Is the penis a muscle?

The penis is a vital organ

Is the penis a muscle?

Everything you should know about the functioning, structure and anatomy human penis.

The structure of the penis is more complex than you think. 

The penis is an organ that plays a vital role in the sexual functioning. However, it is often mistaken as a muscle. In this article we'll cover the basic questions e.g. what is the structure of the penis? How it is able to erect and flex? Is it an organ or a muscle? First, you must understand the difference between organ and muscle.

Organ vs muscle

What is an organ?

An organ is a group of tissues that work together to produce particular body functions. It combines different tissues, e.g., muscles, blood vessels, connective tissue, fats, nerves etc. Examples are stomach, heart, liver etc.

What is a muscle?

The muscles are the soft tissues composed of elongated cells (the muscle fibres) that contract and relax to produce body movements. Examples are the skeletal muscles that move our bones, the cardiac muscles that beat our heart and the smooth muscles that build our internal organs. The human body has more than 600 different muscles.

Penis, a powerful erectile tissue

No motion in the body can occur without muscles. Can your penis move? Obviously yes. It is the motion of the penis that helps us in sexual intercourse. If it can move, it means it has muscles. But it doesn't mean it only consists of muscles. The penis has the following structures in it.

Glans penis

It is the mushroom-shaped head of the penis. A sheath of skin surrounds it called a prepuce. This prepuce is removed in the circumscribed men. It is a sensitive part and consists of loose connective tissue and elastic fibres.

Corpus cavernosum

These 2 columns of tissues run along the side of the penis throughout the penis length. The corpora cavernosa is sponge-like and forms the bulk of the penis. During an erection, blood fills in this tissue to cause an erection. The erectile failure is mostly linked to these tissues.

Corpus spongiosum

It is another column of spongy tissue located under the corpus cavernosum. It is also filled with blood during erection and is responsible for keeping the external urethral orifice open that runs through it as it surrounds the urethra.

Besides these erectile tissues, the blood vessels (arteries and veins including deep dorsal vein), lymphatics and nerves are also present inside the penis.

Does the penis have any muscles?

So, the penis has no muscles at all? Wait a minute. It is able to move (at least during the erectile condition). It means there should be some muscles. The human penis does has some muscles, but these muscles do not cover the length of the penis and are present in the peripheries.

Their location suits their function, that is, supporting the erection. The penis has the following muscles inside it;

Ischiocavernosus muscles

It is a bilateral muscle in the perineal region and helps in attaining and maintaining an erection.

Bulbospongiosus muscles

It is present in the perineum, i.e., between the penis and the anus. These muscles surround the penis base and help in ejaculation and urination.

How can the penis flex?

You might be interested to know how your (or your partner's) penis can flex. It is the work of these two muscles present around that that allows it to move and turn. Its flexes are not as powerful as your biceps and triceps, but such powerful flexes are not required at all.

After all, you are not expected to perform magic tricks with your penis. You only need it for sex and urination; these muscles and elastic tissues generate enough power for these functions.

Can you build it through exercises like other muscles?

Can you develop your penis just like biceps and triceps in your arms? The study of the structure of the penis must have made everything clear. Since, no muscle runs in the shaft of the penis, you should expect little from exercise. You can expect to strengthen the muscles, but not the overall penis.

Penis strengthening exercises

Some options at the table, e.g., Kegel exercise, can improve blood flow and erections. These exercises prevent urinary inconsistency and other pelvic floor problems by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. The Jelqing is another such exercise. It involves massaging and stretching the penis. It has its origin in old Arabian traditions and can help in erection problems.

Size of penis doesn't matter much

However, any hope to make the penis bigger through exercise is overly optimistic. But why to go for such exercises? Only you and your partner are concerned with the penis, and no one is likely to see it as your biceps and triceps. Moreover, the size doesn't matter in the bed unless you have erectile dysfunction or other serious issues.

It is the love chemistry between you and your partner that does matter more. Developing a good understanding with your partner can be more helpful. Given the high-level hype created about penis size, it is likely that you are among the people who are overestimating what the average or large-sized penis is. The average-sized penis is 5-5.5 inches.

Final words

So, we can conclude that penis is not a muscle. It is an organ having multiple tissues (skin, spongy erectile tissues, connective tissues, muscular tissues, blood vessels, nerves) that work together to produce erection and urination. The penile skin is enriched with nerves that produce sexual sensations.

Bottom line

The penis is no doubt very vital. Human penis is a complex organ with many structures and tissues. At least two muscles are present in the penis that generate enough power to allow you to have sex and urinate. However, it lacks the powerful muscles like the biceps and triceps you can build for display. However, you don't need any such display. Only one function of the penis, the urination, is critical for life. Even a flaccid penis with weaker muscles and abnormal curvature will be enough for it.

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