What It Means To Be A Grower Vs. Shower And Why It Doesn’t Matter

Why are some penises “growers” and others “showers”? Can you change from one to the other? And ultimately, does it affect sex or relationships either way?
Photograph Of Different-Sized Mushrooms Growing Beside One Another, Penis Size Concept

A man’s penis size has been the product of intense discussion for centuries but one debate is of particular interest: the reasons for, and differences between a “grower” and a “shower.”

Especially in our modern culture, the idea that bigger is always better is a prevalent one and watching a penis grow from a cute little nub to a rock-solid, Sexy Beast Of Awe And Wonder can be a gratifying thing to witness.

But not everyone’s dick changes like that. Some penises were born to grow while others “show” all the goods upfront — displaying a flaccid size that’s near or equal to their length when erect.

Let’s consider that from a physiological perspective for a moment. If the end result is the same — an erect penis that’s ready for some sexy playtime — does it really matter if it grew extensively to get there?

That’s what I was determined to find out.

Do people actually care about whether a penis “shows” or “grows” and should men even worry themselves about it? Is there a difference between the erect size of a grower vs. shower?

Perhaps most importantly, how can you determine which type of penis you’re dealing with?

I’ll give you what you came here for — but rest assured that your penis is awesome, no matter what you discover about yourself as you read on.

Editors Note: for our purposes, the term “men” encompasses both binary and non-binary men.

What Are Growers Vs. Showers?

Photograph Of Large And Small Mushrooms Growing Together In Grass, Penis Size Concept

Even if you consider yourself to be out of the loop, you’ve probably heard that penis-havers fall into one of two categories: grower or shower.

But what do those words mean?

What Is The Difference Between A Grower And A Shower?

Long story short, the determination of a grower or shower penis has everything to do with the change in the overall size of a penis between its flaccid and erect state.

What Is A Grower Or Shower Penis?

A grower is a man whose erection grows considerably larger compared to the size of his flaccid penis.

A shower, on the other hand, is a man with a large flaccid penis that doesn’t change much in size when erect.

Let’s head back to Sex Ed 101 for a moment — which was everyone’s favorite class in high school.

When a penis is flaccid, it’s in a “resting” and soft state.

As a man becomes sexually aroused, however, blood flow increases throughout the spongy tissue within the penis, which makes the whole thing expand and stiffen.

At this point, the penis is now erect and ready for sexual activity.

If you paid attention in Sex Ed at all, you probably already know all of this, but it’s important because the difference in the size of a penis as it goes from flaccid to erect determines whether a man is a grower or shower.

Basically, if your penis gets significantly bigger when you get hard, you’re a grower.

If it stays about the same or changes very little, you’re a shower.

What Percentage Of Men Are Growers Vs. Showers?

That’s a good question. Jessie, a friend of mine, told me, “Aren’t all men growers? The only real showers I’ve seen are in porn. But please prove me wrong!”

Challenge accepted.

Dudes with erectile dysfunction took part in a two-year study conducted by the International Journal Of Impotence Research in 2018, which found that only 26% of men are growers while the other 74% are showers.

Other than this study, there have been several informal grower vs. shower surveys but when it comes to men and their penises there might be some embellishing in either direction — which we’ll talk about in just a bit.

What Is The Average Penis Size?

There have been many studies done on penis size and none have come to the same conclusion — probably because they were on a volunteer basis, with self-reported measurements.

And if men are self-reporting their penis sizes, you have to assume there is some serious exaggeration going on!

Erik, 26, told me, “Most guys on dating apps totally embellish dick size. It’s an epidemic.”

The most thorough and accurate study on men’s penis size comes from The British Journal Of Urology.

The study incorporated data from 17 previous academic papers that included measurements from 15,521 men worldwide, using the same measurement procedure across the board.

Health professionals measured the men from pubic bone to tip along the top side of their penises. Any fat or pubes (I know…ew) were pushed back before measuring, and they did not count any length from the foreskin.

The girth — or the distance around the penis — was measured at the base of the penis or around the middle of the shaft since those areas are comparable to one another.

Not too complicated, right? Something fun to try at home on a lazy Sunday!

Anyway, here are the results you’ve been waiting for:

Average Penis Size

  • The average flaccid penis is 3.61 inches in length
  • The average erect penis is 5.16 inches long
  • The average flaccid girth is 3.66 inches
  • The average erect girth is 4.59 inches

The researchers found no significant differences between races but larger, multicultural, and multinational studies are needed to confirm these results.

So all the stereotypes we tend to assume — there is absolutely no proof of them.

Does Being A Grower Or Shower Impact The Size Of Your Penis?

Nope! When a man gets an erection, his penis gets bigger until it reaches its full length.

The thing is, men tend to underestimate their penis size — but that doesn’t stop 45% of them from wishing theirs was bigger. On the flip side, 85% of heterosexual women are perfectly happy with their partner’s penis.

