News for penises: notes on phallophilia

(This posting will go lots of places, some of which — a Greek military re-enactors’ group in Melbourne — you’ll find astonishing, but there’s no denying that, as the title suggests, it’s penis-dense. Without actually depicting them — those images are in my posting this morning on AZBlogX, “Gay Heart Throbs” — but still. However, without penises strewn along the road every few feet, there’s no getting to the fun stuff (like allusions to Miss Anne Elk and to Sonnets from the Portuguese). So use your judgment.)

Phallophilia I: self-regard. A recent Daily Jocks ad (for Kasper Military shorts from the Helsinki Athletica company) showing a hunky model gazing fixedly down at his bulging crotch, with a title and a caption supplied by me:

(#1) On contemplating his penis

Could I just say here for one moment that
I have a new theory about the penis?
Yes, well you may well ask, what is my theory.
And well you may. Yes my word you may well
Ask what it is, this theory of mine.

Well, this theory that I have — which is mine —
This theory which belongs to me is as follows.
Ahem. Ahem. This is how it goes.
Ahem. The next thing that I am about to say
Is my theory. Ahem. Ready?

My theory is along the following lines.
All penises are round at one end,
Tubular in the middle, and then
Anchored in hair at the far end.

That is the theory that I have
And which is mine, and
What it is too.

— excerpts from an interview with noted penis scholar Gay H. Throbs, DPhS. (Doctor of Phallological Science)

On the nose, GHT!

Notes on #1.

First note. The DJ / Helsinki Athletica image came with this (extremely restrained) ad copy:

The Kasper sportswear range is designed for maximum performance whilst bringing sleek European aesthetic to your workout. Featuring figure-hugging trackpants & performance running shorts.

In the world of premium men’s underwear ads, you come to expect hysterical hyperbole, along with Lots of Caps, exclamation points!!, and heavy-handed allusions to genitals and sex. This copy touches the two essential bases — performance, embracing comfort and support, and aesthetics, looking real good in your skivvies — but no more. Maybe it’s Finnish reserve.

Second note. The gesture in #1, which I’ve posted about (on 11/8/10) on AZBlogX as “The Gaze Downward”:

Several times I’ve posted photos of guys — underwear or porn models — staring fixedly down at their own hard cocks, apparently with no regard for the viewer. The Gaze Downward, seen here in a 10percent ad (with the cock in the model’s pants, but hard enough for everyone to see) and in a Pits ‘n’ Tits display in the locker room…

(#2) The 10percent ad, with moose-knuckles

… the Gaze Downward isn’t all that common, probably because it doesn’t engage the viewer directly [instead, voyeurstically]. On the other hand, it does guide the viewer’s attention to the model’s dick [out in the open, or in his bulge / pouch / package]. You start by looking at his face, then you travel down his model-perfect body, appreciating it, until you end up on his cock.

From this blog, in a 3/16/11 posting “Underwear puns”:

(#3) Undergear Greek-design (wink, wink) briefs (ok, so called because of the Greek key design on the waistband); in the same posting, an example of the even more indirect Gaze Sideward, in which the model’s eyes engage neither with the viewer nor with his crotch

Two more examples from my files:



Not a lot of variation. The model in #3 is bearing his weight on his right leg, with his left hip slightly uptilted, while the others are standing with equal weight on both feet. His head is also not as far tilted down as the others’. All five express little or no emotion on their faces; I have yet to see an underwear model or porn actor smile during a Gaze Downward, or come even close; it’s serious stuff, contemplating your penis.

Third note. The source of the caption. A cheap steal from Monty Python’s sketch “Interview with Anne Elk” (Miss A. Elk, who had a similar theory about the brontosaurus), with some editing down, plus alterations to make it fit a phallophilic context.

Fourth note. the degree DPhS, Doctor of Phallological Science. Based on DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery, with a bow to PhD, Doctor of Philosophy.

