What is the smell of human penis

The stamp test shows whether the penis works

"Dear parents, cover your children's eyes now. Dear virgins: Take care!" John Barry, dressed smartly in a white shirt and black suit, literally enjoys being able to present his invention to a wide audience: a penis function test that anyone can carry out at home without great effort and expense.

Barry came up with the test with his two US colleagues Bruce Blank and Michel Boileau back in the late 1970s. In mid-September (13.09.2018) the three of them received the Ig Nobel Prize for Reproductive Medicine, a fun prize that honors research findings that "make you laugh first and then think".

Barry presented the penis function test at the Ig Nobel Prize Lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA. To the great amusement of the audience, he shows drawings of a penis wrapped in a ring of postage stamps.

38 years after the invention was published, John Barry received the Ig Nobel Prize

"Our test shows whether or not a man has erections while he sleeps," Barry explains in an interview with DW. Every man has between one and five erections a night. It happens automatically when he dreams - "no matter what he dreams of".

If the erections fail, the man has a physical problem, continues Barry. "Possibly diabetes or hardening of the arteries."

If the male organ functions satisfactorily at night and only not when it is required, the problem lies in the man's head. In order to know which therapy is the best, one must first find out whether the patient has erections at night or not - and this is where the postage stamps come into play.

And this is how it works

Take several postage stamps that are connected to one another by a perforation, wrap them once around the male member and glue the two ends together. With old-fashioned stamps, simply moistening them is enough, with stamps that don't stick, you have to use a small piece of adhesive tape if necessary, advises Barry.

In a DW interview, the three winners demonstrate how the reporter works on two fingers. Bruce Blank explains: "When you get an erection, the penis not only becomes longer, but also thicker." Illustrated by pulling the two fingers apart. The consequence: the ring made of postage stamps breaks open, most likely at one of the perforated seams. The next morning the simple evaluation follows: Has the ring broken or not?

"The average Caucasian penis can get by with four postage stamps," explains Barry after his lecture when asked by the audience. And no, the motifs on the stamps are irrelevant, as is the question of which person attached the stamps to the penis.

Postage stamps are better than fishing line

In the late 1970s, there was only one way to test a man's penis for functioning: with a mercury strain gauge. It was attached to the limb at night and measured whether it expanded or not. At that time, the examination cost 500 US dollars for three hours of measurement. "Our test, on the other hand, costs just 12 cents for four consecutive nights," says Barry - one cent per stamp. With higher printed postage stamps it is of course a bit more expensive.

The acceptance by the patients? It's excellent, says Bruce Blank. "They want to know whether the problem is in their head or in their penis and what therapy can help them. So they weren't too shocked when we first suggested this test."

Before they got on the stamps, the US doctors also experimented with adhesive tape and fishing lines - but the latter in particular was "very uncomfortable".

The question remains why they are only getting the Ig Nobel Prize now, 38 years after the invention was published. Barry explains it like this: "It has now proven itself." The test had arrived in practice, Playboy wrote about it and the test was even mentioned in the series "Sex & the City". If that is not the proof of its suitability!

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    The Ig Nobel Prize is a play on the word "ignoble", meaning "unworthy." But that's not true at all, because the award honors research that "first inspires you to laugh and then to think". The prize was awarded to scientists from all over the world in the form of paper hearts this year to the cheers of the audience throwing paper planes.

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    In the literature category, a research team was awarded for showing that most people who use complicated products do not read the instructions for use. Oh well. We hope you have at least made it this far. The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble - pictured here - has opened the 28th Ig Nobel Prize. We close with that and look forward to the next time!

    Author: Hannah Fuchs