Free Willy or Hide The Weenie?

John and I along with some friends recently went to see the movie “Wanderlust”.  It was cute, predictable and gave us a few giggles here and there.  The cute part was Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd together — cute couple right?  The predictable part was that it was a rom-com and ended just the way we expected hoped it would.  And the giggles?  Well, it was a comedy after all.  What I didn’t predict was all the nudity…male nudity.  Full frontal male nudity.

The last time I can remember being delighted surprised by the sudden appearance in a film of the-whole-goods was in Eastern Promises ala Viggo Mortensen.  Viggo’s naked sauna fight performance made the typical here-we-go-again male fight scene suddenly far more interesting to me. But that’s me.

Ole one eye is starting to appear in mainstream Hollywood movies more and more frequently. The male anatomy is finally starting to peek out past that strategically placed sheet, the fig leaf is falling away and you know what?  The world didn’t end!

Can you imagine being shocked anymore at the sight of a woman’s breasts or bare butt in movies (or even on television) anymore? No biggy right?  You see it all the time.  To get a glimpse of the twig and berries in a regular movie is really rare and that explains my sudden fascination – with penises on film – not penises in general (that happened years ago). It’s very interesting to me.  In fact it’s still so taboo that even as I write this post, I’m most comfortable referring to male anatomy using stupid pet names (twig and berries – there’s worse – bologna pony, Jack hammer, love muscle, don’t worry I’ll stop now…but I could go on…).  The point is there have been years and years of imbalance when it comes to the baring of anatomy on mainstream film.  I don’t like imbalance in anything.

James Wolcott of Vanity Fair wrote an article called The Hung and The Restless on this very subject.  Wolcott gave me the impression that one of the main reasons there is far less male nudity in films is due to the fear male actors hold in the possibility of disappointing us.  There is far more “mystique” in the hidden penis.  I can see his point. (No pun intended)  Plus there is the problem of a nervous penis possibly shrinking from the camera when the clapboard slams shut and the direct screams “Action!”  I’m thinking back to all those onscreen men I’ve had crushes on over the years.  Would my infatuation deflate if his penis didn’t live up to his bravado? I’m not sure.  I’d like to think not, but…maybe.

I’m not offended by seeing a naked body, male or female, but I also don’t think nudity is very often that necessary on television or in movies.  Quite often it comes across as more of a distraction to the story or worse, steals our opportunity to use our own imaginations (which can often be much, much better than the real deal).

On the other hand, I think if we are going to accept nudity on screen then we should accept all types of nudity; female, male, fit, unfit, tiny, large, the whole spectrum.  If he gets to enjoy a booby shot then she gets to enjoy a shot of Mr. Happy.  I’m just sayin’ Fair and square. Equality. Balance.  Ohm…


  • Lawrence

    There’s a whole lot of lol’in going on in this one. It sounds like those who enjoy having less to leave to their imagination, weren’t shafted on this one. 😉

    I also lean to the side of nudity being most often not required. The human body is natures art and it should be revealed in it’s artistic form. Not just to show a little buldge or breast.

    I remember the most uncomfortable thing when I was younger was relaxing watching a movie with my mother or father and feeling really uncomfortable during scenes of nudity.

    There are movies when it’s precence is definately out of place.

  • Sully

    I barely got past the title of this post….too funny. Another thing I picked up from “hung and the restless” was how all this “exposure” is actually a commentary on where the US is culturally and politically on the world stage. When things are going well…no need to expose thyself…since they have lost some clout over the last few years…they feel the need to show what they’ve got in other ways.
    If this theory holds true then the country I grew up in obviously never felt they had the clout since nudity has been a staple on TV for years from when I was a kid:)

    Great read…oh and btw I read that the cult leader in that film is actualy Jen’s real life lover.

  • Tracy Westerholm

    Okay, it’s time I put my 2 inches in, cents in on this one!
    I wasn’t able to read your post yesterday Bon but did peek when it was in the drafts…ya I know I’m a peeeeeeker!

    I am with you Sully, I have repeated “Free Willy or Hide the Weenie” several times since I first peaked, giggling ever single time! I think when I feel a stress-full moment coming on that will be the words I will repeat in my head to snap out of it!

