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Surreal
09-07-2004, 10:13 AM
I happened to run across the following quote from Dr. Tim Birkhead, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Sheffield, in the following article:

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:wGwr4fQ8_coJ:news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp%3Fstory%3D554731+%22SURVIVAL+OF+THE+BIGGEST%22+Tim+Birkhead+&hl=en

"Penis length in humans generally varies from 10-20cm (erect), but there is a tribe in Africa in which the male member is much longer, and its owners tie it into a loose knot while walking."

Is this quote accurate? If so, what is the name of this particular tribe so I run a Google search on it??

From some experiments I ran over the weekend with a kielbasa, I don't see how it's possible to tie a penis into a knot unless the length-to-diameter ratio is at least 15:1. Therefore, in order for this to be true, I suspect that this tribe must accomplish this feat by attaching weights to their penises for long periods of time, increasing its length but decreasing the diameter.

What's the straight dope?

Thanks.

Rick
09-07-2004, 10:17 AM
::: singing:::
Can you tie it in a knot?
Can you tie it in a bow?
Can you toss it over your shoulder
like a continental soldier?
::: leaves room:::

Mangetout
09-07-2004, 10:23 AM
If 'there is a tribe in Africa' is as accurate and explicit as the good professor can manage, I think it's a fair bet that he's at best poorly informed.

In some African tribes, the penis is suspended by means of a soft ribbon looped around the waist and tied loosely around the gathered prepuce, holding the penis in an upright position, out of harm's way; I suspect a misreading of an account of this practice is at the root of the story.

x-ray vision
09-07-2004, 11:14 AM
What did the Indian say when the black man tied his penis in a knot?
"How come?"

Chefguy
09-07-2004, 12:25 PM
:rolleyes: Between this thread and the one about ass pimples, I can see this week is shaping up to be a real peach.

zut
09-07-2004, 01:10 PM
:rolleyes: Between this thread and the one about ass pimples, I can see this week is shaping up to be a real peach.Well, it's not like this isn't the Straight Dope Message Board, affiliated with The Straight Dope by Cecil Adams. The same Cecil Adams, I might point out, who spent column inches pondering questions like,
Does average human penis length vary among ethnic groups? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_193.html),
Is it possible to straighten and lengthen the penis? (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/001020.html),
Do penis enlargement devices actually work? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_056.html),
Does the pig have a corkscrew-shaped penis? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_060.html),
What's up with vacuum cleaner wounds to the penis? (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_225.html), and
Why does the penis shrink when it's cold? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mpenis.html), as well as my personal favorites,
Can the candiru fish swim upstream into your urethra? (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/000519.html) and
Can the candirú fish swim upstream into your urethra (revisited)? (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/010907.html)
So, you know, it's all in the spirit of lengthening ones horizons and beating back ignorance.

Acsenray
09-07-2004, 01:10 PM
I don't think a sausage is an accurate stand-in for a flaccid member. Sausages are much less bendable.

pool
09-07-2004, 01:47 PM
it seems like tying your penis would cause you to get a boner which I imagine would be unbearably painful while tied in a knot and cut off the circulation :eek:

Bongmaster
09-07-2004, 02:53 PM
I just read the about fish swimming up the guys penis again....big mistake. :smack:

GorillaMan
09-07-2004, 02:59 PM
If 'there is a tribe in Africa' is as accurate and explicit as the good professor can manage, I think it's a fair bet that he's at best poorly informed.

In some African tribes, the penis is suspended by means of a soft ribbon looped around the waist and tied loosely around the gathered prepuce, holding the penis in an upright position, out of harm's way; I suspect a misreading of an account of this practice is at the root of the story.

It certainly sounds like a misinformed statement to me. The guy's research interests (http://www.shef.ac.uk/aps/tim.html) suggest study of African tribes isn't high on his agenda.

citrus x paradisi
09-07-2004, 03:27 PM
I think the kicker on this one is the word 'knot', which is a misnomer Mangetout dismissed easily.

