After all the hoohoo about vaginas lately, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about pee pees.
Let’s talk about penises for a moment. I know, I know. It’s not an especially appealing topic for most of us. So let’s ease into it. Before we really dig in, there are probably a few things you should understand about them. First of all, the old joke “Why is a man’s brain so small? So it will fit in his penis!” has considerable foundation in reality. Second, it’s important to understand that 90% of the male population’s behavior is in fact ruled by their penis. And third, in spite of the incredible amount of time men devote to tending to its needs, they seem rather loathe to actually talk about the thing in a serious fashion. In a way, this is probably a rational choice; there is perhaps no other part of the body that is of such limited utility, is so likely to be visually unappealing, and that in spite of its relatively meager dimensions, seems to have a profound impact on human civilization. Consider Napoleon, for instance. This whole issue of men being reluctant to talk about penises came up recently when this ghastly story of an infant in Brooklyn who died as a result of an archaic circumcision ritual called metzitzah b’peh made the rounds. The story (probably because of reason number three above) got scant media attention, and mostly seemed to be used as fodder for hyperbole-driven atheist blog posts and poorly-executed internet memes (language NSFW).
Amongst some people I know though, this tragic event stimulated some conversation about the whole circumcised vs. uncircumcised debate, and led us to an Read the rest of this entry »
[ Comments Off ]Posted on March 28, 2011 by admin in Lifestyle & CultureMonday, March 28th, 2011
Or maybe not. When you don’t have dick to write about, you can always reach for the low hanging fruit.
I got an e-mail from a friend this morning asking me what I was going to write about today. I replied with “To be honest, I don’t have dick“. I don’t usually talk that way; this was an old friend who never seems to understand what I’m talking about unless I punctuate every sentence with an f-bomb or reference to bodily functions or the more personal aspects of human anatomy. A few minutes later he sent me a link to this interactive map of penis sizes around the world (there’s another one that correlates the data with IQ if you’re interested). This made me realize that although I’d written about Dick a lot over the last couple years, I hadn’t written about penis since July 2008, and in that instance, it was a rather historically important penis. At this point I’d like to point out that I’m still not writing about penises, I’m writing about not writing about penises. And I have to say that in spite of this extended abstinence from penis (I mean, as a topic) and even after combing Dickipedia, I still came up with dick. So have I finally become just another example of The Peter Principle? Have I risen to my level of incompetence with my own web site? Or is it possible that I just don’t find penises that exciting? Once I started pondering the topic though, I couldn’t help noticing that I couldn’t recall the last time a friend – male or female – had brought up penises in casual conversation. Which seems a little odd. I mean, about half the human race has one, and on a basic level, human life is nearly impossible without them. All the same, I’m personally still okay not talking about them. Although I did learn today that there’s a Wikipedia page (SFW, if the word “penis” is safe where you work) devoted to penis size, and that there’s such a thing as a (NSFW, and frankly, not safe for much of anything) Micropenis. And I also ran across an amusing anecdote. Apparently, when trade was first opening up between the US and the USSR in the 80′s, one of the first exports from the US to Russia was from the condom industry. The Russians insisted that the condoms had to fit a penis of 11 inches in length, and repeated this requirement when the Americans checked, just to make sure that there wasn’t a mistake in translation. So, the Americans sent the condoms of the specified dimension. In boxes labeled “???????? ???????” . Which is where a lot of penis talk seems to end up, in jokes about size. So what do you think? Does the world need more penis talk?
Find out in “Napoleon’s Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped” by Tony Perrottet
As I a teenager, I wasn’t too crazy about history, because I thought “history” meant copying down the dates my surly, alcoholic 8th grade teacher wrote on the blackboard, and then forgetting them at exam time. If only he had possessed the insight to engage our perverted, pubescent minds with the more intriguing, human aspects of history. Like, Napoleons’s penis, for instance. In the words of Tony Perrottet, author of Napoleon’s Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped (available in er, hardcover), “…the French government had been given the opportunity to buy what might have been the most famous sexual organ in European history…they didn’t touch the penis. They wouldn’t have anything to do with the penis.” Read or listen to the piece on NPR, or buy the book here.