A man born without a penis has lost his virginity aged 45 thanks to a bionic manhood made from his own skin.
Andrew Wardle, from Manchester, had a £50,000 ($99,800) penile implant operation at University College Hospital London in June - but had to wait six weeks before he could have sex for the first time.
After activating a button in his groin to pump up his "ridiculously big" new penis, he lost his virginity to his girlfriend of six years Fedra Fabian as they prepared for a romantic getaway to Amsterdam, the Daily Mail reports.
"Two days before we went away, it just happened," he told The Sun. "It was nice and natural — and that's how I wanted it to be."
He said the sex lasted for about half an hour and felt "fantastic". Talking about his new manhood, he added: "I'm so pleased with it."
Fedra, 28, from Hungary, said the sex was "amazing" and Andrew's penis looks normal despite being inflated with saline fluid to make it erect.
She added: "It's fantastic - no need to worry about viagra or getting old. He can do it when he's drunk too!"
The bionic penis is fully rigged up to Andrew's testicles, meaning it's possible for the couple to have children.
The caterer, who was born with a condition called bladder exstrophy, said he will take a fertility test to see whether they can conceive and they will adopt if they can't.
After the operation in June, Andrew told MailOnline: "I'm very excited that I can move on now. But I think having sex for the first time is more of a big deal for everyone else than it is for me.
"I've spent 44 years without a penis and I've coped with not having sex for all that time. It will take me a while to get in the swing of things.
"Of course, I'm looking forward to it. But, for me, it's not the be-all-and-end-all. It's a byproduct of the operation. It will enable me to feel part of society."
He went on: "I'm feeling good because they've given me painkillers but I'm sure I will feel a bit sore later on. I do feel different. I'm very aware there's some robotics inside me but it feels a part of me now. I'm very aware that I am half-human half-robot at the moment. I'm like the bionic man. I will even be able to perform if I am drunk."
Andrew was born with bladder exstrophy, a rare birth defect that means the organ formed on the outside of his body. Although he has one testicle, the one-in-20-million condition meant Andrew was born without a penis.
As a child he underwent a surgical procedure to create an artificial opening known as a stoma in his urinary system. He had countless operations to build a tube from his bladder so he could pass water normally and suffered from kidney problems.
His rare birth defect led Andrew to attempt suicide but in 2012 he was given hope after being referred to Dan Wood, a consultant urologist at UCLH in London
He said: "My GP knew about my depression and suicide attempts. She told me: 'You can't live like this'.
"I thought: 'I've heard all this before,' but she actually got in touch with Mr Wood and said: 'I've got a guy who wants to meet you.'
"I went down to London and I was so skint I had to sleep on the streets. But it was worth it.
"Until then everybody had said: 'I can't do anything.' But he said: 'I can build you a new bladder and my friend can build you a penis.'
"It took me the whole journey home to understand what he meant. I thought: 'I've been in every hospital in the country and they've never said this before'."
Andrew had his first operation to remove his urostomy bag – his urine had been diverted into a specially-converted stoma – in February 2014.
He now has a Mitrofanoff – or catheter – to enable him to go to the lavatory.
"I think that saved my life more than my penis," he said.
"The urostomy was the worst thing. I didn't feel human, but I thought I was stuck with it.
"Now I have freedom. I'm never busting for the toilet any more. I find it better than a normal bladder."
However, his new bladder did cause complications. "The complete procedure was supposed to take two years," he said, "but in the end it was five years.
"They found a tiny pin prick in my abdomen, which slowed things down, which could have got infected.
"It caused a huge delay but there was nothing I could do about it because there was nowhere else I could go.
"They looked at operating, but it would have meant working around work they had already done so in the end they decided to avoid it."
Meanwhile, Mr Wood referred Andrew to see his colleague David Ralph, a fellow urologist and specialist in genital reconstruction.
Andrew and his surgeon decided the size of his appendage.
"They check your arm," explained Andrew. "I had a healthy forearm, so I got a nice size penis."
