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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Moore

Celebrating the penis

In ancient Egypt, the penis was so potent that it defeated death. Osiris, in fact, flaunted his virility in the Underworld as King, declaring in the Book of the Dead: “I am Osiris, stiff of penis, I am mightier than the Lord Terror; I copulate and I have power over myriads''.

Most men grow up seeing and touching their penises every day. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to male genitals.

1. The word “penis” is from the Latin meaning “tail.” The plural of penis is penises or penes. The word “phallus” is sometimes used to mean “penis,” but traditionally it is used to describe images or symbols of the penis

2. Doctors can now grow skin for burn victims using the foreskins of circumcised infants. One foreskin can produce 23,000 square meters. Circumcised foreskin can be reconstructed. Movable skin on the shaft of the penis is pulled toward the tip and set in place with tape. Later, doctors apply plastic rings, caps, and weights. Years can pass until complete coverage is attained.

3. The average male orgasm lasts 6 seconds. Women get 23 seconds. German researchers say the average intercourse lasts 2 minutes, 50 seconds, yet women perceive it as lasting 5 minutes, 30 seconds

4. The oldest known species with a penis is a hard-shelled sea creature called Colymbosathon ecplecticos. That's Greek for "amazing swimmer with large penis."

5. Only one man in 400 is flexible enough to give himself oral pleasure. It's estimated, however, that all 400 have given it their best shot at some point. A man has an average of 11 erections per day. He has around 9 erections at night

6. There are two types of penises. One kind expands and lengthens when becoming erect (a grower). The other appears big most of the time, but doesn't get much bigger after achieving erection (a shower). An international Men's Health survey reports that 79 percent of men have growers, 21 percent have showers.

7. The penis that's been enjoyed by the most women could be that of King Fatefehi of Tonga, who supposedly deflowered 37,800 women between the years 1770 and 1780 - that's about seven virgins a day.

8. A man will ejaculate on average of 7,200 times during his lifetime. The average number of times he will ejaculate from masturbation is 2,000. The average speed of ejaculation is 28 miles per hour. No brain is necessary for ejaculation. That order comes from the spinal cord. The man who holds the record for the farthest ejaculation is Horst Schultz, who ejaculated 5.71 metres. An unnamed female holds the record for a female ejaculation at 3 metres.

9. Most mammals have a bone called the baculumor os penis in the penis, but it is absent in humans and horses. Although there are no bones in a human penis, a man can still suffer from penile fracture, which is when the thick membrane surrounding the erectile tissue tears. There is usually a “cracking” sound, an immediate loss of erection, and a great deal of pain. In extreme cases, the urethra can be damaged, which affects the ability to urinate. The most common cause of penile rupture: vigorous masturbation

10. The blue whale has the largest penis of any animal, typically measuring between 8 and 10 feet long with a girth from 12 to 14 inches. Its testes weigh between 100-150 pounds and can ejaculate over 35 pints

11. The adult male elephant has the largest penis of any land animal at 6 feet on average. It is S-shaped when fully erect

12. The penis is actually almost twice as long as men think they are. This is because half of the penis is inside the body. The root of the penis is inside the pelvis and attached to the pubic bone. In fact, an erect penis is shaped like a boomerang. Eight-five percent of women are satisfied with the penis size of their partners, although only 55% of guys like their size. About 90% of women prefer a wide penis to a long one. The penis will shrink a little as time goes on as a result of decreased blood flow and testosterone. By the time a guy is in his 60s and 70s, he may lose a centimetre to a centimetre and a half in length

13. During the Middle ages, men walked around in a codpiece, an often brightly coloured covering for the penis in men’s breaches. It was padded and moulded in the shape of a permanent erection. King Henry VIII had the largest codpiece in England

14. For ancient Hebrews, circumcision and the relationship it established among man, his penis, and God was a divinely mandated sign of affiliation with the Almighty and themselves. Every Israelite man had to be circumcised on the 8th day of life. Ancient Greeks were horrified by the Hebrew practice of circumcision. Antiochus Epiphanies, a descendent of one of Alexander the Great’s greatest generals, for example, ruled that the rabbis who performed circumcision should be stoned or fed to wild dogs. Mothers who permitted their sons to become circumcised were “garroted, their strangled infants strung about their necks, and then hanged upon crosses as terrible warnings to others.”