Fifth note. The name of the phallologist, Gay H. Throbs. This borrowed from e-mail that came in while I was studying the image in #1, e-mail from my friend Ken Rudolph, who had come into possession of a vintage gay (porn) comic book Gay Heart Throbs No. 2 (1979), more on which below, because its cover is a festival of phallophilic signifiers. (And Gay can be a male personal name. As for the family name Throbs, well, if Hurt, why not Throbs?)

Sixth note. This would be as good a time as any to announce that this blog now has a Page inventorying  postings about gay comics and cartoons (on AZBlog and AZBlogX). Everything from the wry humor in urban upper middle class gay male life as depicted by William Haefeli in the New Yorker to the intensely raunchy excesses of the Hun’s prison diaries.

Phallophilia II: penis-dense images. A summary of today’s Gay Heart Throbs posting on AZBlogX, with 5 images, plus discussion of settings and themes in gay porn:

(#1) the cover of No. 2 (1979), a festival of phallophilic signifiers

(#2) the contents page for No. 2, featuring a really big fat dick on a guy with an anatomical-model body and a stylized Gay Clone head pasted on top

(#3) from No. 2, a historical frontier fantasy of enthusiastic manly gaysex: the rancher, the soldier, and the Injun — with, in the last panel, gallons of spurting cum and a variety of cum faces

(#4) the cover for No. 1 (1976): gay boys in fairyland, with pan flute, nymph, butterflies, and Bambi — plus a fashionable Ascot-knot scarf and a crotch loosely wrapped in fabric

(#5) the cover for No. 3 (1981), in which a flamingly camp country boy is approached with amorous intent by a biker: not a Knight in White Satin, but a  Biker in Green Leather; his boots are fabulous, and so is country-boy Dwayne’s off-the-shoulder scarf (not to mention the tiny denim scrap around his waist)

From here on out, it’s all about GHT No. 2:

(#6) Issue created by M. Kuchar / Michael J. Kuchar (and other contributors with suggestive pseudonyms)

The central elements in this composition: the man-on-man kiss and the purple pouch thong (matched by the smaller sex-red pouch on the warrior’s lover)

The accessory phallic elements, littering the landscape: spears, arrows, daggers; shields with roosters / cocks on them; stylized Spartan helmets that look like dickheads

Notes on #6.

First note. On the name Kuchar. From GDoS:

noun cooch (also cootch, cutchie [and coochie, cootchie]: (abbr./euph. for cunt; [etymology unclear, possibly involving Welsh]) 1 (US) a ‘hootchy-kootchy’ dance, i.e. belly-dancing; thus cooch dancer, coocher, a belly dancer … [1st cite 1910] … 3 (US) the vagina; thus, by metonymy, a woman. [1st cite 1966] … 4 (US gay) an effeminate homosexual male. [only cite 1972, from Rodgers’s Queens’ Vernacular] … [also, I should add, from personal experience, the male anus viewed as a sexual organ. See Urban Dictionary entry for anal cooch ‘a gay man’s vagina’ (Man 1: Hun, something is wrong with my anal cooch – from contributor “that_just_happened” 6/22/07)]

Second note. The excellent, poetically satisfying, phrase purple pouch thong, which passed by without comment above.

An actual garment:

(#7) The Daniel Alexander Protrude pouch thong in purple

And a hymn to its kind:

The Song of the Thong

Purple pouch thong
How I love thee
To thy depth and breadth
And height

I love thee to
Every day’s
Most urgent need,
Freely, with the
Passion of a lifetime

Third note. Acute readers will recognize this affirmation of love as a total travesty of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”.

Fourth note. On Spartan helmets, that dickhead gear that’s all over #6. Up close:

(#8) Mask World edition of the Frank Miller Spartan helmet from his 300 comics

Frank Miller’s blockbuster movie “300” held as steadily in the upper rank of the movie charts as the 300 Spartans did at Thermopylae. But if you were picking out the historical inaccuracies while watching this visually compelling, epic battle with the Persians, you didn’t understand the movie’s concept. “300” is not a historical documentation – it’s a masterful adaptation of a comic book.

