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8 intriguing penis facts


Everyone loves a penis fact, so we thought we’d gather a collection of the most intriguing penis facts together so you can bask in the glory of an enhanced penis knowledge!

All penises actually start off as clitorises

All males start off as females in the womb. With the infusion of male hormones, clitoral tissue grows into the glans (tip) and upper shaft of the penis.


There is an annual penis festival in Japan known as “Festival of the Steel Phallus.”

Every spring, there is a penis festival in Japan known as Kanamara Matsuri, or “Festival of the Steel Phallus.” The phallus is the central theme of the festival and is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a parade. The legend being that a jealous sharp-toothed demon hid inside the vagina of a young woman the demon fell in love with and bit off penises of two young men on their wedding nights. After that the woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon’s teeth (ouch).


Image via touristweddings.com

Humans are the only primates that do not have a bone in their penis

Even though humans don’t have a bone in their penis, the penis can still ‘break’ if it’s violently twisted when erect. How, you ask? Well, the tubes that fill with blood when you get an erection can burst. Blood pours out of them inside the penis and causes a very painful swelling. The most risky sex position for this to happen where a partner is on top. Our advice - take it easy and use lots of lube.


Foreskins can be used to make skin grafts for burn victims

In fact, just one foreskin can actually provide four acres worth of grafted skin, which is equivalent to about two football pitches!


The average size of a penis is around 5.16 inches when erect

According to a 2015 study of more than 15,000 men, the average dimensions for an adult penis are:

  • length: 13.12cm (5.16 inches) when erect

  • circumference: 11.66cm (4.59 inches) when erect

This is a lot smaller than the average porn penis so don’t worry if you don’t think you measure up to what you’re seeing in porn!


Your penis can sometimes tell you if you have an STI

Okay, so obviously penises can’t speak, but if you have a sexually transmitted infection your penis may be able to tell you through symptoms, so pay close attention to what’s going on down there! Look out for things like discharge from the tip of the penis and pain when urinating, as well as any unusual lumps or bumps in your genital area. That said, 50% of men don’t notice any symptoms when it comes to chlamydia, the UK’s most common STI. It’s best to get a full STI test between each sexual partner.


Small penises make big erections

Shorter penises increase more in length than longer ones when they become erect. Research based on the penis measurements of 2,770 men found that shorter penises increased by 86% when erect, nearly twice that of longer penises (47%). In the 1988 study published in the Journal of Sex Research, researchers also found that the difference in length between a short penis and a longer one was a lot less obvious when erect than when flaccid. For example, the flaccid penises varied in length by 3.1cm (1.2 inches), whereas the average erect lengths differed by only 1.7cm (0.67 inches).


Penises point in all sorts of angles when erect

There is a large variation in the angle of an erect penis. Some erect penises point straight up, others straight down. Some have a slight bend to the left or right. There is no right shape. Have a look at this sculpture below by Jamie McCartney to see how penises differ in angles while they’re erect.


Source: jamiemccartney.com

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LGBT Stoke is a service provided by the Sexual Health Prevention Team from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust