Everything you need to know about penises and balls
Every penis is slightly different. Their shape, size and even texture can vary and this is totally normal. We know many people feel anxious about the shape, size and performance of their penis – and we want to reassure you, your body is normal and it’s wonderful.
The penis is one part of the male external sex anatomy – with the scrotum (your balls in their sack) being the other part. The penis is known by lots of different names but in simple terms, it is a shaft which is made of three different layers of tissue (the stuff that makes up your body). When you feel aroused, these tissues fill with blood which leads to an erection (or a hard-on).
What is the penis?
The penis is made up of four lovely parts:
Glans: The rounded head, or tip of the penis. This is where you pee from and where semen/pre-cum ejaculation is from. Usually you’ll hear this referred to as the head of the penis.
Shaft: This is the longest part of the penis and connects to the pubic bone. It surrounds and protects the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis) which is inside the shaft.
Foreskin: The skin that covers the head of the penis and retracts when the penis gets hard.
Note: not every penis has a foreskin and that’s cool! If yours has been circumcised then it won’t have one.
Frenulum: This is connective tissue that connects the foreskin to the head of the penis and the shaft. It is similar to the frenulum you have in your mouth, that connects your upper lip to your upper gum!
MYTH BUSTER: Does penis size matter? No, there’s no reason that it should!
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Like many myths on the internet, particularly around sex and sexual health, this is one of those myths that is simply not true. The size of your penis does not matter and has no bearing on how pleasurable or how good sex is – for you, or for your partner.
If you’re still worried and won’t take our word for it, check out Brook’s handy FAQs about the penis that make clear exactly why size does not matter.
What about the balls?
Held in a ballsack known as the scrotum, balls (also known as testicles) make sperm and hormones like testosterone. Usually, the balls will be different sizes to each other and they change size due to temperature too.
If it is cold, the scrotum will pull the balls closer to the body making them shrink, but if it is warm they will hang further from the body. This is all completely normal.
Now you know the ‘sciency’ lowdown about the male anatomy, hopefully you appreciate that that size and shape can vary a lot, and whatever you’ve got in your pants, you are almost certainly totally normal.
The average size of an erect penis is 5 to 7 inches long, but this is just the average: many penises will be much smaller and many a bit bigger! It’s has no bearing on how enjoyable sex is.
It is much better to understand what you and your partner enjoy than worrying about measuring or comparing size. The only way to find out what works best for you is to explore and try it out, communicate and stay safe.
- Brooks FAQ guide on the penis and balls
- Text ‘Shout’ to 85258 to access mental health support from a trained professional – any time, anywhere.
- Ask Roo any questions about your body and sexual health (via Planned Parenthood)
Last reviewed: 2 November 2021
Image Credit: Deon Black from Pexels