Illustration by Dave van Patten

The Penis is an Amazingly Resilient Body Part

And everything else we learned about the male anatomy and psyche this year

It’s been said — maybe from within our own ranks most vehemently — that we’re a little too focused on penis coverage. Broken penises. Newly circumcised penises. Newly uncircumcised penises. Pig penises. Lost penises. Nationally broadcast penises. Idle penises. And freshly awake penises.

But even we know that man is not penis alone.

There’s also the matter of his testicles.

We kid, we kid.

If we’re being serious, all male anatomy fascinates us. Never more so than how it looks to the guy to whom it belongs — and the lengths he goes to make sure that the world sees what he sees (or doesn’t) when he looks in the mirror. Whether that means taking to Instagram to show off how he’s gone from super weak to swole over the course of high school, running every evening on Miami Beach with a Forrest Gump-like flock of followers in tow or jamming his cheeks full of implants to obtain the jawline of what everyone agrees (no matter the culture) is that of a real man. (Just so long as it doesn’t involve bacon-flavored whiskey-infused deodorant or flip-flops.)

To us, however, health extends beyond the body and into the mind, where the new aspiration as far as we can tell is finding mental equilibrium and balance among three competing interests for a guy’s time and sanity — his career, his personal life and his identity outside of his job and relationships. Not being able to square those things can lead to some funky decision-making, including joining a cult that only Fabio can save you from.

Though, in fairness, the quest to get the mind right has taken equally unique turns. Both in terms of science (e.g., this researcher is experimenting with molly as a means of addressing social anxiety among those with autism or this place in South Korea that stages funerals for the suicidal to help them realize how many people they have to live for), and on a personal level (e.g., this Canadian hobo who jumps on freight trains to clear his head when life starts to be too much).

That’s why we believe that just about anything is worth trying once—from brain-sensing headbands to over-the-counter tryptophan to colonoscopies — if it can provide even the tiniest bit of chill.

The Best of Our 2016 Body + Mind Coverage: