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Penis Basics

Learn How it All Works

It’s important to know about your penis, even if it’s embarrassing to talk or ask about it! Your penis is unique to you. Penises come in different colours, shapes and sizes. Some bend, some are bigger or smaller, some are thick or thin.

Your penis is called a sex or reproductive organ because you use it to when you have sex and to reproduce (make babies). You also use it when you pee. Penises are made up of spongy tissue and blood vessels and have a foreskin that covers the tip in guys who aren’t circumcised.

Your penis is usually soft but when you feel excited or aroused you will get an erection – this is when it fills with blood, gets hard and sticks up. When your penis is cold or you’re feeling scared or anxious about something, blood flow slows down and it becomes smaller.

Behind your penis, your testicles (two balls) are kept safe in a pouch called a scrotum. Your testicles produce sperm (which makes girls pregnant) and a hormone called testosterone.

What is circumcision?

Circumcision (sometimes called male medical circumcision or MMC) is when your foreskin, which covers the tip of your penis, is removed by a doctor at the clinic. It’s a quick procedure but not painless. Circumcision helps to keep things cleaner down there and can help reduce infections when you are older and start to have sex. For some groups, circumcision is a very old cultural and religious tradition. Some boys are circumcised when they are born, others choose to do this when they are grown men. If you haven’t been circumcised and you’re under 18, you will need permission from your parents.

Stay clean
If you are circumcised, it doesn’t mean you’re cleaner than those who aren’t – all boys need to wash their genitals with soap and water every day! If you are not circumcised, gently pull back your foreskin to clean underneath it.

No two boys look the same down there. Penises come in all shapes and sizes. It is important to keep it clean and check it regularly.

Is your penis normal? YoungGuy is worried too. Read his story below.


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