1. So … I’ve heard Penises called “Boners” when they’re hard … but I don’t have a bone in my penis (last I checked)….
Very true. Unless you happen to be a walrus, there aren’t any bones in the penis. And, even though you sometimes hear the penis called the “Love Muscle” it also isn’t a muscle. So … no bones, no muscles … how does it get hard?
Simple! The penis is made up of erectile tissue. When a dude gets turned on, his penis fills up with blood and it feels rigid to the touch.
Fun Fact: When a dude gets a boner, the blood flows in through the center of the penis, and out through the sides. Cock rings work with this principle. You strap the cock ring on (either in front of or behind the balls), and while it doesn’t stop more blood from going in, it does slow down the blood trying to get out. Which means that the penis wearing the cock ring will feel larger and firmer, and will be more sensitive while the ring is on. Make sure, however, if you’re going to use a cock ring, that in the beginning you only wear it for 5 minutes, and then as you get more experienced, feel free to use it for up to 20 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend wearing it for longer than 20 though … as that could cause bruising and damage to the penis. You can wear a cock ring on a soft penis as long as you want.
2. Okay, so can you tell how big a hard penis is going to be by what it looks like when it’s soft?
Not really. Because erectile tissue is so flexible, a dude with a tiny flaccid penis could have a sizable hard penis. And a dude with a pretty big flaccid penis may not experience all that much growth when he gets hard. I’ve heard this phenomenon referred to as Show-ers vs Grow-ers.
A Show-er is a dude whose flaccid penis isn’t that much smaller than the size of his boner. It’s a ‘what you see is almost what you get’ kind of deal.
Now, grow-ers are dudes where their flaccid penises are much smaller than the size of their boners. This is ‘what you see isn’t even close to what you get’ kind of deal.
So what this means is when you’re checking out other dudes’ junk in the locker room, there is no way to know what dudebro’s penis looks like when it’s hard. If he’s 2 inches flaccid, he could be a show-er and have a 3 inch boner … or he could be a grower and have up to a 10 inch boner. One rule that does hold true is that a dudes boner will be larger than his soft penis … there’s just no real way to know how much larger without seeing him hard (or asking him and trusting he’s telling the truth).
3. So, bigger IS better, right?
Just like with everything out there … there are pros and cons to everything. So here are some pros and cons depending upon penis size.
Pros of A Long Penis
- The outer ring of the vagina and anus respond really well to motion. The longer the penis, the more motion you can get in a single stroke.
- There’s a guarantee that penetration will occur in most penetrative positions.
- Visually, some folks find a longer penis more stimulating.
Cons of a Long Penis
- If the penis is too long, it may be too long to fit into some people’s bodies, and can even be painful for the receiving partner.
- The longer the penis, the more blood it takes to make it hard, so it may be harder for a lengthy penis to become fully hard.
- Standard sized condoms may not roll all the way to the bottom of the shaft.
Pros of a Wide Penis
- The tissues inside the vagina and rectum respond well to pressure and fullness. The wider the penis, the more pressure and fullness will be felt.
- Visually, some folks find wider penises more stimulating.
Cons of a Wide Penis
- If it’s too wide, it might not fit into certain bodies.
- Standard condoms may feel too tight (you can totally get wider condoms if this is an issue, however).
Also, something you should keep in mind is that the average vagina length is 4-6 inches and the average rectum length is 6-8 inches. Which is why the average penis length is 5-6 inches. Nature has a funny way of making sense, sometimes.
AND, just so you know, there is way more to sex than just putting a penis inside of something. So regardless of whether you’re hung like a gorilla (1 inch penis) or like a blue whale (12 foot penis), just remember that penis size only matters if that’s the only thing you know how to use. If you get your tongue, hands, and most importantly, brains involved ... you’ll find that penis size isn’t a dealbreaker.
Unless of course you’re hung like a kangaroo, in which case you have a forked penis … and you may not find too many humans able to work with that.
4. Okay, so regardless of what my penis size is … what does a normal penis look like?
Well, all you need is a head, a shaft, and possibly foreskin. It’s normal for heads to be different colors than shafts, or for skin to gradually change color along the shaft. It’s normal for foreskin to pull all the way back when you’re hard, or for it to still cover part of the head. It’s normal for penises to have curvature. Although most penises with curves curve to the left, some will curve to the right, will curve upward, some downward. It may also point straight as an arrow. Heads can be wider than, the same size as, or smaller than the shaft. All penises have a seam running along the underside, some people’s seams will be different colors than their penis, and some dudes will have raised seams you can feel. Some dudes will have really loose penis skin when they're hard and some dudes' penis skin will be really tight. Also, some people will have little bumps along the head, and that’s chill too so long as they’ve always been there.
Basically, just like the ladies in my post on vulvas, so long as you’re not rocking warts, sores or lesions, you’re penis is a-ok!
Important Note: So, although slight curvature is normal, if you’re experiencing curvature that’s so severe your erections are painful, you may have something called Peyronie’s Disease. Although treatments for this disease are currently limited, it looks like there are options for helping to reduce pain caused by the curvature. Hit up your local urologist, they should be able to help.
5. Foreskin? What is this foreskin you’re talking about?
Foreskin is the skin that all male-bodied babies are born with. And, although foreskin gets a bad rap in this country, it has a purpose. Here’s a metaphor to explain the purpose.