Furthermore, haven't you guys seen 'Puppetry of the Penis'?

astro
09-07-2004, 03:40 PM
Any man who writes books like the one cited below should (assumedly) have a good idea of how big male human members are and can be. The "knotting tribe" cite is utter BS, but you have to ask yourself why he doesn't know any better, especially in his purported status an expert on human sexual biology.

Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition and Sexual Conflict Tim Birkhead
Faber & Faber 2000 ("http://dannyreviews.com/h/Promiscuity.html')

mrunlucky
09-07-2004, 04:03 PM
The sadhus in India have been known to stretch out their penises, and do such things as lift rocks with them, or twist them around sticks, and bundle them up. It's a religious thing, not an evolutionary thing.

Chefguy
09-07-2004, 04:12 PM
Well, it's not like this isn't the Straight Dope Message Board, affiliated with The Straight Dope by Cecil Adams. The same Cecil Adams, I might point out, who spent column inches pondering questions like....

[snip]

So, you know, it's all in the spirit of lengthening ones horizons and beating back ignorance.

Har!

Racer1
09-07-2004, 04:15 PM
Well, I, for one, think it’s a great idea.

For years I've had to struggle with undoing cryptic bra straps without ruining the moment. I think it's about time women had something they have to undo too.

Cervaise
09-07-2004, 04:47 PM
Of course the tribe is real. They live on Knotting Hill.

I think Hugh Grant made a movie about it, even.

It was called "The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down With His Dingus Tied In A Knot," or some such.

Mangetout
09-07-2004, 05:06 PM
Further to what I said above; ancient Greek athletes had a similar contraption to stop their dangly bits flopping around when they competed in the nude. The name of the thing was Kynodesme - I'm not going to link to any pages showing one, but they're out there.

I suspect that the article is either describing this in such an abiguous way that it sounds like he's talking about typing the actual penis in a knot, or that the professor has made that mistake himeslf and is now repeating his mistaken understanding of the whole deal.

Boyo Jim
09-07-2004, 06:12 PM
I don't think the rules allow me to link to The Penis Page because of pics there, but you can get enough to Google from this quote:
The Caramoja tribe of northern Uganda tie a weight on the end of their penises to elongate them - sometimes to such a degree that the men literally have to knot them up - while the Mambas of New Hebrides wrap theirs in yards and yards of cloth, making them look up to 17 inches long.


I cannot speak for the veracity of the claim.

GorillaMan
09-07-2004, 06:20 PM
Googling for 'Caramoja' makes me highly suspicious that it's complete fiction. Over half of the 300-ish results are all repetitions of a "unusual sex facts" text that appears to have come from Cosmopolitan about a decade ago. Hardly a reliable source.

Boyo Jim
09-07-2004, 06:47 PM
As I said I certainly can't vouch for it. All I can say for sure is that they must be one slow-moving group of guys if they're walking around with dicks tied to bricks.

I'll be you soccer never caught on there. :p

bughunter
09-07-2004, 07:03 PM
Well, I don't know about freakishly elongated African penes, but I do know that if you do a there was at least one African man who needed a wheelbarrow for his huevos (http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=elephantitis). (Warning, GIS link TMI but should be SFW.)

Why this GIS also results in pictures of a Clydesdale and Kate Winslet, I am not investigating...

hermann
09-07-2004, 07:47 PM
I just think it's funny that somebody from Gobbler's Knob would ask about this. :p

yabob
09-07-2004, 07:56 PM
Well, I don't know about freakishly elongated African penes, but I do know that if you do a there was at least one African man who needed a wheelbarrow for his huevos (http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=elephantitis). (Warning, GIS link TMI but should be SFW.)

Why this GIS also results in pictures of a Clydesdale and Kate Winslet, I am not investigating...
You can get an even greater number of disgusting medical photos if you spell it right - elephantiasis, not elephantitis.

