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Romance Novels vs. Reality: Dick Size Edition

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

A while back I made a meme about dick size (see below and to the right) and, of course, it sparked a debate on my Instagram page about dick size, preferred dick sizes, unrealistic dick sizes, what we're picturing while we reading romance re: dick size, the importance of girth, and...a myriad of other dick-related conversations and comments.

So, I did what any self-respecting romance reader/meme-er would do. I took to my Instagram stories to determine what my followers thought about dick size, both their preferred dick size for dickings--live and of the plastic/silicone variety-- and what they picture when a romance author describes a dick as merely "big", leaving the exact size to our active imaginations.

For the record, because I believe in being transparent, my ideal dick size is 6/7 inches but when I'm reading a romance novel and the author says, "his engorged, enormous member" I am picturing 10+ easy. Why am I picturing a dick this big? I don't know. I have no personal frame of reference for a dick that big, but it is what it is. you know far too much about my brain and how it pictures dicks.

In case you were not aware, I am not a career researcher and this was anything but professional (given it happened in my Instagram stories). At least twelve people panic messaged me that they "DID NOT MEAN TO CLICK 10+ INCHES OMG PLEASE DON'T THINK I LIKE 12 INCH DICKS" and "Oops, I clicked two by accident". So, please accept that these numbers may be very slightly skewed in one direction or another. Also, the number of people DMing me about the importance of girth was both alarming and understandable. So, for the purpose of this study we will clarify that the girth of all the dicks was the follower's ideal girth. Okay? Okay. Read on.

I made dick pie charts. Please acknowledge the professionalism. Note: numbers may not add exactly to 100% due to my own laziness and inaccuracy in rounding.

The Ideal Dick Size in Real Life of Romantically Inclined's Horny Instagram Followers:

5 inches: 126 (8.1%)

6 inches: 525 (33.7%)

7 inches: 375 (24.1%)

8 inches: 169 (10.8%)

9 inches: 335 (21.5%)

10+ inches: 25 (1.6%)

Total Participants: 1555

How Big The Horny Instagram Followers of Romantically Inclined Picture Book Dicks:

5 inches: 17 (1.2%)

6 inches: 421 (31.1%)

7 inches: 208 (15.3%)

8 inches: 305 (22.5%)

9 inches: 305 (22.5%)

10 + inches: 96 (7.1%)

Total Participants: 1352

Interesting data, no? As I expected, our real-life preferences land us predominantly in the 5-7 inches range, but when an author throws out the phrase "engorged member" suddenly we're picturing more in the 8-10+ inches range. Curious, no?

I decided to dive a little deeper into the research revolving around dick size conducted by actual scientists and not horny me typing on my phone with a sleep-deprived brain.

First, I wanted to know what the average penis actually is and I was somewhat surprised to find that multiple studies place the average penis of the human male to be somewhere between 5 and 6 inches (probably closer to 5 inches than 6 inches). Studies are not entirely accurate (as it's hard to get an average of all men across all countries, but based on current research this is what we can appropriately assume.

Fits right in with what y'all seem to prefer, so that's good news for the average male.

Next I wanted to know what the average woman prefers. A 2015 study of 75 women were instructed to choose their preferred penis length from a series of plastic 3D models. They were also asked to differentiate between their preference in a long-term relationship and their preference for short-term sexual partners. The answers were pretty much the same (probably because despite the length of their relationship the length of their vagina remains the same, but I cannot speak for the researchers):

*For long-term sexual partners, they chose a length of 6.3 inches (16 cm) and a girth of 4.8 inches (12.2 cm).

*For one-time sexual partners, they chose a length of 6.4 inches (16.3cm) and a circumference of 5 inches (12.7cm)

You girth-advocates will be happy to know that your wants and needs were thoughtfully considered in this particular piece of research.

So, there you have it.

But, as we all know, it's not what you're packing but how you use it. So for those of you men reading this who are staring down at your dick and wondering whether it's enough to please a woman... stop focusing on the size of your member and start thinking about whether you truly know how to use it. Because that's the real treasure.


Jun 18

(continuation of previous comment. I keep running out of space)

5. You picked the right baseline study (the King pubmed article) to estimate average length. As King stated, "the average length ... is between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95-13.97 cm), but after taking volunteer bias into account, it is probably toward the lower end of this range." Significantly fewer than 50% of men have lengths at least 6 inches. Fewer than 1% have lengths at least 7 inches.

I hope that there is a way to preserve this information so that it is generally available to the public.

Bye, Kate!


Jun 18

(continuation of previous comment)

3. ... It is not possible to assign a single number and present it as the ideal preference for all women in the group.

4. You provided data on what women consider to be a large length. Other studies have not done this. Some have asked women for what they consider to be average. I have not seen other data on what women consider to be large.

5. You picked the right baseline study (the King pubmed article) to estimate average length. As King stated, "the average length ... is between 5.1 and 5.5 inches (12.95-13.97 cm), but after taking volunteer bias into account, it is probably toward the lower end of this range." Significantly fewer…


Jun 18

This is a really good study you have done, Kate. It improves on other studies in multiple ways:

1. The number of respondents is higher than in most others. For example, the PLOS journal article you cite involved 75 women. You got well over 1000 responses.

2. It targets a specific group, women who read romance novels. Previous studies don't focus on this group. Your data suggests that the preferences of women who read romance novels may be different from women as a whole.

3. You presented the distribution of preferences and did not try to distill the results to one or two single numbers. This is very important, because women have a wide variety of preferences. It is not…


Jun 01, 2021

Oh my word, this is the best thing I've read all day, all week, maybe all year! And the fact that you have only 2 tag words is brilliant. 🤣 I love this blog post for so many reasons, but the one that really gets me is the validation not just for the men (there you go guys) but for all of us who've been reading romance for 30 years and cringe every time size is dick-tated to us. I've got a great imagination and I know what I like, which is, in fact, what is so wonderful about romance in the first place. I applaud you. Shannon G P.S. this is my special date night reading project. Break out the Prosecco.


May 31, 2021

I love this. For professional research reasons of course. 😊

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