It’s very common for men to be concerned about their penis size, particularly in terms of length. One study of over 52,000 male and female participants, published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, found that, while only 16% of men had penises below the average 4.5-6.1 inch erection length range, a full 45% were unhappy with their penis length and felt their members should be longer. This sense of inadequacy is, for many men, a cause of stress, but not a full-blown mental disorder. They may wonder if the perceived smaller size is an indicator of poor penis health or question their sexual abilities, but not to the point of letting it affect their behavior. For some, obsession over the size of the penis is significant enough to take a toll on sexual, mental and physical health. These men may be experiencing small penis syndrome.

Small penis syndrome may be present when a man avoids sexual contact completely or for the most part because he fears ridicule from partners and feels a deep sense of shame about what he’s packing. There are several possible components of small penis syndrome discussed below. Not all men with the condition may experience each one, but it’s smart to get familiar with the many different ways in which it can manifest. Knowing what to look for and how to treat it may help men combat this disruptive condition.

Negative View of Women

Some men with small penis syndrome may have rigid, generalized views of women - specifically, that women are ridiculing, judgmental and have high expectations in terms of penis size that must be met or else men will be dispensed with. This view of women often steers men away from cultivating any kind of relationship with actual women, thereby preventing them from adopting a more accurate and nuanced view of the opposite sex. (It should be noted in this vein that, of women who participated in the abovementioned study, 84% were pleased with their partners’ penises, as opposed to only 55% of men. Concern with length is mostly a male problem.)

"Inverted Narcissism"

Narcissism is a psychological condition in which the individual tends to see himself as the center of the universe and treats others as objects for his use. A man who is fixated on his penis length does the opposite, in a way: He thinks of himself as an object (penis) for the use of other, more powerful beings (women), and he fears that he will fail to be a "useful" object because of his perceived length deficit.

Distorted Ideas of Average Length

As the study above noted, many men who are well within the average range perceive their penises to be too small. For some with small penis syndrome, their beliefs may be too rigid to be dispelled by simply learning about average size and comparing their own measurements. They may have a hard time believing the data gathered from well-structured studies into the topic because they’ve seen too many inflated self-reported measurements on internet forums and giant members in pornography to trust the much tamer and more realistic figures presented by science.

Distorted Ideas of Sexual Capacity

Most men don’t realize just how short the average vagina is (about three inches, expanding to four or more when the woman is aroused). Also, the G-spot is located within the first 3 inches of the vagina on the front wall. There are very, very few penises too short to reach it in the world. Even men on the truly smaller side can employ different techniques in bed - such as asking the woman to squeeze her thighs together or using rear-entrance positions - to make for a longer, deeper feel.

Of course, if men have a negative view of women as described above, this physical education might not console them, as they may think that women’s supposed desire for a super-long member comes not from physical sources but more psychological origins.

Body Dysmorphia

Generally discussed in the context of eating disorders, body dysmorphia occurs when a person sees his or her body completely differently than it actually appears. A very thin woman may look in a mirror, for example, and see herself as overweight. Similarly, a man with small penis syndrome may suffer from a literal inability to accurately view the size of his penis.

The sexual and social implications of small penis syndrome are clear. Men who suspect they may have this condition should seek out the help of a therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be particularly helpful; in sessions, patients work with their therapist to identify inaccurate beliefs, thoughts and feelings, then take concrete steps to replace them with more accurate cognitions.

Of course, a little concern with the appearance of the penis isn’t always a bad thing. Using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) to keep the skin soft and stretchy can assist in confidence and function. Look for a crème with nutrients like vitamin C for healthy blood flow and youthful appearance. Nerve support will also be a feature of the highest-quality crème - acetyl L-carnitine is a useful ingredient for this. Function is more important than length, and using a penis health product can help in this department.