As if men didn’t have enough to worry about, “small penis syndrome” — concerns over flaccid penis size and the ability to please a lover — can cause men to put too much weight on how they “measure up” in that department.

Being a grower or shower has nothing to do with the actual size of an erect penis.

Rest easy, boys.

Can A Man Go From Being A Grower To A Shower, Or Vice Versa?

Yes and no.

Other than changes in skin elasticity and the aging process, which we’ll talk about later, there is no natural way for a man to become more of a grower if he isn’t one already.

He can’t eat carrots every day so his penis will magically grow, nor can he pull on it with all his might for three minutes a day to stretch it out.

It really comes down to genetics and penis composition, but a man can become more of a shower with a little help from a friendly doctor.

How a man can become more of a shower:

As a man ages, he can become more of a shower naturally, but perhaps not in the way he might hope for.

A man’s penis changes with age. These changes can include its overall color and size, but his penis can also begin to sag thanks to the loss of skin elasticity and collagen.

Damn you, gravity!

Bottom Line: Determining whether your penis is a grower or shower has to do with the change in its overall size as it transitions from a flaccid (relaxed) to erect (aroused) state. One study found that 74% of men are showers, compared to 26% being growers. While the average flaccid penis measures about 3.6 inches, the average erect penis size is 5.2 inches long. Regardless of whether a penis is a grower or shower, there is no discernable difference in erection size — and for the most part, men remain one or the other throughout their lives.

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How Do You Know If You’re A Grower Or A Shower?

Closeup Photograph Of Man Holding Measuring Tape Near Waist

So you’re ready to find out if you or your partner are a grower or a shower, but you’re not sure how to do that?

Luckily, the process is pretty much the same as figuring out if an Ikea bookcase will fit in your new apartment.

You measure it, of course!

How Do You Determine Whether You’re A Grower Vs. Shower?

You can start by asking a trusted friend, or you can take the advice provided by the International Journal Of Impotence Research:

Measure yourself when your penis is flaccid, then measure yourself again when it’s erect.

If the difference between the two measurements is greater than 1.6 inches (4 cm), you’re a grower. If the difference is below that threshold, you’re officially a shower.

Congratulations, either way!

How Can You Accurately Measure Your Penis Size While Flaccid?

Before you begin measuring yourself, you’ll want to make sure you keep the sexy thoughts away so your penis remains flaccid while you take the measurement.

So think about baseball or doing your taxes instead of receiving fellatio, fellas.

Steps to measure a flaccid penis:

  • Find some privacy
  • Stay limp — and think about things that keep you that way
  • Pull your pubes back with a scrunchie
  • Use a good old-fashioned measuring tape
  • Don’t try to stretch your penis in any way
  • Measure along the top side of your penis from the pubic bone to the tip

You can use a string if you don’t have a ruler or tape measure within reach, then mark the string and measure it later on once you’ve found one.

If anyone asks why you’re measuring a string, you can just tell them it’s for science and leave it at that.

How Can You Accurately Measure Your Penis Size While Erect?

Take a deep breath and get excited — like sexually speaking. Think about things that get you hot…breast sex, edging with your partner, or whatever lights your fire! You got this!

Steps to measure an erect penis:

  • Find some privacy
  • Let the sexy thoughts in and get hard
  • Pull your pubes back with a scrunchie
  • Use a good old fashioned measuring tape
  • Measure on the top side of your penis from the pubic bone to the tip

As with taking a flaccid measurement, you can use a piece of string and measure it later on.

When measuring your erect penis, the foreskin doesn’t count, so don’t get cocky!

How Can You Measure Your Erect Penis Length If You Can’t Get An Erection?

First, if you cannot get an erection at all, you should see a doctor about possible erectile dysfunction if that continues to be a problem and it bothers you.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re sober when trying to take an erect measurement, as inebriation can hinder your ability to achieve an erection at all.

Once you’re ready, you’ll measure your penis the same way you would when it’s flaccid, only you’re going to stretch it a bit this time.

You’ll want to stretch your penis slowly — either using the skin around the head of your penis or the head itself, whichever is most comfortable for you.

Once you’ve reached the point where the stretching causes discomfort, stop right there and take the measurement along the top of your penis from pubic bone to tip.

In doing this gentle stretching, you’re expanding your penis to about the length it would be if it was erect — just don’t tug the living daylights out of it!

Bottom Line: To determine whether a penis is a grower or shower, it should be measured while flaccid and erect. If the change is greater than 1.6 inches (4 cm) in length, the penis is a grower; if the change in size is below that threshold, it is a shower.

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Why Are Some Men Growers Or Showers?

Photograph Of Hand Holding Two Mushrooms, One Short And One Long, Penis Size Concept

Seriously, why do some guys grow and some guys show?

