CHAPTER 1 HUMAN SEXUAL ANATOMY
ARE YOU NORMAL? NO.
This chapter explores human reproductive anatomy in all its diversity, complexity, and occasional pronounced leftward curvature. As you read,
you might wonder how your own sexual organs compare with others of your gender. It's only natural. Whether we're scrutinizing the profiles of our erections in the bathroom mirror or the clefts of our vaginas in a bakery window, all of us at one time or another have asked ourselves if we "measure up." Well, there's no clear answer.
For one thing, variety is part of nature. Our bodies, while broadly guided by our evolutionary heritage, our individual genetic allotment, and our mother's prenatal drinking habits, are astonishingly differentiated. You may think you're the only one who spontaneously lactates every time it rains, but our research suggests that at least one other person on your bus does the exact same thing. Her name is Carol.
In addition, the very conception of "normal"-as well as the consequences of deviating from it-varies across cultures. In the North African nation of Mauritania, for example, women with a clitoral glans measuring less than a fifth of an inch wide can be fined heavily, while in western Mongolia, men with fewer than 150 scrotal dimples are generally outcasts who work local sideshows all their lives. On the other hand, in Sicily and Nova Scotia, an atomically small penis will barely be noticed as long as you do your share of the fishing. In other words, "fitting in" means something entirely different depending on where you're standing. If your genitals trouble you persistently, consider showing them to the staff of a foreign embassy or consulate. You might just discover that what you thought was strange or inadequate will hardly be noticed in a culture that's seven time zones away and a little more "out there."
But for all the variation found in human sexual anatomy, there are certain universals. That's where we'll begin.
AS GOOD AS IT GETS
a) The O'Reilly factor
b) Roundtree's scepter
c) Sexaphone reed
d) Mr. Peanut's cane and hat
e) Poor man's off button
f) Randy dandy
h) Da demon's beak
i) Grippin' strip
THIS MOST CURIOUS OF MASCULINE BEASTS
Strike up the band! From Toledo to Timbuktu, there's one body part everyone celebrates!
It greets each day with a sun salutation, announcing itself stiff and proud under boxer shorts, briefs, or wrinkled parachute pants. Sometimes terrible in its vein-bulging tumescence, other times meek and adorable as a panda cub, it is a curious beast. Indeed, there are few orifices or apertures it has not explored-human,
animal, or lubricated mitten opening-yet how many can claim to know it in kind?
It is a talented appendage. What other body part can whirl
joyfully like a helicopter? Or top U.S. News & World Report's list of favorite body parts for almost twelve consecutive years?* Or star in its own hit Broadway show?
We speak, of course, of the penis. It has many other names, some of which demean it: weenie, dork, pee-pee, ding-a-ling. These should never be used. The only appropriate names communicate the strength and ruthlessness of a conquistador: pile driver, dog of war, pork sword, zipper shark, Patient X, Sammy Hagar.
As with any great natural gift, the penis comes with obligations. The average man spends at least an hour and a half each morning on penis grooming and upkeep, with frequent touch-ups throughout the day.
A typical hygiene regimen is as follows:
Morning ablutions. From the initial sponge bath to a brief soak in Epsom salts and pat-down with a nice, fluffy towel, this phase is all about waking up the penis in a gentle, nurturing way.
Shower time. The scalding hot water and harsh lathers found in a typical shower can unsettle the male genitals and are best kept away. To this end, a small, cylindrical shower cap is pulled over the penis.
Powders, lotions, pastes, unguents, exfoliants-at this point, the penis hygiene regimen can get a tad complicated. Every man has his own preferred routines and products. Jim might swear by Dead Sea mud and eucalyptus vapors, while his friend Don prefers a bracing dip in a cold washbasin followed by a "tea sandwich" (gently pressing the penis between two organic cucumber slices). Experiment and figure out what works best for you. There is no wrong way to pamper the penis.
Time to apply ornaments and accessories. This final phase is optional, as it is strictly a matter of taste. Many men enjoy tying ribbons around their penis or caparisoning it in hand-tooled leather straps and harnesses. Goth men sometimes outfit their penises with gargoyles and so-called penis armor. It's vital to remember that a man's penis ornaments do not necessarily reflect his sexual orientation. A man who paints elaborate henna-floral designs on his member is not necessarily gay, just as a man who streaks football eye black on his shaft and testicles is not necessarily straight.
Physiologically speaking, the penis is simplicity incarnate. Its parts resound like a poem. Do youself a favor and read the following aloud:
Corpus Spongiosum Ureeettthraaaaaa
Is there more to say about the workings of the penis? The process of erection? The elegance of design that allows for expulsion of urine and semen, but never both at once (unless it suits the penis's agenda)? Perhaps. But to say any more at this point would be an affront to the mystery of this most astounding and cherished sex organ.
