Let’s face it. Penises are pretty cool. They provide pleasure while perpetuating the human race. Freud noted that human genitalia is, objectively, not exactly beautiful but that we lust after it anyway, at least when it’s attached to the right person.
Here are 10 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about penises. With any luck, they’ll help you to appreciate them even more than you already do.
10. The etymology for the word “penis”
The word “penis” comes from the Latin word for “tail.”
“Penis” was not adopted into the English language until the 17th century. Prior to that, a penis was referred to as a “yard.”
9. The world’s largest penis on record…
The largest erect penis ever to be medically verified measured 13.5 inches long and 6.25 inches in circumference. It belongs to an American bisexual man named Jonah Cardeli Falcon. His penis is 9.5 inches when flaccid and 13.5 inches when erect.
But having the world’s biggest penis isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“When I meet people they find it hard to look me in the eye, they just see what’s in my trousers,” Falcon has said. “It’s become a real problem.”
That’s a problem we’d like to have, too.
8. The average penis size…
Don’t let Jonah Cardeli Falcon make you feel self conscious about the size of your dong. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the average American man’s penis is 5.6 inches long when erect.
That means there’s a whole lot of liars on Grindr, Manhunt and Adam4Adam.
7. Self pleasure
It is estimated by Men’s Health that 1 in 400 men are flexible enough to perform oral sex on themselves. Don’t ask us where this statistic came from.
6. Some babies are born with two penises.
Diphallia, also known as penile duplication, is when a child is born with two penises. It is a rare condition that affects one in every 5-6 million males.
Juan Baptista dos Santos (left) is probably the most famous man to suffer from diphallia. (He also had a third leg.) He was born in Portugal in 1863. Both of his peckers were said to have been fully functional — meaning he could urinate and ejaculate from each.
Juan is said to be have been a man of “animal passion,” who would have sex with both of his penises, finishing with one, then continuing with the other.
Sounds pretty incredible. Just imagine the kind of three-ways he could have.
5. Yes, it’s possible to break your penis.
Penile fractures affect around 200 Americans each year and usually happens during violent intercourse, sexual acrobatics, or aggressive masturbation.
During an erection, the penis becomes engorged with blood. If the penis is bent in a sudden or forceful manner during this time, the trauma can rupture the lining of one of the two cylinders inside the penis, known as the corpus cavernosum. This is usually accompanied by a cracking sound, followed by severe bruising and swelling.
You can see a really gruesome picture of a broken penis here (but don’t say we didn’t warn you).
4. The brain is not needed to ejaculate.
The order to ejaculate comes from the spinal cord, not the brain. Who knew?
No wonder our timing is always off.
3. The volume, speed and calorie count of cum.
The average man shoots between one and two teaspoons of cum per orgasm. Each wad contains approximately seven calories, and each spurt propels through the air at about 28 MPH. It is believed that the average man will ejaculate around 7,000 times in his life. Clearly that number does not apply to gay men, who exceed that number by the age of 20. Clearly.
The average male has 11 erections during the day and anywhere between three and nine during the night. Nighttime erections are called “nocturnal penile tumescence” and usually last between 25 and 35 minutes each.
Erections keep the penis in shape. “It has to be essentially exercised,” says Tobias Kohler, MD, an assistant professor of urology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
In other words: masturbate, masturbate, masturbate.
Without regular erections, penile tissue can lose elasticity and even shrink, making the penis as much as 1-2 centimeters shorter.
So, again: masturbate, masturbate, masturbate.
1. Myths debunked.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot gauge the size of a man’s penis by the size of his feet. A study from the University College Hospitals in London measured the penises and feet of 104 men and found no correlation whatsoever.
You also can’t tell the size of a man’s penis by the size of his fingers or nose, or by what kind of vehicle he drives. There is no scientific data that supports any of these hypotheses.
So stop looking at the feet of guys you meet to figure out who you want to sleep with at the bar. It’s useless.
But size doesn’t matter anyway, right?