Don't let cancer mess with your testis! Knowing your vas deferens from your epididymis makes a vast difference when checking your balls. Some folks mistake these scrotal structures for abnormal lumps or cancer during a testicular self-exam, so make sure you know the deferens -- ahem -- difference!

The epididymis, where sperm mature, sits atop your actual testis (the ball part) and feels like a soft swelling inside your scrotum. The rope-like vas deferens, which carries sperm from the testicle to the seminal vesicles and then the penis, leads out from the epididymis. Now you have an excuse to grab those gonads!

Some of you asked for some behind-the-scenes tales of how things work here at Guts HQ, so here’s a peek at my drawing process (minus the forehead slapping and self-flagellation that goes with it). It is a messy process!

These are sketches for new art for our testicle plush hangtag. I usually begin with my nose in an anatomy text book and sketch out the bare bones of what makes an organ — or in this case, gland — tick. I draw it as completely as I possibly can before moving to the computer.

Next, I’ll write the text to go with it, pretending I’m explaining things to an 8-year-old to get it as basic as possible, as I only have a 3”x 3” square to work with. Then I either scan the ink drawing or redraw it on the computer in Illustrator.

Next up, I inevitably hate the drawing and have to go back to my sketchbook — either the visuals don’t explain the organ’s process well, or the text doesn’t fit, or it’s too complicated (spermatogensis is crazy!), or I end up liking the first drawing I did after wasting tons of time moving things around on the computer. Then I tear my hair out, want to punch a wall and wish it was 5pm so I can have a glass of wine. 🍷 Then I’ll procrastinate by thinking about other things I’m avoiding — usually inventory or taxes or cleaning the toilet. Next I have to give myself a hard deadline: “This is due in 24 hours now FINISH IT no matter what. Go with with what you got.”

Then I hate myself a little bit more, then I think I’m being too hard on myself. After I get though this emotional roller coaster, I’ll wrap it up and I send it to an editor to make sure nothing is misspelled and then to a doctor to make sure it’s all accurate. That reminds me — anybody know a nice urologist willing to look over the final testicle drawing (if I ever get it done)?

The penis plays an important role in sex, but its day job is liquid waste management – 800-2000 mL of urine leaves the body through the penis daily, while one ejaculate contains a scant 2-5 mL. More fascinating facts about semen: did you know the seminal vesicles – those rabbit ears atop the prostate – contribute the most liquid by volume to semen? Now ya know about stuff that comes out of your penis.

Foreskin Friday! Finalizing the hangtag artwork on the long-awaited penis plush, which we are *still* working on! So many kinks to work out -- with foreskin or without? Just 33% of penises are circumcised worldwide, in the U.S. the foreskin is removed from 58% of American penises for health, cultural or religious reasons. This number has dropped in recent years, especially since Medicaid stopped covering it in some states. Muslims and Jews both circumcise. Pretty sure it's gonna be awesome and hopefully worth the wait. We don't want to rush the guy, but we can't wait to add this fellow to our urology suite.