One of the key aspects that has defined man throughout history is gender. This is identified by the outward symbol of masculinity —
Our collective fascination with the male organ is representative of humanity’s curiosity about all aspects of life.
Scroll down to learn more about the penis. What is the anatomy of the penis and how does the penis work? How do we get pleasure from the penis? What does a penis look like? What are some of the more common penis problems? Penis enhancement – what is it? And much more!
Written by Kimberly Wylie
The shaft of the penis is made up of three columns of erectile tissue:
All three columns contain arteries, nerves, muscle fibers, and venous cavities. These three columns are enveloped in fascial layers of tissue and surrounded by nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics. These form a singular cylindrical shaft, which is covered by skin.
As mentioned, the three chambers in the penis shaft are surrounded by fascial tissue, including the Buck fascia and the Colles fascia.
At the end of the penis shaft is the penis glans – the tip of the penis.
The scrotum is the external sack of skin hanging just behind and below the penis. Although technically not the penis, it’s critical to the functionality of the penis, so we’re going to discuss it briefly. Here are some details about the anatomy of the scrotum.
The penile skin covers the penis and continues from the lower abdominal wall. It is smooth and hairless from the glans, down the shaft, toward the scrotum.
As mentioned earlier, the penis has two primary jobs —
The urethra runs through the penis, past the prostate gland, to the bladder, through the corpus spongiosum. The external sphincter muscle is located at the penis root. This muscle tissue is under voluntary control, in healthy males. When it’s relaxed, urine is allowed to pass from the bladder, through the upper urethra and through the penis.
Reproduction/procreation is the other primary function of the penis. From erection through ejaculation, the penis, although also a source of pleasure, was designed to facilitate reproduction.
An erection of the penis happens during sexual arousal (and occasionally during non-sexual situations). The physiological process is:
Following is a series of images showing the progression of an erection. This includes the natural retraction of the foreskin, as the penis elongates. Mouse over the blurred image, to see the full photo.
The angle of erections vary greatly, depending on the man. From:
The most common erection angle ranges between 30 and 85 degrees, with approximately 61 percent of men having erections are within this range.
Ejaculation occurs when the penis expels semen. This is often accompanied by an orgasm. Ejaculation is a four-stage process.
Being able to control when you ejaculate is key to your sexual stamina. Please read our article – How to Increase Sexual Stamina & Last Longer in Bed – for more details on improving your ability to control ejaculation.
If you’re concerned about premature ejaculation, our article Premature Ejaculation can help.
The penis comes in all shapes and sizes, just like every other part of the human body. Mouse over the images below, to see a sample of just a small variety.
The penis and masculinity have been inextricably linked since time immemorial. From cave drawings to fertility gods in ancient Japanese “pillow books” (ancient erotica) with men depicted with large penises, one thing is clear —
Mankind has always been fascinated by the penis.
For the most part, bigger has always been thought of as better. Penis size has always been considered to be a outer representation of a man’s virility, his power, and his masculinity. Egyptian obelisks were built to honor the sun god Ra’s penis. During the Ottoman Empire, the Turks publicly compared their superior penis size to the penises of defeated Arab leaders. During the Renaissance, European men were so obsessed with penis size, they often wore a codpiece, to make their package look bigger under their clothing.
There were some cultures who actually prized smaller penises — the Greeks and the Hindus. Ancient Hindus favored what today we would call micropenises — penises between 2 and 3 inches. Larger penises were shunned and believed to be comparable to beasts. Ancient Greeks also preferred smaller penises, as can be seen in much of their artwork of the period. In fact, Aristotle theorized a smaller penis was a more virile penis, since the semen wouldn’t have as far to travel during ejaculation.
In today’s society of excess, it’s not surprising that bigger is still often thought of as better. From David Beckham’s impressive bulge in his mainstream H&M underwear ads to the well-endowed porn stars, larger penises are constantly being depicted. Even many our modern buildings are still phallic-shaped. These include buildings like:
Clearly, our culture is still fascinated by really large penises.
Although there’s no one agreed upon “average penis size” globally, in America, many would agree the average penis size is about 5.1 inches. Many factors, however, can come into play when trying to determine what is average.
Although the platitude, “It’s not the size of the wave but the motion of the ocean” is true, to a significant extent, penis size is linked to desirability. Scientific studies have been shown that, all things being equal physically, and with no other information about the male, women often initially prefer a man with a larger penis. Additionally, a man with a smaller penis may feel a lack of confidence both in and out of the bedroom. With confidence being a trait many women value in a mate, it’s not surprising that this also has an effect on their attractiveness.
