In the beginning, there was chaos. Chaos was darkness, the waters of the abyss. The first god, Amun, arose from the waters using nothing but his own strength to give form to his body. Amun existed alone. All was his. Yesterday and tomorrow were his. Alone, he took his penis in his hand. He made love to his fist. He made his exquisite joy with his fingers. And from the flame of the fiery blast which he kindled with his hand, the universe was formed.
I set out to write an essay on women’s roles in ancient fertility rites. After all, the male of our species and his dangly bits have been lauded and attended throughout history: from the Egyptian first god, Amun, the above-mentioned fist-lover; to Priapus, the eternally erect son of Aphrodite (shown left weighing his penis against grain); to the Hindu god Shiva, whose penis, or lingam, was so hot it caught fire, fire only contained when a vagina, or loni, appeared.
As far as excuses go, this one takes the cake. Yes, we know hormones can make our wild testosterone-crazed men do stupid things but, “I had to put it in because my dong was on fire” doesn’t cut it. A Shiva worshipper, I shall never be.
After lots of reading, I discovered one unifying attribute: Men, whether they are gods or mere mortals, think their penises are all that. Some, but not all, women agree. I decided to, er, explore the issue (my husband is out of town).
Back to Shiva. He was the god of destruction and change. Because of control issues (his goddess wife was destroying more than he was), he turned himself into a corpse to fool and stop her. Thinking him dead, however, his wife, the goddess Kali, squatted over his body, ripped out and ate his organs, and then mounted his still erect lingam to complete the cycle of creation.
Which kind of supports man’s my-penis-is-awesome theory. The rest of him? Not so much. As evidence, this statue representing the old dick (along with handy fire extinguisher).
Today, Egypt is primarily an Islam nation and I am NOT going there, thank you very much. Yet around 2000 BC, the Egyptian god of fertility, Min (apparently he didn’t need to over-compensate name-wise) was the principal deity of the Egyptian empire. Artwork and statuary feature Min holding his penis in one hand and a threshing flail in the other. (He was apparently into Dominant/submissive relationships; see “50 Shades of Grey”, “The Story of O”.)
During the coronation ceremony of every new pharaoh, Min supervised from on-high as the ascending pharaoh proved that he could ejaculate ... In front of people. Centuries before Playboy, Min was there to make sure everything worked as designed (and possibly to ensure no new universes were created from the fiery blast of hand to fist love). I’m not sure what happened to Min; however, his temple is somewhere beneath the modern city of Akhmim. It contains his statue, all reported 55 feet of it.
Just think about that schwanzstucker, Ladies.
If we journey farther east, we come to Japan. We enter Japan. We’re in Japan. (I've been reading and writing about this too long; every phrase has sexual connotations.) Bridget Jones’ mother declared the Japanese a “cruel race,” but I like to think of them as passionate grudge holders forced to exude calm facades. Which leads to the first of two tales of Japanese phallic worship:
450 years ago, two rival politicians’ race turned ugly (this seems redundant). Their feud escalated to death threats against one another as well as against their sons, forcing them to hide their offspring. One of the men, Mr. Oji, decided further camouflage was necessary and disguised his son as a girl. By the time the other man, Mr. Sue, found the girl-who-was-really-a-boy, he had worked himself into such a frenzy that he killed the poor child by cutting off his head and then, for good measure, his penis. When the news got out, the local villagers decided to craft wood and stone phalli as replacements.
But not crania. Which leads me to assume Japanese men, at the least, let their little heads do the thinking for their big ones.
Those locals had so much fun making penises that, to this day, they still are doing it. They make a big shrine to the Almighty Cock, fill it with penises, and then, entrepreneurial as can be, make and sell replicas so that people from around the world will visit Japanese Cock Country Jamboree.
But wait, there’s more…
In yet another area of Japan, they have Penis Parades! And they don’t even remember why! The Hounen Fertility Festival gets arousing at 10 am when the sake comes out, and then again at 2 pm when Shinto priests bless the crowd before shouldering a 9 foot, 620 pound schlong. Then, they pray for a fertile year (and a merciful hangover).
It’s like Carnival! With penises! Tastes great, less filling!
Finally, we come to Bhutan. The land of Buddhist monks where at least one man was very, very horny and quite the ladies' man. Yes, Drukpa Kunley promised women that the way to Nirvana was through relationships with his penis, which he nicknamed “The Flaming Thunderbolt.”
Really? Most guys use a simple monosyllabic name like Fred or Chuck. This guy must have had one serious, um, ego. AND he had women pay him for his services in beer! Richard Gere has nothing on Drukpa Kunley.
Somehow, I suspect through sheer balls, Drukpa became part of Buddhist mythology, supposedly defeating evil demonesses by beating them in the face and gagging them, both with his Flaming Thunderbolt. His image, yes THAT image, can be found painted upon homes and buildings for good luck and to ward off evil.
So what have I learned? That, on the surface, men do believe their penises are all that. They start worlds with them, fight enemies with them, and, occasionally, satisfy women with them (if they have skills or possess Flaming Thunderbolts). The Japanese fill woods with carvings of them and the Bhutanese paint them on their houses. Anthony Weiner and Brett Favre tweet pictures of them. Yet for whom? Sorry, gentlemen, but most women need the woo with the woohoo. Your penis does not define you.
Guys, we love you all despite and sometimes because of your flaws and insecurities. Your penises are indeed important, at least for that whole continuance of the human race thing; our vaginas are as well. Yet, you don’t see yonic images everywhere (unless you’re at a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit). We love your big heads and your big hearts - why not show them off now and then? Mine does and I love him all the more for it.