I have a smaller penis than my girlfriend’s exes – should I get surgery?

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My girlfriend and I are extremely happy together, but she told me that two of her exes had a bigger penis than me. Depending on the circumstances, my penis is normally about 5.8-6.2in. She said her most recent ex was bigger, at 7in , and the other was maybe an inch longer. I’ve always been self-conscious about it, but this makes me feel worse. For a long time I’ve wanted to get surgery , but she swears that I am the best sexual partner she has had. She also says that she and her most recent ex couldn’t have sex in as many positions, because it would be painful. If I want to get surgery, should I? She says that I’m perfect the way I am and she thinks I’m the perfect size .

Listen more carefully to your girlfriend. She is telling you that you are “perfect”, but all you hear is “her ex’s penis was bigger”. It is common to use half a story to confirm the negative beliefs one has about one’s self. Work on soothing your male size anxiety and, instead of comparing yourself with others, focus on giving and receiving pleasure. Unfortunately, pornography movies tend to emphasise size and promote the untrue notion that a huge penis automatically produces greater pleasure for a partner. Don’t buy into this rubbish; it is physiologically unsound. An intelligent lover who is willing to learn how to please a partner – without even using his penis – will always be the most appreciated.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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