What Does Normal Penis Look Like

Is there something like normal penis? Penises may not come in all shapes and sizes but there is no one normal or healthy penis size or shape.

Not all healthy penises look the same. Some are short and wide, others are long and narrow, some are bent upwards, others are bent downwards, some are straight, some are short and narrow, others are long and wide, some penises are circumcised, others are not, etc.

Maybe the definition of normal healthy penis is a penis that can do what it is supposed to do. The size and shape does not matter as long as you can have sexual intercourse and ejaculate. Right?

Strictly speaking, this is the case. Your penis is part of the male reproduction system and as long as you can have sexual intercourse and ejaculate, your penis is fulfilling its reproduction role.

Drawing male genital system

However, for the penis to be able to fulfill the sexual intercourse role, it has to fall within a certain range, i.e. size and shape wise. The good news is that vast majority of men measure within the average normal penis size range and have penis that is more than adequate for sexual functioning.

There is an average male penis size and a wide range around that average. Those that fall outside the range have either too small (micro penis) or too big penis for it to function normally, i.e. to have successful intercourse.

The same applies about the penis shape. Not all normal penises are straight and as long as the curvature is not affecting your ability to have sexual intercourse, you can be considered to have normal healthy penis.

The penis is though not only a male reproduction organ. How we feel about our penis size and shape can affect our sex drive and self-esteem. Psychologically the normal penis size and shape range is likely to feel much tighter than the functional size range.

In the next few articles, we will explore these topics in more detail, i.e. what is the average male penis size, how should normal penis perform, etc. But let's start by having a better look at how normal healthy penises can look like.

Flaccid Penis

Non-erect or flaccid penis looks shrunken. This is because the penis skin is loose and elastic to accommodate the changes in the penis size when men have erection.

The size of the flaccid penis does not necessarily represent the size of the penis when it is erect. Smaller penises tend to grow proportionally more during erection.

The sex researcher Alfred Kinsey measured thousands of penises and his analysis showed that shorter flaccid penises tend to gain about twice as much length as longer flaccid penises.

"There is a much wider range of size in men's penises when flaccid, with the average ranging from 1 to 4 inches. In general, smaller flaccid penises lengthen at erection by a greater percentage than do larger flaccid penises, with most men reaching an average size of 5 to 7 inches, so the flaccid size of a penis is not a good predictor of erect size. The vast majority of men measure within the average genital size range and have a penis size that is more than adequate for sexual functioning" (The Kinsey Institute Opens in new window symbol)

Normal penis will look smaller if you are cold as the erectile tissue in the penis responds automatically to changes in the temperature, causing the penis to retract and move towards the body for warmth.

Erect Penis

The penis shaft and penis glans are made of erectile tissue that allows the penis to become erect during arousal, i.e. when more blood is pumped into the penis.

The erection needs to be sufficiently hard for men to be able to have sexual intercourse. If the erection is not hard enough, the penis can buckle and you can sustain penis injury (which can result in Peyronie's disease).

Various factors can affect the Erection Quality, including age and health problems like circulatory problems and diabetes.

The penis shaft appearance and texture can vary slightly. When normal penis is erect, the skin is tight and smooth but you can usually see the veins through the skin, i.e. like raised areas. The veins may look bluish in color.

We will look at the average Male Penis Size in more detail later but according to the Kinsey Institute above shows that most penises are between 5 - 7 inches (12.7 – 17.8 cm) when erect.

Abnormally small penis is called micro penis but only 0.6% of all men are considered to have micro penis, i.e. penis that is less than 2.8 inches (7 cm) when erect.

Not all normal penises are straight. Actually, few are perfectly straight. They can lean to either side, or point up or down but upward pointing angle is the most common.

Men can be born with bent penis, i.e. Congenital Curvature, but it can also be acquired, i.e. Peyronie's disease.

The Penis Glans

The penis glans (penis head) is the cone shaped part at the end of the penis. At the tip of the penis is the opening of the urethra, i.e. the tube that transports the urine and semen.

The urethra opening may look wet (from urination or pre-ejaculation) but any discharge does usually indicate an infection. So if you experience white (like cottage cheese) or pus-like discharge go and see your doctor.
Normal penis head is enclosed by foreskin at birth, i.e. all men are born with uncircumcised penis.

Circumcised Vs. Uncircumcised Penis

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 30% of all males aged 15 and older have Circumcised Penis Opens in new window symbol (page 8).

There are usually religious or cultural reasons behind circumcisions but there can also be some health benefits, like decreased risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and HIV.

All men are born with uncircumcised penis, i.e. with the foreskin. The foreskin covers the whole head when the penis if flaccid and creases around the tip of the penis. Uncircumcised penis has smooth penis head and is reportedly more sensitive to touch than circumcised penis.

Circumcised penis has no foreskin to cover the penis head, meaning the penis glans is visible even when the penis is in flaccid state. Small piece of gathered skin is often visible under the penis head, i.e. where the incision closed and healed after the circumcision.

Circumcision is a surgical procedure and studies have shown it to be safe if performed by well-trained health professional in properly equipped settings. Circumcision is often done shortly after birth but in some cultures, it is done later in life, usually as part of an initiation ceremony.

Inspect Your Penis

You should get to "know" your penis and inspect it on regular basis. It is best to do so by using hand held mirror and examine the penis and scrotum thoroughly. Penile Health Inspection like this can help you to stay fertile and sexually active for longer.

Other Normal Penis Characteristics

When you reach puberty, hair will start growing on your pubic bone. The hair is "rougher" than other hair on your body and curls around the penis base.

Ingrown pubic hair can cause red bumps and pimples. It is common after shaving and then usually gets better on its own in few days. Gentle dab of some mild antiseptic may help to clear up any infection if needed.

The color of a healthy normal penis matches your race skin color. Some minor skin bumps can be normal but if you feel any discomfort, you should have them checked immediately.

Healthy looking penis does not have any open wounds or sores, discharge or scratches, i.e. the skin should look like any healthy skin.