So, just like a bike helmet, the foreskin is there to protect your head. Every day as your penis is chillin’, it gets into microscopic bike accidents (like when it’s rubbing around in your undies, for example). Fellas without foreskin are like bicyclists without helmets. When that bike accident happens, and their head hits the pavement, damage gets done. For a bicyclist that may mean a cracked skull, for a penis it means dead nerve endings. So, a penis without foreskin loses nerve endings every day. Just like a bicyclist who wears a helmet, folks with foreskin don’t undergo the same trauma. They may get in those accidents, but their foreskin helmet protects their head from damage.
Okay … so what does this convoluted bike helmet metaphor mean in real life?
Nerve endings are the things in your body that transmit feelings. So when the head of your penis is in someone’s mouth (hot, right?) it’s the nerve endings that are telling you how amazing it feels. A dude without a foreskin, because of the lack of protection, has less nerve endings than a dude with a foreskin. Sexually speaking, a dude with foreskin has more sexual sensitivity.
6. So .. then WTF, why get rid of the foreskin at all?
In the US it’s usually one of two reasons: religion or tradition.
It’s a part of Jewish faith for boys to be circumcised. So, if you’re a Jewish boy, that’s why your penis is circumcised.
The other is tradition. Daddy’s penis is circumcised, and daddy’s daddy’s penis is circumcised, so junior’s penis is going to be circumcised as well. (We wouldn’t want him to get confused while daddy is teaching him to go pee pee, now would we?)
Really, there is no solid medical reason to remove the foreskin. Back in the 1950s, during the hygiene movement, people used to think removing the foreskin was necessary for cleanliness, but the reality is cleaning is necessary for cleanliness. So, since we are all (hopefully) washing our penises nowadays, there isn’t much of difference in terms of hygiene. All you fellas with foreskin need to remember to do is pull that foreskin back and clean underneath to avoid smegma buildup.
7. Okay, so I know size doesn’t matter, but I still want a bigger penis, what can I do?
First of all, don’t respond to those ads that you randomly get in your e-mail inboxes.
- Phalloplasties are available, which can increase length, girth or both. What you do to your body is totally your choice, so here are some things to keep in mind when considering a phalloplasty.
- Just like vulvaplasties, these surgeries are cosmetic, which means they will not be covered by insurance.
- There are surgeries available that make you look bigger when flaccid, and some that make you bigger when hard. Make sure that you are getting the procedure that best fits your needs.
- Ensure you go to an experienced doctor with references. Because you’re working with a functional part of your body, you want to ensure that not only will you be able to maintain erections afterward, but that you’ll still be able to pee after the surgery.
- As with any cosmetic surgery, your penis may not come out the way that you wanted it, you may be left with irreversible nerve damage, there may be scarring, or you may experience loss of sensation. As these are risks, it’s also entirely possible none of these things will occur.
- Getting a phalloplasty should be a decision you are making for you. If you are only doing it because it’s something your partner wants, I encourage you to think very long and hard about a) your partner choice and b) whether the risks are worth it for something that you’re not doing for you.
8. What about these Viagra, Cialis, deals. I know they help people get it up, but some also say they make my penis larger, is that true?
Sort of. What meds like Viagra and Cialis do is open up the blood vessels in your body to create greater blood flow. So, in terms of helping people get hard, they open the passageways for blood to get into the penis. However, like I also mentioned earlier, the more blood that gets into the penis, the harder and larger the penis may appear. So, it’s a marketing half-truth. Your penis will fill up with more blood, making it look and feel bigger, but it’s not actually going to enlarge past its natural size.
Also, if you’re a healthy dude who doesn’t have issues getting boners, I don’t recommend taking drugs like Viagra and Cialis. Only because if you end up getting a boner for longer than 4 hours, they have to deflate your penis by removing blood with a needle. Not fun, I imagine.
9. No Viagra unless I need it. Check. So, why is it sometimes hard to get hard?
Well, there are lots of things that can stop people from getting it up. Here’s quick list of things that can stand in the way of your little soldier standing at attention:
- Getting Older
- Certain Medications
- Certain Diseases (i.e. diabetes, kidney disease, vascular disease)
Some of these are easier to avoid than others. If having erections into older age is something that you hope to enjoy, I personally recommend eating well, exercising, and not smoking. Keeping up your fitness helps to keep your lil’ man up too.
Something else you should know about boners is that they do naturally get soft, even during arousal. So, if you’re all hot and turned on and you were hard a minute ago, but now your penis didn’t seem to get the memo, that’s normal. Just hang out with your partner(s) and if you’re in good health, your penis will get back with the program whenever it’s ready.
10. Anything else I should know about my Penis?
Yup! So another cool thing about your penis is there’s more to stimulate than meets the eye. If you were to completely remove your balls (metaphorically speaking, of course), your penis actually extends another few inches or so into your body. So you know area in between your balls and your anus (also known as the taint, the gootch, the grundle or the perineum)? If you or a partner stimulates that part of your body, that’s actually the root of your penis. So there’s more of your penis that can be played with!
Also, in terms of pube maintenance, which is something that dudes have to consider as well, I will refer you to my post on vulvas, scroll to point 3. Another pro for pube maintenance for the fellas is that there will be less worry of pubes getting yanked out as head is happening.