Then, in November 2015, Dr Ralph operated on Andrew, building the penis from the skin, muscles and nerves in his left arm and the vein in his right leg.
"Nobody told me until afterwards," he laughed. "I had slashes all over my body when I woke up.
"They moved all the muscle from my arm and then gave me a bum lift, the skin on my arm came from my bum.
"The skin does feel tight, but I have feeling and everything now. It's amazing. The scars don't bother me but I'm going to have it tattooed.
"Otherwise I will have to cover it up when I go to Tesco. I don't want people coming up to me and asking me about it. It's too weird a conversation.
"Originally I was going to rush into it but then I thought: 'It's such a special thing that's happened to me, I want to give it some thought'."
After a three-year delay, while doctors debated what to do about the pin prick in his side, Andrew had his third operation last December.
Mr Ralph inserted the reservoir component of his penile implant into the left side of his abdomen and capped it off ready to be connected.
He and his team also sculpted the head of his penis.
I was talking to a surgeon in America and he said it would easily be worth a million dollars - the world's most expensive penis.
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Then, at midday on Friday, he was back on the operating table for two hours to have his phalloplasty completed.
The final decision was whether to have one or two tubes inserted into his penis. "I decided one was fine for me," he joked.
Andrew said a surgeon in America told him he likely had the most expensive appendage in the world.
"Normally this surgery takes just three operations. But that does not take into account the other operations I've had," he said.
"I was talking to a surgeon in America and he said it would easily be worth a million dollars - the world's most expensive penis."
Life of an outsider
Bionic man Andrew Wardle admitted last night that he had tried to end his life twice after feeling alienated from society.
Andrew revealed that he had always felt like an outsider after being born with the congenital disease bladder exstrophy - literally turned inside out.
He felt abandoned by his birth mother, who had him adopted, and rejected by his birth parents for not being normal.
At school, he failed to fit in as his life was consumed by hospital appointments, rather than play dates and homework.
After dropping out, he turned to drugs, hiding his disability from scores of girlfriends, because he was too wasted to have sex.
It was only after he had an epiphany in Thailand, after quitting drugs, and meeting his current girlfriend Fedra Fabian, that he turned his life round.
"I had a lot of pain growing up. I went through a lot of operations and knew there was something wrong," he said.
"I remember hearing a nurse speaking to a doctor saying: 'It's such a shame. He's such a handsome lad.'
"But it was only as a teenager that it hit me that it was going to be a real problem in the future.
"I tried to end my life twice. I turned to drugs. I turned to crime. I turned in on myself.
"I had really dark years. It was only when I found this hospital at the age of 39, that my life began to turn around."
Born in 1973, at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Cheshire, the son of single mother, Andrew was so ill that doctors thought he would not survive.
As well as bladder exstrophy, Andrew had epispadias, meaning that his bladder was not properly formed and his hips weren't fully joined.
Unable to cope, his mother put him up for adoption but it took 18 years of fostering before he was adopted.
He spent his childhood in and out of hospital - although surgeons managed to move his bladder inside his body, it was tiny and he was prone to infection.
"My whole life was operation after operation after operation,' he grimaced. 'The problem with my condition is that you look fine.
"But as soon as you operate on somebody's bladder, you increase the risk of infection.
"My school friends didn't know what was wrong but they knew that I was different because I always had bandages on me.
"I got very adept in the changing rooms. I was a genius at getting changed, like a burlesque dancer."
I remember hearing a nurse speaking to a doctor saying: 'It's such a shame. He's such a handsome lad.
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However, as he hit puberty, the realisation struck that he was different from his peers.
"I started getting depressed," he said. "I hid it through comedy, having a laugh, messing around, like a typical schoolboy.
"It was a tough period to grow up. It was the era of Benny Hill, the comedian, and every joke was sexualised.
"I began to get pretty dark days and cried myself to sleep. I saw a psychologist but he started talking about dark clouds and put me off for life.
"I was in deep trouble – I couldn't see the light. Everyone around me was planning to get a job, get married and have kids and I could see no future.
"I had a real panic. I thought what am I going to do after I leave school? I couldn't see past the day I left school."
