My role


Men know more about ignitions than erections

As new research suggest men know more about their cars than their own tackle, the MHF has teamed up with Lloydspharmacy Online Doctor to produce an easy introduction to sexual health for men. Ready for download right now.

Sexual Health PDFThe new study by Lloydspharmacyfound that while nine in 10 men are confident they can locate parts of a car engine, only half can identify the main components of their manhood. Of 1500 men interviewed:

  • 90% said they could locate a car’s oil dipstick and
  • 89% a radiator, just
  • 6% were able to accurately identify all the common causes of ED.

Many had the causes of erection problems (ED) all wrong.

  • 32% of men (almost a third) thought that wearing skinny jeans could lead to ED
  • 9% thought that too much masturbation was a cause.
  • 8% of men thought that hot weather could lead to ED
  • 3% blamed spicy food.

All incorrect.

Bits missing?

When it came to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), over a third (38%) of men were unable to correctly spot all the key symptoms. Asked about the common symptoms of an STI, 3% of people answered ‘penis decreases in size’ and 5% suggested ‘dehydration’ .

Basic biology was challenging for some. Only 52% of men - barely half - could identify all the parts of the penis. Indeed, 8% thought the vas deferens were found in your ear. Younger men fared worst with only 44% of men aged 18-24 able to correctly label their tackle. (If you don’t know where your bits are, click here.) 

The launch of the new guide comes after the latest Health Protection Agency (HPA) report showed a 2% rise in new STI diagnoses from 2010 to 2011 - with young heterosexuals (15-24 years old) and men who have sex with men at highest risk. 

Dr Tom Brett, sexual health expert at Lloydspharmacy Online Doctor, said: ‘We want men to have a better understanding of sexual health problems so that they can reduce their risk and be able to identify an issue before it becomes more serious. Erectile Dysfunction affects thousands of men in the UK and this can be down to a number of different reasons; often the problem is psychological, perhaps arisen from a lack of confidence over one moment of failed performance, or it can be as a result of your health or lifestyle. And when it comes to STIs often people think that you need to have sex with lots of people to be at risk, however just one brief encounter with someone who has an STI may be enough.

‘By working with the Men’s Health Forum to raise awareness of men’s sexual health issues and launching this new educational resource we’re hoping that men will look at their penis in a new light, learning a bit more about how this fascinating organ works and arming themselves with the knowledge they need to take better care of their sexual health.’

  • If you have any concerns about any STI, see your GP or go to a sexual health clinic or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic. If you’re happy to pay,, accredited by the Care Quality Commission, offers online consultations and can send you an STI test in the post.
  • More on STIs and the penis.

Page created on December 7th, 2012

Page updated on December 7th, 2012