Sex Talk by Simon Sheppard Speaking of Shaft Shapes

Male organs come in infinite variety. The wise man celebrates them all.

To the casual observer, dicks may all look more or less the same, but to the connoisseur they're like snowflakes in their wondrous variety: no two are exactly alike. Thanks to genetics, each of us guys has been given unique equipment, and hooray for that.

"Okay, I'm a slut, I'll grant you," says one hunk who's pretty nicely hung himself. "But God, I love the excitement of each new piece of meat." He remembers being in the pitch-black backroom of a leather bar. "There were a couple of dozen guys back there playing, and after a few minutes, I could tell them apart by touch."

From flaccid to fully erect, meat goes through a magical metamorphosis. What might seem a little dinghy while in port can, once under sail, turn into the Titanic. And though soft penises can be pretty, cuddly, even impressive, when they're hard they're even better.

One hard-on fancier says, "In the gay community, there's an emphasis on size. But I guess I'm hung up on beauty, the perfectly-formed straight shaft crowned by a lovely, well-formed head." The Platonic ideal of pricks, as it were. But not every cock conforms, and properly seen, each cock holds an interest all its own. Some men's are willows, graceful and poetic. Others are sequoias, massive and firm.

Then there's the Beer Can model, squatly thick and powerful, and the famous Mushroom Head, a somewhat slender shaft crowned with a big, bulbous crown. The Mount Everest, broad at the bottom, narrows to a peak split by a piss-slit. "I like to be screwed by guys with the tapering kind," says one bottomish guy. "It makes gradual entry easy."

A lot of dicks curve, often upward, sometimes so much so that a hard-on stands straight up against the belly in extravagant salute. Some curve to the right; more, it seems, to the left; and a few find a path all their own. "I still remember," says another cockwatcher, "having sex years ago with this young fellow who was into yoga. Pretty face, long blond hair, lean, lithe body. But what really impressed me was the downward curve of his piece, just the opposite of what most guys' do. Not only was it unusual, and really fun to play with, when he was inside me, it aimed straight for my prostate. Incredible!"

(In a small number of cases, the curvature can be so extreme as to constitute a medical problem, as is the case with Peyronie's disease, a condition usually seen in older men that cause the dick to angle excessively upward, but which generally resolves itself after a while.)

Then there's the Optional Equipment - the extra added attractions. The familiar cut-uncut dichotomy is usually much more apparent when a dick's soft, but a generous foreskin can make quite a difference to a hard shaft, too. And some guys' cocks have the most amazingly prominent veins, a source of pleasure for some, indifference for others. Like they say, one man's meat ... well, it's a matter of taste.

So whether yours is a perfect Grecian column or charmingly baroque, wear your penis with pride. It's the only one you've got.

Simon Sheppard is the co-editor of Rough Stuff: Tales of Gay Men, Sex, and Power (Alyson Books). He can be reached care of this publication or at SmutSmith@aol.com.