Over a BILLION is the current count of women who have been sexually violated on planet earth at some point in their lives (Don’t believe it? Look around your own personal circle. Also consider sex addiction currently being diagnosed in record numbers). A single sexual trauma can profoundly impact parenting, from the way we communicate with children about how dangerous the world is, to the stress levels we feel about children’s safety, to how easily we can allow their own healthy sexuality to develop. Thus, to me it seems imperative that boys and girls (and adults) receive useful, coherent, accurate information about proper use of the male sexual organ. And they need to receive it, not as some embarrassed, shameful, icky-quicky, fact-based offering, but in a way which emotionally drives home the point about how male organ mismanagement around the world damages hearts and brains and results in incomprehensible human suffering. And not just for women! And here’s the important part: boys especially need to receive it over and over from mothers and fathers and teachers and clergy and peers and media until their testosterone-addled brains finally get it!
So, here’s a beginning list of guidelines. Some of them have been “reversed engineered” from Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues and her recent writing (Over It) in response to the sex abuse scandals flooding the national news. Feel free to add guidelines of your own (Please Note: This post is in no way intended to be male-bashing; just the opposite, in fact).
- Men who love and respect their penis, manage their penis. It’s the responsibility of the penis-owner to learn and practice what is and isn’t skillful management. Anything that leads directly or indirectly to suffering, even decades down the road, damages a penis-owner’s brain.
- Every action the penis takes or fails to take, the brain records. Each action or deliberate non-action adds positively to identity, health and well-being or else subtracts from it.
- Skillful penis management is sexy and liberating. If a man or woman knows you practice skillful penis management, they don’t need to flood their systems with a torrent of self-protective, anxiety-generated neurotoxins. Skillful penis management is good for the brain.
- A penis never, ever goes where it isn’t morally and ethically invited and warmly welcome, ever. Period. Unless you want to seriously damage your brain, powerfully compromise your immune system, be plagued by recurrent nightmares, and descend into a life threaded with pain and suffering.
- The damage that a poorly managed penis can do is unfortunately rarely later traced back to the source. Similar to how Judge William Adams fails to consider there may be a connection between his daughter Hilary only being able to work minimum wage jobs and his beating her, it’s difficult for most people to see the direct connection between the rape of a 16 year old and her later inability to hold a job for an extended period, struggle in primary relationships, or have so much of her creativity fail to ever fully manifest in the world. The neural disorganization caused by physical and sexual assault can have widespread and lasting repercussions. Without skillful, healing community support, it can last a lifetime.
- Penises need to remain intact. Some doctors, clergy and parents assume they know more than the intelligence that created the foreskin. Science is replete with subsequent discoveries that demonstrate this kind of thinking is the height of hubristic folly. We don’t circumcise dogs or horses. Why are baby boys so special? Some trauma specialists draw a direct line between foreskin removal – trauma perpetrated upon a very delicate neural network – and the modern propensity for war. Oh, and by the way, the 12 known functions of foreskin play a critical role for emotional sexual functioning (A telling research study, I think, might be to compare circumcision numbers among rapists with age-matched cohorts in the general population. My hypothesis would be that more rapists are circumcised than not).
- It’s a good idea to both genuinely feel and authentically express gratitude, wonderment, reverence and appreciation for those places when and where a penis is morally and ethically invited and warmly welcome. Always.
- Penises are never to be erotically exposed to children of any chronological or emotional age. Those who might advocate for a nudist lifestyles, free and open sexuality, or who suggest that constant exposure normalizes and takes the mystery off the sexual organs frequently fail to consider what might be going on in children themselves, especially as they are required to become an integrated member of the larger culture. Penis mismanagment does not happen in a vacuum.
- Never expose a penis to toxic environments. Little penises have big ears. And those ears are connected to the self-esteem centers in the brain. Being shamed, dismissed, embarrassed, or in any other way diminished is poor penis management.
- Take your penis seriously and give your penis a stand-up name, one you can be proud of. Like Sterling or Knute or Ripken or Woody (Toy Story) or Canoodle. Vaginas have names; pets have names; plants have names. Names that are disparaging and derogatory frequently become prophetically self-fulfilling. Those are bad names. We can do better.
- A penis is part of a whole human being that includes a brain and a heart. Penises are best deployed as an inseparable, integrated ally of that triumvirate. All for one and one for all.