real life

Science says men have been shafted of the penis bone most mammals have, and it's all our fault.

“I wonder what those scientists have been up to lately?” I hear you ponder.

Thank god you asked, because those lab coat wearing guys and gals have been very busy doing some super important scientific research and have finally nailed down the reason men’s boners don’t ~actually~ have bones in them.


What…were you expecting something a little more…seminal?

Apparently, most other male mammals have a penis bone – the technical term is baculum, but that’s not nearly as fun to say. For example, the walrus has a 60cm baculum, while a marmoset’s measures 2mm. But in us homo sapiens, it is completely absent.

Scientists have long held the little-known baculum as one of the most diverse bones in existence. So a group of researchers set out to understand the penis bone’s evolution by pinpointing its presence in mammals through history. The findings have come out in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society. 

It turns the bone has existed in mammals for 95 million years and primates for half of that time, but human males cocked it all up and “lost” theirs because of a little thing called monogamy.

Nice one, guys. Commitment is officially the ultimate boner killer.

Researchers say the baculum helps male mammals “last longer”, which is quite helpful in the wild animal kingdom when you’re trying to stop other male creatures from interrupting you mid-coitus, and poking in to impregnate your mate instead. The bone attaches at the tip of the penis to provide, ahem, structural support.


The proportionately longer the baculum, the longer the sex. Although it should be said that science defines “prolonged intromission” as anything longer than three minutes, which is a bit of a problem in itself.


Our homo erectus ancestors figured out that sex could be a) pretty darn pleasurable for both parties and b) monogamous, so their baculum vanished into thin air.

And by ‘vanished’ I mean a very slow and steady evolution that began about 1.9 million years ago.

The theory is that in monogamous relationships, the male doesn’t need to spend a long time penetrating the female, because there is no competition — she is not likely to be leapt upon by other males.

Yes, the development of committed, loving relationships caused the hard-on to go from bone-filled, to bone-less.

Any dudes who have a problem with that? Well, they can just suck it up… Or harden up.

Listen: Alain de Botton talks about life and how our anxiety about dying.