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Life & Health

Are you a penis whisperer?

Take notice of the part of your body that has a lot to say.

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There’s probably no part of your body that you spend more time thinking about than your penis. If you’re a gay guy, you also spend quite a bit of time also thinking about the penis of other guys. But how well do you know your penis?

Here’s some penis-related facts you might find useful in a pub quiz or if you’re running out of dinner party conversation.

What are the bits that make up the penis?

There’s three key parts that you need to be familiar with.

Radix. Corpus. Epithelium.

  • The root of the penis — this is referred to as the radix. The radix is the attached part, consisting of the bulb of penis in the middle and the crus of the penis, one on either side of the bulb. It lies within the superficial perineal pouch.
  • The body of the penis — this is referred to as the corpus. The corpus has two surfaces: dorsal — posterosuperior in the erect penis, and ventral or urethral — facing downwards and backwards in the flaccid penis. The ventral surface is marked by a groove in a lateral direction.
  • The epithelium of the penis consists of the shaft skin, the foreskin, and the preputial mucosa on the inside of the foreskin and covering the glans penis. The epithelium is not attached to the underlying shaft so it’s free to glide to and for.
Diagram of the arteries of the penis
Diagram of the arteries of the penis | Photo: Wikipedia

What’s the structure of the penis?

A man’s penis is made up of three columns of tissue — two corpora cavernosa lie next to each other on the dorsal side and one corpus spongiosum lies between them on the ventral side.

A man’s penis is made up of three columns of tissue.

The enlarged and bulbous-shaped end of the corpus spongiosum forms the glans penis, which supports the foreskin, or prepuce, a loose fold of skin that in adults can retract to expose the glans. The area on the underside of the penis, where the foreskin is attached, is called the frenum, or frenulum. The rounded base of the glans is called the corona. The perineal raphe is the noticeable line along the underside of the penis.

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The perineal raphe is the noticeable line along the underside of the penis.

The urethra, which is the last part of the urinary tract, traverses the corpus spongiosum, and its opening, known as the meatus, lies on the tip of the glans penis. It’s a passage both for urine and for the ejaculation of semen.

Penis lateral cross section
Penis lateral cross section | Photo: Wikipedia

The raphe is the visible ridge between the lateral halves of the penis, found on the ventral or underside of the penis, running from the meatus — the opening of the urethra — across the scrotum to the perineum, which is the area between the scrotum and the anus.

The human penis differs from those of most other mammals, as it has no baculum, or erectile bone, and instead relies entirely on engorgement with blood to reach its erect state. It can’t be withdrawn into the groin, and it’s larger than average in the animal kingdom in proportion to body mass.

How big should a penis be?

Measurements vary, with studies that rely on self-measurement reporting a significantly higher average than those with a health professional measuring. A 2015 review of 15,521 men — measured by health professionals — concluded that the average length of an erect human penis is 13.12 cm (5.17 inches) long, while the average circumference of an erect human penis is 11.66 cm (4.59 inches).

The average length of an erect human penis is 13.12 cm

On entering puberty, the penis, scrotum and testicles will enlarge toward maturity. During the process, pubic hair grows above and around the penis. A large-scale study concluded that penile growth is typically complete not later than age 17, and possibly earlier.

Penile growth is typically complete not later than age 17.

Penis size difference is most likely caused by genetics, but there are some studies that suggest that environmental factors such as fertility medications, diet, or exposure to chemical pollution could have an impact.

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How do erections work?

An erection is the stiffening and rising of the penis, which occurs during sexual arousal, though it can also happen in non-sexual situations. Spontaneous erections frequently occur during adolescence due to friction with clothing, a full bladder or large intestine, hormone fluctuations, nervousness, and undressing in a non-sexual situation. It’s also normal for erections to occur during sleep and upon waking.

It’s normal to have an erection while asleep | Photo: Tumblr

The primary physiological mechanism that brings about erection is the autonomic dilation of arteries supplying blood to the penis, which allows more blood to fill the three spongy erectile tissue chambers in the penis, causing it to lengthen and stiffen. The now-engorged erectile tissue presses against and constricts the veins that carry blood away from the penis. More blood enters than leaves the penis until an equilibrium is reached where an equal volume of blood flows into the dilated arteries and out of the constricted veins; a constant erectile size is achieved at this equilibrium. The scrotum will usually tighten during erection.

