My partner and I have been together for a few years and mostly have a great dynamic, but it is becoming clear that sexually (or anatomically, I should say), we are not matched. My penis sometimes hurts her. Ironically, I get the message from porn that my cock can’t be big enough. The bigger, the better! I am wondering if size does matter. Am I too big for the person I love? Is this a sign of incompatibility? I’m tired of thinking about it. _K.E.
“Incompatibility is real. Sex is important in a relationship. Beauty fades. If this guy is thinking he’s going to want to have sex with this woman for the rest of his life, and this woman is in pain when she’s having sex, she’s not gonna want it, and that’s gonna cause problems. Unless she has a few children, or they can figure out what’s out there on the market as far as lubricants or toys or something... She wants to enjoy it, too!” _Ellen, 53, sales, interviewed at Trader Joe’s
“Finding something that you can’t overcome is the thing that is going to end the relationship. In this case, the penis size is the issue. This could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. [But] I don’t think it’s the [sole] cause of a relationship ending; it would be a cause of a conversation that you can’t get through. In any relationship that you’ve had, has a single issue been the cause for a break up? I doubt it. If this is their only issue, then that is kind of shocking.” _Joshua, 31, photographer, interviewed at Marcy’s Diner
“The compatibility part matters. Certainly sexual compatibility is really important in any working relationship. If they’re not able to make it work other ways, I don’t think it can last. It just builds frustration, and I’ve definitely been in that position before. When it doesn’t match up sexually, it doesn’t work. If he’s questioning his relationship, its obviously cause for alarm. Tough question.” _Martha, 29, server, interviewed at Bard
“That’s really difficult, if it’s causing her pain and she’s not enjoying it. You don’t want your partner to be in terrible pain. I guess other than intercourse, if it satisfies you to have sex that’s not penetrative... I wonder if that’s satisfying. I’ve never had any friends who have had a long-term partner where that’s been the case. I guess non-penetrative sex, I suppose, might sustain?” _Derek, 21, in retail, interviewed on Exchange Street
“I don’t think he’s too big; it’s dependant on how he uses it. I think that’s really important. Its really important that they both be pleasured, too. He doesn’t necessarily have to have intercourse with his whole penis. Is it just too big or too long? If its both, yikes. But she also needs to be a part of that, working with it. If its interfering where they aren’t having sex at all, could be a sign of incompatibility. Compatibility is many pieces to the puzzle. If its lacking communication, sex... I don’t think the size of the penis [alone] is a sign of incompatibility.” _Ellen, 48, entrepreneur, interviewed at 7/11 on Congress Street