When you're in your 20s, a lot of people have a lot of advice about all the formative dating experiences you'll have, and the impact they'll have on your romantic future. You know — the people you'll date in your 20s, the totally questionable people you'll date in your 20s, the Game of Thrones characters you'll date in your 20s. All these articles are great, but to me, they dodge the most important question: What about the wild and varied array of genitals that you'll meet in your 20s? What can you learn from the penises and vulvas you encounter in the wild during your untethered, formative years? And how can you put that knowledge to use for the rest of your life?
I believe that we stand to gain a lot knowledge about sex, dating, and life by thinking closely about the specific sets of genitals that swing into our lives and groins when we're in our 20s. And although I can't personally weigh in on the vulva issue, I am enough of a lay expert (ahem) in penises to pull together a definitive listing of the nine penises you'll meet (if you're into dicks and kinda casual about premarital sex) in your 20s.
In the same way that the American Film Institute lays out 100 films that you need to see to truly have a film education, here are nine penises that you need to see in order to truly learn about life and love (and also penises).
1. The Continental
Defining Characteristics: Foreskin, a certain je ne sais quoi.
Most Common Reaction: "Je ne ai jamais vu un ceux d'avant!" ("I've never seen one of those before!")
Most Often Found Attached To: Someone who was born outside the U.S., or someone who was born in the U.S. whose parents are into reiki and hemp-based shampoos.
How It Will Enrich Your Life: There's a lot of needless fear of foreskins out there, usually from people who have never seen one in real life and thus speak of them in strange, hushed tones, as if they were an urban legend like the Chupacabra. But once you tangle with the Continental, you'll learn that all the schoolyard myths about uncircumcised penises are a lie. They're not unclean, they look exactly the same as circumcised penises once they're erect, and frankly, they're way more sensitive to handjobs, et al. With U.S. circumcision rates falling each decade, you might as well learn to get comfy with our perma-turtlenecked friends. And hey, with the Continental, even if you've never been abroad, at least you can bone like you have!
2. The Napoleon
Defining Characteristics: A lack of stature, accompanied by a real chip on the shoulder/dick.
Most Common Reaction: "Please stop asking me about the penis size of every other guy I have dated."
Most Often Found Attached To: Someone who has been bragging to you about the size of their penis. How It Will Enrich Your Life: The Napoleon isn't just about a small penis — it's about a lifestyle, one built around aggressively overcompensating for a small penis in every way possible. Going a few rounds with a Napoleon will teach you that, despite the bad buzz, small penises are actually fine. What truly determines a sexual experience is the partner attached to them. And the guy attached to the Napoleon has dedicated his whole life to trying to make up for his diminutive junk, from his rad car to his attempts to push your legs behind your ears in bed just to let you know that he is a sophisticated lover. The Napoleon sucks in bed, and banging one will teach you that this has little to do with the equipment, and everything to do with the operator.
3. The Curveball
Defining Characteristics: A slight list to the left or right when erect, like a Leaning Tower of Boner.
Most Common Reaction: "Huh! Does that hurt at all?"
Most Often Found Attached To: Any penis-haver around.How It Will Enrich Your Life: Though a serious curve (called Peyronie's Disease) can be painful for the penis-haver, a small curve is a fun reminder that penises vary in all sorts of interesting ways, just like vulvas. As a friend once told me, "Curved penises just make you a little more interesting, like having a faint British accent." I have also heard some unconfirmed reports that certain types of penile curves can be especially sexually stimulating. If you have personal experience, let me know, and possibly send a detailed drawing.
4. The Undecided Voter
Defining Characteristics: Confusion. It is about to have an orgasm, or does it need about 15 more minutes of banging? Does it want to have intercourse, or does it just want to lie down and call it an early night?
Most Common Reaction: "We could, you know, just cuddle if you want."
Most Often Found Attached to: Guys who are feeling nervous, guys who are on some medication (or "medication") that delays ejaculation as a side effect.How It Will Enrich Your Life: If the Undecided Voter in your life is attached to someone you really care about, time spent with this lil' flip-flopper can help you remember that sex isn't a super serious life-or-death situation during which everything has to go perfectly. Sometimes, it's OK to call for a recess, go eat some corn chips, and try again in an hour. If the Undecided Voter is part of a random hookup, it's a good opportunity to practice asserting yourself. Not game to keep trying over and over and over again? Tired of having your vag pounded for the 45th straight minute because he's "almost there"? Speak up! Don't beat around the bush, and don't let the Undecided Voter beat around your bush, either.
