This is a women's lifestyle site. This means that, automatically, we are Team Vagina. But since all of us got here with the help of a penis and many of us enjoy the company and pleasure of them as adults, I thought it would only be fair (and necessary) that since I wrote "15 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Your Own Vagina" that I circle back around and share some interesting facts about men's genitalia too.
Something tells me that if you take five or so minutes to, at least skim this, there will be a couple of times when your eyes get big. Shoot, I write about sex for a living and about four of these points tripped me right on out. Are you ready for a little bit of semi-NSFW reading that will make you well-versed in the lane of male genitalia?
1. Baby Boys Have Erections Within the Womb
I've got an ex who used to get erections whenever he ate something that he really liked. It was the first time when I saw actual proof that men can get hard for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Another solid example? Baby boys are able to get erections while they are developing in their mother's womb (check out "It Starts in the Womb: Helping Parents Understand Infant Sexuality"). Oh, and speaking of development, a man's penis officially stops growing once he hits his early 20s.
2. There Are “Growers” and Then There Are “Showers”
Here's a great PSA for why you should never assume that grey sweatpants are telling you all that you need to know about a guy's genitalia. The reality is that some men are "growers" while others are "showers". What's the difference?
A shower is someone whose penis is basically the same size whether he is flaccid or erect while a grower is someone whose penis grows significantly in size whenever he experiences an erection. Factors like tissue elasticity, collagen and a man's overall health can determine what category he falls into.
Also, interestingly enough, it's not uncommon for some fellas to start off in one category and then move over into another as he ages. One more thing. Whatever is visible to the naked eye is only half of what a man has goin' on. The other part of his penis is housed inside of his body.
3. Smoking Can Shorten a Man’s Penis
If you're currently with a smoker, here's another motivation for him to quit. Something that smoking does is restrict blood flow to his penis. When that happens, it can prevent him from getting—or maintaining—a maximum erection; this, in turn, can result in a smaller penis. How small? Only about a centimeter. But still, since smoking is unhealthy anyway, why not convince him to get that centimeter back by stopping?
4. Erectile Dysfunction Is Not Nearly As Common As Erectile Dissatisfaction
When a man struggles with getting or maintaining an erection, the proper term for it is erectile dysfunction. While it affects approximately 30 million American men, something that I found to be fascinating is the fact that a far greater culprit is erectile dissatisfaction. No, it's not when a man is no longer interested in his partner. Erectile dissatisfaction is what happens when, as a man ages, he starts to compare his younger sexual self to his current way of being. This tends to happen to many men when they are between the ages of 40-50. Oftentimes, it's because it takes them a longer time to become erect in between sexual escapades. The remedies? Less stress and more patience from their partner are a great place to start.
5. Going by a Man’s Shoe Size Is a Total Myth
Unfortunately, I still hear people reference this myth enough to where it has to be mentioned. The size of a man's shoe has NOTHING to do with the size of his member. Matter of fact, one of my past partners had a huge foot and one of the smallest penises that I had ever been with. On the flip side, according to the International Journal of Impotence Research, a man's age, height and index finger length does have something to do with how much is going on down below. But still, you really won't know until…you know.
6. Semen Is a Low-Calorie “Snack”
I say it often because it's true. Sperm (the cells that actually fertilize eggs) and semen (the fluid that carries the cells) are like the ultimate multi-vitamin (check out "Do You Swallow? The Unexpected Health Benefits Of Sperm" to learn why). If you are a partaker and any part of you is curious as to how many calories you're taking in whenever you throw a shot back, you're getting somewhere between 5-25 calories. At least that's what the word on Google street says.
7. The Average Man Has Many Erections a Day
How many erections do most men have on a daily basis? The average clocks somewhere around 11 with 3-5 of them happening at night. How long do nighttime erections last? Usually somewhere between 25-35 minutes.
So, if your man happens to be all about tapping your shoulder in the middle of the night or being totally down for morning sex, this is probably why.
8. Ejaculate Moves Pretty Fast
Ever wonder how fast ejaculate comes out? It's not slow, by any means. While it does kind of vary per guy, the average is somewhere around 28 miles per hour. When you think about how that's double the amount of a lot of school zones, it reminds us why Samantha (from Sex & the City) once said, "They don't call [a blow job] a job for nothin'."
