The Penis – How Much Do You Know?

Instagram via @shshithappens / FUN FACT: One testicle always hangs a little lower than the other so they don’t hit off each other when a man is moving.

Whatever you happen to call it – Cock, Dick, Willy, Schlong, Todger, Tom, or Jerry – the penis is a peculiar body part – but an incredibly vital body part nonetheless. The penis – just like the vagina – is essential to the survival of our species. When you consider the penis as an evolutionary adaptation, it has done remarkably well. All of us can say without too much doubt that our father’s penis worked, as did our grandfather’s, and his father’s, and so on, right back through successive generations until we reach far beyond the existence of mankind.

Memorialised in monuments, Greek statues, school-books and graffiti everywhere, the penis may be the most famous and arguably the most spoken about human organ on the planet. But despite it’s seemingly simple exterior, how much do you really know about penises? Given they’ve been swinging around for years, you might be surprised by just how many facts you never knew. So here goes!

Erections Are Complicated.

An average male experiences 11 erections per day, many of them while asleep. The average number of erections a man has during the night is nine lasting between 25-35 minutes. The standard male orgasm lasts six seconds, while women get an average of 23 seconds.

Achieving an erection is one of the most complex functions to happen in a man, Dr. Reitano says: “For starters, hormones must be released on demand, arteries need to carry six times more blood to the penis with perfect efficiency, the nervous system must transmit its signals without a hitch, and the mind must be working in perfect harmony with the body.” The ability to get and sustain an erection, he says, depends upon “a body that is perfectly tuned physically, psychologically, and emotionally.” The inability to achieve an erection, a.k.a. erectile dysfunction, is usually the first sign of poor health, according to Reitano.

According to Health, morning wood is a good sign: Waking up with a hard-on is a normal thing for guys; it has nothing to do with how horny he is but the biological fact that testosterone levels are highest in the a.m. If a man stops having morning erections, however, it could mean that something’s up with his health. Two weeks without one necessitates a trip to a doctor, suggests Dr. Reitano. You can read more about Erectile Dysfunction here.

You’re Born With One and You Can Die With One

That’s it…Erections! Did you know that it’s common for babies to exit the womb with an erection? You do now! Even before the moment of birth, ultrasound scans can show a fetus with a fully formed erection. Weird. According to a study from 1991, fetal erections occur most commonly during random eye movement (REM) sleep, and they can happen a number of times each hour. No one is quite sure why, but it might just be our body’s way of testing things out and keeping them running correctly.

The final erection: So, we’ve established that you can get erections in the womb and during sleep, but this is perhaps even more surprising: the death erection. Also called ‘angel lust’ or ‘terminal erection’, it happens in the moments after death. Most commonly, it occurs in men who have died from hanging.

How Many Times Do You Ejaculate on Average in a Lifetime?

The average man will experience around 7,200 ejaculations in his lifetime and the average number of times a man will ejaculate from masturbation in a lifetime is around 2,000.

Fun Fact – Fast & Furious: The average speed of ejaculation is 28 miles per hour.

The Angle of the Dangle 

A man’s erection can point in pretty much any direction. Straight up, ahead, down, left or right – there’s no right or wrong. The data below comes from a study that measured the erections of 1,484 men. In the figures below, if the penis pointed directly up, it was measured as 0 degrees, and if it was forward-pointing (horizontal), it would be 90 degrees:

0–30 degrees – 4.9 percent of men

30–60 degrees – 29.6 percent of men

60–85 degrees – 30.9 percent of men

85–95 degrees – 9.9 percent of men

95–120 degrees – 19.8 percent of men

120–180 degrees – 4.9 percent of men

So, if you’ve ever been concerned that your wood is a bit ski-whiff, don’t worry – you’re normal.

Grower or a Show-er? 

The average erect penis is about 5.56 inches (14 cm) long, according to a 2013 study detailed in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that surveyed 1,661 men. But variety is the spice of life, and men in that study had members that ranged from 1.6 inches (4cm) long to 10.2 inches (26 cm) long. So most penises are around the same size when erect which is actually between 6-7 inches (minus the anomolies).

