An absolutely straight penis is unusual – most have a slight curve when erect. But this should not be more than about 25° from straight, like a banana. If your penis bends more than this, you might have Peyronie’s disease.
It is also quite normal and harmless for the penis to have a slight twist (usually anticlockwise). Peyronie’s disease
A condition called Peyronie’s disease, in which the penis becomes crooked when it is erect, occasionally develops in men. This can make sexual intercourse difficult, if not impossible. The condition is named after Dr François Gigot de la Peyronie (physician to King Louis XV of France) who wrote about it in 1743, but it has probably been around for much longer; sculptures dating from the 6th century BC depict angulated erect penises. It is estimated that about 1 in 100 men has Peyronie’s disease.
Men with Peyronie’s disease often worry about starting a new relationship, because of embarrassment. It is important to realize that while you will be very aware of a slight physical change, your partner will be much less aware. Talk to your new partner about it and explain that it is not an infectious or cancerous condition.
Peyronie’s disease most commonly occurs in men aged 50–60, but it can occur in young men and in old age. The cause is thickening of the fibrous tissue in the penis on one side. This means that, during an erection, one side of the penis cannot lengthen, and the penis will bend. The direction of the bend depends on the position of the thickening (which can often be felt as a lump or lumps when the penis is limp).
You may be able to feel the thickened area; it feels like a hard piece of toffee.
Will it get better?
For the first 9–18 months after Peyronie’s disease starts, it is often quite painful, especially when the penis is erect. During this period, the thickened area increases in size. After this ‘active period’, it is unlikely to become worse, and the pain diminishes. In 20% of cases, the penis will go back to normal without any treatment. Those who have had the condition for a long time feel no pain but sometimes have difficulty achieving an erection (perhaps because the lumpiness is obstructing blood flow in the penis).