Penis and Male Sexuality Facts


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How Do You See Your Penis?

If you're like most men, you'll have mixed feelings about your penis. On the one hand, your penis is very important to you - naturally, for what sets you apart from women more clearly than the possession of a penis (and balls)? And what other part of your body can give you so much pleasure? But on the other hand, you probably wonder from time to time if it's big enough, powerful enough, being used enough, or doing what other penises do.

Such worries do not lead to peace of mind - they lead to a smouldering discontent, a sense that your penis may not be good enough, that it will one day be shown to be inadequate - or, worse, that it will let you down unexpectedly, perhaps by developing erectile dysfunction and failing to get erect. Joy on the one hand, with a sense of male pride; and disappointment and embarrassment on the other. That's the male dilemma - at least for some men.

Of course, some men have a very harmonious relationship with their penis. They have nothing but approval for the pleasure it provides, they like the way it looks, and they admire what it can do and how it makes them feel. They may even have a pet name for their penis. But other men are fearful or threatened by their penis - by its moods, its unpredictability, its unreliability.

They may address it as though it were an enemy deliberately setting out to spoil the fun, and maliciously letting them down by loss of erection at the crucial moment (when the condom goes on, when the woman in bed with them looks expectantly or invitingly at them), and they may have a dialogue with their penis which reflects this state of near-war.

("Don't let me down again, you son of a b---h."). Of course, speaking to your penis like this reflects the fear that it may not co-operate in some way with your intentions, but even so it's not a good way to establish a harmonious relationship with such a crucial part of one's body.

There's a whole lexicon which backs up this point of view: words for the penis like prick, cock, hard-on, and words for what it does like shaft, thrust, poke. None of these words speaks of the act of love, nor indeed do they suggest a man who is in a loving relationship with himself or his penis.

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Think of the way email spam for penis enlargement or Viagra represents the penis and its function in lovemaking: "show her your massive tool", "ram her with your cannon", "fire a great load", and so on. What does this represent? The ideas, perhaps, that men have gained of their penises from porn, from popular culture, and from being out of touch with themselves. And of course, from being angry - with themselves, with women, and with their penises.

We all suffer, men and women alike, from this view of the penis as a weapon. Women fear it, or worse, while men are frightened of not being good enough (for which read, "man enough"). And none of these words really represent the penis anyway. It's quite a soft organ to the touch, even when it's hard, and most of the time it is just lying around waiting for something to happen.

 It may only ejaculate once a week or less, and it may simply lie curled up against its owner's scrotum for the greater part of the day. As for the size thing: suffice it to say that the knowledge that one's penis is less than average in size is something that, by definition of the word average, half of all the men in the world have to accept.

There's another popular view of the penis, too: the sense that it's an independent agent in some way - that it acts as though it has a mind of its own. There can hardly be an adolescent boy anywhere who hasn't wondered what makes his penis pop up to attention so often, with so little apparent provocation. And that can be true for older men as well, though as we age, the problem is more likely to be a worry that the penis won't get hard when its owner wants it to than the other way round.

Of course, nowhere is the one-sidedness of the dialogue more obvious than when a man asks his penis why it won't get hard when he is aroused, and waiting for sex....the dialogue is more likely to be a stream of invective or self-abuse than any question with room for the penis to answer, such as: "What do you want now that you're not getting?" or "What are you trying to tell me?"

It's instructive, though unusual, to watch a man take on the role of his penis and engage in a dialogue with his other part. It's no time at all before some crucial things begin to emerge: particularly when a man asks his penis what it might like that it doesn't get, the answers flow thick and fast: not to be worked so hard, not to have so much expected of it, not to be blamed when it doesn't get hard, not to be asked to fuck around....and so on. Suppose you're one of the (many) men who literally never gives his penis a thought except when you want to masturbate or have sex. What would your penis say to you, given the chance? Just imagine...

"Stop taking me for granted. You never speak to me unless you want something. You never appreciate me, you never thank me for the pleasure I give you. You get angry at me when you're scared - which is most of the time when you're having sex. You don't even like half the situations you get into. I'm just not co-operating unless you make things better, more relaxed and more appealing."

I don't know if this idea sounds bizarre to you, the idea of a penis articulating these thoughts and feelings, but there's a dramatic truth behind these ideas: that penises are actually quite vulnerable, that they are not immediately responsive to any sexual situation, that they cannot just respond to fantasy like situations and they may even be disgusted by porn.

Just for the moment, try accepting that there may be some conditions which are more likely to get a response from your penis than others.

The best way to deal with these fears and doubts is to regard your penis as your ally, your friend, a very human part of you, in fact, best treated with compassion and humanity. The more you care for it, psychologically and physically, the better it will repay you. Bear in mind there is an old saying that "The penis never lies" - which means that when your penis won't co-operate with you, it is very probably trying to tell you something.

Penis Envy

We've all heard of penis envy: little girls, so the theory goes, see the penis of their father or brothers and decide subconsciously that they want one....that they would, in fact, rather have a penis than their own genitals: and yet, women in my experience  never seem to harbour penis envy in a form that I can recognise.

