Fact: the average straight person has sex about once every four years. (Except for 43-year-old divorced dads in New York City, who are having sex with every 26-year-old lady, all the time.) Fact: the average straight man has seen about 3.2 penises in his life.

What's more, most straight people have sex with the lights out and are afraid to look at all the freaky unique junk that people have. This is why, when suddenly there are a bunch of dudes parading around in tight rowing shorts that show off their business to any extent, straight people who blog for a living and have barely seen any dicks in their lives are all like: "Haha, everyone point and laugh at the dude with an Olympic medal and a boner!"

Yeah, that is not a "boner." Cock—most of you poor people haven't had a chance to learn, so let a gay dude tell you—comes in all shapes and sizes, and when I say all, I mean ALL. (As anyone who's watched Roger Federer closely can attest.) And all the various penis sizes are good and OK. It's one of the great mysteries of life why dicks (and labia too, lest we forget!) are so unlike one another and special. The jury is still out on what this all means, but the long and short of it is that different dicks present themselves differently. And dicks are so different.

Thankfully we have lived recently in an age of baggy pants where it doesn't matter if we "dress to the left" or not—but with fashion's tightening and shortening of inseams over the last 20 years, we are being exposed more and more to male uniqueness every day on the street and in our workplaces. We are about three decades out from fashion making us wear, like, transparent codpieces to the office. That'll be weird. At first.


For now, there's athletic gear, which is the next best thing. When you are in a freaky synthetic-material athletic singlet with basically zero-inseam, created by the fine people at Boathouse Sports out of polypropylene, there are not a lot of places for your dick to go. It's up or over—or it's really uncomfortable. If you sit down in one of these outfits, guess what happens? Yup, it's the opposite of the auto-tuck. Particularly when you are stuffed in a scull.

I trained in rowing where the Dartmouth and U.S. Naval Academy and some Olympians do their winter training. As a crappy amateur, I learned that even rest position in rowing is one of the most uncomfortable positions in the world. The one thing that is not happening when you row—as you move from the beginning of the drive, with bent knees at your chest with your arms straight forward, to the reclined position of release—is that, with your legs doing all this work, you are not thinking about where your junk goes. If you do have time to think about it, this is only because it is getting mangled somewhere. If you're a pro rower, you're used to your dick just being wherever it's not in the way; you don't think twice about that. You're BUSY.

Couple that with the facts that the whole "grower/shower" dichotomy is not a myth, and statistical diversity is a strange and magical thing. In short, there is a whole lot of huge flaccid dick out there, as our pal on the podium can attest. If our Harvard buddy Henrik Rummel had indeed had a "boner," as you kids call it, you'd have seen a somewhat more rectangular shape anyway: while the corpora cavernosa are somewhat rounded "cylinders" on their own, together their overall erect impression is more squared off. This is clearly rounded. This is not the shape of a penis that's pumped full of blood.


And let's all raise a toast to Henrik: who among us would have been able to resist an adjustment? Which would have made for the most embarrassing photo and video ever. ("SCANDAL: HARVARD MAN FONDLES JUNK AT MEDAL CEREMONY.")

Besides, the whole big flaccid package makes sense, because he obviously has huge balls too.

Choire Sicha is Deadspin's super homo water volleyball correspondent and the co-proprietor of The Awl.

Photo via Flickr user The Kozy Shack.