Your Penis Is Not Special

Social Commentary

Your Penis Is Not Special

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Igrew up in a household where it wasn’t unusual to see my dad cross his legs while reading his morning newspaper. It never occurred to him that the gap between your legs is directly proportional to how manly you come across to society. It wasn’t until my friends at my tuition classes started making sly remarks about my posture that I learned the mathematics of masculinity. The direct ratio of manspread width to testosterone levels was the most important equation in this syllabus.

“Dekh kaisa ladies log ki tarah baitha hai,” they would say, and the whole class would leak a chuckle, including the girls. It was only then that I realised that the package between my legs was to be displayed to maximum effect. What sat between my legs was special and deserved airing. Crossing my legs would only mean that the world could no longer enjoy the pleasure of having a clear view of it.

I’ve spent a large part of my life pondering over what makes my penis special. After all, men outnumber women on this planet by 66 million, which means that having a penis is way more common than you think it is. Why is my penis special when there are 6,59,99,999 extra ones on this planet going waste? This is not counting phallic stand-ins throughout history, like broadswords, skyscrapers, and sports cars. I mean, 6,59,99,999 isn’t a small number by any standards, it’s more than the population of Italy. But all through school I’ve been taught to treat it like it’s something that came out of Samudra Manthan right after the amrit, and that the wish-granting divine cow Kamdhenu and the Gods had to fight over it.

Our obsession with our penises starts from puberty. The transition from calling it diminutive nicknames like “nunu”, “wee-wee” and “pee-pee” to the hard, unyielding sounds of “cock” and “dick” is a tricky one. You discover this phenomenon called an erection. Turns out, if you repeatedly stroke it, your penis does this crazy thing where it spazzes out and squirts a white sticky substance, and you have no idea why that feels so good or what use that could be of in the future. But still for some reason you can’t stop doing it, mostly alone, but also on rare occasions with friends around. Circle jerk is not a term millennials came up with; it was rather common during the days when high-speed internet wasn’t a thing. With only magazines, your imagination, and a room full of equally horny kids who want to play at your disposal, it was the wisest game to play. First to climax got to bat first or didn’t have to field.

Oversized dicks crudely drawn on bathroom cubicles become de rigueur (I don’t know a single woman who has drawn a vagina in this phase!) and the world and its women became a playground for our penises.

The supernatural proclivity of adolescent boys to sniff out pornographic material also hardens (pun intended) our perception of our junk. Terms like “Monster Dong” and “Big Black Cock” scream for your attention, reinforcing the notion that bigger means better. This is also around the same time when men start to compare their junk with their peers, excuses like “for my height, it’s quite big” and “wait, wait, it gets bigger trust me” slide in and out of conversations. This is the point in the penis life cycle where putting on your abdomen guard before a cricket match becomes secondary to boasting about how finding a cup that fit was a Herculean labour. There is an innate need for us to know if our dick is bigger than the six-inch display the latest Samsung phone is offering. Forget about the other features and just tell me if this is what six inches of Asian manufacturing should look like.

After we come out of the adolescent phase of loving all things immensely phallic, our previously small, unthreatening nunus become toxic symbols of unchecked masculinity. Oversized dicks crudely drawn on bathroom cubicles become de rigueur (I don’t know a single woman who has drawn a vagina in this phase!) and the world and its women became a playground for our penises. We begin to think with our dicks and for our dicks. As one incisive Twitter user put it – everything we like, we want to show it to our penis. They become “family jewels”, impregnators of women, symbols of dangerous potency. The idea of gifting a lady a diamond seems quaint and outdated compared to the opportunity to “give that bitch the D”. Penises in this stage are respected based on how much use they’ve seen while remaining functional, as if they were made from memory foam and not living tissue.

There is a point, I hope, in our life cycle that the penis becomes reduced to what it is – an external intromittent organ that additionally serves as the urinal duct. Nothing more, nothing less. The faster this understanding dawns, the happier the world will be. Until then, I hope that Monster Dongs and all others will remain safely within trousers and out of the public consciousness. And that we realise that sitting with crossed legs doesn’t signify any shortcomings in the scrotular region.