P is for Penis

P is for Penis

P is for Penis

A man who is ashamed to show or name the penis is wrong.  Instead of being anxious to hide it, man ought to display it – Leonardo DiVinci


The penis is a most amazing organ.  We have all sorts of slang and pet names for it from the cock to dick to tool to John Thomas.   The word originally comes from the Latin meaning ‘tail’.  The penis seems simplistic in both it’s form and function.

Penises are either uncut (with foreskin) or cut (circumcised).  They come in many sizes and men spend some considerable time when they are young being worried about penis size.  They should be more worried about penis girth as girth makes more of a difference in what woman feels during sex and her ability to reach orgasm than length does.

The average size of a penis is 3.5 inches when soft and 5 to 6 inches when hard.  Penises in the Republic of Congo are the largest with an average of 7.1 inches.  Penises in North and South Korea are the smallest with an average of 3.8 inches.   The world’s largest penis belongs to a New Yorker and is 13.5 inches when hard.    Smoking can shorten a penis by up to ½ an inch.  This happens because of calcification in the blood vessels which means that blood cannot flow into the penis as easily.  The smallest natural penis recorded was 5/8ths of an inch.

Penis licensed adobe stock

Penises are either growers or showers.  Growers are smaller when soft and double or more in size when filled with blood.  Showers are larger soft and don’t grow much when erect.  79% of men are growers.  Only about 6% of men have penises larger than 8 inches requiring an extra large condom.  (FYI condoms come in small, average, large and extra large.  Some companies advertise extra extra large.)  Girth averages 4 to 6 inches.

Half of the penis is actually inside the body and when erect it forms the shape of a boomerang.   It takes 130 ml of blood to make a stiff penis.  In order for this to happen the arteries in the penis will double in size to push the blood around.     The average man has 11 erections daily and 9 during the night and none of these are under conscious control.  His penis really has a mind of its own!  The penis will shrink and become elastic if it isn’t used so the brain has an auto maintenance function that causes erections during REM sleeps so the penis is kept in shape and keeps it’s tone.  Think of it as dick aerobics.

The underside of the head of the penis (the frenulum) is usually the most sensitive area.

But the root of the penis is underrated.  Pressure there can drive some men wild.  Want to learn the best way to touch his penis?  Watch him masturbate.  Pay good attention to what he does with his hand(s) and fingers and ask questions.

One man in 400 is flexible enough to suck his own penis.   The time where size does matter is when trying to get a woman pregnant who has had sex with someone else (so there are competing sperm present!).  The longer the penis, the more likely your sperm will win the race.

Penises can ‘break’ – it is called a penile fracture but it is actually bruising because there is no bone present.   Penises go soft when confronted with pain to avoid this type of injury and penises heal quickly because of the great blood supply.    When this happens, the pain is enormous as you might expect.

One in every 5 to 6 million men is born with two penises (diphallus) but one is usually not functional and often this comes with other problems in the genital area so will need surgery to correct.  Research suggests that in Neanderthal times and before, the penis had spines.  Other species who have spines on their penises tend to be promiscuous and tend to get quicker erections.

The largest penis is on the blue whale and is 8 to 10 feet long, girth 12 to 14 inches and weighs 100 – 150 pounds.  The largest penis on a land mammal is on the elephant.  It is 6 feet on average and S shaped when erect.  Most mammals have a bone called the baculum or os penis in the penis.  The only two who don’t are humans and horses.

There is a penis museum in Iceland.  Write me at drloribeth@atozofsex with your facts and stories about penises.