I'm an opinionated chronic insomniac. I have a lot to say, although not all of it is worth saying, necessarily. But I can pretty much guarantee it will be INTERESTING. You will find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing BUT the truth... Jennifer style
As someone who reads romance novels for a "living" and has delved more than a bit into unpublished/amateur/fan-written stories, I have come to the conclusion that an anatomy lesson is in order. Specifically, we need to discuss the penis. Even more specifically, we need to delve into the form and function of the penis.
Since the authors of the types of works listed above are almost exclusively female (and, in the unpublished category, somewhat young), it is reasonable that there might be an educational lack. Especially given the woeful nature of sex education in schools, and the even poorer sex education that the prior generation received.
So, here we go.
Lesson #1, Penis Size:
The average penis size in the US is approximately 5 1/2 inches. The average circumcised penis is slightly less than 1/2 inch shorter than the average intact (ie: uncircumcised) penis, and loses girth as well. Making the average circumcised penis approximately 25% smaller overall than the average intact penis. Currently the circumcision rate in the United States is less than 35%, so it is expected that the average penis size will increase with the aging of the latest generation of baby boys who have been spared the knife.
Lesson #2, Lubricaion (or so THAT'S how that works!):
While lubrication for anal intercourse makes perfect sense, for vaginal intercourse and masturbation it may not be necessary. Women produce their own fluids when fully aroused, and generally that will be enough to provide adequate and comfortable gliding -- and in many cases more than enough. Regarding masturbation, an intact penis is not masturbated in the same method that a circumcised penis is. With a circumcised penis, the hand is rubbing over the shaft skin, which will cause uncomfortable friction without lubrication of some sort (saliva is very useful for this, though it will need to be replenished frequently, depending on the amount of time it takes to achieve orgasm). The primary area of stimulation is the corona, where the shaft juts out into the "mushroom" of the "head" (aka the glans). Masturbating an intact man does not often (if ever) require lubrication. The foreskin is what is being moved over the corona, not the hand itself. The hand itself is actually static (unmoving) on the shaft skin, allowing the skin to do all the work. This computer animation illustrates the function of the foreskin during masturbation and intercourse.
Lesson #3, The Frenulum:
The frenulum is sometimes referred to as the "male g-spot" because of its sensitivity. It is the ridge of tissue on the underside of the penis, connecting the glans to the shaft. In almost all circumcised men, the frenulum has been ablated, and (if present at all) is little more than a small, raised line. In an intact penis, it is almost like webbing (shown here with piercing), with each area extremely sensitive. It is possible for a man to achieve orgasm through frenular stimulation alone. Even if the area is almost entirely ablated in a circumcised man, it is likely to be more sensitive.
Lesson #4, That isn't a vein:
I can't tell you how many times I've run across a description of oral sex involving the tongue "running over the vein" on the underside of the penis. This is not, in fact, a vein. There are three main areas that make up the overall triangular shape of an erect penis shaft. What many people think is a "vein" is actually made up of several different things. First, you may be feeling the slightly raised bit of skin that makes up the peno-scrotal raphe. The raphe extends down the entire shaft (from the frenulum), bisecting the scrotum, and ending at the rectum. Because of the way a fetus develops, the genitals of both boys and girls begin in the same way. The raphe (present in women as well, from the perineum to the rectum) is where the area fused together to form the organs of the sex of the child in utero.
Beyond the raphe there is a ridge, yes, however it is not a vein. It is, in fact, the urethra. As in women, the urethra is the tubular structure that allows urine to pass from the body. Unlike in women, the urethral opening, known as the meatus, is not a separate opening from the genitals themselves. The penile meatus allows both urine and ejaculate to exit. The urethra is surrounded by the corpus spongiosum, which is actually what you feel when you feel the "ridge" that is mistaken for a vein. Now, when the shaft becomes erect, the areas that fill with blood are primarily the corpus cavernosum, two separate sections that rest on top of the urethra/corpus spongiosum. The blood and nerves leading down the penis to the glans are found on TOP of the penis.
Lesson #5, It's not a fruit:
No, really, it's not. Penises come in many shapes and sizes, and almost any variation is "normal". However much we like to find unique adjectives, please do not describe the glans as looking like a plum or a peach. And please especially do not describe it that way in terms of color. While it is true that the glans of an intact man can have a purplish undertone to it, it is not actually purple, and that particular color would be best avoided.
The glans of an intact penis will be moist, smooth, and supple looking in appearance and in texture. It will often retain a blue/purple hue to the skin (though still decidedly not purple!). The glans of a circumcised penis becomes keratinized, which is a nice way of saying calloused. It will appear dry and rough in texture and appearance. The differences between (caucasian) cut and uncut can be seen here.
If it seems as if I'm harping on circumcision, well, I kind of am. But it's not specifically meant to be an intactivist post. It is important, as a writer, to understand the differences. This is especially important when referencing different time periods (circumcision was not common in the United States until it reached a sort of "critical mass" in about 1920). It's also important to understand based on region. For instance, if your character is from California, only 20% of the boys in California are routinely circumcised. If he's from West Virginia, however, 86% of boys are routinely circumcised. All of which is relatively moot, though, depending on the character's age. If he was born any time in the 70s, he's likely to be circumcised, as rates rose to ~90% throughout the United States, despite the fact that medical groups reported no valid medical reasons for the surgery. Additionally, if your character is a soldier who somehow made it to adulthood intact, he was likely circumcised prior to being sent on any overseas assignments, as it was common practice at the time, believed to somehow prevent STDs.
