Dragons awesome (that's why sub-par writers and DMs use it as a substitute for an actually engaging story/setting) but they're still just animals, animals that reproduce.

Besides it's painful to get kicked in the testicles and a surefire way to render a male opponent incapable of fighting and honestly people would start using any effective trick against dragons, regardless how scummy they may be.

The two main dangers are mechanical and chemical attacks (corrosive liquids to be precise).

With an actual precedent in nature, which "configuration" would be the most effective way for the penis and the testicles to be protected against the attack types described above?

  • $\begingroup$ Jonny English style....learn to absorb the blow and maybe the corrosive attack as well. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Aug 6 '19 at 0:34
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    $\begingroup$ Ursula K. LeGuin, Left Hand Of Darkness. The native population kept their organs safely inside until needed. $\endgroup$ – dcy665 Aug 6 '19 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ This is definitely the kind of content that would look great on a Stack Exchange network profile :) $\endgroup$ – Andrew Fan Aug 6 '19 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ How intelligent are these dragons? $\endgroup$ – Banana Dan Nov 16 '19 at 21:21

Reptiles often have a hemipenis (warning, includes pictures), which is stored inside the body until needed. Reptiles are usually cold blooded.

Birds of both sexes often have a cloaca. The male's produces semen, which the female's pulls in and takes to the egg. Birds are warm blooded. Dinosaurs are now believed to be more closely related to birds than reptiles.

You could pick based on whether your dragons are cold or warm blooded.

Either way, the dragon could have armor that normally covers the area and has to be moved aside for mating. And of course they may squeeze the opening closed to avoid chemical penetration.

And this won't necessarily just be a problem for males:

While no woman may know what it's like to get kicked in the testicles, no man will know what it's like to get kicked in the vulva or ovaries.

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    $\begingroup$ Grazing quadrupeds (bulls, zebras, horses, etc.) to avoid brushing their penis on the grasses keep it retracted unless needed. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Aug 6 '19 at 5:19
  • $\begingroup$ Hemipenes are only found in lizards $\endgroup$ – Ichthys King Jul 6 '20 at 21:49

Humans are a bit of an oddity in that our male reproductive organs are always completely outside our torso. The majority of animals have some ability to retract them. The degree to which they can be retracted varies by species, of course, but reptiles tend to be quite gifted in this regard. Crocodiles for example, both male and female, use a single orifice, the cloaca, both for excretion and procreation. In male crocodiles, the genitalia is totally internal until it's time to mate. I won't link to it for reasons that should be obvious, but I'd think dragons could do something like this. I would also think that dragons are sufficiently close, in terms of evolutionary history, to real reptiles that this would make biological sense.

Addendum: This is a really funny question.

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    $\begingroup$ I believe it has to do with temperature regulation. Too warm and you kill all the sperm. Too cold and you kill it all. Just have a look after a long swim in the pool and compare it to a sweltering day. I believe a fair share of other mammals also share this trait. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Aug 6 '19 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadowzee Yes, you're correct. Though it makes me wonder a litte why reptiles don't have that same problem. What if it's too warm or cold during mating season? I suppose maybe their sperm is more resilient to temperature changes. $\endgroup$ – Ryan_L Aug 6 '19 at 2:39

I assume mechanical means physical damage like a kick so just being cautious should solve that problem.

As for chemical damage, maybe dragons could wear a leather or hide loincloth to prevent exposure to dangerous materials.


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