When educator and columnist Gabriel Constans saw the play The Vagina Monologues he realized the value of a similar investigation into men’s feelings about their penis and its influence on them. He sought out men of various ages, occupations and sexual orientations and asked them to relate their experiences on a range of subjects to do with sex, love, relationships, and of course, their genitalia. The end result is a book – The Penis Dialogues – that takes a refreshingly honest look at men’s feelings about sexuality, gender and the experience of being a man. Topics include masturbation, abuse, circumcision, relationships, cultural conditioning and what women think of the male appendage.
The book is an excellent starting point for men who have previously wondered about aspects of their sexuality, genitalia or whether or not they were “normal”. Whilst much of the book is made up of men telling of their own experiences, the book also covers a range of penis health issues and a number of entertaining tales related from the penis’ point of view. Excerpts from some of the stories appearing in the book are presented below.
What does your penis look like?
It reminds me of a cobra that’s been aroused and is waiting to strike. It rises, flares up and sways back and forth.
It looks ugly. I think it’s smaller than average, but most guys thinks theirs is bigger or smaller than everyone else’s anyway. When it’s drooping it reminds me of a slug.
When asked by a colleague, “Do you think a person’s self-image is dependent on the size of his penis?” Sigmund Freud replied, “It is quite the opposite. The size of his penis depends on his self-image.”
It looks like a little fireman. When it’s erect it’s all smooth, shiny and pulsating. Sometimes it seems like a miracle when it gets hard and quadruples in size.
What does it feel like to have an erection?
It’s almost painful. Pleasure is only a part of it. It’s painful pleasure. It’s a focusing and gathering, as though the rest of my body is draining. I need to bring attention to it. When it receives attention pleasure occurs.
It’s like water building up behind a dam, with pressure that needs to be released.
An erection takes my head to the head of my penis. All my thoughts are there. It’s a coalescing of everything in one spot.
An erection feels like a fifteen minute sneeze. It starts by feeling really warm and exciting throughout my whole body, with a focus on my groin. An orgasm feels the top blowing off of everything.
What are your experiences about how men relate in locker rooms and lavatories?
My over-riding observation is that men don’t make eye-contact in the bathroom – it’s just not done. I’m sure it’s some sort of homophobia.
There’s wariness, like when two dogs come up, circle and smell each other. In a metaphorical sense, men are checking to see who has the bigger penis or the most power.
When I go into a men’s room, if a guy stands next to me to pee and starts looking at my penis, I leave real fast. I don’t want to get near that energy.
It seems like men need to establish what and who they are. I don’t like men’s locker rooms. I like sports, but I’m not a jock. I don’t want to pretend that I’m comfortable showing my body to other men.
Men tend to do their thing and usually don’t talk to other men while doing it. I didn’t think about or look at other men. I was afraid that if I did and happened to get an erection it would mean I was queer.
In high school I always felt intimidated and thought I was a late bloomer. It seemed you were judged a lot on how you were developing physically. Guys would talk to each other and say things like, “You’re a hairless wonder.”
You’re always checking out the size of your buddies, because prowess is associated with size.
I remember looking out the corner of my eye every once in a while to see what the other guys looked like.
I was always real self-conscious. I was a little overweight and compared myself to other guys to see who had a big dick. Everyone would take little side-glances but never look directly at one another.