Image courtesy of Dr. Nicole Prause.
This article originally appeared on VICE US
Today in "Relax, Men" news comes a joint study of UCLA and the University of New Mexico on penile size. After allowing groups of women to select their ideal penis in different relationship contexts, it has been revealed that the length and size of most of the women's dream teat almost falls close to the statistical mean.
The 75 women involved in the study received 33 blue, 3D-printed phalluses of different lengths and singles and were given the assignment to select the ones that most appealed to them for a long-term relationship and for a one-night stand. The women – who were told that the theoretical man attached to these potential penises – "nice, intelligent, funny and had a great job", generally chose a penis of about 6.3 inches long and 4.8 " round for dating and 6.4 "long, 5" around for a one-nighter.
We spoke to Dr. Nicole Prause, the head of the research team behind the study, about how to get your sex study at the academy, about the future of 3D-printed dildos, and how man Dick looks like.
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SPACE: Can you tell us something about yourself and your work? How long have you been in this specific area?
Nicole Prause: I graduated with a PhD in Clinical Science from Indiana University. My concentrations were in neuroscience and statistics, which I have always used to study human sexual motivation in the lab. In 2007 I started the Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience lab as a faculty member and in 2015 I started working on an arm for commercialization, to tackle some challenges to study this topic in the academic world.
What challenges are there?
We have refused an ethics board to have our investigation into orgasm performed. (There are two stories written about this incident for Rolling Stone and the LA Times.) Award reviewers regularly wonder if anyone will volunteer for our studies, even though we have shown that we never have problems recruiting participants (keeping people from our studies, you can imagine me). We are forbidden to recruit people seeking treatment for "porn addiction," because the ethics committee believed that showing porn would make them fall back, while ethics boards in the UK do not ban this. The list goes on and on.
So how did this study come about?
It started when I met Geoffrey Miller as a research scientist at Mind Research Network, a neuroimaging facility in Albuquerque. I wanted to test predictors of pain experienced by women during sex, which I thought had to include an assessment of whether the penis size of their partner was a factor. Geoffrey was interested in questions about penis size preferences with partner choice. A collaboration was born.
"Please do not call penis the perfect penis."
The study revealed that women really only want a slightly larger than average penis size. Why do you think men are so hung up? What might be a better focus for men who want to attract a sexual partner?
With the exception of data from one researcher, who no one could replicate, science has consistently shown that singel is a stronger predictor of female preferences and satisfaction. It is possible that operations for increasing length usually have better results, so men focus on length as something that they are more likely to influence. Limited to physical attraction, many health indicators that are at least somewhat under control, affect the attractiveness of women. This includes things like weight, muscularity, skin bleaching and acne.
What do you think is the logic behind women who want different sizes of penises for different types of relationships?
The vulva always tears with sexual intercourse, sexual intercourse pushes bacteria into the vagina and handling a condom pushes more bacteria into the vagina. A larger penis probably carries the risk of more pain and injury. However, women can tolerate this risk to receive the benefits for sexual pleasure that are more likely than the goal of a one-time partner. A larger penis probably brings the clitoral glans closer to the movement that occurs during sexual intercourse, while the clitoral legs (crura) also move more than a smaller penis.
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Would it be fair to prefer to call the penis the perfect penis? Scientifically, did we find Husband Dick?
Please do not call penis the perfect penis. The point of the study is that the situation matters, and our next newspaper has data showing that the woman also matters. But yes, the name of the Man Penis seems appropriate and funny. Should the other be the Lothario penis?
Where do Size Queens fit in this photo?
Oh, they're in our monster! If we consider "size queen" as a woman who wants a large penis, then it can be a feature of the woman's body (clitoris further from the vaginal opening, etc.), A feature of the woman's experience (eg prelude to make penetration pleasant), or inexperience (eg has no long-term partner with a large penis). It is difficult to know how they got this preference.
A grim reading of your findings that women want a bigger penis for a one-night stand seems to be that we do not really care about sexual pleasure in long-term relationships. Do you think that's true?
I would say that sexual pleasure can come through emotional intimacy. Shocker, I know. We published a study that showed that the experienced sexual arousal in women is much more consistent with their response to the brain than with their genital response. I hate that finding because it makes women sound like this … women … but it probably means that the intensity of sexual interactions comes more from central (brain) mechanisms than peripheral (genital) mechanisms for women.
What did you do after the study with all blue 3D printed penises?
They are in a conference bag under my bed. No, they are not "in use", nor have they ever been. I take them to a Nerd Nite conversation with me. I intend to use this for a very long time. I also hope that they can be useful in intimidating unwanted partners.
From a social perspective, studies such as these can help men to get a more realistic body image.
A great plan. Why did your research team put all printable dick information online?
I hope that other researchers will use the same models in future studies on the size of the penis. They may even be useful for clinicians in conversations with their patients about desirable, versus probable, changes in the magnitude of changes in surgery. Once you have the print files, it is very easy to borrow a 3D printer or pay a third party to print them cheaply. For science!
Although it appears that men do not have to worry about the length, do they have to worry about women designing and printing their own perfectly proportioned penises?
I hear that there are already secret 3D print files for such purposes that my prudery forbids me to share. There was a lot of speculation when it [Hitachi] Magic wand became popular that vibrators would make people obsolete – hopefully perfectly proportioned sex toys will not be seen with the same threat level, which I'm pretty sure is "red" for vibrators.
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What do studies like this achieve?
From a research perspective, this research changes the bar for what will be acceptable in the future to publish. Hopefully this means that science around preferences for the size of the penis will continue to improve the only-questions approach that was dominated. From a social perspective, studies such as these can help men to get a more realistic body image. The anticipated reaction of the sexual partner is a major concern that men have over their penis size, which differs from muscularity, hair hair and other physical characteristics that are more visible to everyone. Men who have sex with women should feel more comfortable with their current penis size, knowing that there is a huge variability in what women prefer, even in different situations.
What are you working on now that this research has been published?
I use transcranial magnetic brain stimulation to permanently change the sex drive. Change the world, and things like that.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.