The Penis As An Object of Beauty
by Perry Brass
[Note: this piece, from 2005, is one of the most popular pieces on my
site. I think that it really speaks to a lot of men, and women, about
what has happened to men and their feelings about their bodies. So I
have updated it in October of 2010. I hope you'll reread it, and please
let me know what you think about it.]
Something horrible happened to Western culture in
the first 200 years after the death of Jesus. The soul, which the Jews
associated only with God (Jehovah),
this thing that belonged exclusively to Him, was at one moment set free
and then immediately re-captured by the Church and its often
either psychotic or closetedly queer minions.
In other words, your soul was now yours, but you
could lose it at the drop of your
pants. So, you had your Eternal Soul (and all the religious hysteria
that went with it),
but it would always be in conflict with your body.
In a nutshell, any time your thoughts strayed to
the region below your belly button, you were in danger of Hell, eternal
fire, brimstone, etc.
Sex became a curse—the Devil's playground.
as you probably figured out, quickly dragged the rest of the body with
it. The Greeks, corrupt and evil as they were (after all, they'd
only brought us something called civilization),
body was beautiful. They
saw the beauty of the body as part of the beauty of the
soul itself, even if their version of the soul was a fairly small one,
just wandering around gloomily after Death, trying to find a picnic.
But the Greeks and other pagans
thought the body—naked, free, beautiful—well. . . it was a darned
They loved it. Adored it. Worshipped it,
especially in the form of "boy worship," something we can't even get a
handle on today. ("Boy" today = Little League Baseball.) Christianity
decided that the
soul was eternal, and the body, where the soul was imprisoned, was only
place where shit got manufactured and that the worms would later
So, except as something to kill, main, mutilate,
spindle, torture, and degrade, the body was . . . just worthless crap.
And, alas, the poor penis went into total exile.
It became an object
of such revulsion that you'd think the thing you peed with,
which produced rug rats, which responded to any number of cues and
and which was so amazingly sensitive to any number of injuries and
that it might stop functioning at any time (as makers
Viagra and Cialis will tell you) was the vile thinking cap of Satan,
Beelzebub, Osama Bin Laden, and Rush Limbaugh all combined.
In other words, if you truly hated it, it had to come out
of your dick.
It was a sorry state of affairs.
Your crown jewels
had to be hidden under six layers of material, including a special
Teflon pouch. The slightest sight of a poor little pecker could turn
stone. Imagine Janet Jackson’s famous costume “malfunction” at the
exploded to the four-hundredth degree, and you'd get a mere inkling of
the reaction if, say, Brad Pitt's John Henry had somehow
a-loose in any of the scenes in Troy.
(Which, by the way, even
gives one of my favorite categories of films, the "trash classical,"
such as the great Steve Reeves Hercules
movies, a truly bad name: Troy
is a pure clinker. How could they
make something so ripe with
possibilities for queer delights into such a bore?)
I mean, we might get a quick fanny shot every now
and then but an actual,
in-the-flesh schlong . . . whole governments
I don't think that even Barack Obama could withstand the scandal of
anyone seeing his "thang." Just remember what happened when Bill
Clinton's little boy came close to exposure when one of his
ex-girlfriends described it as "big as a roll of quarters."
However, there is some hope on the horizon for those
few wayward people whose eternal souls are in jeopardy, like myself,
Michelangelo, Walt Whitman, Thomas Eakins, Jeff Stryyker, and a few
others who believe that the
penis itself is—well—beautiful.
There's a glimmer of light on the horizon. This
jewel of the male body, the lingam associated
with the god Shiva—one of the primal
sources of creative energy—which the Greeks believed was sacred to
Herm (the phallic god), and which so many men still fear and despise
self-rejecting intensity that should be rightly
infant mortality, and global warming—
—there is hope, dear readers,
for once again realizing the aesthetic loveliness of this often
forlorn, but very well-designed
Although it is still hidden from view with the
sustained effort with which the old Bush White House concealed pictures
coffins coming home from Iraq, teens (the most important marketing
target in the U.S., the
"demographic" to whom our entire culture is now aimed) are starting to
enjoy—and even admit enjoying—sucking
Teen girls are putting this loathsome, discredited,
and often unpredictable thing in their brightly lipsticked mouths, and
once something gets in there, then you have to admit that at the very
it can't be anything but . . . cool.
Even the august New York Times, in a
"Thursday Style" piece, admitted that teen "oral
sex parties" are getting out of hand—the way that teen drinking
parties are. In fact, drinking and cocksucking are working hand-in
. . .
Anyway, get the message: Girls are
doing it all over the place, going down quicker than the Dow after the
And even some boys are revealing that they, too, are
figure out why the girls get to have all the fun—and what's so
bad about putting this little gizmo in your chops and giving it a
especially if it makes some real good buddy happy?
Now, there is one potent "Get Out Of Jail Free"
The kids are telling us, just as William Jefferson
did, that oral sex is not sex
at all. It's just good ol'-fashioned
fun, something Monica Lewinski led the way with. And now, along with
the Name-status handbag, a little midway-throating (as opposed to
deep-throating) is a sure badge of being "in."
In some ways, the Christian Right, which insists on
virginity at all costs, is responsible here. The Christian Right
has always had only a glancing relationship with the truth, so
real sex as only being
something in the "missionary position" goes along with that.
Oral Sex is not sex. In fact, "Oral" is just the first name of a brand
of toothbrush, which everyone knows your dentist recommends.
Therefore, in a nutshell, "oral" and
"sex" are not one-and-the-same
Penises are "coming out." At teen oral sex parties.
In the backseats at mall parking lots. In the backrows of Scream XVI and other wholesome
kiddy movies. And so
are those sweet kids having a good time sucking them.
This definitely is going to do something good for
world. And eventually, I hope that within the next two weeks or so, we
will see the incredible singular individual beauty of the penis. And
as Whitman once sang, “the body
electric,” in totality itself.
[Please note: The above was, basically, the story
I've been running here since 2005. A very long time in World Wide Web
years. But so many of you have written me that you genuinely love this
piece that I want to keep it up (OK, no pun intended; keep that
Viagra-stiffened imagination in your pants.) But here's what I'd like
to say in the fall of 2010:]
The penis is still in exile. Kids are pretty much
still afraid of anything to do with it, as far as actually admitting
that they like it, either their own dicks or those of others. Even a
lot of gay men I know are ashamed of their equipment, especially if
they feel that their package is just not as big as it should be. Size
and the problems that go with it have become huge issues for many men.
I think this is terrible, and I wrote a chapter about it in my book The Manly Art of Seduction. All
dicks are wonderful, no matter what their size, girth, or the advanced
age of their owners. What makes a cock great is who is sporting it,
carrying it, caring for it, and loving it. That is the simple fact of
the matter. So no matter how you look at it, and I hope you will look at
your sexual equipment with candor, honesty, and the same kind of
frankness I have used in this piece, a dick is a thing to celebrate.
And please stop calling guys "dicks" just because
they don't use their brains.
Call them morons instead.
What did you think about this—isn't it time to bring the dick
out of disgrace? Email
me and tell me your thoughts.
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