While guys may try their best to appear confident and self-assured, many of them (if not all) have some deep-seated concerns and anxieties about their penises. In fact, in many men, these concerns can become something of an obsession, which may damage their confidence and even prevent them from developing intimate relationships. Being informed about the male anatomy can eliminate some of the worries about whether or not a man has a normal penis and help him to take charge of his penis health. Some common insecurities about the manhood are addressed here.

My penis is much smaller than the guys I see in adult movies. Am I smaller than average? Size is an incredibly important issue to most men, and many are convinced that they are abnormally small. Unfortunately, this view often comes from a habit of comparing themselves to the actors they see in adult-oriented films. It is important to keep in mind that these men are employed as porn stars because they are anything but average; add special effects into the mix, and regular men have no hope of measuring up. In reality, very few men fall outside the average range (which is, by the way, about 5 to 6 inches when fully erect), and even those who are a bit smaller than normal are generally still perfectly able to satisfy their partners.

I have a ring of bumps around the crown of my penis that won’t go away. Do I have an STD? While men who are sexually active may always be at risk for an STD, a ring of bumps around the head is not usually a sign of one. Instead, it is most likely a normal occurrence known as pearly penile papules. These are not harmful or contagious, and in fact, they may provide an extra level of pleasure for a woman - so men can actually regard this anatomical variation as an advantage.

What is the weird, dark line on the underside of my penis?

This dark line runs from the perineum, across the scrotum and all the way up the shaft of the penis. It is known as the penile raphe, a Greek word that simply means "seam." It is the result of the genital distinction between males and females that occurs in utero and is present on all men.

I think my penis is abnormal - it always bends to the right (or left) when I am hard.

The idealized image of an erect penis is one that points as straight as an arrow, but few men are this linear in real life. An erect penis can bend to the left or right, or curve slightly upward or downward; this is all completely normal and nothing to worry about.

After I masturbate, I can’t get hard again for hours. Do I have erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Even the most randy teenager has what is known as a "refractory period," which refers to the time that it takes to refuel the tanks, so to speak, after ejaculation. A man who can’t become completely erect within hours, or even days, of ejaculating does not have an impotence problem; he simply needs time to recover. Erectile issues are only diagnosed if a man goes for more than two weeks without the ability to achieve and maintain an erection long enough to reach orgasm.

Ongoing care for all penis types

Whether a man’s equipment falls within the range of normal or stands out as an exception, proper care can ensure that it will look, feel and perform at its best. Here are some basics that all men should follow:

- Cleanliness is key. Close attention to hygiene should always be a priority, and not just the afternoon before a big date. Men who clean their equipment daily are less likely to develop uncomfortable and embarrassing skin problems, not to mention that signature fishy smell.

- A little breathing room, please. Restrictive clothing, sitting too long and even cycling can cut off much of the blood supply to the area; this can result in loss of sensation and even damage a man’s ability to perform. A looser-fitting pair of trousers, and underwear that is supportive but not too tight, are safer wardrobe choices.

- Snuff the butts. Most men may wish for a longer penis, but few dream of a more diminutive tool. Because of this, men who haven’t yet gotten the memo that smoking is destructive to the entire body may take note when they learn that smoking not only damages penile sensation and performance, but can actually cause it to shrink by up to an inch.

- And finally, a moisturizer, just for him. Hydrating creams and lotions aren’t just for her. All skin - even male skin - needs the right amount of moisture to retain its natural elasticity, smooth texture and healthy appearance. A specially-formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can help in all of these respects, employing a rich array of vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants to fuel cell metabolism, renew and rejuvenate damaged tissue and boost sensation that has dulled over time.