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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

The Big Penis Book

by Dian Hanson (Editor)

Book Review by Rob Hardy

 

The Book of Love

You don’t have to worry about what the adjective modifies in the title of the book The Big Penis Book (Taschen).  The book is big.  It is twelve inches square, and weighs over seven pounds, with almost four hundred heavy, glossy pages.  It is just the sort of book that can go on your coffee table, if you have such a table to support it, and if you like penises.  Big penises.  For the penises are big, too.  Page after page here, hundreds of photographs, show men who, relaxed or erect, have penises ranging from remarkably large, to gargantuan, to (literally) fantastically huge.  Dian Hanson, who previously brought out the less-ambiguously-titled but still similarly-themed The Big Book of Breasts, has edited what is mostly a book of photographs, with text that is generally reminiscences of photographers who were shooting models during the 1960- 1990 period, pictures that would go into small distribution magazines or private collections.  The pictures, however, are the show, and they are a treat to look at.

As Hanson points out in her introduction, there is no denying the allure of a large penis.  “Flaccid or erect, it is aesthetically stunning - commanding every onlooker to consider capacity and consequence.”  She points out how evolution has formed penises to be big in our species but also to be the objects of our candid regard.  We walk upright, for instance, and so a penis is out in the open if there are no clothes in the way.  Most people think gorillas have huge penises, but they have the smallest of any great ape.  You see, gorillas have a dominant male system, whereby the one chief gorilla can mate with all the females.  There is no need for show penises in such an environment.  Chimps have much bigger penises than gorillas, because females can pick their own mates, and so chimps are really into penis displays.  “Since humans have the largest penises by far among the primates,” Hanson says, “we may speculate that man was showing off long before the codpiece came along.”  (She dates the codpiece to around 1420, but explains that covering the penis didn’t make us lose interest in it; codpieces, over their 150-year fashion history, got bigger and bigger, so keen are we to show off.)

So how big is a big penis?  The “most prolific penis measurer in history” was probably Professor Alfred Kinsey, who collected statistics from 3,500 men by giving them a blank card they were supposed to put along the top of their erections, mark, and send in.  It is hilarious that the results in this study, when compared to measurements by subsequent researchers who actually laid rulers to erections scientifically, were greatly exaggerated.  Even when sending in an anonymous marked card, men liked to make themselves seem bigger than they actually were.  Kinsey’s average had a mean length of just over six inches; the more objective average is around 5.5 inches.  Kinsey didn’t find anyone with a penis longer than nine inches, but there are plenty bigger on display here.  The most famous is that of John Holmes, reputed to be thirteen inches, but actually closer to 11 inches (even those giants, it seems, can’t help fudging their statistics).  The other famous name here is Long Dong Silver, photographed for a 1979 “Sex Freaks Special” article in Club International.  The photographer, interviewed in a chapter here, says that the model “... was immensely endowed, thank you very much.  A lovely penis, if you’re into penises, which I’m not particularly.”  For “Freaks”, though, this was not enough.  In-camera effects enabled the penis to be made even longer, but eventually he and his model went to the same prosthetic-maker who did the make-up for The Elephant Man, for a remarkably lifelike but exaggerated appendage that could even be tied into a knot.  Freaks, indeed.

The interviews are with the photographers rather than the models because many of the models aren’t around any more, dead like John Holmes from AIDS, or running businesses or heading families that preclude participating in or reminiscing about their photogenic days.  The photographers themselves have moved on, to advertising shots, art production, or launching a quarterly magazine on ancient Egypt.  They talk about their models from long ago with fondness (some were lovers); one says, “I’m a frustrated father and I take an interest in a number of these young men - not because I fancy them, but because they’ve had nightmare childhoods.”  Some of the photographers remember the models complaining about having too much of a good thing, yearning for penis-reduction surgery because either they attracted only lovers who just wanted a big penis, or because a big penis restricted some of the activities that normal penises routinely enjoy.   This is a good message for those of us who know they’ll never measure up to the examples in the photos here, or will never have a lover of these dimensions.  Hanson writes that fretting over size is silly: “Why should we invest all this anxiety in a couple of inches when we can simply sit back, pop a beer, and let the big boys entertain us like a good game of baseball?”

The photographs are certainly entertaining.  There are bound to be those who like to see the possessor of a large penis wearing boots and a leather cap and belt; others are going to find the props pretty silly.  Why does this one have a cowboy hat and cap pistol, for instance, and why does this other one think it is time to serenade us on his guitar?  One of them gives an emphatic answer to the old question of what a Scotsman has under his kilt.  The guys are handsome (often in styles that are already dated), usually with good physiques, and many of the photographs have been fussed over as would befit any studio production.  The men who smile at the camera, as if they were playing a happy prank or as if they were sincerely enjoying themselves, look endearing (but maybe that’s just my kink).  The penises are not just big; flaccid they might do anything, but in erection they are straight, curved, even bent; they are circumcised or not; some look smooth and others look textured; some have a big glans, some small.  The differences are remarkable, and probably all the more noticeable because we don’t often look at lots of penises the way this book enables us to do.  And while they are not just big, they are indeed big, and because they are big, they are cheerful and optimistic.  This is a book of fun.

Rob Hardy
February 2009


The Big Penis Book

(Taschen America Llc; June 25, 2008; ISBN-10: 3836502135)
Available at: Amazon.com  / Amazon UK


_______
© 2009 Rob Hardy. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.



About the Reviewer
Rob Hardy is a psychiatrist who lives in Columbus, Mississippi, with his wife, two terriers, five cats, and goldfish.

He reviews nonfiction for The Times of Acadiana, but has been reviewing books as a hobby for years before that.
WebBio: Rob Hardy



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister