The following post was written about a month into my blog. It was intended for wives only, but the feedback I have received from offended husbands since that time has given me pause. I unwittingly hurt the feelings of several men out there. I have considered taking the post down, but (1) while I would certainly change some words (such as “disappointed”), I still believe that many wives felt this way at first; and (2) I can’t deny that I wrote the post this way originally and, as we all do, have grown since then. I would not write it the same way today, but the original post is below. For more on my thoughts, see The Wonderful Male Body and Man vs. Woman.
The first time I saw a penis, I was disappointed. Weren’t you?
Young men dream of naked women and long to gaze upon the wonders of the female body. Meanwhile, let’s face it, ladies, there’s nothing actually attractive about a penis. A perfect pedicure in pink with posies on the toenails: cute. A flowing satin and sequin evening gown gracing the bald mannequin in the Caché display window: beautiful. Sitting on the beach and watching a purple-hued sunset as the ocean and the sun briefly embrace: breathtaking. Michelangelo’s colossal yet graceful carving of the warrior and psalmist David: well, it depends on where you look.
The sculptor’s David is definitely a looker, but most women I’ve talked to agree that a Garden of Eden leaf garment would have been a nice touch. We don’t really need to see another man’s penis. Our husband’s is quite enough, thank you.
Despite all the phallic references in art and architecture, we’re not obsessed with looking at them. In fact, the pornographic magazine for women Playgirl debuted in 1973, went out of print in 2008, and returned to print in March 2010. So what happened? Well, the magazine was a feminist reaction to the likes of Penthouse and Playboy; a what’s good for the gander is good for the goose statement. It struggled to gain sufficient readership (i.e., women), finally stopped printing, and went to online publication. Its print comeback is due to another phenomenon: In 2009, the new director of marketing admitted that Playgirl‘s audience is predominantly male. So the biggest outlet for women to look at men’s privates stayed alive by moving from its dwindling female audience to a gay male readership because, frankly, we gals don’t care.
Men are proud of their penises. But it’s like a couple of guys looking at a new set of golf clubs; they admire the clubs, talk about the structure and materials used, and imagine everything they can accomplish once they get on the green with these babies. For women, a penis is more like a vacuum. I don’t choose the tool based on its looks or structure, but rather what it can do for me. Looks, schmooks, what can you actually do with that thing?
This also explains why men give their penises names like Mr. Happy, the Studmaster, Big Mac, etc., whereas I had a friend who said that her grandmother called it “the one-eyed snake.” Sounds right to me. Not particularly attractive, possibly dangerous, and definitely unpredictable.
I’m not knocking God’s handiwork here. But men are visual. Women are not. We’re more impressed with the sweet nothings whispered in our ear, the lips that entwine with ours in a passionate kiss, the calloused hands that turn inexplicably gentle when they trace our thighs. In fact, if you turn out the lights, we can enjoy all those parts of the show and never feel the need to see the instrument used in the grand finale.
Now, a word of advice: Don’t tell your husband his Love Machine isn’t that exciting to look at. That’s like insulting Chuck Norris’s gun. He’s proud of it, by golly. And any tool that repeatedly gets the job done starts looking pretty good over time. Even my vacuum looks kind of pretty sometimes.
For a better idea of how to talk about your hunk of a husband, try Song of Songs 5:10-16, which begins with “My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!”