AVERAGE PENIS SIZE:
TIME FOR A STATISTICAL RECENTERING
Let's be honest: Many of our male readers will open this book and flip straight to the section on average penis size. In fact, some probably have not purchased the book at all but are standing in the Sex and Relationships aisle at Barnes & Noble, methodically flipping to the "Average Penis Size" section in the hope that someone will set the bar affirmingly, astonishingly low. If that's your game, then this is not the book you're looking for-and, even more important, other Barnes & Noble customers have figured out what you're doing and are growing increasingly uneasy.
Indeed, in the brief time sexology has existed as a scientific
discipline, data on penis size have been all over the map. In 1948,
Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey calculated the average penis length at
6.5 inches erect, with a girth of 5.5 inches. Masters and Johnson placed the number closer to 8 cubic feet, while Simon and Garfunkel arrived at a more conservative estimate: just 15 inches in length and 13.5 inches in circumference (see "The Boxer" for Garfunkel's
specific research techniques).
These figures are all equally suspect and should not be taken seriously. Just as SAT scores were recalibrated in 1995 to reflect the growing stupidity of adolescents, it's time today for a wholesale
statistical reevaluation of penis size. Last spring, ABS clinicians set off on a landmark coast-to-coast research expedition, measuring the flaccid, erect, and semisoft penises of 17,650 men of varying age, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, and political affiliation.
Perhaps we even passed through your town in the "New Dimensions" our $1.2 million research vehicle that we recently acquired from the Lithuanian army.
We believe the results we gathered, while surprising, hold a mirror up to the nation's penises as they exist today.
We can be sure these numbers are accurate, not least of all because four of five ABS researchers, when measured, possessed these exact genitals. (The fifth ABS researcher has a reported "choad.")
If your penis looks nothing like the above illustrations, there's not much point in worrying about it. Statistics show that while 45 percent of men are unhappy with the size of their penis, only 7 percent of women express dissatisfaction with their partner's size. Of course, 0 percent of women know the truth about average penis size, as discovered by us. If you're a man reading this who's insecure about his genitals, try to hide this book from your lover or just switch the cover to something else, like a reference book on World War II aircraft.
Thanks to the iron law of genetics, any prognosis regarding your ability to will your penis into a more acceptable size or shape would, sadly, be a firm negative. But here at ABS we tend to dismiss cynical labels such as "negative," "hopeless," or "permanently bifurcated because of an electric carving-knife accident." With this in mind, we're happy to offer you one last life preserver to cling to_._._.
MAKING YOUR PENIS APPEAR LARGER:
FIVE TRICKS YOUR PARTNER WILL
PRETEND NOT TO SEE THROUGH
Still self-conscious about your penis size? You're not alone. Each year, 19,254 men worldwide undertake risky procedures designed to lengthen and thicken the penis-ligament slackening, silicone infusions, warthog-tusk grafts, and many others. The improvement is negligible, if any occurs at all, and the side effects can range from impotence to erections that point to magnetic northwest.
But while surgically increasing your penis length and girth remains elusive, there are a number of techniques you can employ to fool the eye and make your genitals appear more substantial. After all, you don't think men in pornographic films are really 10 inches, do you? Surprisingly, most are just 9.5 inches. The rest is an illusion achieved by simple household trick available to practically anyone!
These are some of the most common:
1. SHAVING YOUR PUBIC HAIR. If your God-given penis length is lost in a skein of pubes, it's a good idea to shave as much off as you feel comfortable with. If your partner comments on your new look, just play it real casual and quip, "I happen to suffer genital alopecia due to a pituitary condition." If suspicion persists, quickly add, "Oh, hey! Gimme some groovy gravy," and then offer a high five. Your lover's gaze will surely be drawn away from the scabrous, razor-chapped deforestation crowning your sexual organ.
2. LAYERING. A bulky penile sweater can add up to 4 inches in circumference. But first ask your partner if she's aware of any cervical allergies to wool or rayon/cotton blends.
3. FORCED PERSPECTIVE. By making love before a mural of a foreshortened cityscape, your penis can appear to be the length of a side street or a fifteen-story building.
4. SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Just like when magicians make the Eiffel Tower disappear, but in reverse.
5. "HERBAL PENIS ENJANCE SPERM CANNON!!! BY MACHOMAX." Received word about this in the ABS junk mail folder. Seems promising enough.
