Here are some things you might have wondered about with regards to your penis, but were probably afraid to ask about.
No. 1: Your Penis Has Its Own Set of Priorities
Erections often ‘pop-up’ at the most unexpected times, often at times when you either weren’t ready for it or even expecting it. This is a fairly common experience among men; from their adolescent years onward.
It may seem that you exert a lesser degree of control over your ‘little friend’ than the other moving parts of your body; but your penis is operating on an entirely different part of your nervous system than other appendages Your penis answers to an entirely different part of your nervous system (which is not always under your direct conscious control) this system is referred to as the autonomic nervous system (which also regulates heart rate and blood pressure).
Contrary to popular understanding, sexual arousal isn’t always voluntary, the conscious mind is complicit in it, but a lot of sexual arousal triggers are generated by the sympathetic nervous system.
Sexual arousal when sleeping is well documented and can occur regardless of whether or not the dream state material is of a sexual nature or not.. Erections are sometimes even triggered by non-sexual activities such as Heavy lifting or straining during a bowel movement.
In the same way that your penis can stiffen up without your consent, sometimes it shrinks without your prior approval as well. “The flaccid penis varies in size considerably within a given man,” says Drogo Montague, MD, (urologist at the Cleveland Clinic).
Exposure to cold water or air makes your penis shrink, as a function of the sympathetic nervous system. Sometimes the sympathetic nervous system can trigger erectile problems through non-physical methods. “Psychological stress also has a bearing on the sympathetic nervous system, and stress can have the same effect as a cold shower”, says Dr. Montague.
When you’re relaxed or in a semi-normal state, your limp penis is most likely larger overall compared to when you’re feeling stressed or in a similar heightened state. Psychological stress can result in marked loss of libido or problems with erections. Both stress and anxiety are the leading causes of temporary erectile dysfunction (or ED). Being able to manage stress and control your anxiety will help you regain and restore your erectile function.
Not all ED cases are caused by psychological problems or stress however, and physical problems such as atherosclerosis, diabetes or high blood pressure can severely inhibit the flow of oxygen rich blood to your member, causing damage. Type 2 diabetes for example; can harm the blood vessels or nerve endings concerned in producing and maintaining erections. Excessive alcohol consumption can also greatly interfere with erectile capacity.
The penis is a “kind of like a barometer, which is connected to the sympathetic nervous system,” Montague says. So the standard greeting, “How’s it hanging?” might be more grounded in reality than comedy.
No. 2: Flaccid Penis Size Is Not Necessarily Indicative Of Erect Size
There are no rules or guidelines that determine flaccid and erect penis sizes and how they will relate to each other. You can have a penis that is more or less the same size when flaccid and erect, and also one that greatly changes sizes.
There is no direct relationship between the size of the flaccid penis and its complete length when erect. In a study involving around 80 different men, researchers found that their flaccid to erect ratios ranged widely, from less than a quarter inch to 3.5 inches longer. Whatever the far reaching clinical significance that this data may offer one thing is for sure, the locker-room significance is considerable. To put it simply, you can’t always assume that a big limp penis will get much bigger when erect, and the guy whose penis looks tiny when flaccid could astonish you with a much larger stiffy than anticipated.
Upon analysis of more than a thousand measurements taken, sex researcher Alfred Kinsey was able to determine that shorter flaccid penises tend to gain about twice their flaccid lengths on average. Kinsey’s data suggest that most penises aren’t extreme show-ers or growers. About 12% of penises gained at least one-third or less of their total length with an erection, and about 7% doubled in length when erect.
No. 3: The Biggest Part of Your Penis Is Inside You
Just like you don’t see the entire length of a big oak tree above ground, you don’t see the entirety of your penis either; because the greater part of it is actually inside your body.
No. 4: You Can Break Your Penis ….Ouch
Of course there is no “penis bone,” but you can still fracture your penis all the same. It’s clinically referred to as “penile fracture”, and it is by no means something to take lightly. “When it happens, there’s an audible pop or snap”, says Montague; “then of course the penis turns black and blue, and that comes along with terrible pain”. Penile fracture is pretty rare, and it typically happens to younger men because their erections tend to be fairly stiff and unyielding during sexual activity.
How to avoid penile fracture? Don’t use your penis too roughly. “One of the more common ways that penile fracture happens”, Montague says, “is when a man is thrusting too hard or fast, and slams into his partner’s pubic bone”. Women who thrust around too violently or unexpectedly (while on top) during sex can also fracture a man’s penis fairly easily.
“Peyronie’s syndrome is a related condition that tends to show up more in older men”, Montague says. An older man’s erection may not be as severe, but it is still solid enough for sexual action. If the penis bends in a certain way too much during regular sexual activity, small tears in the tissue can form which may produce scars; and the accumulated scar tissue can give the penis an abnormally curved shape.
No. 5: Most Penises in the World Are Uncircumcised
A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that worldwide, only 30% of males aged 15 and up are circumcised. It is also interesting to note that recently the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UUNAIDS organizations are now recommending circumcision for adult men, based upon the statistical evidence that men with circumcised penises have a lower risk of being infected with HIV.
As to be expected, rates vary greatly depending upon religion and nationality. Almost all Jewish and Muslim males in the world have circumcised penises, and together they account for around 70% of all circumcised males globally.
Interestingly enough, The United States has the highest proportion of males circumcised for non-religious reasons. A whopping 75% of non-Jewish, non-Muslim American men are circumcised. Compare that to Canada, where only 30% are. In the U.K. its 20%; in Australia it’s merely 6%. The practice of circumcising baby boys for medical and cosmetic reasons has recently become a controversial issue within the U.S and in other parts of the world.