ShortList.com's Jordan Waller on why Kevin Bacon and equality campaigners are right, we do need more penises on cam. Just not for the obvious reasons...
I can’t remember the first time that I became truly aware of my own testicles but I imagine that my reaction was one of restrained horror and disappointment.
Staring down at the tiny flesh parcels that accompany the usual male pipeline I probably muttered a mental babble that said: “Really?”
Let’s all be honest right now – gay, straight, bi or pan: The male genitals are awful.
Even when they’re poised and in high alert mode - the pinnacle of their purpose - they just look angry and clumsy, like a veiny cruise missile.
The human body is a miraculous thing, it’s a well-oiled machine of incredible capabilities right up until the humble ‘peen’ where it’s as if thousands of years’ worth of evolution decided to take a tea break and never got back to work. Like the Evolution Gang wasted all of its efforts on opposable thumbs and walking upright, too busy to focus on sorting out the schlong and the grapes.
Heck, most of the time they’re not even the right colour. They’re always paler or a bit darker – or heaven forbid, a bit splotchy. Add the emotional rollercoaster that is pubic hair and the whole package is the aesthetic equivalent of a piano made of ham sandwiches. A goddamn disaster.
It’s a biological disgrace to design. Why the hell-icopters are we created in such a way that the most sensitive parts of our entire body are just left there to dangle like the detritus of a dying mammal caught in a cobweb. A place in the direct firing line of imminent danger.
In short, male genitals are ridiculous.
So, when Kevin Bacon went on a pro-cock offensive this week in an effort to bring more skin rockets to the silver screen, my initial reaction was ‘why’? Why would anybody want to do that? We should lock them away for only ‘special time’ and other bodily functions. Women, Kevin reasoned, have been getting their kit off in cinema since forever. In fact, Game of Thrones probably writes it into their contract: ‘Must be comfortable with acting, stabbing, incest, sexing, side boob, normal boob, front bottom.’
It’s unfair, it doesn’t demonstrate a fair and equal stance for the sexes, he implored. And he’s right - of course he is.
You can take several stances on this, the most common being that it’s misogynistic. That we’re just perverts who want to look at ladies in the nude. And I have no doubt that a portion of the male population probably fits that bill quite well. But these men are idiots and shouldn’t be given much time.
But I think there’s another reason. One that’s nothing to do with misogyny. I think we’re ashamed, embarrassed by our own unsymmetrical and jutting silhouette.
The female form is a fantastic thing. To go back to previous design terms it’s on the levels of a Ferrari, whereas the male body is more like a clapped out Vauxhall Corsa. Of course we don’t want to show it off. We’re embarrassed and terrified by our own reproductive organs. Unlike women, who look a lot better than we do naked and kudos to them.
It’s not exactly breaking news that penis worries and fears are one of the biggest (or smallest) thing that men ponder. Could the weight of this innate concern extend from the changing room to other areas in life, manifesting in alpha-macho comparisons about penis size and who’s managed to have sex with the most people?
It’s not about proving yourself to other men or women, it’s justifying yourself to you. Saying – ‘sure, it looks a mess but it’s got a job and it does its job well: I HAVE THE BEST PENIS.’
You don’t, but you tell yourself that. If you did have the world’s best schlong, you wouldn’t have to tell yourself it was fine. It just would be.
Men are raised into a world of competitive cock talk, where we embellish and avoid talking about things. We hide it away – ashamed at the chance that we might just not be normal. And that’s the reason why you don’t see too many winkies on camera.
Because somewhere, some big-shot director is worried about his own organ and doesn’t want to look at another man’s junk for the risk of him going home and staring down, aghast at his own lovestick. Uttering words like: “Why do my pubes grow there?” Or “Has it always pointed that way or is it because my trousers are too tight? His didn’t point that way…”
It’s time that we stopped being so scared of confronting our own fleshy demons, and perhaps the first step to doing that is getting familiar with them on a pop-culture level. Maybe if we’d not had so many boobs put in our eyeballs we’d be repulsed by those too – does the act of making something normal make it attractive? It’s entirely possible and it could very well be the way forward for penises.
Kevin Bacon is right – we need more cocks on cam. But not just because the current stance on nudity is like a caveman’s club to the face of equality, it’s also to put our own minds at ease.
To show us that, 'yes, your penis is lacklustre and slightly underwhelming, but so is his. And his. And his'.
With the exception of Lenny Kravitz. His penis is clearly some kind of mythical beast.