When men are smaller or larger than average, it’s not by much. “Almost every man is between 4 and 6 inches, and maybe 15% of men have a penis over 7 inches in length,” Michael Reitano, MD, physician in residence at men’s health company Roman, tells Health.

A study on 274 men demonstrated that there is no correlation between the length of a flaccid penis and its erect size. Some start small and end up large (a grower), while some are large when flaccid and only grow a little when erect (a show-er). Some are even small whatever state they are in, and some are large when flaccid and get much larger. It’s a mixed bag. There’s no correlation between how big a guy is when he’s hanging loose and how large he is erect.

Penis anxiety is real and common: in a study published in September 2013 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 30 percent of a sample of British men were very dissatisfied with their penis size. The study found no link, however, between size anxiety and actual penis size. Despite reports that lots of men worry about their penis size, they shouldn’t. 85% of women are said to be totally satisfied with their partner’s package. For those that still worry, here’s another reassuring thing: vaginas typically adjust themselves to any size or length. However, penile tissue can also become less elastic if a guy doesn’t get regular erections, meaning his penis could shrink by a centimeter or two if he doesn’t use it enough.

The Biggest and the Smallest

Who has the biggest human penis in the world? Reportedly, a man called Jonah Falcon from New York has the biggest schlong on record – 13.5 inches (although, not totally verified). JEEZ!

A study conducted by the University of Ulster found that men in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have the biggest average penis size in the world at 7.1 inches.

North Korea apparently has the smallest penises on average (3.8 inches). Only 3% of men worldwide are over 8 inches and only 6% of men actually need extra large condoms. So men that say their penis is too big to fit inside a condom… y’all probably lying.

Sucks to be Shrew: The shrew has the smallest penis of the animal kingdom, typically just 0.2 inches. The largest penis on the other hand, is from a sperm whale, standing at 6 feet tall and weighing nearly 150 pounds!

Can You Suck Yourself Off?

According to the sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who, during the 1940s conducted epic research into human sexuality – on average – one in a thousand men are flexible enough to orally pleasure themselves.

Drop the Cigs! Smoking Can Shorten Your Penis!

Because smoking reduces blood flow to the penis, it can shorten the average penis by up to 0.4 inches (1 cm), studies have found. It has also been proven that smoking increases men’s chances of impotency (erectile dysfunction). The solution? Stub it out, lads.

You Can Be Born with Two Penises

Very rarely, a man may be born with two penises, a genetic condition that affects every 5 million to 6 million males (around 100 men worldwide) and is known as diphallia. Unfortunately, this condition doesn’t mean double the fun: Both organs are rarely fully functional, and the condition often comes along with other anomalies in the genital area that require surgery to correct.

Are Uncircumcised Penises More Likely to Get STD’s?

Before – during – after circumcision.

Can being circumcised reduce your risk of contracting an STD? Well, apparently so. The foreskin’s inner surface is made up of mucous membranes similar to those found inside the eyelid or the mouth, making it a moist place. That unique environment could be responsible for the increased STD transmission rates associated with uncircumcised men in some studies. Circumcised penises are also a lot easier to keep clean in comparison, because there’s no extra skin to allow for build up of bacteria and dirt etc.

There’s this impression that only newborns get circumcised, but adult men can get circumcised too! However only 30% of men over the age of 15 have been circumcised. As for those wondering if your partner will notice the difference; experts say that not much changes for women in terms of feeling when they have sex with a man who is circumcised – and as a woman who has experienced both circumcised and uncircumcised – I can confirm this.

Foot Size = Penis Length?

Penis length is NOT linked to foot size: The idea that the size of your penis is in proportion to your shoe size is a myth. According to a study published in the British Journal of Urology International, researchers at University College London measured the penises of 104 men, including teenagers and pensioners. The average penis length in this group was 13cm (5.1 inches) when soft and gently stretched, and the average British shoe size was 9 (43 EU Size). But researchers found no link between shoe size and penis length.

‘Blue Balls’ is REAL.

The myth surrounding men getting blue balls is not entirely a fabrication. It does exist in science, and is known as “prostatic congestion,”. The common symptom of an ache in the testicles is a result of ‘trapped’ blood. An orgasm can relieve it, but it is not the only solution. Doctors suggest a nice warm shower or aspirin can also fix the issue.

