Biological Male Sexual Anatomy

Vibrant sexuality and sexual self-knowledge are everyone's birth-right, but what passes for sex-education in our culture is limited to information about reproduction and abstinence education. Understanding male sexual anatomy can put you more in touch with your sexuality if you are a guy and can tune the pitch of your touch if you are feeling up a guy. Men who want to experience multiple orgasms and to control their ejaculation teach themselves by tuning in to their bodies and strengthening pelvic muscles. Also, knowing how your body works helps you figure out what toys will feel good; your body is a clearing house of information about your own pleasure!

Anatomy of the Penis and Testicles

Although you can certainly have a boner, there is no "bone" of the penis in humans (many animals do have phallic bony structures). Nor is the penis composed of muscle, though there are muscles attached to the penis at the base. Rather, the penis is composed of three cylinders of spongy erectile tissue that have the capacity to expand to eight times their regular size when they are filled with blood, which is what makes an erection. Two of these cylinders run across the top part of the penis and are called the corpus covernosa. One runs along the bottom of penis and surrounds the urethra and is called the corpus spongeosum, and is connected to the head of the penis, called the glans, where the urethral opening sits. The glans of the penis contains the highest concentration of nerve endings in the penis, though it contains fewer nerve endings than the clitoris, so it is comparatively less sensitive. Some of the deliciously sensitive areas of the penis are: the coronal ridge, ridge around the head, the frenulum, and the raphe.


The underside of the ridge, where the head connects to the shaft is called the frenulum and is an extra sweet spot for tonguing or stroking. Along the bottom of the penis, running from the coronal ridge, down the penis over the middle of the testicles to the anus is a raised line or ridge called the raphe. Many men find the raphe is also an extra sensitive area of the shaft. The internal portion of the penis, (aka the base, bulb, or root of the penis) ends behind the testicles and can be felt by pressing the perineum, the area between the testicles and anus, also affectionately referred to as the "t'aint" (because it ain't here nor there) and "the chin-rest." One of the reasons anal penetration feels so great for many men is it stimulates the root of the penis through the rectal wall. All men are born with a foreskin, a loose area of skin at the end of the penis that can be pulled back to expose the head. Many parents have infant foreskins removed by circumcision. Many Jews and Muslims continue to practice this genital modification for tradition and religious reasons, and the practice has at times been routinely performed on new-borns in US hospitals. Many men who have been circumcised as adults report that they have less sensitivity in their glans after circumcision. There is an active movement opposed to circumcision.


The testicles, the two grape-to-plum-sized bodies that produce sperm and testosterone, hang behind the penis in the fleshy sac of scrotum. Testicles vary in size and are temperature sensitive; the scrotum retracts and descends depending on states of arousal and temperature. While they are sensitive to pain, many men enjoy the feeling of squeezing and pulling on their scrotums. Cock rings with "ball stretchers" are intended to provide extended squeezing of the balls and many include a small hook for hanging weights or attaching a leash.

Erection

The process of erection involves both the sympathetic and autonomic nervous systems. In others words, sometimes a hard on just "happens" and at other times you can think yourself into a woody. The muscles containing the vascular supply to the penis are regularly tense. When men are aroused, these muscles relax, allowing a greater blood flow into the penis. As the three cavernous bodies of the penis fill with blood, the surrounding membrane becomes taut and pushes the vesicles closed, trapping the blood in the penis. Medication (legal and illegal) and health issues that affect the circulatory system can impact erection. Viagra works by causing the relaxation of the muscles and vesicles. Poppers do too. But anxiety and smoking, for example, are vaso-inhibitors that cause restriction in the blood flow and therefore can inhibit erection.


There are mechanical ways to keep blood in the penis to enhance erection. Cock rings and penis pumps are the most common. Check out the scoop on these products and how they work in our Shopping Advice.

Ejaculation and Orgasm

Ejaculation and orgasm are the result of two different physiological processes. And, although most men experience them as one and the same, one can learn to separate these processes and have "dry orgasms" and multiple orgasms.

As men get aroused they experience muscular tension building up in the groin. This is the tensing of the PC muscles, the sling of muscles that holds the sexual organs that rapidly contract during orgasm. Erectile tissue throughout the body becomes engorged. Blood rushes to nipples, lips and penis, and is accompanied by a feeling of warmth. As people become aroused their sensitivity to stimulation increases while sensitivity to pain reduces.


During arousal the testicles pull up closer to the body and sperm travel through the vas deferens tube (which is made of smooth muscle). As it passes the seminal vesicle and the prostate gland, seminal fluid is added to the mix. The prostate gland is donut shaped around the urethra. When the semen fills this area of the urethra, the urethra expands and puts pressure on the prostate, which sends a message to the spinal cord. Up until this point, a guy can pull himself back from the edge of ejaculation. He can change his breathing, back off on the stimulation or change it. This point of no return is called "ejaculatory inevitability" aka. "I'm gonna come!" Once the spinal nerves receive the full prostate message, they fire and cause the PC muscles, vas deferens, and prostate to contract and produce the spasms of orgasms. Pressure on the prostate gland, which can be stimulated through the anus, feels fabulous for many men.


Sperm actually only makes up about five percent of semen. The rest comes from the seminal vesicle, prostate gland and cowpers gland. The albumen, sugars, acids and enzymes produced by these glands make up the majority of ejaculate and make the sperm motile and enable them to live outside the body. Pre-come is produced by the cowpers gland, and functions to make the acidic urethra more hospitable for the semen. It can contain sperm and HIV, which means you can transmit HIV or get a woman pregnant even if you pull out before ejaculating or just rub genitals without ejaculating.

Multiple Orgasms, "Dry Orgasms," and Delayed Ejaculation

Learning to control ejaculation and extending sex (and building for multi-orgasmic response) involves learning how to stop and back off, breathe, slow down, move around or change stimulation right before you hit that point. The book The Multi-Orgasmic Couple is a great resource with lots of exercises to help men build greater body and sexual awareness and expand their sexual response.

The Prostate Gland and Anus

The anus offers a world of pleasure and sensation for everyone who has one! For men, anal play offers extra delights because both the base of the penis and the prostate gland are accessible. For some men, pressing the prostate itself can generate an orgasm, for others it just adds to the sensations. You can stimulate the prostate with a finger, dick, dildo or other toy through the anus. It's located about two inches inside towards the belly. In fact its location is similar to the G-spot and is sometimes referred to as the Male G-spot. If you are diving for the prostate, remember the lube! Lubricant makes anal penetration much more pleasurable.

Common Questions    

How do I learn to control my ejaculation and have multiple orgasms? Kegel exercises will help you strengthen the muscles that are involved in orgasm. Squeeze the muscles you would to cut off the flow of urine. Do that repeatedly. Click here for a more detailed How to Exercise Your PC Muscles. Also, as men approach ejaculation their testicles rise. Some men find that a gentle downward tug on the testicles can help delay ejaculation.


Will a cock ring keep me harder longer? Possibly. For some men, cock rings create a firmer erection and delay ejaculation. But for others, dressing up their dicks and putting on a squeeze feels so good, they come right away! It's not a "cure" for erectile difficulty, which can, in fact, be a medical issue that deserves a discussion with your doctor. Click here for more info on cock rings.

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