Embrace of the televised penis

American television has long been penis-averse, even on cable and web shows, where there’s no reason for this shyness — and this in a country that provides a mind-boggling amount of visual porn, including gay porn, which is in a sense largely a hymn to the penis, a celebration of peniphilia.

But now the televised penis seems to be coming into its own, with shows that occasionally dwell unapologetically on full frontal nudity — for example, in the science fiction drama Sense8 (from Netflix) and the comedy The Brink (on HBO). Three X-rated shots from these shows can be found in “Full frontal tv” on AZBlogX; penis-free shots will appear below.

(Many thanks to Ken Rudolph, who pointed me to the topic and supplied a set of screen shots from the two shows.)

Background: the word peniphilia. It’s in the Urban Dictionary, referring to a strong positive emotional view towards, or positive emotion caused by, the penis (in either sex). But it doesn’t seem to be in standard dictionaries (including the OED), though it’s been coined several times by writers — notably in a 2008 piece “You’re so vein” in Heeb magazine beginning:

You can thank Judd Apatow for reintroducing the penis [link here to piece in The Star] to the big screen. Last year, Apatow announced his goal to show at least one male member in every film he makes and so far has made good on that promise. His “cockumentary” feature on the Walk Hard DVD includes an interview with the movie’s exposed member.

Apatow’s peniphilia seems to have been contagious as directors from Ang Lee to David Cronenberg are now on board, “demystifying” their male stars on screen.

The Star‘s piece: “They say there are no small parts . . .: Once all but taboo, male full-frontal nudity is latest film trend – but almost always for laughs” by Susan Walker on 5/25/08:

Dave Foley just became a member of a very exclusive – rapidly becoming less exclusive – men’s club: North American actors who’ve done full-frontal nudity for the camera.

No such coterie exists in Europe or Great Britain (think of The Full Monty) where the male fear of exposure, or ridicule, has never ruled in the cinema. To watch movies coming out of the U.S. you’d think it impossible that the American adult movie industry could be the largest operator in the totally naked cinema.

Full-frontal nudity has been in several mainstream movies recently, including Walk Hard, … The Simpsons Movie and now Postal.

Note: this was from 7 years ago. But full frontal nudity in mainstream movies continues to be rare, and then mostly seen in brief shots, often in comic contexts.

[Digression: There’s also phallophilia, equally not in the OED. but occurring on medical sites as the name of a paraphilia characterized by sexual urges, preferences, or fantasies involving unusually large erect penises. Or in lay terms, size queenism.]

On to the recent tv shows.

Max Riemelt in Sense8. On the show, from Wikipedia:

Sense8 (a play on the word sensate …, meaning aware) is an American science fiction drama web television series created, written and executive-produced by Andy and Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. A first season consisting of 12 episodes has been produced and became available for streaming on Netflix on June 5, 2015.

The plot revolves around eight strangers from different parts of the world who suddenly become mentally and emotionally linked. The show aims to explore subjects that its writers felt science fiction shows, at least ostensibly, tend to ignore or skim through such as politics, identity, sexuality, gender and religion.

Max Riemelt (a German actor born in East Berlin on 1/7/84) plays one of the eight strangers,

Wolfgang Bogdanow, a Berlin locksmith and safe-cracker of Russian descent, who has unresolved issues with his late father and participates in organized crime

Riemelt in the part, upper body only:


The dick shot is #1 in my AZBlogX posting, and a whole-body shot is #2 there.

Bonus: Hanno Koffler and Riemelt in the 2013 movie Freier Fall.


Christian Gehring in The Brink. On the HBO show, from Wikipedia:

The Brink is an American television comedy created by brothers Roberto Benabib and Kim Benabib. Its first season focuses on a geopolitical crisis in Pakistan. The show was conceived that each season will follow a different crisis somewhere in the world involving the same main characters.

And on Gehring from IMDb:

Christian Gehring is an actor and director, known for The Touchstone (2012), Dracula: The Impaler (2013) and Malice (2012)


On The Brink in 2015, Gehring is in two episodes as the character Billy. Here he is, in an upper-body shot,  in a scene where he appears in full frontal display:


The rear view from this scene, with Gehring’s substantial dick hanging down between his legs, is #3 in my AZBlogX posting.

A final note on peniphilia. The number of websites devoted to the loving display of the male body with a focus on penises (and a secondary focus on asses) is mind-boggling. AZBogX frequently samples from this material, and can fairly be said to be a contributor to the peniphiliac literature.

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