How to officially measure your penis length, and why most men are doing it wrong

There are a few different ways to measure your penis, and while most men have measured their penis at some point in their lives, many are doing it wrong.

When I was about 17 years old I read an article in a Cosmopolitan magazine which outlined the average penis length and girth. At the next opportunity I grabbed a ruler. After I took the measurement I felt both relieved and even a little pleased with the result.

Measure penis sizeBut years later I received a rude shock. According to another study on penis size, I hadn’t measured myself correctly. As a result I may have overestimated my size.

I found out that there is typically a large difference in length, depending on which side you measure your penis from. I naturally took the measurement from the underside, or ventral side, because I figured this is the side that, when erect, is most visible to a partner. It seems that many other men also make this same mistake.

The problem with measuring from this side is that it is difficult to know at what point to start the measurement from. It is possible to stretch the scrotal skin at the base of the penis further under the body because the penile shaft actually extends in this area further than what can be initially seen.

So how should you measure your penis?

Almost all surveys and studies on penis length measure the penis from the upper or dorsal side. That is, the side that is closest to your abdomen when your penis is erect.

The easiest way to determine from which side to measure your penis is simply to look down. The side you can see is the side along which you should measure.

The base, or starting point of the penile shaft (where the shaft meets your body at your pubic mound) is more defined here, and therefore it is more accurate and there is less temptation to cheat.

From this base point, the penis should then be measured to the tip of the glans (or ‘head’). Note that while some say that pushing the tape measure into your pubic mound is cheating, most official surveys of penis size say that this is OK. If this gets you a little bit extra I say go for it.

If you are lucky enough to still have your foreskin and it extends beyond your glans when erect, you should retract your foreskin so that you can measure to the end of your glans.

So I went from thinking that I was two centimeters (or almost one inch) over the average penis size to realising that I was just on average. Nothing to be too disappointed about. But being well over average height means that I may be proportionately on the small side.



Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at


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