 2.75 inches) or a foot long, it is just one single tool in a whole box of fun toys. More on those other toys later. HINT: Some of them are other parts of your body like tongues and fingers.

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