There’s More to it Than Meets the Eye

A guy’s penis size is double the length you actually see. The rest is tucked up inside the pelvis and attached to his pubic bone.

You CAN Break Your Penis

Yes – if the penis is violently twisted when erect – it can break. It most commonly occurs during vigorous sex, although it has been documented to happen to men who have fallen out of bed with an erection. There are no bones in the penis, but the tubes that fill with blood during an erection can burst. Blood pours out of them inside the penis and causes a very painful swelling. The moment of fracture is accompanied by a popping or cracking sound, intense pain, swelling, and – unsurprisingly – flaccidity.

Reported cases of penile fracture are rare, but it’s thought that some men are too embarrassed to report it to their doctor. According to the NHS, damage during sex, where their partner is on top, is responsible for about one-third of all cases. The breakage usually occurs when a man’s penis slips out of his partner and is violently bent.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often and, if it is treated swiftly, full function can be restored. As a note of caution, if this happens to you, don’t let embarrassment get the better of you. Go and get it sorted as soon as possible.

A Phobia of Penises

Phallophobia is the fear of a penis.

Can You Change the Taste of Your Cum?

Dr Shirin Larkhani, a general practitioner explains to Cosmopolitan that although semen taste can vary hugely from one person to another, there are certain things that can affect the taste of semen, Dr Larkhani says,

“Strong-tasting vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, garlic and caffeine may make semen taste or smell unpleasant. Whereas pineapple, oranges and other sweet fruits may make it taste sweeter. This is largely due to how the enzymes in the food break down and affect proteins, thus impacting on the smell and taste.This is highly subjective though, just as our tastes vary with food it’s logical that our tastes in semen does too.” Off the Menu: According to Glamour, asparagus, red meat and dairy are all said to negatively affect the taste of semen.

The Penis is NOT a Muscle

Contrary to popular belief, the so-called love muscle does not contain any muscles. That’s why you cannot move it very much when it’s erect. The penis is a kind of sponge that fills with blood when a man is sexually excited, causing the penis to swell and stiffen.

Semen is More Than Just Sperm

(If you’ve ever had a facial) Have you noticed after washing cum off your face it’s super smooth? Well there’s a reason for that! Semen is made of about 96 percent water, 2 percent sperm, fructose (which nourishes sperm), vitamin C (which helps keep sperm healthy), sodium bicarbonate (which protects sperm from the acidic environment of a vagina), various proteins and enzymes, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. All of that goodness!

Having Sex Once a Week Can Lower Your Risk of Health Conditions!

Having sex at least once a week can lower a man’s risk of heart disease by 30%, stroke by 50%, and diabetes by 40%. Even more of a reason to be having more sex!

Vaginas: How Much Do You Really Know?

Vaginas Aren’t A BluePrint!

Most of us have had Sex Ed classes and Biology lessons at school, but how much did they really teach you about vaginas beyond periods and its reproductive qualities? You’re never really taught about the pleasure a vagina can receive, and when to know when your vag is healthy or not – so hopefully this article will give you more of an insight into the magical world of vaginas.

There’s also a lot of myths and misinformation out there regarding orgasms and what a vagina should look and smell like, which may bring unnecessary shame and stress to many women out there, but you’re not alone! However, this article isn’t just for those with vaginas, it’s also for men that don’t know as much about vaginas as they should do. Porn is renowned for giving unrealistic expectations and a woman’s privates are amongst them.

Vagina’s aren’t a blueprint, like you see in porn.

What’s a Vulva?

Right, so a womans ‘bits’ isn’t just a vagina. In short – the vagina is the inside, and the vulva is all the bits on the outside which includes; the inner and outer labia, perineum, clitoris, urethra, and vaginal opening. The vagina is a 3- to 6-inch-long muscular canal that runs from your vulva to the cervix, the lower part of the uterus.

Labia Diagram

Labias Come in All Shapes and Sizes.

The labia majora, which are the external lips can vary from around 2.7 to 4.7 inches (7 to 12 cm) in length and the clitoris also ranges from about 0.1 to 1.3 inches (5 to 35 mm) in size but swells and enlarges if a woman is aroused.

