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Thread: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

  1. #1
    Elephant CRSP's avatar
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    Default Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    The picture association game thread has a photo of Michaelangelo's David in it. It's not too hard to notice that the guy isn't particularly well-endowed. I've also noticed that many classical sculptures, both Greek and Roman, are also ill-equipped. Why is this the case?
    Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne blessent mon coeur
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  2. #2
    Oliphaunt featherlou's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Men in olden times were growers, not showers.

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    Commoner Borborygmi's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Also, keep in mind that the guy's been naked for the last 500 years. I'm sure he's cold.

  4. #4
    Oliphaunt
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    No real idea, although I've seen it said (heard it written?) that the underwhelming junk on statues is evidence that they found a small penis and testicles to be the male ideal. Some go so far as to link the small penises on Greek art with the sex-with-young-boys hobby that some of the Greek city states apparently accepted and even embraced.

    So - why do old sculptures have such small penises? Why do old paintings feature fat nekkid chicks? Or skinny nekkid chicks? Or small breasted big bottomed girls? Why do 70's posters feature an embarrassing amount of body hair by today's standards? Because beauty ideals change.
    Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. Must have been shattering. Stamped into one's memory. And yet, I can't remember it.

  5. #5
    Oliphaunt
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    In classical times, large genitalia were indicative of unbridled lust. Satyrs and the like were frequently shown with enormous junk.

    A big package was considered bestial - not an attribute you would want to give to a civilized man or a god.

    [I was a Classics major in college, but I'm going from memory here. I will try to dig up some sites on this when I'm not at work.]

  6. #6
    Sophmoric Existentialist
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Shrinkage.
    Sophmoric Existentialist

  7. #7
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Orual
    In classical times, large genitalia were indicative of unbridled lust. Satyrs and the like were frequently shown with enormous junk.

    A big package was considered bestial - not an attribute you would want to give to a civilized man or a god.

    [I was a Classics major in college, but I'm going from memory here. I will try to dig up some sites on this when I'm not at work.]
    This is what I remember from my school days as well, though I can't recall where I read it exactly. Large genitalia was associated with being overly concerned with one's genitalia, essentially. The refined man ruled by his intellect shouldn't be barbarously endowed.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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    Free Exy Cluricaun's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    From an artistic standpoint if David or any other of the classic nude statuary from the olden times had been done with giant wangs dangling down to their knees it would kind of shift the focal point from what was intended to "Hey, get a load of the tool on that workbench!"

    It's needed to convey the realism of the work, but you don't want to to detract from the overall message either. Do you think that we'd be as enamored with Mona Lisa's smile if she were shown topless with a massive pair of double D cups?
    Hell, if I didn't do things just because they made me feel a bit ridiculous, I wouldn't have much of a social life. - Santo Rugger.

  9. #9
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Orual
    In classical times, large genitalia were indicative of unbridled lust. Satyrs and the like were frequently shown with enormous junk.

    A big package was considered bestial - not an attribute you would want to give to a civilized man or a god.

    [I was a Classics major in college, but I'm going from memory here. I will try to dig up some sites on this when I'm not at work.]
    In my own search for a cite for this I stumbled across an interestingly titled article: Japanese Moviegoers Will See First Male Penis On The Silver Screen.

    As opposed to all the female penises out there I guess.

    (The movie was Kinsey, btw.)
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    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Cluricaun
    Do you think that we'd be as enamored with Mona Lisa's smile if she were shown topless with a massive pair of double D cups?
    Smile?

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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Cluricaun
    It's needed to convey the realism of the work, but you don't want to to detract from the overall message either. Do you think that we'd be as enamored with Mona Lisa's smile if she were shown topless with a massive pair of double D cups?
    I know I would.
    There are times to retreat from danger and times it must be faced head on. If you choose to face it-go boldly. Remember that no matter how strong your enemy might be, you too have power

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    Oliphaunt featherlou's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    In spite of all these facts and cites and such, I think I still like my answer better.

  13. #13
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    The more pressing question: What was David doing fighting Goliath naked?
    ????

  14. #14
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Back when I was in my twenties, a couple of different women said I looked like Michelangelo's David when naked. I always used to think it was a compliment . . . .

    ETA: artistically (as noted) the genitals shouldn't be visually distracting. Just saw Watchmen with my girlfriend, and she doesn't even recall seeing Dr. Manhattan's penis -- she was enthralled by the manly shoulders and neck.

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    Commoner Borborygmi's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Baldwin, are you seventeen feet tall and made of marble? Because those comments might not have had anything to do with your junk.

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    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Borborygmi
    Baldwin, are you seventeen feet tall and made of marble? Because those comments might not have had anything to do with your junk.
    Maybe it's my weird oversized hands. (I don't really have those, but David does.) Michelangelo had these weird touches in some sculptures; he was such a master that I assume they were deliberate and meaningful: David's large hands; Jesus' distended veins in La Pieta (and Mary being so big).

  17. #17
    Confused Box Guy fachverwirrt's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by cmyk
    The more pressing question: What was David doing fighting Goliath naked?
    Well, David killed Goliath with a couple of well-placed stones, right? That passage has always been misinterpreted.

