How to Correctly Measure Your Penis: Step-by-Step Guide

Want to know how to measure your penis? You’re not alone. Most penis owners do, but how do you do it?

Dr. Jed Kaminetsky
Board Certified Urologist, expert in male sexual dysfunction
by Dr. Jed Kaminetsky Last updated 12/07/2023

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Though there's no way to know for sure, it's reasonable to assume most men have measured their penis at least once in their life.

No matter how you feel about the raw numbers of your penis length, here's a fact; you probably measured it wrong.

Your penis isn't a piece of plywood, so using a tape measure isn't a great way to get the actual length.

And, did you measure your girth, which is arguably the most important metric of all?

Lots of guys have anxiety about their "size," so let's see if that anxiety is warranted.

Quick FAQs

Ideally, you should be interested in both measurements. While it is handy to know your precise length, you may actually need to know your girth one day if you plan on buying cock rings.

If your penis has too much of a curve for an accurate measurement using a ruler, then a cloth tape measure will be your best bet.

While this will not be the case for a majority of men, some do suffer from a couple of conditions that will produce smaller results. The first is buried penis. This is the one you can cure yourself, by just simply losing weight. The other is micropenis. Unfortunately, for this condition there is not much that can be done.

How to correctly measure your penis

Fortunately, there are many ways to measure your penis.

You just have to know how to use each of them optimally.

For instance, some guys are "showers," meaning their erect penis and flaccid penis lengths are similar.

These are the guys that strut around locker rooms without a care in the world.

In the other camp, you’ve got the "growers," and these men have penises that get significantly larger as they become erect.

Most men are in the second group, but neither seems to have a profound effect on sexual performance.

Regardless of how your penis looks while flaccid or erect, measuring it should be standardized to give you the clearest information.

How to measure penis length

Tips for how to correctly measure the length of your penis

If you have a standard ruler sitting around, measuring your penis with one of these is the fastest and easiest method.

You can also use a measuring tape, but according to one study a rigid ruler works best, especially if you have more body fat, as it tends to decrease the amount of visible penis.

Step 1 - You'll need to get erect, so use whatever your favorite method is. Truthfully, this is probably the easiest part.

Step 2 - Press the ruler along the base of your penis until you hit the pubic bone and press firmly against it for the most accurate reading.

Step 3 - Measure from the base of the ruler to your penis tip. There you go, that's how long your penis is.

You've been selling yourself short if you've been measuring without going from the pubic bone before!

It's also recommended that you take multiple measurements - science likes more data, and an average can give you a better idea of the actual length.

How to measure the girth of your penis

Tips for how to measure the girth of your penis correctly

This study shows girth isn't measured by how wide your penis is, but rather its circumference. 

You will need a tailor's tape for this.

Step 1 - Get erect - again, this is the fun part.

Step 2 - Place the tape around the middle of the shaft and take your measurement. Do this a few times, as using actual tailor's tape can be trickier.

Step 3 - Get your average, and there you go - you have your measurement for  penile girth.

So now that you know your numbers, let's take a look at the average penis size and see how you measure up.

What is the average penis size?

What is the average penis size

Since many men are worried about the size of their penis, it helps to know what "average" is, and it turns out that it varies widely.

One of the earliest studies on penis length suggested the average was around 6.21 inches, which might feel big for a lot of guys.

However, it turns out that this study was pretty flawed, and more recent, extensive studies show the average is about 5.15 inches in length. For girth, it's around 4.6 inches.

 90% of men have an average penis size

Further studies indicate that only about 10% of men fall outside this average - either bigger or small.

We see a lot of big penises in porn, but they're in porn because that's their calling.

People in porn and movies, in general, don't represent the average person.

Should I measure while flaccid or erect?

You should do both!

As we said before, getting a good average will help you truly understand where your penis falls in the spectrum of size.

However, the best method for getting a good measurement is to do it while erect.

Studies show that both showers and growers are going to be at their biggest while erect.

What if my penis has a curve in it?

Tips for measuring a curved penis

Not all penises are straight, and some naturally have a curve.

This won't be an issue for the vast majority of men during sex, masturbation, or using the bathroom.

If you have a curved penis and want to measure it, you want tailor's tape, as it can conform to your penis and give you an exact length.

For some men, there may be a medical reason why their penis is curved, and it might be curved to a much worse degree.

If you have a severe curve in your penis and haven’t talked to your doctor, you need to.

Peyronie's disease can cause severe penile curvature and even painful erections.

Regardless of the reason, your doctor can help with solutions that will get things back to normal.

What if my penis is too small?

Conditions like micropenis and buried penis may cause a smaller than desired penis.

There are a handful of potential treatments for men who have these conditions.

The primary intervention should be loving your body and working with a therapist - your partner will likely not be bothered by the size of your penis.

Men tend to fixate on this, but truthfully, most partners love their man, regardless of penis size.

Studies show men are men worried about their penis size than their female partners


Clinically, a micropenis is 3.69 inches or fewer in an adult male, measured by stretching it while flaccid and going from base to tip.

This condition can be diagnosed at birth in most cases, and micropenis is present in only about .5% of men.

Reasons for micropenis are varied, but studies suggest the main culprit could be a lack of androgen.

If a developing baby doesn't get enough, the primary male sexual characteristics won't develop fully. 

Other impacting variables are pesticide or other toxin exposure in the womb.

Buried Penis

This is a condition where the penis is often closer to average size but buried underneath folds of tissue or subcutaneous fat.

For significantly overweight men, simply losing fat can make their penis appear larger.

When too much tissue surrounds the penis, it gets "buried" and doesn't present as large. 

This study shows that while obesity doesn't account for all instances of a buried penis, it is the most common.

Important takeaways

Woman with two thumbs up for penis measurement

Men tend to worry too much about the size of their penis.

Unless you're going to do porn - and even then, it's more about being able to orgasm on demand and your stamina - length isn't that important.

At the end of the day, don't stress over the size of your penis.

You're likely going to fall within or slightly outside the average, and that's fine!

There are so many more metrics you should be using to define yourself rather than your penis size.

Take your measurements, accept it, and move on - your partner will love you regardless.

Dr. Jed Kaminetsky

Dr. Jed Kaminetsky

Dr. Jed Kaminetsky M.D. is an American Board Certified Urologist and earned his Medical Degree at New York University. In his tenure he became a member of the American Urological Association and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Kaminetsky pioneered the minimally invasive Rezum BPH treatment and is an expert in male and female dysfunction.


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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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