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Well amusing though this is there is a sadness attached to it. Does it not say so much about Britain today that there are people around who will complain about a stone image of an erect penis and that on one complaint the police should actually act?
Considering half the world have them, a penis that is, and with out them none of us would be here; is it not odd that the penis should be considered so offensive by some people. Once; not so very long ago images of erect penises were everywhere. Winged penises ejaculated benedictions and warded off evil. As a Pagan I use images of the penis as the symbol of the male God in my ceremonies. As a sex worker they are the tools of my trade and pleasing them is what I do. They are amazing things and when erect quite beautiful and they give so much pleasure to their owners and to those pleasuring them. Yes they can be used for violence but they symbolically have always represented fertility, love and compassion. They were visible symbols of rebirth and of the old Gods who were saviours of the human race, Gods who died and were reborn so that we may be fed, watered and be born and loved, the God died so that we may live and the penis was that potent symbol of life and of love.
The penis however has also always been a source of amusement and is the butt of innuendo and coarse humour and men worry about them all the time. They come in all sizes and variations of colour and texture and form and each one has its own little peculiarities which is often what makes them especially fun to get to know. On the whole they bring so much more joy than they ever do harm and yet in today’s so called liberal society so many people seem to be ashamed of them or worse even frightened of them. Erections are banned to the secrecy of porn to be viewed by adults behind closed doors and well away from children. Is it any wonder that the image of the erect penis has assumed a status of fetish to those for whom it is a fearful and shocking thing to behold? Even flaccid penises are banned from public display or at least real ones; just in case they should outrage public decency. The poor penis what ever did it do to fall so badly from grace.
I remember with amusement on a visit to Egypt observing how the early Christians and later Muslim invaders had desecrated the images of the Gods such as Osiris and Ptah by depriving them of their penises. The images of these Gods once adorned the temples of Egypt displaying enormous erections as proof of their fertility and love for mankind. The monotheistic fanatics however had apparently only had a relatively short reach because although the images with in easy striking distance had been desecrated those towering above mostly remained intact. The temples of Egypt give a glimpse into a world sadly gone where the image of the penis was not seen as something dirty but quite the opposite. Modern fear of the penis I think is the result of monotheism. Monotheistic fear of sex and it’s desire to control and contain sexual desire within prescribed limits has damaged our relationship not only with the sacred mysteries of life once very visibly represented by the most essential bodily function of all; an erection, something with out which mankind would cease to exist but with the sacredness of our very humanity and worse our relationship to the very earth itself. All of the modern feminist angst over male aggression symbolised by the penis and the objectification of the feminine through the commercialisation of the female body is one aspect only of a reaction to our societal fear of human sexuality. Perhaps more importantly our fear of the penis represents a very real fear of our individual sexual capability, of our personal sexual need and therefore of our sexual diversity as a species. The image of an erect penis is a powerful image because it both arouses and exposes our sexual desires which we have been told we should be ashamed of. Sex should be secretive and the stuff of embarrassment, to be controlled. Monotheistic fear of the flesh and its capacity to torture individuals through guilt has had dangerous consequences for our society and for individuals. Radical feminism and dangerous and unjust laws that criminalise consensual sexual activity between adults are a reflection not of a fair society but rather of the illogical fears of a repressed society that still bears the scars of years of sexual abuse. When the state institutionalises irrational fear and guilt about sexual behaviour and imagery then it is hardly surprising that even if the institutions that originally were responsible for that abuse should loose their influence that the mental scars will remain and become the focus to justify continued repression. Fear of the penis is simply for me the most obvious symbol of our social neurosis which is a result of centuries of guilt and shame about our bodies and the pleasure they give us.
Free willie and free yourselves ?