It sure has been a good year for dicks on the big (and little) screen. We’ve got Sebastian Stan’s talking cock in Pam & Tommy, the barrage of baby makers in Minx and Kid Cudi’s comically gigantic member in X. While Season Two of Euphoria didn’t offer quite as much hog as the first, it still delivered a respectable amount of schlong. And Just Like That… showed dong, too, despite it never having made an appearance in Sex and the City. And over the summer, we saw Steve Zahn full frontal in White Lotus.
Except, of course, we didn’t actually see Steve Zahn’s dick. Nor did we see Sebastian Stan’s, or Minx’s Taylor Zakhar Perez’s, or Kid Cudi’s, or really any notable dick belonging to any notable person. It’s all been fake — and frankly, I’m tired of it! It’s time Hollywood gives the people what they want: Some real, honest, authentic celebrity PENIS!
With all of these scenes, much lip service has been given to how we’re entering a new Era of Penisness in Hollywood. Vanity Fair, the New York Post and Wall Street Journal have all cited this moment as the “golden era of male nudity,” and while I’m surprisingly appreciative of Benedict Cumberbatch’s tight ass in The Power of the Dog, I am not fulfilled. Because, again, though we’ve had plenty of alleged penis popular media over the last year, very little of it has been of a famous actor’s actual dick.
Women have had to have their tits out in film and television forever. To that end, almost all of the aforementioned productions featured actual breasts, with the exception of Pam & Tommy’s Lily James, whose portrayal of Pamela Anderson could only be effective with a massive pair of prosthetic breasts (they just don’t make ‘em like they used to). It practically seems like it’s a requirement for an actress to show her boobs, even full-frontal, lest she be replaced by any of the countless other women willing to do so.
Obviously, it shouldn’t necessarily be a big deal to show your chest, anyway — they’re just boobs! But although we seem to be approaching penis with the same casual attitude as of late, throwing it into just about every HBO show on the air, we’ve yet to demand the real thing in the way we do with breasts in significant, speaking roles.
What exactly is the problem? Are these male celebrity dicks just not big enough? Perhaps it’s logical that Minx’s Perez required a prosthetic, considering he’s supposed to have a particularly big dick in the way that Mark Walhberg’s porn-star character in Boogie Nights did. But in most cases, like Zahn in White Lotus or Eric Dane in Euphoria, the penis size is irrelevant to the story. Zahn’s character is supposed to be concerned that his balls are large, but even then, the actual ball size is beside the point. If Zahn or Dane have small, bizarre or oddly shaped penises, so be it. Many people do, and that’s exactly why we should be seeing them on-screen.
I know that’s a rather ambitious request — to see a smattering of “average” penises in film and television. Especially because all of the boobs we find there are typically considered conventionally attractive — perky, round, symmetrical, etc. — regardless of whether the majority of the population’s tits look like that or not. But it can be done. Just look at the most forward-thinking presentation of dicks in this Era of Penisness — Jackass Forever. In it, we see Steve-O and Chris Pontius’ hogs, among others, in a variety of unflattering positions and costumes. We see them dressed as Godzilla, pressed between plates of glass and used as a ping-pong paddle and stung with bees.
Filled with stingers and bruised by pogo sticks, they don’t exactly look great. They do, however, look real. Sure, it’s everything they inflict upon their dicks that makes Jackass shine, but that added element of bodily realism is what elevates Jackass from a fun little stunt show to a beloved franchise that has continuously challenged the boundaries of masculinity.
Now, to the other men who have already offered up their actual dongs for their craft — whether it’s Jason Segal in Forgetting Sarah Marshall or Oscar Isaac in Scenes From a Marriage — I thank you for your service. You are enhancing not just the art of acting, but the culture around how we discuss and perceive the male body. You’re also just plain giving me something fun to stare at. As for the rest of you actors who continue to use prosthetics, you have indeed brought us into a new period of Hollywood male nudity. But until you show the real thing, you’ve yet to deliver anything worth talking about.