Tech + Health

01.03.14

This Man Claims to Have Two Penises, Science Confirms It’s Possible

A man making the wild claim (and posting photos that ‘prove’ it) is 2014’s first Internet star. Here’s everything you need to know about ‘diphallia.’

Bill Clinton remains as prescient as ever.

Only 2 months after he was quoted by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin in their book,  Double Down: Game Change 2012, as remarking that President Obama was “ luckier than a dog with two dicks” to face a drip like Mitt Romney in the election, the Reddit-sphere is on fire with just such a piece of bicameral anatomy. But to add to the experience, the fast-lane doppel-penis in question is not canine at all, but human.

A still-unidentified man with the medical condition, diphallia, has presented his package to the world with a few photos and let me just say this about that: it (or they) is mighty bizarre to look at (NSFW: Photo 1, Photo 2). And by gosh, I am no prude. But he seems to have a full-fledged wanger going left and another going right connected at the base. Note: the image is not for those who ever want to have a normal night’s sleep again. But also keep in mind that the distance from the image to steady Jay Leno fodder for weeks and maybe months to come (John and Lorena Bobbitt, anyone?) is quite short. As in non-existent. Ditto his cyber-name—the double-dicked dude. Ditto his claim of bisexuality which takes on new meaning and possibilities given the equipment.

But to the facts (and assuming the entire holiday show is not just a fine bit of photo-shopping).

Diphallia, or one mammal having two penises, is a recognized medical condition that occurs in 1 in 5.5 million births.  That translates to about 600 or 700 guys on planet earth sporting a pair, of which about 100 have been reported in the medical literature. As reported in a recent review of the condition, no two cases are exactly the same. The odd anatomy occurs because of some problem at the end of the first month of embryologic life when the cells are splitting rapidly. For still unclear reasons, in the 1 in 5.5 million, a split occurs and the two halves develop independently.  Often there are more genito-urinary abnormalities as well, including double scrotums, bladders, kidneys, and even spina bifida, an incomplete fusion of the spine.

“Diphallia, or one mammal having two penises, is a recognized medical condition that occurs in 1 in 5.5 million births.”

Urologists categorize diphallia into three groups based on how much is duplicated. The least twinning is found when the tip, or glans, of the penis is duplicated; next is a doubling of glans and part of shaft; while the third is a complete pair, such as seen in the Reddit photo. The functionality of the member(s) also varies. For some, urine, and presumably semen, comes out of each urethra while for others, the doppelganger is non-functional, representing a large useless flop of flesh. Surgery can be done to zip a guy back together. (Gruesome NSFW or really NSF much of anywhere viewing here).

It is said that diphallic men have successfully fathered children which brings up the next obvious question—is there a female equivalent?

Of course there is: the double vagina has been known about for more than a century and the double uterus (uterus didelphys), with or without a double vagina also is well described. In fact an episode of Grey’s Anatomy has already gone there—two pregnancies, one in each uterus.  The usual.

Except as fodder for soap operatic medical shows or creation of the social media darling of the moment, diphallia and didelphys should be viewed as actual deformities that deserve sympathy, not some lucky break that promises twice the fun. Sorry guys—President Clinton’s doubly endowed dream-dog may be quite the louche among the bitches (and the double-dicked dude seems to be having a pretty good time in 2014)—but these conditions require painful surgeries with uncertain results, must cause a fair amount of difficulty in the locker room, and in every way represent the classic bright shiny present with nothing but coal inside. So guys, enjoy your singleton. After all, it does the trick and you know how to operate it. And leave the dreams of a twin-state to the dogs.