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Male Sexual Anatomy


The male sex organs are more visible and accessible than the female sex organs. Unlike the clitoris or vagina the penis is involved directly in the process of urination so that boys become accustomed to touching and handling their penises at a relatively early age. The sexual aspects of male organ are hard for a boy to miss. He learns about them by watching , touching, and playing with his penis as it becomes erect ( pleasurable experience) or by hearing stories and jokes that graphically portray the sexual and reproductive purposes of the penis. Despite such exposure, many males are not fully informed about the details of the anatomy and function of their sex organs.

The Penis 

The penis is an external organ that consists primarily of three parallel cylinders of spongy tissue bound in thick membrance sheaths. The cylinderical body on the underside of the penis is called the spongy body  (corpus spongiosum). The urethra ( a tube that carries urine or semen) runs through the middle of the spongy body and exits at the tip of the penis via the urinary opening ( urethral meatus). When the penis is erect , the spongy body on the underside looks and feels like straight ridge. the other two cylinders, called the cavernous bodies ( corpora cavernosa), are positioned side- by - side above the spongy body. All three consist of irregular sponge like tissue dotted with small blood vessels. the tissue swells with blood during sexual arousal, causing the penis to become erect.

Internally, beyond the point where the penis attaches to the body the cavernous bodies branch apart to form tips ( crura) that are firmly attaches to the pelvic bones. The penis has numerous blood vessels, both inside and apart from the cylindrical bodies; a pattern of veins is often visible on the outer skin of the erect penis. the penis also has many nerves, making it highly sensitive to touch, pressure, and temperature.

The tip of the penis, the glans or head, consists entirely of corpus spongiosum. This region has a higher concentration of sensory nerve endings than the shaft of the penis and is thus particularly sensitive to physical stimulation. Two other areas particularly  sensitive to touch are the rim of tissue that separates the glans from the shaft of the penis ( the frenulum) attaches to the glans. Many males find that direct stimulation of the glans may become painful or irritating and prefer to masturbate by rubbing or stroking the penile shaft.

The skin that covers the penis is freely movable and forms the foreskin , or prepuce, at the glans. Inflammation or infection of the foreskin or glans may cause pain during sexual activity. Sometimes the foreskin sticks to the underlying glans when smegma, a naturally occurring substance of cheesy consistency made up of oily secretions, dead skin cells, dirt particles, sweat, and bacteria, is not regularly washed away from underneath the foreskin. This type of problem occurs only uncircumcised men and is one argument in favor of routine circumcision.  

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin. As a result of this minor operation, usually done shortly after birth, the glans of the penis is fully exposed. Circumcision is sometimes a religious practice, as in Islamic or in Judaism. 

The advantages of circumcision are primarily related to hygiene and health : smegma does not collect, the glans of the penis is easier to clean, conditions of inflammation or infection are less likely to occur, and cancer of the penis is less frequent. Although the rate of cancer of cervix is considerably lower in the spouses of circumcised men, it is not certain that this is a cause - effect  relationship. Opponents of routine circumcision see no clear reason for this operation and suggest that removing the skin protecting the glans weakens the regions sexual sensitivity since it constantly rubs directly against clothing. 

Others believe that circumcision increases the risk of premature ejaculation ( this is probably not true , since the foreskin of the erect uncircumcised penis retracts , exposing the glans, and researchers have not found a difference in the rates of premature ejaculation in circumcised versus uncircumcised men).

We are not aware of any believable evidence demonstrating that circumcised affects male sexual function one way or the other. in any event, uncircumcised men who practice routine hygienic care are unlikely to be at any major health disadvantage. 

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