Vaginas and Vulvas Can Also Change Colour

When you’re horny, blood rushes to your vulva and vagina. This can make the color of your skin in that area appear darker. Don’t worry though, it’ll go back to its normal shade after sexy time is over.

75% of Women Can’t Orgasm from Penetration Alone

75% of women can’t orgasm from penetration alone, that means only one-quarter of women reliably experience orgasm during intercourse – no matter how big your penis is, no matter how long it lasts, and no matter how the woman feels about the man or the relationship.

This statistic comes from a comprehensive analysis of 33 studies over the past 80 years by Elisabeth Lloyd in her book ‘The Case of the Female Orgasm’ (Harvard University Press).

Regardless of how shocking this low statistic may be for some, there’s actually some people out there who can experience both a vaginal and clitoral orgasm at the same time, also called a “blended orgasm,” which may sound rare but it’s totally possible for some. There are also plenty of perfectly healthy bodies that rarely or never get all the way to orgasm, especially via penetration. Read our article ‘The Female Orgasm and Squirting: The Truths’ to find out more about female orgasms.

Female Orgasms Aren’t What You Think They Are

Most orgasms aren’t earth-shattering and that’s ok (and they’ll probably be A LOT better doing them yourself). However the media and porn’s overly theatrical portrayal of what it looks like to have an orgasm has created an unrealistic standard for what an orgasm should be. The truth is, orgasms come in all shapes and sizes – and that means intense lip-biting, back-arching, or having your soul sucked out of your body doesn’t have to be involved (every time).

Some orgasms will be short and light, while others may feel more powerful and intense – I’m sure this is the same case for men also.

The Size and Location of Your Clitoris Can Matter for Orgasm

Studies have revealed that the anatomy may be key to female orgasm; the reason some people with vaginas have trouble orgasming during penetrative sex could be because of a relatively small clitoris that’s located a bit too far from the vaginal opening. So if you’ve got a small clit that’s relatively high up from your vaginal opening and you don’t orgasm during penetrative sex – that’s probably why.

Is the Female G-Spot a Lie?

According to a recent Cosmo investigation, a team of researchers officially coined the term “G-spot” in the early ’80s; they named the thing, which they described as a “sensitive small bean,” for German researcher Ernst Gräfenberg (yes, a man). And just like that, your most frustrating fake body part was born. Dozens of trials used surveys, pathologic specimens, imaging, and biochemical markers to try to pinpoint the elusive G-spot once and for all.

“I don’t think we have any evidence that the G-spot is a spot or a structure,” says Nicole Prause, PhD, a neuroscientist who studies orgasms and sexual arousal. “I’ve never understood why it was interpreted as some new sexual organ. You can’t standardise a vagina – there is no consistency across women as to where exactly we experience pleasure.”

The orgasm expert Prause continues, “For some women, there is sexual sensitivity where the G-spot is supposed to be. But for others, there’s none. Or it’s to the left. Or it’s in a few places. And that’s kind of the whole point. It’s all okay. It can all feel good.”

Yes Vaginas Can Tear When Giving Birth

Yes, vaginas can tear when giving birth, but it’s actually a really common thing. So common that up to 9 in every 10 first time mothers who have a vaginal birth will experience some sort of tear, graze or episiotomy.

Tears can occur inside the vagina or other parts of the vulva, including the labia. It is however, slightly less common for mothers who have had a vaginal birth before. These ‘injuries’ can be minor tears or a longer cut (called an episiotomy) made intentionally by a healthcare provider when, for example, the baby is positioned feet-first or the delivery needs to happen faster. Scary? Yes. Irreparable? Nope! Your vagina is resilient and due to ample blood supply, actually heals quicker than other parts of the body.

The A-Spot

We’ve all heard of the ‘G-spot’ , but have you heard of the A-spot? Also known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone, the A-spot is believed to be located deep inside the vagina, between the cervix and the bladder.

According to Medical News Today, the A-spot is a relatively new discovery by Malaysian researcher Dr. Chua Chee Ann. In a study, he reported that 10-15 minutes of A-spot stimulation led to instant orgasms and vaginal lubrication in 15 percent of women who reported pain and dryness during sexual intercourse.

