Most of us have come across multiple images of the male phallus scribbled on all manner of surfaces from school desks to walls. Still, for a society so inundated with penis images, some fascinating things about the penis may not be as well-known.
Erections at any age, any time
Penises are born ready. So ready, it is common for babies to exit the womb with an erection. Even before birth, ultrasounds sometimes show a fetus with a fully formed erection. Erections also occur unprovoked, sometimes even multiple times an hour during REM sleep for reasons scientists are yet to understand. One reason floated is it might be the body’s way of testing things out and keeping them running correctly.
Use it or lose it
You need to have erections regularly to keep your penis in shape. As with all other muscles, you have to exercise it to keep it healthy. Regular erections mean oxygenated blood regularly flows through the gland. The good news is if you for whatever reason don’t consciously decide to get erect, your brain will do it for you during the dreaming phase of sleep called the REM phase. For men who have physical problems with maintaining healthy erections, a device like a vacuum pump that forces the penis to swell with blood can be helpful.
It’s no secret that men are highly sensitive and plagued with anxiety about penis size. Some good news on that front.
- The penis is about twice as long as it looks because it extends internally into the pelvic region. Don’t worry, it’s big enough.
- There are growers and showers. One study found that a flaccid penis could stretch by about .25 inches to 3.5 inches longer when erect. Shorter flaccid penises tend to gain about twice as much length as longer flaccid penises.
- That shoe size correlation is a myth. Penile dimensions are correlated with age, height and index finger length but not shoe size.
A final word on appearance, very few penises are straight with most being curved in any direction.
It can break
There is no bone in the penis but it is still possible to break it. Peniel fracture can happen during vigorous sex and accidents like blunt force trauma from hitting something or falling off the bed. It is fairly uncommon and if treated swiftly, you can get back full function.
Very rarely, a man may be born with two penises. This condition is known as diphallus and affects about five to six million men. Another rare anomaly is called priapism here the person suffers from a persistent erection that will not go away after four hours. Usually, it’s caused by an illness and requires emergency medical treatment.
The foreskin is super-sensitive evolving from the same tissue as the clitoral hood. This is what is cut during circumcision. Intactivists who are against male circumcision argue that men experience less sexual pleasure after the procedure. The methodology of that research has been found to be problematic and biased. Pro- circumcision advocates cite studies that show that it reduces the likelihood of getting HIV. Doctors do not endorse or discourage circumcision noting that it carries both small risks and benefits.
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