The Power of the Penis
The penis, a “ridiculous petitioner,” as the novelist William Gass has called it,
“unreliable, though everything depends on it, easily teased, insulted, betrayed, abandoned, yet pretending to be invulnerable, a weapon which confers magical powers upon its possessor.”
In ancient Greek, to possess a penis, Sophocles believed, is to be “chained to a madman.”
Five hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci, the outstanding genius of the Renaissance, explained:
“The penis has dealings with human intelligence and sometimes displays an intelligence of its own; where a man may desire it to be stimulated, it remains obstinate and follows its own course; and sometimes it moves on its own without permission. Whether one is awake or asleep, it does what it pleases; often the man is asleep and it is awake; often the man is awake and it is asleep; or the man would like it to be in action but it refuses; often it desires action and the man forbids it. That is why it seems that this creature often has a life and an intelligence separate from that of the man.”
Nowadays, in Bhutan, the penis, in all its glory has an interesting role. It keep away evil people, spirits and gossip.
It’s for this reason that many modern Bhutanese paint phalluses, called po in Dzonghka, on the outside walls of their new homes and businesses.
Think of it as the Bhutanese happier and way cheaper version of home insurance.
They come in various colour schemes as well, some flying or diving, some having ribbons tied around them like Christmas presents, while the most bizarre also have big eyes, merrily spurting!
All of them stand proudly fully erect. Long live… the ‘prick’!
Some temples even have penis carvings and sculptures, made of wood and metal, which are used in rituals to bless children—born and unborn.
Some say that hitting a woman on the head with a (fake) phallus will make her more likely to bear children and have less (fake) headaches – pun very much intended.
The Madman or as it is also known, The Saint of 5,000 Women who is responsible for popularizing the penis craze, was a Tibetan monk named Drukpa Kunley.
His phallus became so famous and powerful that it was known as The Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom.
His ways of teaching Buddhism were more bizarre and unorthodox than one can imagine.
Some of his most famous acts of devotion include blessing sacred thankhas by urinating on them, stripping down naked or offering his testicles to a famous Lama. I don’t know about devotion, but this is what any man would call courage.
He was a wanderer and a homeless, a ragged begger, but he was lucky in love. He looked for happiness and each time he found it right “below the navel” of a woman.
A good talker and a charmer, the legend says he slept with more than 5000 women, including his own mother and a nun, all agreeing it was for their own good, all willingly abandoning themselves to him.
5000, imagine that!
Enlightenment was the goal. Sex was … the way!
“I am happy that I am a free yogi
So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.
I can have sex with many women,
Because I help them to go to the path of enlightenment.”
Not that the history of sexual excess is confined to Bhutan.
Warren Beatty had sex with 12,000 women while the Italian dictator Mussolini had sex with a different woman every day for fourteen years.
What do they say? Make the years count. But for a conservative country like Bhutan, 5000 is a big number.
He exemplified the tantric belief that sex can be the path to enlightenment and was determined to enlighten as many women as possible.
His penis is said to have spread positive energy around the country, make many women happy and surprisingly not so many men angry. Arguably, his legacy remains as Bhutan it is considered one of the happiest place in the world.
“Size doesn’t matter. A phallus is all you need” the smiling lady selling wooden new phalluses at a shop in Paro assures me.
Well, I beg to differ. The one in Tharpaling Temple, in Bumthang, is made of stone and cement and measures seven feet. And doesn’t it look fine?
Visit Bhutan and let yourself be wowed its wonders!
So much for free willy!