5. The David
Defining Characteristics: A gorgeously even tone. A smooth, almost silken texture. A form so beautiful, you'll swear you saw this penis carved in marble on your 8th grade class field trip to the art museum.
Most Common Reaction: "Are you sure you want to have sex with me? Shouldn't you be having sex with a princess or Penelope Cruz or something?"
Most Often Found Attached To: Anyone! There's no way to tell just by looking at someone, which is part of what makes life such a thrilling adventure! How It Will Enrich Your Life: For one brief moment, when you first touch your partner's David, you will be convinced that everything that has ever happened to you in life was all a part of God's plan, which was to bring this amazing penis into your life. The David will bring a smile into your heart on days when you get splashed by a bus and everyone at the bank was rude to you and you accidentally got a grande decaf. The world's not such a terrible place after all, is it?
6. The Kraken
Defining Characteristics: Enough girth and length that it could feasibly be used in place of a rolling pin, doorstop, or medium-sized paperweight.
Most Common Reaction: "Is this a prank? Are you filming me?"Most Often Found Attached To: A guy who acts like it is totally normal to ask you to shove this monster into one of your orifices, like you're about to play some kind of sexual version of Chubby Bunny. How It Will Enrich Your Life: People talk a big game about huge dicks. Oh, "the bigger the better" this! Oh, "size of a Chipotle burrito" that! Well, a few hours with the Kraken will help you make up your own mind. Put your money where your vag is! Do you believe the big dick hype? Or does the prospect of trying to shove this fleshy bowling pin into a hole remind you of some kind of unsolvable high school math equation? Either way, now you know!
7. The Double-Take
Defining Characteristics: A mole, a growth, a weird thing that looks like a cut, but maybe it could be a birth mark and I'm just being paranoid?
Most Common Reaction: "That can't be a ... I mean, should I stop and ask? No, that would be rude ... but ... is that really supposed to be there? Oh my god, did that mole just move?!"
Most Often Found Attached To: Anyone! Double-Takes are hiding in the pants of all your friends and neighbors, people. Stay ever-vigilant! How It Will Enrich Your Life: Dealing with a Double-Take helps you break the ice on one of the most difficult sexual tasks in the world: Asking an awkward question about your new partner's genitals. Yes, yes, I know. It is unilaterally awful. But it is also necessary to protect your sexual health. Maybe that thing that looks like an open sore is actual just a smudge of spilled Nutella. But you need to ask. Riding a Double-Take and not asking is also a lesson in how important it is to ask your partner. Because if you don't ask about that weird bump, you'll spend the following weeks obsessively Google Image searching "genital warts" — which, trust me, is 10,000 times worse than 30 awkward seconds discussing a skin tag.
8. The Grower
Defining Characteristics: The ability to grow massively in size in seconds, like those little pellets they used to make that would turn into big foam dinosaurs after you dropped them in water.
Most Common Reaction: "Oh ... great!"
Most Often Found Attached To: Someone who is really opposed to letting you take off his pants until he is fully erect.How It Will Enrich Your Life: The Grower doesn't teach any specific life lesson. He's just a classic early adulthood experience — like decorating your first apartment, or watching a friend get married for the first time. You are now part of the coven of Fully Sexual Adulthood! We'll have to get you a commemorative plaque.
9. The Vaginal Orgasm-Giver
Defining Characteristics: The ability to give consistent vaginal orgasms to everyone who comes near it.
Most Common Reaction: "OooooooooOOOOOOOOoooooooOOOOOOOoooooooooo!"
Most Often Found Attached To: Two AA batteries.How It Will Enrich Your Life: Like the Loch Ness Monster, the Vaginal Orgasm-Giver is probably a beautiful myth. But, also like the Loch Ness Monster, some of us still hold out a shred of hope. Because wouldn't it just be so cool if it was real? The odds are against it, and it's foolish to build your life around hoping to see one. But keeping your eyes peeled can't hurt, right? And, like the Loch Ness Monster, if you have any compelling footage proving that this creature is real, you have a solemn duty to create a SyFy channel special about it. But also, if you've actually found one of these, what the hell are you doing sitting around reading about dicks on the Internet, you maniac?!
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