Thursday, August 03, 2006

Let's Have a Chat about the Penis

I ran across something horrifying on Gawker today: a post entitled, "Master of the Zombie Boner". It's about a local plastic surgeon looking into a new specialty. He was profiled in the New York Observer (a well-regarded weekly with an intellectual bent that was recently bought by a 25 year-old law student after Robert de Niro passed on it.) Dr. Mark Warfel told the Observer, "It’s an open field for improvement ... I don’t think there’s anybody good doing it.” He's talking about penis enlargement.

There are two things that made this article, a throw-away portion of the paper's "Transom" section, compelling. First, the wit of the writer. Describing the plastic surgeon' s repertoire:
Dr. Warfel has a large storefront on 16th Street, just off Fifth Avenue, called the Warfel Institute. With designer discretion, it could pass as a dermatology clinic.

Oh, but it is not. Inside, Botox is shot and noses are Winona Ryder’d; breasts go up cup sizes and down; big calves are birthed or aborted; nipples snipped to stand at attention like little eraser-stub soldiers.
The second thing that made this article great was the method plastic surgeons have for increasing the size of the penis. Imagine, if you will:
Right now, there are two methods of adding girth to a penis: injecting fat, or wrapping the penis in layers of cadaver skin.

Both have drawbacks, in that the body would like to absorb both fat and skin. Even corpse skin.

For length, the penis is separated from its mooring—its suspensory ligaments—and, essentially, given a yank to bring more penis above-board. The problem then is that an erection, without that tether, may not be able to point itself in its former preferred direction. Picture a gravity-free Snickers bar stuffed in a deflated balloon.
I ... I, I don't know what to say. Layers of corpse skin. Girth.

Now is as good a time as any to bring up a Christopher Hitchens column from Vanity Fair a couple months ago that entertained me. I'm a big Hitchens fan -- even after his post-9/11 meltdown (a lifelong lefty, Hitchens took a freak right turn after the terrorist attack.). His nasty Reagan obit had me in stitches:
The fox, as has been pointed out by more than one philosopher, knows many small things, whereas the hedgehog knows one big thing. Ronald Reagan was neither a fox nor a hedgehog. He was as dumb as a stump. He could have had anyone in the world to dinner, any night of the week, but took most of his meals on a White House TV tray. He had no friends, only cronies. His children didn't like him all that much. He met his second wife—the one that you remember—because she needed to get off a Hollywood blacklist and he was the man to see. Year in and year out in Washington, I could not believe that such a man had even been a poor governor of California in a bad year, let alone that such a smart country would put up with such an obvious phony and loon.
This is what he said after Reagan died.

So imagine what he might have to say about fellatio. In a commentary called "As American as Apple Pie", Hitchens runs down the history of this brand of oral sex, arguing that it was popularized by our fair country this century, although it has a long history. Hitchens invokes Nabokov, Bill Clinton, Don Delillo, W.H. Auden, Gore Vidal, Kingsley Amis, Henry Miller, and R. Crumb.

Hitchens talks about the documentary movie about the pornographic movie Deep Throat, in which "the preserved figure" of Helen Gurley Brown (who became editor of Cosmopolitan in 1965) is seen "demonstrating her application technique as she tells us how she evolved from knowing nothing about oral sex to the realization that semen could be a terrific facial cream. ("It's full of babies," she squeals, unclear on the concept to the very last.)" Well, it's either that or corpse skin, right?

The rest of the column was more amusing the first time I read it.


Anonymous Sarah said...

Thank you for helping me gross out my boss. Hillary and I both appreciate excuses to talk about corpse penises (penii?) in the workplace.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Sluggo said...

I'm picturing a procedure in which the phallus is wrapped like a roll of toilet paper. Delightful!

8:49 PM  

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