Unless it is deeply disguised as some unconscious motivation, then I'd find it hard to accept the idea that penis envy is a reality. Indeed, while I've heard women express a variety of reactions to the penis, the desire to own one has not been prominent among them. Of course, this is a slight distortion of what Freud actually proposed - since his theory was wrapped up in the finer points of castration anxiety and libidinous impulses from the child towards its parents.

The only recognisable form of penis envy that I know of is around penis size  - the envy of most men for the big swinging dick they see as the epitome of male penis power. I haven't met a man yet who did not want a bigger, wider, thicker, penis......or a penis that could last for a lot longer in bed.

And yet where did the belief that a bigger penis (or even the biggest penis possible) is better for everything, come from? The answer is obvious - from popular culture, from porn, from images presented to us everywhere which suggest a bigger penis is a better penis, a penis that can perform in more ways, and satisfy more women.

The long, thick, rock-hard penis of porn films has a lot to answer for, since it makes all of us think our (perfectly natural penises) are inadequate. And it's important to keep in mind that most straight men will never have the chance to see another penis in its erect state, so the reality check that other men could provide is never put in place. Instead, we absorb a diet of images that is poisonous to our self-respect, especially where porn is concerned.

So what size is a normal size penis?

As you can clearly see from this page on what women think about penis size there is a huge variation in penis size and shape. Mind you, all you have to do to confirm this is to look around the locker room. Penises are long, short, thick, thin, bendy and straight, some erections point up and some point down.

Some are longer, some shorter; some are broader or wider, some narrower; some curve or bend to the right, some to the left, some not at all; some point upward when erect, some downward, some straight out. And one thing that is certainly true is that penises are much more uniform in size when erect than when they are flaccid.

The average of white adult male penis size is around 5.5 to 6.0 inches - but of course there will be many men who have an organ smaller than this. I have seen in my work with men's groups and as a counsellor for sexual issues, including hypospadias, erect penises which measure no more than two inches. There is little that can be done about these variations, especially where they originate in endocrinological or developmental problems. It is important to catch forthcoming developmental problems at puberty.

The problem starts for us men when we begin to buy into the nonsense that a bigger penis is not only better, but that women prefer such an organ. Despite what you may have heard, and despite what you may have read on the internet, women do not really talk among themselves about penis size. But in case you want to know what women really think about penis size, I can tell you!

First and foremost, there is small number of women who like big penises - indeed, the bigger the better, as far as they are concerned. These "size queens" are not typical of the vast majority of women. The majority of women prefer a man who loves and respects them to a large penis; but for those women who do express a preference, thickness is more important than length - which I guess does not reassure you if you have a short thin penis.

 However, if you have a tongue and fingers, and you know what to do, oral sex can give any woman plenty of orgasms - which will endear her to you far more than a large penis will do so. Remember that no matter how important sex may be to you, what really motivates a woman to feel desire and love in a relationship is having a man who respects and cherishes her. It really is what you do with it, not what you've got, that's important.

The surprising thing is that men with large penises often don't want them. Yes, you did read that correctly. Men with large penises find they are not the great advantage that other men think: large penises are inconveniently large, they prohibit intimate intercourse, their owners cannot penetrate a woman fully (that is to say, they cannot bury their penis deep in her and lie close to her body), they are inconvenient when erect, and women often refuse to have sex because they are simply frightened of having such a large penis inside them.

Oral sex is a particular problem - most women refuse to take a very large penis into their mouth. And men may have to restrain themselves during sex because vigorous thrusting with a large penis can hurt their partner......so the fantasy of those porn films is pretty misleading, to say the least. But all cultural images which portray sexual activity are way off the mark when it comes to the reality of most people's sex life. For one thing, most people only ever use a few different sex positions, usually the missionary position, and the acrobatic and challenging sex positions you see in the porn movies are the stuff of fantasy as far as most men and woman are concerned.

So what do women like? Well, they like average penises, which is what you might expect, since there is no reason why they might prefer anything else (penis size is not, after all, a "secondary sexual characteristic" by which women choose a mate, in the manner of the peacock's tail).

For those men who have a small penis, either a thin one or a short one, or both, the key thing to remember is that a woman loves a man, his whole being, of which his penis is just a part. In any event, size is not an indicator of prowess in bed, and a man who cares for his partner's pleasure and treats her with tenderness will have no shortage of girlfriends.

In fact, many women talk of their smaller than average lovers in admiring tones, because these men compensate for their perceived disadvantages by being excellent lovers and caring partners. This is sufficient proof that penis size alone need not be the cause of sexual dysfunctions - it shows you that it's the way you see penis size that's important.

If you find it difficult to believe this, then you might wish to think about why your penis size is a problem for you. What would you like? What would this represent for you? Those are the issues you really need to deal with, for the penis you have is the only one you're going to get in this life. There is no way you can enlarge what you have with complete safety. Can you therefore come to some measure of self-acceptance around this issue? Your penis is not what makes you a good man, nor is it what makes you a great lover.

Next: The different parts of the male reproductive system and how they work

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