All About The Penis

Penis modification

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Over the centuries, men have adorned, worshipped, played with and modified their penises in all kinds of ways. Here are just a few.

The penis gourd (or phallocrypt) is a Papuan item of dress. In fact, in some tribes, it's the only item of dress, serving both as penis sheath, and a handy container for tobacco and money.

Like many traditional items in the tribal way of life the Indonesian government is trying to stamp it out - and the local tribes who wear it as well, by all accounts, since their land is rich in minerals.

You might think that a penis gourd would in some way represent a man's status in the community, or his social position.

I have seen it stated that in some tribes at least, the higher the social standing of a man, the more upright he would wear his penis gourd.

There's a tradition in some parts of the world of implanting stones or little pebbles under the penile skin, presumably to increase sexual pleasure for the men's partners.

It seems that modern men have taken up their ancestors' customs, and used such diverse objects as ball bearings and plastic beads to carry on the tradition.

You may have heard of the Native Australians' practice of subincision, which lives on today in the outer reaches of the body modification brigade.

This was - and is - the practice of cutting open the underside of the penis along its length, severing the urethra and opening its channel in a cut along the penis.

Why would a people do such a brutal thing to the most sensitive part of the human body? It was an initiation ritual, for sure, but a seemingly very brutal one. There's more information here.

It's clearly very inappropriate to make judgments about a practice that would be regarded in our society as child abuse when it has such a deep cultural history. And anyway, it's practiced by many Western adults who practice extreme body modification (BME).

As a psychotherapist, though, my concern about Westerners doing such things is that it represents some very deep hatred or anger about oneself, or one's sexuality, or worse, of one's penis.

Modern day body modification enthusiasts who have had their genitals pierced offer a variety of reasons for why they enjoy it. These include the appearance, the sensations during sex, the significance of the ceremony around the piercing (a modern day rite of passage, perhaps), the rush of endorphins when the piercing happens, and so on.

Even so, I'm still left wondering if piercing or cutting one's penis is a "good thing"!

See some photos of piercings and so on here.

The question beneath it all is why some men (and women) have such a desire to change their bodies?

We've always been a species that has decorated the body, that's for sure, so maybe the people who do it today are just following the combined cultural history of our ancestors. 

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