You’re right Brody: I’m jealous. I’m jealous of how little you must care about your reputation as a scientist to be advocating something as dilettantish as your “bigger is better” absolutist theory, a hypothesis discarded by the scientific community decades ago. But yes, in one regard you’re right: the PBR is not an entirely valid comparative tool, however the fact of the matter is that every known theory of penile valuation is flawed.
Really, you have no inkling of how deep this goes, how since the very beginnings of penile science some of the greatest minds in the field have wasted the prime of their lives on the problem only to come away empty handed. I, myself, spent years, Brody–years–in the backwaters of the Paraná Delta and the malarial jungles of Columbia searching for the missing thread that will tie all the evidence together into one unified theory of penis valuation. But there’s always something missing; none of the models match the data. There is some factor or variable I’m not taking account of, something obvious I’m overlooking. But I know I am close. In fact, I have already been there.
That night in Córdoba will forever haunt me. It came to me in a bolt, mid-coitus: the complete theory in absolute stunning clarity, as elegant and harmonious as I always imagined it to be, like some celestial music box belonging to the gods. But then just as suddenly it was taken from me, as if a capricious deity had changed his mind; that I, Richard, was not to be the vessel for this truth. Or, maybe it was just the lowly distractions of flesh–the nameless Bolivian woman, her cheap perfume, the wine. But all the same: gone, like a dream lost upon waking. Now all I am left with is torment of knowing. Knowing that the truth exists and that I am forbidden to have it. And knowing that for those few fleeting moments I was the happiest I will ever be.
Dr. Richard Cox, PhD.
Erudite and scientific though his language may be, it does unfortunately appear that Dr. Cox’s analysis of the barnacle penis has, like so many other things in his life, come up short. So that the rest of this article can maintain an appropriate level of scientific objectivity, there is one matter I should clear up now: My brain has chewed your “food for thought” Richard, but it tasted too much like bitter jealousy to swallow.
I primarily take issue with Dr. Cox’s dogmatic assertion that the greatness of an animal’s penis, as far as size goes, ought to be measured by the PBR (this is the penis to body size ratio, for the non-specialists out there). For example, until a few years ago I was a world class body builder (“The Bodman”) and indeed my physique remains outstanding. It would be uncouth to reveal its length publicly, but however long my penis may be, could the fact that I have packed on so much muscle make it any less impressive?
Thus I believe we must drop any claim that penile greatness is simply a matter of having a high PBR. I am more inclined to think that it is absolute size alone by which penises should be judged, and in this case we must indeed cede penile superiority to whales, elephants, horses, and men with penises larger than ten inches.
First of all, thank you Brody for that insightful post. Really exemplary work. You have not changed a bit after all these years.
All adulation aside, Brody’s post did remind me of one extraordinary specimen in the grand menagerie of animal penises: the barnacle’s penis.
Barnacles lead a stoic existence, confined to a rock or a hard place for the entirety of their life. Despite their humble appearance, some species of barnacle wield what may be the longest penis of any animal at up to eight times its body length; see Table 1 below for some comparisons.
I concur largely with Dr. Cox’s analysis of the hectocotyli of argonauts, especially in relation to the effect that detachable penises would have on human society. I would like to add only the following observation: There are some human males with extremely large penises. I’m talking penises slightly longer than ten and a quarter inches long measured from the top, and with plenty of girth. If one takes into account not only the mass of such a penis, but the undoubtedly greater power such a penis would have to propel itself through the air, one sees that the sheer momentum generated by such penises could cause bodily harm to the females at which they were launched.
Such a situation would be very detrimental to well endowed males because society, motivated both by concern for women’s well being and outright jealousy, would surely impose harsh laws against the launching of large penises. It would also be detrimental to all women, who would now find their love of large penises conflicting with concerns for their physical safety. As it stands now, any woman would love to be married to a normal human being with a ten inch penis for obvious reasons. However, what if that penis had the tendancy to fly in the kitchen while she is washing the dishes, and bash her in the head?
Eventually, selective forces would drive the human penis to get ever smaller, until women would only laugh cruelly at most of the small penises launched at them. Of course they would only laugh for a moment, and then regain their composure and try to be complimentary, but the damage would be done. The females would have no pleasure, and the males would be shamed and emasculated. Let us be content, then, with our large non-detachable penises.
Hi everyone, Richard here. It seems my superiors at PRIC think I need some help with this little public outreach project of mine, since it’s apparently not “accessible” enough to the layperson. So they have graciously assigned me a guest contributor for the blog, my colleague Brody J. Dickworth, evolutionary psychologist.
Brody and I have a long history. We both did our graduate work at U Manitoba back in the 70’s, though we cast off in divergent directions after graduation–he into the world of professional body building, and I into a series of doomed field expeditions to find the perfect animal penis–and now, through happenstance, find ourselves together again, sharing an office at PRIC. I never thought I’d have the good fortune to work with Brody again, but here we are. How blessed I must be.
Anyway, Brody has his own account so he’ll be making updates as he sees fit. But don’t worry, I will still be making my usual erudite posts on a regular basis. The way I see it, the more discussion on animal penises, the better. Right?
Dr. Richard Cox, PhD.
Some may say my “juvenile and sophomoric” blog on male genitalia is evidence of a “sexist, chauvinistic mind at work”; or worse, “the ravings of a perverted narcissist”. Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion. To put to rest any doubts you may have and to prove I can give the fairer sex a fair shake, this week I am going to focus on the female spotted Hyena, and its pseudo-penis.