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15 Pretty Tripped Out Things You May Not Know About Penises

I'm willing to bet that some of these facts your man doesn't even know about his own peen.

Sex

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

I Asked 10 Men What Turned Them On. This Is What They Said.

What?! Only 35 Percent Of Men Go Down? Say It Ain't So.

10 Things You Didn't Know About The Male And Female Orgasm

5 Go-To Positions For When Your Partner Is Well-Endowed

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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