Think you know all that there is to know about the penis?... Think again! Here are nine common myths about the male anatomy that some people have been "straight up" wrong about. You don't have to be a dick when correcting people about their penis facts. Ha, we're going to try to get all of the penis jokes out of our system right now at the beginning, but we can't make any guarantees here, people.
Turns out, big in the shoes does not mean big in the pants.
Urologists at University College London examined 104 men, ranging from teens to the elderly, and found absolutely no link between a man's shoe size and a man's...manliness. (BBC News)
So, the next time someone says something about big shoes, you can know that this has absolutely nothing to do with anything except the fact that it might be harder to find shoes in his size if he has big feet.
French researchers ran an MRI while couples engaged in missionary intercourse (anything for SCIENCE!) and found that the penis curves into a boomerang shape during sex. The findings were published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Crikey!
We're not sure how we feel about this fact but we've never heard the penis described as a boomerang shape before and we think that we're kind of freaked out now. Don't describe penises as childhood toys.
4. "EVERY Guy Is Circumcised, and If He's Not That's Just WEIRD!"
Across the globe, circumcised men are actually in the minority. Only 30% of guys over the age 15 have gotten the snip, 2/3 of them being Muslim (World Health Organization).
We're not sure what to do with this information either, because this is legitimate news to us. We have a lot of questions that we want to ask, but more so, we have a lot of questions that we don't want to ask, so we won't.
5. "Use This Pill/Pump/Herb/Magical Genie Lamp to Make It Bigger!"
Sorry to burst your bubble, saucy late night commercials, but male enhancement is just a load of B.S. The Mayo Clinic says that no penis-enlargement treatment (pills, lotions, pumps, exercises, etc) have been proven to actually be effective. Since they're not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers just get to make any claim about them that they want. For those curious, the penis stops growing when you finish puberty, sometime around your early twenties. Hm, who knew.
Fun fact: Humans are one of the only primates without a bone in their, you know, boner. Most other primates have the baculum, a bone located above the urethra. The baculum is notably absent in the body of human males. Moral of the story, the penis isn't something that can be broken like a bone because it HAS no bone.
You can, however, fracture your penis. It can happen when it's bent suddenly and with a lot of force while erect, rupturing the lining responsible for erections. However, the Mayo Clinic assures that this is pretty rare. Phew.
As sex experts EJ Dickson and Nico Lang of The Daily Dot so eloquently put, "Just because you have the equipment doesn't mean you necessarily know how to operate the machinery." They say that while having a bigger penis might make a guy more confident, it might also make the guy ignore communication and physical cues from his partner because he's TOO confident.
Plus, only 25% of women are able to orgasm through vaginal intercourse (Psychology Today). That means size really, really doesn't matter for 75% of female orgasms in a heterosexual relationship.
The penis is made up of spongy tissue called corpora cavernosa (this tissue is also found in the female clitoris). An erection happens when increased blood flow causes the arteries around the spongy tissue to expand. That's why one of the causes of erectile dysfunction is vascular disease, because you need a healthy heart to have healthy blood flow. Alright. Well. We don't know what to do with this information either. Cool. Good things to know.
The signal that tells the penis that it's time to ejaculate doesn't come from the brain, it comes from the spinal cord (US National Library of Medicine).* Middle school jokes aside, this is why men with spinal cord injuries often cannot achieve ejaculation (University of Iowa).
*Yes, we're aware of how many times we said "come" in that sentence.
So instead of thinking with your penis, you think with your spinal chord when you're in the mood.
10. "The Average Size Is Seven/Eight/43,482,184,094,890 Inches"
Kings College London examined over 15,000 men (yay SCIENCE!) and found that the average man's length was 5.17 inches erect, 3.61 flaccid.
So why do men overestimate what the average sized penis is? Partially it's because, "People tend to overestimate themselves," argues David Yeale, psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (Science Mag). In other words, they might be average and are just bad at eyeballing. Secondly, men could have developed unrealistic expectations on what "average" is because the men featured in pornography tend to measure above average. When that's the standard you have to compare yourself with, it's easy for your perception to be skewed.
Men can stay hard after sex, but that doesn't always mean they're ready to go again.
It depends on the blood flow to the penis and the level of the man's arousal. But no matter what, there is always a refractory period between sex and the ability to have another lovemaking session. If there wasn't, you might get tired eventually, right? That's a lot of physical activity you'd be doing with no break between it.
Okay, so if you've ever watched an adult film, you might have seen a lot of semen in some scenes. All the scenes. Most scenes. Depends what you're into.
However, it's normal to ejaculate only about a teaspoon of semen for every orgasm. In every milliliter of that semen, there's a lot of sperm. About 200 million of them. Woah. If there's any less than that, it could point to signs of a medical problem.
People continue to keep believing that there is a correlation between penis size and race. Research says that in every country, the average penis length is five inches.
British researchers looked at the measurements of 15,000 men to determine this. We wonder what they told people that they were doing for their jobs that month, because that would be an interesting thing to explain that you're doing all day. Maybe they just said they were unemployed.
Like we said, size doesn't equal performance. Women across the board say that they do not care about the size of their partner's, uh, equipment.
In fact, just one percent said that it was something that was very important to them. What they do care about is that you'll listen to them tell you about their really annoying coworker, Karen. And if you're really good at foot rubs, then that also scores your bonus points