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  #1  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:13 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Do Some African Men Have Penises So Long That They Tie Them In Knots To Walk?

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...irkhead+&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.
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:17 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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::: 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:::
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:23 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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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.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2004, 11:14 AM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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What did the Indian say when the black man tied his penis in a knot?
"How come?"
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2004, 12:25 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Between this thread and the one about ass pimples, I can see this week is shaping up to be a real peach.
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2004, 01:10 PM
zut zut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy
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? ,
Is it possible to straighten and lengthen the penis? ,
Do penis enlargement devices actually work? ,
Does the pig have a corkscrew-shaped penis? ,
What's up with vacuum cleaner wounds to the penis? , and
Why does the penis shrink when it's cold? , as well as my personal favorites,
Can the candiru fish swim upstream into your urethra? and
Can the candirú fish swim upstream into your urethra (revisited)?
So, you know, it's all in the spirit of lengthening ones horizons and beating back ignorance.
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2004, 01:10 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I don't think a sausage is an accurate stand-in for a flaccid member. Sausages are much less bendable.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2004, 01:47 PM
pool pool is offline
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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
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2004, 02:53 PM
Bongmaster Bongmaster is offline
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I just read the about fish swimming up the guys penis again....big mistake.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2004, 02:59 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
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 suggest study of African tribes isn't high on his agenda.
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  #11  
Old 09-07-2004, 03:27 PM
citrus x paradisi citrus x paradisi is offline
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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'?
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2004, 03:40 PM
astro astro is offline
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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
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2004, 04:03 PM
mrunlucky mrunlucky is offline
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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.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2004, 04:12 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zut
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!
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2004, 04:15 PM
Racer1 Racer1 is offline
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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.
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  #16  
Old 09-07-2004, 04:47 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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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.
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  #17  
Old 09-07-2004, 05:06 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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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.
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:12 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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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:
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.
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  #19  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:20 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
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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.
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:47 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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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.
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  #21  
Old 09-07-2004, 07:03 PM
bughunter bughunter is offline
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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. (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...
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  #22  
Old 09-07-2004, 07:47 PM
hermann hermann is offline
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I just think it's funny that somebody from Gobbler's Knob would ask about this.
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  #23  
Old 09-07-2004, 07:56 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bughunter
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. (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.
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  #24  
Old 09-07-2004, 08:39 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
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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.
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  #25  
Old 09-07-2004, 08:46 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bughunter
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. (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.
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  #26  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:22 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
It's actually elephatiasis
Not according to dictionary.com:

Quote:
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.]
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  #27  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:34 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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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.
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  #28  
Old 09-08-2004, 12:51 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
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?
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  #29  
Old 09-08-2004, 12:59 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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It's nice to know there may be men in Africa that can sympathize with my difficulties.
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  #30  
Old 09-08-2004, 01:02 AM
Tenar Tenar is offline
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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.
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  #31  
Old 09-08-2004, 07:42 AM
Amberlei Amberlei is offline
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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...nis+knot&hl=en contains the following.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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)

Quote:
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.
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