There Is No Cherry to ‘Pop’

‘Popping the cherry’ otherwise known as losing your virginity and tearing your hymen, is actually a myth. Some women are born without one, but most people with vaginas are born with a hymen, a thin piece of skin that stretches across part of the vaginal opening. Despite what you may have heard, at no point in your life will this piece of skin ‘pop.’

Hymens often tear before a person ever has penetrative sex, during some unsexy activity like riding a horse or putting in a tampon. But it’s also common for the hymen to tear during sex, in which case a bit of blood is to be expected. Like anything body related, amount of blood etc will vary from person to person. But not having a hymen doesn’t mean you’re not a virgin and that you’ve had sex before – it’s merely a fake construct created by society. You can be a virgin and not have a hymen – for numerous reasons.

Vaginas Aren’t Supposed to Smell of Strawberries

Vaginas aren’t supposed to smell of strawberries, but they are supposed to have a smell. This should be common knowledge by now but it’s not. The bottom line? The vagina contains a highly specialised cult of bacteria that work 24/7 to keep your vaginal pH healthy and balanced and at an optimal level to ward off other hostile bacteria. And like other bacteria, these do have a smell. After all, the vagina self-cleanses, so let it do it’s thing. But if the odor becomes strong, unpleasant, or is accompanied with an unusual discharge, it’s time to see the doctor.

Vaginal Discharge is Totally Normal!

It’s totally normal to see discharge – which may be thin or thick, clear or white-ish – in your underwear at the end of the day (it can vary from person to person). This is the result of your vagina’s cleaning efforts. Cleaning techniques like douching are a bad idea because they can throw off this natural balance, leading to problems like bacterial vaginosis and infection. Discharge also changes throughout your cycle, right before your flow it’s creamier and thicker.

Dr. Boyle for Cosmopolitan says, “The change in your discharge during ovulation creates a hospitable environment for the sperm to travel up to the egg. If it ever itches, burns, smells foul, or looks like cottage cheese, see your gyno.”

Your Vagina Doesn’t ‘Fart’

All women have experienced it at one point or another: that embarrassing yet uncontrollable emission of air from the vagina, which is commonly known as “queefing.” Those little puffs of air that emerge from our lady parts are simply that – trapped air that is being released from the vaginal canal, and can commonly happen during sex if air gets trapped. They are not “farts” in the traditional sense because they are not waste gases, nor do they emit an unpleasant odor. Queefs really aren’t a big deal.

Vaginal Pain

There are two major causes of vaginal pain: Vaginismus, which causes the vaginal muscles to contract involuntarily, which can make it difficult or impossible to have sex, or even use a tampon. Read our article on Vaginismus – which also includes an anonymous confession – here. The other, characterised by vulva pain, burning, or sensitivity/discomfort so intense that direct touch is hard to bear, isVulvodynia. Vulvodynia cannot be linked to a specific cause, but the pain may or may not be triggered by touch and may be felt in one area or across the whole vulva. Us women don’t have it easy!


Too much action in a short period of time may leave you chafed or with a urinary tract infection. Fortunately, drinking extra fluids, cranberry juice in particular, and peeing post-sex can keep a UTI at bay.

Lots of Sex Won’t Stretch it Out.

Lots of sex won’t stretch it out, the vagina is incredibly elastic, so it always returns to its usual tightness after sex. Nor will it shrink if you go through a dry spell. At first, your vaginal muscles may be tense after weeks or month without sex or foreplay, but penetration shouldn’t be painful. You can strengthen it like any other muscle. Your pelvic floor muscles hold your vagina, uterus, rectum, and urethra in place. But doing kegels can strengthen the muscles surrounding your urethral and vaginal openings.

You Can Lift Weights with Your Vagina!!

If you are worried about your vagina potentially having ‘loosened’ then fear not – you can lift weights with your vagina! Have you ever heard of vaginal weightlifting? It is the act of inserting an ‘anchor’ into the vagina that’s attached to a weight on a string and it’s actually a proven way to strengthen your pelvic floor (makes the vagina ‘tighter’). There are also other methods of vaginal weightlifting such as kegels mentioned prior.