Erection Development | Photo: Wikipedia

How does an ejaculation work?

Ejaculation is the ejecting of semen from the penis, and is usually accompanied by orgasm. A series of muscular contractions delivers semen, containing male gametes known as sperm cells or spermatozoa, from the penis. It’s usually the result of sexual stimulation, which may include prostate stimulation. Ejaculation may occur spontaneously during sleep — this is known as a nocturnal emission or wet dream.

Ejaculation is usually accompanied by orgasm | Photo: Tumblr

Ejaculation has two phases — emission and ejaculation proper. The emission phase of the ejaculatory reflex is under control of the sympathetic nervous system, while the ejaculatory phase is under control of a spinal reflex at the level of the spinal nerves. A refractory period succeeds the ejaculation, and sexual stimulation precedes it.

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Life & Health

Impulse London is bringing sexy to safer sex

Celebrate the #InternationalCondomDay

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taofique matt impulse condom campaign 2019

13th February is International Condom Day and Impulse London is celebrating it with the ‘Slip it On Me’ campaign. The charity is looking to remind us that condoms are still an important tool to keep us safe from STIs.

Conveniently the day before Valentine’s Day, the International Condom Day (ICD) was created by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The foundation’s website describes it as an “innovative and lighthearted way to remind people that wearing a condom can prevent pregnancy and STDs, including HIV”.

kayden gray slip it on me impulse london
Kayden Gray is supporting #InternationalCondomDay | Image: Impulse London

To celebrate the date, the guys at Impulse London stripped off their clothes and created this eye-catching campaign. The highlight of the campaign is the importance of being in control of your sexual life. Sex is something you should enjoy and not fear.

“Being safe is sexy, consent is sexy, your body is sexy!”

Taofique Folarin – Director of Events at Impulse London

Use it or don’t – it is YOUR choice

Nowadays most STIs are easily treatable or manageable and no longer life-threatening, but the symptoms sometimes can be a pain in the ass (literally).

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Testing regularly and using condoms are just two of the many possible ways to keep you and your partners safe.

If having bareback sex is something that causes you anxiety then ‘slip one on’. The last thing you want to be while having sex is tense – especially if you’re bottoming.

slip it on me impulse london poster
Sex is something you should enjoy, not fear | Image: Impulse London

Taofique Folarin, Director of Events at Impulse London and one of the models in this campaign, understands that conversations like these “can be tricky to have, but are very important and can be very rewarding” but reminds us that “it is important you do not go against your own truth whilst being open to a conversation”.

“Your sexual health is YOUR priority and YOUR responsibility and it is YOUR decision.”

Taofique Folarin – Director of Events at Impulse London
condom day your body impulse london
YOUR body, YOUR choice | Image: Impulse London

“A piece of rubber may not seem sexy. But the safety it provides (if used correctly) can help prevent not only your body, but your self-esteem and your sex life, from embarking on an unnecessarily painful journey.”

 Kayden Gray – Director of Advocacy at Impulse London

Do you know how to use condoms?

When asked which advice he would give to a young gay guy just starting out, Kayden Gray, Director of Advocacy at Impulse London, replied that “being confused about sex stuff is super normal, especially since sex ed is not always taught or applicable or diverse enough for people who aren’t straight. As far as putting on a condom goes, the instructions come with every condom pack. What’s even more exciting, you can find a lot of tutorials online which will give you a very clear idea how to do it.”

taofique try condom impulse london
Try different condoms to find the one that fits you best | Photo: Impulse London

If you have any doubts on how to use condoms properly or simply want to see a couple of hot guys putting a condom on their dicks take a look at the educational video below created by the New Zealand non-profit organisation Ending HIV:

For more information on how to have a better and safer sex life visit your nearest sexual health clinic.

If you live in London, you can order a free STI test at Sexual Health London. You can do it from the comfort of your home and it’s easy, discrete and free.

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