what you didn't learn in sex ed

What You Didn’t Learn in Sex Ed

Is it my imagination or does every new electronic device, be it an alarm clock, cooking widget or cell phone, come with a 100-page owner’s manual? No more learning by simple intuition or reason nowadays. According to Malcolm Bradbury, the digital age is different: “We don’t have reason; we have computation. We don’t have a tree of knowledge; we have an information superhighway.” Is what you learned of love and relationships in school a good manual for how things actually work? What didn’t they tell you in Sex Ed class?

What It Is

  • Sex drive has its ups and downs. Although teenagers think of sex every 3 minutes, one might expect that as we age, and life gets complicated, thoughts of sex occur less often. One great way to keep your sex drive healthy is to stay healthy. And disconnect (you guessed it!) from your digital devices.
  • Penis size varies, but yours is likely normal. Let’s go over the facts. The average length of a flaccid (limp) penis is 3.5 inches and the average length of an erect penis is 5 inches. Also, the length of the flaccid penis doesn’t predict the length of the erect penis, as there are “growers” and “showers.” Not only that, penis size does not correlate with hand or foot size or race, height or weight.
  • The penis can be curved. Most “normal” penises curve a little. A “straight” penis has a 15-degree curve or less in any direction. That’s a little less than 5 minutes past the hour on a clock. Of some concern are penises that have an increasing curvature, or a curvature associated with a painful erection.
  • Men lose their erections. One of my men’s health practice’s “emergencies” are men who have their first failed erection. I see them right away as they are quite concerned that something bad is happening to them. It is: they need to take better care of themselves. The penis has a mind of its own and is very clued into a man’s health and stress levels.
  • Excessive masturbation is harmful. A whole lot of animals masturbate. The genitals are built for use. If it were harmful, we and other species would have gone extinct a long time ago. Having said that, excessive masturbation can interfere with having a healthy sexual relationship with a partner.
  • Don’t ignore pain, lumps and bumps. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men. And it’s curable. So, cop a feel down there once a month and let someone like me know if you feel something different.

Real Life

When it comes to love and sex, education — whether through manuals or schooling — is not the same as real life. In the words of Neil Gaiman: “You don’t get explanations in real life. You just get moments that are absolutely, utterly, inexplicably odd.”

This article first appeared on Dr. Turek’s blog.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor

View posts by Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor
Dr. Paul Turek is an internationally known thought leader in men’s reproductive and sexual health care and research. A fellowship trained, board-certified physician by the American Board of Urology (ABU), he has received numerous honors and awards for his work and is an active member in professional associations worldwide. His recent lectures, publications and book titles can be found in his curriculum vitae.

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