February 2001

Penis Growing Pains

Brazilians have a normal size penis, but this does not prevent
many of them from worrying about the length of their manliness.
So much so that they are ready to endure almost anything,
including major surgery, to get a bigger tool.

Alessandra Dalevi

Between September 1999 and August of last year, 1676 people called or e-mailed Ibrasexo (Instituto Brasileiro para Saúde Sexual—Brazilian Institute for Sexual Health) with questions related to the size or thickness of the penis. That's by far the most common question among those who utilize Ibrasexo's free service. The subject seems so serious and important that weekly magazine Isto É dedicated a cover story to the subject in January. Highly respected, Isto É has just been awarded the traditional and most respected media prize in Brazil: the Prêmio Esso de Reportagem. Additionally, the magazine has received the Prêmio Esso de Criação Gráfica and the Prêmio Esso de Informação Científica, Tecnológica, and Ecológica, for graphic design and for scientific, technological and ecological information.

According to experts, the Brazilian male has a normal size penis, but this does not prevent many of them from worrying about the length of their manliness. So much so that they are ready to endure almost anything, including major surgery, to get a bigger tool. Isto É cites studies by urologists from California and Rio Grande do Sul showing that the average Brazilian erect penis is 14.5 cm (5.7 inches) long while its American counterpart is 12.9 cm (5.1 inches). "Sometimes we have difficulty convincing the patient he is normal," says doctor Paulo Palma, president of the São Paulo branch of Sociedade Brasileira de Urologia (Brazilian Society of Urology).

The fantasy of having a big phallus—something derived mostly from the porno movie industry— is almost universal in Brazil, reveals the magazine. Rarely does a porn star with a penis smaller than 17 cm (6.7 inches) land a job. One of the most famous Brazilian porn actors, Toni Tigrão, attained his stardom mainly because of the 22 cm (8.7 inch) length of his member. According to investigative reporting by Isto É, Tigrão, which means Big Tiger, the former butcher has hurt some female companions during filming and some of them had to resort to lubricants—or even the anesthetic Novocain—to be able to get through the action.

The respected magazine has also interviewed several celebrities to learn of their impressions on sizes and shapes of penises. TV celebrity and transsexual Roberta Close declared: "It's obvious that the size of the penis is not the only thing that matters in a couple's life. You need to know how to live together." Ludmila Rosa, another TV personality, stressed the factor of compatibility: "Size is not important. It's the fitting that matters. For sex to be good you need the psychological fitting and the kiss fitting besides the sexual one. What is important is to be appetizing."

"Size? I'd rather have a playful little penis that a foolish big one," revealed model and actress Suzana Alves. Promoter Alicinha Cavalcanti went straight to the point: "A big dick is only good to contemplate. It's troublesome when it is time to play. Too small won't do it either. A crooked one doesn't even think. It's ugly and bothersome. What you need is basic penis. I don't know what the measurements are because I don't waste my time with this. Basic is basic." Nonagenarian actress Dercy Gonçalves wasn't bashful either: "A dick is good only to make kids and to pee. I never thought I could have any pleasure with that thing. If the man is no good what's the use having a big one? A woman does not even need that to come. I prefer an honest man with a small dick."

Only in rare cases do Brazilian doctors recommend medical lengthening of the penis. This is the case, for example, when the man's organ is less than 7 cm (2.7 inches). But the procedure is complicated and the CFM (Conselho Federal de Medicina—Medicine Federal Board) only allows the operation on an experimental basis. The penile lengthening can only be done in a university hospital with the approval of an ethics commission and signed consent of the patient. The procedure will add a maximum of 2 cm (0.8 inch) to the penis and may cause impotency. Last October, the Health Ministry approved the use of the dynamometer or extensor to stretch the penis a few centimeters. Even in this case a medical procedure must be followed.

There is a story circulating on the Internet. In it, Argentinean President Fernando De La Rua places an urgent call to Brazil's President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. "Our condoms are running out," says De La Rua. "We urgently need your help." "No problem," replies Cardoso, "we have plenty of them." Before ending his call the Argentinean leader adds: "Don't forget though that we will need condom for 20 cm (7.9 inch) penises." And hangs up. Cardoso then calls some of the government's providers without forgetting the detail stressed by his Argentinean colleague, always adding at the end of each call: "And don't forget to write in the box: Small Size."

Send your
comments to

Back to our cover