WARNING: This article is part of GMFA - the sexual wellbeing project for gay, bi and trans men who have sex with men - brought to you by LGBT HERO. This article is intended for a mature audience and may contain language and references that are not suitable for younger readers of LGBT HERO. Please do not continue if you are easily offended or shocked. LGBT HERO tries to provide advice and support for all LGBTQ+ people of all ages. For more info about GMFA and what we provide through this service visit www.lgbthero.org.uk/gmfa.

Words by Hadley Stewart | @Wordsbyhadley

Ah, the penis! We’re told not to think with it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about it.

Penises flop, go hard and get stuck in your flies – they’re multi-talented things those dicks, aren’t they? Aside from their many talents, let’s also look at some of the questions you’ve all been asking about your life-long friend. Here’s what I’ve learnt about my penis:

1. Can I break my penis?

It’s possible to break your penis. Although there’s not a bone in there, you can break the tubes that fill with blood when you’ve got a hard on. Thankfully, penile fractures are quite uncommon, but when they happen you can expect swelling and lots of pain. Your penis can break (snap!) when it’s erect and comes into contact with a blunt force. This can happen during sex, masturbation or whatever else you decide to do with your erect penis. But if you do feel a pop down there, make sure you get it checked by a doctor.

2. Does size matter?

You tell me! If you’re asking the question then you probably think it does. Some men think it does, others think performance outweighs the importance of the size of one’s manhood. There’s also no link between penis size and shoe size either. So please don’t bring up the fact you’re a size 12 on a first date – nobody cares. That’s perhaps right up there with voting for Brexit and thinking the Tories are going to save the NHS, on the list of how to look like a dick.

3. Can I get HIV or STIs if I’m circumcised?

It’s still possible to contract sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) if you’re circumcised. There were studies carried out in Africa looking at HIV transmission among heterosexual men which found that rates of transmission were lower for those who were circumcised. That said, that method of prevention is not practised in the UK. As for other STIs, the results of studies remain inconclusive, so we can’t say for sure if circumcision does indeed reduce the risk of transmission. So it looks like you’re going to have keep dressing your penis in Durex’s finest.

4. Why do I get nervous when I get it out at the urinal?

Some guys get very nervous when using public toilets and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with feeling self-conscious about your peen. Being ‘pee shy’ is an actual thing – in other words, you can be too nervous to pee. It might be for a variety of reasons, for instance a previous bad experience in a public loo. The medical term for it is Paruresis, which is a phobia of urinating next to or near other people. There are a number of physical and cognitive behavioural therapies that can help you through it. Have a chat with your GP, who’ll be able to recommend support in your local area.

5. Where can I stick my penis?

That’s up to you…