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Special Issue: Masculinity, Sex and Dicks

We are delighted to share our special issue jointly edited by Dr Andrea Waling and Associate Professor Jennifer Power, "Masculinity, Sex and Dicks: New Understandings of the Phallus" with The Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities is now published and available!

Part of male anti-masturbation apparatus, probably late 19th or early 20th century Apparatus photographed on blue jeans. Science Museum, London

Free to use with attribution Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

About the Issue

This special issue brings together interdisciplinary work exploring the relationship between bodies, masculinity, and the penis or phallus. The symbolism, significance, and meaning of the phallus or penis has varied historically and across disciplines.

With new forms of medical, digital, and mechanical technology pro-viding transformative ways of understanding the penis beyond the assigned male-sex body alongside new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, and sexual practices, it is timely to explore recent writing about the meanings, uses, and applications of the penis in relation to masculinity, bodies, and sexualities.

This special issue seeks to do just that. “Masculinity, Sex, and Dicks: New Understandings of the Phallus” brings together five pieces spanning sociology, public health, law and legal studies, and cultural and literary studies to explore new meanings and interpretations of masculinity, bodies, and the phallus. These articles examine themes of men’s sexual desires, spiritual celibacy and fitness practices, men’s first experiences of ejaculation, and the phallus within literary texts and filmic representations.

The issue begins with Michael Valinsky, who presents a politically engaged textual analysis of the work of controversial French writer Guillaume Dustan. Hanieh Bakhtiari examines eroticism and the phallus in the film Shame (2011), which features full-frontal penile nudity. Sohini Saha provides an ethnographic account of the Hindu spiritual practices of brahmacharya (celibacy) as found within bayam samities (gyms) and akharas (wrestling spaces) in India. Herng-Dar Bih explores the role of sperm by examining Taiwanese men’s first experiences of spermarche (ejaculation), paying special attention to the affects generated in discussions of first experiences. Chris Ashford and Gareth Longstaff, explore “raw dicks” and men’s sexual desires for other men via the construction of “alt selves” in digital spaces, specifically Twitter and OnlyFans.

Table of Contents


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