One of the charming idiosyncrasies men display when they’re out in a group “with the boys”, is their sexual scruples.
I mean, we pretend to have some, rather than being total sluts up for a romp in the hay with almost anyone. Because the truth of the matter, when the barman is calling last rounds, is that most of us will settle for anything warm and welcoming, no matter what it looks like in daylight.
Nevertheless, the Man Code somehow dictates that until that fateful last-call moment arrives, we have to pretend to have standards. We get as picky and pernickety as Miss World judges, while ignoring the fact that none of us is actually a cleft-chinned Adonis himself. The ultimate retort, when one of your mates is trying to convince you to chat up some dodgy-looking specimen, is: “Nah, I wouldn’t, bru. Not even with yours...”
Yes, we’re a sophisticated bunch – “that woman is so unattractive, I wouldn’t even pleasure her using your equipment” is the height of repartee, as far as we’re concerned. Of course, it’s a statement that has always been made secure in the knowledge that it can never, ever be tested in real life.
And then a South African surgical team performed the world’s first successful penis transplant, and suddenly it is possible for a guy (or at least one guy) to perform the horizontal mambo using another man’s organ. I can’t help but think that somewhere, the soul of his original member is furiously jealous. I also can’t help thinking that if Chris Barnard’s gravestone is adorned with a large granite heart, then the South African doctor who performed this latest surgical breakthrough is going to be the cause of a unique and embarrassing problem for a cemetery in a few years' time.
There’s also a serious side to this. As several other commentators have pointed out, the surgery is a world first being rightly hailed as a significant advance in medicine, but very few people are talking about the reason this young man needed a new penis in the first place – a botched traditional circumcision. I’m not a fan of universal circumcision without any medical need for it, as it was done to me when I was too young to protest, and I’ve been bitter about that for almost 50 years.
However, I’m also not one to prescribe to others how they should live, so I’m not on the side of those who simply want to ban the manhood ritual completely. I’m one for the middle path – if we can convince traditional practitioners to take advantage of some of the advances in the last 200 years of medical science, such as, say, using disinfectant and really sharp scalpels, then I think the issue can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. We can have young guys becoming men in their communities according to tradition, without suffering the total loss of their wedding tackle, as happened to the transplant recipient and is still happening to other unfortunate initiates every winter.
But enough responsible social commentary; let’s return to the meat of this story, if you’ll pardon the pun. There’s a dude walking around with another man’s dongle attached to him – what happens on the nights when he doesn’t score in the last-minute swamp-donkey roundup at the singles bar? When he gets home feeling all frisky, but alas, has no willing nubile to be frisky with in tow?
Well, he’s going to resort to what men have resorted to since time immemorial, isn’t he? He’s going to opt for a bit of self-loving. And that’s the point at which he’ll have to confront an identity crisis in his sexuality, I reckon – when he suddenly realises that he’s playing with another man’s schlong. Yes, I know; it’s an outrageous thought – but don’t tell me I’m the only one thinking it.
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