To learn more about penis size, visit our page — Do I Have a Small Penis? What to Do, if You Do.
Just to put penis size into perspective, let’s take a quick look at the average penis size of some animals.
Where the penis is concerned, myths abound! Here are our top favorites.
As you age, your penis changes, as does your sexual function. Testosterone typically declines with age, which means it will take more to get aroused and longer to achieve orgasm. The refractory period also takes longer, as men age. An increased incidence of erectile dysfunction is coupled with a decline in urinary function, due to a weakened bladder and sometimes prostate enlargement. However, beyond these functional changes, the penis itself changes as a man ages.
There are two primary changes in penis appearance as a man gets older.
One of the more disturbing changes in the penis, as a man ages, is in size. This reduced size may be a perceived reduction, or an actual shrinkage due to age.
The penis has had a role across history. As noted earlier, the penis goes far beyond just another part of the anatomy or even a tool for reproduction. The penis has been a symbol of masculinity – or power. As such, it’s not a big surprise that throughout history, conceptions of the penis have been represented in culture, most often in works of art. Here is just a small sampling:
There are three main areas for improving your penis. These are:
These improvements can be made through a variety of ways –
In all areas of life, sometimes the advice and guidance of an expert can help you make improvements and reach goals that you would not be able to do as easily otherwise. The same is true for penis coaches. A penis coach will help you:
MaleEnhancementCoach.com has reputable penis coaches who are truly experts in the male enhancement field.
Although it can be argued that all penises are sexy, there are things you can do to enhance their physical appearance. There are two primary ways to make your penis look its very best — manscaping and lubricants for skin tone.
Manscaping is the trimming, waxing or shaving of hair from the male body. For decades, swimmers, bodybuilders and other ‘hair conscious’ men have used manscaping on their torso, backs, legs, and arms. However, manscaping of the pubic region is a relatively new cultural practice, becoming more popular over the last generation.
Just as you trim the hair on your head to look good, keeping your pubic hair can also improve the aesthetic appeal of your privates. The saying —
Trim the bush to make the tree look bigger.
— is true. An out-of-control mass of pubic hair can hide much of your penis.Keeping it trimmed, will make your penis look larger.
Now, how far you go with this manscaping is a personal preference. From just tidying up what nature gave you to shaving completely including the scrotum, the style is up to you. In addition to enhancing the look of your penis, less pubic hair means less area for odor-causing bacteria to flourish.
Dry penile skin can be both painful and unsightly. You can prevent this with a good quality lubricant, with moisturizing properties. Never use soap, shampoo, or heavily scented oils on your penis, as it can cause irritation, redness, and dry, flaky skin.
It’s not all fun and games when it comes to the penis. There are scary things that can happen. Thankfully, most of them are preventable.
There are numerous STDs that can affect the penis. If you suspect you or your partner has an STD, seek out medical attention immediately. Following are some of the more common STDs that directly affect the penis. Mouse over the blurred image, to the right, to see the full photo.
Can you really “break your penis?” Yes, you can! It’s not just something out of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy – even though there are no bones in the penis, you really can break your penis.
Medically known as a penile fracture, this injury typically occurs during sex when, during an erection, the penis is severely bent. This is usually the result of the penis hitting something solid, such as the perineum, and bending sharply.
The tunica albuginea (the membrane around the corpora cavernosa) tears. With this tear, the blood that is normally confined in the corpora cavernosa leaks into the other tissues, causing both swelling and bruising, as well as a loss of an erection. A penile fracture is usually accompanied by a popping sound and severe penis pain.
To treat a broken penis, typically:
Sometimes the tear can be quite extensive, spanning half of the girth of the penis. They can require up to 10 stitches. This is an outpatient surgery, but can take approximately an hour to complete. Most men can resume sexual activities after about a month of healing.
If you don’t get medical attention for your torn tunica albuginea, you can have problems in the future. If left unrepaired, the tears can develop scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in erectile dysfunction and severe curvature of the penis. For this reason, if you feel you may have suffered a penile fracture, seek medical attention immediately.
