Despite endless adages along the lines of "it's about the motion in the ocean, not the size of the boat", it turns out that the thing most men still worry about in this day and age is their penis size. Interestingly, though, a study from Victoria University in Melbourne revealed that men are more worried about what their peers and colleagues think of their penis size, than their sexual partners.
The scientists surveyed more than 700 men between ages 18 and 76, and Dr Annabel Chan Feng Yi, a Clinical Psychology specialist from Victoria hospital said: “It was often more about competition with other men. Many felt most insecure about their size in environments where other men might see them, such as gym change rooms.”
We asked Dr Sheri Jacobson from Harley Therapy and she confirmed that she could "absolutely believe the two were linked."
She added: "When men are comparing size with their peers or colleagues, they are indirectly assessing each others' virility with respect to a relationship with an existing partner or a potential partner. Sizing each other up isn't for comparison's sake but it's done with a goal in mind, so for instance they believe their penis is an asset or a resource, an important aspect of connecting and relating and attracting a mate. And they're indirectly assessing each other’s ability to please their partner. It links back to evolutionary biology. All these subconscious questions are being asked: are you going to have a successful encounter with another woman or not, who’s the most fit among us in terms of reproductive fitness and so on."
MORE ON HUFFPOST UK:
Tracey Cox, sex and relationship expert, believes men are "obsessed" with it. She revealed: "They are concerned full-stop. I did a clinic for men on Monday night amd I had the same questions. How big am I, is it normal-sized? No matter how much I reassured them that women don’t orgasm from penetration only, that honestly, all that counts is the first inch or so, and that actually, women dislike big penises – they were not having it.
"It was horrifying, because they kept asking whether there was any medication they could take or surgery they could consider and nothing was wrong with them. If you are worried about penis size, you should know that most women learn very quickly, that if a guy has a big penis he’s not going to be much good at sex because he thinks that's enough, and he doesn't need to try."
Putting the record straight from a man's perspective, Jonathan Thompson, men's lifestyle journalist and Contributing Editor for Men's Health magazine, says: "In reality, most men heading to the gym are concerned about size, but that's more to do with their waistlines than anything else. There's a misconception - reinforced by the porn industry - that the average penis is bigger that it actually is. In fact, in the UK, the average size is just 5.5 inches when erect. This is a situation where the grass can appear greener - or in this case, longer - on the other side. In reality, most men have absolutely nothing to worry about in their own garden. And if they do, a little lawn trimming will go a long way."
Only 30% of women orgasm through penetration, according to Woman's Day, so relax, chaps.
Also on HuffPost:
Oysters have a well-established history as an aphrodisiac (just look at that suggestive shape!): Romans believed in their libido-increasing abilities and Casanova wrote that he ate 50 for breakfast in "The Story of My Life." Well guess what? The mollusks are packed with the feel-good hormone dopamine. Zinc -- a mineral linked to stimulating testosterone, a hormone key to sexual arousal, can also be found in oysters, <a href="a href="http://women.webmd.com/guide/food-spicier-sex-life" target="_hplink"" target="_hplink">according to WebMD</a>. A past study also suggested a link between <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1486054/Raw-oysters-really-are-aphrodisiacs-say-scientists-and-now-is-the-time-to-eat-them.html" target="_hplink">raw oyster consumption and sex-hormone production</a>, after researchers discovered that they contain rare amino acids previously found to stimulate testosterone and progesterone production in rats, <em>The Telegraph</em> reports.
2. Peppers (And Other Hot And Spicy Food)
The <a href="http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/What_is_Love2/'LoveonaSuspensionBridge'-DonaldDutton&A.html" target="_hplink">"shaky bridge experiment"</a> is probably familiar to anyone who took Psych 101 in college. In the study, men were asked to walk across a tall, shaky bridge, and then asked by an attractive researcher to fill out a survey. They were more likely than those who walked across a less scary bridge to give the researcher a call later on, mistaking the physiological arousal from their fear response to the shaky bridge (increased heart rate, feeling a bit warm, breaking a sweat) for sexual attraction and arousal. In the absence of terrifying suspension bridges, you might try chomping down on a hot chile for the same physiological arousal. And just like hot peppers, <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/59801-libido-enhancers/" target="_hplink">spices like curry and cumin can also increase blood flow</a> and in turn, your libido, according to Live Strong.
Another provocatively shaped food, garlic is associated with <a href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/garlic-000245.htm" target="_hplink">increased blood circulation</a>, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. "Better blood flow to the genitals creates greater arousal for men and women," <em>Men's Health</em> reports. Garlic is also a traditional aphrodisiac in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It is one of the five pungent roots monks were told to avoid because of its effect on sexual desire (according to the Surangama sutra: <a href="http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/surangama.pdf" target="_hplink">"if eaten cooked, they are aphrodisiac..."</a>).
As Shakespeare wrote in "The Tragedy of Macbeth": "Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance..." In moderation, however, alcohol can lower inhibitions without the unfortunate side effect of decreased performance. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Florence also found that women who drank one to two glasses of red wine a day reported <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01393.x/abstract;jsessionid=7176BC0E5E8A69E77FFEEC523925B8C2.d03t02?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+on+4+August+from+10%3A00-12%3A00+BST+%2805%3A00-07%3A00+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance&userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=" target="_hplink">"higher...sexual desire, lubrication and overall sexual functioning."</a>
Sex isn't all about the physical act; there's a good deal of mental stimulation necessary before one is in "the mood." Taking a bite or two of chocolate can help. The <a href="http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/7-sexy-foods-boost-libido" target="_hplink">cocoa-packed treat contains a compound called phenylethylamine, which floods the body with serotonin and endorphins</a> creating that loving feeling, according to Fitbie. While a study found that a boost in sexual desire after eating chocolate was all in participants' heads, we'll take it where we can get it!