There has not been this much news coverage and public conversation about penises since Anthony Weiner’s campaign for New York City mayor flamed out over some too-revealing selfies.
Donald Trump’s allusion to his manhood — in no less a setting than a Republican presidential debate — and Hulk Hogan’s recently concluded trial against Gawker (“Hulk Hogan lied about his penis size”) propelled penises into people’s living rooms and into water cooler chatter.
So I feel it is my current-events duty to tell you about our visit to what is billed as the world’s only penis museum.
I say “our” because my wife and I visited.
During our honeymoon.
Yeah, I know, I’m just a hopeless romantic.
Here’s the background:
About 30 miles from the Arctic Circle in the fishing village of Húsavik (population 2,200) is the Icelandic Phallological Museum.
It is housed in a non-descript two-story building. There is no hint about what is inside except for perhaps the giant wooden phallus standing sentry outside.
The museum has a collection of more than 200 penises and “penile parts” (ouch!) that belonged to almost all of the land and sea mammals found on Iceland.
Among those on display are ones from a polar bear, seals, walrus and 17 different kinds of whales.
I’ve got to say that I’ve never given much thought to the male anatomy of mammals but this was truly eye-opening.
And let’s just say that some mammals are quite, um, gifted.
Sure, the museum is a bit of gimmick (I’ll leave it to your imagination about the souvenirs on sale) but still, it was genuinely informative and certainly unique.
Years after our visit there in 2010, I heard of a documentary called “The Final Member” about the museum curator’s quest for a donation from a homo sapien.
The movie took some peculiar turns.
For instance, there were two donors vying for bragging rights to be the first to have their member enshrined in the museum, including an American who named his “Elmo.”
The other donor was a 90-plus-year-old Icelandic man who went so far as to have a mold made of his privates.
Let’s just say that was painful to watch.
The museum’s curator, a guy named Sigurour “Siggi” Hjartarson, had two requirements for the donation of a human specimen: A legal document (letter of donation) signed by three witnesses, and proof that the penis was of “legal length” — at least 5 inches.
He based the minimum length requirement on an Icelandic folk tale called “A Legal Length,” in which a woman requested a divorce from her husband because his penis was less than 5 inches long.
The documentary does, unfortunately, perpetuate a myth of masculinity that links the length of a guy’s member with his character and standing in society.
To which I say, don’t confuse the measure of a man with the size of his penis: A leading presidential candidate is proof of that.
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