Castration is any method used so a male loses the biological use of his testes.This can include orchiectomy, which is the surgical removal of either or both of the testes, and in some extreme cases, the removal of all male genitalia. Whether castration is performed surgically or chemically (through the regular injections of anti-androgens), the result is the same — sterilization of the man, which has two effects:
Castration has been a practice for thousands of years – both socially and religiously, especially in South Asian, East Asian and African cultures. In ancient history, some armies castrated their captives of the corpses of their foes to seize their ‘power’ and celebrate their victory. Castrated men (eunuchs) were also often a special social class, holding special positions within palace staff.
Castration as a form of punishment has also been used for centuries. During the Middle Ages, when a prisoner was “drawn and quartered” this often included emasculating him by castration. Today, chemical castration is still used in criminal cases sentencing in nine US states, and several other countries.
Here are a list of our Top 10 penis nicknames. Check out our article – Top 100 Penis Nicknames – for more fun names for our favorite body part.
There are a number of prescription drugs available for the penis. These typically are used as treatment for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and penis curvature.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the condition when a man is not able to maintain an erection for penetrative sex. There are five approved prescription medications for the treatment of ED. These include:
All five of these medications work by increasing the amount of blood flowing into the penis to facilitate an erection. Those who have an irregular heart rate, have high or low blood pressure or have had a heart attack or stroke, within the last 6 months, may not be suited for these medications.
No drugs have been specifically approved by the FDA, for the treatment of premature ejaculation. However, there are medications used to treat other conditions that have delayed orgasm as a side effect, and have been used for those suffering from premature ejaculation. These are, most often, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, used in the treatment of depression. Some tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) also have SSRI-like effects.
SSRIs useful for treating premature ejaculation include the following:
There is one prescription medication approved by the FDA to treat Peyronie’s Disease (penis curvature). Collagenase clostridium histolyticum, brand name Xiaflex, was approved in late 2013 and gives men an additional treatment option for this debilitating condition.
Xiaflex is administered through a maximum of four treatment cycles. Each cycle consists of two injections. Xiaflex is not to be used if the Peyronie’s plaque to be treated involves the urethra.
For ages, men have modified their penis. Modifications include: penis tattoos, piercings, and other cultural/ritual modifications.
Penis tattoos certainly aren’t the normal request tattoo artists get. In fact, not all artists will tattoo a penis. For those that do, the cost of the tattoo may be more than normal, due to the sensitive nature of the body part. It is a modification undertaken by some men. It may be a act of rebellion, or simply part of an overall body modification scheme. Either way, below are a sampling of some of our favorite penis tattoo photos.
Like tattoos, piercings have been a cultural practice for generations; however, it is only recently that piercing the penis has become more prevalent. The Prince Albert (piercing of the genitals) became popular in the 1970s, by West Hollywood body piercers – Jim Ward, Doug Malloy, and Fakir Musafar. Piercings, as you’ll see below, can be as unique as tattoos.
PENISES IN PORNOGRAPHY
Following are the top five penises in pornography:
Masturbation is the act of self-pleasuring the genitals, typically to the point of orgasm. It can be done with or without the help of sexual aids. It’s one of those things in life where nearly everyone does it, but no one wants to admit to it. Despite denials of ‘going solo,’ here are some statistics from one national study:
One of the most obvious reasons we masturbate is — It feels good! Humans repeat behaviors to produce pleasure. As with intercourse, masturbation releases the feel good endorphins our brains crave. For this reason, it’s not surprising so many of us do it.
Beyond pleasure, masturbation can help release built-up sexual tension. This is especially true for people without sexual partners or those whose partners are abstaining from sex. Masturbation is also a means of avoiding the risks of intercourse, including the possibility of pregnancy or transmission of STDs.
Lastly, masturbation can be a tool used by men to help with sexual dysfunction. Sometimes it is prescribed by therapists. It can help desensitize the man to sexual pleasure, especially when premature ejaculation is an issue. For those who don’t suffer from real premature ejaculation, but would like to increase their sexual stamina, masturbation can also be helpful, when performed correctly.
For the most part, medical professionals consider masturbation to be not only harmless, but also perfectly natural – for both men and women. When performed in moderation, masturbation is part of normal sexual behavior. In fact, sexual experts believe masturbation to actually be helpful, as it allows you to explore your own body and what pleases you, so you can better communicate this with your partner.
Of course, when masturbation detracts from your relationship with your partner, this can be harmful. Also, if masturbation is always done to get to orgasm as quickly as possible, this too can lead to problems, particularly premature ejaculation.
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