  18. #18
    Free Exy Cluricaun's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by fachverwirrt
    Well, David killed Goliath with a couple of well-placed stones, right? That passage has always been misinterpreted.
    Goliath was...........Tea bagged to death?
    Hell, if I didn't do things just because they made me feel a bit ridiculous, I wouldn't have much of a social life. - Santo Rugger.

  19. #19
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Well, he did go down pretty easy.

  20. #20
    aka ivan the not-quite-as-terrible ivan astikov's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    I'll never read Samuel Chapter 17 the same again.
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

  21. #21
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Cluricaun
    Do you think that we'd be as enamored with Mona Lisa's smile if she were shown topless with a massive pair of double D cups?
    Moana who?

  22. #22
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    You know, now that I go back and read that chapter of the Bible, I do note that David talks quite a bit about the fact that Goliath isn't circumcised. He seems a bit obsessed with the Philistine's genitals, if you ask me.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  23. #23
    aka ivan the not-quite-as-terrible ivan astikov's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Caerie
    You know, now that I go back and read that chapter of the Bible, I do note that David talks quite a bit about the fact that Goliath isn't circumcised. He seems a bit obsessed with the Philistine's genitals, if you ask me.
    I too think something has been lost in translation. Perhaps it was David who got the tea-bagging? Goliath's height would have had David's head at just the right level.

    Maybe the correct text should have read, "David grasped two stones, and began to swing on them..", and not "David grasped two stones, and placed one in his sling."?
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    A large penis was seen as uncouth and ungainly. There was a Greek god, Priapus who was usually depicted as deformed, lustful and VERY well endowed. He attempted to rape a nymph and was cursed with a permanent erection, which is where the condition priapism gets its name.

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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Orual
    In classical times, large genitalia were indicative of unbridled lust. Satyrs and the like were frequently shown with enormous junk.

    A big package was considered bestial - not an attribute you would want to give to a civilized man or a god.

    [I was a Classics major in college, but I'm going from memory here. I will try to dig up some sites on this when I'm not at work.]
    This is the explanation I've always heard.

    I'd just like to also point out that David is not that small -- he's certainly not outside the realm of normal. I've definitely known guys who are "growers" and who when naked and not at all aroused really are small (but have no 'shortage' of penis when they are aroused.) I'd be willing to bet there's a bigger standard deviation in the size of flaccid penises, because they really can be all over the map. The Greeks just preferred the small end of the scale.

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    aka ivan the not-quite-as-terrible ivan astikov's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Excalibre
    I've definitely known guys who are "growers" and who when naked and not at all aroused really are small (but have no 'shortage' of penis when they are aroused.)
    That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
    To sleep, perchance to experience amygdalocortical activation and prefrontal deactivation.

  27. #27
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Excalibre
    I'd just like to also point out that David is not that small -- he's certainly not outside the realm of normal. I've definitely known guys who are "growers" and who when naked and not at all aroused really are small (but have no 'shortage' of penis when they are aroused.)
    Yes that is something that is puzzling to me. I'm like "Who care if it's small now! It doesn't follow it's gonna be small when erect!" (well, if David was alive).

    A good site to view the range of the various penis size, flaccid and aroused, is this one:
    http://www.erectionphotos.com/
    (not safe for work, the link first points to a innocuous warning page)

  28. #28
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Malaky

    A good site to view the range of the various penis size, flaccid and aroused, is this one:
    http://www.erectionphotos.com/
    (not safe for work, the link first points to a innocuous warning page)
    The soft/hard gallery was informational. And weird. I'd never seen a micro before. Or an inversion. Or some guy going on about how beautiful a 5 inch penis is.
    WTF did I just say?

  29. #29
    Oliphaunt jali's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    I think the small size was intentional to was massage the egos of the average sized man and to make his spouse feel fortunate.
    They weren't singing....they were just honking.
    Glee 2009

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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Baldwin
    Just saw Watchmen with my girlfriend, and she doesn't even recall seeing Dr. Manhattan's penis -- she was enthralled by the manly shoulders and neck.
    Hmmm. I saw Watchmen last night and definitely noticed it -- partially because I don't recall ever seeing an R-rated movie that showed a penis before. It was in a lot of scenes.

  31. #31
    Oliphaunt featherlou's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Malaky
    [<snip>
    A good site to view the range of the various penis size, flaccid and aroused, is this one:
    http://www.erectionphotos.com/
    (not safe for work, the link first points to a innocuous warning page)
    That a whole lotta penises! I think that site is a great idea - there were any number of guys posting things like, "I always thought I was small, but now I see I'm average if not a bit big!"

  32. #32
    Oliphaunt jali's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Great site Malaky.

    Really interesting to read the comment there by the posters - I like the encouraging words of the person running the site.
    They weren't singing....they were just honking.
    Glee 2009

  33. #33
    Oliphaunt
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Great thread! Lots of laugh out loud posts.

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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    It's official, this is the thread that made me register.

  35. #35
    Oliphaunt Baldwin's avatar
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    Default Re: Why do old sculptures have such small penises?

    Quote Originally posted by Pigs in Space
    It's official, this is the thread that made me register.
    Another member! We continue to grow!

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