16 Fascinating Things You Never Knew About The Male Body
There are still plenty of things the world needs to learn about humans, in terms of health issues, mental wellness, and how our bodies work. But the more we can talk about what we already know, the more in tune we can all be. So let's pause to consider a few fascinating facts about the male body, that you may not already know.
This includes information about erectile dysfunction and why it happens, the fact men have G spots, why they always seem to feel hot — even when it's freezing cold outside — and even info about "male PMS."
The more we learn about all of the above, the deeper understanding we'll have of each other. For example, "it is vital that men and women know they can experience the same issue differently (think female vs. male heart attacks)," wellness advocate Fiona Gilbert tells Bustle. But it also doesn't hurt to talk about these things, and recognize how often we're the same.
It can also help us be health advocates. "Knowing certain facts about the male body will allow men (and women) to look out for certain signs they might not be aware of, so both [genders] can start being healthier," Gilbert says. Here are some health signs and symptoms, as well as interesting facts to know about the male body, according to experts.
1. Men Have A G Spot
Men — just like women — have a G spot. And when it's stimulated, it can help them experience more pleasure during sex, and even reach orgasm, Katie Ziskind, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
2. They Gain Muscle Quickly
While anyone can gain muscle if they want to, many men are able to gain muscle faster, Ziskind says. This is all thanks to their higher levels of testosterone.
3. They Stay Warm Easily
Ever wonder how men can power through freezing cold days in nothing but a T-shirt? As Ziskind says, it's due to the fact they may have more muscle, and thus a lower resting body temperature than women, which helps keep them warm.
4. They Can Have Speedy Metabolisms
Men tend to have a faster metabolism, Ziskind says. They naturally burn more energy per day due to their lean muscle tissue, even when they're just sitting around.
5. Penises Are Shaped That Way For A Reason
"Although it’s still speculated by scientists, many researchers believe the unique shape and pronounced ridge of the head of the penis is no accident," Samantha Morrison, a health and wellness expert at Glacier Wellness, tells Bustle.
Looking back at our ancient ancestors, researchers think the shape of the penis helped extract competing male's sperm, Morrison says, thus increasing the chances of successful reproduction.
6. Men Can Lactate
Since men are born with mammary glands, they're technically able to lactate. "However, producing milk ultimately requires a significant spike in prolactin, the hormone responsible for lactation," Morrison says. "Because this hormone is centered in the pituitary gland, any disturbance to it can trigger lactation, including a tumor, medication, and starvation."
7. Men Can Have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction may seem like a health issue reserved for women, since it's often associated with giving birth. But men can experience problems in this area, too.
"While the symptoms are fairly similar to female pelvic floor dysfunction it is different enough that most people do not make that immediate connection," Gilbert says. Symptoms include pain and discomfort during sex, dripping after urination, incontinence, lower back pain, and sexual dysfunction.
8. Erectile Dysfunction Can Be A Red Flag
If a man is experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), there could be any number of reasons why, including impending health issues.
"Heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood sugar can all cause ED," Dr. Judson Brandeis tells Bustle. "Finding and treating the cause(s) of your ED can help your overall health and wellbeing."
9. Many Health Issues Can Lead To ED
According to Dr. Brandeis, some of the health issues that can contribute to ED include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, smoking, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol.
10. Men Of Any Age Can Have ED
While you might think ED only happens to older men, young men can experience it, too. As Dr. Brandeis says, "Approximately 30 million men in the United States have ED. ED is more common in older men, but can happen at almost any age — even to those who have never had issues with sexual function before."
11. Nitric Oxide Aids In Erections
When a man isn't aroused, his penis will be soft and limp. But during sexual arousal, a chain reaction is set into motion that leads to an erection.
"During sexual arousal, nerves release chemicals called neurotransmitters, in this case Nitric Oxide (NO), that increase arterial blood flow into the penis," Dr. Brandeis says. "The 'smooth muscle' in the erection chambers relaxes, which lets blood enter [the] penis under pressure and makes [it] firm, resulting in an erection."
12. There's A Disease That Can Make The Penis Bend
This disease, called Peyronie's disease, causes plaques (or flat scar tissue) to form under the skin of the penis, Dr. Brandeis says. It can cause pain, as well also other symptoms, including a bent penis during an erection.
"These plaques make the penis shorter and less flexible, and typically force the penis to curve upwards when it stiffens," Dr. Brandeis says. "Peyronie’s Disease is likely caused by minor injury to the penis."
13. Men Have Thick Skin
14. Men Can Get "PMS"
While men don't have PMS or periods in the same way women do, they can experience PMS-like symptoms. "Although it's less pronounced than in women," Myra says. "Men can suffer irritability, fatigue, stomach cramps and even hunger due to hormonal changes."
15. Men Lose Collagen At A Slower Pace
Men lose collagen levels in their face at a slower pace than women as they get older, Myra says, which can result in men and women experiencing the visible process of aging differently.
16. Men See Fewer Shades Of Color
Compared to women, men may see fewer shades of color due to the fact they have fewer retinal cones in their eyes. "This is because retinal cones are on the X chromosome, which men only have one of," Myra says. "Men, however, have more testosterone in their visual cortexes, meaning they sense brightness better than women." Fascinating, right?
Being aware of these things can teach us so much about each other, in terms of how our bodies work, which in turn can make us that more knowledge about health overall.