12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Penis [NSFW]

Image: Getty Images

It’s an object of worship yet causes more anxiety than any other body part. Myths about the male member abound, so let’s dispel a few, shall we? Turns out you can’t really predict the size of his penis by the size or his feet – but there are damn good reasons to be having lots of sex!

#1 Teenage Erections Last For Up To An Hour

The average guy 20-40 can keep an erection for around 40 minutes. Between 66 and 70, you’re lucky to last seven.

#2 Big balls lead to infidelity

If you have larger than average testicles you’re more likely to cheat and will want sex 30% more than other ‘average’ guys. (Well, that’s what one study turned up.)

#3 Two in 1000 men can give themselves fellatio

The quality, however, is debatable.

#4 Testicles disappear during sex

They’re getting out of the way of any rough stuff. Clitorises do the same thing (duck back under the hood), if the play gets too rough.

#5 Between half and one teaspoon

This is what the average man ejaculates. You’ll do this in between three to 10 spurts, about .8 second apart at a speed of around 25-28 miles an hour.

#6 The whole hand/foot size thing is a myth

Sames goes for the distance between the top of their middle finger and bottom of the hand (though personally, I’m sticking with that one).

It doesn’t work with animals either – pigs have penises up to 18 inches long (I know, far too much information) and Gorillas, bless them, have penises that are two inches long.

#7 More (safe) sex makes your penis healthier

Use it or lose it. Erections flood the penis with oxygen-rich blood and oxygen is what keeps the muscle tissue inside healthy. A shortage of oxygen can lead to a build up of collagen, which in turn affects his erection. It doesn’t matter if it’s sex with yourself or a partner, both work.

#8 Between 20 and 70 litres

That's how much semen the average man will ejaculate between the ages of 15 and 60. This will contain between 350 to 500 billion sperm cells.

#9 Smoking hurts your penis

Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to become impotent.

#10 You don't have to be rock hard to have good sex

If they were asked to rate their erection, most guys would probably only have two ratings – up and down. Sex therapists are a little more specific, rating them on a scale of 1-10 (10 is as hard as your penis gets).

It’s useful in a diagnostic sense but also helps clients move from the ‘all or nothing/success or failure’ model to a sensible, ‘I have a six today. Excellent!’ way of thinking. An erection that’s a six does the job. There is such a thing as a ‘good enough’ erection.

#11 It's normal for erections to go up and down during a sex session

Most erections move from a range of 6-10 during the course of a normal sex session. The more direct stimulation it gets, the harder it remains. It’s OK, by the way, if you need physical stimulation of your penis before you get an erection. Some guys get one simply by looking at something sexy, others need to be touched.

It’s also possible to be aroused, but not have an erection. They aren’t the same thing. You can actually orgasm without any erection at all!

#12 More sex now decreases the chance of erectile problems later on

One Finnish study followed almost 1000 men, aged between 55 and 75, for a five year period. Men who had sex less than once a week were twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction as men who had sex at least once a week.

Quick Fixes

If you want your penis to look bigger tonight: Trim or shave your pubic hair and you’ll look instantly bigger – pubic hair hides some of it. Another great way to make your penis look bigger is to lose weight around your tummy. Granted that won’t happen before 7pm tonight but it’s an idea for long-term.

If you want the condom to stop falling off: If you lose your erection with condoms, try wearing larger and thinner condoms and add a penis ring or vibrating penis ring to hold it in place.

If you want to make sure you last: Pop on a thicker-style condom (e.g. - studded/ribbed) to reduce sensation or masturbate just before the session.

If you want quicker, stronger erections: Dr Barbara Keesling is a Canadian sex therapist who gives this advice:

    For quicker erections: There’s evidence that slowly massaging the base of the penis and squeezing the shaft, with lube or in the shower for five minutes a day, works. (Use the opposite hand that you usually use on yourself and you’ll be less likely to get aroused. You’re massaging not masturbating.) The idea is to relax your PC muscles: the more relaxed they are, the more easily the base of your penis will fill with blood. You should see results in about three weeks and notice it takes less time to get aroused.

    For stronger erections: Most men tighten their PC muscle when they feel an erection about to happen. This works momentarily but after that, it does the opposite and constricts the blood flow. The next time you feel your penis start to fill with blood, consciously relax the muscle. It takes practise because tensing is instinctual but you can retrain yourself.


Tracey Cox is one of the world’s foremost writers on sex and relationships. She has written several bestsellers, including Hot Sex: How to Do It and supersex, and has her own product range in partnership with Lovehoney.


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    13. Excessive masturbation leads to a loss of vision. Try it. It's true...

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