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The Curvy Science of Off-Kilter Dicks

Have a peen with lean? You’re ahead of the curve. Whether it points up, down, left or right, there’s a way to ride that ride

When asked to describe the curve of his penis, Nick, a 24-year-old musician from L.A., dubs it “northwesterly-facing.” Though it veers off to the side like it’s making a left-hand turn off a highway, he, like many men, has come a long way toward accepting its lean. “I’ve definitely grown into it,” he tells me. “In the past, before I was sexually active, I felt self-conscious. When I was younger, I tried to turn it [straight], which was hard and kind of hurt.” He attributes his embarrassment to a lack of diversity and representation in the porn industry, but since he’s grown up, he’s realized that “most dicks curve in some way.” 

Indeed they do. According to a 2018 study, 19 percent of men have some sort of bend in their penis (though researchers suspect the number is actually much higher as “bend” and “curve” are subjective terms). Research conducted in the U.S. and Germany also found that the shape of American and German dicks differed from their brothers down under in Australia, suggesting that there’s a whole cornucopia of curvy dicks out there to be had. 

Society has really come to acknowledge and appreciate these meandering members, too. Last March, Megan Thee Stallion released an ode to her favorite “hooked” dong shape, which spawned a thousand TikToks and Twitter takes in agreement. This, compounded with the enthusiasm over Safaree Samuel’s situation — which one woman referred to as a penile “elbow” — makes it clear: Curvy dicks are in. 

But what determines curvature, or lack thereof? 

As far as genetics go, penis shape isn’t handed down strictly from father-to-child. Fathers and their children likely share similar members, but there’s no guarantee where the apple will fall as a mother’s genetic material and parental ancestry also come into play. As to how the penis evolved into its current form, some urologists hypothesize that dicks have grown over time to fit the vagina. This would account for their relatively large girth (especially in relation to other primates). 

From an anatomical standpoint, Karan Rajan, a surgeon, educator and lecturer at Imperial College London, explains how curvature comes about. In a viral TikTok video, he breaks down exactly which components of the penis dictate a “pork sword bend.”

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According to Rajan, it’s the length of the shaft in relation to the length of the penis’ crura (the hot-dog-bun-like erectile tissue that sits at the root of the penis) that determines either an upward or downward curve. When the penis has a longer shaft and a shorter crura, the penis bends down. When the ratios are reversed, the penis bends skyward (and delivers that infamous G-spot lovin’ uppercut). A left or right swerve depends on the length of each side of the crura cradling the pubic bone. Rajan is quick to note that an excessive curve in any direction — 30 degrees or more —  is likely a sign of Peyronie’s disease, a penis problem which results in bent, painful erections. Peyronie’s, or penile fibrosis, is caused by an excess of scar tissue and is often the result of overexertion or injury. While many men who have it can still have sex, some serious cases can result in erectile dysfunction and necessitate treatment. 

The fact that Peyronie’s is most often acquired and not congenital might indicate that the shape of a penis can be altered. But this would be an incorrect assumption — techniques such as jelqing or stretching can lead to a buildup of even more scar tissue and result in the desensitization or damage of a most delicate organ. And the penis’ status as an organ is worth restating: Although the penis is made up of smooth muscular tissue, it cannot be called “a muscle,” and therefore cannot be sculpted to order like a glute or bicep. Unlike skeletal muscular tissue, which can grow with specific wear-and-tear (think weightlifting), unsupervised “exercise” of the penis isn’t recommended. 

And anyway, why change what Mother Nature gave you? Bobby, a 35-year-old amateur porn actor in Miami with a downward-facing dong, says it’s all about perspective. “No matter how bad you think you have it, there are people out there, largely dudes, who think you have a big hog,” he says. He believes that unlike the days before amateur porn, dicks of all shapes and sizes are now seen and celebrated. 

To wit, society at large does seem to have recognized that certain angles can be preferable for certain sexy things. “I feel like a lot of people want their dick to be perfectly straight, but for fucking or blowing it’s probably better to have it curved,” says Nick (though what counts as “better” is a matter of personal opinion). 

A slight upward curve makes for rubbing against the G-spot in missionary and cowgirl much easier,” says The O-Man, an anonymous sex expert on posture, fascia and musculature. The advantages aren’t limited to heterosexual sex, though — depending on the position, a curved penis can also hit the prostate with ease. 

For this purpose, card-carrying members of the upward-curve club will reap the benefits of missionary, while those whose dicks slope down might prefer doggy-style. This isn’t to say, though, that north or south are the only ways to go. With a bit of creativity, lefties, righties and all the gradients in-between can tap sensitive spots; it just takes a bit of imagination. “Positioning is just as important as your dick throwing good curveballs,” The O-Man argues. 

As for oral, Nick has his preferences. “It’s hard to blow a big dick, but it’s even harder to deep-throat a perfectly straight dick, which hits the back of the throat,” he says. What’s easier, in his humble experience, is a peen with a bit of lean. As long as the curvature of the dick matches the curvature of the throat, the giver should be able to take more of it in their mouth — it just takes some experimenting to see which positions maximize which kinds of curves. 

Still, The O-Man points out that it there doesn’t always need to be such a laser-focus on the shape of a dick, especially when it comes to heterosexual sex. “It’s interesting that everyone’s always obsessed with the size and curve of the penis instead of the architecture of the lady’s pelvis,” he says. “It still puts the impetus for women’s orgasms or on dick curves instead of the combined effort.” 

This suggests that everyone, regardless of size or shape, plays on an equal field when the goal is pleasure. There are infinite ways to overcome one’s genetic predispositions in the sheets, and for those especially worried about their dick shape, The O-Man has a few final words of advice: “You have an entire body you can use; your curvaceous dick should just be a part of your repertoire.” 

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