9. Some Men Can Climax Without Erections
Never assume that just because a man doesn't ejaculate during sex that he didn't have a really good time. When a guy climaxes without releasing any semen, it's called a dry orgasm. Matter of fact, it's not uncommon for guys to "reach the peak" without ever having an orgasm at all.
10. Broken Penises Are A Real Thing
A man who says his penis is "broke" is someone who is basically expressing that the blood vessels that are inside of his penis ended up bursting which resulted in some pretty painful swelling. And what causes a broken penis (or penile fracture) to happen most often? Rigorous masturbation, his partner being on top (and moving too vigorously at an awkward angle) or him bumping into something—pardon the pun—hard (like a door) while his penis is erect. If it does happen, ice packs and ibuprofen can help with the healing process.
11. Some Men Can Give Themselves Fellatio
This might just be the most random (and fascinating) penis point on this entire list. While some call it "auto-fellatio" and others refer to it as being "self-fellatio", there are men who are actually limber enough to give themselves head. I read somewhere that approximately 1 in 400 men are able to do it. Does the same go for women and cunnilingus? Maybe if you're a contortionist, but since we don't have anything that "sticks out" when we're aroused, it's a lot more difficult. (I don't know if you consider that to be good or bad news. Report back.)
12. Blue Balls Are Also Real (and Have a Scientific Name)
Whenever you hear a man talk about having blue balls, it's best not to roll your eyes. Yes, it's a very real thing and the scientific name for it is prostatic congestion (or epididymal hypertension, depending on who you ask). It's basically what happens when blood gets trapped inside of his testicles, resulting in some pretty extreme achiness and discomfort. Now here's what guys may not tell you.
Blue balls don't only transpire when a man is horny and unable to get a release. It can also come as the result of having too much sex, masturbating too often, having a cold, drinking excessively or even eating too much spicy food. That's why an orgasm isn't the only remedy for prostatic congestion. Taking a warm shower or an aspirin can oftentimes bring relatively quick relief too.
13. Very Few Men Actually Need Magnum Condoms. XL, That Is.
I don't know about you but, back in my sexually active days, it always used to tickle me that almost every man I was with had a pack of Magnums, even though every man I was with wasn't in need of one—if you know what I mean.
From what I've read, only six percent of men should actually purchase that brand, if it's the "XL variety" that they are after (which is exactly what they typically choose to buy). The reason why is because Magnums measure at a little over eight inches long and a little over two inches wide. While the average size of most penises (erect) is 5.16 inches.
That's why it really is best, for all parties involved, for men to ditch the ego boost of a Magnum and utilize an actual condom chart before actually purchasing this kind of prophylactic. Condoms are most effective (and feel best) when they actually…fit correctly.
14. Stress DEFINITELY Affects a Man’s Erections and Orgasms
When a man has a difficult time maintaining an erection or having an orgasm, more times than not, stress is the root cause. In some instances, this is referred to as "orgasmic dysfunction" which can be brought on by age and medications but also shyness, low self-esteem, relationship problems, sexual guilt (that's sometimes brought on by religious beliefs and upbringing) or even—get this—nagging. The reason why this is a good thing to keep in mind is because, a lot of times, we think that only women need to be "mentally in tune" in order to enjoy coitus. But, as you can see, if men aren't in a place of peace and calm, it can wreak havoc on their sex lives too.
15. Black Men Do Lead the “Pack”. But Only Slightly.
I believe it's a man by the name of Roberto Esquivel Cabrera who currently holds the record for having the largest penis in the world. How large is it? You ain't ready—it's a whopping 18.9"! He's not a Black man which makes him the perfect lead in for my final penis fact. While it has been stereotyped since, forever, that Black men have the biggest penises out of all ethnicities, that is only "a little bit true". What I mean is, according to another study conducted by the International Journal of Impotence Research, "We have shown that the man's mean penis length who identifies himself as black is just a little bit bigger than the one who identifies himself as white. However, there were no significant differences between groups regarding self-assessment of genital body image." This is a nice way of saying that you shouldn't assume our Black kings are always "large and in charge" or that Karen's brothers are teeny-tiny. It's kind of a crap shoot, so require more than penis size when selecting a partner; even when it comes to sex.
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