15. The penis of the Hindu god Siva is a key player in so much of that religion’s sacred works that a book on Hindu aesthetics declares that Siva riding on a bull must be portrayed with an erection reaching his navel. Buddha was said to have a retractable member resembling a horse.

16. Among ancient tribes it was not unusual for a new king to eat the penis of his predecessor to absorb his sacred authority. This practice was banned, however, by ancient Hebrews. An erect penis symbolized Athenian power. The Greeks, in fact, saw the penis as a measure of a man’s proximity to divine power and intelligence. Plato located the divine in humans inside the spinal marrow, the same substance from which he believed both the brain and semen were formed

17. One medieval cure for impotence included mixing the steeped brains of 30 male sparrows, the grease surrounding the kidneys of a freshly killed Billy goat, and as much honey as needed. A man was then supposed to eat it before intercourse

18. It takes around 130 ml of blood for a penis to stiffen. The circulation rate must be very high at 2 ml per second. The small arteries, with a diameter of around 0.5 mm when the penis is resting, will double their diameter to convey the blood. The Greeks thought that erections were “inflated by the wind.” However, after dissecting hanged men who had erections, Leonardo da Vinci discovered that erections were caused by blood. Leonardo da Vinci once noted, “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.”

19. Kellogg’s corn flakes and Graham crackers were originally invented to curb masturbation. Sylvester Graham and John Kellogg thought the problem of masturbating could be solved by keeping body heat out of the penis by monitoring food

20. Penises are generally darker than the body from which they hang but become lighter as men age.

21. The penis stops growing when a man is in his early 20s

22. The line or “seam” on the underside of the penis forms when the foetus is still in the uterus. In men, the seam encloses the urethra along the length of the penis. In women, the seam becomes the inner lips of the vagina

23. Every year, Kawasaki, Japan holds a penis festival called the Kanamara Matsuri. This Shinto fertility festival includes a giant 2.5 meter wooden penis carried by locals, phallus-shaped tokens, and suggestively carved vegetables

24. Apparently semen contains chemicals that elevate mood, increase affection, induce sleep, and contain at least three antidepressants. It also contains cortisol, which is known to increase affection; as well as estrone, which elevates mood; oxytocin, which also elevates mood; thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which is another antidepressant; melatonin, which is a sleep aid; and serotonin, which is a well-known antidepressant neurotransmitter

25. Many men consider the underside of the glans (head) of the penis and the underside of the shaft to be most sensitive to sexual pleasure. Researchers asked 81 healthy men to rate the erotic sensitivity of different areas of their bodies, including not only the penis but also zones such as the scrotum, anus, nipples, and neck. The underside of the glans and underside of the shaft had the highest sensitivity rating for a significant majority of men, followed by the upper side of the glans, left and right sides of the glans, sides of the penis, upper side of the shaft, and foreskin (for the minority of men who were uncircumcised). The study findings were reported in the British Journal of Urology International in 2009.

26. Smoking can shorten your penis by as much as a centimetre. Erections are all about good blood flow, and lighting up calcifies blood vessels, stifling erectile circulation. An enlarged prostate gland can cause both erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. If you have an unexplained case of either, your doctor's looking forward to checking your prostate.

27. Having sex at least once a week can lower a man’s risk of heart disease by 30%, stroke by 50%, and diabetes by 40%. Men with an active sex life are also more likely to live past 80 years. To maintain a healthy tone, the penis needs to have erections regularly. Without regular erections, penile tissue can become less elastic and shrink, up to 1-2 centimeters. However, the brain has an “automatic penis maintenance” function. Brain impulses cause erections during REM sleep. For some men who are physically unable to have an erection, due to nerve trauma or blood vessel damage, they can use a device like a vacuum pump that causes the penis to swell with blood

28. Studies show that the penis steadily loses sensitivity as men age though it's hard to say exactly by how much. That's because different researchers have used different ways to stimulate the penis and measure sensitivity. In general, the sensitivity of the penis is gauged by the least amount of stimulation a man is able to feel. That is called the "sensory threshold. Despite differences between studies, the data show a clear trend when taken together. From age 25 on, sensitivity starts to decline. The sharpest decline in sensitivity is seen between age 65 and 75

Spend a little more time exploring this beautiful part of your body. Connect, dive into its energy. And enjoy.

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