The Nitty Gritty of the Male Body

So we covered all the basics with female anatomy.  I have gotten some really good questions from those posts and can’t wait to answer them.  But first,  it’s time to discuss male anatomy.

Bladder:  Where urine (pee) collects before it leaves the body.

Urethra:  The tube from which men urinate (pee).  It’s the tube that connects the bladder to the urethral opening (pee hole).  Unlike females,  the male urethra is used for more than just peeing.  I will explain that in a bit.

Rectum:  The lowest end of the intestine before the anus (external opening or butt hole),  where solid waste (poop) is stored before leaving the body through the anus.

Penis:  The penis is a male’s reproductive and sex organ.  It varies in shape and size and it’s all normal.  In fact, there are a lot of myths out there about penis size and shape.  Let me know what you’ve heard!

Erection:  I know this is not something listed on the picture but I thought it deserved a little explanation.  An erection is when the spongy tissue of the penis fills with blood (think of a sponge absorbing water) and becomes hard and erect.  This can happen during puberty when nervous or embarrassed or for no apparent reason.  But as a male matures,  it usually only happens when he is sexually aroused.  I should also mention that it happens randomly throughout the night for men of all ages.  It’s totally normal.

Circumcision:  Like erections,  circumcision is not mentioned on the picture but is worth talking about.  It is a procedure that involves cutting off the foreskin (which is skin around the head of the penis that all males are born with) and usually happens shortly after birth.  Although there are many differing opinions about this,  it is totally normal to be circumcised or not.  One is not better than the other.  And when the penis is erect,  it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the two.

Scrotum:  The sack of skin that holds the testicles.  The really cool thing about the scrotum is that it can hang lower or higher depending on body temperature!!! Sperm are made inside the testicles and need to be at a certain temperature to be healthy.  The body knows this so when a male becomes too warm,  the scrotum hangs lower so the testicles are further away from the body (keeping them cooler).  The scrotum does the opposite when it’s cold – it brings the testicles closer to the body.  Cool huh?

Testicles:  Similar to the ovaries in the female.  This is where sperm are made!

Epididymis:  The epididymis sits right on top of the testicle and is where sperm go to further develop before leaving the body.  If you were to see this small tube it would look 2 inches long.  However,  if you took it out and stretched it out long it would be 20 feet long!  This long length gives the sperm plenty of time to develop.

Vas Deferens:  The vas deference is the tube that sperm travel through to leave the body.  Ever heard of a vasectomy (male sterilization)?  Well it’s when the vas deferens is tied off so that sperm can’t leave the body.  If sperm can’t leave the body,  there can be no pregnancy. You still ejaculate (cum).

Prostate:  Produces a fluid that helps sperm move.  It can be very sensitive to the touch (which is easiest to do through the anus).  Some men,  both straight and gay,  like their prostate touched.  However,  it’s important to ask your partner if this is something they are into before trying to touch it.  Always ask!

Seminal Vesicle:  A small organ located beneath the bladder and connected to the urethra that produces a fluid that nourishes and helps sperm move (called seminal fluid).

Ejaculation:  Again, not on the list but is worthy of explanation.  The moment when semen spurts out of the opening of the urethra in the glans of the penis.  Many people call semen ‘cum’.   So what is semen exactly??

Semen:  Many people think semen is just sperm but that is only part of it.  Only a small amount of semen is actually sperm.  Most of it is fluid from the seminal vesicles and prostate.  However, there are still millions and millions of sperm cells in every ejaculation.

Okay,  just a few more things I want to add that aren’t labeled on the photo.

Cowper’s  Gland:  The glands beneath the prostate gland that are attached to the urethra.  They produce a fluid — pre-ejaculate or pre-cum — that prepares the urethra for ejaculation.

Why does the urethra need to be prepared for ejaculation???  Remember that the urethra is the tube in which urine passes.  Urine is very acidic and is harmful to sperm.  The body is super smart and knows this, so it produces a fluid that clears out any urine residue that is left in the urethra so that when a male ejaculates,  the sperm go unharmed.  Although the fluid itself does not contain sperm,  it can pick up sperm that has recently passed through the urethra.  That means,  it is possible to get pregnant from pre-cum.  It is also possible to transmit infections,  like HIV,  through pre-cum.

Well this got much longer than I expected!!! I hope you find it as interesting as I do!  It’s crazy how smart the body is with all its automated responses like the scrotum & pre-cum.  Although this is fairly long,  I am sure there are some of you who still have questions and I can’t wait to answer them.

In happiness & health,


Reviewed by Andrea Raider, NP & Tonya Chaffee, MD

One thought on “The Nitty Gritty of the Male Body

  1. Pingback: DO IT Yourself! « Ask Shawna

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