My ten year old son came home from school yesterday talking animatedly and knowledgably about penises and vagina’s. I don’t think I’ve seen him this excited about learning in school since the day they had a visit from an African drumming crew, he was enthralled! It was charming and hilarious at the same time (yes, try as I might to be a grown up I still find the words penis and vagina amusing, a problem I’m trying to address through the publication of this post).
My eleven year old daughter (who now attends secondary school) commented that drawings of penises can be found all around her school: on books, on tables, on chairs, I’ve no doubt (were she able to go there) she’d also find some on the walls of the boys toilets. Ah secondary school, how I miss you not one bit.
But this got me thinking, why do boys (and men) draw penises on any available surface?
If asked, I’m sure they’d say because it’s funny, but women also have a sense of humour yet lack a tendency to draw penises (or vaginas) on dust covered cars or steam covered windows. Why do cartoon style penises amuse us so much?
Apparently penis fascination is nothing new. The Romans used to carve penises on everything from walls to chariots, making penis shaped amulets to invoke the protection of the God Fascinus, which were said to give protection in battle and protect from illness.
I’ve scoured the internet and found all sorts of reasons for penis doodles: it’s funny, they’re easy to draw, boys and men are very attached to their penises and when they’re young they see them a lot more than anything else, especially vaginas, some people hazard that it’s a subconscious display of virility, masculinity or a declaration of power.
I guess penises are easy to draw and more easily recognisable than vaginas in doodle form and dick pics (the doodled kind) do bring some amusement. I don’t think I fully appreciated (or considered) the fascination that boys and men have with their penises until my son started to hit puberty. I think I’m in for a hugely educational journey,
So please, help me continue my education. If you’re a man whose go-to doodle is a penis, what’s it all about?
If you’re a woman, what’s your go-to doodle? Mine is a flower, and no I don’t think this is a symbol for my vagina, but perhaps I need some Freudian psychoanalysis before I can be sure.