Erection - Socio-sexual Aspects - Shape and Size

Shape and Size

The length of the flaccid penis does not necessarily correspond to the length of the penis when it becomes erect; some smaller flaccid penises grow much longer, while some larger flaccid penises grow comparatively less. Generally, the size of an erect penis is fixed throughout post-pubescent life. Its size may be increased by surgery, although penile enlargement is controversial, and a majority of men were "not satisfied" with the results, according to one study.

Although many erect penises point upwards, it is common and normal for the erect penis to point nearly vertically upwards or nearly vertically downwards or even horizontally straight forward, all depending on the tension of the suspensory ligament that holds it in position. An erect penis can also take on a number of different shapes, ranging from a straight tube to a tube with a curvature up or down or to the left or right. An increase in penile curvature can be caused by Peyronie's disease. This may cause physical and psychological effects for the affected individual, which could include erectile dysfunction or pain during an erection. Treatments include oral medication (such as colchicine) or surgery, which is most often reserved as a last resort.

The following table shows how common various erection angles are for a standing male. In the table, zero degrees (0°) is pointing straight up against the abdomen, 90 degrees is horizontal and pointing straight forward, while 180 degrees would be pointing straight down to the feet. An upward pointing angle is most common.

Occurrence of erection angles
Angle (°) Percent of population
0–30 5
30–60 30
60–85 31
85–95 10
95–120 20
120–180 5

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