Honestly the human penis, that ultimate love muscle, is an architectural and biological marvel. At rest, it serves as a conduit for urine. When rubbed like a genie’s lamp, it takes on a whole other, Jekyll and Hyde-like character. And did you know that pound-for-pound the human penis is the largest in proportion to body size among all mammals? But it’s also unique in other ways. Yep, this little appendage is full of surprises.
A Boneless Organ
Here is another Snapple-cap fact: pretty much every mammal besides humans has a bone in their penis. The baculum or os penis bone evolved in mammals more than 95 million years ago. For some reason, humans lost that bone about 1.9 million years ago, sometime during our homo erectus phase. Theory has it that the bone was no longer needed as human reproduction drifted from polygamy to monogamy. Apparently, bony penises can stay in the female reproductive tract longer, keeping other penises away, and thereby increasing reproductive fitness.
Amazingly enough, even without a bone, one can still “fracture” a human penis. It’s not easy to do, but it happens when serious weight suddenly comes down on a semi-erect penis, bending it until it makes a snapping sound and then turning it all hues of black and blue. So be careful how and where you direct this little sword.
Another little-known fact is that it takes more energy to keep a penis soft or flaccid than it does to keep it erect. Erections occur when blood flow opens like a spigot after being tightly clamped down. Notably, the blood pressure within the erect penis can be twice as high as your blood pressure; this is necessary to attain the required stiffness essential for a firm erection and proper use.
Along these lines, did you know that your penis “sighs” and relaxes about 3 times every night for 1 hour each while you are asleep? During these sighs, which occur during deep REM sleep, there is a full-blown erection. Since you’re in your deepest, dreamiest state, you might never know that it happened. Your partner might though.
Loading the Gun
The act of ejaculation is actually a reflex that, like a sneeze, has a point of no return. Fundamentally, it consists of two distinct events. The first, termed “emission,” occurs during foreplay and arousal. During this time, the body is busy pumping a glob of sperm from the scrotum up to the prostate through the vas deferens, effectively loading a bullet in the gun’s chamber. It may be felt as a pulsating sensation down there. Then comes the “ejaculation phase,” which is what we know as ejaculation. What happens here is a series of well-orchestrated events: the seminal vesicles contract, the bladder neck closes, and the urinary sphincter opens, all to allow the semen to traverse the penis and enter the free world. This clockwork-like activity is aided by contractions of the pelvic musculature every 0.9 secs to help force fluid from the penis. A magical moment in more ways than one.
Flipping the Switch
To get a good erection, the body must be relaxed. That’s why stress kills erections. Remember, our nervous systems are pretty primitive: Who wants an erection when being chased (stressed) by a woolly mammoth? But, once an erection is achieved and climax is imminent, the dormant “fight or flight” nervous system kicks in again and is responsible for ejaculation. Afterwards, the erection falls and cannot be regained for some time. This is termed the “refractory” period and it is during this post-coital moment when the nervous system switches back to “rest and restore” mode to allow for yet another erection. The marvelous interplay of both halves of our nervous system is present in every moment of the climacteric.
You know who knew a whole lot of these little penis secrets? Leonardo da Vinci, who said: “The penis does not obey the order of its master, who tries to erect or shrink it at will, whereas instead the penis erects freely while its master is asleep. The penis must be said to have its own mind, by any stretch of the imagination.”
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