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Welcome to the “Pen15” club! If you are unfamiliar with this club, then you have just unknowingly read the word penis.
This is a classic prank pre-teens and adolescents play on one another, but it’s still only secondary to the seemingly indefatigable desire of draw phallic images. It’s rather difficult to walk into a bathroom stall with graffiti on the walls and not witness a poorly drawn penis. The crude etchings have become so commonplace that one high school psychology teacher actually collects her students’ phallic graffiti to use as visual aid during her Freudian unit.
Lest we believe that these seemingly prepubescent immaturities should diminish with age and wisdom, think again. Even as “adults,” often times, if someone ends up falling asleep at a party or event, the probability still exists that they’ll wake up with a penis drawn on their face.
Why is this? What is this strange yet potent fascination that makes people inclined to produce poorly-drawn dicks? BTRtoday talks with a Freudian expert, the company Send Your Friend A Penis Drawing (SYFAPD), and a professional phallic artist to explore this baffling societal obsession.
Dr. Pollens, a clinical adult and child psychologist, member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, and member of The Contemporary Freudian Society, says that this behavior falls under classic psychoanalytic theory.
“Men suffer from a very powerful kind of anxiety—there’s a lot of worry about the integrity of the penis,” Dr. Pollen explains. “That’s a very driving force for men.”
He further explains that as children, before males become aquatinted with the female body, seeing the absence of a penis—for instance, accidentally seeing your mother step out of the shower–can be extremely confusing and anxiety provoking.
Dr. Pollen clarifies that these types of genitalia-driven anxieties can be found in both sexes. However, the preoccupations tend to be fueled by different kinds of worries about the body.
He concludes that there are most likely two reasons why men enjoy drawing their member wherever they can. One is “exhibitionist” driven, which Dr. Pollen clinically describes as a “psychological perversion.” He determines that men who do this usually aim to shock or upset their viewers due to robust underlying insecurities about their genitalia. These are men or boys who draw phallic images to publicly display them.
“They’re worried about how powerful their genitalia can affect and oppress people so they want to show it off,” he further defines.
Then there is the matter of men or boys drawing phallic images in more secluded settings, like in bathroom stalls or in personal journals. Dr. Pollen describes this phenomenon as curiosity driven. He explains that this can be healthy for growing boys, because in a way it contributes to some feeling of “mastery.”
“Where there’s less of a sadistic motive to upset their peers or other people with the imagery, I think it’s healthy,” Dr. Pollen conveys. He explains that for a growing boy it can aid in becoming more comfortable with their sexual organ while also helping to educate more about it.
“People are curious and they want to find out about things, and the more they find out about them in an objective way the more helpful it should be,” he adds.
He does make sure to shine light on the fact that the phallic symbol can possess a variety of meanings. It can be found throughout the centuries as both a religious symbol and a symbol of power. Pollen asserts that while society can influence this image and its manifestations, it is still sure to be discovered in virtually every culture.
Scott Piez, a humorous and potentially sarcastic man, is the content writer for Send Your Friend A Penis Drawing (SYFAPD) and has a slightly less psychoanalytic approach to the allure of viewing and producing phallic art.
SYFAPD is a company that produces phallic artwork for people to purchase and send anonymously to a friend. Their goal is to raise money for prostate cancer research and to make it possible to neatly present penis drawings to loved ones—quickly and easily. It started as a workplace challenge, and has since grown to a widely in-demand product, purchasable through the company website.
“Humans have attempted to express love, joy, and the beauty of creation since the dawn of man,” Piez tells BTRtoday. “Phallic drawings not only represent those things, but they also have an element of humor which captures the imagination of people from all cultures and language groups.”
He presents the imagery on the walls of Pompeii, which were found covered in phallic graffiti, to further aid his point.
Piez believes that a properly drawn phallic image can be enjoyable by both sexes.
“The recipient gets a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that someone else spent a few dollars to have a nice piece of art sent to them,” he explains. “Most people probably try drawing a penis or other type of phallic art at least once in their life, which no doubt helps people recognize a well drawn penis when they see one.”
The professional phallic artist for SYFAPD, Brendan Pearce, agrees with Piez. He states that consumer responses have been wonderful—a combination of joy and bemusement.
“We haven’t received any negative feedback or responses so far,” he confirms. “Which I think goes to show how universal the human trait of appreciating phallic humor is.”
Pearce goes in-depth about the creative process for a professional phallic artist. He conveys that a phallic subject has the perfect opportunity to be a joke as well as something more cerebral. At its heart, he believes the phallus is simply an amusing, rubbery form. Not only is it relatable and down to earth, he passionately explains, but also is a subject with great depth to explore.
Both Pearce and Piez seem very passionate and confident about their penis-themed endeavor. Together they share a deep appreciation for the overwhelming requests they receive for Pearce’s artworks. Who knows–Dr. Pollen’s psychoanalytic approach might say that Pearce and Piez are embracing the Freudian view of genitalia obsession and using it, to their pointed advantage, to better the world.