This Study Shows That Everything You Think You Know About Penises Is Wrong

ByEJ Dickson

Penises. Amirite? Whether they're thin or fat or short or tall or purple and white and pink and orange and blue, we're equal parts fascinated and repulsed by them. That's why researchers at the University of Zurich recently conducted a study to determine exactly what women want by asking them to describe the ideal penis. Spoiler alert: The results are not what you'd expect.

Size doesn't matter, but pubic hair does: Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study polled 105 women in various age groups to "investigate how relevant women consider single aspects of penile appearance to be." In the study, the researchers showed women photos of a wide range of penises, asking whether they believed them to be "normal" or not, making it essentially an X-rated version of the flash cards you used to learn how to read in the third grade.


While the study was initially intended as part of a larger study on hypospadias, a genital condition in which a man's urethra emerges from the underside of the penis rather than the tip (ouch), it eventually evolved into a veritable laundry list of qualities that women desire from their ideal member. Ranking first on the list was "general cosmetic appearance," closely followed by "pubic hair" (!) and "penile skin," because God knows there's nothing quite like climbing into bed after a long day and cuddling up next to a feather-soft erect penis like it's the goddamn Snuggle Bear.

Bigger isn't better: One penile feature, however, was noticeably absent from the top of the list: penile length, which ranked sixth in terms of the qualities women seek in their ideal penis.


Contrary to the myth that women prefer men with larger penises, the women polled in the study overwhelmingly reported that dick size was not a huge concern for them in determining whether or not a penis was attractive. Although this might come as a shock to men, it's actually borne out by previous surveys, such as a 2014 study from UCLA and Cal State Los Angeles, which determined that 84 percent of women reported they were perfectly content with their partners' penis size. (Don't celebrate too soon, ill-endowed gents: Another 2012 study determined the opposite, but only among women who have "frequent vaginal orgasms," which might not actually be a thing.)

But when it comes right down to it, the latest penis study doesn't outline a list of dick beauty standards so much as it proves what women have been trying to tell their male partners for years: Guys, it doesn't really matter what your penis looks like as long as you know how to use it. Also, it's probably a good idea to trim your bushes.