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What's the connection between the penis, masculinity and sex?
I wrote on another page that one of the things that makes me feel more masculine is making love to my partner.
There's something about the interaction of masculine and feminine during sex that has the potential to bring out deep maleness and femaleness in each partner.
The moment of penetration, when my penis enters my partner's vagina, has never lost its power for me.
It's the moment when I feel truly masculine, truly male, truly in my own space as a man.
That moment when the softness of the feminine naturally yields to the hardness of the masculine (as exemplified by the erect penis) is magical, a time when each sex can feel truly fulfilled. It is also, I believe, the moment when a man can truly feel his love for a woman - and renew that love in his heart.
And there's something profound about the grace with which a woman can accept penetration, since it's such an act of trust and love on her part to take a man's penis into her body.
(Or at least it's an act of caring and emotional connection.
And sure, I know sex can be many other things too, but here I'm talking about sex in a relationship based on love, I guess.)
Thrusting, too, is a powerfully male act. To see the feelings and emotions represented on my beloved's face as she takes my penis into her body is a truly wonderful thing.
And to see her move towards ecstasy as she feels my penis massaging her G-spot, to see her move from pleasure towards orgasm, in fact, is truly amazing and delightful, and it leaves me filled with a sense of wonderment each time it happens.
No wonder, then, that the penis has become imbued with almost magical qualities in some cultures - perhaps even our own!
For the penis is an amazing thing, not just as a symbol of maleness but as an organ which has the power to produce such pleasure for both partners.
It's not lost on me, by the way, that the same is true of the vagina, and as one of my female friends pointed out, the desire to be penetrated is just as strong as the desire to penetrate: how could the complementary concepts of masculine and feminine come together if it were not so?
There's another moment in the sexual connection which seems essentially masculine - the moment of ejaculation.
If penetration and giving are the theme of masculinity in sex, then being opened up and receiving are the equivalent themes of femininity.
For a woman to take a man's ejaculation, to have his penis powerfully discharge its potentially life-creating load of semen inside her vagina, is not a passive act but an act of acceptance, an act of receiving what the man has to offer.
To reject his semen is to reject him - which is why men, despite their claims to the contrary, would always like their partner to swallow when they ejaculate during oral sex.
Certainly it is during sex, when my penis becomes me more than at any other time - or at least when it represents me more acutely - that I feel most at home in my identity as a man, and most masculine. Yet how would I ever define masculinity?
It's something one knows about oneself, and I think it's often defined by reference to the gender polarity of one's sexual partner.
This raises the question of whether you can ever truly know yourself as a man until you have enjoyed a relationship with the deep feminine. I suspect the answer is probably not.
So I'd say one way to define masculinity is by referring to the action of the penis - that is to say, by asking oneself, " Do I wish to be penetrated, or do I wish to penetrate?"
(Although those men who enjoy anal penetration simply because it feels good may object to this assertion.)
Another way to define masculinity is to refer to qualities that seem to have a masculine sense about them: things such as feeling in control, feeling comfortable in the world as a man who achieves things, who builds things, who can work well in a team with other men and who gets satisfaction from solving problems....and so on.
Of course I look at my penis and think how satisfying it is to be a man and to have a penis!
There's some profound psychological association between the penis, that very male symbol of masculinity, the one that's always visible, always ready for action, and our sense of maleness. How unsurprising, then, that a bigger penis seems to be such a symbol of maleness in so many men's eyes!
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