You might be thinking, is it karma or willpower? Is it a lottery and if so, how do I enter? What’s the deal?

Well, friends, certain factors determine whether a man is a grower or shower. These can include:

  • His genetics
  • His health
  • His age
  • The proportion of collagen fibers in his penis

In 2014, researchers conducted an anatomical study of the kinds of fibers that make up the penis in human infants. They found about a 10% difference between elastic fibers, smooth muscle fibers, and collagen.

So what this means is that penises are like snowflakes — no two are exactly alike. Every penis is special in its own way.

Overall, however, the study did not find any difference in erect penis sizes. When erect, a grower can be the exact same size as a shower.

What makes somebody a grower or shower depends on the mix of the fibers the penis is made of, so we’re gonna get a bit more technical here.

The shaft of the penis has two chambers known as the corporas: corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum. When a man becomes aroused, they fill up with blood to give him an erection.

A fibrous envelope surrounds those two chambers and is made up of mostly collagen — which affects how much a penis grows.

Collagen is a group of proteins made by the body — you’ve likely heard the term in reference to women’s skin as it ages. As collagen decreases, so does elasticity, so they sell us facial creams that are loaded with it.

But there’s no magic lotion for collagen fibers when it comes to the structure of a penis.

The amount of collagen housed within the penis determines how much it will stretch and grow.

But age is a factor, too. Collagen production decreases as we age — it’s a natural part of the aging process — and that can affect how much a penis grows as a man gets older.

Penis length, girth, and width can all change with age, hormone fluctuations, and even medical conditions like diabetes.

Do Women Have Any Preference Between Growers Vs. Showers?

Sexologist Carol Queen told us:

“Anybody might have a preference about just about any sexual thing, and others from the “identity category” they represent might have a completely different preference or not care at all. 

The preference would likely have to do with aesthetic appreciation of the person’s look when naked, but it might also have to do with how fun it is to see a small-looking penis get WAY bigger, as is the case with some growers. Wheeee!”

As we’ll discuss in a second, some studies may show that women like big penises and men prefer to have bigger penises, but it’s important to remember that such research is sweeping and is NOT indicative of every person’s opinion.

A big package visually signifies virility the same way a woman’s hips are a sign of fertility, which may explain the initial attraction to big penises.

In a 2015 study, women’s most desirable penis size was only slightly larger than average — preferring an erect penile length of 6.4 inches in one-time partners.

However, that same study found that women in long-term relationships actually preferred their partners to have a shorter penis.

As we mentioned before, there is no difference in the size of a grower or shower penis when they’re compared to one another in their erect states.

While some people find that a bigger dick feels better because it hits all the “right” spots, there are just as many folks out there who feel the exact opposite.

In fact, our own editor-in-chief, Alison Huff, told me:

“For those of us with shorter vaginal canals — in my case, due to past reproductive surgery for cancer — a longer penis can actually be a lot harder to work with, pardon the pun.

That’s something I think many people don’t consider. There’s this unfair stereotype associated with penis size that claims ‘bigger is ALWAYS better,’ but that is far from the truth — for a lot of people.

Can it be fun to watch a penis grow? Definitely. But in terms of having a preference between growers vs. showers, I don’t think one is ‘better’ than the other and I certainly don’t have a preference, either way. After all, you’re not getting busy with a penis when it’s flaccid — it’s the erection that counts, right? So does it really matter how much it changed through the process of becoming erect? Nope.”

Does Being A Grower Or A Shower Really Matter?

Concerns about penis size can and do affect men’s sexual satisfaction and their overall confidence.

I mean, how many self-deprecating jokes are there about small dicks?!  Or prejudgements made at first sight?

As we’ve talked about, the size of the erection doesn’t actually differ between showers or growers.

Whichever one you happen to be, rest assured that you’re perfectly normal and your penis is awesome.

Lacey, 34, told me, “I try not to judge penis size until they get hard. They all look kinda small when they’re soft, so what’s the point? Grower schmoer. It doesn’t matter.”

A wise sailor once said, “It’s not the size of the ship. It’s the motion of the ocean.” As long as you’re pleasing your partner, being a grower or a shower does not matter!

Bottom Line: The amount a penis actually grows while becoming erect has to do with the collagen fibers within its shaft. Even so, there is no difference in erect penis size between growers or showers. While some folks prefer larger penises in general, there are plenty of people who don’t — and regardless of whether your penis shows or grows, what matters most in terms of performance is how you use it.

In Conclusion

The grower vs. shower debate is fun in theory, but it doesn’t mean much in practice.

There has not been a significant enough inclusive study to provide exact percentages of growers vs. showers. Between the studies and surveys, the “hard” evidence is flimsy at best.

Measuring your penis is easy and there are several factors that determine whether you are a grower or a shower.

Being a grower or a shower doesn’t matter to a man’s health or sex life, though. Just do your best to please your partner!