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Penis Friday.

Exboi! and I are off on a day trip to Bendigo soonish to admire Greek bottoms. The Body Beautiful In Ancient Greece is on there. It's less about expecting a visceral response and more about history and technique, but I may well be moved when I see these works in real life.

Last night I decided to find out why Greek statues, famed for their realism, *all* have such small penises. With the apparent focus on realism, you'd think they'd vary in size, just like real people do.

Exboi! thinks it's because they were chopped off to be kept in basements at the Vatican (ooh lads, fill my basement with your lusty phalluses) but internet searching tells me that they are in fact, still on the statues, but that the Greeks were adjusting for size according to their own cultural preoccupations.

Which is further proof of me being justifiably doubtful when people use art to prove or disprove authenticity. There is no such thing as realism. (And even photos can be posed and adjusted, and always are). We can't escape our own cultural preoccupations and nor can people from other eras and other places. I'm not saying we can't look for hints, but we must always remember that art is interpretation.

So getting back to penises, the above link about Greek art led me to Circumstitions, A Gallery Of Intact Penises In Art. As well as Greek penises still being largely intact and not in basements at the Vatican, they are also, universally, intact: the Greeks did not practice circumcision. (see what I did there?)

I found myself learning a whole lot about foreskins that I didn't know before: like the fact that they are full of nerve endings and do in fact have an independent role in pleasure and sexual response. They provide feelings and sensations not known by men who were circumcised at birth. And sometimes grieved for by men who are circumcised later in life.

I came away from that page thoroughly convinced by the case against male circumcision. And sad that since the majority of my sexual partners have been circumcised, there's a whole area of sexual pleasure that I've not known about. And more importantly, nor have they.

The couple of times I've been with intact men, I've honestly not known how to, um, manage a foreskin, let alone explore the possibilities.


I'm glad I did this searching. My parents had a large book about Michelangelo when I was a girl. Inspired by the aesthetic ideals of Greek art, he also did the small penis thing, it puzzled me but questions about that sort of thing weren't ones I could easily ask.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2014 06:17 am (UTC)
Is this like Casual Friday going all commando?

I was fascinated with Greek sculpture as a kid. Perhaps from my exposure to the collection in the Ashmolean, which we went to several times the year we lived in Oxford.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 06:29 am (UTC)
A million thank yous Ali, this has been entirely fascinating. Pete is uncircumcised, and I've learned a whole nother area of eroticism and hilarity with him. The fun things you can do with foreskins is amazing.
Aug. 22nd, 2014 07:41 am (UTC)
Since this is all Greek to me, shouldn't that be penoi and phalloi? :o)
Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
I suspect it might have been a cold room where the sculptor worked.

There was a very popular stage show called "Puppetry of the Penis" which toured countries some years back. I saw a notice for actors to audition for the troupe but I was not inspired to try out.


Alternately called "Genital Origami". Either way, I do believe lacking foreskin prevents one from ever achieving any expertise in the art.
Aug. 25th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC)
How do you circumcise a whale? Send down four skin divers.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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