APOLOGIES TO THE SQUEAMISH
a) Main puss
b) Auxiliary labia
c) Skid row
d) Cannery row
e) Val's hobby shop
g) Lé fountain of youth
h) Drifter's bus stop
i) Limeade stand
j) Mary Chestnut's bonnet
k) Devil's dustpan
ORIFICE OF SULTANS AND KINGS
While society teaches boys to be proud of their kingly genitals, it often sends the opposite message to girls, who grow up believing their pedestrian vagina is ugly or unclean. As with most sexual hang- ups, this one can be banished with proper education. From a young age, all girls should be taught that the vagina is not only
special but a prize that has been avidly pursued by history's most powerful and courageous men.
From bloodthirsty warlord Genghis Khan and his estimated thousands of vagina conquests to Donald Trump and his sprawling, vagina- buttressed real-estate empire, generations of powerful males have enshrined the vagina as the ultimate symbol of manly potency. A 15- year-old girl filled with loathing toward her vagina during her period should remember that no less a personage than Julius Caesar liked vaginas very much indeed, and was proud to possess Cleopatra's exotic Egyptian vagina in 48 B.C. Similarly, a 27-year-old who is still too squeamish to let her boyfriend perform oral sex on her might instead imagine Christopher Columbus doing the job, or Benjamin Franklin, or feared sixteenth-century Aztec ruler Montezuma. As any reputable online encyclopedia will tell you, all were dedicated aficionados of the female genitalia.
Artists too have turned to the vagina for inspiration. Think Pablo Picasso, with his abstract, geometrical vaginas; Norman Rockwell's soda shop pudenda; or the vagina-crazed balladry of 1970s poet- songwriter Ted Nugent. Painter Georgia O'Keefe is famous for insinuating graceful vaginal forms into her paintings of dusty desert landscapes. Lesser known is her brother George O'Keefe, who took a more straightforward approach to the same subject matter.
For women who are aware of their vagina's place in history but still can't accept themselves as they are, there are a number of
options. Dramatist Eve Ensler has written a series of monologues designed to be performed over six hours in a student-union basement and to beat a woman over the head with her own vagina until she at last breaks down and pledges loyalty to it. That production is a must- see, especially if you, like us, happened to catch the show the week it was performed by the incomparable Ruth Buzzi.
THE MYSTERIOUS CLITORIS:
THE VAGINA'S BIGFOOT
ABS receives thousands of letters on any given day. Once we've set aside questions that are too complicated or are directed to the paper towel company that happens to share our suite, the single question we receive most often has to do with that most elusive of human sexual parts, the clitoris (pronounced "kleet-a-rast," which is Latin for "mysterious" or "with incredible bewilderment"). Before we get to what we know about the clitoris, let us tell you what we don't know:
WHERE IT IS, EXACTLY
While we all know how to get to the clitoris-practice, practice, practice (LOL!)-we don't actually know where this female pleasure center is located or where it will show up next. No one does, even though the vast majority of experts might tell you differently.
Native Americans have, for many centuries, told fables of the clitoris. The Sioux speak of an eagle that descends from a giant explosion in the sky. He swoops down and, with his right talon, picks up an earthworm. He studies the worm carefully, a puzzled look on his face, and then drops it. He doesn't know what it is, and this frustrates him. He flies back up into the sky, wiser but no more knowledgeable about the clitoris than he was before.
In another legend, a Cherokee shaman calls a young squaw into his tent and asks her to disrobe. He very much wishes to see this extraordinary "knob of heaven" he has heard so much about from friends and
from fellow shamans. "No," the squaw replies, "I cannot do so." "Why not?" asks the shaman. "Is it because of your shyness?" "I am not shy," says the girl, "but I am frightened of you." "Seriously? Is it because I am splashed from head to toe in the aroma of beaver urine?" "Yes," replies the girl, backing slowly out of the tent. The shaman sighs. No big deal. He'll just have to now ask Guy-Who-Lives-Down-by- the-Creek- Who-Claims-He-Once-Touched-It.*
Though much about the clitoris remains a dark mystery shrouded in what resembles some sort of natural hood, there are a number of things we do know for certain:
• It's about the size of a bell pepper.
• Tastes a bit like fennel.
• When angry, spits out a red dye that stings.
• Is very, very timid but will brighten when it is sung to (especially doo-wop).
• Prefers "Blue Moon" to "Who Put the Bomp."
FUNBAGS OF MOTHERHOOD
Are breasts sexual organs? That depends on whom you ask: a baby suckling milk from her mother would tell you no, while a man deliriously masturbating to a nipple faintly visible in the bra worn by a mannequin torso at Sears might tell you otherwise. But why should it be one or the other? If additional body parts can serve both pragmatic and erotic purposes (viz., the vagina's ability to break down certain starches and the penis's usefulness in scattering horseflies), why not breasts?
Excerpted from Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk by The Association for the Betterment of Sex. Copyright © 2010 by Assoc For Betterment Of Sex. Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.