Sex and relationship coach Kim Anami is a vocal advocate for the exercise. She says stronger vaginal muscles can make sex last longer and feel better.

Hopefully you have learnt at least one new thing about vaginas through reading this artcle, check out our previous posts on the menu!

Nudity Can Empower Some and Modesty Can Empower Others: NUDES – What About Them?

Sending nudes has been a thing since the beginning of time, and more so since you could e-mail pictures. Nudes go way back, all the way over two thousand years ago in ancient Greece where they literally sculpted real-life nudes into statues. In recent times the naked body has been sexualised more and more, and coming in to the 20th century solidified the evolution of homosapians sex drives and sexual exploration all together. People began encapsulating the human body for not only art, but erotic use too, whether that be between two individuals or to be sold on.

As technology and humans have developed we can now take an immaculate renaissance photos of our bodies anywhere at any time with the click of a button. Like anything, when something becomes more accessible – you’re more likely to do it. Having access to mobile phones with installed cameras with insane quality and social media, it takes less than a minute to take and send a nude. It’s quick, it’s easy – but that’s the problem sometimes, you aren’t thinking about who you send it to. Further down the article will delve more into this.

I’m going to discuss revenge porn, how to protect yourself (more) online, the dangers of sending explicit photos online and the reasons why people do it. Why do you send nudes? Probably the same reason as the next person.

Are You Over 18?

Did you know that if you’re under the age of 18, and you send sexually explicit images of yourself, you can get done with distributing photos of child pornography – even though the images are of yourself?

Child Law Advice states, “In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16. However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act 1978.”

Likewise, the recipient of the image can also get done for being in possession of child pornography if the person in the images is under the age of 18. There’s a great series on BBC iPlayer called ‘Nudes’ about three young people who’s sex lives are shared online and their life is turned upside down after their private content goes public.

The Dangers of Sending Nudes Online

Ultimately most of us do know the dangers of sending nudes online and that is.. They can get out.

It’s a risk any way you look at it because everything online is forever – soon as you post anything – no matter if you delete it or it ‘disappears’ it’s somewhere there on the cloud and someone will be able to access it. The world is a scary place now due to the advancement of technology, thanks to the internet. Nothing seems sacred anymore. This article isn’t to stop you from sending nudes, nor is it saying you should be sending nudes it’s more of a third eye – don’t be ignorant to the possibilities. It’s all well and good thinking we live in a perfect world and you shouldn’t have to worry about these things, but we don’t and you do. You need to protect yourself.

Also, with the slip of your thumb you could end up posting it for everyone to see, or sending to the wrong person by accident – there’s always a risk involved.

So if you do send your significant other – or anybody else for that matter – explicit content just think about a few things before you do, and stay safe. Make sure you trust them, and if you don’t, either tell them you don’t trust them or just point blank refuse. Consent is consent no matter which way you look at it. If you say no, they don’t have the right to question that answer. No means no!

Things to Consider Before Sending Nudes

  • Do you trust this person?
  • Are you sending this nude because you want to? You aren’t being pressured into sending it are you?
  • Are you sending it with your face in? To avoid proof of identity when it comes to sending images, be aware if you have any tattoos/ birthmarks/ or any other significant marks on your body that you can be easily identified by. Therefore, if you do happen to send an explicit image, try to avoid including those. Likewise, your face – try and avoid sending images with your face in as you won’t be able to 100% identify it as you. Therefore if your images do get exposed, there’s no proof ultimately to prove that the content is of you.

What is Revenge Porn?

As it goes, we still have a long way to go on criminalising revenge porn, and I am personally disgusted at how the law handles it. But at least we are getting somewhere. On the 13th April 2015 Section 33 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 came into force. This created a new criminal offence of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress. This is more commonly known as revenge porn. Crucial to the offence are: (a) the lack of consent of the individual appearing in the photograph and film; and (b) the intent to cause that individual distress. The legislation made sharing of such images or films a specific offence in its own right and covered all social media platforms and electronic communication. A person who is found guilty of an offence of sharing sexual or private photographs or videos without consent can be sentenced to up to two years in prison or fined, or both. The punishment should definitely be higher considering the damage it can cause to someone’s livlihood. Revenge porn can destroy someone’s home life, family, relationships, career, future, everything! And no – it’s not their fault for the images being in the hands of the wrong person.

