As a male, I am terribly offended by my penis. It has the gall to try to think for me. On occasion, it will assess the data stream from my eyes and ears and tell my brain when pleasing sights and sounds intercept me “I want to get in there” without regard for the social or personal implications of such an action. When I was younger, this happened quite often. As a brother of a high-school friend put it when asked whether he would have sex with so-and-so (who wasn’t considered to be an attractive specimen), “a hole’s a hole,” and so an unchecked penis would likely go foraging for whatever shelter would have it.
Now, however, my brain is becoming increasingly agitated with my penis’ lack of discretion and discernment. The reason, you see, is that my brain decided that mere copulation just wasn’t doing it any more. I have been married for what I consider to be a long time. I have had sex with my wife many hundreds of times, probably in the neighborhood of a thousand, give or take. And each year it gets better.
How, you might ask? Well, it certainly has nothing to do with our bodies. Each year we get a little further away from the youth-oriented picture of perfectly toned sexuality portrayed in the media and voraciously consumed by penises all over. No, it’s all in the eyes.
It took many years and many discussions and many fights, but my wife now knows me through and through, and I know her through and through. I am not proud of each part of me, and I still do not enjoy when certain parts are brought into the light of day, but each of those parts, including those that are so, so socially unacceptable, have seen the light of her day and have been accepted with a minimum of resignation, even if not fully understood.
When I look into her eyes when we make love, I see her looking into my bare and naked and vulnerable soul, and I see love. I see tender acceptance. Her tender acceptance of me in her eyes in that moment is far more meaningful than the physical acceptance of my body into hers. Caresses no longer touch only the surface, but signify fondness for my thoughts, my desires, my fears and even my shame. It is a wonderful thing to lay bare your shame and to have it treated gently, with love and tenderness and understanding. It is a far more powerful aphrodisiac than anything that can be drawn from the physical senses.
This is not to demean the art of the quickie. Time, energy and biochemistry may all combine to require satiation of the biochemistry, which can do wonders to keep the engine of marriage from seizing, but to be totally consumed by the experience….to be consumed requires the connection. It requires the eyes.
So, to my penis I say SHUT UP. You may still be necessary, but you are no longer sufficient. It’s the eyes that have it.