… Our “300” Spartan Helmet, which is based on Frank Miller’s comic of the same name, is a replica of the one used by the Spartan hoplites when they battled the Persian army in the film – despite being hopelessly outnumbered. This solid head protector is made of steel with a bronze alloy coating and fastens with a chin strap. The genuine leather lining make this Spartan Helmet comfortable to wear, and it comes with a helmet stand so you can proudly display your helmet when you’re not wearing it.

In chronological order:

The 1962 CinemaScope epic:

(#9) Helmets with crests, without the facial shielding in #7

The 300 Spartans is a 1962 CinemaScope epic film depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. Made with the cooperation of the Greek government, it was shot in the village of Perachora in the Peloponnese. … It stars Richard Egan as the Spartan king Leonidas, Sir Ralph Richardson as Themistocles of Athens and David Farrar as Persian king Xerxes, with Diane Baker as Ellas and Barry Coe as Phylon providing the requisite romantic element in the film. Greek warriors, led by 300 Spartans, fight against a Persian army of almost limitless size. Despite the odds, the Spartans will not flee or surrender, even if it means their deaths

The 1998 comic books:

300 is a historically inspired 1998 comic book limited series [of 5 issues] written and illustrated by Frank Miller with painted colors by Lynn Varley.

The comic is a fictional retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae and the events leading up to it from the perspective of Leonidas of Sparta. 300 was particularly inspired by the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, a film Miller watched as a young boy. The [1998] work was adapted in 2006 to a film of the same name [300]

The 2006 movie:

300 is a 2006 American period action film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant. It was filmed mostly with a super-imposition chroma key technique, to help replicate the imagery of the original comic book.

As for the many varieties of helmet, I’m uncertain as to both their history in ancient Sparta and to their traditions in (fictionalized) popular culture, but #8 is what filtered into the Gay Heart Throb comic of 1979.

Fifth note. On cock shields (battle shields with fighting cocks — the poultry — on them, not protective shields for penises). Notable in #6, where they look a bit silly. But they were real things, which can be reconstucted from historical records, as in this remarkable photo:

(#10) The cock shield device of Idomeneus (other shield devices from the same source: bull’s head, lambda, drinking chalice of Dionysus, serpent, hawk, dolphins, crouching lion, hibiscus flower, stars, the flesh-eating Sphinx, the Gorgon, horse, centaur, club of Herakles)

The source is The Ancient Hoplitikon of Melbourne AU:

All proud members of the Australasian Living History Federation (ALHF)

… [comprising people who] specialise in Ancient Classical and Hellenistic Greek re-enactment. The group’s focus is to study, replicate and perform with military and civilian equipment from the period of 600-100 BC.

… A major aim is to make aware to the general public that Greek culture not only lead the ancient world in philosophy, democracy, art and citizenship but also the genius of military prowess, arms technology and application on the ancient battlefield. This ability and determination to repel invaders over the centuries earned great respect and enabled Greek culture to flourish and spread through the Mediterranean world, inspiring the emerging Roman Republic.

The Greek Hoplite Warrior seems to have international appeal and encapsulates the beginnings of early European cultural determination and sense of galvanizing order out of chaos. School children or adults who may or may not have been exposed to literature of the Illiad [their spelling], Odysseus or Alexander the Great can easily identify with this imagery and instantly recognize the symbolism of Greek struggle for independence and freedom

As for the shields, about the Ancient Hoplitikon’s Shield Registry (edited):

Shield iconography had personal, family and tribal klan significance. The shield devices in our register are faithfully reconstructed based on research, rather than artistic license.

You don’t have to be Greek to participate in the association, but it does make sense that the group should be located in Melbourne VIC. From Wikipedia:

Greeks are the seventh-largest ethnic group in Australia. Moreover, Melbourne is home to one of the largest Greek diaspora communities in the world as well as being the city with the largest Greek-speaking population outside Greece.

According to the 2001 Australian census, Melbourne has the largest Greek Australian population in Australia … and the largest Greek population of any city in the [world] outside of Greece.

I told you we’d end up in Melbourne, brandishing shields (and swords and daggers).

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