Revenge Porn – What Happens When Private Becomes Public?

Sharp rise in cases of 'revenge porn' | Scotland | The Sunday Times

Did you know revenge porn is illegal in the UK?

What to do if someone threatens to expose your private images – don’t fall into the blackmail. It is illegal. Keep record of all communication between you and your blackmailer. Also, if you choose to make a video of you having sex with someone and it’s to be kept between the two of you – it should be kept between the two of you. If that person consents to the act, they’re not consenting to it being shared as well. Just because you consent to one thing doesn’t mean you consent to whole array of other things. Learn more about consent on my Condoms and Consent article.

This also goes for hacking. Although there can be things to consider before you send an explicit image – revenge porn isn’t your fault. Just because you shared a photo or an intimate moment in confidence with someone, doesn’t mean that you consent to other people being able to see it.

Revenge Porn Laws

The law states that it is not revenge porn if the photograph or video is shared for the purposes of journalism. For example, a private photograph of you could be published in a newspaper as part of a news story if the person who shared the photograph reasonably believed it was in the public interest.

The law also states that it is not an offence for someone to share a photograph or video of you if they believed that it had already been shared or published, with your consent and that you had been paid. For example, if there is a photograph of you on a pornographic website, someone might see it and assume you have consented to it being posted and been paid for the photo. They might then share it with someone else. That is not an offence. However if the person who originally posted the image did so without your consent, they may be guilty of an offence.

Why Do People Send Nudes? Naked is Normal!

Body positivity and body confidence is not anything that should be shunned. Taking nude photos of yourself can increase confidence proportionally, and help with self-esteem and self-acceptance. You may not even be taking nudes to send to anybody else, maybe you take them because you want to feel good. Mood is also a dependent factor on whether someone may or may not want to send/receive nudes. We can’t pretend that sending nudes simply isn’t a thing – because it is – especially in this generation. But not everyone wants to see a dick pic at 7am in the morning – some may, but not all.

However, if you’ve ever been subject to revenge porn abuse, you may have a distorted version on the topic of taking and sending nudes now. Just because one person has betrayed your trust doesn’t mean that everyone in your life will behave in that way. Learn to love yourself again, and your body – in its full glory. If you don’t send nude pictures for whatever reason – that is your prerogative and you don’t need to explain yourself. Consent is the main thing in any sexual scenario and you have the right to your own privacy.

Likewise for those who want to embrace their nakedness online and in a public fashion you’re also well within your rights to do that, just bare in mind the dangers and risks that can surround in doing so. As they saying goes, “Nudity can empower some and modesty can empower others.” So whether you choose to send nudes or not – it doesn’t make a difference – we are all human and we have needs. Some want to send nudes, others don’t – that’s fine. Just respect other people’s decisions and if someone trusts you enough to send you explicit images or record a sex tape with you – don’t be a dick.

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EXPLAINED: The Spit Fetish

After reading through various disturbing articles about men with a saliva fetish requesting women on the street spit in jars, filming it, and later swallowing it and then (sometimes) getting arrested – I came to the realisation that the spit fetish is a lot different to a saliva fetish. The spit fetish is all about the dominant and submissive role partaken in BDSM whereas the saliva fetish is more about the messy and wet side of things I guess? Those sort of instances would be classed as more of a paraphilia, as the women getting involved don’t benefit off – consensually or non-consensually – doing the act. Defined by Encyclopedia, “Paraphilias are no longer understood as dysfunctional deviations from the normal, as the sexual perversions once were, but are now defined as behaviors centered on sexual arousal with objects or situations where affection may not be reciprocal or returned.” A saliva paraphilia is called Salirophilia.

The Spit? FetISH?! Is what you’re probably thinking right now. Yes, the spit fetish. It’s a part of the BDSM spectrum, branching off as one of the many fetishes amongst it. BDSM is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism. But you may like spit more than you think, like everything on the BDSM spectrum – it has levels. Do you use a bit of spit to help lubrication with masturbation? Or to make the blowjob that bit more slippery? Then you probably have a bit of a spit fetish.

