I’m not sure which eye-popping feature of Phallic Worship: World Wide & Centuries Long caught my eye first, the title or the cover model. I’ll say the title—if I say the cover model, it’ll make me seem shallow. But whichever it was, one thing is certain: Allen Mack has written an interesting read, especially looking at it from a straight woman’s perspective, as this short work of non-fiction chronicles some of history and religion’s most glorious observations and celebrations of the penis.
Let’s face it, male genitalia has gotten a lot of attention over the centuries, as a symbol of virility and fertility, given form and power and awareness in both swords and guns, and complementing the oral fixation in cigars and cigarettes. Sigmund Freud dedicated a portion of his life’s work to the phallic symbol and psycho-sexual development and the pleasure principle, although at some point along the way, some very wise person once observed that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And I suppose it could also be said, then, that a penis is just a penis, which is true but not nearly as much fun as imagining all its various and fundamental significance.
The whole concept of penis worship is interesting, really, proving that throughout the centuries, a man’s fascination with his own member—as well as fascination with others’, in a world where sexual relationships between men were once very readily accepted as significant, and at times also seen as a power exchange—has evolved into an utterly instinctual preoccupation with it. Little boys (I have two of the delightful little creatures), from the moment they discover there’s something there between their legs to grab hold of, can’t seem to leave it alone! More power to them, I say.
Phallic Worship: World Wide & Centuries Long perhaps captures a very definite component in the kinship between a significant niche of women and men—we both can very much appreciate the celebration of and love for the male physique. I know I, for one, am a fan, and reading Allen Mack’s enthusiastic tribute to the penis and all the ways in which it’s been glorified and venerated throughout time makes, at the risk of again seeming shallow, absolute and perfect sense to me.