Ringo
09-07-2004, 08:39 PM
Oh man, do I need better reading glasses. My first thought on glancing at this was how in the heck does somebody tie a knot in a penny? And I didn't even know they used pennies in Africa!

On to the question; I swear I remember seeing a photo of the phenomenon described in the OP in Playboy magazine, probably in the 1970s, as that's when most of my Playboy consumption occurred. Their site is no help, though.

lissener
09-07-2004, 08:46 PM
Well, I don't know about freakishly elongated African penes, but I do know that if you do a there was at least one African man who needed a wheelbarrow for his huevos (http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=elephantitis). (Warning, GIS link TMI but should be SFW.)

Why this GIS also results in pictures of a Clydesdale and Kate Winslet, I am not investigating...It's actually elephatiasis--and BTW t turns out that the Elephant Man didn't have it.

Exapno Mapcase
09-07-2004, 10:22 PM
It's actually elephatiasis

Not according to dictionary.com:

6 entries found for elephantiasis.
el·e·phan·ti·a·sis
Chronic, often extreme enlargement and hardening of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue, especially of the legs and external genitals, resulting from lymphatic obstruction and usually caused by infestation of the lymph glands and vessels with a filarial worm.

[Latin elephantisis, from Greek : elephs, elephant-, elephant + -isis, -iasis.]

silenus
09-07-2004, 10:34 PM
I seem to recall a b&w poster from the 60s of an African tribesman standing, holding a spear, with his penis definately tied in a knot! Not a complicated knot, to be sure, but a knot. This was before Photoshop. The tool had to be 14 inches longer, unknotted. :eek:

Chronos
09-08-2004, 12:51 AM
This was before Photoshop.But not before photo shops. Believe it or not, it was quite possible to manipulate images before computers, and it's likewise possible to manipulate the scene you're taking an image of. Prosthetics, maybe?

Smeghead
09-08-2004, 12:59 AM
It's nice to know there may be men in Africa that can sympathize with my difficulties.

Tenar
09-08-2004, 01:02 AM
Here's hoping that elephantiasis (or Lymphedema, the currently preferred term) does not become the topic of extended comic discourse, as I am afflicted with it, and it is NOT funny.

And, no, for the record, I do not have it in my scrotum, as I do not have a scrotum.

Amberlei
09-08-2004, 07:42 AM
Believe it or not, I did find a legitimate source backing this up. A review of Ever Since Adam and Eve: The Evolution of Human Sexuality from this site:
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:0v4n_JwMGP0J:www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/sosis/publications/PottsShortBREHB.pdf+anthropology+penis+knot&hl=en contains the following.


As throughout the book the“fantastic,” such as a picture of a Karamajong man whose penis is tied in a knot, is mixed with the more mundane facts of sexual selection, although little is actually mundane in this book.


And from this site, http://www.sexualrecords.com/inquiries.html which is less reputable, comes the following.


Starting at puberty, boys of the Karamojong people of northeastern Uganda start tying weights to the ends of their penis. When the boy becomes accustomed to the pain the weight is replaced with a heavier one, until eventually they're carrying 20 pounds or more. By the time they've become an adult, their penis can easily measure 18 inches or more. Sounds great, but there's a catch: what the boy gains in length it loses in girth, since the spongy erectile tissue that comprises the penis doesn't grow.



And from http://www.chiprowe.com/articles/moronpenis.html (Playboy Feb., 2001)


A few cultures, such as the Karamojong of northeastern Uganda, practice ritualistic penis stretching. Beginning at puberty, a Karamojong boy hangs circular stone disks from the tip of his penis. When he becomes accustomed to the pain, more disks are added. His penis swings like a pendulum. By the time he's a teenager, he may carry as much as 20 pounds from his penis, which could measure 18 inches or longer. To avoid sitting on these taffylike appendages, Karamojong men tie their cocks into knots.