What Is a Spit Fetish?

What is a spit fetish? – When a person gets aroused by being spit on or spitting on someone else. The person spitting is usually the dominant and the person being spat on, the submissive.

Is a spit fetish the same as a saliva fetish? – No, although both are based on the same subject, a saliva fetishist gets off on the feel, look and sensation of the saliva on their skin. Someone with a spit fetish likes the humiliation aspect of being spit on or being the person doing the spitting.

Why Do People Like Involving Spit During Play?

The act of being spat in your mouth, or being spat on your face/ body is similar to the feeling of cum in a sense, which could also be another reason why someone desires to be spat on during intercourse.

As for the person doing the spitting, it can be a dominant thing – the commonly “you’re below me” attitude that is associated with spitting – a degradation and humiliation aspect. Also, the appearance of the spit crossed with make-up, making someone look a hot mess. Again, that’s a dominant thing. In addition, if the partner is tied up, with spit on their face falling down and they’re unable to do anything about it, it could also be a huge turn on because they are essentially solely relying on you and trusting you and devoting themselves regardless of what unnecessary disturbances may come in the way – like spit falling off your eyelash making you partially blind as you’re getting fucked, but it’s all good!

But jokes aside – don’t get spit in your partners eye as it will sting, go bloodshot, and could create room for infection. So… avoid the eyes!

Some History

The Urantia Book claims that (historically) saliva was a potent fetish. Apparently, “devils could be driven out by spitting on a person” and “for an elder or superior to spit on one was the highest compliment”. Furthermore, it could perhaps be argued that saliva plays a (direct or indirect) role in a lot sexual behaviour that raises the question of how “deviant” saliva fetishes actually are.

The Difference Between the Saliva & Spit Fetish

Many different bodily substances have formed the basis of paraphilic and/or fetishistic behaviour including urine (urophilia), faeces (coprophilia), blood (menophilia and clinical vampirism), and breast milk (lactophilia). However, one bodily fluid that has not really been the subject of scientific research is saliva in relation to saliva fetishes and spit fetishes. And there is actually a difference between the two.

The saliva fetishists don’t really appear to share much in common with spit fetishists, as that appears to be more a part of sadomasochistic sexual activity.

Those with a saliva fetish are turned on by qualities in the spit—it’s lubricating silkiness, its wetness, its scent, or whose mouth it comes from. They like to rub their hands, face, mouth, and genitals in the substance for the tactile sensations and the essence of the saliva donor.

Those with a spit fetish on the other hand have a different reason—they want to be spit on to be degraded or humiliated by the object of their affection. It’s still about receiving the essence, but the trigger of arousal is in the act of humiliation, not in the warm slimy feeling of the spit itself. This is often called spitting domination.

The Link to BDSM

If you have a desire to be spat on, this is usually associated with you seeking domination from the spitter/ having the need to be sexually humiliated – making the person being spat on, the submissive.

Most of the online literature focused on spitting fetishes (as opposed to saliva fetishes) appears to be rooted in BDSM and is usually referred to as ‘spitting domination’. The dominant partner may spit onto their submissive partner’s face and/or mouth.

If your kink involves aspects of humiliation and degradation, spitting can be the perfect addition to that kind of dynamic. There’s something about being spat on that really enhances the feelings of submission for a lot of people.

Many of the online articles about spitting fetishes see parallels between the act of spitting and the act of ejaculation – particularly in relation to ‘facials’ (i.e. the act of men ejaculating onto someone’s face) and the practice of bukkake (i.e. the act of several/many men simultaneously ejaculating onto someone’s face and/or body).

Compared to all other paraphilic and fetishistic behaviours concerning sexual arousal to human bodily fluids, there is significantly less written about saliva and spitting fetishes. Whether academic and/or clinical research is needed is – at present – debatable.

It’s also extremely important to negotiate this with a partner before you begin – like anything – as many people really won’t enjoy this kind of play. There is an obvious distinction between a spitting and saliva fetish which I hope has now been more brought to light. Spitting is related to BDSM and saliva is the context within the feel, texture and outright appearance of the saliva itself on your lovers body. Have fun, be consensual and play dirty and safe.