Finally, Lesson #6, Your body's only so big:
Okay, so we've covered penis size, so you've now got a decent idea about how big the average penis is. You know its color, texture, and its anatomy. But do you know how that applies in a practical way? Specifically, do you know what will fit in the vagina or the mouth? Theoretically the rectum can take as much length as you want (though it would certainly get less comfortable past a point!). Girth, however... well, do you want the person on the receiving end to be able to retain their feces after sex? Because the muscles can certainly get stretched out! On the other hand, unless the man is overly endowed? You don't need a whole lot of stretching and prep. Lube? YES. 3 fingered scissoring? Not so much. After all, you don't have to stretch out your asshole to take a dump, do you? Yeah, not really. Worry about stretching only if the guy's as big as a very uncomfortable log of poop, okay?
ANYWAY, size. Right. So, with the right amount of foreplay and arousal, the vagina can certainly accommodate all but the most gargantuan penises. After all, seriously, babies come out of there! And yes, it DOES hurt, but unless that dick is the size of a newborn? You're probably okay. Gentle, use of natural or additional lubricants, and make sure the lady's definitely into it, and you're gonna be fine.
Which leads to oral sex. Okay, here's the thing... Stick out your tongue. Got it? Look at it in a mirror. How long would you say it is from your uvula (the dangly thing at the back of your mouth) to your lips? Maybe... oh... 4 inches, on a good stretch? Yeah. And unless you've gotten a lot of practice and ZERO gag reflex, that's about as far as you're going to comfortably fit a penis in during oral sex -- on a good day. So if your character is going down on someone, and that someone is supposed to be average or above average in length (let alone girth!), please do not say that they took them all the way down to the root. Because that's not going in the mouth. THAT is going in the throat. And that takes a lot of practice! Even with a lot of practice, it's not a skill that just anyone will have. Especially not someone with very limited experience.
Okay, so, there you go. There's your Penis 101 Tutorial. Now class, any questions?
Thanks to the movies, most everyone knows that Captain America was once a scrawny boy from Brooklyn, named Steven Rogers. There is some issue, however, with determining what his middle name is. While the wikipedia site indicates that his name is Steven Grant Rogers, a bit of poking at the Marvel site makes that claim suspect.
See, the movie isn't exactly accurate to the comic canon. (For a more accurate representation, I recommend you watch the 1966 Marvel Super Heroes, Captain America series. It's not only more accurate, it's also hilarious.) In the comics, Steve hid his identity, pretending to be the bumbling enlisted man, Steven Grant Rogers when not dressed in his red, white, and blue Captain America outfit. James "Bucky" Barnes, rather than being his older, buffer, protective friend, is actually the base mascot, a young boy who tags along with Captain America after discovering his secret identity. And according to the Marvel site, "Steven Grant Rogers" is Captain America's alias, and his real name is Steven "Steve" Rogers.
The reason that I think that his middle name isn't Grant is because I have a lot of old Captain America comics (including the one pictured above). Now, either they chose to change his middle name for some reason, or there's something in the comics that I'm missing (I don't have all of them -- maybe they explain it somewhere else?), or his middle name simply is not Grant. Because as you can see from this panel, Captain America is referred to as "Steven M. Rogers".
Since they're discussing his government back pay, you'd think that they'd at least have the right person, right? Then again, given the different universes found in the comic world, maybe this is a different Captain America? After all, his birthdate from the wiki page is different from the movie, as well. At least the year is (it's generally accepted that his birthday is July 4, but the movie indicates he was born in 1918, whereas the wiki page indicates 1922). Either way, I think the best bet, when referring to Captain America, is to avoid his middle name altogether. Unless Marvel decides to clarify this for us?
In 2009 my overall illnesses finally forced me to stop working. While I only made a fraction of the money that Uncle Walter brings in, the loss of that income was fairly devastating. As a way to make up the difference, Uncle Walter has taken up selling stuff on eBay. Because of that, our house is chock full of the most random collection of shit you can imagine. Today, in the car, I was listening to Weird Al and the song eBay came on. I got to thinking, which is always dangerous. It occurred to me that Uncle Walter deserved some sort of recognition for all that he does. So... as a tribute to all of Uncle Walter's incredibly hard work taking care of me and the kids, I give you:
This is a terrible story. A young child has been raped, and that is always horrifying. This young victim is not being protected. He should not have to go to class with his attacker, should not have to go to the school where he was raped. He needs to be protected. But something very important is being overlooked here...
A five-year-old boy does not rape. They don't know enough about sex to rape. And if they do know enough about sex, then there's something wrong. There is no way -- NO WAY -- that the 5 year old attacker has not been abused. Both of these children are victims. Both of these children need protection. A child that young is not culpable for their behavior, not to any real punishable degree. But whomever it is that attacked the attacker certainly is.
This is actually one of the reasons I left social work. Because the crime was addressed, but the cause was ignored. We're not talking about an adult who's a pedophile. We're talking about a young child who's acting out behaviors that he shouldn't even be capable of conceiving of.
Sometimes victimizers are victims themselves. With an adult, capable of making conscious choices, that does not negate their culpability for their actions. However, when you're dealing with such a young child, and especially the likelihood that there is on-going abuse? While it doesn't justify their behavior, it does mitigate their responsibility. Both abused children deserve protection.
A female version of this was going around recently. Why should women be the only ones who have unquestioned rights over their reproductive organs? If you believe in equal rights but still support R(outine) I(nfant) C(ircumcision), you're a hypocrite!