I’m sure that a bunch of you out there think with your penis, but how much time is spent thinking about them? Actually, don’t answer that. Instead, let’s just safely assume that you know nothing about your member except where to stick it (you’ve probably messed that one up a few times, too). Here’s 20 important facts you might have learned in Health class if you weren’t so busy looking at the ‘Breast Examination’ section. Check them out below.
1. yes, you can break that boner
It may sound like a scene from Saw, but trust us, penile rupture is very real. It tends to happen mostly during vigorous sex, but overly enthusiastic solo action can also be to blame. Most guys who’ve experienced the unthinkable, report hearing a popping noise, followed by excruciating pain. And as profoundly humiliating as it may be, a trip to the ER is in order, since an untreated fracture can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction (ED).
2. shrinkage is not a myth
George and Jerry really did have their facts straight -- cold weather and cold water are a penis’ mortal enemies. “Testicles need to be warm to effectively make sperm and testosterone,” explains Dr. Fiske. So after a dip in the pool your guy’s tools will literally huddle up against him to stay toasty -- kinda like you do.
3. smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs
Turns out that human chimney you’re dating may actually be less of a stud than his healthier compatriots. It’s no secret that smoking clogs the arteries, including those that fill the penis with blood at that critical moment. This means smokers may have a harder time rising to the occasion. Bet he quits now!
4. your guy’s penis does have a mind of its own
We’ve suspected this since high school and now we have the medical chops to back it up. “The penis is controlled by the nervous system,” says Dr. Fiske, “which means erections can occur at random.” Take, for example, that morning wood he’s always so eager to share. It’s most likely the result of impulses firing from the brain during REM sleep. And all this time you thought he was dreaming about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue!
5. the u.s. is not foreskin-friendly
As protective as guys are of their family jewels, a whopping 75 percent of their sons still get sliced and diced. But maybe they’re onto something. “Research has shown some slight health benefits to circumcision,” says Dr. Fiske, “such as less urinary tract infections and a decreased risk of contracting HIV.”
6. most penises are created equal
So forget what you saw in Boogie Nights. “Adult penises typically measure between three and four inches when flaccid and five to six inches when erect,” says Dr. Fiske. What’s more, when it’s time to get busy, a man who started out on the small side, can end up expanding proportionally more than larger dudes. Just tread carefully when sharing this bit of anatomical trivia -- none of the guys we talked to found it reassuring.
7. our guys stack up pretty well compared to other mammals
Here’s some good news to share with your sweetie: his erect organ is actually pretty large compared to other animals. Chimpanzees, for instance, have equipment that’s about half the size of the human male’s. Of course, our guys do pale in comparison to the blue whale, whose penis is 11 feet long (but who needs that!).
7. curves are common
The vast majority of penises lean ever so slightly to the left or right when rigid (you were probably just too distracted to notice). However some bend so dramatically (or curve up or down) that having sex is almost impossible. This is known as Peyronie's Disease and happens when the penis doesn’t expand evenly during a hard-on.
8. don’t blame dear old dad
Unlike those baby blues, penis size, thickness and shape are not genetic. Penises are actually formed in utero when those wild and crazy male hormones kick-in. So if your guy’s unhappy with what he’s got, he has no one to point the finger (or any other appendage) at but Mother Nature.
9. guys are programmed to finish quickly
So don’t take it personally. “The true purpose of intercourse is procreation,” explains Dr. Fiske, “and men have evolved to have sex just long enough to get the job done.” In fact 85 percent of guys can seal the deal in three minutes or less, however it’s the wise man who hangs in there long enough for his partner to catch up -- especially if he wants her to make breakfast in the morning.
10. a guy doesn’t need his brain to get off
OK, no big surprise here, but we did learn that his “O” actually starts with his spine. “The signal to ejaculate is the result of muscle contractions in the spinal cord and pelvis,” says Dr. Fiske. Sort of gives new meaning to the dis, ‘you’ve got no backbone.’
11. staying power isn’t always a good thing
Yep, we’re talking about those Viagra commercials that always seem to elicit a chuckle. And although guys pride themselves on their ability to go at it like the Energizer Bunny, an erection that simply won’t go away isn’t a miracle, but a medical emergency. “If the blood flow that causes an erection doesn’t eventually leave the penis,” explains Dr. Fiske, “serious complications can result, like blood clots.”
13. having a vasectomy isn’t a fast track to freedom
Sperm are tenacious little suckers and can hang around, ready, willing and able to cause trouble, for up to two months post-op. So it’s important to use some kind of protection until your hubby’s doc gives him the all clear. And just in case he’s whining about having this simple little procedure (which, by the way, is far less invasive than a tubal ligation), Dr. Fiske promised us that getting snipped has no effect on a man’s sexual prowess.
14. extra-large rubbers are only for a select few
Only 6 percent of the male population needs extra-large rubbers, according to condom manufacturers. In other words, 94 percent of men lie.
15. blue-balls really do exist
Men really do get "blue-balls." Technically called "prostatic congestion," the achiness in the testicles is caused by "trapped" blood. You know that crap he lays on you about orgasms being the only way to relieve it? He's right. But not so fast, trampolina. So is your doctor -- the one who says a warm shower or aspirin will also do the trick.
16. penises contrast in color to other body parts
Penises are generally darker in color than the bodies they hang from. Why? It's part of the sexual maturation process, but it's also because during puberty nature introduces men to a special friend: their right hand. As Mr. Nice to Meet You Too, You Can Let Go Now will tell anybody who'll listen, your skin would darken too if you were manhandled that often
17. kiss that shoe size theory goodbye
There is no correlation between penis size and shoe size, hand size or nose size. And the bad news is even worse for gold-digging nymphos: There's no correlation between penis size and wallet size.
18. masturbation is the best exercise?
Masturbation, or "punching the monkey," is healthy. No, really. "Use it or lose it" isn't just an excuse for a guy's hands to migrate south; it's the official tested and studied conclusion of sex experts. The less a guy uses his sexual plumbing, the more problems he'll have pumping the well later on. It's only at Thanksgiving that you should tell your man, "Don't play with your meat."
19. drinking affects his nether region
Men will go limp if they drink too much. But how much is too much? About three and a half drinks for a 150-pound man. After that, the only thing standing upright in your house will be the vacuum cleaner.
20. growth spurts down there only last for so long
Nothing can make a penis bigger -- except aging. Unfortunately, the size of the prize stops growing by the time men hit their early 20s.
21. penises all have a "seam"
All men have a line going down their penis and over their testicles. And no, it's not the chow line. It's more a "seam" on the underside of the penis. It forms when the fetus is in the uterus. In women, the seam becomes the inner lips of the vagina. In men, the seam encloses the urethra along the length of the penis.