6 penis facts you probably didn't know

29th July 2019

Most men would probably consider themselves pretty familiar with their penis. But do you actually know as much as you think you know and are you able to separate fact from fiction? Here are 6 things that you probably weren’t aware of.

The penis is not a bone or a muscle

Most people probably realise that the penis does not contain any bones (despite the ‘boner’ nickname) but the larger misconception is that the penis is instead, a muscle. But can you move it very much when it’s erect?

The penis is actually not a muscle; an erection is caused by blood rushing to the organ when a man is sexually excited, which makes the penis swell.

You can break your penis

So if it’s not a bone or a muscle - can you break it? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s not overly common, but if the penis is violently twisted or bent when erect (usually as a result of certain sex positions), the blood vessels can burst and this is known as a penile fracture.

Symptoms of a broken penis include a popping or cracking sound (upon breakage), swelling and an intense pain. It’s certainly not a health condition that’s likely to go unnoticed!

‘Morning Glory’ is actually the last in a series

Most men will be familiar with a phenomenon known as ‘morning glory’ or ‘morning wood’, where they wake up with an erection. But it’s actually not a stand-alone erection; a healthy man will have 3-5 erections during every night’s sleep.

Although the cause is not fully understood, we do know that each erection will usually last for around 30 minutes and there seems to be a correlation between a man’s night time erections and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when dreams occur.

There is no link between penis size and foot size

There’s a lot of lad chat and jokes about what big shoes mean, but the idea that penis size is in any way linked to shoe size is nothing more than a myth.

Researchers at University College London measured the penises of 104 men of various ages and found no link between penis size and shoe size.

Erections happen throughout your whole life

Your penis is basically born ready, and it’s not uncommon for babies to be born with an erection. Sometimes, ultrasound scans have even picked up fetus’ with erections in the womb. 

Erections continue to happen for your whole life and perhaps even afterwards. Known as ‘angel lust’, a man can get an erection moments after death (it’s most common when a man has died suddenly).

Erectile dysfunction is more common than you realise

Along with the familiarity that most men have with their penis, comes a fear of it not working. And while most people will know what erectile dysfunction is, most won’t realise how common it is.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t just affect the elderly; ED typically affects around 10% of people for every decade of life. So 20% of all men in their twenties will suffer with ED, with the figure rising to 50% for men in their fifties.

Thankfully, there are a number of effective treatments for erectile dysfunction available, including Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.