While body image issues predominately affect women, men are not immune to such sensitivity, especially when it comes to what they’re packing downstairs. It’s fairly common knowledge that most men fear their penises are too small, when in fact only about 2.5% of men have members that fall below the average length range. However, size is not the only unfounded concern men have about their tools. There are other types of insecurities based on misconceptions about what constitutes a "normal penis." Since confidence and mental wellbeing are just as important to a man’s sex life as penile health, it’s important for men to confront and overcome their body image issues when it comes to the penis. The following are three common causes of insecurity that don’t deserve to be.

1) Foreskin: Foreskin covers the sensitive glans (head) of the penis and provides lubrication to the member. The material that accumulates beneath the foreskin, smegma, may contain anti-bacterial properties (although allowing it to build up can lead to excess bacteria and infections). The penis’s natural wrapper has a bad rap in some circles as something dirty, but proper cleaning is usually enough to keep an intact penis fresh, clean and free of odors. Foreskin and smegma aren’t bad; they’re what nature gave men to provide lubrication and glans protection. Plus, retracting the sheath over the head with one’s fingers or lips can be a fun extra step for partners.

In the U.S., it’s easy for men to adopt the view that a circumcised penis is a normal penis, since about three-quarters of American men are cut. However, the World Health Organization reports that only one-third of men globally are circumcised. The intact form a majority!

2) Fordyce spots: These bumps are small with a whitish or yellowish color. They may be found on the shafts of many penises; they can also appear inside the mouth or on a woman’s vulva. The sebaceous glands produce a lubricating oil called sebum; that is what fills Fordyce spots. They can’t be made to go away by popping them.

Fordyce spots are not contagious and are completely harmless. While surgical procedures exist to remove them, this is unnecessary. Men who are self-conscious about these spots can rest assured that they are not alone.

3) Pearly Penile Papules: These bumps are white or skin-colored and form one or several rows around the ridge of the glans. It is likely that at least a quarter of all men have these bumps, and they are more common in uncircumcised men. The distinctive pattern and shape of the bumps make them resemble a pearl necklace adorning the glans.

Many men are unfortunately extremely self-conscious about these bumps, particularly when exposing themselves to a new partner. They fear that the bumps will be seen as a sign of a sexually transmitted infection and scare the partner away, or that the partner will find them aesthetically displeasing. This is where a man should open up and explain that the bumps are a normal anatomical variation called pearly penile papules and that they are not contagious. They just make his penis even more special. Generally, the bumps are completely harmless to a man, although some may find that they get irritated with particularly rough masturbation or sex. As with Fordyce spots, surgical procedures exist to remove them, but this route is best avoided.

There are so many natural anatomical variations concerning shape, size and bumps that it doesn’t really make sense to talk about what is normal for a penis generally. What’s important is that men tend to the health of their members, encouraging good form and function both now and in the years to come. A penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can be of assistance here, moisturizing the skin, promoting proper blood flow and protecting nerves from desensitization caused by years of use and abuse. Men should love what they have and treat it well.