View Full Version : Why Do Men Have Nipples?

08-24-2005, 05:42 AM
A new book tackles all those weird and wacky medical questions you've pondered but were too worried (or embarrassed) to ask.

By Peg Tyre
Updated: 8:15 a.m. ET Aug. 23, 2005

Aug. 23, 2005 - Have you ever wondered why women get beards? Whether masturbation causes blindness or hairy palms? And why you get the munchies when you’re stoned? Dr. Billy Goldberg, an emergency room physician, and humorist Mark Leyner, who writes for the New Yorker and GQ, tackle all these medical mysteries and more in their new book, "Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You’d Only Ask A Doctor After Your Third Martini," published by Three Rivers Press. Goldberg took a break from his grueling work at the Bellevue Hospital emergency room in New York City to speak with NEWSWEEK's Peg Tyre about how the pair came up with the questions—and the answers—in their book, and why they wrote it. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: Why did you write this book?

Dr. Billy Goldberg: These are questions people ask me at cocktail parties or questions posed by friends and family when they call me up late at night. It’s the bizarre stuff that people really want to know but are afraid to ask their doctor.

How long did the book take you?

The research took a long time. Once we sat down to write it, that part only took a month or two. I did all the research and it wasn’t easy. For a lot of these questions, there simply isn’t an easy answer. There’s no nipple doctor to go to who will explain why men have them even though they don’t need them. I used a lot of different obscure medical journals.

One of the important questions you tackle is “Can you ignite a fart?” Is that something you studied in medical school?
I did have one lecture about farts and believe me, I took a lot of notes. More than I ever took for any other lecture. I was scribbling furiously.

Just a single lecture?

I know, isn’t that surprising? And there’s not that much research on them either. I love the bathroom humor. Poo and pee make me giggle. Isn’t that just what you want your doctor to say? The truth is, doctors see a lot of poo and pee and we laugh. We don’t do it in front of you. We leave the room and giggle. Not at you, of course, but at the situation. We’re never laughing at you. Never.

Do you think working in an emergency room gives you a taste for the absurd?

We have to take care of whatever comes in. A lot of it is commonplace—heart attacks, cuts and bruises, trauma—but some of it is surreal. A hospital emergency room is really an absurd and quirky place. It can also be really gross. I’ve been urinated on, stepped in human feces. It’s so glamorous being a doctor.

One of the burning questions you pose is about the safety of colonics, a high priced spa treatment in which the colon is flushed with water. Your verdict?

It’s a terrible idea. Basically, you’re not supposed to stick a garden hose up your backside. The whole idea is absurd. It’s suppose to be dirty down there. Leave it alone.

For people who aren’t going to buy your book, please answer this: Why do men have nipples?

Well, one reason is so men don’t put their shirts on backwards. There’s a longer explanation in the book. But the short version is: it is a remnant of our brief days as a woman in utero.

One of the important medical facts I gleaned from reading your book is that bromhidrosis is the technical name for B.O. What facts did you learn writing it?

I learned the word callipygian, which means having well-proportioned buttocks. Look it up. It’s an adjective.

Who came up with the question about whether or not you can break your penis?

This is something we see all the time in the emergency room. If a man falls on his erect penis or has very vigorous sex, he can fracture his penis.

I’m having trouble visualizing that. In order to fracture your penis in a fall wouldn’t it have to be longer than your arm?

We see it all in the emergency room.

Were there any questions you’ve been asked that your editors considered too tasteless to include?

Our editors made us remove a question about whether women can use a potato for birth control. But for those of you dying to know—it doesn’t work and it ruins the potato.

Was there a debate about whether or not to include the number of calories in sperm?

Are you kidding? We wanted to use that question as the title but we were afraid we’d only be sold in triple-X bookstores.

Do you think your book will be nominated for a National Book Award?

We’re really hoping. We wrote it with that in mind. Actually, we wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up in many bathrooms. We thought of a promotional gift idea for “Why Do Men Have Nipples.” Instead of a cup holder for your car, we could hand out book holders for your toilet seat.

Should it be required reading for medical school students?

Absolutely. Medical students need to learn how to laugh.

Are you writing a sequel?

Yes, people have asked us a lot more questions since the book came out. A lot of questions about sneezing, like why you can’t sneeze with your eyes open. What happens when you sneeze?

You've gotten more questions about sneezing then sex?

Yes. Go figure.

web page (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9043794/site/newsweek/)

08-24-2005, 05:50 AM
Better question:
Why do men have mouths, yet they have no brain? Hmmmmm. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Ok ok. I'm kidding. I know you guys have brains, but admit it, male brains have faulty wiring. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

08-24-2005, 08:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DebraLiStarr:</font><hr> Better question:
Why do men have mouths, yet they have no brain? Hmmmmm. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Ok ok. I'm kidding. I know you guys have brains, but admit it, male brains have faulty wiring. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif <hr /></blockquote>

What are you talking about? We have two and they're both wired just fine. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

08-24-2005, 08:36 AM
Our mouths have skills besides talking ;-) Besides, we're simple to figure out, if we're not horny, feed us. That's the only two things to have to deal with. Women on the other hand seem to be in turmoil over everthing from whether this belt matches their attire, to "how can I get that speck of dust from the corner of the most unused space in the whole house." Men are easy....sid

9 Ball Girl
08-24-2005, 08:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> Why Do Men Have Nipples?<hr /></blockquote>So that we can pinch 'em and lick 'em. Duh! http://instagiber.net/smiliesdotcom/contrib/sarge/Blurp_anim.gif