The Telegraph seems to have reported research on penile fractures published in the Advances in Urology journal (which in itself seems to be a startling concept given that the penis isn't supposed to have bones...). Wikipedia describes penile fracture as rupture of one or both of the tunica albuginea, the fibrous coverings that envelop the penis's corpora cavernosa caused by rapid blunt force to an erect penis, usually during vaginal intercourse or aggressive masturbation.
The Telegraph article reports that the study finds that the woman on top position, also known as the "cowgirl" is "potentially riskiest sexual position related to penile fracture", with half of the penile fractures they studied happening in that position.
Our hypothesis is that when the woman is on top she usually controls the movement with her entire body weight landing on the erect penis, not being able to interrupt it when the penis suffers a wrong way penetration, because the harm is usually minor in woman with no pain but major in the penis.
On the contrary, when the man is controlling the movement, he has better chances of stopping the penetration energy in response to the pain related to the penis harm, minimizing it.
The two other dangerous positions are the "doggy-style" position, with women on all fours - 29 per cent and the man on top position - "just" 21 per cent.
Now men, before you panic and make hasty choices, your friendly blogger brings you more information. Firstly, there is no use going celibate, rough masturbation too has been known to cause penile fractures. Oh wait. I meant reassuring information.
This piece actually reminded me of another one I'd read by Women's Health Mag where they interviewed 800 men for their favorite sex position and doggy style came up tops followed by cowgirl. Among positions men wished women would try more often, cowgirl topped the list. Talk of a penile-destructive instinct....
There are variations on this theme.
I dug in further. I was not able to find any information on how Brazil likes its sex. It seems that various populations have different preferences in sexual positions (as in variations in percentage of popularity between "cowgirl", "doggy-style" and "missionary").
According to Adam & Eve ("retailer of fine adult products"), as Los Angeles Weekly reported, it was missionary (32%), doggy style (23%) and cowgirl (22%). However among the Facebook fans of the same Adam & Eve, the top position was doggy style (53%), Cowgirl (29%), reverse cowgirl (6%), other (6%) and missionary (6%). They chose to interpret it as "It's interesting that while Adam & Eve customers may be a bit more adventurous when it comes to sexual matters, the average American still seems to prefer face-to-face intimacy"
That said, an image on imgur probably has the last laugh on the extents to which a man could go to ensure the woman stays on top.
Most surveys are of men, conducted by an industry led by men for the most part. And most report favorite positions rather than the ones most commonly used. It is impossible to say what actually happens when couples have sex.
For once I appreciate India Today's obsession with sex. They actually turned out to be the ones that did a sex survey on positions that has data from men and women and combined.
The survey sort of shows a universally joked about truth - more men prefer women on top than vice versa, more women prefer men on top than vice versa and the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. But I digress...
The good news is that the data on penile fractures is collected over 13 years (wait for the sentence to complete) and covers three hospitals in Campinas and the number of cases they had in the survey is ...um.. 44. The population of Campinas is 3 million (you're welcome). So, when we say 50% of the injuries caused, it means 22 injuries over 13 years from God knows how many people being ridden by "cowgirls" into bliss.
So it is near impossible to determine what percentage of men engaging in various positions end up having penile fractures. However, the good news is that whatever the position, the number of penile fractures appears to be relatively small. Don't give up on the sex yet.
You are welcome.