By: Shannon Ralph
As a lesbian, logic would dictate that my house would be pretty much devoid of penis action. At least, I always believed that would be the case. Once I came out as a lesbian, I assumed that penises would be something I would only encounter on rare occasion—when I visited an art museum or took in a production of the musical Hair. For the most part, however, I assumed my life would be essentially void of male genitalia.
That is, until I had children. Any and all preconceived notions I had about the way my life would play out were completely annihilated with the birth of my children. Particularly, with the birth of my sons. Little boys are wonderful. Really, they are. They are such sweet little creatures. Boys love simply and unconditionally and wholeheartedly. I absolutely adore having boys. However, I am finding myself ill-prepared to handle all of the penis action going on in my house. Last week, I actually had to utter the phrase, “If you are going to play air guitar with your penis, please shut the door so the rest of us do not have to watch.” That is wrong on so many levels.
Lucas and Nicholas are obsessed with their penises. Every time I am summoned to the bathroom to wipe Nicholas’s bottom as he balances precariously on the toilet seat, he says to me “Watch my penny (his affectionate name for his penis).” As if I am going to attack it! He’s the one who is constantly tugging at it as though he thinks he is Stretch Armstrong. If there is going to be any long-term damage to his penny, it will most certainly be self-inflicted.
And Lucas, though he just turned eight years old, is even worse. He constantly has his hand on his junk, as if he thinks it is going to jump off of his body and run away. Bath time is the worst. I have walked in on Lucas numerous times to find him lying in the bathtub with a strange and somewhat disturbing array of objects just sitting on his penis. He’s had a cup sitting upside down on his penis. There have been little toy soldiers. Fallen soldiers lying on the battlefield of his…um…business. His sister’s My Little Ponies (somewhat alarming). Goggles (that one was weird…and displayed an athleticism I did not realize Lucas possessed). I’ve even walked in on him trying to place a snorkel on it. I may be wrong, but I am pretty certain that thing can breath underwater and, therefore, has no need for a snorkel.
Recently, Lucas came home from school (he’s in the second grade) with his first delightful colloquialism for another often-discussed part of the male anatomy. I was unaware he had obtained this little nugget of knowledge until I, quite unexpectedly, heard him exclaim, “Man! Nicky kicked me in the nut sack!” Is there no end to the horror?
Though somewhat puzzling to me, this penis obsession is nothing new. Since they first discovered their penises as infants, my boys have been hooked. I remember potty training Lucas as a small boy. I vividly recall him sitting on the toilet in our upstairs bathroom—a serious look on his face—trying to pee. He looked up at me earnestly, pointed to his head and then his penis, and whispered, “Mommy, my brain is in my penis and it tells the pee come out.” His brain is in his penis? Truer words have never been spoken by any man, young or old.
I have heard from reliable sources that this obsession with all things phallic does not lessen as boys grow older. As a matter of fact, I was horrified to learn from my straight married friends that it lasts well into adulthood. So I guess I better get used to talking penises. I might as well acclimate myself to this penis craze. It looks like I’ve got a lifetime of it ahead of me. Then again, aren’t teenagers mortified to talk about anything “private” with their parents? Perhaps I only have nine or ten more years of this to go? A girl can only hope.
Until then, I will bravely carry on. A lesbian amongst penises. Out of my element. Miles from my comfort zone. Soldiering on for the little boys I dearly love.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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