Welcome to 2019!
I’m so glad you’re here for another year of talking dong and looking at the ways that men engage with their bodies and their sexuality, despite whatever “society” is telling them they ought to do. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us this year, and the loss of tumblr is doing nothing to help guys see and believe that they get to be desirable, and that the ways they engage with themselves and others sexually is empowering and important.
I want to start out the year by talking about a story that pinged 90% of my google alerts about penises. Ray Houghton is an English bodybuilder who now runs a cool gym on the gorgeous coast of Spain, who has spent the last several years having his entire body tattooed. Which is pretty impressive just on its own. But the final piece of his puzzle was getting his dong inked up to match.
And you can bet that the coverage of his adventures is littered with words like “bizarre” and “shocking.” Which, is fine, I guess. It’s just disappointing to see that in 2018 (when Ray finally closed his tattoo chapter, wrapping his penis around a rolling pin so as to hold it in place while the tattoo artist worked his magic) we’re still so shocked and put off by guys who decide to be in command of their bodies and aren’t embarrassed to show off their genitals or the hard work they’ve done at the gym.
There is a long historical tradition of genital tattooing, especially in Polynesian culture. So it really isn’t the most groundbreaking thing to have done in our modern age. But I suppose ‘look at this socking man with his dick around a rolling pin’ gets more excited clicks than ‘man wears khakis and goes to work every day for 35 years.’
For my money, dudes like Ray have way more to teach us than the guys in khakis do.
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Here’s to 2019 being the year we can start to praise guys like Ray for their openness, boldness, and refusal to conform to the magical thinking that penises disappear when we can’t see them under clothes. This guy is awesome:
Ray is very brave, on so many counts. What continues to amaze, is the judgmental attitude so prevalent in the modern world. It’s Ray’s body and he should be allowed to do to it what he wants to have done to it.
It’s your body, do what you want. Make it your ideal of better or beautiful. It’s your body to do with what you want. Me, I have 17 piercings. 14 in my head, both nipples and two in my penis. I fucking love it. It was a giant boost for my self-esteem. It made me more comfortable and more confidant. Hell. It made me a better person, just in general, just by making me feel more complete. This guy’s tats are stunning. A unified, aesthetic design that I WISH I could come up with .
I’ll tell you, though. It’s a tough thing to explain to someone who doesn’t have the experience. I have several tattoos and have had >15 piercings in my adult life. Body mods are a deeply personal experience and the high and self esteem amplification associated with them are really complicated to understand outside of individual experience.
I was more jarred, in Ray’s case, with the ‘look at this ridiculous old man’ aspect of the news and blog coverage. His story struck me as quite the opposite – someone who is embracing his physical body and making capital improvements at an age where so many are encouraged to fade into the background.
Now *he* has tattoos: “Bodybuilder Tattoos Penis, Is Awesome” @tylerthebadwolf https://t.co/XBwii6YAaG #tattoos https://t.co/E29UgEoGAZ
@Dyslexic_aDve None yet. I have met this man. He actually said he wasnt famous anymore for body building so he want… https://t.co/l1XcG2v4yS