In despair, Andrew tried to take his life and ended up in hospital but, even then, he felt nobody cared.
"I think people looked at it as a cry for help but it wasn't," he said. "I wasn't feeling sorry for myself. I just wanted to end my life.
"I ended up in hospital. They kept me in for a while and then they just sent me home. Again, it was just brushed under the carpet."
After leaving school at the age of 15 without any qualifications – he walked out of his exams - Andrew got dead-end jobs at a butcher's and abattoir.
He turned to drugs to numb his pain, taking advantage of the rave culture in Manchester.
In a bid to escape, he moved to Minehead, in Devon, to work at Butlin's, but he found that drugs were readily available at the holiday camp.
"I was taking a lot of drugs - ecstasy, LSD, cocaine," he admitted. "You could really blend in as it was the early 1990s, the days of acid house music.
"I used to take so many drugs that they called me the Chemical Brother. I didn't care what I was doing to myself."
Once I was in a relationship, I had to make excuses not to go to bed with them such as staying up late watching a film.
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Perhaps because of his lack of availability, Andrew became a magnet for the girls.
But they were just a front to hide his disability: he never had sex with them, coming up with a range of excuses for being unable to perform.
"I was never single," he said. "But I never slept with them. For someone else it must sound bonkers but for me it was completely normal.
"Women found it really appealing because I didn't go for one-night stands. They loved it. They thought I was a gentleman.
"But once I was in a relationship, I had to make excuses not to go to bed with them such as staying up late watching a film.
"I would even end up in a wrestling match with them on the bed. I once told a woman I was a Muslim because I had run out of anything else.
"She said: 'But I've seen you drinking,' and I said: 'Alcohol free.' My biggest excuse was being too drugged up.
"I preferred a woman to leave me because I was off my head on drugs than for the real reason."
If the relationship lasted, he would eventually come clean: some women were understanding; others took it badly.
"I once got punched in the face," he recalled. "I thought that was a bit harsh but she did say sorry.
"Then she said: 'I'm going to have a chat with my mum and see what my mum says about it.'
"And I thought: 'Well she's going to say, listen if you love someone, it's really worth fighting for.'
"I was really naive. Her mum actually said: 'Just get rid of him straight away.' I couldn't believe it.
"The timing was always really difficult. You can't go up to someone and say: 'My name's Andrew and I haven't got a willy.' People would think I was nutty.
"So, you are always going to lead someone on. There is never a right time. No matter what anyone says. It's always going to come across badly.
"The longer you leave it the harder it is but if you say it at the beginning you look mental."
Gradually Andrew's life spiralled out of control. In 2007, at the age of 34, he left Butlin's and drifted into casual work at fast food outlets in the seaside town of Skegness, Lincolnshire.
At Christmas 2011 he made his second suicide attempt.
"I was probably the most depressed I've ever been in Skegness," he said.
"I've never been that depressed in my life. I think I had a complete breakdown. I broke up with another woman and realised I was on a spiral.
"I must have made a phone call to someone - I can't remember who – and they phoned the police. They traced the number from the phone box.
"All of a sudden I heard a knock at the door and a voice said: 'It's the police. Can you open the door?'
"So, I went into panic mode and picked up a knife from the side of my bed. God knows where it came from.
"The police were lovely. They said: 'Listen don't do anything with the knife.' They were scared I was going to stab myself through the heart."
His turnaround finally came at the start of 2012 when he flew to Thailand for a change of scenery.
"I realised I couldn't live like that so I decided I needed to go somewhere where I had no memories," he explained.
"I needed an electric shock to get back into life again. I ended up flying to Bangkok and getting a little bus to Pattaya.
"For the first few days I thought: 'Have I made a mistake coming here? What have I done?'
"And then one day I was walking on the beach and saw an old woman in a hammock.
"She was obviously homeless but was chatting and friendly and it just hit me: 'If she can be happy and have a life when she is homeless then surely I can.'
"I left my anger and depression in Thailand and was a completely different person when I came home."
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757