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Following up from their Breasts
documentary, Thom Powers and Meema Spadola make the obvious transition to get
men to talk about their genitals in Private Dicks, newly released on DVD.†
They interview different men:† straight and gay, white, black, Asian, large and
small, younger and older, disabled, with erection problems or with none,
circumsized or uncircumsized.† Some have had operations to enlarge themselves,
and a couple have had male-to-female or female-to-male sex change operations.
They sit in front of the camera, most of them shirtless, and many naked.† It is
pretty rare for men to talk about their genitals, and most of the men here are
eloquent.† They talk about puberty, penis size, virginity, sex, STDs, condoms,
masturbation, libido, sexual problems, and aging.† They are frank and often
funny.† It is an enjoyable 56 minutes.
The documentary does not reveal
anything particularly surprising.† Naturally, the men with large penises tend
to say they like them and that women like the size, while the men with smaller
penises tend to say that size does not matter.† They say that when they were
first starting to have sex, their technique was not very good.† Those who have
had surgical procedures on their penises tend to have mixed emotions about
them.† Nevertheless, simply hearing men talk openly about these issues is
There is at least one man in the
documentary on whom doubt is shed, as revealed in the DVD interview with the
filmmakers.† Alan Abel claimed to have a very small penis, but after the
documentary was made, it was revealed that he was a trickster, and he had
managed to appear in several documentaries by making himself interesting to the
documentary-makers.† Even so, he is a charming interviewee, and even if he is
lying, he is still convincing.†
Clearly, Private Dicks is
not the last word on penises; there is much more for men to say about them.†
For example, some of men's feelings about their genitals are described in a
greater variety of cases in the Hite Report on Male Sexuality.
Nevertheless, either for amusement or for curiosity, this DVD is worth a look.
© 2006 Christian Perring. All
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main
research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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