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The Big Penis Book

by Lynda Weaver
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Thursday Jul 3, 2008
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You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what’s inside The Big Penis Book; it’s exactly what the title implies. And although initially you might be a bit hesitant to put this one out on the coffee table (at least when guests- or your mother- are coming), after the initial shock and novelty factor wears off it’s quite an interesting- and very impressive- book. (And don’t forget, your mom’s seen at least one, and I’m guessing a few more...)

If you’re reading this, I don’t have to tell you that dicks come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles, and they’re all here in this book. (Well, except for the size thing; these are all huge.) Apparently big dicks have been an obsession for as long as man’s been around- or at least as long as we’ve had cameras. This collection of photographs, like their subjects, is huge and diverse. There are more than 400 photos, including pictures of classic larger-than-life "stars" Long Dong Silver, and rare photos of John Holmes.

And if you think it’s simply a collection of photos of long schlongs, you’re wrong- although of course there are a lot of those. It’s actually an extremely interesting volume from a sociological perspective (and no, I’m not just getting "adult entertainment hoity toity").

The Big Penis Book is interesting because as you flip through it- and there’s a lot to flip through- you begin to realize (especially if you frequently review erotic male photography books) that for the most part the majority of the men pictured aren’t overly handsome, or even very sexy. Likewise, most of them don’t possess what we’d consider "hot bodies." In fact, many of them are average at best; even the guys from the 70s, when natural bodies were more the norm.

So what does this have to do with sociology?

There’s one thing these men have in common that got them work- and in this book. As a society, we’ve clearly decided that no matter how many times we say "size doesn’t matter," or try to convince ourselves- or others- that we don’t put weight on status symbols- big SUVs, "it" bags, the new Smart Car (I just got one!)- we’re still very much a society that judges (or at least gives some degree of importance to) others based on their possessions- whether they were born with them or acquired.

Of course if you’re simply a size queen, you’ll be quite satisfied with the wide range of photos (more than 400 in all, spread across nearly as many pages), and happy to know that they’re organized very efficiently. The book is broken into chapters by subject (Early Photographs, The Penis in Photography) and studio (including Athletic Model Guild, Colt, and Falcon), and also includes an interesting introduction, and of course an "Appendicks."

Although not for everyone, The Big Penis Book is a gorgeously produced collection of spectacular male endowment. (If grandma’s a little bit bored these days, why not spice up her life...)

Boston readers can support a local gay-owned small business by picking up The Big Penis Book at MOTLEY on Tremont Street.

by Dian Hanson

Taschen, 384 pages, $59.99 (About $44 at Amazon.com)

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