    YOU ARE HILARIOUS! “delighted” I laughed out loud when you said you had a fascination with penises, not because you do, I KNEW that obviously but because you used that word! Penis…Weenie is even a funnier word to describe the male genitals…and how come I didn’t hear about the Viggo movie btw!!! lol

    I can understand why some men don’t want to be exposed during filming, the camera assistants can really clap that thing loud, enough to scare anyone back into their…shell! It takes courage to expose yourself intimately to the world in word, let alone on film! I also don’t think it’s really necessary to see the ‘bologna pony’ on film…bahahahahhahhaha! During a fight scene…I’d google that just for the laugh! I am so mature right now! I’m still giggling…

    Thanks Bon for continuing to make me laugh out loud each day! You are HILARIOUS!
    Can’t wait to see you! xoxoxo

  • G

    Hi, I’ve been reading your columns for a while now, thought I would finally weigh in on something. Why not start with the Penis I say?!

    I’m curious about when the opposite or counter of the female Boob, became the penis? Should there be a large rise in “penile sightings’, couldn’t we clamour for more……. Vagina?
    Isnt it just that Boobs, specifically female Boobs are taboo in public? If you were able to “set them free’ more readily then maybe it wouldn’t matter so much? You wouldn’t find yourself demanding more crotch?
    (This isnt a personal attack btw….. im just sayin…..). “Start a movement” I say. Go shopping and ‘be proud!’

    I dont think that there are many men that can make naked, look sexy. A few odd ones that just need to stand there and that’s enough. A guy playing volleyball naked? Not sexy. Doing most things. Perspective I suppose but lets say, not as sexy as a female.
    Most any female can be sexy, doesn’t take looks or a hot bod, compromising pose. Usually just confidence is enough!
    Be careful what you wish for. You may get more penis but may be flicking the channels more often.

    By the way. I saw Eastern Promises and that was a great scene!

    • Tracy Westerholm

      Welcome ‘G’ to Tara Cronica!

      If you are going to start commenting the Penis is a Grand place to begin I say! (giggle)

      I agree with you, the female breasts should technically be compared to the sexy bare chest of a man! They are equally as titilating and capable of arousing the opposite sex just as easily.

      In Europe and Australia the female bare breasts are common on public beaches and not seen as taboo at all! 😉 I’ve never had an interest in going to a nude beach (I did go topless when I was in Australia at a secluded beach) but some say it is extremely liberating! Don’t knock it til ya try it…right?

      Maybe if we got used to seeing the naked human body more regularly we wouldn’t have as many hang-ups about our bodies?

      It is truly a beautiful specimen no matter the size or shape, a miracle really!

      Would I go to a nudist beach…not likely. Would I be offended seeing the male genitals on screen probably not. Do I want to see female genitals on screen, absolutely not!

      Interesting isn’t it.

      Thanks for your comment! 😉

    • Bonnie Johnson

      As you said, it’s all a matter of perspective. I would not want to see naked women shopping…or naked men shopping for that matter, but we are talking specifically about nakedness on film here and that’s a whole different matter. I still prefer it all to be left to my imagination!

      Thanks for adding your thoughts G!

  • Jane

    I am certainly not old fashioned. But I prefer the/my naked body exposed in the bedroom. If a film calls for a naked scene and it fits the script then by all means they should film it. G. I just can’t get my mind around comparing a penis to a vagina. sorry….But then I’m more interested in

  • caterwauler

    It seems that Jennifer Aniston’s handlers have run out of ideas to promote their talentless idol and have gone to showing her costar’s penis. The whole thing smacks of desperation to avoid the predictability.
    But then those who worship Jennifer care little as long as she keeps her hair the same. And no one asks why show a penis anyway? Unless they’re angry, there is not much reason to film them. lol.
    And most times it will only lead to disappointment.
    It is said that Brad and George and Matt are pencil stubs not worthy of frontal shots without special EFX and Woody Allen and Uncle Miltie are of legendary appendage stature. Either way it is disappointment, isn’t it?
    Theater of the mind is a wonderful concept, yes?

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