TGIPF: A Penis Shaped Like a Musical Instrument

By the time dermatologist Sanjeev Vaishampayan met his patient, a 45-year-old father of four, the man was in a bad way. Antibiotics had taken care of the infected lesions on his legs, but now the man had a new and mortifying problem: His genitals were bulging and bloated. “The scrotum was huge and its contents […]

TGIPF Guest Post: Upstairs, Downstairs

This week on LWON’s occasional series Thank God It’s Penis Friday, we bring you wisdom from not one but two authors of newly released books about private parts. (Count your blessings, people.) Florence Williams is the author of BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History; Jesse Bering is the author of Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? And […]

TGIPF: Slug Sex Redux

Slugs have sex. You probably already knew that. And if you read my last post on banana slugs’ strange sexual appetites, you had the rare opportunity to see a slug penis. So you already know what the organ looks like. Except you don’t! That was a trick statement. You know what a banana slug’s penis looks like. […]

TGIPF: The Bed Bug and His Violent Penis

Behold the bed bug penis. Entomologists call it a lanceolate paramere, where lanceolate means “shaped like a lance head” and paramere, the “copulatory hooks formed from outer subdivision of primary phallic lobes.” Put more simply, it curves out from the tip of the male’s abdomen and ends in a wicked point, like a dagger. This […]

TGIPF: What the Baculum Said

This is the third installment of the occasional series Thank God It’s Penis Friday. The first was on banana slug sex; the second on Iceland’s Phallological Museum. Today we are going to talk about penis bones. The penis bone, or baculum, is the supportive bone in the penises of most mammals. Relax, you didn’t miss anything: humans […]

TGIPF: Iceland’s Phallological Museum

This is the second installment of the occasional series Thank God It’s Penis Friday. Cassandra wrote the first one on banana slug sex. It’s not every day you get an assignment to cover the Icelandic Phallological Museum. So when Richard emailed us, saying that through the magic of Facebook he had spotted that we were […]

TGIPF: The Weird World of Banana Slug Sex

Today I have the honor of kicking off a new series on LWON, a series all about  . . . (wait for it) . . . penises! Are you excited? I know I am. There’s only so much penis talk one can tolerate, of course, so this will be an occasional column. Don’t expect to […]

Why Circumcision Protects Against HIV

On LWON’s first birthday, Richard Panek asked me to explain why being circumcised makes a man less likely to catch HIV. So I will. Here you go, Richard. Let’s be honest. Foreskin is weird. The rules of evolution suggest that it once conferred an advantage, but I can’t fathom what that advantage might have been. […]