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A couple of days ago, a young man (said he was 17 years old) sent me an email asking me to help him with a “penis size problem”. He was excited (his words) when he read that I was born and raised among the Karamojong.
He said the size of his penis has affected his whole life to the point that he was depressed and even contemplating suicide. He sought help on the internet and found some sites dedicated to penis enlargement and even sell some equipment that adds inches to one’s penis. He didn’t have the money to buy one of those equipments but decided to try one of the techniques promoted in many penis enlargement websites.
For months now, he has been tying weights to the tip of his penis. First he started with light weights and now was at about 20 pounds. Much of his spare time has been consumed by this “exercise” but he was getting more frustrated because there was no visible increase to the size of his penis. Could I explain, he wrote, exactly how the Karamojong do the “penis stretching thing”?
I was ticked off. The last thing I need is some “horny teenager” disrespecting and insulting me and the work I do. I started to write him an email but then midway I stopped. What if he is just a confused young man feeling so insecure about his penis size and was reaching out to me for help? What if I was the last person he’d ever communicate with, after all he did say he was depressed and suicidal.
I deleted that email and instead wrote asking him to send me texts of what he was referring to, particularly where it mentions “Karamojong penis size”. My assumption was that these must be porn sites — and I don’t go there. Never have, never will.
These are some of the texts he sent me:
“The African Karamojong tribe from North Eastern Uganda have been known to employ similar penis stretching techniques. From early youth they hang ever increasing numbers of circular stone disks from the end of their penises, and over the course of a number of years they can achieve penis lengths comparable to the Indian Sadhus. In order to better manage their rather monumental and impractical appendages, the Karamojong then tie their penises in knots.”
“Beginning at puberty, men of the Karamojong tribe of northeastern Uganda begin the long, arduous process of ritualistic penis stretching. A boy will hang a circular stone disk from the tip of his penis, adding more disks as he becomes accustomed to the weight (and the pain!). By the time the boy has reached his teenage years, he may carry up to 20 pounds on his penis, which by this time can measure 18 inches or more in length. To avoid sitting on the elongated appendage, the men will often tie their penises into knots and tuck them away.
Under normal circumstances this would have cracked me up prime time. There is a lot of crap out there in the name of “African ancient rituals” and since there is no one to burst these myths, many unsuspecting people take them as fact. More over 90% of Africans are too poor to afford a computer/internet and many of those who have computers/internet access mostly find these kind of “African myths” amusing, even entertaining. I get these “humour” email forwards all the time.
Do Karamojong men have the longest penis? I don’t know. But what I do know (and have seen with my eyes) is that Karamojong men generally have penises that go almost mid-thigh and when they sit on the hand-stool they carry around with them, their penises touch the ground/earth (often drawing lines on the soil in response to movements in communication body language). Keep in mind that the average height of Karamojong men is about 5’11 -6’1, depending on which part of Karamoja region a man comes from.
Karamojong men don’t wear any clothes except for a large piece of cloth (ananga) that they wrap around the shoulders. Those who can afford it wear sleeveless tank-top like T-shirts. Karamojong men/boys also braid their hair or wear head-dresses (men and initiated warriors only). They pierce their ears, wear jewelry (specifically copper and iron), and have scar tattoos (that show the number of lions one has killed with a spear or how many enemies they’ve killed in battle/cattle raids). They also carry a small hand-stool, and a walking stick, spear or AK 47 assault rifle, and a toothstick that they use to brush their teeth and they do this all the time (the way some people chew gum non-stop). That’s it. No pants. No boxers or underwear. Nothing waist downwards — except for cow-skin strap sandals. This is how it’s been for thousands of years and this is how it still is for about 80% of Karamojong men. NAKED BUT NOT ASHAMED.
This is what I grew up looking at — everything out there in-your-face full view. Nothing tied in knots and tucked away. This was what was normal to me and I didn’t see it as “sexual” at all. It was just another part of the human body. Ironically, I instinctively find myself looking away or closing my eyes every time it appears like someone is about to take off his or her clothes in public. I find it grossly indecent for anyone to be nude in public. But when I return to Karamoja, for some reason (I can’t completely understand it myself), I don’t find a naked body in public indecent. Unless someone else points it out to me, I don’t even seem to notice it. “Naked but not ashamed” is another topic for another article.
I’ve taken a good number of British, Canadian, Belgian and French men and women to Karamoja (mostly international development work related) and almost everyone of them has made reference to the Karamojong’s penis size. Even Ugandans of other “tribes” talk about the size of the Karamojong penis, so I guess there must be something unique about them.
I am however, very sure Karamojong men are not even aware that they have “weapons of mass destruction”. I’d probably have a mouth-cleansing ritual performed on me if I even said anything about “penis size”. They just don’t care about those kinds of things. Like their brothers, the Masai of Kenya/Tanzania, Turkana of Kenya, Suruma of Ethiopia etc., Karamojong men are proud warriors who strictly live by social and moral codes determined by the tribe/clan — these social and moral codes don’t include obsessing about penis size.
I grew up with these boys and some of them are my closest friends, I never saw anyone hang anything on his penis. Never! IT’S NOT TRUE that Karamojong boys hang circular stone disks on the tips of their penises. ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.
If the Karamojong penis size is long enough to capture the attention of those selling penis enlargement equipment and techniques, it has to do with their genes and not hanging circular stone disks on the tips of their penises. If you don’t believe me, take a trip to Karamoja and see if you see any boys with stones or discs hanging on the tips of their penises. I am even happy to accompany you, provided you pay for my airfare.
Here is my plea. If there is any young man out there tying weights to his penis because Karamojong boys do it to achieve monumental and elongated penises, PLEASE STOP IT!
Instead consult with a sex therapist who can help you deal with the issues of penis size. I am not a sex therapist — I CAN’T HELP YOU. I can tell you though, many women don’t give a hoot about the size of your penis. Just give them some good loving sex — that’s all. But I tried telling that to the young man who emailed me and he didn’t believe me when I told him “penis size” is men’s “problem”, not women’s. He still wanted a longer and larger penis. I told him what I just said here, talk to a sex therapist. PLEASE!
It’s not even funny!
write by Carwyn