Andrew Wardle is about to have his first erection. The man-bunned 40-year-old, who was born without a penis and made headlines in 2015 when he starred in TLC’s accurately titled The Man With No Penis, is finally getting what he’s wanted his entire life: fully-working genitals. But, as with all medical advancements in the 21st century, there’s a catch. Before Wardle can use his phallus in the way that he wants to, he’s going to live with a two-week erection (just so he can get the full “this is what puberty feels like” experience).
Vice reports that Wardle’s lack of genitals has to do with the fact that he received an important life-saving surgery as a baby. His bladder grew outside his body and while doctors were able to correct the condition, it meant that he would never be able to “develop a penis” naturally and without medical enhancements.
In order to be able to enjoy a functioning penis, Wardle had to undergo 100 surgeries:
Wardle’s new penis was created using skin, muscle, and nerve grafts from his arms and fitted with cylinders that fill with fluid when pumped from a small sac installed in his ball sac, which is how he’ll get an erection.
That sounds like more than anyone should have to go through to enjoy the feeling of peeing while standing up, but there’s more: Doctors will have to activate Wardle’s new bionic penis, so he’s going to have to stay in the hospital for several days and then return home with an erection that will last way longer than four hours.
What will Wardle do during his recovery time? He appeared on This Morning on Wednesday and told the hosts that he would not be, as some might inaccurately assume, wandering up and down the street saying “will you get a load of this!” Instead, he’ll spend the two weeks at home, quietly grappling with everyday tasks while completely engorged at all times.
For those wondering whether Wardle got to choose what his new penis would look like, the answer is a resounding no. While you’d think that doctors might be sensitive enough to ask whether he’d like to go to medium or large, apparently that’s not part of the penis-building process, so he’ll have to be happy with whatever he ultimately ends up with. And so will his girlfriend.
To be fair, though, Wardle’s partner has already weathered a lot: Not only did she not know that he was born without a penis until nine months into their relationship, but the way she found out, Vice reports, wasn’t from Wardle but from a newspaper. You’d think that a guy who let the world know about his dick troubles before his girlfriend would at least be a little chill and understanding, but it turns out he’s already really, really angry at Mohammad Abad, the first guy to undergo the procedure Wardle is in 2012.
Why be mad at such a pioneer? According to Wardle, it’s due to the fact that the surgery was free (both Abad and Wardle live in The UK, where the surgery is covered by the NHS) and Abad lost his virginity to a sex worker.
That, apparently, sends the wrong message.
He explained: “This is a taxpayer-funded operation – the money spent on it was not so he could sleep with a prostitute.
“Mohammed now says he wants sex with a robot but people in a similar situation might think life is not worth living.
“You have a responsibility to others in situations like these.”
Listen: If you could keep your lack of penis from your girlfriend for nine months and then go on to do an entire documentary about your rare condition, followed by a victory tour in which you discuss what you’re going to do for the two weeks you’re involuntarily erect, I don’t think that leaves much room for criticizing how other people use their newly-grown robot phalluses. (Especially when you also brag about how many women you’ve slept with.)
But. you know: Best of luck to Andrew Wardle, who’s about to have sex for the first time!