The Penis Project
I write a lot about women. It’s not that I mean to exclude men, it’s just that I know more about the female experience than the male experience. I can put into words all things female including what it’s like to feel that something is perhaps not quite right about how my vagina looks (because I really didn’t know what other vaginas looked like); and I can also express from a first person narrative how I learned on a deep and soulful level that my genitals are beautiful just the way they are.
I am comfortable writing about how I got my own frame of reference of vaginal beauty that had nothing to do with girls on the porn channels with cosmetically altered vulvas. I can now talk about vulvas the way Georgia O’Keefe can paint flowers. It was a long journey – and I am happy to talk about it. For me, it is more important to share the epiphany of healing through pleasure that transformed me, and how I believe that the disconnect between vaginas and their owners is not just something that I experienced, but is rampant among way too many women.
Talking about what other people find difficult to talk about is what I do. Yeah, sometimes I am uncomfortable too. I wouldn’t be honest if i didn’t cop to that.
So I continue to talk about the parts of being human that make other people squirm. It’s what I do. I might be ahead of the curve sometimes….but that is what makes reading this blog interesting.
But this fascination with women sometimes gets colleagues to tease me:
“What about the penis, Pamela? Why aren’t you talking about the penis?”
I started to feel a little defensive. It’s not like I am not familiar with the penis. I have written about male fertility, and how a healthy lifestyle can impact sperm production. I have warned the world about the dangers of laptops and overheated sperm. And even how to get their sperm count checked at home! But the penis? All of a sudden I got all shy. And I didn’t know why exactly. After all, I am married to a man, I have two sons, and I am a fertility and sex educator. But somehow, I felt like I just couldn’t sit down and emote. I am a tourist in the land of the penis. I don’t own one.
So, I started to call around and my male sex educator friends rose to the occasion. My friend and longtime mentor Al Waddell, who is a sex educator primarily in the gay male community, responded with a laugh to my penis query: “Men don’t know anything about their penises!” He chortled. “They know how to get it up and how to get it off. But they don’t really understand how it all works energetically. Most men don’t even understand the difference between orgasm and ejaculation.” Really Al? WOW. It seems that men are just as disconnected from their penises in some ways, as women are from their vaginas. What is going on? Are we truly as sexually repressed a country as many commentators think we are?
My next step was to jack into the internet, and I stumbled onto “The Penis Project.” First of all, you have got to love a website with that name!
The founder of the The Penis Project has designed the site as an art project which blends serious and humorous work. It is a statement to help counteract the overexposure and exploitation of women by overexposing and exploiting men. Now there is a concept for you. On her site there are sculptures with embellishments, and the names of 100 penises!
From there, I went back to the phone lines. For my sex educator male friends, most of the conversation around the penis tended to center very passionately around two topics: “The Circumcision Controversy” (to cut or not to cut) and and all things ejaculation.
I have to say that many of my circumcised sex educator male friends are simply furious at their parents for cutting them. They rant about the nerve ending that they have lost, the changes to the penis environment (it’s a moisture thing), and their lack of consent as a child. A few of my friends have even explored the idea of “re-growing” their foreskin. It’s nice to know that men can be as crazy as women.
Every time I have the circumcision conversation with my male sex educator friends who have been “robbed of their foreskins without their consent,” I feel totally guilty. I circumcised my boys out of religious observance and tradition. We also wanted them to have the same penis style as their circumcised father.
But after doing all of the reading, and hearing the outrage that so many men feel about their circumcision, I am left with this feeling of guilt. One of my sex educator friends tried to reassure me – he tells me that he doesn’t miss his foreskin. He can’t remember it.
When you talk male ejaculation you are talking about an entire body of experience, literature and points of views. “Pamela,” Al Waddell said, “most men don’t know the difference between orgasm and ejaculation!”
Now if you are trying to get pregnant, ejaculation is a really good thing. And if you are the male partner engaged in love making, it is a wonderful thing to be able to keep your erection long enough to share pleasure with your partner. (But for all those “soft penis” men out there – orgasm and pleasure is very possible with a soft penis.)
Once again, this intrepid explorer started to explore the internet.
On Dr. Oz’s blog there was an entry on male sexuality and ejaculation called “He Always Finishes First” by Harry Fisch, MD. Harry also wrote a book called Size Matters: The Hard Facts About Male Sexuality That Every Woman Should Know. Check it out.
There is a ton out there on premature ejaculation. Some people believe that if your partner orgasms first, what does it matter when the man ejaculates? Dr. Fisch talks about some medical interventions such as anesthetic creams that mildly numb the penis to delay orgasm; but most men that I know find that using a condom can give them just enough buffer to help them control their ejaculation.
There are many sexperts who encourage men to breathe more into their bodies and do Kegel exercises to help them delay their ejaculation. But the men that I talked to complained that too much focus on breath and squeezing their PC muscles makes love making less fun and more about work. Here are some quick tips on lasting longer: I hope that Dr. Fisch approves!
* Don’t use drugs or alcohol. The ability to be self-aware is crucial to learning ejaculatory control.
* Make noise while making love! It is another way of keeping your breath moving! You can making love moaning sounds or growl like a lion!
* Feel your entire body not just your genitals as a sexual organ. Move that energy around from your penis to the rest of you. The best sex involves head-to-toe arousal. Don’t be orgasm- or penis-focused when you are making love. As you learn to appreciate sensual pleasure from head to toe, whole-body arousal takes the pressure off your penis, and you last longer.
* Holding your breath does not work! Breathe deeply. If you can’t focus on breathing, make noise! That will keep your breath flowing. Many men think that they are able to be more in control of their ejaculation if they don’t breathe during sex. Just let your breath go! Moan!
* Women generally prefer slowed down, playful, whole-body, touch-oriented sexuality that includes the genitals but includes everything else! If you hear women complain about love making, it is usually that their male lovers are too rushed and too eager for intercourse. How about spending time just touching nipples? As Dr. Fisch mentions, allow your female partner some time to catch up!
I hope that my foray into penis blogging was as interesting and helpful as my vagina blogging! This was certainly a new experience for me. See what the penis brings out in me?